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We must protect the achievements of the past eight years

He said that these are the three most important matters at stake in Hungary’s parliamentary election on 8 April.

“Hungarians are an endangered species”, Mr. Orbán said, adding that “we are a community which, once it makes a mistake in an election, can find itself in deep trouble”. As an example of this he recalled that Fidesz lost the 2002 general election, even though it believed that in government it had succeeded in putting the country on the right track. The years between 2002 and 2010 were among the most difficult in Hungarian history, the Prime Minister said, because the internationalist government of that period “wanted to rid itself of Hungarians beyond the borders”. He pointed out that “what is at stake in the upcoming election is whether we will continue to have a government which is national at heart, so that we do not fumble the opportunities, so that we do not squander the prospects that our hard work over the past eight years has opened up for Hungarians in Vojvodina/ Vajdaság and the other Hungarian areas beyond the borders”.

He noted that the second matter at stake in the election concerns a deeper cultural problem. According to his analysis, a major transformation is taking place across the whole of Europe, with many governments arranging for and assisting the arrival of immigrants in Europe, thereby changing the traditional cultural face of the continent.

Mr. Orbán characterised the situation thus:

“I think there are many people who would like to see the end of Christian Europe, and they believe that if they replace its cultural subsoil, if they bring in millions of people from new ethnic groups which are not rooted in Christian culture, then they will transform Europe according to their conception, and this will make the continent a better place. We utterly reject this. We do not want Europe to be turned into an immigrant continent, or Hungary to be turned into an immigrant country. If instead of a nationally-minded government we have an internationalist government, it will dismantle the fence defending Hungary, it will accept dictates from Brussels aimed at settling immigrants in Hungary, and the transformation of Hungary will begin. This is a serious threat.”

He stressed that it is important for Hungarians beyond the borders to also vote, because “we belong together”.

Together with President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, on Monday Mr. Orbán inaugurated the restored synagogue in Szabadka/ Subotica. Regarding that event, he highlighted that it also sends a topical message, as in Western Europe nowadays the dedication of synagogues – or even Christian churches – is a rare occurrence; indeed they are more likely to be torn down, with Jewish communities often fleeing to Israel. Therefore the inauguration of the city’s synagogue also conveys the message that “we continue to stand by the Europe of which the Old Testament and the New Testament, Jewish identity and Christianity are a part”. He observed that “The Europe which is important to us has grown out of this culture, and that is the Europe we want to live in”. Central Europe – which the Prime Minister sees as including Serbia – has an interest in the maintenance and renewal of this time-honoured paradigm of Europe, and “we do not want to give it up under any circumstances, and we insist on its retention”. He pointed out that Christian culture is based on two very strong pillars: it does not tolerate anti-Semitism and it respects women. These pillars are endangered, he said, by modern-day mass population movement and the spread of Islam in Europe.

Speaking about the currently excellent relations between Hungary and Serbia, he said that their quality also depends on the leading politicians in the two countries – such as Aleksandar Vučić. At the same time, he observed, “there is a certain mood in the air, a feeling that Serbia and Hungary depend on each other”. Hungary believes, he said, that “Europe needs the Serbs: Serbia is a great source of potential, Serbia is an opportunity, and Serbia can provide the European Union with added value. It is not a burden, it is not an obstacle, it is not a drain on resources, but adds to them. Today, when the development of the European Union is stalling, we need new energy, new peoples, new ways of thinking; and in this respect Serbia is the pre-eminent candidate. Serbia should already be in the European Union.”

He highlighted that the economic development programme implemented in Vojvodina/ Vajdaság over the past eight years is a source of pride. When the opportunity emerged for the motherland to also provide financial support to Hungarians, he explained, the people of Vojvodina/ Vajdaság were the first to present an almost complete programme. In his opinion economic cooperation will play an ever more important role in relations between Serbia and Hungary, as the Serbs are also gaining in strength, and many good things can be accomplished together.

Mr. Orbán toured Pannon RTV’s headquarters, in which refurbishment and conversion work is in progress. The building complex will host the new Vojvodina/ Vajdaság media centre. He said that based on what he saw an institution is being built to the highest European standards, and it will be important for the entire Hungarian community in the Carpathian Basin.