Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has described his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán as ‘shameless’ for refusing to accept any refugees and attempting to buy off his obligations with a €35m fund, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday afternoon.
Rutte was speaking ahead of a working dinner in Brussels to discussion migration issues.
Rutte and other western European leaders want a fairer division of refugees across all EU members states, in line with earlier agreements. Poland and Hungary have both refused to cooperate and have accepted no refugees. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have also both only accepted a handful, NOS said.
However, the four countries pledged earlier on Thursday to invest €35m in a fund to prevent potential African migrants leaving the continent for Europe.
‘I consider this to be a shameless story,’ Rutte said. ‘The four of them will put in €35m. Great. But the Netherlands is doing the same thing.’
The fund does not excuse the four countries from agreeing to take their fair share of refugees arriving via Italy and Greece, the Dutch prime minister said.
According to website EUObserver, EU president Jean-Claude Juncker described the financial contribution as proof ‘that the Visegrad countries are fully aligned when it comes to solidarity with Italy and with others.’
Last week, the EU commission took the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to the EU’s top court for having refused to participate in the 2015 scheme that relocated asylum seekers from Greece and Italy.