BERLIN: Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann compared Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s treatment of migrants to Nazi-era cruelty, in an interview published Saturday.
“Piling refugees on trains in the hopes that they go far far away brings back memories of the darkest period of our continent,” Faymann told German weekly Der Spiegel.
The Austrian leader said that Orban knowingly used a “policy of deterrence.”
Orban has taken a hard line against the thousands of migrants and refugees passing through Hungary on their way to northern Europe.
Riot police have been deployed to control crowds and footage from inside refugee camps has revealed harsh conditions.
Hungary this week also increased the number of soldiers building its controversial anti-migrant border fence, and Orban has stood firm on the implementation of harsh new laws which could see migrants jailed for entering the country starting Tuesday.
In an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper published Saturday, Orban said he wanted 3.0 billion euros ($3.4 billion) handed to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, the first ports of call for Syrians trying to escape conflict in the Middle East.
“If it takes more money, we will increase aid until the refugee flows are drying up,” he said.
“These migrants do not come from war zones but from camps (in these border countries), where they were safe.
“They are not fleeing danger — they have already fled and should not fear for their lives.”
They come to Europe not “because they seek safety but because they want a better life than in a camp. They want a German life, perhaps a Swedish life”.
“But it’s a fact: there is no fundamental right to a better life, only a right to security and human dignity,” he told Bild.