Orbán: European court decision must be taken into account – UPDATE
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in an interview to public radio on Friday, said he completely agreed with Slovak premier Robert Fico that the European Court of Justice decision to dismiss Slovakia and Hungary’s complaint concerning EU mandatory migrant quotas had to be acknowledged.
But at the same time, this was no reason to change Hungary’s policies on immigration, he said.
Orbán said the European Court’s decision had “opened the door” for the implementation of the “Soros plan”.
“I will never contribute to making Hungary an immigrant country,” he added.
Former colonial countries of the European Union have become “immigrant countries” and “they now want to force their wish upon us”.
“I have been given authorisation from Hungarian voters to guard Hungary’s culture and identity,” he added.
“The real battle is just beginning and a political battle will be necessary,” the prime minister said. Any permanent mechanism to replace temporary distribution must be prevented, he added.
“So far we’ve been fighting a legal battle … now we have a political fight to change this EU decision,” he said.
“The court’s judgment does not oblige Hungary to do anything; it merely ruled whether the quota decision was lawful or not,” he said.
The prime minister said that Hungary was not the only country not to have implemented the quota plan. “Indeed, the plan cannot be implemented.”
Orbán said in the interview that it was “absurd and unacceptable” that “Brussels bureaucrats” should determine “which three Yousefs should live in Budapest”. “The decision on whom to live with should be for Hungarians alone.”
The PM insisted that he had vetoed the quota plan in the European Council but the European Commission, skirting the council’s decision, nevertheless launched a legislative process that Hungary could no longer veto. “The central European countries were not sufficient to block the westerners,” he said, adding that this is how the decision on relocating asylum seekers had come about.
The case, he said, raised a serious matter of principle, namely the question of “whether the EU is a free alliance of European nations or a Brussels-based empire”.
The European court, however, stood by the European Commission, he said, opening the door to attempts to make Europe into a continent of mixed populations and cultures. “They have opened the door to [US financier] George Soros’s plan, and I expect they will accelerate its implementation in the coming period,” Orbán said.
“If a country considers that an EU decision will affect its national identity … then it must oppose it,” the PM said.
Orban said Hungary would gladly help Germany remove from the continent migrants who had arrived in Europe.
Hungary has always respected Schengen rules, and by spending on border protection, it has protected Europe, he said. This is why, in the name of solidarity, the European Commission has been asked to pay for half of the costs of the fence, Orbán said.
“They too sense that the moral balance is tipped towards us, but they still say they will not finance the fence, Orbán said. “This is unacceptable because without the fence, it is impossible to protect the external borders of the EU.”
“Where there is a fence, there is protection and where there is no fence, there is no protection. Which means that the opponents of the fence are opponents of the policy to stop migrants,” Orban said.
Brussels is applying double standards on the matter and this is why a new commission and a new way of thinking is needed, he said.
The current “big cheeses” in the EU are the former colonial countries. People who cooperated with the colonialists in the former colonies had to leave the country when the imperialists left, which is why several European countries have become “immigrant countries”. “And they now want to force their own logic on central Europe. But this region has never contained colonialists and therefore it has no such obligations,” Orbán said.
“We are not a colonial country … and I will never help a large power of any kind … make us into an immigrant country.”
He also rejected making immigration a precondition of EU funding, stating that this would be against EU rules. “Though in the light of the recent European court decision, one cannot exclude the possibility that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would manage to push that proposition through,” he said.
Such a decision would be immoral because Hungarians working in western companies’ plants in Hungary, for instance, earn less money than people working in the company’s home country. “If I were German, I would be ashamed to bring up the issue of solidarity”, he said, noting that Social-Democrat chancellor candidate Martin Schulz, despite being German, dared to speak about drawing money away from Hungary.
At the same time, the prime minister said Hungarians had decided to join the EU in a referendum, and this had been the right decision. So no government should pull Hungary out of it, Orban added.