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Doorstep statement by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

László Mészáros (MTVA): – Good Morning, Prime Minister.

– Good morning. How are you all?

– Very well thank you. Prime Minister, you have already attended an informal summit and a meeting of the V4. What is the standpoint of Hungary and the Visegrád Group countries in relation to the new steps towards EU reform?

– We are still very far away from being able to speak about ideas for reform. It would be fairer to state that there is an intent to make Europe more competitive again, and that this intent is being embodied in various suggestions. We were able to find out more about these proposals yesterday, because not only did French president Emmanuel Macron have a suggestion, but so too did Portuguese prime minister António Luís Santos da Costa – as well as the President of the European Commission himself, Jean-Claude Juncker. So there are several recommendations on the table, Council President Donald Tusk has undertaken to collate these, and in two weeks’ time there will be some kind of framework for dealing with the future. Everything comes to those who wait.

– Prime Minister, did you have the opportunity for any bilateral negotiations at the summit? For instance, did you manage to hold discussions with the Dutch prime minister?

– Yes. I spoke to him, and we successfully brought the recent conflict to a close; in fact we quite like each other, and we agreed on very many issues.

– So can the Ambassador now return to The Hague?

– Yes.

– Finally, the main topic of the EU summit was digitalisation. What proposals did Hungary put forward at the meeting?

– The truth is that until now we have always felt that instead of making joint proposals, we should all just do our homework. And it must be admitted that where we are today, here in Estonia, they are the best at this; they are better at it than we are. But Hungary has nothing to be ashamed of, either: we are there following somewhere in their footsteps, and we will probably be the first country in Europe in which every household has access to superfast broadband internet, with the speed of this internet access increasing even further. The 5G system is also in development. So I believe that Hungary is among the frontrunners, because until now we have been developing the sector using our own resources. We could see proposals here for a joint EU policy – possibly with EU funding – and this would serve Hungary’s interests.

Nándor Horváth (RTL Klub): Prime Minister, on the subject of bilateral meetings, did you have a chance to speak to Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday, or did Mr. Juncker initiate a conversation with you on immigration policy?

– There will be a meeting between the V4 and President Juncker at some point, probably in late October or early November. We often speak to each other, because this is the kind of place where people talk to each other.

– One final question, with relation to events in Őcsény. In your opinion, how responsible is the Government for the fact that xenophobia…

– I find nothing wrong with what happened. People don’t want to accept migrants, they don’t want them in the country and they don’t want them in their village. They have been lied to so often in relation to migrants that they don’t believe that the only people coming will be children. Hungarian people love children, and are always glad to help people in need. But there have been so many lies in relation to migration that if they are told that children will be coming, the reaction of Hungarians is this: “first children, then the parents, then family reunifications, and we are in trouble”. And so I understand them completely, and it is quite right that they are expressing their opinion loudly, clearly and with determination.

– Thank you very much.