At the stage discussion organised by the newspaper Passauer Neue Presse under the title “Europe Scepsis – Why Do We Need Europe?”, the Prime Minister mentioned among the achievements to be defended former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s “big dream”, the Schengen system and the free movement of workers. “There are all sorts of plans”, but meanwhile “we are not looking where we are going”, he added.
The Prime Minister stressed: the success of Europe is important for Hungary because we have protected Europe’s Eastern borders for centuries, “we shed a great deal of blood” for the continent. On the other hand, we knew at the time that if we are to overthrow the regime of the communists, that is only possible if there is a uniform European will behind it; in other words, Hungarian freedom and independence and the reunification of Europe “are one and the same story”, he explained. He remarked: according to the Central-Europeans, we should not concern ourselves with great new dreams at this point in time, though they are equally important, but we must protect what we have already achieved.
He took the view that a strong Europe can only come into being if the Member States themselves are strong, and everyone has to put in order and reinforce their own country because that will lead to a strong Europe.
Regarding the migrant crisis, he said: it is simply not possible to take new ethnic groups into a country if the people living there do not desire that. We must accept that the Hungarian people do not want to take in ethnic groups that are different from them. As he said, if this is the case, his duty is to enforce the will of the Hungarian people as this is the essence of democracy.
As expected, tens of millions of people may leave their native land in the future, and the question is how we perceive this process: “whether we surrender to them, or we want to stop them”, he explained. He said: everyone gives the same answer to this question, except for Europe because while the United States, Australia, China, Russia and the rich countries of the Persian Gulf strictly protect their borders, Europe “opens up its borders”.
Mr Orbán stated: every European country has the right to decide how to respond to this challenge. The Hungarian people say that they will protect their borders. He highlighted: several European countries envisage their future by sharing their land with ethnic groups that came from elsewhere, came from a different background, and they believe that “they will live together happily”. Hungary, however, decided that they do not want this: they do not want ethnic groups coming from elsewhere which have a different culture. Help must be taken where it is needed, rather than bringing the people in trouble here, he explained.
The Prime Minister remarked: there are thousands serving at the border also at present, we have spent one billion euros on the protection of the borders from our own resources, and therefore “no one should try to teach us a lesson about solidarity” as by doing what we are doing we do not only protect Hungary, but also Germany, among others.
He pointed out: we shall never accept any legal rule that seeks to withdraw the right to decide who may reside in Hungary from the realm of Hungary’s sovereignty. The proposed asylum reform which contemplates that there should be a permanent and mandatory distribution scheme without an upper limit is currently on the agenda of the EU, he said.
Hungary did not accept the resettlement of 1,200 migrants earlier because they were aware that this is a “Trojan horse”, and once we allow others to tell us who may live in Hungary, we shall not be able to take this right back later, he said.
According to the Prime Minister, while Hungary attempted to protect its borders, certain non-governmental organisations assisted the illegal crossing of the border. At the discussion in answer to a question concerning György Soros’ activities, Mr Orbán said: there is an enormous international non-governmental network attached to his name, and “while we were struggling to protect our borders”, these organisations attacked soldiers, helped the migrants enter the country illegally, assisted with the illegal crossing of the border, and this is simply not acceptable.
He remarked: most countries which do not use the euro agreed to introduce the common currency upon their accession, and therefore there is no such question as to whether Hungary will join the Eurozone. The question is when and under what conditions.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the fact that the Visegrád Group (V4) is a great European resource which rather than causing the European Union any problems contributes to its success. He said: “the Visegrád countries thank everyone for their enquiries, they are fine” because countries which are successful joined forces in Central-Europe. If these countries had been admitted to the EU in good time, at the end of the nineties, rather than in 2004, the economic crisis would not have happened as it did, he said stating his view.
He said: if the V4 were detached and an institutional realm were created that does not include them, Germany would stand to lose the most because its relations with the Visegrád countries would suffer, and it would be left with countries which have ongoing financial ailments and expect help from Germany. We need a Europe, the centre of gravity of which includes both Germany and Central-Europe, “this is what we are building, and most successfully based on the figures”, he said. He added: Hungary and Germany have always been natural allies, “we are observing a manifestation of this now in the economy”.
According to Mr Orbán, success is the best medicine against populism as if the populists are not successful, there is no room for populism. He said: populists are not successful in Hungary because the GDP is increasing, wages are on the rise, there is gradually no unemployment and there is security.
He stressed: there is democracy in Hungary, and if the people want something, the Government will take it upon itself to accomplish it. If they want full employment, it is the Government’s duty to implement this, if they do not want migrants, it is the Government’s duty to protect the borders. If we want democracy, the leaders have to do what the people want, the Prime Minister said.