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Europe is locked in a “civilisational struggle” between those seeking to preserve the continent’s Christian and national principles and those who would rather see it become “post-Christian and post-national”, Hungary’s parliamentary speaker said in Dresden on Friday.

Central Europe holds the key to the future of a Europe that seeks to return to its Christian and national roots, László Kövér was quoted as saying by parliament’s press office at a conference organised by the Saxony state parliament. In his address, Kövér added that the region could set an example for western Europe.

He said that although the struggle Europe was going through was “nothing new”, the “intensity of the ideological aggression displayed by those who want to see the end of Europe’s Christian and national era” was a new aspect. The speaker said those on this side of the struggle had deployed “astounding weapons such as, for example, the mass migration wave thrust onto Europe”.

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Kövér said Europe was “the target of ideological carpet bombing”.

Those who want to put an end to the era of Christianity, nations and nation states in Europe to further their own power goals are inciting and preaching anti-Christianity in the name of value neutrality, anti-national sentiments in the name of multiculturalism, and anti-state views in the name of globalism.”

Kövér said central Europe was experienced in this area, arguing that the region had spent more than four decades “under the rule of an anti-Christian and anti-nation power called the Soviet Union”.

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This was why, Kövér speculated, central Europe was better at recognising threats than the western part of the continent. “And this could also explain why central Europe is becoming more valuable; why its nations are bolstering their cooperation and why their national identity is getting stronger with the deepening of Europe’s civilizational struggle,” the speaker added.

In the 20th century, we, central Europeans believed that what had given us strength in periods of crisis was that Europe was our future. But in the 21st century, it looks like we find strength in central Europe … being the future of Europe.”

Abandoning Christian and national values comes with severe moral, political and economic consequences, Kövér warned, insisting that the European Union’s “demographic decline“, the deterioration of the middle class’s income situation and the indebtedness of the EU’s member states were signs of this.

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He said the EU’s current leadership was looking to resolve the bloc’s demographic problems by integrating illegal migrants “and isn’t doing anything to establish a financial and cultural intellectual community that would strengthen the social situation of traditional families.”

Kövér said intra-European migration was not a solution to the demographic challenges, either, underlining that the EU’s labour policy was allowing the more prosperous western member states to drain central and eastern Europe of the “biological resources it needs in order to survive”.

The speaker said the only solution was ensuring a fertility rate of 2.1 across all member states, which could only be done via the right family and social policy.

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Kövér said the EU’s leadership had also failed to correctly respond to the worsening income situation of the middle class. Instead of urging a “national taxation policy”, he said, the EU was increasing the burdens on the middle class.

Meanwhile, Kövér said, member states were accumulating more and more public debt because the EU favoured seeing “their chosen multinational companies” reap the profits of the European market. The speaker said the EU was “incapable of effectively representing the interests of European taxpayers against those of the international creditors interested in indebting European countries”.

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He said the EU was in need of a turnaround and should return to its Christian and national roots and “right its own internal democratic balance”.