PM Orbán: “Migrant armies” are banging on Europe’s doors

Prime Minister Orbán said that we are living in the “age of epidemics and migration,” so we must prepare for tackling immigration and fending off new viruses.

Speaking on Kossuth Rádió this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán laid out the reasons why he plans to “toughen up” Hungary’s stance on migration, as we are living in the “the age of epidemics and migration.” The main question now, he said, is whether we can continue doing things in the same way that we used to before the coronavirus crisis.

According to the PM, this is particularly important when it comes to migration, because “migrant armies are banging on Europe’s doors, on the doors that seal off migration routes on land and at sea.” Last year, roughly 10,000 illegal border-crossing attempts were intercepted on Hungary’s southern border fence. In 2021, this number will reach 38,000. That’s nearly four times as many.

“Today, migration is not yet the main topic of discussion,” PM Orbán observed, stating that “in the Hungarian government’s view, there is no such thing as good migration, there is only bad migration.” This is why Hungary seeks to take help to where it’s needed the most, instead of bringing the trouble over here. “Migration policy should not focus on letting migrants in, but offering temporary help to those in trouble,” the prime minister said.

Shifting the focus of the radio interview, Prime Minister Orbán said that while the government aims to increase the minimum wage to HUF 200,000, “good intentions can easily bear opposite results.” The PM explained that a sudden, irresponsible wage hike could lead to people losing their jobs and rendering smaller firms unable to cover the rising salaries. “This is why we must first come to an agreement with the representatives of small and medium-sized firms,” PM Orbán said.

“There are 137,000 people in Hungary who have not been vaccinated [with the second dose]. We are asking them to do so; otherwise, we will have to erase their immunity certificates,” the PM said, adding that adults are responsible for their own and their children’s fate.

Concluding with the topic of personal income tax refunds, the prime minister said that if Hungary’s 2021 GDP growth exceeds 5.5 percent, then families with children will get back the entire amount of personal income tax paid this year. “This amount was earned by the people, so in the case of good economic performance, it is only logical that those who worked for it get it back. “We will insert a question about the measure into the upcoming national consultation,” the PM said, adding that he expects there will be certain voices who disagree.