The newly emboldened populist wave sweeping Europe has begun to clash with establishment EU “open border” advocates, as governments opposed to illegal mass migration dig their heels in and resist the influx of mostly North African migrants.
Europe has been sharply divided over asylum seekers – however words turned to action in early June when Italy’s brand new Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, closed Italian ports to Non-Government Organizations (NGO) ferrying migrants into the country. The rest of Italy’s populist coalition government supported the move, fending off condemnation from “hypocritical” French President Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders.
Perfectly capturing the current rift between populism and progressivism in Europe, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó got in a spat with BBC presenter Emily Maitlis on Monday while trying to explain why his country opposes an open-border policy.
he current migration policy of the European Union can be very easily translated as an invitation in the minds of those people, who can easily make a decision to head towards Europe,” – Péter Szijjártó
When quizzed by Maitlis on Hungary’s “Stop Soros” legislation introduced in January the Foreign Minister said “There are organisations who help people to ask for asylum, even if they no legal basis for that… and they have to contend with the consequences.”
Triggered by Szijjártó’s answer, Maitlis tried to argue that anyone landing in Hungary has the right seek asylum and have their case heard, to which the Hungarian hit back:
“From the south, we are surrounded by peaceful countries, so those people who are violating our borders all came from peaceful countries like Serbia and Croatia and there’s no point of reference in any international regulations why you should be allowed or helped or assisted to violate a border between two peaceful countries.”
“What we don’t want is a massive illegal influx coming from the south to us, we want to keep Hungary a Hungarian country and we don’t think by definition that multiculturalism is good… If you think so, if people in this country think so, we respect that, but please don’t put pressure on us.”
WATCH | "You are unbalanced. You are one-sided." Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó calls out the BBC's @maitlis on her bias – she was seething with rage because Hungary dares to oppose mass immigration!
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) 26 June 2018
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) 25 June 2018
Over the weekend, Polish MP Dominik Tarczyński of the Polish Law & Justice party shocked UK Channel 4’s Cathy Newman when asked if European politicians have a “moral, humanitarian duty” to help asylum seekers:
Polish MP: "Why did these parents put their own children at risk? Why did they put them in this situation?"
Cathy Newman: "Don't the politicians of Europe have a moral, humanitarian duty to step in?"
Polish MP: "…No" pic.twitter.com/B159mR3eNr
— Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) 25 June 2018