Viktor Orban wants European elections to deliver anti-migration leadership

11.01.2019

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his country wants to turn upcoming elections for the European Parliament into a vote on migration.

The goal for Hungary is to secure the majority of posts in the European Parliament, European Commission and European Council for candidates rejecting immigration, Orban said at a rare press conference in Budapest on Thursday.

"The traditional division of parties into right-wing and left-wing has given way to a division of promoting migration and rejecting it," he said.  

Orban is eager to reduce EU influence on member states' migration policy and said migration was "the most important, fateful question for Europe for the next 15 to 20 years."

The elections for the European Parliament are to take place in May.

He said that presently in Europe, the "Christian democratic" camp, including his Fidesz party, is facing off with "a mixed, Christian-Muslim civilisation."  As a model of a modern Christian democratic society Orban singled out Brazil, with its new far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro.

The right-wing populist Orban, who last held a press conference in April 2018, emerged as the leader of a bloc of EU states that vehemently opposed the arrival of millions of refugees in Europe through the Balkans, on the bloc's south-eastern edge, starting from 2015.

Orban has been heavily criticised by the opposition for what they deem his anti-European rhetoric. "The highest feudal lord of modern Hungarian feudalism undertook a failed attempt to remove attention from recent anti-government street protests," said Socialist European parliamentarian Istavan Ujhelyi, referring to protests last week in Budapest that saw some 10,000 people march in the capital.    (dpa)

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