He said that the Government’s latest information campaign seeks to help Hungarians understand the migration measures which Brussels is seeking to employ. “A campaign like this lays bare the plans of the Brussels bureaucrats,” he said.
Mr. Orbán stated that the current pro-immigration majority in Brussels is seeking to increase immigration, which would result in Europe ceasing to belong to Europeans.
The Prime Minister also said that Brussels does not provide nation states with any form of genuine assistance for the defence of their borders; on the contrary, it has announced programmes for the legal and regulated transportation of migrants into the European Union. He observed that EU leaders such as President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker also continually talk about the need to facilitate legal migration to Europe.
He also highlighted the fact that the EP had adopted a number of decisions promoting migration – for example wanting to give many billions of forints to NGOs which promote immigration.
Mr. Orbán said that the plan to expand Frontex is a sound idea, but he noted that it is worth considering the magnitude: they are seeking to defend the borders of the whole of Europe with approximately 10,000 people; meanwhile the defence of Hungary’s southern border alone requires some 8,000 armed personnel, with fluctuating degrees of intensity.
On the issue of border defence, he remarked that Europe is unable to create a border defence agency that would be able to defend the entire length of the continent’s borders. Therefore, he said, there will be a continued need for commitment from Member States to defend the external borders. However, Hungary’s request for the EU to reimburse at least half of its border defence costs has been fruitless, he said: although it did make such a promise, the EU has not handed over a single penny for this purpose.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the anonymous bank cards being given to migrants, and asked: “If we’re not supporting migration, why are migrants being provided with bank cards topped up with money?”
He noted that all seven points of the Government’s information campaign are supported by facts, and Brussels is not even trying to dispute specifics points.
Responding to news that the European People’s Party is holding an extraordinary parliamentary group meeting to discuss the Government’s billboard campaign, Mr. Orbán said: “Splendid. This the right thing to do; then at least we can discuss the seven points, which we think are genuine, and which they dispute […] Bring it on, we’re ready.”
According to the Prime Minister, the European elite is not used to being criticised. He noted that it is the leaders of European institutions, however, who bear responsibility for both the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, and the simultaneous arrival in the EU of millions of migrants. He went on to stress that in May’s EP elections people must elect leaders who will not repeat the mistakes of the past five years: “You cannot sweep mistakes under the carpet; and in any case, no carpet is big enough to cover two such monumental mistakes as ushering out the British and ushering in migrants.”
Regarding the family protection action plan, the Prime Minister said that the vast majority of people in Europe live their lives in the traditional way and see family as their number one priority; yet there are some people who choose peculiar lifestyles, and who do not agree with the Government’s current proposals. Mr. Orbán said that such people “should not attack those of us who would like to live in a traditional, family-oriented world; they should keep their opinions to themselves.” He added that he is therefore only prepared to concern himself with negative opinions if they pass the test of diplomatic courtesy.
He highlighted that the vast majority of people support the family protection measures, and in Hungary there is national unity on the issue of supporting families.
Speaking about the village family housing support scheme, he said that the Government believes it is important for the village way of life to survive. Therefore, in the approximately 2,000 settlements which have a rate of population decline higher than the national average, young people who want to have children and start a home will also be able to use the available grants for the purchase, extension and refurbishment of existing properties.
“I strongly believe that the village is not a thing of the past, but of the future; and I also believe that in villages people can live lives of quality,” he said.
Regarding funding for the family protection action plan, the Prime Minister said that Finance Minister Mihály Varga is extremely circumspect, but is right to be – because there is a need for someone who is level-headed, composed and not driven by emotions. He said he always accepts Mr. Varga’s opinion, because government finances must be in order. Mr. Orbán said that undisputed recognition of the Finance Minister’s work has been provided by Hungary’s most recent credit rating upgrade, which is expected to be followed by further upgrades in the future.
The Prime Minister observed that Mr. Varga himself has a large family, he knows exactly what this involves, and he knows about life in the countryside, coming from the town of Karcag – which “is not New York, and not the world’s centre of urban life”.
Mr. Orbán concluded the interview by summarising the Government’s agenda: the issue of the village family housing support scheme has been approved; specific rules for the family protection action plan will be finalised
at the next government meeting; detailed regulations for an economic development programme related to 440 to 450 villages are being developed; and the Cabinet is also preparing a comprehensive Roma inclusion programme.