BAD STAFFELSTEIN, Germany (Reuters) - Hungarian leader Viktor Orban said on Wednesday he would propose that European Union states pay more into the EU budget to help cope with the refugee crisis and that Greece should allow other countries to defend its borders to slow the influx.
Hungary lies in the path of the largest migration wave Europe has seen since World War Two and has registered more than 220,000 asylum-seekers this year.
To stem the flow of migrants, Orban’s right-wing government has built a fence on the Serbian frontier and is constructing another on Hungary’s border with Croatia.
Speaking to journalists in Germany, Orban said EU member countries should increase the amount they pay into the bloc’s common budget by 1 percent and cut EU spending by 1 percent to raise funds for dealing with the refugee crisis.
Such a step would raise 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion), said Orban, who was attending a meeting of Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU), allies of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives. He said he would propose the move to EU leaders.
“We should repeat this as many times as necessary to have the amount of money that we need to handle the crisis,” he added.
European Union leaders are due to meet in Brussels at 1600 GMT (12:00 noon EDT) for an emergency summit at which they could promise billions of euros in new funding for Syrian refugees.
Orban said he would suggest to EU leaders that Greece should allow other countries to help reinforce its borders to reduce the number of migrants arriving there, many via a perilous boat journey from neighboring non-EU member Turkey.
“We should win Greece over to defer the defense of its external borders to countries that are willing to defend those external Greek borders from a law enforcement point of view,” Orban said, adding that Hungary would be prepared to take part in such a mission.
Orban also said he would put forward the idea of separating refugees and migrants before they enter the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone and declaring all EU members and candidate countries “safe” to reduce the influx.
Candidate countries include Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Many migrants have been traveling through these countries on their way to more prosperous states in the north and west, with many hoping to settle in Germany, Europe’s richest economy.
He said he would also propose forming partnerships with countries needed to solve the crisis: “I want to highlight Turkey, and I think we should reconsider our relationship with Russia as well.”
Orban said a global effort should be made to deal with the refugee crisis: “I will propose at the UN next week that we should create a global contingent and involve the entire world.
“There should be global quotas,” he said.
Reporting by Michelle Martin and Joern Poltz in Bad Staffelstein and Marton Dunai in Budapest; Editing by Catherine Evans