We agree with Matteo Salvini to give priority in Europe to European culture – based on Christian values
At their talks in Budapest on Thursday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini agreed on the importance of strong nation states, on the need to give priority in Europe to European culture based on Christian values, and on strong border defence.
At a joint press conference held with Mr. Salvini Hungarian Prime Minister Mr. Orbán described Matteo Salvini’s visit to Budapest as an honour, adding that cooperation between the governments of the two countries has reached its highest point so far.
He said they both believe the following: that there will be no strong Europe without strong and successful nation states. He also pointed out that on the continent:
“Priority must be given to European culture based on Christian values; and Europe’s borders must be defended against the migrant invasion”.
Speaking about Italy’s response to migration, the Prime Minister praised Mr. Salvini for “his efforts in achieving on the sea what we have done on land”. He said that the success of these efforts is of crucial importance.
Viktor Orban also outlined the Hungarian proposal for the establishment of a new body comprising the interior ministers of the Schengen Area countries. He stated that powers related to migration should be taken away from the European Commission and delegated to such a body.
Mr. Orbán was asked several questions about interparty cooperation, replying to which he said that Europe will be led either by pro-immigration or anti-immigration forces.
He observed that in the European People’s Party (EPP) there are both pro-immigration and anti-immigration forces: the left of the EPP is solely composed of pro-immigration forces, which has a vision for Europe that is harmful, while to the right of the EPP there are only anti-immigration forces.
He indicated that Fidesz would like the EPP to cooperate with anti-immigration forces, but that in the EPP party family this is a minority view.
He urged the EPP to be open to cooperation with parties to the right of it, including Lega. He stressed that Europe needs an alliance of anti-immigration political forces.
The prime minister also highlighted four problems which he said can only be resolved with a new European leadership: Europe is not defending itself; it does not respect the Member States; the incumbent leadership is not listening to the people; and Europe’s economic performance is continuously declining.
Mr. Orbán said that he strongly agrees with Mr Salvini that a new chapter must be opened in Europe.
He also revealed that on Thursday morning, at the village of Röszke, he had shown the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy the Hungarian border fence. In relation to this, he told Mr. Salvini that the defence of its borders has so far cost Hungary more than one billion euros, but Brussels has not relieved Hungary of any part of this burden.
In answer to a question on illiberal democracy, he said that liberals claim that people who are not liberal are therefore not democrats. In Hungary, he said:
“We have had enough” of an equivalence being drawn between democracy and liberalism, adding that the Hungarian government describes its politics with the term “Christian democracy”
Regarding the issue of solidarity, he confirmed his position that help must be taken to where there are problems, rather than bringing the problems here.