By Dan Lyman
Hungary is prepared to assist Italy in controlling its borders and deporting illegal migrants, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has announced.
The Hungarian leader extended an open hand of partnership to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in the interest of defending Europe’s frontiers from mass migration.
“Dear Prime Minister Conte, if it’s needed, we are willing to take over the protection of certain sections of the Italian border,” PM Orbán said during an address to the annual congress of his ruling Fidesz party. “We will undertake the repatriation of a significant number of migrants in Italy to wherever they came from.”
“We are and we will remain a member of the European Union, but we don’t want a Brussels empire, but a union of European nations… We want to remain who we are, a proud European nation that has sprouted from Christian culture.”
“Hungary is ready to help Italy in whatever way we can, but there are areas where we cannot help,” Orbán said. “We cannot help with the transport and settlement of any migrants in Hungary. That is impossible.”
“But once you decide it, we can help you defend your borders, and if you are determined to send home the migrants who are already here, we can help you with that, too.”
“Mandatory settlement quotas, we cannot accept, but deportation quotas with pleasure,” Orbán declared. “So if PM Conte were to ask the Hungarians to send home a couple of thousand migrants from Italy back to where they came from, then Hungary will be ready and help fulfill such obligations.”
The Italian Interior Ministry reports that migrant arrivals by sea have begun to increase again for the first time in 2019, a trend which coincides with the ousting of former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who had managed to slash migration by a stunning 94 percent after mere months in office.