In reply to comments made during the debate, the Prime Minister responded to the words of the Liberals’ leader Guy Verhofstadt: “you hate us conservative Christians more than you love Europe”.
“As for those who claim that the report is not aimed at Hungary, I suggest you read its title: it isn’t the Hungarian government they want to denounce, but Hungary,” the Prime Minister stated.
In relation to Central European University (CEU), Mr. Orbán said that the head of the European People’s Party parliamentary group Manfred Weber was mistaken, because if he looks at Bavaria’s regulations, he will see that they are stricter than Hungary’s: “You are using a double standard – regardless of the fact that we belong to the same party family.”
He also asked MEPs to visit the CEU website, on which the University itself states that it “will continue its operations under all circumstances,” and that “Currently enrolled students and those enrolling in 2018 will be able to finish their studies in Budapest.” The Prime Minister also said that CEU states that all of its accreditations are unchanged, and that Budapest is a welcoming city.
Mr. Orbán also stated that the fight against migration is not a party political issue, and that he is prepared to cooperate with any government that wants to defend the EU’s borders. “I raise my hat to the brave Italians”, he added.
With regard to anti-Semitism, the Prime Minister said: “in Central Europe anti-Semitism is decreasing, but in Western Europe it is increasing. Indeed, the centre of modern anti-Semitism is Brussels, because it is from there that anti-Israeli organisations are being supported.”
“And It was not we who laid wreaths at the statue of Marx, the father of modern, anti-market anti-Semitism,” he added.
Replying to claims of corruption, the Prime Minister observed that “All tenders in Hungary are public, and any European company is free to apply. In Hungary the ratio of tenders with a single applicant is 26 per cent, compared to the EU average of 24 per cent”.
In closing Mr. Orbán said that, as a member of the European People’s Party, he “can see that we are in trouble and that we are weak. We, the members of the European People’s Party, are not strong enough to follow our own path. To me it seems that we are weak, and that we, the members of the European People’s Party, are dancing to the tune of the socialists and the liberals. In the future I would like us to be able to change this.”