Orban: No compromise over migration

A compromise cannot be made in the dispute over migration, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday, and added that “there is no need for such a compromise”.

Orban addressed a conference marking the first anniversary of the death of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and said we know of no such document that says “if you join the European Union, you must become a country for migrants”.

Orban also said that “Hungary is aware of its strength, weight and responsibilities in the EU and does not seek to assume a political role at the European level”. “We are a proud people, which knows itself and assesses the situation realistically. Where we do have definite ambitions is Central Europe and the Visegrad Four,” he insisted. He added that Hungary wants to be one of the region’s “strong and closely cooperating countries which help and encourage each other”. He noted that Hungary has “serious disputes with Brussels and with some EU members” and said it was “tempting to believe” that Hungary could influence European policies. He added, however, that “we must resist that temptation and concentrate on our national interests instead”.

Hungary acknowledges Poland’s leading role in central Europe and “Hungary, with its own strength, is working to build cooperation between states of central Europe”, Orban said. Hungary also seeks to promote the European integration of the Western Balkans, with special regard to Serbia, he added.

The prime minister said that building a strong Europe requires strong nation states. Concerning the EU, he said that the community was “still rich but weakening” and insisted that the future of Europe was conditional on its ability to protect its external borders. Once those borders are protected, he said, the migrants already in Europe “will not need to be distributed but returned home”.

Orban said that Hungary could help common European policies in several areas such as “offering a good example in economic reforms or assistance in returning migrants back home”. “Assistance needs to be exported rather than importing problems,” he added. He also said that, apart from its readiness to help and advise Europe, Hungary will continue to stick to its position and “will not be forced to do something we do not want”. He said that if members of the community “cannot accept or at least tolerate each other’s standpoint concerning migration or the EU budget, they should wait for voters to express their wish at the European Parliamentary elections in 2019”. “Then come what may,” he added. He said that the European Commission had become “a tool in the hands of the large states against small states” and insisted that “this commission will have to go in 2019”.

Concerning the EU budget draft, Orban said it was “pro-migration … just like the European Commission”. The draft, he insisted, was aimed at channeling “the money of European citizens” to migrants and NGOs. “It is as if George Soros had drafted it,” Orban argued.

In another development, Orban said that although leaders of the European People’s Party “had made mistakes to our detriment” Hungary’s ruling Fidesz will “stick to the EPP and Helmut Kohl’s ideals: rather than deserting we will undertake the more difficult task of renewing the EPP and help it find its way back to its Christian Democratic roots”.

Orban said that the EPP had been “slowly but continuously” losing its strength during the past 15 years because it had “created an anti-populist people’s front” as against the emerging new parties. He added, however, that this tendency should be replaced by a “Christian Democratic renaissance”.

Source and photo: MTI

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