Following Tuesday’s European Parliament debate on the situation in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared that the issue of migration is dividing the European People’s Party (EPP), which is trying to please the social democrats and liberals, so that they can form a new coalition with them following next year’s elections.
In relation to the European People’s Party, the Prime Minister explained that the EPP must “find its way back to the path marked out by the founders and Helmut Kohl, and to the values, directions, courage and character which will ensure that the Christian approach – the Christian conservative approach – also has a party in European politics, and that people who think this way are also represented in Europe. Because that is not the case today”.
Mr. Orbán said that in his opinion the EPP is in trouble: “in recent years we have lost our character and abandoned the teachings of our founding fathers. We have become a European party political family with no character, that has no independent will, that is constantly cautious and measuring its own steps – while to all intents and purposes we are dancing to the tune of the socialists and liberals.” In his opinion the European People’s party only has one goal: “to avoid – heaven forbid – being castigated in the European press or in European forums”.
Speaking about his recent talks with Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini, the Prime Minister said that the defence of borders is not a party political issue, and that “To me and to Hungary it is irrelevant whether a government that wants to protect its borders is to the right of us or to the left of us. The only thing that matters is that it wants to protect Europe’s borders – because those are our common borders.”
He made it clear that he “will always cooperate with all governments – regardless of their party composition – in order for us to be able to jointly protect the borders of Europe ”, adding that “This is all that it is worth knowing about the cooperation between the Hungarian government and the Italian government”.
Mr. Orbán called the European Parliament debate on the Sargentini Report “absurd”, arguing: “A few months ago – perhaps five months ago, in April – there was an election in Hungary. The Hungarian people decided what should happen, and during the election campaign we discussed all of the issues – including CEU, the NGOs, and all of the important political issues. And the people decided on these issues. And now the European Parliament is taking upon itself the task of overruling the decision made by the people of Hungary, and forcing the Hungarian government to implement what they are attempting to impose on us in place of the people’s decision.”
According to the Hungarian prime minister, “in communist times we were spoken to like that – in the style that some people indulged in today. Sermonising, threats and exclusion from the world of civilised people is the communist style – even if we are not in the Soviet Union, but the European Parliament.”
(MTI, photo: Balázs Szecsődi, )