Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called for authorities to return undocumented migrants to Greece, arguing that it is the gateway country for them to enter Europe whether or not they are all registered there.
Orban proposition comes at a time when Greece’s migrant centers already struggle with extreme overcrowding and continue to take in asylum seekers mostly fleeing war-torn countries in the Middle East.
The Hungarian leader spoke during a press conference Thursday in Berlin alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel whose statements all but contradicted those of her counterpart.
“We must never forget that these are people,” Merkel said. “These are people that are coming to us, and that has some relation to the basic message of Europe which is humanity.”
Their statements come at time of political division within the European Union about how to address the refugee crisis.
During his speech, Orban called himself a “captain” of border security who protects both Hungary and Germany; nonetheless, he acknowledged differences in their migration policies, saying that they each “see the world differently.”
The prime minister said he was willing to discuss with other EU leaders, but he reaffirmed that his solution for the continent’s migration issues remains the same.
“Close the borders,” Orban said. “If people can come, they will come.”
He added that his government has deployed thousands of border patrol officials to keep migrants from entering Europe through its southern border.
“The issue is not only security, but to allow the operation of the internal market that is protected by Schengen.”
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