Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Brendan Smith TD has added his voice to the condemnation of the actions carried out by the Hungarian authorities against refugees seeking entry into the country. The closure of Hungary’s borders has led to violent scenes between refugees and the Hungarian police. The use of tear gas and water cannon at the Roszke-Horgos border crossing has already been condemned by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
Deputy Smith stated: “The current political and economic crisis being witnessed in neighbouring states close to the European Union has resulted in this unprecedented immigration crisis on our borders. The people who have arrived at Hungary’s border are fleeing from some of the most desperate conditions in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. They have made an arduous journey to the EU’s borders seeking safety. The reaction of the Hungarian authorities in using water cannons and tear gas on refugees is an outrageous attack on these vulnerable people.”
“I am calling on our Taoiseach to outline in no uncertain terms to the Hungarian Prime Minister his disgust at these actions taken by Hungary at the next European Council meeting. The Hungarian Prime Minister is a member of the same European political grouping as Fine Gael, the European People’s Party. The Taoiseach must ensure that Hungary knows that these actions are not becoming of an EU Member State where human rights and the rule of law are paramount.”
“This is an EU level crisis which requires an EU level solution. All EU members must play their part in bringing about a resolution to this crisis. Ireland has already agreed to take in 4000 refugees despite having no legal obligation to do so. As a proportion of our population we are taking one of the largest numbers of refugees within the EU. It is now time for other Member States to step up to the mark and do their part to ease this crisis.”