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Hungarian border enforcement. Photo supplied
Budapest

Hungary highlights weight of Visegrad and Baltic voters against immigration

Hungarian cabinet chief Antal Rogan told public radio on Sunday that the European Commission needs a leader who respected countries in Central Europe. Rogan was interviewed on Kossuth Radio.

Published: July 11, 2019, 12:03 pm

    He said since voters had given the government a mandate to stop immigration, open-border supporters should no longer be among those nominated for the European Union’s top jobs.

    He said the Socialists’ candidate Frans Timmermans as well as the European People’s Party Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber were clearly supporters of immigration, adding that Weber had insulted Hungary and Hungarians in his statements on a number of occasions, saying he did not want the votes of Hungarians.

    Central European countries, including Hungary, prevented nominees who had insulted European nationalities from taking leadership positions by vetoing Timmermans and Weber, he added.

    “Somebody who doesn’t enjoy the support of the new member states in Central Europe cannot become the head of the European Commission. That is a new development,” Rogan pointed out. “The voice of Central Europe has now been heard.”

    Rogan said central European countries want leaders who won’t force upon them the will of other countries. He added that Western Europe has experience with immigration, while Central Europe does not.

    He said Viktor Orban had asked Ursula von der Leyen on the phone whether, as the candidate for the position of EC president, she was prepared to give the appropriate degree of respect to Hungary and Central European nations.

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban meanwhile met with Mart Helme, The deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister of Estonia, in Budapest on Monday to discuss cooperation.

    A goal of the visit was to find ways to expand cooperation between Hungary and Estonia as well as between the Visegrad Group – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – and the Baltic states. The cornerstones of that cooperation will be “sovereignty within the European Union”, as well as family policy and the protection of the national culture, language and Christian traditions, Bertalan Havasi, Orban’s chief press officer said.

    Havasi quoted the Estonian deputy PM as saying that Estonia’s Conservative People’s Party considers Hungary and the Visegrad cooperation as examples promoting important European values.

    Helme, head of Estonia’s Conservative People’s Party, agreed with Orban that supporting national economies, culture, and protecting the EU’s external borders were important priorities, Havasi told the media.

    Both leaders underscored the importance of a stricter immigration policy which European families should support in order to resolve demographic problems, Havasi added.

    Hungary and Estonia both aim to create a strong Europe comprising strong member states, Katalin Novak, the State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs, said after talks with Mart Helme.

    The issue of migration is also a priority for both countries, Novak said, adding that Helme will be briefed on Hungarian border protection measures during his visit.

    Estonia, like Hungary, has responded to the demographic challenges facing Europe with a strong family policy, Novak noted.

    Helme called his meeting with Novak “short but very useful”. He confirmed that he would be visiting the border fence erected during the 2015 migration crisis and the adjoining facilities.

    After talks with Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Trieste, Hungary and Italy are strategic allies because they share a vision for a European Union of strong nation states that insist on preserving their national identity, history and religious heritage.

    Szijjarto noted that Hungary had also been under constant attack when it spent 1 billion euros to secure borders against illegal migrants, which, he added, also protected Schengen and external EU borders.

    Szijjarto told a joint press conference that they both wanted to see an EU that respected nation states and Brussels leaders who created strong external borders without attacking states that protect these borders. Italy should not be allowed to be flooded by migrants, he added.

    Szijjarto said it was intolerable that attacks had been launched against countries that protect their borders and citizens. EU bureaucrats, he said, supported illegal migrants and took the side of those who promote restricting the rights of member states.

    He said Salvini deserved praise for protecting Italy’s borders and citizens. The Italian interior minister has been the first western politician to introduce regulations aiming to protect maritime borders, he said, adding that it was “disgraceful” that he was under attack for doing so.

    Hungary and Italy are certain that the EU’s external borders must be protected by land and also by sea, he said. He expressed hope that it would be possible to work together with the future president of the European Commission. “An attempt to make one of George Soros’s people a candidate has been successfully thwarted,” he added.

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