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Mar 08, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: We won’t compromise on migration and the protection of Christian culture

In his regular Friday morning interview on Kossuth Radio earlier today, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addressed the ruling party’s relations with the EPP, his call for a new council of interior ministers to handle immigration and the implementation of the family support package.

Kicking off this morning’s interview, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that although Manfred Weber’s three-point ultimatum is a pressing question, there’s something even more important today: it's International Women’s Day. “God bless all women!” PM Orbán said.

Then turning to the other story of the day, the PM said:

“Europe is currently undergoing a transformation…migration has changed our life.” This transformation touches the European Union, he said, but it also has upended the traditional left-right division in European politics. That landscape is being replaced by a new one, a contest between pro-migration MEPs and those who don’t support migration. 

“We won’t compromise on the issue of the protection of Christian culture and migration. Everything else is open for discussion,” Prime Minister Orbán said.

On the three-point ultimatum set out by Manfred Weber for Fidesz to remain in the European People’s Party (EPP), PM Orbán said that even though there is a chance that in the end Fidesz will find its place outside the EPP, he’d still prefer to reform the group to accommodate anti-migration forces. If we were to start something new, the PM added, “of course, Poland will be the first place where we’ll negotiate.” Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party is not a member of the EPP, PM Orbán reminded, then announced that Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of PiS will address the official March 15th celebrations next Friday in Budapest.

On the issue of border protection and the handling of migration challenges, the prime minister said that over the last four years the European Commission has been unable to tackle the problems caused by immigration.

“This is why I recommend establishing a council comprising interior ministers of Schengen countries,” PM Orbán said, reiterating the proposal he raised in last Sunday’s interview in Die Welt. The council, a body based on member state authority, should have the appropriate power to find the most effective solutions for the problem of migration and to make Europe a safer place.

Responding to a statement by Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, saying that the migration crisis is now over, Prime Minister Orbán said that “migration is not like a pimple that just disappears after a while.” Instead, it’s a phenomenon that will affect our lives and even the lives of our children, he added.

“Hungarians are lucky because our young people want more babies,” the prime minister said, turning to the family support package announced last month. The demographic problem should be solved within the country. We must identify and eliminate the obstacles. The family support package, he said, is all about creating a family-friendly environment in Hungary, where young couples can decide whether they would like to have more children without worrying so much about the financial burdens that come with it.

Four points in the family protection policy -- interest-free loans, extension of the home ownership discounts, mortgage deduction, and support for automobile purchase -- will become available in July, said Prime Minister Orbán. The tax exemption for mothers with at least 4 children and childcare allowance for grandparents will enter in force in the beginning of 2020, while the daycare development program is an ongoing process.