Hungarian PM Orban - There will be two EU civilisations | Eurasia Diary -

27 June, Thursday

Hungarian PM Orban - There will be two EU civilisations

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban held his first regular government news conference of 2019 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 in Central Europe," said Orban.

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 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 the freedom in Europe.

“We have reached a point in Europe where liberals have become enemy number one of freedom,” said Orban.

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.

Salvini was in Warsaw on Wednesday to discuss the formation of a Eurosceptic alliance with the leader of Poland’s ruling party.

"I have big hopes on Polish-Italian cooperation. I'm fed up that the European People's Party (EPP) is only cooperating with liberals. We should look to the right from the EPP," said Orban.

Salvini joined Orban in 2018 when he launched an anti-migration manifesto.

At the press conference, Euronews asked Orban why he supports Manfred Weber who voted for the Article 7 resolution against Hungary.

"My friend, Manfred Weber was indicted," answered Orban.

Six media outlets were banned from the presser due to lack of space.

Orban said he does listen to protesters and does not try to avoid debate, but reassured his parliamentary majority makes the final decision.

He did say there would be a plenary debate in reference to Hungary's change to the labour law, which was passed by Parliament in December and has faced intense criticism, sparking the biggest street protest in over a year.

The law is dubbed the "slave law" because it allows employers to ask staff to work two extra hours on top of an average working day — the equivalent of an extra day of work per week. That's up to 400 hours of overtime per year.

Orban announced that any extra working hours had to be paid and that there was "no other option".



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