Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that if Hungary avoids becoming an “immigrant country”, it will prosper, but otherwise it will “regress, decline and stagnate”.
The prime minister made the remarks during his speech at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annual opening session on Tuesday.
“In order for Hungary to be able to do anything in the next four years,” no migrant should be allowed into the country, the border fence has to be protected, he said. “Brussels should be made to pay” for at least half of the costs of Hungary’s border fence and “everyone actively involved in organizing immigration” should be banned from the country, he added.
PM Orbán said that under the EU’s most recent proposal on managing migration, Hungary would have to take in more than 10,000 people, and when counting family reunifications, its implementation would cost the central budget an annual 90 billion HUF (286.6m EUR).
He said Hungary is performing better today because “we didn’t let anyone strip us of the freedom to make decisions for ourselves, because we would be in dire straits if Brussels or the IMF made decisions of national importance.”
The prime minister said that since his government came to power in 2010, the IMF has been “sent home”, Hungary paid off its loans to the IMF and the EU and the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.8 percent, with “full employment being at arm’s reach”.
He also highlighted how the budget deficit has been kept below 3 percent over the past six years and public debt has been reduced.
The prime minister also gave an outline of central European infrastructure investment projects, including the upgrade of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line and plans to build high-speed rail lines to connect Budapest and Warsaw and Budapest and Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár).
PM Orbán said that if he was re-elected to a third consecutive term in office, he and his economic policymakers would work to ensure that Hungary has the second-lowest unemployment rate in Europe behind the Czech Republic.
The prime minister also highlighted the four pillars of Hungary’s economic model: the country’s competitiveness, its labor-based economy and its demographic and identity policies. He said it was important for Hungarian entrepreneurs that the next government’s economic policy represent the interests of Hungarian businesses.
“The protection of our national independence is the alpha and omega of this [requirement],” he said.