PM Orbán: Europe should adopt the Austrian model where the center-right and right cooperate

"The problem of the European elite is that they do not believe in the power of the individual, the leader. They regard leaders who are able to inspire the people as dangerous," PM Orbán said

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that Europe should adopt the Austrian model where the center-right and right cooperate.

During an interview with Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, the Prime Minister said that from Budapest’s perspective this cooperation appears to be successful. There is stability, there are economic goals, there is tax reduction, and it seems that good things are happening in Austria, he said.

According to Kormany.hu, the Prime Minister said of the Freedom Party Vice-Chancellor that he stands out in the “decadent” European political field. This decadence manifests itself in that the elite does not believe in the power of political action, and “quite simply they just want to pedal on as they have done to date, and resist when something new comes along,” he added.

"The problem of the European elite is that they do not believe in the power of the individual, the leader. They regard leaders who are able to inspire the people as dangerous," PM Orbán said.

In answer to a question concerning Fidesz’s European People’s Party membership, the Prime Minister said that there is a risk of a final break with the European Christian democrats, but this is not something they want.

Christian democrats in Europe, but in particular in Germany are shifting towards the left. If things continue like this, and they continually enter into coalition with the Left, the socialists, then they will have to make compromises and will lose their identity. Christian democrats must, at the end of the day, be Christian, and must represent a Christian stance also on the issues of family and national identity, he said.

“I see great opportunities in the parties which are gaining in strength – as you say – on the peripheries. They represent Christian values, though they do not call themselves Christian democrats,” PM Orbán added.

In this context, the Prime Minister also spoke about the politics of Marine Le Pen, leader of the French right-wing National Rally.

France is a secular state, so is Mrs Le Pen’s politics, he said. They do not want Islam to make gains. They see Christian culture as a priority, defend families and the nation state. “I like these notions, but in the People’s Party this provoked criticism because the EPP would like to go left. This will have two consequences: First of all, the loss of identity, and secondly, that economically they will build a socialist Europe where international competitiveness will be lost. […] Tax increases, over-regulation, an army of bureaucrats and debts spread over the community. The Austrians and the Germans will pay the price for that,” PM Orbán warned.

The Prime Minister spoke about the liberal network penetrating the whole of Europe, a network comprised of civil-society organizations, think tanks, the media, left-wing intellectual, universities and politicians. He said if they start attacking a politician, they make his life very difficult.

“This is why some right-wing politicians are very careful not to earn the wrath of that network. It is due to such tactics that the ability to speak from the heart has disappeared from European politics,” he took the view.

PM Orbán highlighted in connection with a question concerning illiberal democracy: “There are three things that set us apart from the liberals. The first one is the conviction that family is fundamental. And family is based on one man and one woman. This needs to be protected. The liberals say there is no need for that. For them family is sometimes like this, sometimes like that, like a board game.”

The second one is that in culture we say that while the cultural life of every country is diverse, a leading cultural tradition is present everywhere. There is a German word for that: Leitkultur. In Hungary this is Christian culture. We respect other cultures. But our own has a prominent role for us, and it is our responsibility to preserve it. “And the third thing that is important is that liberal democrats are pro-immigration. We illiberals are against immigration. You could call illiberals Christian democrats,” he said.

In answer to a question related to Europe’s future, the Prime Minister drew attention to the fact that unless we are careful now, the fates of Western and Central Europe could become detached due to the consequences of migration as the children – Christians or Muslims – who are coming to this world today will be adults in 18 years’ time, and in 18 years’ time westerners will not be like us. These will be not simply political, but civilisational differences, the Prime Minister concluded, taking the view that it will be very difficult to keep Europe together under such circumstances.

PM Orbán also highlighted that the EU has the highest popularity rate in Hungary, and in his view the reasons for this are not economic, but of a spiritual nature.

“When we entered the European Union, everyone thought that we were back at home, in the family. In Hungary this is a very strong spiritual commitment. […] Hungarians are incurably pro-European,” he said. He added that at the same time, Hungarians differentiate between Europe and the Brussels eurocrats, and do not like the politicians leading the EU because they feel that Brussels does not give the nation states the respect they deserve; they can see that the Brussels migration policy is destroying the Europe they have fallen in love with.

Regarding illegal immigration, the European Commission and some EU Member States, the French, the Germans, the Scandinavians and the Benelux countries want to manage migration, in contrast to Central Europeans who want to stop it. Our question is not about co-existence, but about how to prevent this from becoming a question at all, PM Orbán stated.