Interview with Viktor Orbán on the Hungarian radio programme “Sunday News”
25 March 2018
KatalinNagy: In Southern France on Friday four people were killed and fifteen injured by a 25-year-old man of Moroccan origin who took hostages in a supermarket. The attacker belonged to the Islamic State terror organisation. The attack took place on Friday morning, when EU leaders were meeting in Brussels. Viktor Orbán was also taking part in the summit. Yesterday evening we recorded an interview with him.
By way of introduction, I'd just like to ask whether these European Union summits always drag on into the night. Why is this? Are they counting on those who become sleepy leaving early anyway, or are they unable to keep to their timetable?
Viktor Orbán: We might also suspect that the weaker people will drop out, and then the bureaucrats running the sitting can push their plans through more easily. But that would be an uncharitable assumption. It was more a case of there being several leaders who on the morning of our meeting had to attend parliamentary sessions in their own countries. We plan our parliamentary work more astutely, because it falls on Monday, Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday; and then we only have committee meetings in the second half of the week. But this is not the case in every country: it is particularly true for the Germans, with Madam Chancellor sometimes turning up at the summit directly from a parliamentary sitting. But this time there was a special reason for us finishing our first session at around 1:30 a.m., and then starting the second at 9 a.m. We were waiting for a decision from the Americans, as we were in the midst of a very tense situation, because the American president had taken a decision which creates the danger of the outbreak of a trade war. He has announced a rise in tariffs on imported steel and aluminium products. Because of the time difference, which puts us at a six-hour disadvantage – or the Americans at an advantage – we had to wait for his decision. Then that night we started preparing for the continuation of our meeting the next morning. This forced the EU leaders to work late into the night.
How was the question of migration raised? I know there was talk of it in relation to the Bulgarian presidency, and the agreement between Turkey and the EU may have been raised.
It was mentioned on several occasions. This was a leadership summit in which everything we had to deal with was the subject of conflict. We had to talk about the fact that tens of millions of immigrants are threatening us from the South. We had to deal with the subject of Russia, and the fact that to the east of us there is a military conflict. We had to deal with the United States’ decision, which raises the nightmare prospect of a trade war. And we also had to deal with the fact that Brussels is preparing another legislative proposal on immigration. I think that in connection with this Brussels wants to raise tax and divert a significant proportion of EU funds to migrants. We had to deal with all this. The first contribution at the leadership summit was from the Bulgarian prime minister, who reported on his country’s work so far – because in the first half of this year Bulgaria holds the EU presidency. I had to ask to speak, and I had to tell them that we do not support the work that Bulgaria has done to date. We put forward proposed amendments to the new legislative proposal on migration which they have developed. We not only object to the details of this proposed legislation, but also to the general direction, because the proposal presented by them focuses on and aims at the admission and distribution of immigrants. Our standpoint, however, is that Europe is full: its external borders must be defended, and migrants must not be brought in – they must be kept outside Europe. And if we defend the borders and there is no infiltration, then there will be nobody to distribute, and we can put this dispute behind us. I needed to openly and directly say that I do not agree with this direction, and therefore if this same proposal is presented in June – when the decision on it will be made – then I cannot support it. Furthermore, there are specific numbers attached to this migration proposal. They are not broken down by country, but in the proposal there are general indicators for the distribution of migrants. Hungary would have to admit ten thousand migrants immediately. According to the plan, the financial provision for each migrant would be 9 million forints. Hungary would be unable to withstand this: it would completely crush us. Therefore I said that the plan is unacceptable: not only for cultural reasons, and not only for the defence of European culture; but also for financial and economic reasons. It is unacceptable for tens of thousands of migrants to overwhelm a country – for example Hungary – and destroy the economic results that it has finally achieved with such great effort.
Did anyone else speak out in support of the Hungarian prime minister? You have been to many summits now. Have you noticed any change in the attitude towards migration held by the heads of government and state? Has this changed, even a little?
What I can describe to you is that the leaders of the V4 [the Visegrád Group] – the Poles, the Czechs, the Slovaks and the Hungarians – always speak out forthrightly and with appropriate force when required. The Romanians and Bulgarians – the Orthodox countries, if I may call them that – do not speak out, but are with us. The Austrians are with us – or we are with the Austrians. This evokes memories of fine old historical times. I have the feeling that we are sitting in the same boat as our cousins. They are very strongly opposed to migration, but they are not looking for trouble, and they allow me to speak first. And now a dramatic change has taken place in Italy, the consequences of which I can clearly see in Brussels. After the withdrawal of the British there will be three large Member States remaining in the European Union: the Italians, the French and the Germans. In the first breakthrough, which has occurred in Italy, more than three-quarters of people clearly voted against immigration, and every party supporting immigration lost its position in government. In Germany's most recent election the number of those voting against immigration grew, but Angela Merkel managed to retain her position in government – albeit after difficult negotiations, with a government only being formed six months after the election. But in Italy not even this has been achieved: there the pro-migrant parties have clearly failed, and an impasse has emerged. This has not happened before in Europe. Now for the first time I felt the reality of what I have been speaking about for years: that sooner or later the main question in every country will be migration. This cannot be sidestepped: it is happening in spite of censorship – because there is indeed censorship; it is happening in spite of the censorship of news about migration, about terrorism, and about violence against women. In Western Europe these things cannot be spoken about in public. Indeed, we are now seeing the internet being censored: videos dealing with this are being banned and deleted. Those who speak out are being attacked. So despite the fact that the Western European elites want to marginalise and freeze out this question, it will forge its own path; because the nature of democracy is that sooner or later one must deal with those things which are most important to the people. And the most important thing for them is migration: it is accompanied by the danger of terrorism and by crime; women are endangered by it; and their economies are shaken by it. People want to talk about this. As a result of the Italian election, for the first time in Brussels I feel that they’ve realised that they can no longer bury their heads in the sand. But just look at the Hungarian election campaign, too: the same is true here. The instruction has arrived here from Brussels that this subject must not be spoken about – and the opposition parties have obeyed that instruction. They are talking about everything and anything – and of course most of all about each other – but not about the most important question facing the Hungarian nation, the most momentous challenge for Hungarians: migration.
Yes, but a couple of things happened this week. One or two sound recordings were made public. The leaders of organisations controlled and financed by George Soros have been heard speaking about the fact that they collected personal data in border transit zones, that they have a network, and that they have contacts in the Interior Ministry. How do you see this?
I think the most important matter is the starting-point for the war being conducted by the whole Soros Empire. You see, the fact is that when a battle commences, for a while one's attention is dominated by the struggle itself: the spectacle of the clash between the opposing forces. But after a while one loses sight of the reason for the battle. I would like to remind Hungarians that this battle is not being fought for its own sake. The battle is not being fought for the beauty of the struggle – because I could call it a lot of things, though perhaps not beautiful – but because some very important issues lie behind it. The first and most important issue is that George Soros’s network – his empire – is standing together and working together with some large international power centres – such as the headquarters of the United Nations in New York and the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels – with the intention of transforming the whole of Europe into an immigrant continent. Hungary stands in the way of this plan. If they are unable to break Hungary, if they are unable to dismantle the Hungarian border fence, if they are unable to remove a Hungarian government which stands on national foundations, then Hungary will not become an immigrant country: migrants will not come here, and the traditional route along which migrants had been transported into Europe will continue to be unavailable to them. Therefore the first and most important issue at stake in this battle is the transformation of Hungary into an immigrant country. The second issue is security: one must clearly state that there is a link between migration and the threat of terrorism. The third issue is public safety: it is obvious that crime rates rise in areas with high migrant populations. The fourth issue is European culture, which we express as Christian culture, but in reality this refers to our way of life: the way in which European people have lived up to the present day, the rules which until now everyone has accepted, are now being called into question. Masses of people coming from other cultures want to live according to other rules, which we are unable to accept. And finally – and from a certain point of view this is perhaps the most important issue – there is the matter of respect for women. Although in this area we men are not blameless, all European culture is based on the fact that we accept equality between men and women. Men acknowledge that they must behave and conduct their lives regarding women as their equals, and always give them the respect which is due – or even somewhat more. This is the cornerstone of European culture. This will be called into question, however, if Europe is transformed into an immigrant continent by masses of people arriving here from outside cultures. This, therefore, is the essence of the battle. Now of course in this battle everyone uses the instruments at their disposal. What is at our disposal? We have the people: Hungarian people. So I am able to contribute to this battle by exposing the true nature of the opposition: showing why it is fighting, how it is fighting, who the opposition is, and what they want to achieve. After all, George Soros is a financial speculator, and he’s no minor-league player. In the end they will want to get their hands on Hungary’s banking system and its energy sector – as it was before the Fidesz-Christian Democrat government returned them to national ownership. So my task is to try to mobilise people, and alert them to what is going on, to what is happening. What instruments do our opponents have at their disposal? They have concealment: what they want is not what ordinary people want, so they cannot stand up and openly declare what it is they want. Of course there are a few journalists who take on this task, but in the public sphere it is hardly feasible to openly admit to the project to create “Eurabia”, and to encourage people to accept all the consequences arising from that. Therefore they engage in censorship, they keep what they’re doing a secret, and they engage in cover-ups, hiding the people who are acting on their behalf. This is why many people are amazed – I'm not among them, because I’ve been fighting this battle for many years – when evidence comes to light that in Hungary alone they have two thousand paid workers: they have an entire mercenary army working to topple the Government – and me personally – in order to change the future of Hungary. It has emerged that they have journalists, it has emerged that they are embedded in the centres of decision-making. We know this because we have found out who their people are in Brussels, and the nature and details of their relationship with them: how they are paid, how they work, and how they settle their accounts. We have gathered a great deal of knowledge about this network, and we are making this public, because we have a single instrument at our disposal: the glare of public attention.
What will happen to these NGOs after the election?
The package of legislation known as “Stop Soros” has been presented to Parliament, and we shall see that it is passed. And they will have to operate transparently, as we say in politics. If they want to continue their public activities, then they must declare who they receive funding from, how much they have received, and why they have received it. We want to declare the question of immigration and migration to be a matter of national security, and this means that activity in this field may only be carried out by those organisations which have received permission to do so. Whoever seeks to support immigration will not receive permission to deal with migrants in Hungary. And my personal opinion is that George Soros would be better off going home to America and delighting Americans over there, rather than trying to change the fate of Hungary.
There will be a general election in Hungary in two weeks’ time. Here every day we hear the “more democratic” opposition saying that the aim of the election is to remove the Orbán government and to dismantle the system of national cooperation, while Fidesz says that there is more to it than that.
We want to play fair, and that is what we are doing. We are trying to expose the manipulative techniques with which George Soros is mobilising the opposition. As we see it, this opposition is not a sovereign independent opposition: we see them as carrying out the instructions of George Soros. The personal and financial links are completely clear, the alignment of goals is also obvious, and we are not slow in pointing out that they are working in Hungary in the interest of George Soros, and they are trying to realise his goals. The most important of these now are dismantling the border fence and bringing immigrants into Hungary. For this reason when we look at this election we look to the end, when the opposition parties will unite; because I have no doubt that this will happen. At that point, in each constituency there will be a candidate who represents the national government, the Fidesz-KDNP candidates, the parliamentary candidates for the national forces; and there will be one other candidate who in fact is George Soros’s candidate. Whatever opposition party colours that candidate is running under, they will be prepared to implement the plans which have been drafted well in advance, and vote for those laws which could truly serve to make Hungary an immigrant country. When they say that they want to dismantle the current system and the system of national cooperation, one must interpret it as them wanting to dismantle the border fence and wanting to make Hungary an immigrant country. We must focus – as I am now – on not letting attention stray from this subject, because the Hungarian future hinges on this. This is why we say that we must make a decision which cannot be repeated or corrected if we make a mistake: if once we let in migrants, we will not be able to send them away. Perhaps my analogy is not too tasteful, but it is accurate: once the toothpaste has come out of the tube, however skilful and strong one is, one will not be able to get it back in; if the dam wall bursts, the water will flood in on us. For this reason we need a government which protects our future, that does not allow the country’s deep structure, culture and national composition to change, but that preserves it; this is why we say that our goal is to preserve Hungary as a Hungarian country. My task is to make it clear to people that for as long as I am the Prime Minister of Hungary, for as long as they place their trust in me, Hungary shall not be an immigrant country, and I shall do everything in my power – as I have done up to now – to ensure that Hungary remains a Hungarian country.
Perhaps the people, the voters, need to be reminded about what has happened over the past eight years. Does Fidesz plan to speak about these results?
We have been thinking about this a great deal. When I speak in public, and when I meet people, I also grapple with the question of how much I should speak about the challenges of the future, and how much about the results achieved so far. Without any immodesty, I can say that from a country and an economy that was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy – as Hungary was in 2010 – we have built a new Hungarian economic system which is not based on welfare benefits, but on work. This has been thanks to the joint efforts of ten million people, and so we owe a debt of gratitude to the Hungarian people. I always devote a sentence just to saying that in Hungary in 2010 we had mass unemployment: unemployment was running at around 10–12 per cent. When in 2010 I was entrusted with the formation of a government for the second time, everyone here told me to understand that if there is work there is everything; and so I should focus the country’s strength on the creation of jobs. Well, we committed to creating one million new jobs within ten years. In Hungary today what is emerging is not unemployment, but a shortage of labour, and we are very close to achieving full employment. I shall do everything possible to ensure that this happens. Therefore I always tell pensioners that we have kept to our agreement with them. Unlike the previous social liberal governments, which eroded pensions, I promised that we would protect the value of pensions. And I think that we have done more than this with the pension premium and pension increases. So I think that pensioners can justifiably think that they have not been forgotten, that their needs are being attended to, and that they are receiving the respect due to every person based on the years that they have worked. So these are the things that I usually mention briefly. But to put it plainly, I do not want to talk about this at length in public, because I understand my own kind. One half of our family is from the Province of Pannonia, while the other half is from the Land of the Huns. So I feel that I know quite a lot about the Hungarian people and about Hungary. I recognise the reflex according to which a Hungarian sees that what already exists is a “done deal”: what more is there to talk about? And if we talk too much about it, then people will accuse us of boasting, and ask us why we need to swagger around. So in Hungary talking about political achievements is a very risky activity, because the people's spirit is not attuned to that, but rather to the attitude of: “Alright, but what next? What already exists is all well and good, but how will things be better, how will there be more, and how can we move even further forward?” Therefore I focus my words more on the future, and therefore I want to speak more and at greater length about the dangers which threaten us from the future, and how we can protect that which we have already achieved, rather than the results already seen. This doesn't mean that I underestimate the results which the country has achieved in recent years. It’s just that in the course of my life of fifty-odd years I have learnt that one must speak to Hungarians in their own language.
You have been listening to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.