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We must not give way to anarchy

Thursday, October 20, 2016

On Thursday, German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse published an interview with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán entitled “We must not give way to anarchy”.

In his interview, the Prime Minister said that if the Greeks had protected their external borders, there would be no migrant crisis today. He added that by protecting the external Schengen borders, Hungary is complying with both international and EU law. “A political world in which one is attacked for this is an absurd one”, he said.

Referring to the notion circulated by those close to Angela Merkel that he should be grateful to the Chancellor for taking in migrants who crossed Hungary and thus relieving him of many problems, the Prime Minister said that this is not true.

He explained that he had told the Chancellor that “Hungary will accept help but does not ask for it”, because Hungary is also able to solve the problem alone. Mr. Orbán said that he had also told Mrs. Merkel that she could count on Hungary protecting its borders, and that he had promised that “not a single migrant would arrive in Austria from Hungarian territory.” Such a thing would only happen, he said, if the Chancellor asked for it, “which later she did”.

If Austria and Germany had refused to take in the refugees, he said, they would have had to be taken to reception centres under police escort, which “would not have been a pleasant scene”, but “we must not give way to anarchy”.

As for Islam, he said that Hungary has a “healthy view about Muslims” and respects Islam for civilising a “very difficult part of the world”.

He said that he believes, however, that “the civilisation which stems from Christianity and the civilisation which stems from Islam are not compatible”. Their views on the world are so different that they “lead to parallel worlds”, which is “not a political issue, but the reality of life”. Furthermore, Muslims tend to have more children than Europeans do, therefore in twenty years’ time those places where Muslims have arrived in large numbers will have changed entirely. However, he said, “politicians tend to feel less and less responsible for what the situation will be in fifteen to twenty years’ time”.

Certain European countries have decided to “become immigrant countries” and they “only see the positive, the socially romantic side of this”, he said. It seems that “Germany also wants this, and wants to artificially change the composition of its population”.

“We Hungarians, however, are not a nation of immigrants, and shall not be”, and “no one can force us to turn ourselves into an immigrant country”, Mr. Orbán pointed out.

Speaking about the connection between EU cohesion funds and solidarity, he stressed that “if at a national level someone decides to let migrants into their country, the consequences of this decision must not be distributed among other nations”. As a result, Berlin must not distribute the consequences to others “through Brussels either”.

He added that “if Hungary is reproached for only accepting money from the EU, this damages our self-esteem, because this only shows one side of the coin”. Another part of the truth is that the EU’s older, richer Member States “earn a great deal of money in Hungary and from the Hungarian people”. Cohesion funds received from the EU only partly compensate for other EU Member States overrunning Hungary with their enormous capital, he said.

Hungary is spending a vast amount of money on border protection: “by Hungarian standards, at least as much as what Germany is spending on refugees”. This is “pure European solidarity”, Mr. Orbán said.

As for the state of the EU, he believes that Europe “continues to indulge in navel-gazing”, while the world is changing rapidly; “the ‘Atlantic era’ is a thing of the past”, he said, and we are now on the threshold of the “Pacific era”. Views on the social market economy must be reformed, and the economy must once again be based more squarely on work and the production of competitive products, because “as a benefits-based society, Europe will have no future”.

The Prime Minister emphasised that Hungary’s EU membership is unshakeable. Although for centuries it has been wedged between three worlds – Europe, Russia and Islam – Hungary is a “Western-oriented, Christian country”. For this reason, its natural place is in Europe, but it envisages a Europe which “does not isolate itself”, maintaining close relations with both the West and the East.

According to the Prime Minister, with Russia a policy should be pursued in which the world’s great powers have an interest in Europe’s success. To this end intelligent, carefully considered cooperation with Russia is needed, and both he and Vladimir Putin hope that the “reform minority” representing this viewpoint will become a majority. He added that “in Hungary, we do not feel that Russia poses a threat to our security”.

He went on to say that Angela Merkel has “inestimable merits”, and that without her “Europe would not have been able to give good answers” to the challenges of the past ten years. He added that he wishes the Chancellor success in the next election. This is despite the fact that today he would describe his party – which joined the European People’s Party as “the Hungarian CDU” during Helmut Kohl’s administration – as now being “more like the Hungarian CSU”.

Commenting on the criticism of his visit to Munich on Monday, the Prime Minister said that back in 1956 it was Bavaria that helped Hungarians fighting for the “finest causes”, and it is appropriate that we should remember this. The left, however, is pursuing a “manhunt” for his “having defeated their legendary hero Gyula Horn in the 1998 election”. Europe’s left “wanted a left-wing Hungary, but did not get it”, and “they hold me responsible for this”. The Prime Minister explained that “it does not matter where I go in Europe, they try to create a scandal”.

Speaking about the US presidential election, Mr. Orbán said that recent American foreign policy is “unfavourable” from two aspects. Firstly, it encourages migration, instead of working on helping everyone stay in their own homelands. Secondly, America believes in the “export of democracy”, whereas it is “culture which determines political structure”. While Donald Trump states this explicitly, Hillary Clinton is defending the policy which has been pursued to date, the Prime Minister added.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister)

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