Balazs Orban - Photo:

Official calls for ‘demographic turnaround’ to ensure Europe’s competitiveness

Europe's competitiveness cannot be maintained "without a turnaround in demographic trends", the political director of the Prime Minister's Office said in Brussels on Thursday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a European Union summit, Balazs Orban told Hungarian journalists: “We need European children, we need a new European generation.” A new generation may serve as a basis for economic growth in the bloc rather than immigration, he said, adding that immigration “creates far more problems than it solves”. The government is working to have this principle included in the closing statement of the summit, he said.

Concerning a proposal under which the European Union would finance the purchase of border control equipment, Orban said such a move would not amount to a breakthrough. Instead, he suggested, Hungary should “receive material and legal assistance to complete a border seal in the south to stave off several hundred thousand illegal migrants each year”.

The EU has not contributed to the construction or operation of Hungary’s border fence, having launched procedures against Hungary instead, the official said. “While this is the case, Hungary and several other states will keep the European Commission under pressure,” he said.

Answering a question concerning an international arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Russian President Vladimir Putin, the official said the Hungarian government acknowledged the ruling.

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