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ORBÁN: ‘MIGRATION ISSUE DOES NOT RECOGNISE PARTY BORDERS’

 

The Polish-Italian axis is “one of the best things to happen,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told an international press conference. “This means for us that the governing and anti-immigration forces to the right of the EPP are looking for forms of cooperation. It is good news because the EPP is looking for pro-immigration allies,” he said. Orbán noted that Fidesz is a member of the EPP and added that “loyalty in Hungary is a political value”. “As long as we are [in the EPP] — hopefully for a long time — we will always be loyal to our party family”. At the same time, he added, the issue of migration “does not recognise party borders” and requires the cooperation of governments. The prime minister said he was always ready to meet Salvini if the migration issue justified doing so and as long as Salvini was responsible for migration issues in Italy.
Migration has already brought about significant changes in terms of Europe’s future, Orbán said. In some countries it is already clear that their civilisations will be mixed going forward, and it is only a question of how the people will coexist, he added. Migration in western Europe is a question of coexistence, Orbán said. But in central Europe the debate is centred on “how we can prevent a situation like the one that can already be seen in western Europe”, he added.
Orbán said migration had driven western and central Europe far apart, adding that the question was how they can remain united “now that they’ve chosen such different futures”. A homogeneous European civilisation is being replaced by two civilisations: one that builds its future on the coexistence of Islam and Christianity, and the central European model which continues to conceive Europe “as a Christian civilisation”, Orbán said.
The issue of migration was dismantling the EU’s structure and was also behind Brexit. All liberal democrats, Orbán said, were pro-migration, he added. Commenting on the European parliamentary elections, he said “the Hungarian version of the Spitzenkandidat system” was being realised, given that the top official on the Fidesz-KDNP list was Hungary’s nominee for European commissioner [László Trócsányi, the current minister of justice] and would thereby enjoy democratic legitimacy with the backing of the Hungarian people. Members of the European Commission won’t be appointed until September-October at the earliest, he said, adding that Trócsányi’s replacement was not yet on the agenda.
Orbán noted that Manfred Weber, the EPP leader who is the party family’s candidate to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as commission president, had voted to approve the Sargentini report due to the issue of the “Soros [Central European] university”. Orbán said he had read on the CEU’s website that the university “does not carry out any educational activities as a Hungarian institution in any another country”. This, he said, was the opposite of the Hungarian regulations and “Manfred Weber was duped” and so there had been no reason for Weber to vote to approve the Sargentini report.