Jul 03, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: If Hungary wants peace, it must take action against migration

“We must resist the pressure to allow people into the country without proper controls,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán this morning. The PM also said that Central Europe is ready to help the southern member states in the current economic crisis.

“The key to success is in us, and although we have won the first wave of the epidemic,” said Prime Minister Orbán in his regular Friday morning radio interview, but “we have only won the battle, not the war.” This year, he added, selecting a holiday destination in Hungary is the best decision, and choosing to visit Lake Balaton instead of the sea.

As to ongoing travel restrictions and border control amidst the coronavirus, the prime minister said, “We must resist the pressure to allow people into the country without proper controls,” adding that Hungary is not admitting citizens from non-EU countries, except for Serbia, because doing so would put the health of Hungarian citizens at risk. People from other countries can, however, use the humanitarian corridor to travel across the country.

On the topic of migration, PM Orbán said that “the activity of human smugglers has increased, but the intensification of migration cannot be allowed to exacerbate the current health emergency either. Border protection is now also health protection.”

The prime minister also noted that in European cities, such as Vienna and Strasbourg, there have been riots and gang wars. In the region of Central Europe, the prime minister said, it would be unimaginable for those in power to abandon the police, “not now and not in the future.”

“We need our police, we need our soldiers," the prime minister said emphasizing that “if Hungary wants peace, it must take action against migration.”

Previous general elections and national consultations have strengthened the government's position on migration, he said. Regarding the current national consultation, it “is more about the epidemic and the economy. Several EU countries are in serious trouble, although many do not believe this at home.”

“There are very serious public debt problems in some countries; these countries are not competitive. And he who is indebted and not competitive makes himself vulnerable,” Orbán said.

The economies of Central Europe, however, are financially sound. “The current EU aid package is aid we can provide to the south. The situation in the whole of Central Europe has changed, and now we will be helping the southern member states,” the PM said, adding that this new agreement on the recovery fund “needs to be a morally acceptable agreement, so now some hard discussions are taking place with Brussels.”

Finally, talking about the Hungarian budget for 2021, PM Orbán said that “the Hungarian budget to be adopted on Friday is based on a solid foundation, but now we must fight for jobs. The year 2020 has been difficult. But not only is there light at the end of the tunnel, we can even see the possibility of coming out of this situation stronger,” he concluded.