Irresponsible government measures escalate refugee crisis in Hungary

The flow of refugees, escaping civil war and conflict represents a challenge to European countries and as recent events show Hungary is badly failing to meet this challenge. On Tuesday Keleti train station in Budapest became the centre of the escalating refugee crisis in Europe and also a sad example of irresponsible government measures. Chaos, confusion and despair characterized the scene after police temporarily closed the station and refused refugees to board the train for which they were allowed to buy tickets previously. No later than today the Hungarian Prime minister Victor Orban declared that the refugees “threatened the christian identity of Europe ” instead of taking his responsibilities.

“Using the refugees’ terrible situation to fuel hatred and far right rhetoric in Europe is simply not acceptable. I call on the European People’s Party, to which Orban’s party belongs, to publicly dissociate themselves from these declarations. It is time for the Hungarian government along with other European member states to act in a more humanist and coordinated manner” – underlined by YES President, Laura Slimani. We strongly warn against the dangers of pursuing far-right anti-immigrant policies in order to achieve short term political gains.

Orbán Government prepared a new form of special legal justification “in the case of crisis situation caused by massive immigration”. According to the proposal, which is expected to be adopted by the Hungarian Parliament, refugees will be permitted to enter Hungary exclusively at established border-crossing points, and such persons will be immediately transported to so called ‘transit zones’. All other ways of entry will be considered as a criminal act. The proposal fails to ensure proper judicial supervision and leaves the refugees without legal assistance or translation services. Furthermore, it forbids non-refugees to provide any kind of assistance to migrants, as helping migrants will be regarded as an accessory to their criminal activities.

According to Roland Gúr, international secretary of Societas Hungary: “these measures, including the declaration by the Hungarian government blaming the EU for the current situation, are far from being constructive and lack solidarity”.

We urge all parties, including the Hungarian government to change the direction of their policies, stop accusing each other and act in unity for the sake of saving thousands of lives. “We stress everywhere, not only in Hungary, the explicit demand of the Young European Socialists to build a new, solidarity-based European consensus on refugee and asylum policies” – said Laura Slimani.  Opening more legal access to Europe for asylum seekers and sharing responsibility to welcome refugees in all European countries as well as better coordinating asylum and migration policies in Europe are among the main priorities of the Young European Socialists.

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