Orban says differences with Merkel over migration are in the past

Viktor Orban, the right-wing prime minister of Hungary whose reluctance to let migrants into the country has put him at odds with Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in a radio interview Friday that he has put his differences with the German leader behind him.

"The differences of opinion are in the past. The Germans have changed their position on the migration crisis," Orban told Hungarian state media.

Germany has tightened its migration laws after a call from Merkel in August 2015 to open the country's doors to Syrian refugees led to a huge influx in arrivals, with over 1 million registered last year.

Berlin now recognizes the "importance of the protection of the external [EU] borders," the Hungarian premier said. "Without admitting it, Europe is dealing with refugees by word and deed in exactly the same way as we are."

Last year, Hungary became the first country on the Western Balkans route to close its borders to the stream of people heading for wealthier nations further north. One-by-one, other transit countries did the same, and Europe's migration problem has since been concentrated to overcrowded camps in Greece.

Last update: Fri, 22/04/2016 - 12:13

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