Hungary’s PM Orbán: “If Somebody Attacks Poland, Whole Central Europe Is Under Attack”
Tamás Székely 2017.12.22.
The European Commission’s procedure against Poland is “unfair and unreasonable”, the Hungarian Prime Minister said in a lengthy interview with public radio on Friday. Viktor Orbán touched upon various issues, including last week’s EU summit, the migrant crisis, the V4 support to Italy, debate on joining the Eurozone and the EU funds.
Commenting on recent EU measures connected to Poland, Viktor Orbán said “if somebody attacks Poland, the whole of central Europe is under attack”. Hungary’s interest is to show solidarity with the Poles and make it clear that no EU punishment can be introduced against them, he added “Without Poland there is no strong central Europe,” he added.
According to Orbán, a sweeping majority of Poles share the same view about migration as Hungarians. Tens of thousands of migrants have arrived in Poland from former Soviet areas plus more than a million Ukrainians but the EU refuses to take this into consideration. They consider something a problem only if it is a problem for Western countries, he added.
EU summit in Brussels
Orbán also said Hungary “was facing another attack” because those who want to introduce a mandatory migrant quota in Europe will try again next year, since there was no decision on the subject at December’s European Union summit.
He said he had not yet succeeded in convincing his opponents in Europe, with the number of those urging the introduction of a migrant quota being unchanged. They are expected to argue in support of their position at an upcoming summit in March, he added.
So far “we have only won time” but in elections in Europe in the recent period, there has been a strengthening of those who wish to restrict migration, Orbán said, adding that he expected this trend to continue.
Orbán pointed out that those who want a “Europe of mixed population” and believe that the extinction of Christian societies is the path to development are continually getting weaker results in national elections.
“We must hold on until people in western Europe, following in the footsteps of central Europeans, get strong enough and are able to use their democratic means, the elections, to force their leaders to pursue politics that reflect the people’s wish and rejects migration”, he said.
The foundations of Christian life are much stronger in Europe than many people thought, Orbán noted, and added that a lesson he learnt in 2017 was that the primary task of elected political leaders would be the protection of Christianity.
V4 support to Italy
In the interview, the Prime Minister also talked about a Visegrad Group meeting to provide significant help to Italy for stopping migrants at the country’s maritime borders. Various reports show that in the next few years, several ten million people will be migrating primarily from Africa and one of their main routes to Europe will be through Italy. “This must be closed because if Italy is left unprotected then we cannot protect Europe, either,” he added.
Attempts to make EU cohesion funding conditional on meeting certain constitutional requirements are futile because the community’s basic treaty and legal system do not make such a move possible. Hungary has been paying a significant contribution to the EU and has been receiving significant resources. At the same time, the EU also benefited from the funding they granted to Hungary so “actually, they have made money on us,” Orban said.
“Nothing happened that we need to be thankful for,” he said adding that the entire system is based on mutual interests. “The Hungarian economy can operate without EU funding, too,” he said. “The engine of growth is the labour of the Hungarian people, we have world-class workers,” he added. “Hungary doesn’t require anybody’s money. Hungary can stand on its own feet, and if perhaps the financial trends within the EU change, Hungarian economic policy is flexible enough to adapt,” Orbán said.
Regarding the debate over the Eurozone, Viktor Orbán also that so far Hungary had not received any “unrefusable’ offers” of help for the introduction of the common currency, only “weak, modest and worse offers than before”. In order to introduce the euro, a country needs to adjust the real economy to the average of euro-zone countries, which requires a strengthening of funding from the EU cohesion fund, he insisted.