The Prime Minister observed, however, that, regardless of migration, Hungary also needs a well-equipped army – the development of which has been launched. This, he said, is because in the event of an armed threat to Hungary, the army would only have a limited capacity to repel attack: “We want the Hungarian people’s security to not only be based on police and border guard forces, but also on military forces.”
Mr. Orbán described the “Stop Soros” legislative package and the amendment to the Fundamental Law adopted by Parliament on Wednesday as a sophisticated legal undertaking, resulting from decisions which the governing parties had committed themselves to in the election campaign.
He noted that the amendment to the Fundamental Law declares the inviolability of Hungary’s national sovereignty and defines the country’s constitutional identity, and the Penal Code makes it clear that illegal migration and its promotion constitute criminal offences.
The Prime Minister also said that there is nothing wrong with non-governmental organisations seeking to exert political influence in Hungary, but “we should ensure transparency”: if they receive funding from abroad, they must declare it. At the same time, he said, in the area of migration – which qualifies as a national security issue – the Government will not accept such organisations seeking to influence decision-makers.
Regarding the amendment to the Constitution and the Penal Code, he highlighted that it will be very difficult for anyone to fault a proposal that has been passed by Parliament with a majority of 80 to 90 per cent. Responding with irony to attacks being made on the new laws, he said: “Go for it, we wish you success”.
In the context of migration, Mr. Orbán also said that in Europe there are three major issues on the agenda: border defence; the future of those migrants already in Europe; and who should be let into Europe in the future and where they should be screened. The Central Europeans think that the latter procedure should take place outside the territory of the EU, he added.
He said that in Europe there are a number of groupings: “there is us, the Visegrád Four, now with Austria and Italy”; in Germany “the sea of the world’s sorrows is raging”; and there are also fierce debates in the northern countries.
He also spoke about the V4-Austria summit held in Budapest on Thursday. In this context the Prime Minister drew attention to the fact that the V4 alliance had never been as strong as it is today, and “we are the engine of the European economy”.
From the very beginning the V4’s position on the issue of migration has been that help must be provided for others in such a way that “we do not destroy ourselves in the process”, he argued, and time has shown that this approach is justified.
Regarding the fact that Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, will visit Hungary on Friday, Mr. Orbán said that, although convening summits for the heads of government is exclusively a task for Mr. Tusk, the European Commission had contrived to call a mini-summit for Sunday. “After this, Donald Tusk contacted us”, the Prime Minister said, observing that there is confusion within the EU’s system of institutions, and its constitutional order has been weakened. In his view the Friday meeting will focus on restoring this order. Regarding Sunday’s mini-summit, he confirmed that the V4 does not wish to take part in “such a violation of the rules”.
In the Prime Minister’s view, it will not be possible to prevent migration being the focus of next week’s official EU summit, and he would like to see emphasis on those points on which there is agreement. These could include the defence of the borders – although there are major debates on the allocation of funds for this purpose. He identified another possible area of agreement as migrants seeking to enter Europe being screened outside the continent, somewhere on the African side of the Mediterranean.
The Prime Minister pointed out that Hungary has an interest in Europe’s external border not being the Hungarian-Serbian border, but as far south as possible.
Speaking about debates over Fidesz’s membership of the European People’s Party, he said that debates are natural, but the question is whether there will be enough wisdom for the party family to stay together despite their differences, and whether they can find more shared goals than problems. Hungary is strong in the People’s Party, he stated, and has an interest in the party family staying together.
Asked about news reports that German chancellor Angela Merkel has invited him to visit Germany, Mr. Orbán said that statements about any invitation must be made by the person issuing the invitation. This is as true of Germany as it is of his imminent visit to Israel, he said.
Asked whether next year’s Hungarian budget should be redesigned in light of the latest inflation figures, the Prime Minister said it should not. In his view, the international oil price is one of the factors with the greatest impact on inflation in Hungary. Oil prices are fluctuating , he noted, and the Hungarian budget should not be tied to such changes in the international oil price. In such situations, he said, stability is provided if a mean inflation value is determined, to which the budget must be tied. He also stated that if inflation rises, pension increases will also rise to take account of this.
He said that when there are signs of an international crisis – such as rising interest rates on international financial markets, an unfolding trade war and high sovereign debt levels – the budget must be designed to include increased reserves for protection of the country, and for this reason these reserves have been increased by 50 per cent.
Regarding Croatia’s victory over Argentina in the FIFA World Cup in Russia, he said that Croatia might even hope to become world champions. This would be a great achievement, he said, adding: “Go for it, Croatia!” He said that he had been supporting Peru, but the South Americans have been knocked out.