Viktor Orbán's press conference after the announcement of referendum results [full text in English]
Budapest, October 2, 2016
Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to welcome those who are here with us, as well as those who are following events on TV. I would like to make a brief summary here, in the light of the results. Thirteen years after we decided to join the European Union with a large majority in a referendum, tonight once again the Hungarian people made their voice heard on a European matter. We have achieved an excellent result today, because we have surpassed the result of the referendum on Hungary’s accession. In the accession referendum, 3 million 56 thousand people voted to join, and we currently stand at 3 million 204 thousand – and we have yet to hear about the bulk of the votes of Hungarians from beyond the borders. And here I should perhaps also add that some 15% more people voted in this referendum than the last European parliamentary election, so our weapon will be strong enough in Brussels as well.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to congratulate everyone, and to express my gratitude to those who, having appreciated the significance of the matter in hand, took part in the referendum. They came and contributed to the emergence of this enormous understanding of more than three million people. As regards those who voted, today nine out of ten people decided in favour of Hungary’s right to make sovereign decisions. We may be proud, I believe we may be proud that as the first Member State of the European Union, and the only one so far, the Hungarian people had the opportunity to state their opinion on the issue of immigration. This is how it had to be; what’s more, this has been the fair procedure. Given that this issue was not yet on the agenda at the last parliamentary election in 2014, citizens were unable to express a position, an opinion on this matter at that time. But, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is perhaps the most important issue for the years ahead, the future of Hungary, the future of our children and grandchildren: whom we should live together with; what will happen to our culture; what will happen to our way of life and our economic system, revived with great effort; and what will happen to our Christian roots.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
There is a modern-day population movement in progress around the world. The waves of this have reached Europe, spectacularly and painfully. The question now is what the response of the European Union will be. The EU’s proposal is that we should let the migrants in, and that it should mandatorily distribute them among the Member States, and that Brussels should decide on this distribution.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Hungarian people have considered this proposal today, and they have rejected it. The Hungarian people have decided that we Hungarians alone may decide on whom we wish to live together with. Brussels or Budapest, that was the question, and we decided that the right to make that decision lies exclusively with Budapest. We have set out on a path today. It will be a long path. We have taken the first and most important step. On this long path, hard battles and fierce conflicts await us. Now, after celebrating, we have to do two things in order to enforce the will of the people. First of all, we must lend constitutional force to the people’s decision. Therefore, in the next few days I shall submit a proposal on constitutional amendment to the Hungarian parliament. I believe that we must represent the will that the people have declared today and lay it down in our Fundamental Law. The other urgent task we must accomplish is to enforce today’s decision in Brussels as well.
Brussels, too, is on the verge of an important decision. It is now Brussels which is about to make an important decision. The European Union is a democratic community. Today 92% of those who voted in a referendum in a Member State have said that they do not agree with Brussels’ intention. The question is simple: can Brussels, can the democratic community of European states impose its will upon a Member State in which it has been opposed by 92% of those who voted in a referendum? I promise you, I promise every citizen of Hungary, that I shall do everything in my power to stop this from happening. Once again, thank you for voting in the referendum, thank you for your attendance, your votes and your support. I shall continue to rely on you in the future also, and you, too, may rely on the Government, Fidesz, the Christian Democratic People’s Party, and naturally, on myself as well.
Go Hungary, go Hungarians!