Hungary, Poland see anti-immigration stance spreading in EU

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hold a joint news conference in Budapest on Wednesday. (Reuters)
Updated 03 January 2018
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Hungary, Poland see anti-immigration stance spreading in EU

BUDAPEST: The prime ministers of Hungary and Poland said Wednesday their countries’ anti-immigration policies are gaining strength within the 28-nation European Union.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, making his first bilateral visit since assuming office in December, and his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban, pointed to Austria, where conservative and nationalist parties formed a coalition government last month.
“Democracy has been restored in Austria because the Austrians who reject immigration elected a government which also does not want immigration,” Orban said. “This will be the case everywhere in Europe and I believe it is only a matter of time.”
Morawiecki said the immigration issue, which he called a matter of national sovereignty, was “getting even hotter” in the EU “and it seems that it is going in our direction.”
The two leaders again rejected EU efforts to resettle refugees among members of the bloc, while emphasizing their contributions to rebuilding efforts in the Middle East aimed at keeping more people at home.
“The EU’s immigration policy is not working. What is more, it is not only not working but it has failed spectacularly,” Orban said. “It is clear that the European people don’t want immigration, while several European leaders are still forcing the failed immigration policy.”
Poland is facing possible sanctions from the EU because of its perceived erosion of democratic principles, including recent steps increasing government control of the judiciary. While Orban has vowed to block any punitive measures against Poland by the EU, neither leader mentioned the issue during their news conference in the Hungarian Parliament.


’We failed them’: Australia apologizes to child sex abuse victims

Updated 4 min 32 sec ago
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’We failed them’: Australia apologizes to child sex abuse victims

CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a national apology to victims of child sex abuse in an emotional address to parliament Monday, acknowledging the state failed to stop “evil dark crimes” committed over decades.
“This was done by Australians to Australians, enemies in our midst, enemies in our midst,” Morrison told parliament in a nationally televised address.
“As a nation, we failed them, we forsook them, and that will always be our shame,” he said, his voice cracking as he recounted abuse that permeated religious and state-backed institutions.
Decrying abuse that happened “day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade” in schools, churches, youth groups, scout groups, orphanages, sports clubs and family homes, Morrison declared a new national credo in the face of allegations: “We believe you.”
“Today, we say sorry, to the children we failed. Sorry. To the parents whose trust was betrayed and who have struggled to pick up the pieces. Sorry. To the whistleblowers, who we did not listen to. Sorry.
“To the spouses, partners, wives, husbands, children, who have dealt with the consequences of the abuse, cover-ups and obstruction. Sorry. To generations past and present. Sorry.”
The state apology comes after a five-year Royal Commission that detailed more than 15,000 survivors’ harrowing child sex abuse claims involving thousands of institutions.
In parliament, lawmakers stood for a moment of silence following the remarks as hundreds of survivors looked on or watched in official events across the country.
Relatives of victims who have died wore the tags with the names of daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, for whom this apology comes too late.
A series of institutions have already apologized for their failings, including Australian Catholic leaders who have lamented the church’s “shameful” history of child abuse and cover-ups.
According to the Royal Commission, seven percent of Catholic priests in Australia were accused of abuse between 1950 and 2010, but the allegations were never investigated, with children ignored and even punished.
Some senior members of the church in Australia have been prosecuted and found guilty of covering up abuse.