BUDAPEST: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban held his first government news conference of 2019 today where he drew a distinct line between European ideologies.
“There will be two civilisations in the EU,” said Orban in Budapest on Thursday. “One mixed Muslim-Christian in the West, and one traditional European-Christian in Central Europe.”
Orban laid out his goal of electing an anti-immigration majority in the bloc’s parliamentary elections in May.
“(The) most important political issue for us is the EP (European Parliament) election. 52% of Hungarians think the biggest challenge in the EU is immigration. Only we can decide with whom we want to live in the future,” said Orban.
Orban’s conservative, nationalist government, which pledged to continue resistance to mass migration into the European Union, has faced a series of protests at home in the past weeks.
Orban claimed that a majority of Hungarians have illiberal views and that liberals are the enemies of freedom in Europe.
“We have reached a point in Europe where liberals have become enemy number one of freedom,” said Orban. Orban gave the example of Belgian politician and Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Guy Verhofstadt, as someone who threatens Europe’s freedom.
Orban also touted Hungary’s current financial stability quoting GDP growth at 4.6%, while state debt declined by 71%. However, he said Hungary did not have a date for joining the Eurozone because the future of the currency was unclear.
During the speech, Orban referred to far-right Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini as “still his hero” and welcomed the Polish-Italian project aimed at anti-immigration cooperation.__EuroNews