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Viktor Orbán’s press statement after his meeting with the Interior Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our meeting was engrossing – not on account of us, but of the situation in Europe, which is dramatic and grave. So we had something to say to each other about the future of Europe. First of all, I thanked the Interior Minister on behalf of the citizens of Hungary. The Hungarian people are a loyal breed, and have long memories. I clearly remember that when the Hungarians were attacked in the European Parliament over the new Hungarian Constitution, you spoke out in our defence. This, too, laid the foundations for our friendship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We agreed that the most important issue in Europe today is migration. Hungary is the country which has proved that migration can be stopped. Earlier everyone claimed that this was both legally and physically impossible. Hungary has proved that inland this is in fact both legally and physically possible. We are pursuing a policy which seeks to take help to where there is strife, rather than bringing the strife here. I shall tell you how we see Minister Salvini. In Hungary he is highly respected, and if he were to run for office there, he would win; but luckily at present he cannot stand for eletion there – thank God. And he is highly respected because he has taken on the historic mission to prove that migration can also be stopped at sea. So far no one else in any other maritime country has undertaken to do this; he is the first and so far only one, and Europe’s security depends on his success. This courage inspires respect in us. Our wish is that he does not back down, but that he defends us and defends the borders; and in this respect we are prepared to offer every possible assistance. Hungary is a small country. As you know, it is a country of ten million people; but it does have some strength, and so we provide all possible assistance in defence of the borders. I also told the Interior Minister that, in our view, those who are already in Europe must be taken back to where they came from: they must be transported back home. The European elite in Brussels claim that this is impossible; but then again they said the same thing about defence of the borders. I am convinced that it is possible. All it takes is the will: political determination and will.

We wish the Interior Minister much success. Hungary stands by Italy, and also by him personally. I will say this once more: we are grateful for everything that Matteo Salvini did for Hungary in the European Parliament.