We let the smugglers go because Brussels won't give us money – Rétvári

May 23. 2023. – 02:11 PM


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Hungary had to make the decision to release several individuals convicted of smuggling migrants because Brussels isn't contributing to the costs of border protection, but punishes Hungary when our prisons are overcrowded, Bence Rétvári told MTI (the Hungarian State News Agency).

The EU isn't giving Hungary any money for either the costs of detaining traffickers or for building prisons. They do, however expect foreign human traffickers caught at the borders to be detained in Hungarian prisons, at the expense of the Hungarian taxpayers.

- the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Interior Ministry said. News emerged last week that Hungary is releasing several migrant traffickers from prisons, who must leave the country within 72 hours of being released. In Szombathely, authorities were filmed releasing traffickers at the railway station.

Rétvári also said that it is Hungarian border hunters and police officers who are there at the border in both winter and summer, "working hard to ensure that Hungarian and European families are safe". He reiterated the government's oft-stated position that the EU owes Hungary 650 billion forints, or more than 1.5 billion euros, since that's how much Hungary has spent on protecting the EU's external borders since 2015. The State Secretary claimed that a convicted trafficker is costing Hungarian taxpayers on average almost 5 million forints (13,200 euros)

He admitted that Hungarian prisons had become overcrowded because of more than 2,000 smugglers, adding that the EU had previously taken action against Hungary for this. The State Secretary said that these cases were brought by "lawyers linked to the Soros network".

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