Orbán Travels to Argentina to Attend Milei's Inauguration, Meet Bolsonaro

  • 11 Dec 2023 9:29 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Orbán Travels to Argentina to Attend Milei's Inauguration, Meet Bolsonaro
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán travelled to Buenos Aires to attend the Sunday inauguration of Javier Milei, the newly elected president. During the two-day visit, Orbán will also meet former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Orbán: 'We Can’t Be Assured Mixing Cultures Will Be Better Than Traditional Society'

“Hungarians may not necessarily follow the examples of other countries such as France. We cannot be fully assured that mixing cultures will be any better than our traditional society,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview with French weekly Le Point.

Put to him that he could help the Italian government handle illegal migration, Orbán said he was “trying to be as helpful as possible” but the European Union’s new migration pact “simply went in the wrong direction”. He said he was experienced on the issue of migration and was “proud” that “no migrants are in Hungary”.

“Every now and then some will manage to get into the country, but sooner or later they are pushed back,” he said. Orbán said the Hungarian government was working to ensure that nobody could enter without a Hungarian permit, and this practice “should be copied by every European state”.

Asylum seekers are required to stay outside Hungary and wait for the Hungarian authorities to assess their request, he noted. “This is the only good formula for handling illegal migration.” He warned that if illegal migrants entered Europe before being granted legal entry, “they may never be sent back”.

Asked what he would do if Giorgia Meloni, the Italian prime minister, asked Hungary for a plane to take illegal migrants back to Africa, Orbán said: “I have made that proposition at least a hundred times.”

Concerning the EU’s migration policy, Orbán said if the European Commission declared a migration emergency, Hungary would be required to accommodate migrants or pay a fine.

“I am willing to pay if the EU takes over at least 30% of our border control costs … we have spent over 2 billion euros,” he said.

Orbán: Several European Countries Have 'Democracy Deficit'

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told French weekly Le Point in an interview that several countries in Europe had a “democracy deficit”, with “people considering politics as something for the elite and … turning to movements outside the elite”.

He said Europe was dominated by “two kinds of dynamics: one is centrist and the other focused on national sovereignty … when they are balanced the EU works well.”

He added, however, that the equilibrium had been upended by Brexit and “London’s secession has weakened central Europe”, resulting in “a strengthening of sometimes extremist elements advocating national sovereignty”.

Concerning the rule of law, Orbán said the EU Treaties did not include a definition. “Rather than the states jointly coming up with a definition, the rule of law has become a weapon in the hands of those working to build a more centralised EU,” he said.

The prime minister noted that the EU had launched a rule-of-law mechanism against Hungary when ruling Fidesz quit the European People’s Party.

“We are innocent but also vulnerable,” Orbán said, adding that the rule of law “should be taken more seriously and not used as a political weapon”. Hungary’s constitution honours the separation of the branches of government as well as religious freedoms, Orbán noted.

On another subject, Orbán said his Fidesz party was in consultations with Meloni’s European Conservatives and Reformers group, and “Budapest would be glad to join either before or after next summer’s EP elections.” He said the Identity and Democracy group of parties was also “close to Fidesz” and regretted that the two groups had not yet negotiated a cooperation deal.

“Unless the non-traditional right-wing parties are willing to cooperate, we will never have a majority,” Orbán said. He said the EP elections could bring about a turnaround because “the liberal elite, the Brussels bureaucrats, no longer represent the EU’s fundamental goals”.

While the EU had been “a pledge of peace and welfare”, currently “there is no peace and life has not improved”. “The time has come for parties outside mainstream politics, the non-traditional right-wing parties, to take the reins and restore peace and security…” the prime minister said.

Chad President Welcomes Hungary Role In Africa

Mahamat Déby, the president of Chad, met Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and applauded Hungary for its role played in Africa, the foreign ministry’s spokesman said.

At the meeting, Déby reassured Szijjártó of the support of Chad’s leadership to the comprehensive bilateral cooperation programme covering several strategic areas, Máté Paczolay told MTI.

Under the agreements signed during the Hungarian foreign minister’s three-day visit, the two countries will start economic, humanitarian, educational and security cooperation, he said.

Africa’s development, peace and stability is in Europe’s and in Hungary’s primary interest, Szijjártó told the president, adding that this was why the Hungarian government sought close cooperation with countries that played a key role in the African continent’s stability and those taking up fighting terrorist groups.

The foreign minister reassured Déby that Hungarian companies were ready to invest in projects ensuring safe water supplies in Chad and in the modernisation of the country’s agricultural sector. In the framework of humanitarian cooperation, Hungary will participate in upgrading refugee camps, Paczolay said.

In education, Hungary will offer scholarships to 25 Chadian students to study at Hungarian universities each year, while the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Gödöllő will launch a training programme in Chad, the spokesman added.

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