Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: “I need every Member of Parliament because the country must be defended.”
By Péter Csermely (Mediaworks)
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: The greatest danger for us is complacency among our own voters. Perhaps very many people believe that this battle has been decided, that the race is over and they can safely stay at home. Over the past forty days I have travelled all around the country, and everywhere I went I said just what I am saying now: only our candidates can be counted on in opposition to those of Soros; I need each and every candidate, each and every Member of Parliament, because the country must be defended. Therefore I ask everyone to go out and cast both their votes for Fidesz.
Péter Csermely: Prime Minister, based on the election campaign the mathematical problem is easy. There are two messages left in this contest: one is about preventing migrants from coming here; while the other is about wanting to see the back of you. Is this indeed all there is on offer?
Viktor Orbán: The election tomorrow is not a simple parliamentary election: it will be a watershed election, in which we will decide the future of Hungary. We are facing a historic moment, in which we must decide whether we let into our country thousands, tens of thousands – and later hundreds of thousands or millions – of people who have fundamentally different views of the world, have nothing to do with this country and have not contributed in any way to what the Hungarian people have created. Alternatively we will maintain our current standpoint and declare that Hungary belongs to the Hungarian people, and that we alone have the authority to decide whom we wish to live alongside. In other words, whether or not we will be an immigrant country.
This is the question, and the election is about me only inasmuch as everyone knows my view on this question. As Prime Minister of Hungary I built the border fence, defended the border and in Brussels rejected the resettlement of immigrants. But the danger has not yet passed: it is still hammering on our door. Tomorrow we must decide on Hungary’s next few decades; and if we make a mistake, we will not be able to correct it later.
Therefore I ask voters to form a brave opinion about the past few years, and not to be indulgent or lenient with me, but to also recall the measures with which they disagreed. But nonetheless in their decision on Sunday they should focus more on the future than on the past.
If the leaders and large countries of the European Union are as insistent as you say they are on the implementation and future extension of the mandatory migrant quotas, aren’t you tilting at windmills? On your own will you be enough to prevent all that?
In decisive moments a single veto is still a veto – while it’s also true that one swallow does not make a summer. But those who gain time also gain life: every month since 2015 Hungary has gained time; three years have gone by, and there are no migrants in our country. And, as we have allies, we swallows are increasing in number. The Visegrád Four have never been this strong and united, and we can count on Croatia and Slovenia; and changes which are favourable for us have also taken place in Austria and Italy. This process will not stop, and if we persevere, we may live to see the political forces opposed to immigration eventually prevailing in the majority of European countries.
In the past few years the Hungarian government has been the only one in Europe which has asked the people for their opinion on immigration and the mandatory migrant quotas.
This has given us strength and a mandate for our battles in Brussels. And now once again the Hungarian people have the right to decide.
There is no serious political force in Hungary that would not take this position. The opposition parties have declared that they would keep the border fence and would also resist the migrant quotas.
They have also said the opposite – but it is much simpler if their actions speak for them. Everyone apart from us criticised and attacked the erection of the fence. When after the referendum I asked opposition parties for their support in amending the Constitution, not a single opposition party or Member of Parliament gave that support. Opposition politicians accept funding from George Soros, who employs thousands of people in Hungary and spends millions of dollars on shaping Hungarian politics.
There is no doubt in my mind that if the opposition parties were given the chance to govern, they would accept Brussels’ quota decisions – within weeks.
The next decision on this issue in the council of prime ministers will be in June, and the large European countries want to bring the issue of mandatory migrant resettlement to a conclusion. We must take action to prevent this, but there is no party or leader among the Hungarian opposition who would want to do this or be capable of doing so.
Aren’t you attributing too much significance to the fact that the EU wants to relocate to Hungary a few hundred poor souls who are in distress – even though they come from a different religious and cultural background? Why is this important?
At the summit of prime ministers in June there will be a proposal on the agenda which for Hungary would mean the immediate resettlement of ten thousand migrants before the end of this year – before the end of 2018. It would also require the Hungarian state to spend nine million forints per capita on them. In addition, it would permit the resettlement here of their family members: family reunification. From that point on, this process would be unstoppable and irreversible.
We should value the opportunity we have here to learn from the mistakes of others, and the fact that now we do not have to learn from our own mistakes.
Why is this important? That is just what the Germans thought in the 1950s, the British in the 1960s and the French in the 1970s. And now, in their own countries, they are in retreat: street by street, district by district, city by city. Today they no longer understand how they got here and who decided on all this. But what they do know is that for them there is no way back. There the question today is how they can live alongside immigrants. Over here this is not yet the question; the question here is whether or not we want to take in immigrants in the first place. And the answer of the Hungarian people is that we do not.
Naturally, we do not have hearts of stone, and when we see the images, all the human suffering and distress, we know that we must help.
Our position is that help must be taken there, instead of bringing the problems here. Hungary regularly provides financial aid proportionate to its economic strength, and rebuilds schools, hospitals and entire villages in places stricken by war. I believe these two things in combination can be regarded as a reasonable and moral policy.
Why did you need to pull George Soros out of the hat for this? Did you need a face to associate with the threat of migration?
George Soros finances a network. This network has enormous influence among Brussels decision-makers. He also finances a great many media outlets and organisations, and these work in coordination to urge for policies throughout Europe which would facilitate and increase immigration. This is where his responsibility lies. Of course he does all this with calculated intent, because a speculator like him can far more easily assert his financial interests in a Europe which is tormented by afflictions of coexistence and which must deal with permanent tensions.
And as birds of a feather flock together, in these attempts he finds strong allies in left-wing politicians, who see migrants as prospective voters who can keep them in power.
The election campaign is like a market in which merchants put their best products on display. Fidesz-KDNP could display some fine merchandise, as there have been some major achievements over the past few years. But you’ve not done that. You’re not talking about your own achievements. Why not?
Because the people have already taken those goods home.
The results of the Government’s efforts are perceptible not only in the abstract world of theories, but also in everyday life.
I do not need to tell people that unemployment has fallen to below 4 per cent, that we have reduced public utility charges, that we support families, that pensioners are given “Erzsébet” meal and grocery vouchers, that once again there are home-creation benefits, that for five years in a row there has been economic growth and wages are finally increasing, that children receive free meals in nurseries and schools, and that most school books are now free. They see it for themselves.
Four years ago, in answer to questions about your election programme, you said: “We’ll carry on.” What are you saying now?
By now people know everything about us. We are pursuing our policies on the basis of clear and simple values. We believe in work, we believe in family and we believe in homeland. This will also be the case in the future. In Hungary we shall attain full employment: everyone who wants to work will have a job. We shall support families and mothers raising children at an increased rate, year on year. We will do this because we believe that Hungary’s population decline must be halted through providing support for families raising children, rather than through bringing in migrants.
The reduction in household utility bills will remain in place, and when the economy does well, we shall also always give a share of its proceeds to the elderly – because they deserve respect.
Why are you not talking about this? Why is immigration Fidesz’s only topic?
Because this is the most important issue. We have fought for the achievements of the past few years together with the Hungarian people. In 2010 we started with a country on the brink of bankruptcy, while now we finally have a future.
We have something to lose, and this is why we must defend the borders and not let migrants in. If we recklessly allow others to decide our fate, they will destroy everything.
Migration is the rust which would slowly but surely consume our country. It would first do so materially, because if we have to spend money on migrants, there will be nothing from which to support families and pay pensions. It would then consume the security of our everyday lives, and finally our culture. This is why the defence of the country and the fight against migration form the core of our message.
Are you concerned about tactical voting – about its widespread use? This is what opposition intellectuals appear to think is an effective miracle weapon against you.
For those people who devised this, the election is about nothing but money and power. Those who think like this look down on the people with deep disdain. I can see that a Vona-Gyurcsány coalition has already come into being on the drawing board, and now this is what they want to sell to the people. I believe that in an election the people want to decide about the future of the country. What the opposition is offering today is not a future: it is chaos and uncertainty.
Of course in the past we’ve seen an opposition victory leading to chaos and confusion, but what is new now is that this is also their programme going into the election.
Let’s be honest: such a situation would only favour speculators like Soros. They could profit from this, and in the end the Hungarian people would pay the price. As we speak, Soros’s organisations – such as the Soros formation “Avaaz” – are spending hundreds of millions of his money to influence the outcome of the election. They are doing this because it is in George Soros’s interest. The miracle weapon called “tactical voting” is a programme designed to support George Soros’s candidates. It is as simple as that, and we must say so openly.
Everything will be decided tomorrow. What result are you expecting?
I believe we will win. But we must work for it. For us the greatest danger is complacency among our own voters. Perhaps very many believe that this battle has been decided, that the race is over, and that they can safely stay at home. In the past forty days I have travelled around the country, and everywhere I went I said the same as what I am saying now. Only our candidates can be counted on against those of Soros.
I will need each and every candidate, each and every Member of Parliament, because the country must be defended.
Therefore I ask everyone to go out and cast both their votes for Fidesz.