In the days prior to Christmas, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, National Assembly Speaker László Kövér and Prime Ministry chief János Lázár—the most powerful officials in the Orbán administration along with Prime Ministerial Cabinet Office chief Antal Rogán—conducted long interviews with the pro-government newspaper Magyar Idők, the pro-government website PestiSrácok.hu and the opposition newspaper Népszava, respectively. Below are Orange Files-translated quotes and excerpts from these interviews published between December 22 and December 24, 2015.
Prime Minister Orbán in Magyar Idők (source in Hungarian).
Regarding the Political Affiliation of Migrants
“According to available surveys, the large majority of immigrants will be left-wing voters. This factor upsets the entire system of European party-politics that developed from Christian foundations. In ten years, the people who have been let in now will be citizens along with their family members. We must clearly understand that the person who has come from Islam will not vote for a Christian-based party—we wouldn’t do this either in the opposite case—but will gravitate toward the left wing, because there it will at least not be necessary to come to terms with the Christian foundations. After a certain amount of time, if there are enough of them [migrants], they will organize their own political interest representation, which for the same reason will work together with the left wing. The traditional political balance of our continent, which is founded upon intellectual and political competition between the left wing and the right wing, will be overturned.”
Regarding Orbán Government and European Union Migration Policy
“We would have been happy if the majority of our European Union partners would have agreed from the beginning with what the Hungarian government thinks about the [migration] situation. If it would have been this way, today there would be a couple tens of thousands of genuine refugees in Europe, not one million migrants. However, most European leaders espoused the philosophy of Willkommenskultur and by the time they could modify their opinions the crisis had become unmanageable.”
Regarding Merkel Government Migration Policy
“Angela Merkel has been forced to govern in grand coalition since the most recent German elections. Not only does her Christian-democratic party, the CDU, not have a majority in the Berlin parliament, but the right wing, itself, does not have a majority either. Although the CDU won the elections, the only reason it can govern is that the left wing parties cannot come to an agreement with one another. I think that the German and European left has forced upon the German chancellor the migration policy that she is presently compelled to pursue.”
Regarding Hungary and Proposed European Union Migrant Resettlement Quotas
“Letting the migrants in is hardly a correctable mistake. Moreover, [there exists] this question of principle: can somebody from outside Hungary tell us ‘you Hungarians must live with people you don’t want to live with.’ This doesn’t depend on whether this means ten, one hundred or one million people. Here we are defending our national sovereignty. If the Hungarian parliament decides to do so, then we will accept refugees, though we will never under any circumstances allow Brussels to force a quota system upon us.”
Regarding European Union Integration
“The Eurozone is the core of the European Union—they [members of the Eurozone] must achieve new successes. For a long time these countries proceeded in the direction of deeper integration, though this process has faltered. If they can escape from this pitfall, then the future of the European Union could be beautiful. If not, then we must confront some truly serious issues throughout Europe.”
Regarding National Sovereignty
“The first [objective] would be to increase our national sovereignty. For the Hungarians, there is no European mass that represents a guaranteed better future in which we would be better off than as a strong nation. This is an important matter for us emotionally, historically and materially as well.”
Regarding Hungary’s European Union Developmental Funding
“It is worthwhile to clarify whether we are really getting their [the European Union’s] money. After forty years of communism, central Europe undertook competition with the capital-rich big Western companies. We opened our markets in such a way as to provide Western companies with an enormous advantage and they were able to gain profit-generating positions in our economies that we could never acquire in theirs. In spite of the legal possibility of competition, the difference in the scale of capital has long made this an illusion. We get the sums [of money] that we get in order to counterbalance this. Moreover, the business profit that leaves Hungary for the West reaches the magnitude of the amount of support that arrives from there.”
Regarding Eastern Europe and Same-Sex Marriage
“There exists a dividing line that begins in the Baltics and runs all the way along the western borders of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia [sic]. To the west of this line lie countries that, for example, have already abandoned family protection; everywhere to the east of the line, on the other hand, family-friendly policy has prevailed and nowhere is same-sex marriage accepted.”
Regarding Democracy and Freedom of the Speech in Hungary
“With regard to the alleged democracy problem, it is enough to say open one or two newspapers, surf around the internet and they will immediately see that the freedom of speech and opinion that represents the foundation and central element of every democracy is living and thriving and indeed is broader and deeper than in Western Europe—something which, by the way, I never would have believed [would be the case].”
“With regard to the right-wing opposition [Jobbik], one must simply show the truth—the criminal background that was always characteristic of the radical world in Hungary.”
“We must face the fact that China will become the number-one economic power in the world in the near future. A few years, and this will be true of its military power as well. Does anybody know, perchance, what kind of world this will be? What will our world be like if Anglo-Saxon dominance dissipates? How will the Chinese assert their interests? Will Europe be the rear courtyard or the front garden of this [process]?”
For more quotes from Prime Minister Orbán see Notable Quotes: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
National Assembly Speaker Kövér in PestiSrácok.hu (source in Hungarian).
Regarding the Enemies of the United States
“As a Hungarian political official and legislator I gradually and with even greater surprise faced the fact that the United States requires an enemy number one. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, it was necessary to find an enemy elsewhere. There was a time when everybody had to fight on the side of the USA against members of the Russian-speaking underworld, for example Semion Mogilevich. Subsequently there came an even more effective chief villain in the person of Osama bin Laden. Then after a period of uncertainty, they succeeded in identifying in the image of Russia a common enemy that would hold the empire together, thereby provoking a protracted conflict in Ukraine which—just coincidentally—divided Europe. Then the faceless demon of corruption appeared as the chief enemy threatening the national security of the USA from Alaska to Patagonia, from Greenland to the Antarctic.”
Regarding the Government Policy of the United States
“I would be a mistake to moralize excessively regarding the unscrupulousness of American policy because it has a foundation in principle: the unrelenting representation of the business interests that stand behind the American government.”
Regarding the Pax Americana
“Many hoped in vain that after 1989, when the USA overwhelmed (legyűrte) the Soviet Union, that the liberal world peace, that is, the Pax Americana, had arrived. This is not what happened. There is a need for newer and newer enemies, conflicts and artificial disorder so that the military mechanism can remain in motion.”
Regarding the Military Intervention against the Islamic State
“Can anybody tell me which side is pursuing precisely what objectives in the campaign against the Islamic State? The countries of central Europe are playing the role of pawn in this game of chess, though it is fortunate that they are finally beginning to recognize their own interests. All of this began with the story of Cain and Abel and whoever has the most power always plays the role of Cain. Because he wants even more power.”
Regarding the Cause of the Migration Crisis
“None of this would have occurred if they [the West] hadn’t to bombed to pieces viable, though undoubtedly not overly elegant, states. Thus none of this would have taken place if the most important foundation of traditional world politics had prevailed—the maintenance of the status quo—and the West had not become entangled in adventurist actions that brought even more deadly chaos upon the liberated peoples in place of the murderous régimes. Still I can’t believe that the fact that Europe hasn’t been so weak for a long time causes a big headache for the United States. It [Europe] has hardly recovered from the global economic crisis, which, nota bene, the United States again dumped on our heads, and the second unsolvable crisis is already here—migration.”
Regarding the Motives for Settling Migrants
“The president of the Daimler concern made it clear not long ago: they need migrants for maintaining economic growth and to somehow counterbalance the consequences of the country’s [Germany’s] demographic catastrophe. Of course, it will not be big industry that will pay the social expenses of migration—for them it is enough if ten percent of the immigrants are capable of undertaking work. The taxpayers will support the rest. And here is where the twist comes: the mass of migrants represents not only cheap labor, but at the same time the electoral base that means survival for the left wing which everywhere is being squeezed from the vicinity of power.”
Regarding Left-Wing Political Strategy
“Permanent liberation is the vital component (lételem) of the left wing. They always want to coax more and more multitudes of people into the status of oppressed pariah in order to produce the possibility of ‘liberation.’ I would not like to offend migrants of the Muslim faith, but with regard to the liberateable (felszabadítható) masses, there is no difference between them and, let’s say, transgender people in the eyes of the left wing.”
Regarding the Social Responsibility of Raising Children
“Under what right do those—and I am not thinking of people who cannot raise a child due to circumstances beyond their control—who do nothing for the birth of new generations expect anything from the community? . . . Those who regard emphasis on the importance of raising children in itself to represent unacceptable interference in the intimate sphere should not when old and sick ask anything of those who responsibly and affectionately raised tax-paying children who are capable of sustaining society.”
Regarding the Private vs. the Public Sphere
“I consider the demand that nobody interfere in the lives of others to be a strange attitude. What are the legal and continually dwindling moral rules regarding social coexistence all about if not that the community and society ‘interfere’ in the lives of its members.”
For more quotes from National Assembly Speaker Kövér see: National Assembly Speaker László Kövér.
Prime Ministry Chief Lázár in Népszava (source in Hungarian).
Regarding Hungary’s European Union Developmental Funding
“We indeed receive resources and assistance necessary for our catching up (felzárkózásunk) through the EU Cohesion Fund. We get this because in 2004 we said the free flow of capital, people and goods can take place, we provided access to our markets, we have no protective tariffs. This was very much worth it for the European Union. Nine trillion forints is a lot of money, of which we paid in three trillion forints, thus five-six trillion forints is what Hungary receives in net terms from the EU. We also pay [contributions to the European Union], for example, in that we cannot protect our own products with tariffs, that there are few Hungarian banks and so on. We relinquished a significant portion of our national self-determination. We will never know how much the German economy gained from the 2004 central European enlargement. [It was] very much. Much more than they give to us.”
Regarding European Union Integration
“Let there be no misunderstanding—we do not want to deepen integration any further. From our standpoint, the EU is primarily an economic community of values and interests—not a political one. However, they now want to force political values upon us. I accept that for them this is a value and I respect this as well, but Hungarian society cannot and will not accept this [idea] as its own. There was no question of this in 2004.”
Regarding European Union Integration
“The Visegrád Group [Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary] regards the new level of integration with concern. Brussels wants to shove deepening integration down our throats and is using the immigrants to do this. We do not want to surrender any more of our sovereignty. The most important question over the next ten years from Hungary’s point of view is how much independence it will be possible to preserve. This is the essence of Fidesz policy—everything must be seen in this light. We want more Hungary and less Brussels.”
Regarding Founding Members of Fidesz within the Party Leadership
I am prepared to recognize that there is strong cohesion among the founders of Fidesz—they can truly finish one another’s sentences. I don’t see dictatorship of opinion in this: they are just this way—they think alike. One of the greatest experiences of my political career was the meeting of the Fidesz presidium at which we debated the draft of the Fundamental Law. The participants in the debate—Viktor Orbán, László Kövér, János Áder and József Szájer—were not only capable of finishing one another’s sentences, but represented a haute école of politics.
Regarding Political Refugees vs. Economic Migrants
“Everybody quickly recognized that these [the 2015 migrants to Europe] weren’t political refugees. We do not want to accept economic immigrants.”
Regarding Non-European Migration to Europe
“We must support [the notion] that everybody be allowed to prosper in their own homeland. We cannot permit part of the world to depart for Europe just because they live worse in 150 countries than they do in the European Union.”
Regarding Immigration to Hungary
“Hungary is in a special situation. If we need labor or tax payers, then we can call Hungarians home from Subcarpathian Ukraine or the Vojvodina (Délvidék). We don’t need to undertake the social and cultural risk of accepting massive groups of immigrants since there are no linguistic or cultural differences with our compatriots beyond the borders—they are us.”
For more quotes from Prime Ministry chief Lázár see: Minister in Charge of the Prime Ministry János Lázár.