Orbán: EU’s direction, migration bloc’s most divisive issues – UPDATE
The two issues putting Europe’s unity to the test today are migration and the direction the European Union is headed in, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the closing event of ruling Fidesz’s “national consultation” campaign in Budapest on Tuesday.
The prime minister said illegal migration was rightfully being called a modern-day “mass migration wave”. As regards the future of the EU, he said the question was whether the bloc was heading towards “the Europe of Brussels” or a Europe of nation states.
Orbán said both issues were of historic importance for the bloc.
He said those who are in favour of a Europe of nations are “eurorealists” rather than eurosceptics. “Eurorealists wish to build the European Union on rock solid foundations rather than on sand,” he said. The prime minister argued that the “reality of the Europe of nations” is the only such political foundation that exists today.
No nation can be dictated whom it must live together with in its own country, Orbán said, adding that this was a sovereign decision to be made by a nation alone.
He said multiculturalism had failed in Europe and the EU was now trying to get member states, including Hungary, to pay the price for it. The prime minister said the EU was trying to distribute migrants who had been unjustifiably allowed entry into western European member states among countries, such as Hungary, that had refused to let them in.
Hungary’s proposal is that rather than being distributed among member states, migrants should be moved out of Europe, he said.
Orbán also said that the “illusion of mass integration” had failed. “It’s painful to say that as good as mass integration may look on paper and in textbooks, the truth is that it doesn’t work,” he said.
Instead, parallel societies are created with rising crime rates and deteriorating public safety, the threat of terrorism and terrorist attacks, he argued.
Orbán said only Europe could decide on its own future. “And by this Europe we don’t mean Brussels or European leaders but rather the community of European citizens,” the prime minister said. “But Europe has stopped asking its people for their opinions.”
He said there was a broad consensus in Hungary on the need to protect the country’s migration policy and economic independence from EU intervention.
Assessing the results of the government’s nationwide public survey, Orban said the Hungarian people had confirmed that they want Hungary to be free to shape its own economic policy. “We must keep the regulation of taxes and energy prices in our hands and must not let these competences be transferred” to Brussels, he said.
Hungarians do not want to accept illegal migrants, “not a single one, not even temporarily or in any way at all”, he insisted. He said that “as long as there are jobless Hungarians, others should not be given employment”. He suggested that the community itself take care of “even the hardest of least appreciated work” rather than “pass on” menial jobs to immigrants. “If we want to make Hungary a strong nation we must ensure employment for everyone and appreciate any job,” Orbán added.
Hungarians do not want to give Brussels control over Hungary, Orbán said. They do not want to give any more powers or transfer more competences to Brussels than those laid out in Hungary’s treaty of accession, he added.
Orbán said migration was “good business” for US financier George Soros, but would be even better if Hungary “wasn’t making a fuss about it”. He called Soros a “speculator” running a “vast mafia network” who is a “threat to Europe’s peace”.
“The reason why he [Soros] is so angry at Hungary and me personally is because we stand in the way of his big plan and big business,” Orbán said.
Soros has announced his migrant relocation programme, “finances organisations bringing migrants into Europe” and “supports the mafia network of NGOs and people smugglers,” Orbán insisted.
The prime minister said he expected “hard battles” ahead of next year’s elections, because “Soros will try everything so that Hungary has a government which plays from his music; one which dismantles the border fence and opens up the borders before illegal migrants”.
“This is no longer ideology, it is politics. It is a national security issue; there is no pardon when it comes to Hungary’s security and the safety of Hungarians,” Orbán said. He added the Hungarian government would not allow Soros “to have the last laugh”.
Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén insisted that “protecting Hungary requires stopping migration”, while he also called for more support for families and efforts “to reinforce a Christian identity”. Referring to the national survey, Semjen said that “the Hungarian nation has made a testimony on behalf of common sense, a life instinct, and self-protection”.
Concerning his Christian Democratic Party, Semjén said it was co-ruler in Europe’s “most Christian Democratic government”.
Lajos Kósa, parliamentary group leader of ruling Fidesz, said that the government parties had “saved” the country; first economically, and later “against migration”. He insisted that the country was able to protect its borders and resist the “invasion” of migrants because it is “financially invincible”. As long as Fidesz and its Christian Democratic ally are in power “we will certainly be able to protect the country”, he added.
Economy Minister Mihály Varga highlighted the government’s economic achievements in recent years, and said that “wages are growing, we have more jobs, and people can find employment and earn enough to sustain themselves and their families”.