The Prime Minister had a working meeting with Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the government party the League (Lega Nord). At a press conference held after their meeting, Mr Orbán stressed: Hungary has proven that migration can be stopped, though earlier everyone claimed that this was impossible both legally and physically.
Matteo Salvini has taken on the “historic mission” to stop migration also at sea. No other country by the sea has undertaken this endeavour before, the Prime Minister said. He took the view that Europe’s security depends on Matteo Salvini’s success, and therefore the Italian politician cannot back down. “This courage inspires respect in us”, he added.
Mr Orbán pointed out that Hungary will provide every assistance with Italy’s border protection efforts.
He said those who came to Europe must be taken back to where they came from, they must be transported back home. Brussels takes the view that this is not possible, but then again they said the same about the protection of borders, he highlighted. Mr Orbán believes that this is possible; it only takes will and political determination. Migrants should not be distributed, but taken back home, he stressed.
He observed that Hungary is pursuing a policy which is based on the tenet that help must be taken where there is trouble, rather than bringing trouble here.
The Prime Minister thanked the Italian Interior Minister on behalf of the citizens of Hungary as “the Hungarian people are a loyal kind, and do not easily forget”; they vividly remember that when the Hungarians were attacked in the European Parliament due to the new Hungarian Constitution, Matteo Salvini spoke up and defended us.
In answer to a question, the Prime Minister said there will be elections in Europe in May, and “we need a new Commission and a new European Parliament” in the interest of protecting our borders and stopping migration. We need a different Europe that rests on new intellectual foundations, and as to what alliances will come into being we can only tell after the EP elections. Our task today is to obtain the support of as many Hungarian and Italian voters as possible in the interest of forging a new Europe, he explained.
Mr Orbán said in answer to another question that he asked for the consent of Silvio Berlusconi, leader of Forza Italia to this meeting because “we are in alliance with them in the European People’s Party” (EPP). There are two camps in the EPP: one is led by French President Emmanuel Macron, he “wants to blow up” the EPP, he is leading the political force in Europe which supports migration, he said.
He pointed out that we, on the other side, “want to stop illegal migration”. There is a fierce debate on this also within the EPP, and “we would like our position to prevail”, and to clearly stand by the European people who do not want illegal migration, he said.
In answer to a question the Prime Minister also said that Italy is stronger than many believe, it is one of the strongest countries in Europe. Hungary and Italy have always been able to cooperate well, Italian-Hungarian cooperation has historical traditions, and the elected Italian government is a potential partner of Hungary, he said.