Viktor Orbán is again marching to a different drummer. While European politicians and leaders of the European Union are working hard to find a humane and peaceful solution to the refugee crisis, the Hungarian prime minister is preparing for war–war against anyone who tries to seek refuge in Hungary.
Angela Merkel, by legalizing the settlement of Syrian refugees in Germany, took a step in the right direction. But Germany cannot solve the problem alone; there must be a common effort by the 28 member states. Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the Austrian interior minister, is also of the opinion that bona fide refugees should be given a permanent home, a step that should end the kind of human trafficking that resulted in the death of those 71 people who were found in an abandoned truck on an Austrian highway. Viktor Orbán and the politicians of the party he leads, however, see it otherwise. The Hungarian government will not accept anyone, refugee or not, and today officials worked to make sure that they will have the legal means to introduce draconian measures.
The day started with Zoltán Kovács, government spokesman, blaming the refugees who died in that truck for their own death. Since there is no war situation in the Balkan countries, there was no reason for them to escape to (and through) Hungary. “Therefore we are talking about people who make themselves victims.”
Yesterday János Lázár and Antal Rogán laid the groundwork for the government’s response to the waves of people entering Hungary when they insisted that the use of the army along the border and modifications of the criminal code are necessary because of the “growing aggressiveness” of the asylum seekers. It matters not that the ministry of interior is unaware of any such aggressiveness, which is not a criminal category in any event.
Jobbik and Fidesz are vying with each other to see which party can come up with the most hateful anti-refugee propaganda and which one can suggest the most severe measures against the asylum seekers. This rivalry is especially evident when it comes to the question of deploying the army along the border. Gábor Vona, chairman of the neo-Nazi Jobbik party, submitted a proposal yesterday to modify the constitution to allow the use of arms in the defense of the borders because, as Ádám Mirkóczky, deputy chairman of Jobbik, said, “a situation may arise when the soldiers and/or the police must use firearms to defend themselves.” Fidesz claims that the government can achieve the same end without touching the constitution. Their proposal also includes the use of “coercive instruments.” They can use guard dogs, rubber bullets, pyrotechnics, tear gas, and netting to stop the people at the border. Also, they can use firearms “if they encounter an attack which seriously endangers life or causes bodily harm, or if the asylum seekers attack an object under surveillance.” The troops will be moving into the transit zone on September 15. Because there is no real difference between the two positions, I have no doubt that Jobbik will assist Fidesz in enacting this horrendous new law.
What else is waiting for the refugees and those who try to help them? The punishment for climbing over the fence will be three years in jail. Taking part in a mass disturbance warrants a maximum five-year jail term. If someone loses his life during the disturbance, any participant could end up in jail for a term of five to ten years. Those who are found guilty will be automatically expelled from the country even if that means forcible separation from their families. There are a few exceptions to these rules: the expulsion of pregnant women and mothers of children under the age of one can be postponed, but only if their stay in the country doesn’t seriously endanger public safety and public order. In addition, the police can enter private property without a warrant if they suspect that Hungarian citizens are hiding refugees in their homes.
As for refugee camps, the government finally came up with the “perfect” solution. Several “transit zones” will be created along the border. They will be fenced in on the Hungarian side but will be open on the Serbian side. The refugees will have to enter one of these camps, which will protrude sixty meters into Hungary. The necessary land will be expropriated from the present owners. After processing the applications, authorities will make a decision within eight days about the fate of the refugees. It is quite clear from the messages we get from Fidesz politicians that nobody will be considered a refugee who comes through any Balkan country. So basically, they will go through the rigmarole of registering the refugees, which is necessary to comply with current EU rules, and then will deny them entrance to the country on the ground that they are not refugees. That will be the Hungarian solution to the refugee crisis.
Finally, Fidesz decided to send a message, in the form of a parliamentary resolution, to Brussels, “whose irresponsible policies are responsible for the death of people.” The resolution, titled “Message to the leaders of the European Union,” was submitted by seven Fidesz and two Christian Democratic politicians, among them important people like Antal Rogán, leader of the Fidesz delegation, Péter Harrach, leader of the Christian Democrats, Gergely Gulyás, the legal whiz of the party, and Szilárd Németh, the heavyweight in more than one ways who was in charge of utility rate cuts two years ago.
The resolution continues: “We must declare that every European politician who encourages the immigrants with the hope of a better life to leave everything behind, to imperil their lives, and to begin their journey toward Europe is irresponsible.” I guess this includes Angela Merkel, who by allowing Syrians to settle in Germany is actually encouraging them to pack up and leave. The document, speaking in the name of all Central European countries, goes on to say that they “cannot be the injured party as a result of the mistaken policies of Brussels.” Furthermore, they have “the right to defend [their] culture, language, [and] values.” Therefore they “call on the leaders of the European Union to listen to the voice of the people. Get their senses back and defend Europe and the European citizens.”
I worry about the fate of the refugees who try to cross into Hungary. I fear that Brussels may soon have cause to turn the Hungarian government’s own words against it: that its “irresponsible [I would say cruel] policies [were] responsible for the death of people.”
From the government’s words and actions in this refugee crisis it’s hard not to conclude that it is made up of a bunch of psychopaths. Just consider the first eight characteristics of Robert Hare’s checklist to determine who is a psychopath: glibness and superficial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, cunning/manipulative, lack of remorse, emotional shallowness, callousness and lack of empathy, unwillingness to accept responsibility for actions. Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.