In his address opening the autumn session of Parliament, the Prime Minister stressed that “We shall not yield an inch on the right to defend our borders”, going on to say that he will represent this position at this week’s European summit in Salzburg.
He added that “We are better at the defence of borders than anyone in Brussels, or in any international organisation”. In his view Hungary has proved that it is able to defend its borders.
He reminded the House that border defence forces comprise the Hungarian army and the law enforcement agencies, but he stressed that “Those defending our borders are not only professionals: they are also by patriots”. The Prime Minister stated that the oath of allegiance they swear is an additional factor that no money can buy, and is Hungary’s strongest defensive shield.
According to Mr. Orbán, even today politicians in Brussels are not talking about the need to defend the EU’s borders with all means necessary, but are instead seeking to set up a reception service: they do not want to stop immigration, they want to manage it. “They want the keys to the gates”, he warned.
The Prime Minister believes that those in Brussels want to deprive Hungary of the right to defend its borders, so that they can make migration possible. He said: “Our country is not a transit building, and it is not a reception camp. If we want to mix with other cultures and civilisations, then we will discuss it and decide on it – although I would advise the Hungarian people against it.”
Mr. Orbán observed that elections to the European Parliament will be held in 2019 and, as migration is the most important issue for the future, in Europe today political forces are divided into two camps: pro-immigration and anti-immigration.
Hungary is being attacked, he said, because the Hungarian people have decided that Hungary shall not become an immigrant country, despite efforts to deprive it of its right to defend its borders. The Prime Minister believes it is right to strengthen border defence, and to provide assistance for those who are not strong enough to defend their own borders.
“But it is not right for them to seek to take the right to defend our borders away from us”, he stated, “and for Brussels to seek to control Hungary’s border defence instead of us.”
The Prime Minister also highlighted that since the emergence of the immigration crisis public security in Europe has deteriorated, with attacks by people from migrant backgrounds claiming 347 lives. These perpetrators entered Europe, he pointed out, and they will want to enter in the future.
Regarding next May’s European Parliament elections, he said that it is time for the current European elite to depart, because they have been unable to keep the United Kingdom in Europe and they have been equally unable to keep migration out of Europe.
Immigration and the “migrant invasion” are not party issues, he stated, but national issues of the highest order, which are above tactical party political considerations. Mr. Orbán added that Hungary stands by every anti-immigration government, whatever its party composition may be.
Speaking about the Sargentini Report, he said that the document was written as an attack against Hungary, rather than against the Hungarian government, and that it contains absurd elements – such as claims about anti-Semitism in Hungary. The European seat of modern-day anti-Semitism is located in Brussels, he stressed, from where anti-Israeli political campaigns are being financed.
Mr. Orbán said that the Hungarian government will take legal action over the report, and will ask Gergely Gulyás – the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office – to pursue the case. In the Prime Minister’s opinion, the Hungarian economic model continued to perform well over the summer.
He said that “If there is work, there is everything; this is not just received wisdom, but also the essence of the Hungarian economic model.” Instead of the welfare benefit-based economy so fashionable in Europe today, Hungary is building a work-based economy, he explained.
He informed Parliament that, compared with 2010, the number of people in employment has increased by almost eight hundred thousand – of which six hundred thousand work in the private sector. He said that “We are approaching the ’dream threshold’ of 4.5 million: in the near future 4.5 million Hungarians will be in employment.”
Mr. Orbán said that at the end of the first half of the year unemployment stood at just 3.6 per cent, and as a result Hungary is ranked third in Europe – after the Germans and the Czechs. He added that for sixty-five months – for more than five years – wages have been continuously rising.
He declared that his government is honouring its undertaking that “our governance of the country will make it ever more worthwhile for people to work and commit to having and raising children”. In his view, by 2030 the country will be among the EU’s five best and most liveable countries. He said that in the second quarter of 2018 the Hungarian economy grew by 4.8 per cent, which is double the EU average.
He confirmed that, in line with the Government’s agreement with pensioners, “it is almost certain” that they will again receive a pension premium at the end of this year. According to the Government, he said, today’s pensioners’ earlier efforts are also part of the current success of the Hungarian economy, and so it is fitting and fair that they should also enjoy their share in today’s successes.
The Prime Minister spoke about the recently announced BMW investment in Debrecen and the MOL-ThyssenKrupp project in Tiszaújváros, and also expressed his appreciation for those working in agriculture.
He went on to stress that more than one and a half million children have started the new school year, with one million of them receiving their textbooks free of charge: something unique, perhaps, among European countries. This year, Mr. Orbán said, 85,000 students have gained admission to higher education institutions – 2,500 more than last year – and 65,000 students are studying with state scholarships: 5,000 more than a year ago.
He said that the Government has been pursuing a family-centred policy, but ever more initiatives are required. Therefore a national consultation will soon be launched, in preparation for laying the foundations for further measures.