Commenting on migration, PM Viktor Orbán said in his regular Friday morning interview that over the past six years since 2015, border fences have been built not only by Hungary but also by Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. This shows that Hungary’s position which it took “in solo” in 2015 is slowly becoming a majority view in Europe, he said.
A total of 92,000 illegal border entries were prevented in the first nine months of this year, which shows that the pressure of migration increased three to four-fold over one year, Orbán said.
spent nearly 600 billion forints on border protection so far,
which is approximately the same sum that the government will give to parents in the form of tax rebates next year, he said. As a result, it is a reasonable demand by Hungary that the EU should pay back at least a part of this money, he added. Orban warned that migration was making the pandemic spread faster, with illegal migrants transmitting infection.
Hungary is ready to
open a corridor for migrants to “march up to Austria, Germany and Sweden”
but refuses to allow Brussels to force its opinion on Hungary, Orbán said.
It is up to the Hungarian people to decide who should be allowed to enter the country and whom they want to live with, he added. “This debate will stay with us for years because we live in an age of epidemics and migration,” Orbán said.
On the topic of utility costs, Orbán said Hungary’s left-wing opposition had made it clear that they would raise the price of electricity and gas to market level if they won next year’s general election. “The left’s position is clear: if market prices are rising, the people should also pay more,” Orban said. He added that his government, on the other hand, had fixed household utility prices in the interests of families and pensioners. Even though the price of electricity and gas has increased two to three-fold in Europe in recent months, Hungarian households have not seen their utility bills rise, Orbán said.
“That’s how it’ll be as long as the country is governed by a nationally minded government,”
Meanwhile, Orbán said it was a “foolish idea” on the part of Brussels to introduce “a so-called climate protection plan that will further raise prices” when energy prices were already rising. But governments have room for manoeuvre, Orbán said, adding that it was possible to fight climate change by making the biggest polluting companies bear the costs for it instead of households.
He said this was currently the most contested issue in Brussels,
as the more prosperous western European countries wanted to impose a tax on homes and vehicles while the central European countries were resisting such a measure. The main question at next month’s summit of European Union leaders will be which side prevails, he added.
Orbán said the increase of the minimum wage to a monthly 200,000 forints had been a “great achievement”, adding that he had not heard of any international example of a 20 percent minimum wage increase within one year. In order to achieve this, the government agreed to a significant tax cut at talks with employers, he added.
Ten years ago, when the Gyurcsány-Bajnai governments were in power,
the average wage was at the same level that the minimum wage will now reach,