Austria’s decision is a victory for common sense

Friday, January 22, 2016


Prime Minister Viktor Orbán thinks that the fact that Austria has announced that it will restrict the number of asylum seekers is a victory for common sense. In an interview on Kossuth Rádió on Friday the Prime Minister also said that the Government is already working on the 2017 budget.

Austrian decision is victory for common sense

Responding to the Austrian decision to restrict the number of asylum seekers, Mr. Orbán said that: “dogmatic thinking eventually capitulated to reality and common sense”.

The Prime Minister said that in summary the measure introduced by Vienna is a signal that Europe is unable to take in enormous masses of foreigners in an uncontrolled manner and without restrictions. At the same time he said that the Hungarian position is that the best solution is to not take in a single immigrant.

In answer to a question on a possible change in the route taken by migrants, the Prime Minister said that “the route may change in any direction, but one thing is certain: it will not go through Hungary”. He reiterated that preparations have already been completed for the possible erection of fences on some sections of the Hungarian-Romanian border, and the capacity necessary for the construction of the fences is also available.

Mr. Orbán repeatedly criticised the phenomenon he calls “Brusselism”, which, in his view, is evident when Brussels does not allow nation states to resolve problems, but instead continually refers to common European solutions. Meanwhile, he said, nothing actually happens, as Brussels lacks the capacity to exercise the powers it withdraws from nation states; the result is the weakening of the European Union.

Regarding the Government’s plan to amend the Constitution – allowing for the threat of terrorism to be a separate scenario in the Fundamental Law – the Prime Minister said that in the fight against terrorism, the Government wants Hungary to also have the options which most Western European countries can resort to. To this end, it has sought the support of the opposition; he indicated, however, that “this cause is not yet on the right track”. In his view, opposition criticisms lack a basis in reality. If only a fraction of the allegations coming from the left on the threat of dictatorship were true, “we would be suffocating under tyranny”, he said, pointing out that “Hungary is one of Europe’s freest countries”.

Government to stand up for Poland

In his radio interview the Prime Minister repeatedly expressed support for Poland. He said that the Polish government has not done anything which would warrant criticism from the EU. Brussels is irritated when there are strong nation states which speak their minds, he said. This “provokes Pavlovian responses from European bureaucrats”, he added.

In his view Central Europe is not in any way behind the Western half of the continent in terms of democratic norms. In fact, he said, there are some things which could never occur in Central Europe: “Just imagine what would have happened if the Hungarian government had manged to ensure that for days on end neither the public nor the private sector in the Hungarian media reported the news of a mass atrocity jeopardising people’s security and which was of vital interest to the public – such as the incidents in Cologne. How many days do you think I would have been able to remain in office?”

“The West should be less complacent. There is no moral or factual basis for them calling us to account on the issue of democratic norms”, he said.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)

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