Budapest, September 12 (MTI) – The past four years of the government’s work have taken Hungary forward, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said, addressing lawmakers on parliament’s first autumn session on Monday. “The country is on a good track and has a future,” he said.
Orbán opened his address by discussing migration and the European Union’s “naivety” in dealing with its challenges. “Europe must wake up; the crisis will not resolve itself,” he said.
“Naive politics brings with it a state of lightheadedness, and this is what causes trouble. This naivety in Brussels is the general state of affairs today,” Orbán said.
Instead of seeking a showdown, meaningful debates and a unified Europe are necessary alternatives, he insisted.
Concerning the next EU summit in Bratislava, Orban said that he would speak at that forum against Europe’s “naive and dangerous” migration policy, which he said should be replaced by a policy “of self defence and a show of strength”.
Brussels’ current policies will “lead to a civilisational disaster, slowly but surely”, Orbánsaid.
The EU should be strengthened at the level of member states that serve as a basis for the community, rather than “Brussels institutions”, the prime minister said.
Warning that the EU’s competitiveness had dropped “tremendously” in the past decade, he added that the community’s economy needed to be bolstered. “We do not want to leave the EU but improve it,” Orbánsaid.
“Hungary’s migration policy is morally sound,” Orbán said. “Help should be provided at the point where the migrants depart from rather than bringing trouble here,” he said, adding that the October 2 referendum on migrant quotas served the purpose of protecting Hungary.
“Through the referendum, we want to change the European Commission’s decisions which have already been made,” he said. Brussels wants to implement an automatic mechanism for distributing migrants without any upper limit and facilitate family reunifications, he added.
But this is not enough as far as Brussels is concerned, he said. “They’re preparing a ruse: if they can’t get along with nation states then they will get along with left-wing cities.”
“Now it will become apparent where the migrant settlements will be,” Orbán said, adding that the referendum was not just a national affair but one concerning 3,200 localities, “because Brussels not only threatens the country but localities, too.”
Gábor Vona, leader of the opposition Jobbik party, argued in favour of turning up for the October 2 referendum and rejecting the EU’s migrant quotas. What is really at stake in the referendum is its validity, he said. If it is valid, a law or the constitution will have to be amended, just as Jobbik recommended earlier. If it is invalid, Brussels will be given a document showing that Hungarians did not reject in the legal sense the introduction of quotas.
“This is a huge danger that stems from Orbán’s irresponsibility. And in this case the prime minister should resign,” Vona said.
The opposition Socialist Party said it was plainly misleading to blame the European Commission for the migration crisis. Responding to the prime minister’s remarks, Socialist group leader Bertalan Toth said rather than hindering a solution to the crisis the European community is the “sole potential solution”.
Commenting on Orban’s remarks on Hungary’s progress, Toth said there are four million people living below the poverty line and more than 100,000 in state fostered jobs schemes. He said a sign of the government’s failure in education and employment policy was the 100,000 unfilled jobs currently combined with a significant number of emigrants.
The opposition LMP party accused the government of “political short-termism” in handling the migration issue. LMP group leader Erzsebet Schmuck argued that was why the government had launched its “hate-mongering” referendum campaign. One serious problem is that the EU “isn’t any nearer” to solving the migration crisis, she said, adding that the Hungarian government, however, was also responsible. “You cannot always blame just Brussels,” the LMP politician said.