The Prime Minister said that he sees immigration as being at the centre of the plenary debate of the European Parliament; one of the debate’s main topics was the state of fundamental rights in Hungary, and the other issues were linked to this.
The Prime Minister stated that in the process of migration two cultures are coming into contact with each other. One of them – European culture – separates religion and politics. The other one, in contrast, holds that the two cannot be separated. Contrary to what many in Europe now think, he stressed, these two cultures will not mix, migrants will not integrate, and there is no chance of a new and better quality coming into being.
He added that “We ask you not to seek to force us to live in such a world”.
Mr. Orbán observed that migration is one of the most important issues in the EU. It is a matter of vital importance which creates tensions in the community, but we must strive for unity.
The Prime Minister also said that Hungary is responding to the challenges of the European demographic crisis on its own initiative and without resorting to immigration. He stressed that the issue of immigration not only concerns the human rights of migrants, but also one’s vision of the EU’s future in twenty to thirty years’ time. Some MEPs claim that migration is the right answer to Europe’s challenges, and therefore it must be handled at the level of the European Union – not only because of human rights, but also because it benefits the EU.
The Hungarian government and Hungarian society, he added, take the view that they are able to resolve labour market and demographic issues from their own resources. Hungary is therefore spending a considerable percentage of its gross domestic product on family support measures, and is able to give good answers to demographic challenges from within its own society and without immigration, Mr. Orbán stated.
The Government will not allow foreigners to threaten Hungarian people in Hungary. There is no way of knowing what the future will hold for Western Europe, and we therefore need a high degree of transparency both on the issue of migration and for civil society organisations.
Mr. Orbán described George Soros as a prominent international financial speculator who destroyed the lives of tens of millions of people when he broke the British pound and attacked other currencies. “Millions found themselves impoverished so that he could make a profit”, the Prime Minister said. In Hungary not so long ago Mr. Soros was served a fine of hundreds of millions of forints for speculating against Hungary’s biggest financial institution, and “in this he only failed by a hair’s breadth”, Mr. Orbán said.
According to the Prime Minister, it is unfortunate that the most senior leaders of the European Union, which is based on the foundations of the social market economy, receive such a speculator as if it was the most natural thing in the world. “This is unworthy of the institutions of the European Union”, Mr. Orbán said.
In his view, in Europe the policy of isolation is irrational. Hungary does not wish to leave “the land of freedom”, as the majority of Hungarians believe that their country should be a member of the EU.
Mr. Orbán said that Hungary must insist on European law – as must every other Member State. He stressed that the position of the European Commission is acceptable for Hungary, which in order to resolve disputes will take advantage of the opportunities offered in the Wednesday debate by Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission.
The Prime Minister stated that Hungary will treat its dispute with the European Commission over amendment of higher education legislation as a legal issue, and will take it through legal channels. A country the size of Hungary cannot allow political considerations to overrule legal ones, otherwise countries stronger than it will always prevail. “We believe in a legal solution”, he said.
Mr. Orbán noted that some Members of the European Parliament are uninformed, as in the debate they continued to make accusations against Hungary on issues which the Hungarian government and the European Commission had already successfully resolved. Among these he mentioned the new Constitution, independence of the National Bank of Hungary, the state of the judiciary, retirement rules for judges, media legislation, church legislation and nuclear energy.
Mr. Orbán pointed out that the funding which Hungary receives from the European Union is not in the form of charitable donations. Every Member State benefits from the cohesion policy, and the net contributor countries are also beneficiaries of this policy. In this regard he continued: “We have eliminated our customs tariffs. We have opened our markets and permitted the free flow of capital – while after communism we lacked capital and were as poor as church mice […] You cannot ask us, Ladies and Gentlemen, to keep our mouths shut, and you cannot speak to us as if you were giving us some gift, and as if we should be grateful because you have bought us and now we are in debt to you.”