Asked about the opposition’s intention to field a joint list for the European parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told a news conference that if “they take this path, they will be digging their own grave”. Orbán added it was not his job to prevent them.
Asked to comment on an opposition demonstration held in Brussels earlier this week with the participation of Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini, Orbán said: “This is yet more proof that migration is the key issue of the EP elections.” He added that Sargentini was “a pro-migration politician, so it is not odd that she is demonstrating against the Hungarian government alongside pro-migration Hungarians.” Asked about similar protests against right-wing anti-migration governments in Belgrade, Vienna, Warsaw and Rome, he said that pro-migration forces backed by George Soros were preparing for the EP elections and would demonstrate everywhere. “But this is the rule of the game.”
“The campaign has started, there are demonstrations, people compile petitions … we are in campaign mode and it’s guaranteed to be like this until May,” Orbán said. The prime minister said what was new in the campaign was its international dimension. Orbán named migration as the campaign’s single most important issue, saying it would be the decisive factor for voters. Asked about recent cooperation between Hungary’s leftist parties and conservative Jobbik, Orbán said the left should consider whether it was right to “legitimise–out of short-term political interest–those who represent anti-Semitism”.
Concerning US billionaire George Soros, he said people who “defend him by referring to his [Jewish] origin” did a disservice both to Hungarian politics and Soros himself. Referring to the French president, Orbán said Hungary duly respected France and its president, “but we cannot conceal the fact that Emmanuel Macron is a pro-migration forces leader”. The prime minister said he and Macron were “on good terms personally” but the future of Europe and the two countries were at stake, and Hungary would suffer if Macron’s agenda were realised.
In response to a question, Orbán said Hungary-Germany ties were special as were relations between Fidesz and the CDU-CSU alliance. “Cooperation with Germany has always been a priority for Hungarian foreign policy.” “We need deep and honest relations, but this is currently missing because German policymakers are failing to respect the decision of Hungarians not to become a migrant country. They are pressurising us to follow them … we don’t want to so, there’s no room for compromise.” Referring to his visit to Brazil a few days ago, Orbán said the debate over migration went beyond the borders of Europe.
In reply to a question, Orbán said that Hungarians had taken up “illiberal positions on the key issues of immigration, family and Christian culture”. Asked to comment Liberal EP party leader Guy Verhofstadt’s statement that Hungary’s prime minister was neither a Democrat nor a Christian, Orbán said: “Liberal thinking in Europe has gone so far that the liberals, today’s number-one enemies of freedom, want to define not only who they are but also who the Christian Democrats are.”