PM Orbán: Europe’s security depends on Salvini’s “historic mission”

It is Matteo Salvini’s mission to prove that migration can be stopped not only on land but also at sea, said Prime Minister Orbán, adding that even though Hungary has already shown the world that immigrants can be stopped at the border, Brussels’ migration policy still focuses on “managing” the crisis instead of putting an end to the influx of intruders.

The prime minister’s comments followed his meeting in Milan on Tuesday with Italian Interior Minister Salvini where the two agreed that migration remains the most pressing issue in today’s Europe. 

Before Hungary established its more rigorous migration policy and built the fence along its portion of Europe’s external, Schengen border, many swallowed the argument that it is legally and physically impossible to put an end to illegal immigration in Europe. But Hungary proved them wrong, Prime Minister Orbán said, demonstrating that it is indeed possible to stop illegal immigration on land. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Italy’s Minister Salvini, PM Orbán said, is determined to prove them wrong on the other front, taking on a “historic mission” to prove that migration can be halted not only on land, but also at sea. “No other country by the sea has undertaken this endeavor before,” Prime Minister Orbán said, adding poignantly that Europe’s security depends on the interior minister’s success.

“He is my hero, and also a comrade-in-arms,” said Prime Minister Orbán, “and I have some experience that I can share with him,” advising that Salvini should “hold on” and disregard the “horrible things” people will say about him. If he can hold on, Orbán continued, he can prove that it is possible to stop maritime migration.

Regarding the migrants who are already in Europe, PM Orbán said that they have to be sent home and not re-distributed among EU member states, otherwise Europe would be accepting that the human traffickers “have won” and that would give rise to even stronger waves of immigration. Hungary argues that help must be taken to the trouble spots, rather than bringing the trouble to Europe.

Responding to a question on the upcoming European Parliament elections next May, Prime Minister Orbán stressed that “we need a new Commission and a new European Parliament” for the sake of better border protection and putting an end to illegal migration.

Concerning the future composition of the next European Parliament, the prime minister warned that two camps have emerged: one led by French President Emmanuel Macron, who sets his sights on “blowing up” the European People’s Party, and those of us who want to stop illegal migration. 

“This is a fierce debate, and we would like our position to prevail,” PM Orbán said, reiterating that, as always, he stands with the camp that represents the interests of European citizens who reject migration.