No one can force us to give up our position
16. 06. 2017.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that no one can force Hungary to give up its position on immigration, as the Hungarian people have made it clear that they do not want to see illegal immigrants in their country. Mr. Orbán on Kossuth Radio’s “180 Minutes” programme on Friday, speaking about the infringement procedure launched against Hungary with regard to EU migrant quotas.

The Prime Minister said that “a government can be pinned down, a government can be cornered, a government can be punched in the stomach a few times”, but this cannot be done to a nation. In his opinion, the record participation in the latest national constitution means that an entire nation is seeking to maintain its position, which is that “it does not want to allow in people of different cultures and civilisations”.

Commenting on criticisms of Hungary voiced in Germany, Mr. Orbán asked German politicians “to leave us in peace, and not to involve us in their election campaign”. Hungary has always accorded the Germans the respect that is their due, he added, and “we expect them to also accord us the respect we deserve”.

Mr. Orbán repeated his words in Parliament on Monday: “we want a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe”. This means, he explained, that “we do not want to take part in experiments which seek to transform either Hungary or […] Europe”, which seek to push aside European cultural traditions, and in their place create an amalgam of different cultures, different religions and different world views, and to let in “groups from alien peoples en masse and without screening”. If the Germans, the French or the Italians want to subject themselves to such experiments, they have every right to do so, he said, but “we are asking them not to force us to take part in them”.

He said that for years Europe has been facing serious problems, to which it has been unable to respond appropriately. As examples he mentioned the following: economic performance and competitiveness in emerging countries which are better than those of the rest of the EU; the recent terrorist attacks; foreign policy issues; and demographic challenges.

There are ongoing debates on these issues, he said, and as these will also concern the future of Hungary, the country should prepare itself to participate in the debates. He added that in the national consultation the people have hammered down clear marker posts, and he is required to guide Hungarian diplomacy in line with those markers.

Regarding opinions voiced on the Act on organisations funded from abroad, the Prime Minister said that, while the Venice Commission’s report contained “political bile” as well as legal argumentation, the Americans’ opinion is “exciting” and their intervention in this debate is “an interesting initiative”. In the United States, he argued, there are much stricter rules than those in Hungary, the regulations relating to organisations funded from abroad are much harsher there, and “compared with the Americans, we are refined and polite”.

In his view, it is incomprehensible that “someone who is not ashamed to take money is ashamed to declare that fact”.

In answer to reports that in response the legislation several of the organisations concerned have called for civil disobedience, the Prime Minister said that if the Hungarian people’s elected representatives adopt a law, it must be observed by everyone. He noted that there is no provision for civil disobedience in the Hungarian legal system.

As regards the economic situation, Mr. Orbán said that on Thursday Parliament passed the Act on next year’s budget, and in 2018 the minimum wage will continue to increase, as will pay in general. “There is no social group in Hungary which will not be able to take at least one step forward next year […] Next year we’ll be in a better situation than we are this year”, he stressed, highlighting the increase in employment, the number of taxpayers and measures encouraging the raising of children. On the latter, he confirmed that the Government does not wish to counteract Hungary’s population decline by importing migrants, but by promoting the birth of Hungarian children. This is something about which ultimately women will decide, he said, but it is the Cabinet’s duty to create the conditions necessary for a family-friendly country.

In his evaluation, common sense leaves little scope for calling into question the country’s progress, and “even the opposition ties itself in knots by saying all sorts of absurdities about how the country is not making progress, but declining”.

Speaking about the Hungarian football team’s defeat to Andorra and Bernd Storck’s continued management of the team, the Prime Minister said that “We have been through another Battle of Mohács: our national team’s latest performance is nothing short of a Mohács defeat”.

He went on to say that the situation is slightly better than that, however, in that “the leader, or the king, didn’t drown in the Csele Stream, so the Hungarian Football Association has a president […] Now we must somehow regroup our scattering troops, try to restore order to their ranks, and try to defend what is left of our self-esteem. Once we have done that, we must recapture what we have lost”. He concluded by saying that the President of the Hungarian Football Association has his support.