Budapest (MTI) – Commenting on the Oct. 2 referendum on European Union migrant quotas, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday in an interview: “We can’t afford to make a mistake on migration, because not only would our Hungary change but the Hungary of our children and our grandchildren would be very different…”
“There are some decisions that can be changed, but on the issue of migration this is something that, if we make a mistake, then we’ll never be able to alter it,” he told commercial broadcaster TV2. “This is what the endless internal disputes and tensions in western European countries are about,” Orbán added.
“People understand this situation, they know this is about the future of the country. Still, parties have different views, the left is generally pro-immigration and the right wants to keep the country as it is. Those who don’t take part in Sunday’s referendum leave the decision to those who do,” the prime minister said.
Orbán said that with the outcome of the referendum in hand, he would travel to Brussels next week to negotiate the quota regime. “The EU is a democratic community; if one nation is against a regulation, it cannot be forced upon it,” he said. “This is what I would like to enforce.”
Orbán said it was wrong that the EU had not made clear how people in trouble would be helped. “Several member states invited them to their country, but when they realised this would bring trouble, they had the idea to select the ones they wanted and to distribute the others. The most dangerous part of this is that there is no upper limit,” he added.
Hungary’s position, on the other hand, is that help should be taken to where it is really needed, Orbán said. Hungary also advocated border protection from the start as well as the standpoint that “it is we Hungarians who should decide with whom we want to live”.
“We don’t want public safety to deteriorate, we don’t want a terror threat or to change our way of life, our family ties, the way we think about women, the press or religious ideals,” he said.
Countries that have accepted migrants have scattered them around villages and cities, he said, adding that the same would happen in Hungary if migrants were forced upon it. The referendum is therefore not only a national affair but about the lives of every locality, the prime minister insisted.