Politics

PM Orbán Talks “Soros Plan”, German Elections, Ukraine’s Education Law In Public Radio Interview

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in an interview to public radio on Friday, called on Hungarians to participate in the government’s public survey on the “Soros plan”. The survey will help the country protect itself from migration, he insisted.

The survey dubbed “national consultation” will ask Hungarians for their view on whether or not Hungary should become an immigrant country. American financier George Soros has published the plan himself, Orbán said. In it, he outlined an action plan which opposes the Hungarian government’s proposals, he said. “Brussels bureaucrats” are working on implementing this plan point by point, he insisted. But leaders in Europe’s council of ministers will not secure a unanimous decision on the matter, Orbán said, because he himself would veto it. He said the results of the public survey would show on the international stage that “the vast majority of the Hungarian national community shares the same standpoint as the prime minister”.

Viktor Orbán said it was not the case that Brussels was considering withdrawing funding to Hungary due to its dispute with the government over migration. In any case, he said, such a move was inconceivable as it lacked any lawful basis. He also said Brussels could not levy a fine on Hungary for the same reason, adding that European leaders who made such threats were doing so illegally. The Hungarian Prime Minister said it would be the right thing for the European Commission to pay half of Hungary’s costs related to protecting the external border. A drawn-out battle can be expected on this front, he added. He said he did not recognize any difference between the spending of Hungarian and EU money since “it is all our money”. “We did not get a single penny from the EU as a present; for every penny we give something,” he said.

Referring to  economic indicators, Orbán said he welcomed signs that whoever wanted a job in Hungary could get one and support their family as well as getting respect, “given that wages have risen for 50 months in a row”. Asked about any further reductions to income tax, the prime minister said he was a believer in lowering taxes on jobs since this enhanced people’s conviction that it was worth working. He added that it was better to tax spending in the form of VAT than impose a higher tax rate on incomes because this was fairer than taxing “often hideable income”. In 2010, out of 3.7 million job-holders, only 1.8 million paid taxes, he noted. “It is a wonder that we stayed alive,” he said. Now, all 4.4 million job-holders pay income tax, he added.

On the topic of Ukraine’s new education law, the Hungarian Premier said it was clear in European culture that it was not usual to withdraw rights already granted to minorities. He said Ukraine would have to understand that this was no way to get closer to the EU. “We won’t allow it,” he said.

On the subject of the German elections, he said Hungary wanted incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel to win, since she would be friendlier to Hungary than her Social Democrat rival, Martin Schulz.

via MTI and kormany.hu; photo: Tamás Kovács – MTI