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Viktor Orbán thanks Horst Seehofer for his understanding

At a press conference held in the Parliament Building, the Hungarian prime minister pointed out that the aim of the talks with Mr. Seehofer was not to undermine the German chancellor. “We have not come together in opposition to Angela Merkel, we have not come together to undermine the German government, and we have not come together to weaken the governing parties before the upcoming German elections”, he said.

On the contrary, he continued, the Hungarian government has an interest in the success of the CSU and the CDU: “we have a vested interest in a strong German government and a strong German chancellor”, he said.

Photo: Gergely Botár
Photo: Gergely Botár

Mr. Orbán stressed that German domestic politics has no bearing on the position of the Hungarian cabinet: Hungary has been sending the same message since September, “whether or not there are elections in Germany”.

Regarding Hungarian-Bavarian relations, the Prime Minister said that Hungarian history has taught the Hungarians that “while it is possible to reach Berlin via a shorter route – in particular, by air – the clever Hungarian always goes to Berlin via Munich”.

Mr. Orbán described Hungarian-Bavarian relations as special, and thanked Mr. Seehofer and the Bavarian people for the support they have given Hungary, and in particular for the fact that Bavaria has responded with understanding and without prejudice or negative comments to the difficulties Hungary has experienced as a result of the migrant crisis.

The Prime Minister also spoke about bilateral economic relations, highlighting the fact that the volume of Hungarian trade with Bavaria is higher than with any other state in Germany. At present, 2,300 Bavarian companies are active in Hungary, providing a total of more than one hundred thousand jobs, he said.

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Photo: Gergely Botár

At the press conference the Prime Minister was asked about the EU-Turkey summit to be held next Monday. In this context he made it clear that it is important for Hungarian foreign policy that the European Union should come to an agreement with Turkey on the migrant crisis; this should be subject to the restriction, however, that the Hungarian position is respected, in that an agreement with the Turks shall not substitute for “the capacity to protect our own borders with our own resources”.

He added that he knows that the agreement to be concluded with the Turks “will involve some cost”, but Hungary agrees to provide its share of the sum to be given to Turkey. On the issue of visa exemption, he reiterated that in principle the Hungarian position is that if anyone is granted EU visa exemption at any time in the future, the Ukrainians should be first in line.

He also confirmed that for Hungary the optimal immigration rate is zero, and therefore Hungary will not support any agreement which envisages migrants being transported to Hungary from Turkey.

“We must be able, from our own resources, to completely secure our borders, and to differentiate refugees from economic migrants. We do not wish to delegate this task to anyone else”, he said.

The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of the observance of the EU Treaties, including the Schengen Agreement; he is convinced that through allowing within the EU the further spread of “a culture of non-compliance with the Treaties, we are digging Europe’s grave”.

“State Premier Seehofer and I are two of a kind, because I believe that both Bavaria and Hungary stand for a culture of honouring treaties”, Mr. Orbán said, pointing out that on this he shall not compromise.