Reality Has Already Overwritten The Refugee Law



Publication: , PHOTO: MTI – György VARGA Date: 21/09/2015

Reality Has Already Overwritten The Refugee Law

In spite of the refugee law, passed in a split-second procedure, and in spite of government communication, in spite of even the events in Röszke, [Hungarian] police do transport refugees to the Austrian border so they can continue their journey towards Germany. Though official exchanges between Croatia and Hungary are slowly coming to resemble the worst form of cursing, the two police forces work together in a surprisingly well-greased understanding. So much so that certain people see a secret Croatian-Hungarian cooperation in the background.

By the end of the week, not even traces of the toughness experienced of the Hungarian police at Röszke in the beginning of the week remains. On Wednesday, after the border had been closed off, there was a severe collision between police and a group of migrants (sic!) who were turning aggressive. Twenty policemen were injured as well as several refugees, but the police also beat up and arrested a number of foreign journalists. After the atrocities, 11 migrants (sic!) were charged. Some were taken into custody while others await their sentences under home arrest (in their case, this means a closed reception center). In all likelihood, they are going to receive a suspended prison sentence and will be expelled.

Compared to this, what happens at the Hungarian-Croatian border is entirely different: Hungarian authorities simply let in the refugees guided there by the Croatians. In trains or in buses, they then transport a significant number straight to the Austrian border. As far as official statements go, Hungary still insists that refugees arriving here officially register themselves. According to reports from those on the scene, however, the opposite may have happened in many of the cases: the police escorted the refugees without registration, who in return were absolutely cooperative.

Similarly, the official explanation states that police transport people to the Szentgotthárd reception center, however, in fact, almost no one stays there. All of them simply walk over to Austria, again with the assistance of the authorities.

Violation of the Law on a Massive Scale

This is all the more interesting because the illegal crossing of the border is a misdemeanor and whatever is taking place at the Croatian-Hungarian border is exactly this on a massive scale. “All I can say is that if we look at the legal situation, these people are engaged in a misdemeanor and Hungarian authorities do not only tolerate this but aid it as well. What we see right now is when life overwrites the law in front of our eyes,” a source said.

Our source thought that it must have been the Operative Unit (of the Ministry of the Interior which co-ordinates response to the refugee crisis – trans.) that made the decision to transport the refugees as fast as possible instead of holding them up. “This is the same situation as when the refugees set out on foot from Keleti (railway station – trans.) towards Austria. The government obviously assessed the situation and came to the conclusion that they would not be able to do anything with so many people, so they chose the path of least resistance, a solution involving the lowest rate of conflict, put the refugees onto buses and transported them to the Austrian border. Now thousands come from Croatia every day, it is simply impossible to do anything else with them,” said our source.

Emphasizing that this was only an opinion, our informer said that “this was obviously in part a political decision.” When it comes to decisions of this level of significance, they are made by Viktor Orbán personally.

Croatian and Hungarian are two good friends (a reference to the proverb, in Polish “Polak wenger dwa baratanki” – “Pole and Hungarian are two good friends” – which continues as: to the point of drinking and fighting with sables – trans.)

At the same time, official statements contradict this. Péter Szijjártó (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade – trans.) told (the online news portal – trans.) Index that Minister of Internal Affairs Sándor Pintér made the decision. He decided to let the refugees into the country and to transport them after the Croatians started to bring refugees to the Hungarian border without any preliminary warning. (This is the source of the conflict which involved the Hungarian police arresting a Croatian locomotive driver who brought hundreds of refugees into Hungarian territory without prior agreement. The statements delivered on the issue by the Hungarians and the Croatians differ considerably.)

According to Szijjártó, the Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs used a pack of lies in her statements to him in the past days. In Beli Manastir Saturday morning, the Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs also indicated this when she said that they simply pushed the refugees on to the Hungarians, thus “forcing them to receive the refugees.” Antal Rogán, the resigning fraction leader of Fidesz said that the Hungarian government was going to prevent Croatia from joining the Schengen countries because of the resulting situation.

The official statements could not get any more serious. In contrast to this, one of our diplomatic sources involved told that the “cooperation between the authorities of the two countries was conspicuously good and well-greased,” so “the question presents itself of whether we are watching a great play on stage. After all, what is happening is the best thing possible for the Hungarian, the Slovenian, the Serbian and the Croatian governments, and the problem is simply passed on to Austria.”

Probably we will never find out, but it is a fact that this really is the easiest solution right now from the Hungarian and the Croatian points of view – at least till the border blockade is completed on the Hungarian-Croatian border. What is more, the Austrian viewpoint also seems to be permissive. Our sources say that Austria has already signaled to the Hungarian authorities that they would accept everyone arriving there for the time being – they only asked that the Austrian police be informed two hours prior the arrival of each Hungarian train, so they could make preparations to receive people.

A different government source conjectured another motive behind the Hungarian decision, “Viktor Orbán’s wish to call the attention of European leaders to the severity of the situation, as way of indicating that ’there is great reason for concern, don’t mess around with us, you can see what we are facing.’” Another government source denied the existence of any secret Croatian-Hungarian pact, calling it a conspiracy theory. As this source added: “these only exist on the left, with us everything happens based on a strategy.’”


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