In a speech delivered to the Hungarian parliament on Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán blamed Europe’s liberal immigration policies for Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris and warned that Hungary was also in danger. The Prime Minister restated Hungary’s rejection of the quota system and said Hungary would not accept send-backs under the Dublin Regulation. His sentiments were shared by Jobbik chairman Gábor Vona who said “not all immigrants are terrorists, but all terrorists are immigrants”. KDNP’s deputy fraction leader said Hungarians must carry the cross of opposing unrestricted migration. Leftwing opposition parties criticized Orbán for making generalizations about immigrants, promoting a climate of fear amongst Hungarians, and for failing to work collaboratively with the EU to resolve the refugee crisis.
“An unjustifiable barbarian attack on European civilization”
Speaker of the National Assembly László Kövér opened today’s plenary session of parliament by offering his condolences to the families of victims of last Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris.
“Paris was the target of an unjustifiable barbarian attack on European civilization,” Kövér said.
“Hungary wants a Europe which is capable of always defending the lives of European citizens, values and interests,” he continued.
Kövér called on members of parliament to stand for a moment of silence as a show of solidarity for the victims of the deaths in Paris.
He introduced Orbán, who delivered a speech titled “Europe has been attacked”.
“Europe has been attacked”
“The European Union has been attacked and we, too, are in danger,” opened the Prime Minister.
“France is a member of the European Union. From this perspective, the European Union was attacked in Paris. We are members [of the European Union], therefore we are also affected by this,” Orbán said.
“What happened on Friday night can happen anywhere in Europe. We aren’t safe either. Now is the time for leading European Union politicians to wake up and understand what’s at risk. Let’s ask the simple question: what is more humane? Until now, we Hungarians thought that closing the border to the flood of people arriving from the Middle East and Africa. We were accused of being inhumane. But here we have the question, which is more humane? Closing our borders to illegal border crossers, or risking the lives of innocent European citizens?” Orbán asked.
The Prime Minister went on to say that the right to life and the right to self-defense are the most important rights.
“The European Union is drifting away. It is weak, uncertain and unable to act. There are endless council meetings and conferences but there are no solutions. We are stuck in the web of ideological arguments, instead of acting on the basis of commonsense and in accordance with our cultural traditions.”
Orbán said the leaders of numerous European Union countries are constantly working on figuring out how to bring the masses of immigrants instead of working together with other EU countries to find practical solutions to stop the “flood” of immigrants.
“Brussels still says that immigration is a good thing. All the while, there is more and more evidence coming out every day which shows that immigration is a bad thing. It’s not a ‘win-win’ situation but ‘lose-lose,’” Orbán said.
“The very existence of Europe is on the line. Brussels is sending the wrong message by inviting the migrants, when instead it should be honest and make it abundantly clear [to the migrants] that [Europe] cannot provide them what they want.”
He said Hungary has on numerous occasions asked European leaders not to invite asylum seekers.
“Everyone with commonsense who was able to see the consequences of uncontrolled immigration knows the risks we are exposed to by the flood of people who cross our borders in an uncontrolled, unsupervised manner.
“European and American security experts, intelligence officials and law enforcement officials repeatedly warned Europe of the increased risk of terrorism. Every politician and every European leader had knowledge of these dangers.
“From the perspective of commonsense, it became clear that you simply cannot allow hordes of people to enter in an unsupervised manner — hundreds of thousands of people whose origin we don’t know. We don’t know who they are and we don’t know what they want. Furthermore, these people are coming from regions where European nations are currently engaged in military action. This has never happened before. We are letting people in – moreover, we are transporting people in – from regions that are at war with the European Union. It has been proven that the terrorists are knowingly using immigration as a well-organized way to blend into with the economic migrants who have left their homes in hopes of a better future,” Orbán said.
“We don’t think that everyone from that region is a terrorist but we don’t know – and nobody is telling us – how many terrorists have arrived with the migrants thus far. How many are already here? How many more will arrive day after day? A single terrorist is one too many. It’s bad to imagine how many terrorists have crossed through our lands. It’s time to put an end to this in all of Europe.
“Everyone with commonsense knows that Europe cannot handle so many people. We all know that Europe’s economy can’t handle such a burden. But beyond the financial and economic reasons, mass migration poses three major dangers in which each is, in and of itself, a reason to put an end to stop the flood of these people. First, we experienced on Friday night the dangers posed by mass migration. Today we are not talking about the risk of terrorism, we are talking about the fact of terrorism. Secondly, mass migration increases lead to an increase in crime. It’s not politically correct to talk about this – in fact, the Western world openly rejects these facts – but it’s still a fact that public safety has gone down and crimes have significantly gone up in Europe in those areas where there are lots of immigrants: there are more cases of larceny, robbery, assaults, physical violence, rape and manslaughter. These things will continue to be facts even if we choose not to talk about it. Thirdly, the mass relocation of people from different regions of the world with different cultures poses a danger to our culture, lifestyle, traditions and heritage,” Orbán said.
“Even those who were proponents of the misguided belief of multiculturalism – the same people who tried to force this misguided notion onto us – can now see where all this leads.
“In light of what has happened, we must also address the question of the mandatory quota system. We are still at the point in which powers outside of Hungary want to tell us Hungarians who we must live with. This is what the quota is all about. I recommend that this honorable House continue to reject the quota. Let’s stick to our position that it is our right to decide who we want to allow and who we want to live with. The mandatory quota, it’s simply un-European. It goes against the spirit of Europe. It’s pointless because not only does it not solve the crisis it makes it worse! It’s very obvious that the mandatory quota isn’t a deterrent for the migrants — it’s an invitation. It doesn’t decrease the pressure, it increases it. And because of the increased pressure, European countries are going to reinstate physical borders within Europe. If this continues, and it’s only a matter of time, it would mean the end of the Schengen Zone and the freedom of movement.
“The mandatory quota is also unlawful because European leaders do not have the authority to make such decisions in cases like this. They don’t have the authority on the issue of refugees and migrants to force an EU member state to do something it doesn’t want to do,” said the prime minister.
“In light of the terrorist attack, not even Brussels can deny that member states have the right to protect themselves. The mandatory quota is dangerous because it would spread terrorism throughout all of Europe.
“The facts of these tragic events show us that a new type of European politics is needed. It’s not enough to try and repair the old system. I recommend that we put dogmas aside, forget political correctness, and that we be open and talk straight. I recommend that we return from the world of ideologies to the world of commonsense and we use four basic commands to rethink European politics.
“Firstly, we need to protect the European Union’s outside borders because security starts with protecting borders. Secondly, we need to protect our culture because the essence of Europe is its spiritual and cultural identity. Thirdly, we must protect our economic interests because we Europeans must remain in the center of the global economy. And finally, we need to give the people the right to influence the European decisions because the European Union needs to stand on a democratic foundation.
“The citizens of Europe did not want hundreds of thousands of strangers to invade our countries by illegally crossing our borders in an unsupervised manner. No one ever granted anyone the authority to make that decision. The people want to live in safety and they want to enjoy the benefits of the European Union. It is our job as parliamentary representatives and representatives of governments from around Europe to hear the voice of the people,” Orbán finished.
LMP: “We need effective counter-terror collaboration within the European Union”
Politics Can Be Different (LMP) parliamentary fraction leader András Schiffer responded to Prime Minister Orbán’s speech by saying that Hungary’s sympathy and condolences should be extended to those in Beirut and Baghdad who recently fell victim to terror attacks. He also mentioned the victims of the Russian airliner that is believed to have been shot down by terrorists over Egypt.
“We share France’s grief but we must see clearly that this is about a global crisis and that the European Union is among the victims. The victims also include those countries from which the refugees are fleeing,” Schiffer said.
“Indeed, we must protect Europe. But you promised to protect the European Union and you didn’t succeed. Not even Hungary did what should have done during the recent critical months.
“Honorable Prime Minister, listening to you speak here we can agree that not everyone was a refugee among the 400,000 people that crossed through Hungary and not all of them are terrorists. That’s why I think you should be more considerate when speaking about who is responsible for spreading the risk of terrorism,” Schiffer said.
The LMP politician blamed the European Union for not being able to distinguish between real refugees, economic migrants and terrorists. It was a specific task that the European Union and its member states had failed to fulfill. In this situation, the first thing to do is to avoid sending the European Union into a spiral of hatred that may turn violent, Schiffer said.
“Yes, the European Union must be protected and that’s precisely why we need collective solutions. When in recent months we demanded a common solution, we didn’t mean Euroblabla. Prime Minister, this is about having effective counter-terror collaboration within the European Union.”
Schiffer said one of Europe’s problems is that it lacks a central security structure in which the security services of member states can share information. He said that as long as this does not exist, Hungary will continue to be vulnerable.
“This is about there being no political will for the European Union to decide what will happen to those who have already entered the European Union. But Hungary is also responsible for this. We are also responsible if the people who have entered Hungary cannot be tracked as they receive some kind of status in accordance with EU law,” Schiffer said.
Hungary must also shoulder the burden of making sure the Schengen Zone does not fall apart, he said.
“We share responsibility for making sure the European Union provides aid to neighboring countries and transit countries to ensure a unified system for processing asylum requests outside the European Union, and to increased immigration controls within the Schengen Zone. It is Hungary’s interest to be part of an internal European collaboration to track dangerous groups of people throughout Europe and to have the state security agencies of EU Member States collaborate daily.”
Aside from calling for a shared EU security policy, Schiffer seeks a shared EU system on asylum procedures to take the place of the Dublin Regulation.
He said the EU needs a shared diplomatic effort to meet the challenges of a “21st century global crisis” with “21st century solutions based on international law”. This, Hungary could not do alone.
“As long as there is a world order in which profits come before people, as long as the global corporations have a vested interest in exploiting the natural resources and cheap labor of Asian and African countries, there will be no solution for Europe. The question here is who will rebuild Syria, who will rebuild those countries from which the refugees are coming? I think Hungary and the European Union share a serious responsibility in addressing this,” Schiffer finished.
Jobbik: “All terrorists are immigrants”
Jobbik chairman and parliamentary fraction leader Gábor Vona opened his response by saying that, aside from dealing with the grief caused by the Paris terror attacks, people must look for a solution.
Vona said the attacks were for Europe and Hungary the start of a new era.
“Numerous questions arise from this, and not only about security, but also questions concerning the future of Europe. We will have serious debates about these questions in the near and distant future,” he said.
Vona referred to these debates as being tied to the “Europe of nations versus the United States of Europe”, or “whether in Europe there can be democracy, a welfare state, competitive economies and Christian culture all at the same time”.
“These are very difficult questions, and over the long run we will debate these questions. But I think our job today is to focus on the short term and acute problems. In this situation I recommend we try to make statements that are valid and find a way out of these problems for Europe and Hungary which are feasible and reasonable.
“The first sentence I think needs to be said – and one that I think society needs to hear – is that the stupid Brussels and Berlin-driven immigration policy, which goes against commonsense and pragmatism, has failed. This immigration policy has failed and so, too, has the politics of the leftwing and left-liberal parties. This needs to be said. Hungary and the European Union needs to see this. These political powers need to get the message that Europeans have had enough of the politics that brought Europe to this point,” Vona said.
“Naturally, having read the leftwing and left-liberal media, it’s best if we prepare for that question or dilemma concerning how we dare use immigration and terrorism in the same sentence. I think there are two sentences here that we need to take into consideration and understand. The first sentence is that immigrants are not terrorists. We need to write this down, we need to say it and we need to understand it. There’s another sentence which we also need to write down, say and understand. And that sentence is that the terrorists are immigrants. We need to understand this,” Vona said.
The extremist rightwing party chairman said those who don’t understand these two sentences are incapable of leading the European Union and Hungary out of “this current situation”.
“Immigrants are not terrorists but the terrorists are immigrants,” Vona repeated.
He said it will be impossible to have a substantive debate on these issues with people who don’t understand this fact.
If one could understand this, it followed that “if Hungary wants to protect itself from terrorism….then it must protect itself from immigration.”
Vona said the quota system and send-backs under the Dublin system need to be prevented in Hungary.
The Jobbik chairman said it is time that a law be adopted which would allow the results of Hungarian referendums to overrule Hungary’s international obligations, thereby allowing the country to reject any asylum seekers coming through the EU’s quota system and Dublin send-backs.
KDNP: “Europe’s security, culture and faith are under attack”
Christian Democrat People’s Party (KDNP) deputy parliamentary fraction leader, Imre Vejkey, also responded to the prime minister’s speech.
“Every generation has its own responsibilities and must carry its own cross. But deciding who will be the hero and who will remain a coward will be decided by those who carry their cross and those who do not,” Vejkey said.
“Our generation also has its challenges. Will we pick up our cross? Or will we also be lost and give our grandchildren a reason to say that we were cowards? The Hungarian parliament, the Hungarian government, and millions of Hungarians have picked up their cross. We have picked up our cross because our instincts work well,” Vejkey said.
“For us, freedom is not self evident, it’s not something we inherited from parents. Every Hungarian generation has had to fight for its freedom over and over again. Hungarians have always needed to protect their nation. Europe’s security, culture and faith are under threat from a danger far greater than any before. Today we bear witness to the most intensive migration in world history, and Europe is succumbing to an organized invasion. Millions are coming to Europe from the East and South. We know today that aside from those who are persecuted, there are also sustenance migrants, criminals, soldiers and even terrorists among the migrants. Many migrants desire a European life and money, and others are inspired by conquest, hatred and the desire to eradicate,” Vejkey said.
The KDNP politician asked Orbán and the government to continue doing what they have been doing.
“Protect Hungary and the Hungarians because what’s at risk is nothing less than the continued existence of a European civilization and culture,” Vejkey finished.
MSZP: “Terrorists are responsible for terrorism”
József Tobiás, parliamentary fraction leader and chairman of the Hungarian Social Party (MSZP), said the sober majority of Europeans know that the Paris terror attacks could not have been prevented by erecting a fence.
The MSZP politician said leaders who try to use terrorist attacks to bolster their own political support are actually playing into the hands of the terrorists.
“The sober majority of Europeans know that terrorists are responsible for terrorism. We condemn every proposal in this House that seeks to blame someone else,” Tobiás said.
He said he was shocked by the Prime Minister’s speech.
“With your speech, you played precisely upon these fears. It was not the speech of a strong leader seeking to work together with a united Europe. The speech plays on fears.”
Tobiás went on to criticize the Orbán government for causing division in the European Union instead of working together with the EU to find a common solution.
Tobiás told Orbán that if he really wants to see a common solution in Europe, then he should support a common immigration policy, a common EU military and a common EU intelligence agency that harmonizes the information between member states.
Fidesz: “Quota system would export terrorism throughout European Union”
Fidesz parliamentary fraction leader Lajos Kósa said European Union leaders, specifically Jean-Claude Junker, are responsible for the Paris terror attacks because they imposed a “bankrupt immigration policy” and have failed to ensure that all EU member states abide by EU rules.
Kósa slammed Juncker for not holding Greece accountable for failing to abide by the Dublin Regulation and for not protecting the Schengen Zone.
He called on Juncker to kick Greece out of the Schengen Zone.
“If there exists such a thing as the rule of law in the European Union, then countries must abide by the Dublin Regulation,” Kósa said.
“If the European Union has leaders who are incapable of making sure the laws are being followed and who are not recommending the rules be changed, then they must resign. How many hundreds of people must die in order for this consequence to ge realized?” Kósa asked.
He went on to criticize EU leaders for proposing the quota system.
“The quota system isn’t good for anything. They know this too. They’ll say it in the aisles. It’s good for nothing and it exports terrorists throughout the European community. This makes no sense. European leaders need to find an answer to the question of how many hundreds of people must die before they finally realize things must change.”
(As the Dublin Regulation provides for the very send-backs Hungary is rejecting, it is not clear what Kósa has in mind when he insists EU countries abide by the Dublin Regulation-ed.)