Budapest, June 24 (MTI) – The greatest lesson to be learnt from the UK’s referendum is that Brussels must listen to the voice of the people, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday.
Orbán told public radio Kossuth that it is necessary to analyse what issues were decisive in the debates about European Union membership. He said immigration has been such an issue. The Brits were looking for a way to withstand modern-age migration, to keep control over their lives and “preserve their island”, he added.
“It seems the British have been unsatisfied with the politics and the protection that the EU offered in this situation, ” Orbán said.
The British decision must be respected because every nation has the right to decide its fate, he said.
Hungary is a member of the EU because “we believe in a strong Europe”, Orbán added. But “Europe can only be strong if it can give responses to such important issues as migration in a way that does not weaken the community but strengthens it. The EU has failed to give such responses,” Orbán said.
On the subject of a referendum in Hungary to be held in September or October on whether to accept the EU’s quota regime on migrants, Orbán said he is looking forward to “interesting debates”. “After all, this is one of the most important issues, if not the single most important issue, on the future of the nation,” he said. He said the left-liberals’ attempts to thwart the referendum have been blocked. “Hungary is a strong democracy, the people will decide what they want,” he said.
On the recent developments with regard to savings cooperatives, Orbán said the functioning of savings cooperatives had always been a priority for the government as the owners are “simple residents”. But problems in the sector had been so grave that the government had to restructure. “It is unfortunate that this matter had become mixed up with another case, the events unfolding at the Post office and FHB Bank,” he said, in response to a question on why head of FHB Bank Zoltán Spéder had lost his confidence. Orbán said this was “not a personal issue of loyalties”, but doubts and concerns have been raised which are being investigated by police.
Asked to comment on the testimony of Tamás Portik, former head of Energol who is in prison for murder charges, on his alleged ties to cabinet chief Antal Rogán, Orbán said he would not “concern himself with the words of a criminal”.
Orbán also spoke about sports, which he said should be treated as a “national matter” unaffected by party politics. He congratulated the Hungarian national eleven on their results in the European championships in France and said he would be there in Toulouse on Sunday to see the match Hungary is playing against Belgium.
He noted that it is worth also to see that these results are the work of thousands of people and commended head coach Bernd Storck on “pairing Hungarian talent with steady work”.