Domestic Politics

“Hungary Will Never Be An Immigrant Country”, PM Orbán Pledges On Opening Day Of Parliament’s Autumn Session

“Hungary will never be an immigrant country,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his address to lawmakers on the first day of the Hungarian Parliament’s autumn session, distinguishing between “immigrant” and “non-immigrant countries” in terms of their approach to migration.

He said the distinction between the two types of countries lay in the fact that certain countries accept, approve of and “at times organise” migration while countries like Hungary are determined to preserve their security, way of life and national, religious and cultural identity. “We want a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe,” the Prime Minister said.

The future of Europe depends on whether these two groups of countries respect the democratic will of each other’s people, Orbán said. “We respect the fact that immigrant countries decided to become immigrant countries but we ask that they accept the fact that we never will.” Today, pro-immigration countries wish to settle the difference between the two sides by recommending “that we too become immigrant countries, and if we refuse, they force it on us”, he said. This is the essence of the mandatory resettlement quota scheme, Orbán insisted.

The Hungarian Premier said he considered this to be the plan of US financier George Soros, arguing that it was Soros who had first proposed the idea, “publishing it under his own name”. “This is what is being implemented by the Brussels bureaucrats who incidentally are eating out of Soros’s hand,” the prime minister said, adding that the European Commission has tabled a proposal to implement a permanent migrant relocation mechanism. Orbán urged those who value Hungary’s independence, security, national culture and Christian roots to participate in the government’s “national consultation” survey on the “Soros plan”.

Orbán said his government had continued its struggle against Brussels’ mandatory migrant resettlement scheme over the summer. Orbán said the mass migration wave facing Europe was a result of global shifts reshaping the world which he said coincided with “Islam’s most recent global offensive”. But the EU is following a flawed migrant and foreign policy, he said. It is “clinging to its erroneous ways”, turning Europe into a continent that opens up its external borders rather than protects them, Orbán said, adding that this was putting temptation in the way of migrants. “Everything we have seen up until now was only the warm up,” the prime minister said, citing a recent NATO estimate according to which 60 million migrants could flee Africa between now and 2020, most of them for Europe.

PM: Hungary’s economy in good shape

Hungary has succeeded in creating a labour-based economy that works, Viktor Orbán told lawmakers in his speech ont he first day of parliament’s autumn session. Hungary is a country that is capable of providing jobs to its citizens who want to work, the Prime Minister said.

Listing Hungary’s economic accomplishments, the Prime Minister highlighted the reduction of the debt-to-GDP ratio to below 74%, the 3.2% Q2 GDP growth rate, the jobless rate’s decline to 4.2% and the rise in the number of employed Hungarians to over 4.4 million. “Full employment is just an arm’s reach away,” he said, adding that more and more fostered workers were entering the primary labour market.

With wages rising, more and more people are finding that it is worth taking up a job in Hungary, Orbán said. In his address, the prime minister said that family policy would continue to be high on the government’s agenda, with such focal points as family taxation, paediatric services, education, sports, home subsidies and the government’s job protection plan.

Oppostion reaction

Opposition party leaders responded to Viktor Orbán’s speech opening the autumn session of parliament, insisting that the Fidesz-led government needed to be replaced in the 2018 general election.

Radical nationalist Jobbik said that the government had steered the economy onto a “path of decline” over the past seven years. Gábor Vona, the party’s leader, said that if Jobbik came to power after next year’s general election, it would enhance the country’s security, hold “criminal politicians” to account and improve the economy.

The opposition Socialist Party (MSZP) said the government’s planned “national consultation” survey should focus on “the real issues” rather than the “Soros plan”. Bertalan Tóth, the party’s group leader, said what voters were actually concerned about was why their villages did not have doctors, why their family members needed to work abroad or why public procurement contracts “are always awarded to Fidesz-affiliated entrepreneurs”. Tóth said. The 2018 election must bring about a change in government, he said, adding that his party would “do justice” if it came to power.

Green opposition LMP said next year’s election would be about whether Hungary and the Hungarian people could “shake off” the politics of the past 30 years rather than migrant quotas or Hungary’s border fence. “Nobody is going to dismantle the fence and nobody will implement permanent migrant quotas in the European Union,” LMP group leader Bernadett Szél said. She said it was becoming increasingly clear that it was not Fidesz that would protect Hungary but rather LMP that had to protect the country from Fidesz.

via hungarymatters.hu and MTI; photos: Zoltán Máthé – MTI