Photo: Israeli Defence Forces (archive)

Retvari: ‘If illegal migration increases, terrorist threat also will’

Hungary and several other countries in central Europe dare to say openly what certain western European countries do not, which is that if illegal migration increases, the threat of terrorism in Europe also increases, the interior ministry's state secretary said on Thursday in Luxembourg on the sidelines of a meeting of EU interior ministers.

Bence Retvari told Hungarian journalists that no tangible steps had been taken in the protection of the EU’s external borders and the EU only made the activities of people smugglers easier by “an automatic acceptance of migrants”, quotas and its migration pact. “This may increase the terrorist threat in Europe, too,” he said.

The only solution, he added, was to protect the external borders and require decisions on asylum applications to be taken outside EU territory, Retvari said, adding that “there is no other solution, no other way”.

The Israel-Palestine conflict may further intensify illegal migration to Europe, Retvari said, warning that terrorists would take advantage of the migration wave to enter Europe.

Regarding today’s talks on the EU Schengen zone, he said migration and terrorism had undermined what was an essential functioning of the bloc, adding that never before had the Schengen zone been “in such a dire situation” and blaming EU leaders and “a series of erroneous decisions by Brussels” for the current situation.

Hungary has argued for protection of the external borders since 2015, knowing that the re-establishment of internal borders would be “a political setback and failure” that hindered Europe economically, he said.

Hungary rejects the EU’s new migration pact, Retvari said, and has asked the EU and member states “to rethink their positions before it is too late”.

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