Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the situation of Europe gives it the means to halt migration to Europe, but Brussels lacks the intent to protect the continent.
In his 18th State of Nation Address given at Várkert Bazár in Budapest, arguing for the referendum on the mandatory resettlement quotas, the Prime Minister said that Hungary will not allow others to force us to import the bitter fruits of their misguided migration policies. “We do not want to – and we shall not – import crime, terrorism, homophobia and anti-Semitism to Hungary”, Mr. Orbán said, stressing that there shall be no lawless urban neighbourhoods, or immigrant riots and „gangs shall not hunt our wives and daughters”.
This danger threatens the possibility of a promising future as well
The Prime Minister pointed out that modern-day mass migration does not only threaten the things which we have, but also the things which we may have in the future: our prospects; the possibility of a promising future; and our children’s expanding European potential, which is only beginning to unfold.
The year 2015 brought to an end an age in which, believing that it was under Europe’s control, we took the protection and safety of our continent for granted, Mr. Orbán said.
He added that those who do most to endanger the future of Europe however are not those who want to come here, but the political, economic and intellectual leaders who are trying to reshape Europe against the will of the people of Europe. He went on to say that in Brussels and some European capitals the political and intellectual elite see themselves as citizens of the world – in contrast to the majority of people, who have a strong sense of nationhood. This is how, for the planned transport to Europe of many millions of migrants, there came into existence the most bizarre coalition in world history: the people smugglers, the human rights activists and Europe’s top leaders, he explained.
At the same time, Mr. Orbán emphasised that it is still not too late for Brussels to understand that we must face reality and that we must discard “utopian dreams”. The reality is that for a long time a world of parallel societies has been evolving with steady persistence, and this is forcing back “our world”; those coming here have no intention whatsoever of adopting our way of life, because they see their own as more valuable, stronger and more viable than ours, the Prime Minister explained.
What the European Union is doing is absurd
The Prime Minister said that what the European Union is doing is absurd: it is like a ship’s captain heading for collision who, instead of wanting to take avoiding action, is more interested in deciding which lifeboats should be non-smoking.
It is difficult to understand the weakening of our civilisation’s natural and fundamental instinct for the defence of ourselves: the co-existence of Europe’s free, Christian and independent nations, he said.
Among the values to be protected he mentioned equality between the sexes, freedom and responsibility, fair competition and solidarity, pride and humility, justice and mercy. “We are these things: this is Europe. Europe is Hellas, not Persia; it is Rome, not Carthage; it is Christianity, not a caliphate”, he explained, adding that when we say this we are not claiming that we are better, but that we are different.
Freedom cannot exist in opposition to reality, there cannot be individual advancement, or communal advancement; there is only failure, disappointment, bitterness, and finally cynicism and self-destruction. “Perhaps this is why one sees so many high-minded, unhappy liberal politicians needlessly reduced to roaming the streets of Brussels”, he said.
We must reinforce our lines of defence!
The Prime Minister also urged the reinforcement of the Hungarian lines of defence, and he informed his audience that defensive measures have so far cost around eighty-five billion forints, and “for this we can only draw on our own budget”, he noted.
Mr. Orbán announced that he has sent new military units to the border, deployed regular forces in Csongrád and Bács-Kiskun counties, and has ordered the defence and interior ministers to prepare for the erection of a line of defence on the Hungarian-Romanian border. If needed, we shall defend the borders along their full extent from Slovenia to Ukraine, he stressed.
“We shall teach Brussels, the people smugglers and the migrants that Hungary is a sovereign country, and its territory can only be entered by those who will obey our laws and accept the authority of our law enforcement and military personnel”, he emphasised.
The referendum is about the new European immigration system’s compulsory resettlement quotas, which will be on the agenda for March.
The Prime Minister explained that the referendum is not about the quota which has already been decided on, and which is being challenged in court by Hungary: we call the citizens of Hungary to battle, in opposition to the new European immigration system’s compulsory resettlement quotas, which will be on the agenda for March. We must halt the advance of Brussels, because its “insane immigration policy” against national sovereignty and the will of people.
Compulsory resettlement quotas have become the symbol of the times we now live in, Mr. Orbán said, adding that it encapsulates everything which has the potential to prise apart the alliance of European peoples. The quotas are being promoted by the federalists, those who want a “United States of Europe”, while the supporters of sovereignty want a Europe of free nations, and will not hear of any form of quota.
Mr. Orbán emphasised that Hungary must summon up all its courage, because Brussels is also threatening with financial retaliation for relying on the “ancient source of European democracy”, the will of people, in order to decide who we want to live with. “We are quits, and we have nothing to call each other to account for”, Mr. Orbán stated, adding that Hungary does not owe anything. After forty-five years of communism, Hungary opened its doors to Western companies and they repatriated as much money from Hungary as the European Union sent here.
Brussels must not turn against the European people
Mr. Orbán also stressed that Brussels must not turn against the European people: “the European Union must not be a kind of Soviet Union reloaded”, he said, emphasising that Hungarians shall not reject Europe, despite all its weaknesses, but we also do not want Europe to surrender the values of a millennium to the flood of people.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the foundations of Hungary’s foreign policy, enlisting peace, trade, mutual investment, a favourable regional equilibrium and defence of Hungarian interests among its priorities. He said that the Hungarian foreign policy’s triangulation points are Berlin, Moscow and Ankara. Therefore, he said, we should not allow ourselves to be drawn into any international campaign against Germans, Russians or Turks. It does not serve Hungary’s interests to join campaigns which are rooted in feelings of moral superiority – an approach so popular in the western half of the continent.
“This is harder and more complicated than nestling unseen on the soft, warm, furry back of a host animal”, Mr. Orbán explained “but it is surely more worthy of our one thousand one hundred-year history in the Carpathian Basin”.
The civic Hungary is being built now
In his speech the Prime Minister also talked about where he thinks Hungary stands today. He said that a lot of time has passed since the end of communism, and he himself has been at the coal face of politics for over thirty years. “A lot of water has flowed under the bridges of the Danube. And so here we are, greying anti-communists, high and dry. One should not be surprised if there is speculation on a change of the guard and of the generations.” But, quoting the renowned wine-maker Ferenc Takler “before passing on the flag to the generation following us, let’s hold onto it a little longer”, he said.
Mr. Orbán said that now we can act and create: this is the time to be brave, “this is the time to move forward with purpose and self-confidence”. Because this is the time when we may finally build what we think of as a civic Hungary, civic consolidation, a national Christian era, Hungary itself, he emphasised. We are halfway through our third term in office, but we cannot say what percentage of the civic era these ten years represent, explained, adding that when Columbus sailed the Atlantic Ocean he had no way of knowing when he had reached the halfway point.
Looking back to the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, he said that within fifty years, Hungary has entered the ranks of Europe’s successful countries, and “had the Imperial Court in Vienna not dragged us into the Great War alongside them, who knows what we would have been capable of”. If we compare this with our Hungarian world today we are not there yet, as so far we have only had twenty-six years to make headway, he explained.
He went on to say that we could also define our current situation in comparison with the Horthy era; this, however, is rather perilous, swampy and nightmarish terrain. But we can say that twenty-one years of peace were not enough to bring forth the talent and the achievements that we could have thought ourselves capable of.
Talking about the Communist regime after World War II he said that the most important and most serious question of our lives is as follows: “If we walk into the depths of the forest for forty-five years, how many years will it take for us to walk back out?”
We have regained the chance of accomplishing yet another historic feat in narrowing the gap with the advanced world
Mr. Orbán said that in 2014 – having consolidated the budget, having sent the IMF packing – the Government rounded off a period of stabilisation, and made a flying start embarking on the path of closing the gap with other economies. He noted that this year the Cabinet shall repay the last blessed penny of debt to the European Union.
“In summary, we have reached the stage of having regained the chance of accomplishing yet another historic feat in narrowing the gap with the advanced world.” In five years the Government has reduced personal income tax from 35% to 15%, it has left 1,300 billion forints in the pockets of families, it has reduced household utility bills by 25%, and in five years the minimum wage in Hungary has increased by 50%, he said.
The aim is to increase competitiveness
Mr. Orbán also said that in both the state and the private sectors I only those pay rises can be supported for which the State already has the funds, and which are supported by the growing performance of the Hungarian economy.
He pointed out improving Hungary’s economic competitiveness as one of the most important tasks of the next few years, because the current pace of economic growth is insufficient, and is not guaranteed to last.
The Prime Minister also acknowledged and expressed his gratitude for the hard work of teachers and healthcare workers, saying that though the pay rises are ongoing and considerable, they are insufficient. “It is cold comfort that in Hungary today this is the case in almost every profession”, he said, pointing out that what Hungary is able to offer, in good conscience and with common sense, is that every year everyone can take a step forward. The length of each step – that is, the rate and pace of the pay rises – is limited to the performance of the economy, he explained.
Mr. Orbán also pointed out that those who are now predicting the end of the world because of the few billion forints of debt built up by the schools’ central operating institution KLIK have nothing to worry about. Having managed to cope with the IMF, having managed to cope with municipal debts totalling 1,200 billion forints, an institution such as KLIK is surely no serious challenge for us.
More funding to health care
The Prime Minister also announced that compared with 2010, the Government has allocated forty per cent more funding to health care and it has allocated more than five hundred billion forints to the development of hospitals. This is why hospitals outside Budapest are treating patients in 21st century surroundings. But there are problems in Budapest: a large new metropolitan hospital must be built.
Mr. Orbán ended his speech by saying: “Go for it Europe, go for it Hungary!”