Hungary’s PM Proposes EUR 3B Aid Plan to Stem Migrant Influx into Europe

EU | September 12, 2015, Saturday // 12:03|  views

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Photo EPA/BGNES

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has proposed that the European Union give EUR 3B to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan to help halt the flow of Syrian migrants from camps in those countries, newswires reported.

"We have a plan, which I will present to the heads of the European Union at our next meeting (to provide) massive financial support to countries neighbouring Syria," Orban said in an interview for Saturday’s edition of German newspaper Bild, according to AFP.

Syria’s neighbours Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are the first countries reached by Syrians fleeing the 4-1/2 year old civil war in their country.

Orban, who has often been criticized by rights groups as well as politicians for his hard line on migrants flowing into Europe, argued that Syrian refugees coming to Europe from camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey should return there because they were safe in those countries.

Those people come to Europe not “because they seek safety but because they want a better life than in a camp. They want a German life, perhaps a Swedish life,” Orban told Bild.

"There is no fundamental right to a better life, only a right to safety and human dignity," Orban said in the interview, according to AP.

Hungary, lying at the southern edge of the EU’s passport-free travel Schengen zone, has been struggling to cope with a tide of migrants at its southern border with non-EU Serbia travelling along the so-called Balkan route from Greece, Macedonia and Serbia. Some 150,000 migrants that have already crossed Hungary's borders en route to Austria and Germany so far this year.

Orban is suggesting that each EU member state increase its contribution into the bloc’s budget by 1% while reducing other spending. The scheme would generate EUR 3B for aid.

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Tags: Hungary, migrants, Orban, Bild, Serbia, Syria, turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, EU, European Union


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