PM Orbán discusses European elections, Donald Trump, and national sovereignty in Il Giornale interview

In a detailed interview with Il Giornale, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán covered a wide range of topics, emphasizing Hungary's commitment to sovereignty, conservative values, and a pragmatic approach to European and global politics.

European Parliamentary elections and right-wing coalition

Prime Minister Orbán highlighted the significance of the upcoming European Parliamentary elections. "I expect two main outcomes: the strengthening of democracy and the emergence of a new right-wing majority," he stated. He criticized the current European Commission for failures in multiple areas, including agriculture, the economy, migration, and the Ukraine war, and called for a change in leadership.

Fidesz and European alliances

Discussing Fidesz's potential alliances, Orbán expressed interest in joining the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group led by Giorgia Meloni, while acknowledging potential differences with other member parties, particularly regarding views on the Ukraine war. He also mentioned forming a new significant right-wing coalition in Europe, aiming to make meaningful contributions to the continent.

Stance on the Ukraine war

Addressing Hungary's position on the Ukraine war, PM Orbán clarified that Hungary's proximity to Ukraine and the presence of ethnic Hungarians fighting in the conflict shape their unique stance. "This is not just any war; it's happening on our border," he said. He criticized the European Union's strategy as doomed to fail and warned against escalating the conflict by allowing Ukraine to use European-supplied weapons to attack Russian territory, which he believes could provoke severe Russian retaliation and involve NATO.

Immigration and national sovereignty

Prime Minister Orbán reiterated Hungary's firm stance against illegal immigration, contrasting it with the European Commission's handling of the issue. "From the beginning, I told our European partners: Hungary says no to new illegal immigrants, period," he affirmed. He argued that helping people in their home countries through cooperation and development projects with Africa is a more sustainable solution. "As a Christian, it pains me to see people suffer, but bringing them to Europe is not the answer," he said.

Family policies and demographic challenges

PM Orbán highlighted Hungary's family policies, which have led to an increase in fertility rates, contrasting this success with the demographic winter Italy is currently facing. Still, he said more must be done. "We need systems that protect and support women, with incentives and a family-friendly tax system," he said.

European political landscape and conservative values

The prime minister positioned Hungary as a unique bastion of conservative values in Europe, drawing attention from conservatives around the world. "In a liberal ocean, Hungary is a lone conservative island," he stated. He stressed the importance of preserving freedom of speech and thought in the face of rising political correctness across Europe, which he believes threatens the freedoms of future generations.

Economic independence

Prime Minister Orbán emphasized Hungary's efforts to maintain economic independence by reducing national debt and focusing on national interests despite EU pressures. "High national debt is a problem for national sovereignty. We reduced our debt from 83 percent to 70 percent of GDP before COVID-19," he noted, underscoring the importance of economic self-reliance.

Judicial independence and the rule of law

Addressing accusations against Hungary regarding the rule of law and judicial independence, PM Orbán labeled these as political maneuvers rather than genuine concerns about legal integrity. "Our judicial system was deemed fully independent after a two-year EU investigation," he said.

Giorgia Meloni's leadership

Prime Minister Orbán praised Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, noting her strong character and leadership qualities. "Giorgia Meloni has shown remarkable leadership since taking office, and her role in Europe is now significant," he said, expressing confidence in her ability to make crucial decisions for Europe.

Legacy of Silvio Berlusconi

Reflecting on his friendship with Silvio Berlusconi, PM Orbán appreciated Berlusconi's breaking of politically correct norms and unyielding optimism. "Berlusconi was one of the smartest politicians I've ever met, and I miss him dearly," he shared.

Donald Trump and U.S. politics

Discussing Donald Trump, PM Orbán expressed his belief that Trump could win the upcoming U.S. presidential election. "Trump was the only president who did not engage in war and sought peaceful solutions in the Middle East. I believe that if he becomes president, he could secure a ceasefire in Ukraine within 24 hours and initiate negotiations," he stated, highlighting the need for a non-globalist U.S. leader.

Ilaria Salis case

PM Orbán also addressed the controversial case of Ilaria Salis, defending Hungary's legal treatment and criticizing the political and ideological motives behind the accusations. "She was treated the same as any other detainee in Hungary, and it's not right to play the victim," he stated, assuring that the Hungarian judicial system operates fairly and independently.