Feb 28, 2016

PM Orbán in State of the Nation speech: 'Europe can and must be protected'

Standing fast to the conviction that the European Union’s failed migration policy must be opposed and that Europe, with its common values and common history, must be protected, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in his annual State of the Nation speech today, said, “Brussels must be stopped.”

“It is not yet too late for the European elites to understand the message of General De Gaulle: politics have to be based on realities and one can only act for an idea through realities,” the prime minister said, quoting the late French president, in the speech delivered Sunday afternoon in Budapest. “Realities are not limits of freedom,” he said, for “against reality, freedom cannot be achieved, only political delirium and political cocaine high.”

In the early weeks of 2015, Prime Minister Orbán was already talking about mass migration and how it would endanger Europe. A year later, it has become reality. “Modern-day mass migration has become a historical fact,” he noted, adding that it is also a reality that “those, who arrive here have no intention of assuming our culture.” The “missing workplaces cannot be filled with them” and European nations have failed to integrate the migrants who arrived over a much longer period of time in the past decade. The prime minister warned of an increasing clash between an aging Europe and the migrants now arriving.

While standing firm on his criticism of Europe’s response to the migration crisis, the prime minister also expressed sympathy for the plight of the migrants themselves, calling them “victims”.

“We should hardly blame the migrants, though, as they are victims as well: of their governments, of their collapsing systems, of the human traffickers,” he said. “The problem is that we, Europeans do not act according to our interests. It is as if a captain of a ship that’s about to crash would not attempt to avoid the crash but instead would designate which lifeboats are the non-smoking ones. It’s as if we were debating how much water could get into which cabin.”

For Europe to act according to its own interest, it must have a sober view of what migration on this scale means for Europe. “Whether we like it or not, the migration of masses is never of a peaceful nature,” he said, adding that throughout history, the migrating masses never moved from one place to another to assume the other’s culture but because they needed land.

Europe should be capable of protecting itself, said PM Orbán, explaining that there “is a lot worthy of protecting: common values, common history…equal rights of men and women. Europe is Hellas, not Persia. It is Rome, it is Christianity, not a Caliphate,” he said, quickly adding that it is not a question of which is better or worse. The point is that these values and cultures are different.

What we have today “is the most bizarre coalition in history, between human traffickers, human rights activists and European leaders,” he said, adding that “from the South, the Greek push, while from the North, the German Mermaid-voices seduce the masses,” while only the Balkans states and Hungary protect the borders of Europe. “We will teach both Brussels and the human traffickers that Hungary is a sovereign country and one can only enter its territory if he keeps our laws and obeys our uniformed men.”

On the EU’s migration policy, Prime Minister Orbán was unequivocal.

“Brussels must be stopped,” he said, explaining that European politicians have decided to “redistribute the invited migrants” among the member states. The prime minister made it clear that he does not mean the first round of resettlement, which would relocate 120 thousand migrants throughout Europe, a decision that was “made over the head of the national sovereignty represented by the prime ministers” at the European Council. Instead, Hungary is turning to the people for support in a referendum against a new proposal, expected from the EU at the March summit, that would attempt to set up a permanent relocation mechanism. “How do we stop this? Let’s turn for support to the basis of European democracy: the people’s will.”

“We cannot let Brussels place itself above the law…We cannot let them force us to import their failed migration policy,” he said. “Hungary will not import criminal activity, homophobia, terrorism and anti-Semitism…We will not have no-go zones, burning refugee camps, bands on the hunt for our wives and daughters.”

The fight is not easy. “The voice against Hungary is blunt, crude and aggressive,” and some use financial blackmail. On the latter, PM Orbán said that the “reality is that we don’t owe each other a dime: Hungary, after 45 years of Communism, bled out and weak, opened its markets [to European companies]. As much as they brought in here, they also took out.”

“We will not abandon Europe despite its every weakness,” said Orbán, adding that the survival of Europe should be similarly important regardless of whether one believes in “liberty, equality and fraternity” or “God, nation and family” and “faith, hope and love.” Europe can be and must be protected.

Sunday’s speech marks Prime Minister Orbán’s 18th State of the Nation Speech, a tradition he began in 1999 during his first term as prime minister of Hungary.