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Radio interview – Orbán: Austria’s decision to restrict migrants “victory for reason”

Radio interview – Orbán: Austria’s decision to restrict migrants “victory for reason”

Budapest, January 22 (MTI) – Austria’s decision to restrict migrants is a “victory for reason”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a regular radio interview on Friday morning.

“Dogmatic thinking has capitulated to reality and common sense,” Orbán told public Kossuth Radio. Europe cannot receive a huge mass of foreign humanity without restrictions or checks, he added. Hungary’s standpoint is that it would be better were no migrant to arrive in Europe, he added.

Orbán said it was certain that whatever plans migrants may have to take new routes into Europe, “it is absolutely certain they won’t be going through Hungary”. He noted that preparations have already been made along a section of the Hungary-Romania border to build a fence, and the capacity is there to seal off that part of the border if necessary.

The prime minister reaffirmed criticism he has already made of Brussels and what he termed “Brusselsisation”, saying that nation states are not given the option of finding their own solutions to problems. Instead, common European solutions are mentioned but nothing is properly done, he said. Withdrawing powers from nation states while being incapable of providing alternatives will weaken Europe, Orbán insisted.

On the topic of plans to amend the constitution in order to create the conditions to handle a terrorist threat, the PM said Hungary merely wants the possibilty to take action against terrorism that most western European countries already have at their disposal. In order to make the amendment, the votes of opposition lawmakers are required, he noted, adding that “this is not yet in the bag”. He said opposition criticism of the government’s proposed measures are not rooted in fact. If a fraction of what the opposition has said about the emergence of a dictatorship were true then “we’d be under the yoke of tyranny”. Yet Hungary is “one of the freest countries in Europe,” he said.

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Orbán also spoke in support of Poland in the interview. He said Poland had not done anything to warrant the criticism coming from Brussels. The prime minister added that it irritated Brussels that there exist strong nation states and these speak straight down the line. “A pavlovian negative reflex has emerged from European bureaucracy,” the prime minister said.

Central Europe does not lag behind in terms of the requirements of democracy, as viewed by the western half of the continent, he said. Referring to the events in Cologne and how the media and the authorities there handled them, he said that certain manifestations witnessed in western Europe are not present in central Europe. “How many days would I have been able to stay in office?” Orbán said, referring to the Cologne events. “Hold your horses, the westerners have no moral or factual basis to ask us to accede to the criteria of democracy,” the prime minister said.

On the domestic front, Orbán noted that although “the first results of Hungarian reforms measures will be evident this month,” the government is already working on the rough outlines of the 2017 budget, which is expected to be adopted by June.

The priority of the next budget is to support families as well as reduce the public debt not only relative to economic output but also de facto. The opportunities which an expanding economy are opening up will allow the government to strengthen Hungarian families and their homes in the next few years, Orbán said.

On the topic of this week’s taxi demonstration against ride-hailing company Uber, the prime minister said the government position is that the taxi drivers are in the right. He said it is clear that there is a need for a relevant uniform regulation which is expected to be introduced in the next few days.

Commenting on the financing of public transport in the agglomeration of Budapest, Orbán said “cooperation in this area has not been resolved”. He said he was in agreement with Istvan Tarlos, the mayor of Budapest, that “in the case of such difficulties a new leaf should be turned and everyone should see to their own tasks”. Ensuring public transport services in the administrative area of Budapest is the duty of the municipality, whereas ensuring interurban services within the agglomeration area is that of the central government, Orbán said.

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