PM Orbán in Bild: We didn’t want migrants, you did - now accept the consequences

“We didn’t want migrants, you did,” Prime Minister Orbán said in an interview published this week in the German daily Bild, adding that Germany and Angela Merkel’s infamous Wilkommenskultur were at the forefront of support for immigration. Prime Minister Orbán, however, has pushed for a different approach, insisting that the borders of Europe must be protected to preserve the freedoms achieved within the EU and that illegal immigration has a direct impact on security.

The Bild interview took place during Prime Minister Orbán’s visit last week to Bavaria where he met with Minister-President Horst Seehofer and took part in a meeting of members of the Bundestag from the Christian Social Union. “2018 will be the year for restoring the people’s will in Europe,” the prime minister said, referring to the problem in today’s Europe that certain leaders ignore the people’s will. But “the people’s will is clear,” he said. They do not want to live under the threat of terrorism and they want security.

Just days prior to the prime minister’s visit to Germany, press reported last week on the release of a new study showing a dramatic increase in violent crime and attributing it to illegal migrants. According to Reuters, “Violent crime rose by about 10 percent in 2015 and 2016, a study showed. It attributed more than 90 percent of that to young male refugees.”

Hungary’s staunch position has always been that the response to the migration crisis must begin with protecting Europe’s borders and complying with Schengen regulations. Upholding our responsibility as a member of Schengen, we built a fence and reinforced our border controls, while others celebrated illegality and chaos. In fact, since 2015, Hungary has spent over one billion euros on border protection, while Brussels hasn’t paid a cent to help that effort.

More than one million illegal migrants have entered Germany over the last few years. These people, as PM Orbán said in the Bild interview, are not refugees, but illegal migrants who – by the time they reach the border of Hungary, which is the external border of Schengen – have already passed through four stable countries where there is no war, where these migrants are no longer fleeing for their personal safety.

“Politically, the issue of migration is a European problem, but sociologically it is a German problem,” the prime minister stressed that every migrant wants to live in Germany and “have a German life”.

“You should continue to look upon me as captain of Bavaria’s border stronghold,” PM Orbán told the CSU assembly. “Bavaria’s southern border lies at the Serbian-Hungarian border, and when we protect that border, we also protect Bavaria.”

The Orbán Government has endured much criticism for taking a tough line on illegal immigration and, in particular, for daring to argue that illegal migration poses a threat to European security. The study released last week, which was sponsored by the German government, clearly supports our argument and affirms the strong sentiments of many Hungarian citizens. It’s not a theory and it’s not racist. It’s fact. Illegal immigration contributes to higher crime rates, even violent crime.

“In my view, it is impossible for a government to reject the people’s will on such a fundamental issue,” said the prime minister in the interview. “This is a question of sovereignty and cultural identity.” Our citizens say that we Hungarians should be able to decide for ourselves who gets to live in Hungary and, in the words of the PM, help should be taken where the trouble is, instead of bringing the trouble here.