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Mar 30, 2016

PM Orbán:"The target of the attacks was the European Union"

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán issued a brief statement following the terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 23, 2016.

The operations unit has held a meeting, and we reviewed the situation. We met today in response to the terrorist attacks in Brussels yesterday. Although the attacks took place in Brussels, in the territory of Belgium, today there is agreement throughout Europe that the target of the attacks was not Belgium itself; indeed, why would it have been? The target of the attacks was the European Union. Hungary is a member of the European Union, therefore from a security point of view we should view the incidents in Brussels as an attack which was also directed against Hungary – although we are fortunate that it did not happen in the territory of Hungary. But, as we form part of the territory of the European Union, we must prepare ourselves and must adopt all the measures necessary for eliminating potential risks. We have therefore reviewed what measures we need to implement. Referring to my notes, first of all, we are maintaining the current anti-terrorism measures at Level 2. We have ordered a state of full alert at the headquarters of the Counter Terrorism Centre, and we are maintaining this. We have introduced intensified police surveillance across the whole country. And we shall maintain the state of emergency due to mass migration. In addition, I have instructed the interior minister to prepare for today’s Cabinet meeting all the recommendations which have been the subject of political debate recently and which therefore remained unresolved. These issues include amendment of the Constitution, information exchange between the various services, and the mechanisms which ensure the transmission and collation of such information. We must also implement technological developments. I have asked for a report on the developments – primarily for intelligence gathering – which we had planned in past years, but which we had to postpone for budgetary reasons. We should return all these initiatives to the agenda, and we should join the ranks of countries with the technically best-equipped secret services. We shall procure technology, and conduct training and education. As security measures are being implemented across the entire country, I would like to ask the public to respond to them with patience and understanding, and – should the need emerge – they are requested to cooperate with our authorities.

Prime Minister, of the measures you have just referred to, which will the public experience in their daily lives?

They will see a great many police everywhere, and in particular around the airport. They will also see armoured units and equipment, and from time to time they will also see military police units on patrol. We also need to be concerned with continuously monitoring the equipment we use for the transmission of information.

What is the situation at the borders? Prime Minister, in Brussels last Friday, before the terrorist attacks, you mentioned that the enhanced state of preparedness may be reviewed. What decision has been adopted on this?

For the time being we are maintaining all high-level measures. So downgrading the level of preparedness is not justified in any department. In fact, the situation calls for the opposite. So we are maintaining all existing measures, or are raising the state of preparedness by one level.