Hungary’s Migrant Crisis Ends, Europe’s Has Just Begun by George Igler

  • “[H]alf any given year’s total migrants arrive by the start of October. The other half arrives between October and the end of December… If these tendencies remain relevant, we should expect the very opposite of a winter break, and should prepare instead for an increasing flood of people.” — Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, September 21, 2015.

  • The UN High Commission for Refugees announced on Nov. 2 that the number of people who illegally migrated to Europe in October alone (218,394) nearly outstripped the number of those who entered throughout the whole of 2014 (219,000).

  • The reality at Hungary’s central railway station in Budapest had to be seen to be believed. Hungarians were easily outnumbered 200 to 1 by predominantly young Muslim males. These newcomers engaged in sporadic violence, rioted at the sight of camera crews, and left the station littered with human excrement.

  • According to Björn Höcke, of the populist Alternative for Germany Party (AfD), by the end of 2016 there will be as many Muslim males of military age in Germany (5.5 million), as there are young German men of that age.

  • On Nov. 2, Libya threatened to send to Europe millions of migrants from Africa, unless the EU recognizes its self-declared (Islamist) government.

Earlier this year, Hungary’s ferociously articulate Prime Minister Viktor Orbán became the bête noir of European politics. Since then, Orbán has transitioned from being castigated as a threat to European values, into the most recognized defender of his continent’s Christian identity.

In a Europe whose central policy-makers seem in thrall to multiculturalism, Hungarians, after centuries of invasions and attempted invasions, appear unapologetically immune to political correctness. Even in their language, the colloquial phrase for communicating with the bluntest possible candor is magyarul mondva, literally “speaking in Hungarian.”

As over 400,000 predominantly Muslim migrants crossed illegally into Hungary before the completion of a border fence — which ground such incursions to an effective halt by the end of October — there has been a sanctimonious effort in the world’s press either to mischaracterize realities on the ground, or omit them altogether.

The concealment of sobering truths, openly reported in Hungary – ironically a nation whose press freedom has been criticized under Orbán’s leadership – can only have serious long-term consequences, in migrant-friendly countries such as BelgiumSweden and Germany, especially the scale.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on November 2 that the number of people who illegally migrated to Europe in October alone (218,394) nearly outstripped the number of those who entered throughout the whole of 2014 (219,000).

The figures, which even shocked members of the UNCHR, constitute the greatest monthly entry of illegal migrants into the European Union to date. Many had apparently felt that the legal imposition of quotas, initiated on September 22, and aimed at relocating migrants across EU member states, would have at least begun to tackle the EU’s migrant problem.

The quota scheme, which pivoted on forcing non-consenting member states to accept illegal migrants, has, in fact, been an abject failure. Only Sweden has participated directly.

Meanwhile, crossings from Turkey to nearby islands in Greece, the first step in the so-calledWestern Balkan route — the dominant corridor for illegal migrants at present — have far from peaked, and are accelerating. As winter seas make Mediterranean conditions more difficult, the journey is apparently being offered at a discount.

To observers who speak Hungarian, however, the UNHCR’s figures probably come as no surprise.

Addressing his nation’s parliament, on September 21, and calling this year’s mass migration to Europe an “invasion,” Viktor Orbán declared:

There will be no such thing as a winter hiatus with respect to the illegal immigration issue … If one looks at the tables, graphs and statistics — often available in the public domain — which show the month-by-month influx of illegal immigrants to date, what one sees largely is that half any given year’s total migrants arrive by the start of October. The other half arrives between October and the end of December.

Unlike his European partners, Orbán sees this year’s events not as an unprecedented “crisis,” but the result of a steady and entirely predictable escalation, centered on the unwillingness of member states to defend the union’s external frontiers from human smuggling, which is anobligation under the EU’s freedom-of-movement Schengen Treaty.

Orbán’s analysis led him to conclude:

There will be no let up; we should expect escalating pressure. There is no reason for us to think that people-smugglers will arrange their affairs and the routes they exploit any differently this year than they have in previous years. If these tendencies remain relevant, we should expect the very opposite of a winter break, and should prepare instead for an increasing flood of people.

As Hungary constructed its southern border fence, in line with its Prime Minister’s calculations and in consultation with Israel, experts worldwide called the move both pointless and counter-productive.

Currently, as Germany is opening new migrant reception centers weekly, Hungary is winding up its own.

On November 3, Hungary’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to reject the imposition of mandatory quotas, paving the way for legal action against the EU, in concert with the left-wing government of Slovakia led by Robert Fico. Poland is very likely to follow suit.

Many political analysts have concurred that Orbán has cynically exploited the migration issue to shore up waning domestic popularity. This could not be more wrong. Although Orbán’s poll numbers certainly took a slide in 2014, analysts similarly agreed in April that his national consultation on migration constituted a catastrophic miscalculation.

It is easy to see why. Hungarians, after the 1956 uprising against the Soviet Union, are extremely conscious of their own historic status as genuine refugees. Some national billboards accompanying the nationwide survey were even defaced, as the consultation had posed robust questions on the likely consequences of mass Muslim immigration, which most Hungarians had yet to witness, and which some found discomfiting.

But public opinion swung firmly in Orbán’s favor, with the effective occupation of Budapest’s central railway station (Keleti pályaudvar).

The realities on the ground at Hungary’s international railway terminus had to be seen to be believed. Hungarians were easily outnumbered 200 to 1 by predominantly young Muslim males. These newcomers engaged in sporadic violence; rioted at the sight of passing camera crews, and left the station littered with human excrement.

Migrants refusing to cooperate with authorities who wanted to take them to reception centers, to participate in the EU’s compulsory EURODAC asylum registration process, chanted “no fingerprint” in unison. Frustrated, many charged down motorways towards Austria, a move that led to the closure of major transport arteries.

Unlike the domestic Hungarian media, the international press reported little of the full gravity of events in Hungary. The international press failed to warn nations from Austria to Finland of what was headed their way. Journalists concentrated instead on the handful of childrenpresent, to sell a sob story.

Such reporting led Croatia to charge Hungary with the “inhumane” treatment of “refugees,” while Austria claimed, astonishingly, that Hungary’s behavior was reminiscent of the Holocaust. As migrants arrived in those nations, however, both countries rapidly backtracked.

While Hungary was being castigated for supposed xenophobia and for Orbán’s rhetoric, no one seemed to have considered that perhaps the most historically-invaded country in Europe knew what an invasion actually looked like, better than most.

Nor did many of the people criticizing Hungary stop to think that maybe, with such a prominent awareness of once being refugees themselves, Hungarians might be more cognizant of the gratitude, relief and forbearance that marks the conduct of a genuine refugee.

Instead, Hungary was confronted by aggressive economic migrants in numbers so huge that the authorities were “all but submerged.” As the migrants demanded transit to welfare states they had paid handsomely to reach, they threw food and water back at the same Hungarian officials being pilloried by the world’s media for their own efforts to cope.

The nadir of the global press coverage of Hungary came with a defensive action involving tear gas and water cannons, when, on September 16, its frontier post at Röszke was closed to illegal entry. The false story sold by the world’s media led the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to condemn Hungary.

No mention was made outside the country of how Hungary’s police had reacted solely with non-lethal crowd control tactics — resorting to these only after a three hour standoff that injured20 police officers, who had resisted persistent violent efforts to storm the country’s border.

The most conspicuous press failure, however, concerns the key question: With the EU’s border agency Frontex confirming on November 4 that 800,000 have illegally crossed into Europe so far in 2015, each likely paying $1000 to $5000 to a people-smuggler, how is this colossal total expenditure — entirely outside the means of genuine refugee camp residents in Turkey or Jordan — being funded?

Georg Spöttle, an Arabic-speaking German national security expert resident in Hungary, with unique access to the intelligence communities in both countries, has been studying the sources of money used by migrants to traverse Europe. He has frequently identified Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as the true source of the funds.

Spöttle has also examined some of the thousands of pictures and videos found on mobile phones discarded by migrants before entering Hungary. Many images, in his view, are likely to be in the possession only “of those either sympathetic to terrorism or terrorists themselves.”

For other observers, the most alarming evidence thrown up in central Europe by this year’s migrant influx lies in the nature of the identity documents being discarded, at the last stop on the Western Balkan route, before migrants head towards the EU’s freedom-of-movement zone.

Thousands of migrants cross illegally into Slovenia on foot, in this screenshot from YouTube video filmed in October 2015.

In Serbia, the price of superglue has increased 100-fold, given that, when spread across a person’s fingertips, it temporarily allows an imprint of bogus fingerprints on a biometric EURODAC scanner.

Many of the documents thrown away at the Hungarian border include genuine Syrian civilian and military identity papers that would automatically entitle their holder to residence in Germany. The act seems highly irregular: Serbian identity papers, valid Swedish residency documents, papers confirming political refugee status from Jordan, and European passports,have all been found strewn across the border.

The only conclusion that can be drawn from such evidence collected at the EU’s external frontier, argues Hungary’s most notable security analyst, is that it points to the behavior of individuals intent on establishing jihadist sleeper cells in Europe. Or alternatively, that many Muslims with criminal records, already resident in the EU, could be exploiting the migrant crisis to establish entirely new identities for themselves before disappearing across the continent.

The only solution to an ever increasing influx, first from the Middle East, and then, in Orbán’s view, of even greater numbers from Africa, is to intercept and safely return migrant boats to their points of departure. On May 11, however, this “pushback” policy was utterly repudiated by Federica Mogherini, the European Commission’s foreign policy chief. Her announcement may well have acted as the spark for this year’s unprecedented migrant figures.

Orbán’s proposal, a combined European effort to police the narrow stretch of water between Turkey and nearby islands of Greece, has been rejected by the EU’s leaders. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people are still being allowed to enter the EU illegally, thanks to the newly strengthened Islamist government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. At the moment, he is trying to bully Brussels into giving Turkey the features of an actual European Union membership step-by-step.

Hungary, perhaps to demonstrate how a combined border-protection initiative could work, is already using a joint cooperation force to defend its own EU frontier, with local partners fromSlovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland.

The presence and power of Mogherini, whose fondness for political Islam has already beenanalyzed at the Gatestone Institute, is a damning indictment of the European Union’s claim to democratic legitimacy.

Thanks to what many felt was a profound dissatisfaction with mass migration into the EU, Europe experienced a marked turn to the political right in the 2014 European parliamentary elections.

A conservative European Commission was “elected” in turn — but it nevertheless appointed Mogherini, a former Italian Communist, to the most senior border-protection role in Europe. No matter how its people vote, the commitment of the EU’s institutions to a borderless Europe, both internally and externally, appears to remain undaunted.

It is clear, however, from remarks delivered in his nation’s capital on October 31, that Viktor Orbán’s patience with the EU has finally been exhausted. “Europe is being betrayed,” he told aChristian conference in Budapest. “It is being taken from us.”

Thousands of migrants shipped to the EU daily, Orbán argued, are “not a result of indecisiveness,” but the product of a conscious “left-wing” conspiracy to curb the relevance of Europe’s sovereign nation states by undermining their ethnic foundations.

With the EU having no perceptible mandate, this effort amounts to “treason,” he said, which must be countered by national democracies turning to their people. If not, he said, these people risk losing the ownership of their continent unless a Europe-wide consultation on mass migration immediately takes place.

The next migrant wave (50,000) is scheduled to arrive at the Austrian border next week. A ferry strike in Greece has caused a backlog, which is now moving its way through the Balkans.

According to Björn Höcke, of the populist Alternative for Germany Party (AfD), by the end of 2016 there will be as many Muslim males of military age in Germany (5.5 million), as there are young German men of that age.

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