Baile Tusnad, Romania, July 25 (MTI) – European values, the lifestyle of European citizens, the survival of nations and Europe as a whole are at stake today, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on the closing day of the 26th annual Balvanyos Summer University in Baile Tusnad (Tusnadfurdo), in Szeklerland, central Romania, on Saturday.

The question today is not what sort of Europe we Hungarians wish to live in, but rather whether what we call Europe will even exist, the prime minister said referring to Europe’s migration crisis. “Our response is clear: we want Europe to remain European,” he said.

Orban said the modern migration wave resulted from political developments. He said the “truly serious threat” was not coming from war zones, but from “the depths of Africa”.

The prime minister said the future was not “a contest of staring off into the distance” but one of “getting to know the past”.

“Those who have a deeper understanding of the past, and are braver and quicker in drawing conclusions from it will be the ones to come out victorious,” he said.

Hungarians have made it clear that they do not want illegal immigrants, and do not wish to “join in on the intellectual rampage of the European Left,” Orban said.

The results of the questionnaire of the government-sponsored national consultation on migration show that Hungary is “a secure and stable country” and that Hungarians “want to remain a unified and balanced nation in the uncertain world surrounding them”, the prime minister said.

Orban said more than 1 million people returned the questionnaire, 95 percent of whom said supporting Hungarian families and children was more important than supporting migrants.

Over two-thirds of the respondents said they considered the spread of terrorism a trend with an impact on their own lives, and three quarters said illegal migrants posed a threat to Hungarian jobs and the livelihood of Hungarians.

About 80 percent of the respondents were of the opinion that Brussels’ policies regarding migration and the threat of terrorism had failed, and therefore “a new approach and stronger regulations” are needed, the prime minister said.

Orban said the European Left sees migration as an “opportunity rather than a threat”. Orban said the Left believes the growing influx of migrants could severely weaken or even “abolish” the concept of nation states, helping to achieve its long-standing goal.

While the Hungarian Left was “inciting people against Hungarians living beyond the border in 2004”, today they are welcoming illegal immigrants “with open arms”, the prime minister said, adding that “these politicians simply do not like Hungarians”. He said that if the Left had come to power in 2014, “Hungary would look like a refugee camp within a couple of years.”

The prime minister said the construction of the 175-kilometre fence along Hungary’s border with Serbia would be completed by August 31.

In response to a question, Orban said experience has shown that such border closures result in a roughly 85 percent decrease in the number of illegal border crossers, adding that he expects the fence to bring about “a large-scale improvement”. Orban said the government had approved the technical designs and chose a mix of various technological solutions for the border fence.

On the topic of Hungarian-Romanian relations, Orban said successful bilateral ties that were based on trust changed in 2012, adding, however, that he sees an opportunity “for a new beginning”.

Orban called it a goal of his government’s policy for Hungarian communities abroad that Hungary should catch up with the western European average in terms of its number of border crossings. He said that “remarkable” results would be achieved in opening new crossings on the Slovak border in the years to come, with more developments expected on the border with Romania as well.

The prime minister said there are countries which “probably would not mind” if they could use the modern migration wave as a pretext for reinstating a “border control regime” within the Schengen area. Reinstating such controls, however, would go against Hungary’s fundamental interests, he said.

Asked about Hungary-Poland relations, Orban said that Poland, its political elite and its competitiveness were “in top form”. He said Poland would have to be at the helm of Central European cooperation. Orban said that while Hungary and Poland were “good friends”, the two may not see eye-to-eye on every issue. While stressing the importance of preserving Hungary’s friendship with Poland, he said Hungary would not give up supporting the interests of ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine, including their rights to their own language and autonomy.

Orban pointed out the intentions of Russia and the United States as an aspect of global politics which was “hard to predict”. Understanding and knowing how to approach this aspect is one of the key intellectual challenges for Hungarian foreign policy-makers, he said.

Photo: MTI


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