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Matt Carthy Appeals to Fine Gael MEPs on World Refugee Day

20 June, 2018 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on Fine Gael to stop shielding the scandalous tactics of their Hungarian sister party in the European Parliament.

Today, Wednesday, Hungary’s Parliament will vote on a Bill that will criminalise anyone who helps asylum seekers and refugees. The Bill has been approved by Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz, which sits in the same political grouping as Fine Gael in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP).

Speaking from Brussels on World Refugee Day, Carthy said:

“The law that is being proposed by Hungary’s governing party today has been compared to the tactics employed by Nazi Germany against the Jewish population in the lead up to the Holocaust.

“Criminalising NGOs, civil society or even concerned individuals for helping those fleeing the worst kinds of atrocities in their home countries is one of the most dangerous, brutal and degrading moves by a far-right government we have seen in recent years.

“The legislation would give prison terms for those perceived to be aiding what Victor Orban’s party calls “illegal migration”.  These are asylum seekers who are seeking critical aid and services, including humanitarian relief and legal counsel.

“Yet these actions are going unpunished.

“Fine Gael sit in the largest political grouping in the European Parliament alongside Victor Orban’s Fidesz Party.  While Fine Gael representatives have sometimes mildly criticised actions of the Hungarian government they are, in fact, legitimising the denials of the most basic human rights to refugees by remaining in the same political group.  Fidesz’s membership of the EPP has also meant that their tactics are often shielded from the type of scrutiny that other governments receive.

“Fidesz is systematically dismantling its asylum system, violating numerous International Treaties and its obligations under European Union and Human Rights Law.

“Fine Gael and the EPP’s silence on these actions create an impression that they value having numbers to increase their position in the European Parliament above standing up for human rights.

“On International Refugee Day, Fine Gael should not only call for the expulsion of Fidesz from the EPP but should insist that they will not remain part of that grouping so long as this party is a member.  They should be vocally critical of Hungarian actions and calling for a debate on these issues in the European Council.

“To not do so is to be complicit in these actions”.

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