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ORBÁN: HUNGARY READY TO HELP PROTECT ITALY’S BORDERS, BUT REFUSES TO HELP BRING IN MIGRANTS

 

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in an interview to public broadcaster Kossuth Radio, said Hungary could be of help to Italy when it comes to border protection, “and if necessary, we could take over the patrol of any section of the Italian border”. Commenting on Italy’s internal political situation, the prime minister said the new government there had been appointed without being elected, and therefore many Italians felt that with former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini gone, they had lost the one person who could guarantee the country’s security. Orbán said this development meant that Hungary, too, had temporarily lost an ally in the fight against migration. “And just as it always happens, whenever a left-wing government is set up, the ports are immediately opened and migrants arrive immediately,” he said. “They’re not stopping them, but rather bringing them in.”
On the topic of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s recent criticism of the Hungarian government, Orbán said there were matters in which Hungary could be of help and matters in which it could not and did not even want to be. “We’re not going to help them … open the ports, bring in migrants and redistribute these people across Europe,” he said. Hungary would, however, gladly support a “deportation quota”, even if the migrants it would concern are not on Hungary’s territory, he said. “But it doesn’t look like this kind of help is needed,” Orbán said, insisting that the left was importing migrants to Europe with the intention of granting them citizenship in the hope that they would eventually enjoy their support.
Concerning his visit to Rome last week where he attended a conservative political meeting, Orbán said he “felt at home” at the event and that it reminded him of the meetings of the Hungarian conservative civic circles movement around 2004-2005.
Orbán said that while the majority of MEPs supported migration, “this is not the case among the prime ministers”, adding that this made him hopeful that the introduction of migrant distribution quotas could be prevented once again. He said the reason why the EP was looking to eliminate some commissioner candidates was because if those candidates became members of the European Commission, then that body would end up looking more like the European Council than the parliament.
Commenting on a new agreement reached in Malta on the redistribution of migrants rescued at sea, Orbán said the countries that urged the introduction of migrant quotas at that meeting had not even fulfilled their earlier commitments regarding the acceptance of migrants. He ruled out the possibility that the EU could “once again outmanoeuvre” the bloc’s prime ministers by “pulling a slum trick at the ministerial level”. As regards the upcoming parliamentary elections in Austria, he expressed hope that by Monday there would be one more country in Europe that opposes immigration.
Commenting on the upcoming Fidesz congress for the re-election of officials, he said “one must be aware of what a great task and great fact it is that we are still on our feet”. “The congress must be held with an understanding of the responsibility we have for the future”, he added.
Commenting on the local elections to be held in October and a leaked recording of joint opposition mayoral candidate for Budapest Gergely Karácsony talking about threats he has received, Orbán said he was almost feeling sorry for Karácsony “driving himself into impossible situations”. He said he hoped people in Budapest and also in other parts of the country would vote for suitable candidates. Regarding staff layoffs affecting an Electrolux plant in Jászberény, he said as soon as the news broke, he sent two ministers to the town to hold talks with everyone and if necessary, the government will help to ensure that nobody is left without a job.