The Prime Minister argued that old differences in the European Union – between old and new Member States, Westerners and Easterners – have lost their meaning, and the new fault line lies between immigrant countries and non-immigrant countries.
Mr. Orbán said:
“Some countries have decided that they want mixed populations, while others want to remain the way they are. For us this is also an issue of internal security, and no one must be allowed to impose their will on anyone else. The great European question is how, in the circumstances, we will live together in the future.”
He pointed out that at the moment more heat than light is being generated on this issue, and the focus is more on differences than on how the situation could be resolved. This, he said, is despite the fact that “Europe’s future depends on how we answer this question”. He added that personally he wants to remain in the political ring, and wants Fidesz to remain a major force and a firm pillar within the alliance of non-immigrant countries.
Speaking about the European Court of Justice’s decision on the migrant quota, Mr. Orbán said that the ruling says nothing about whether the European Commission has any right to send people to Hungary against the will of the Hungarian government – even though this is the crucial question. The Prime Minister said that “In our view, the territory and population of a country form part of its constitutional identity, and in this regard no European body can impose any obligations”.
He observed that, with perhaps one exception, no Member State has implemented the EU decision on the distribution of migrants. In light of this it is not fair to single out Hungary for criticism, he said, and if a decision is not being implemented in the majority of Member States, then perhaps the decision itself is flawed.
Concerning the result of the Czech election, Mr. Orbán said that in the future he will attempt to maintain strategic cooperation with the Czechs.
The Prime Minister pointed out:
“I know the winner of the election, and there is the possibility of excellent cooperation with him. Leaders like him suit us Hungarians: he is a businessman, he is straight-talking, he doesn’t like to waste time, and if we agree on something with him, he will stick to the agreement. So we are pleased with his victory”.
In answer to a question about the key to Hungary’s economic achievements, Mr. Orbán said that Hungary has built a workfare society, after 2010 a system was created that is based on full employment, and this goal is now well within reach. Another key to Hungary’s success is that “we want to stand on our own two feet”: there is no desire to rehabilitate the Hungarian economy using German money, and Hungary paid back to both the IMF and the EU all the debt it had used to manage the crisis. At the end of the day, those who live off the money of others are servants, he pointed out, adding that this does not suit the Hungarian character.
Mr. Orbán was also asked whether he detected any German dominance in bilateral relations. In response, the Prime Minister said:
“Germany is bigger, richer and stronger than Hungary. Even though we are smaller, Germany must treat Hungary with respect. This is not always the case, but it is most of the time. We have no reason to complain.”
He added that German-Hungarian relations are “special and mystical”, and “extending somewhat beyond rational considerations, they also have a spiritual quality”. He noted that the two countries have not been at war with each other for centuries, and that they have supported each other whenever it was necessary and possible. They have often entered into alliances, he said, “for better or worse”, but are now uniting their efforts in a good cause: to build Europe together. The two countries’ views differ at times, the Prime Minister said, but this in no way alters the fact that they are allies.
In answer to a question about German domestic politics and the AfD, which strengthened its position in the latest election and is often called extremist, Mr. Orbán said that Fidesz maintains “family” relations with the CDU and CSU. He pointed out that “We are loyal by nature, and we shall remain so; we are not looking for new allies”.
At the end of the interview, Mr. Orbán was asked about his visit to Passau, as part of which he visited the tomb of Blessed Gizella. In this regard, he noted that “everything has relevance, and nothing happens without consequences”: with her large retinue, a Bavarian woman went to meet a Hungarian man and became his wife, and this led to Christianity in Hungary. In closing, the Prime Minister said that this is what is being protected now.