The state has a duty to act against the organisation of illegal migration, a crime that harms national security interests, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an interview to public radio on Friday.
Brussels considers the organisation and the financial and legal support of migration a human rights issue, he said. But Hungary sees it as a national security issue, he said, adding that action must be taken against migration to protect the security of the Hungarian people.
Commenting on the proposed amendment to the constitution that relates to the “Stop Soros” bill, Orban said protecting Hungary against illegal migration requires new rules that make Hungarian legal provisions crystal clear while repelling attacks from Brussels.
If the constitution prohibits the forced settlement of migrants in Hungary, then it will be much easier to draw up detailed regulations that are protected domestically and in the international arena, he said.
Orban said that during a recent conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron he had made it clear that Hungary would never support European regulations that strip Hungarians of their right to say who can live in the country.
“Let’s make it crystal clear: Brussels cannot take away Hungary’s sovereignty,”
he told Macron.
Commenting on a new campaign by rights organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) aiming to get the European People’s Party to expel Hungary’s ruling Fidesz, he said this was a form of pressure exercised by US financier George Soros.
“George Soros wants to funnel his money through various organisations … to influence European politics in a way that is bad for Hungarians; he is corrosive,”
He said the constitutional amendment will also include the protection of the home and the protection of private life, stating that “people must not be bothered in their homes”. In a normal country, there is room to express opinions, but this freedom should not extend to bothering people in their own homes, he added.
Commenting on next year’s budget plans, he said unemployment, the budget deficit and public debt will be reduced, while wages will increase and employment and economic performance will grow. The payroll tax will be reduced by a further two percentage points in 2019, and the tax preference for families with two children will be raised to 40,000 forints (EUR 125) a month, Orban said.
Annual economic growth of above 4 percent projected for next year will enable the payment of pension premiums in addition to pension increases, he added.
A scheme to build kindergartens and creches will be launched, he said, adding that a growing number of women want to work, not only for material reasons, but also because of their personal ambition, he said. Orban also said the government will announce an action plan related to family policy, preceded by a national consultation on childbirth and child rearing. “We do not want to exclude men, but basically, it is the opinion of women that is of interest,” he added.
The issue of demography concerns how many Hungarian women give birth, “the extent to which we bring [children] up together”, and what must be done to reverse the population decline, he said. The aim is to ensure that Hungary can sustain itself by 2030, he said. Accordingly, there must be at least as many births as deaths, he added.
Concerning his planning for 2030, Orban said that though the government had received a mandate up until 2022, the next four years would have to include a broader plan for the period up to 2030. “This, of course, has been interpreted to mean that I’d like to be Prime Minister until 2030 – which is not a bad idea – except for the fact that Hungary is a democracy and elections take place every four years.”
On his aspiration to build a Christian democracy, Orban said liberal democracy had become an empty vessel that failed to respond to challenges such as migration. Neither does it protect borders, the traditional family model of a man and woman or take the protection of Christian culture as a given. This is why Christian democracy must be “dusted off and brought up to date a bit.”
The prime minister spoke of the importance of keeping in touch with voters in the four years after the election, and this is why he was meeting pensioners, going to kindergartens and talking to employees and people in workfare schemes. Orban noted that during the election campaign he had visited a kindergarten and received a fine for breaking election rules. This was proof that Hungary’s democratic institutions were functioning properly, he said, noting that yesterday he had paid another visit as the newly elected prime minister.