Referendum is not a party political matter, but a national cause
13. 09. 2016.
In an address to Parliament before the start of daily business on the opening day of the autumn session, Viktor Orbán said that the migrant quota referendum is not a party political matter, but a national cause, and that “we must not risk Hungary’s future”. In his address he mostly spoke about the national referendum on 2 October.

He pointed out that the purpose of the referendum is to protect Hungary, and that Hungary should be proud of being the only European state in which the people have been given the chance to state their opinion on the matter in a referendum. The referendum, the Prime Minister said, is a national matter, in which there is no right or left wing, but only the Hungarian people and the future of Hungary: “There are no party political matters here, only a national cause which transcends parties.”

Photo: Gergely Botár/Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister

He also stressed that there has been a great deal of struggle and hard work for the country to have a future once more, and he asked everyone “not to risk the future of Hungary”.

He said that “With the quota referendum we are seeking to change decisions already adopted by the Commission in Brussels”. He added that Brussels wants to implement an automatic migrant distribution mechanism with no upper limit on numbers, and would also expedite the process of family reunification.

But, he continued, even this is not enough for Brussels, as “they are preparing a trick”, because if they fail to convince the nation states, they will appeal to left-wing cities which are willing to take in the migrants: “If they cannot reach an agreement with Hungary and Budapest, they will strike deals with Zugló, Salgótarján, or Szeged […] now is when it will be decided whether there will be any migrant estates – and if so, where”. Mr. Orbán therefore advised those living in settlements with left-wing local councils to also vote on 2 October.

The migrant quota referendum is not just a national referendum, the Prime Minister said, but also 3,200 local referenda, because Brussels’ plan not only threatens the country, but also individual settlements.

Photo: Gergely Botár/Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister

Mr. Orbán also pointed out that, as a result of modern-day population movement, terrorism and violence have become part of life in Western Europe. Terrorism has moved to Europe, he said, mentioning as examples the terrorist attacks which have occurred in Nice and in small towns in Germany. What has happened in Belgium, France and Germany can happen anywhere in the European Union, he stressed.

In his view there is a reason why Europe’s traditional political structure is crumbling: the problem has been caused by parties and governments which have responded with naivety to the challenges caused by immigration.

The Prime Minister believes that it is a mistake for Brussels to respond naively to these challenges, and in his opinion not even good intentions are an excuse: “Naive policies cause a state of stupor, deprive us of our capacity to act, and finally bring trouble upon our heads. In Brussels today this naivety is the general state of affairs”.

He added that Brussels is shrouded in a fog-like layer of vain hope that things will return to normal of their own accord – to the earlier prosperous and safe existence that we had. They think, he continued, that a few million Muslim migrants are nothing for a Europe of 440 million: “They are wrong. This hope is nothing more than wishful thinking, a mirage and naive self-delusion. Things will not return to normal of their own accord, but will get worse”.

In summary Mr. Orbán said that the European Union must wake up at last.

Therefore, the Prime Minister said, he will stand up – including at the EU summit in Bratislava – against this “naive and dangerous” immigration policy, instead of which he will propose a realistic, rational migrant policy of self-defence which demonstrates strength. He explained that the Brussels policy will lead to civilisational disaster, which proceeds slowly but inexorably, and that “we may lose our European values, our very identity, by degrees like the live frog allowing itself to be slowly cooked to death in a pan of water”. He said that there will be more and more Muslims, that Europe will be transformed beyond recognition, and that “if we are unable to change things now […]  we can predict with mathematical accuracy what Europe’s large cities will look like in two or three decades”.

Photo: Gergely Botár/Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister

“What we have seen of mass migration so far has only been the initial warm-up; the match is yet to begin”, he said, referring to the substantial level of population growth projected for Africa.

He stressed, however, that the migrants themselves are also victims: victims of local conflicts and of a policy which makes false promises. But Hungary’s migration policy, he said, is not only reasonable, but also morally sound, as “we do not have hearts of stone”. Outlining the Hungarian position, he said that aid must be taken to the places where the immigrants come from, rather than the problems being brought here.

He further pointed out that the European Union must be reinforced at the level of the Member States, as they – and not the Brussels institutions – form its foundations. The Hungarian proposal at the EU summit to be held in the Slovak capital, he said, is that “We should return to the concept of a Europe of nations”.

The Prime Minister stressed that the community must also be strengthened economically, as globally its competitiveness has declined enormously in the last ten years. Hungary does not want to leave the EU, but improve it, he said, adding that today both the Hungarians and the Poles are the nationalities which believe the most in the EU.

He indicated that Hungary also supports the idea of establishing a European army.

The Prime Minister went on to speak about Brexit, saying that we should not worry about Britain voting to leave the EU, because it is the world’s sixth largest economy, can stand firmly on its own two feet and knows what it wants.

“Our headache is not caused by London, but by Brussels”, he said, adding that, as he understands it, “Brexit is the failure of European policies – the failure of Brussels”.

Mr. Orbán also mentioned that Europe, instead of examining itself, is playing at being the injured party – despite the fact that the leaders of the EU had all the means at their disposal to keep the European community together.

Photo: Gergely Botár/Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister

He remarked that “it would be a popular response, but a cheap one, to blame everything on President Juncker – the President of the European Commission”, whose appointment Hungary opposed in the first place. But this is no time for in-fighting, he said: Europe needs sensible debates, the conclusion of those debates, and unity.

The Prime Minister believes that it is not only the British who are dissatisfied. The whole of Europe “is arguing, protesting and in a state of turmoil”.

On the first day of the autumn session, the Prime Minister also gave an account of the work completed by the Government since the middle of the previous parliamentary term. He said that “We have worked hard, and as a result, we are on the right path – we are on the right track. We have a future once again. We have something to hope for”. Hungary is further forward today than it was four years ago, “We have put in years of hard work”, and Hungarians’ jointly built structure is well put together. “We are a community, a nation once again”, he said.

Among the achievements he highlighted are the following: the country’s finances have been set in order; inflation and unemployment have been curbed; employment and wages are rising; reductions of household utility bills have been successfully defended; and the beginning of the new school year is also placing less of a burden on families. “Our economic indicators are doing well; even the IMF would be pleased, if we hadn’t sent them home”, he said. He stated that the goal is that raising the money needed for a decent living should not be a problem for any family, and that everyone can take a step forward from one year to the next.

The Prime Minister also spoke about Hungary’s Olympic achievements, saying that “We raise our hats to every Hungarian athlete, and carry the champions shoulder high”, and that the country is proud of them, thanking them for having shown once again what a great feeling it is to be Hungarian.