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Viktor Orbán’s speech at the ceremonial swearing-in of new border hunters

Ladies and Gentlemen, parents and family members,

We have gathered together here today to witness 462 compatriots taking an oath: in this they pledge to protect Hungary and Hungarian families – at risk of their own lives, if necessary. Protecting the homeland, our homes, women, children and parents is a moral imperative stretching back centuries. It is this imperative that adds to the gravity and sublimity of the current moment. Today you are not simply taking up a job, joining an office or just starting work. On this day you are entering into the service of our country and the Hungarian people, and by doing so you are answering a calling. You who are taking this oath should be proud of this. I ask you to feel proud, because your efforts and exemplary behaviour are a basic condition for the future peace of Hungary and Europe. You should also be proud that on this day you can join a battle-hardened community that stands its ground under the toughest of circumstances: the members of modern-day border-fort garrisons, the body of officers in Hungarian uniform, the police, the border guards – or “border hunters” – and members of the defence forces. These are people who today enable us Hungarians to live in peace and security.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

You have joined this service at a difficult time. Although the daily reports of people illegally crossing the borders no longer describe tens of thousands per day, but a few hundred, we cannot afford to sit back and relax. No one should be under any illusions: even now, as we speak, at this very moment, we are under siege. The migrant flow has not come to an end, but only slowed down. All that has happened is that, between two major attacks, we have gained time to reinforce our lines of defence, to recruit, train and deploy border guards. The storm has not yet passed, but has only subsided temporarily. In the next few years the intense pressure on the border will not come to an end. There are still millions preparing to set out in the hope of a better life: at this very moment, hundreds of thousands are considering setting out for Europe. We cannot rely on Brussels and the European Union: on the contrary, they just make our work harder. The truth is that we can only rely on ourselves: we have to protect our borders ourselves.

The migration crisis, Ladies and Gentlemen, will continue until we eliminate its root causes. It will remain on the agenda until people everywhere realise that migration is the Trojan horse of terrorism. The people who seek to come here do not want to live according to our culture and customs, but according to their own – with European standards of living.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Honourable recruits,

I ask you to be both firm and humane: to enforce the law to the full, but also to follow the dictates of humanity. Today you are entering the service of the law, and the law applies equally to everyone – including migrants who seek to cross Hungary’s border illegally. This is the reality, and no beautifully-worded human rights bombast can override it. The past few years have taught us that we can only withstand the pressure of migration if we show strength, unity and cohesion. So far we have succeeded in doing this. This has made Hungary is one of the safest countries in Europe today. If the world sees that we are able to protect our borders, if they see that the reinforced Hungarian border fence is impenetrable, if they see that we continue to insist on upholding our laws and do not waver for a second, no one will attempt to come to Hungary illegally. It is the Hungarian people’s legitimate expectation that entry to the territory of our country should only be allowed to those whom we have thoroughly vetted, and whose identities, motives and intentions have been clarified.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We Hungarians do not want impossible things: on the contrary, what we want is very simple. We want a Hungary in which Hungarians are happy to start families because they know that their children will have a better life than they do. We want a Hungary in which everyone has jobs, and everyone earns the appreciation and reward they deserve on the basis of the work they do. We want a Hungary and a Europe in which being Hungarian is a source of pride and recognition – in which our traditions and history are respected, and in which our culture is also respected. We Hungarians want a Europe in which we can live our own Hungarian lives. In the Hungary that we want, security is the foremost concern. And one can only have a safe and secure life in a place where the laws and the interests of the country are defended by dedicated people in uniform who have sworn to do this task: people like you, who are brave, determined, well-prepared, ready to do their duty and to protect their country. You are now the defenders of both freedom for Hungary’s present and hope for Hungary’s future. I ask you to be as proud of this as we are proud of you. I wish you courage and perseverance in your work, and I wish your families strength and good health.

God protect and preserve Hungary!