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Speech by Viktor Orbán at a swearing-in ceremony for border hunters

Dear Oath-takers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your swearing-in ceremony is an important event and an outstanding moment for Hungary’s security. Since 2015 a migration crisis has swept Europe. Millions of people from Africa and the Middle East have arrived illegally in Europe, in defiance of borders and laws. In Hungary, history has taught us that a country without borders is like an egg without a shell. This is why, after the crisis erupted, we Hungarians decided that – no matter what anyone said – .we would not compromise our security: we defended our borders and we built a fence. The Hungarian border defence system works. It can withstand the most powerful waves of illegal migration. Our police officers and soldiers, who have accepted reassignments, reorganisations and overtime, have done their duty with honour, and have defended Hungary’s security. But life has decreed that their service is now needed elsewhere. Maintaining internal order demands the redeployment of our police officers. And the war in a neighbouring country has made it necessary to increase the combat readiness and deployability of our defence forces. This explains the country’s great need for you, and why we have created the Hungarian Border Hunters’ Regiment.

Dear Border Hunters,

In truth a good soldier does not fight against those standing opposed to him, but for those standing behind him. This is especially true for you border hunters. Behind you stands the entire country, the whole of Hungarian life, every Hungarian family, every Hungarian child, our towns and villages. The task of defending the homeland against migration is placed upon you. And sacrifices will be necessary, because currently we are beset by an abundance of woes: war is raging in a neighbouring country; an energy crisis is sweeping across Europe; Brussels’ sanctions are set to bring Europe’s economies to their knees. All these challenges must be fought simultaneously. As has been the case up to now, we will maintain control over the problems of the day. But however great the looming obstacles we face, we cannot afford to abandon the country’s great ambitions. Nor can we abandon our great goal of making Hungary the safest country in Europe. This is threatened by the most serious problem of our time: migration. The threat of migration and the risks it poses are so great that its avoidance and defence against it continue to be Hungary’s primary task. What our distant forebears called “népvándorlás” [“Völkerwanderung”, or “the wandering of peoples”] is now known as migration. Whatever one calls it, the meaning is the same: a civilisational threat. The example of Western Europe shows that on this front one only needs to make a single mistake: once illegal migrants from other cultures have settled, the wheel of time can never be turned back, and life will never be the same again. Anyone can say anything they like to us Hungarians, but we do not believe that anything good can come from migration. What we want – .and it is our right, our birthright – .is for Hungary to remain a Hungarian country. Each passing year ever more people try to enter Hungary across its southern borders. This year the number of illegal attempts has reached 160,000, and we have good reason to believe that this number will increase further. Violence is on the rise. At first migrants were just fighting one another, but now we are seeing Hungarians on border duty being subjected to physical threats. Migrants need to understand that there is no way that they can cross the border. And you are the ones who must make them understand this: you border hunters are the ones who will intercept them, searching for and finding them if necessary. You are the ones who will catch them and eject them from Hungary – every single one, with no exceptions.

Dear Oath-takers,

Security starts at our borders. The security of Hungary and Hungarians begins with you. We respect your determination and courage, we respect the fact that you have taken on this task; and I promise that the service you discharge for the benefit of our country shall also be honoured financially. I am sure that you will succeed in this challenge, because you are aware of what you have undertaken to do. Please remember that a country places its trust in you, and a country stands behind you.

I wish you much success, strength, health and courage in the challenge ahead of you.