Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister, told a German paper that the European Union should assist refugees but “one cannot give help to the world while ruining its own nation.”
In an interview published in the conservative Welt am Sonntag, Viktor Orbán said he agreed with Pope Francis insofar as the European Union should help refugees “out of Christian, fraternal love”. But the question is in what ways should it do so, he added.
The Syrians exposed to fatal threats at home have the right to enter the first safe country but “we have let them make their way into Europe by setting aside all the related laws”, Orbán said.
“Hungary makes a more sensitive approach towards migration than Germany does as it lies in a danger zone. For this reason, if masses of people are flowing into the country, the alarm bells go off,” he said.
“We will not let Brussels dictate to us whom we should grant safe haven,” he said. It is only Hungary that can decide whom to allow to stay on its territory. If this fundamental principle is respected, “we are prepared to participate in a refugee scheme,” he said.
Orbán called the Schengen regime the EU’s greatest achievement, “particularly for us, Hungarians, who came from a dictatorial regime and therefore highly appreciate freedom.”
“However, if we fail to defend our external [Schengen] borders, than the internal ones must be closed down,” he said.
Orbán said that “politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels are acting as if they were representing the centre of an empire.” The Hungarian government, in turn, would like to see the European Union have a parliament with limited powers, a “strong Council” of prime ministers and a “Commission that is a guardian of the treaties rather than a political player on its own.”
Asked about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, Orbán said that
“demonising the Russian president is a silly approach”.
One should recognise that Putin has turned his nation once again into a strong player in world politics.
The European Union, however, fails to understand that it should “demonstrate strength and willingness to cooperate simultaneously. Europe’s current policy towards Russia is mistaken because it is overly one-sided,” he said.
Asked about his ties with Germany, Orbán said he had always respected the chancellor in office “even if this is not reciprocated today”.
“Anyway, we all have much to thank to Chancellor Angela Merkel as she had thwarted efforts that would have economically ruined Europe and she was the one who obliged negligent EU members to do their homework,” he said.
Orbán said Europe has a vested interest in the implementation of central European investment projects co-financed by the Chinese.
“My view that Germany and the Visegrad countries would become the crucial economic axis of Europe still provokes smile but I am sure that from 2030 on we and Germany would jointly finance the EU’s budget,” Orbán told Welt am Sonntag.
Source: MTI/Welt am Sonntag