Interview with PM Orbán: Soros’s network in Hungary like mafia – UPDATE
The only network which “operates like a mafia” in Hungary is billionaire George Soros’s, the prime minister said in an interview to public radio on Friday.
“Soros’s network in Hungary like mafia”
In a speech in Brussels on Thursday, Soros had accused Hungary of being a “mafia state”.
Speaking on Kossuth Radio, Viktor Orbán said that Soros’s network and its “agencies” were “a significant and non-transparent component of Hungary’s public life”.
Orbán insisted that “the financial speculator” and “his supporters in Hungary” were seeking to implement “a programme to allow migrants into the country”.
The entire left wing in Hungary was among those supporters, he said, highlighting László Botka, the Socialist Party’s PM candidate, “who has announced that he would dismantle the border fence”.
Orbán insisted that Hungary was acting as a “barrier” to Soros, who is “only being prevented from importing one million migrants to Europe thanks to the Hungarian government”.
Referring to recent remarks by Soros, in which he suggested that Hungary was a “mafia state”, Orbán said they were “offensive” and tantamount to a “declaration of war”.
Concerning the government’s recent “national consultation” survey, Orbán said that a document explaining its questions had been sent to “Brussels bureaucrats”. He added that “it may not be understood due to the difference in cultural backgrounds”.
“Protecting the current status quo requires stopping Brussels”. Hungary, he said, would not “give up further powers”, but this was seen as “an anti-EU attitude”. Orbán vowed to use the outcome of the survey as authorisation to block the distribution of migrants if the EU “forces a settlement programme on Hungary”.
“Hungarian voters don’t want to hand that right over to Brussels,” he said, adding that he would do the same when it came to a European energy union “if it containes stipulations under which the market or Brussels would set the [retail] price of energy”.
Orbán said that 1.7 million people had participated in the national survey, adding that the large number of respondents had indicated that “it is not a country of indifference”. The survey “strengthens the government’s position and adds to its weight and demonstrates its commitment,” he said.
Commenting on the United States decision to quit the Paris Climate Agreement, Orbán said he was “shocked” and noted “the Hungarian consensus” that “climate change is a reality, it is a threat and it is of a global nature requiring global-level action”.
“The decision of the US president flies in the face of all this,” Orbán said, adding that understanding the ramifications of Donald Trump’s move would require a lot more reflection.
Answering a question suggesting that neither German Chancellor Angela Merkel nor Martin Schulz, the Social Democrats’ chancellor candidate, considered the US a reliable partner, Orbán said “the Germans should show more modesty when it comes to remarks like that”. He argued that “generalising statements have proved to be dangerous in European history”. He insisted that Europe “has not been able to find the way to serve the interests of its citizens in the past 100 years without cooperation from the US,” he said, adding that he was hopeful neither Germany nor the US would quit that cooperation.
He added, however, that “the fate of Europe is in the hands of Europeans” and that Europe could stand on its on feet economically without the US or other players in the global economy “even if we were worse off without global commerce”.
Reflecting on a German proposal suggesting that cohesion funds could be cut for members breaching the rule of law, Orbán said he does not belive that “they meant it”. “The most important European value is delivering on contracts, and the migrant crisis broke out because the Germans breached [an agreement]”. “If we wanted to tie subsidies to European values, Germany would be the greatest loser”, Orbán said.
Concerning the government’s demographic policy, Orbán said the goal was to make Hungary a pro-family country, in which “women will say that it is good to bring up children”. He said the current, negative demographic tendencies should be slowed down, stopped between 2025-2030, and then reversed.
Erzsébet Schmuck, deputy group leader of green opposition LMP, said her party would pen an open letter to Hungarian President János Áder and Orbán urging them to call on signatories of the agreement to exert international pressure on the US president. She said Trump’s decision to quit the agreement sent the message that the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China was not interested in climate change or bothered by the decay of the planet’s ecosystem.
Csaba Molnár, deputy leader of the leftist Democratic Coalition (DK), called the president’s decision an “indefensible crime against the world”. “DK believes that everyone bears a responsibility for the generation after them, so Europe and the world must stay strong and set an example for Trump’s America by complying with the Paris climate agreement,” he said.
Együtt said Trump’s decision posed a risk to the climate accord and the fight against climate change but expressed hope that the US would soon review its decision to withdraw from the agreement.