Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban urged European leaders late on Wednesday to change their immigration policies and involve voters in a debate about the continent's future, saying they would otherwise face a political crisis and a threat to the democratic order, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Orban, who was due to address the European People's Party congress in Madrid on Thursday, told the state television channel m1 that European leaders had no mandate to let hundreds of thousands of migrants enter the EU with little or no control.
"This destabilises European democracies," he said. "We need to start the debate about the future of our continent honestly, without the muzzle of 'political correctness', without pretence, talking straight."
"We need to listen to the people and incorporate their views in our politics. If we can't do that, we'll have a political crisis on top of our migrant crisis."
He said Hungary's border fence had been meant to turn migrants back from Europe, not divert them along a different path to Germany, and that he had asked Hungary's Balkan neighbours to help send the migrants back.
"The right thing to do is not to ensure their passage into Europe but to take them back to the refugee camps they started out from," he said.
"The further they come from their troubled countries, the more difficult it will be for them to return. Therefore these people must remain (in their region) and humane conditions must be created for them (there)," Orban concluded.