On Kossuth Radio’s programme “180 Minutes”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that, on the issue of immigration, right from the beginning Hungary has asked the right questions and has given the right answers, while the West is lagging behind by a year or two.
“Whoever is right before all the others is considered to be a heretic – and from this point of view Hungary is seen as a heretic”, the Prime Minister said. Regarding Hungary’s migration policy, he stressed that the country is simultaneously protecting its own borders and the external borders of Europe, and if it did not do so, “the Austrians and Germans would be in big trouble”. Although it is not stated for “reasons of political trickery”, he remarked, in Austria and Germany everyone is happy that Hungary is protecting the external borders.
Hungarian politics, he continued, is driven by common sense – in contrast to a number of other countries. “Hungary is not some corridor to pass along” in which people are free to come and go without any controls, he added.
As an example of the West following Hungary’s migrant policy, Mr. Orbán mentioned that some eighteen months ago he had proposed the separation of refugees from economic migrants outside the borders of the EU, and while now more and more governments agree that this is the right solution, at that time “everyone cried ‘heresy’”.
At the same time, he indicated that for more than ten years there has been an international campaign, which can be linked to the name of George Soros, which seeks to prove that borders make no sense, that nations have no right to say who they want to live within their borders, and that overseeing the nations there must be international institutions which will decide who should live together with whom.
In the interview the Prime Minister described the role of non-governmental organisations and international networks as morally untenable, stating that these have nothing to do with genuine civil society. He said that they attack Hungarian police officers and soldiers who are protecting the border, for instance spreading the “monstrous lie” that they physically abuse migrants. He also described such organisations and networks as being “keen on money”, adding that “a well-organised migrant business is in operation”.
As an example he cited the ruling by the court in Strasbourg which required the Government to pay the legal costs of an international network which represented two Bangladeshi asylum-seekers. In his view this organisation “is profiteering at our expense”, and this amounts to “a migrant business”. This must be brought to an end, he said.
He said he finds it regrettable that the Strasbourg court “assists” them in this business, adding that the court’s decisions threaten the security of the Hungarian people. He therefore suggested that on certain important points the operation of the Strasbourg court should be reformed.
When asked about a possible departure from the convention on human rights, he replied that several countries have raised objections, and it is necessary to review – as the Hungarian government will do in its next meeting – whether the Member States continue to regard as valid the goals which led them to set up this court.
Assessing the European People’s Party congress held in Malta on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr. Orbán said that in a community unity is always important, and all such public meetings exist to demonstrate unity. “The real art is to meanwhile honestly address issues on which our views differ”, he said, and he feels that he also sought to address this need.
The Prime Minister further pointed out that Europe is the best place in the world, but the challenges of the future are causing people uncertainty. The European elite has responded to this by “taking them to task”. He believes that radical parties have gained in strength because Europeans see their future as uncertain – and for good reason. The Hungarian government at least identifies the problems, openly names them, and seeks to find answers. Most of these have proved to be correct, and as a result in Hungary today the future seems to be more settled than in the richer European states, he said.
In his view, if a politician does not understand that, in relation to migration, the people want protection of the borders and restoration of public security, that politician will be driven out by the people. He referred to the Dutch parliamentary election in mid-March, which in his opinion was a major breakthrough: the Dutch governing party was able to stay in power because it adopted the policy followed by Hungary. In other words, it clearly stated that the flow of migrants must be stopped. Those who failed to say this – such as the Dutch socialists – have disappeared without a trace, he remarked.
In the interview there was also mention of the 2018 budget, in relation to which the Prime Minister said that, instead of a policy of great leaps, he advocates “step-by-step” policy solutions which are credible and capable of being predicted and planned.
In Hungary every year everyone can take a step forward, he said, saying in summary that the country is developing, and in the coming year the budget must also contribute to this development.
(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)