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Orbán: Brussels not doing enough about immigrants

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In the face of the current “migration period”, Europe should remain a place for Europeans, and a “Hungarian Hungary” should be preserved, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said today in an address at the Free University in Bálványos, Romania, that mostly covered immigration, Hungarian online daily origo.hu reported.

Viktor Orbán delivering his speech in Romania today. (Photo: MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)

Speaking at the same venue where he shocked the world last year with a speech promoting “illiberal democracy,” the prime minister once again was critical of the status quo in the European Union.

He said Brussels should do more to defend the EU from the influx of immigrants: “It should be acting as a sovereign power, for which it should further narrow its national sovereignty.”

Orbán added that Hungary was doing the right thing by building 175-km-long, four-meter-high fence on the Serbian border as a way to keep out illegal immigrants, and promised that the fence would be completely built by the end of August.

“What Hungarians are doing is successful but does not match the ideals of the Union, because it strengthens and not weakens national sovereignty, but Hungarians are interested in a strong European Union,” he said. 

Orbán maintained that, for both Hungary and Europe, illegal immigration is a threat to security and a clear drain on the economy. “The influx of immigrants raises unemployment numbers in countries, where those numbers have already been high,” the prime minister said, adding that this is an obvious problem.

He also said there is “correlation” between the influx of immigrants and the spread of terrorism. According to Orbán, “Anglo-Saxon countries” already know that terrorists cannot be filtered out of the masses of immigrants. Citing British Prime Minister David Cameron, Orbán said that this crisis cannot be stopped unless we can stop immigrants at the borders.

The prime minister also spoke about the “national consultation” on immigrants, a survey that was mailed to citizens with questions about immigration. Sent in late April, the questionnaire was criticized for containing leading questions, such as: “Some say that mistaken immigration policies by Brussels contribute to the spread of terrorism. Do you agree?”

In his speech today, Orbán said that out of eight million posted questionnaires, Hungarian voters sent back more than a million. He said two thirds of the respondents consider the question of terrorism important and three fourths believe that immigrants pose a threat to their security and their ability to make a living. Four fifths of the respondents encourage the government to take a different direction from the tolerant policy of Brussels. For example, Orbán said, respondents would support legislation on treating immigrants more strictly and sending them back to their countries in the shortest period of time possible. Some 95% of the respondents believe that rather Hungarian families should be supported instead of immigrants, Orbán said.

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