The campaign to collect signatures for a planned referendum on whether Budapest should host the 2024 summer Olympics ended up “murdering a dream”, Hungarian Prime Minister said in his regular Friday morning interview with public radio.
The decision to abandon the bid was motivated by a desire to save Hungary from shame, Viktor Orbán said. Winning an Olympic bid requires unity, this is why there were no referendums held in Paris and Los Angeles, the other cities bidding to host the games, according to the Prime Minister. The decision was to save Budapest the embarrassment of the bid being “absolutely trashed” on the vote, which would have been inevitable after a plebiscite, he said. New political player Momentum is the “new SZDSZ”, Orbán said, citing the former Liberal coalition partner of the Socialist governments of 1994-1998 and 2002-2008. We can count on a “new MSZP-SZDSZ coalition”, he said.
Besides the turmoil over the Budapest Olympic bid, Viktor Orbán spoke about several political issues in the interview. He said that “International organisations operating in Hungary and calling themselves ‘non-governmental’ – though in fact attempting to influence Hungarian politics while representing the interests of global capital with paid activists using money from abroad – must be made accountable and transparent”. Over the past twenty years we have tolerated the existence of these organisations, but their behaviour in relation to migration is the final straw”, the Prime Minister said. He stated that “Hungary cannot afford to allow organisations that remain in the shadows – not declaring who they receive their money from and for what purposes – to continuously encourage migrants to break Hungarian law to somehow get into the country”. “By doing so, international organisations which are primarily linked to George Soros have overstepped a line”, Orbán insisted.
In the radio interview the Prime Minister also criticised the European Union’s planned border control system, which in his view is a “nightmare” and would mean the “harassment” of EU citizens. In addition he said that the whole passport checking system could cause delays of up to 8–10 hours along the Hungarian-Croatian and Hungarian-Romanian borders. “While illegal migrants are continuously being allowed to enter the EU, law-abiding European Union citizens with passports would be required to undergo full screening”, he observed, adding that it is in everyone’s fundamental interests to make Brussels see reason on this issue.
According to the Prime Minister, the Brussels bureaucrats are continuously plotting to transfer as many spheres of competence as possible from Member States to themselves. The EU “is not a realm of heavenly peace, but a battle zone”, in which we must continuously struggle with the bureaucrats to prevent them from seizing Hungarian spheres of competence, Orbán said. He identified the reason for the EU suffering from crises today as being that nobody is adhering to regulations. The Germans and the French were allowed to exceed budget limits, he said, the Greeks were exempted from financial regulations, then the Greeks and the Italians were allowed to ignore the Schengen regulations; then the Germans themselves disregarded the Schengen regulations.
Hungarians in Austria
Viktor Orbán also stressed that in the EU the free movement of labour and capital are interlinked, and separating them is unacceptable – for example, Austria wanting its capital to be able to move freely to Hungary, but at the same time not wanting Hungarian workers in Austria. If Austria wants to punish Hungary, he said, “we will punish Austrian capital”. He also criticised the Austrian idea that Hungarians who work and pay taxes in Austria should only receive the same family benefits as Austrians if their children are also there with them. “They are trying to amend minor details of regulation by stealth”, and “once ten minor details have been amended, the whole situation changes”, he said. “This covert withdrawal of spheres of competence and amendment of Europe’s basic treaties is something that Hungary will not accept”, he remarked, calling for the amendment of the basic treaties to be negotiated openly, and not “furtively”.
With regard to Brexit, Viktor Orbán said that Hungary does not want to punish the British, who “are standing on the foundations of common sense”. The Hungarian government’s view is that the EU should not allow there to be bad relations with the UK, even after British withdrawal from the Union. Accordingly, Hungary wants a “fair Brexit”, instead of acting “like a resentful little hamster”, he added.
via MTI and kormany.hu