Orban: ‘We Want Change, We Want a Europe that Protects Its Borders on Land and Sea’

Orban
GEORG HOCHMUTH/AFP/Getty

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has reiterated his desire to shift the European Union’s centre of gravity towards a pro-borders stance after an expected national populist surge in the upcoming EU Parliament elections.

“At stake in these elections is whether we can choose leaders who turn against the idea that migration is an essential part of our lives,” Orbán said on the Good Morning Hungary radio programme.

“Can we choose leaders who protect Europe because ultimately Europe is the home of European people, and Hungary is the home of Hungarian people?” he asked.

“We should send a strong message that we want change. We want a Europe that protects its borders on land and sea, and we want leaders in Brussels who don’t want to organize but want to stop migration.”

Prime Minister Orbán was speaking following a highly successful meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington DC, in which the American leader praised the Hungarian for having “done a tremendous job in so many different ways… you’ve kept your country safe.”

President Trump also compared his Central European counterpart to a “twin”, joking, “Not everyone agrees with us, not everyone loves us, but look at our results.”

Mr Orbán told Good Morning Hungary that he and Mr Trump had “discuss[ed] our views on what to expect in the world, what will be the big challenges.”

The Hungarian premier indicated that there are now a growing number of countries, “including Israel, Hungary, Poland, Italy, and the USA, with leaders elected by the people, leaders who put their country first and don’t promote the building of world government but oppose it” — and that the European Parliament elections towards the end of May would be a chance for them to add momentum.

In particular, Orbán has been looking increasingly to Italy’s leading man, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, as a major agent of change, saying the League (La Lega) leader had “put the last nail in the coffin of pro-migration politicians” by proving illegal migration could be stopped at sea, as he proved it could be stopped on land, and calling him “the most important person in Europe today”.

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