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Jan 11, 2019

PM Orbán: Immigration will be the defining issue of the next 15-20 years in Europe

The prime minister said Hungary can be proud that it was the first country to prove that migration can be stopped on land, and for a long time not even countries with maritime borders attempted to achieve such a feat

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has warned of two civilisations in Europe, “one mixed Muslim-Christian in the West, and one traditional European-Christian in Central Europe.”

The prime minister said immigration will be the defining issue of the next 15-20 years in Europe, arguing that the population growth rates of Africa and Asia were higher than their population retention rates.

He said that Hungary can be proud that it was the first country to prove that migration can be stopped on land, and for a long time not even countries with maritime borders attempted to achieve such a feat.

The prime minister said Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini was the first to say that this could be done, PM Orbán said, adding that this had made Salvini a “hero” in his eyes.

PM Orbán said migration has already brought about significant changes in terms of Europe’s future. In some countries it is already clear that their civilizations will be mixed going forward, and it is only a question of how the people will coexist.

Migration in western Europe is a question of coexistence, PM Orbán said. But in central Europe the debate is centered on “how we can prevent a situation like the one that can already be seen in western Europe,” he added.

During the two-hour long press conference, PM Orbán touched upon most topical issues currently concerning Hungary and Europe, emphasizing the stability and outstanding growth of the country's economy.

The prime minister said GDP growth for 2018 is expected to come in around 4.6 percent - more than twice the European average. He also pointed out that state debt has been reduced to 71 percent of GDP and the budget deficit was contained at two percent.

PM Orbán said that for political reasons many foreign analysts tend to underestimate the performance of the Hungarian economy in their forecasts and this will be especially true in 2019, a pivotal year with European parliamentary elections coming up in May.

Referring to the amendment of the labor law - increasing allowed overtime to 400 hours from a previous 250 – PM Orbán said that contrary to the opposition's claims the modification "gives (more) freedom to employees".

Referring to Italian minister of interior Matteo Salvini's recent visit to Poland, PM Orbán said the birth of a "Polish-Italian axis" is further reason to hope that in the next European Parliament the European People's Party will have more allies who stand against migration.