Prime minister Viktor Orbán – Photo: PMO

Orbán: Strong anti-immigration, family-friendly European party alliance needed

A large and strong anti-immigration, pro-family European party alliance needs to be formed, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public radio in an interview on Friday. At the moment anti-immigration, pro-family parties are in the minority in Europe, he said.

Referring to talks between right-wing party leaders in Warsaw last week, Orbán said negotiations between these parties had been going on for many months and numerous organisational steps had to be made. He spoke about personal ambitions and rival parties in certain countries which made it harder for them to enter into an agreement. “But they’re moving step by step, and the next meeting will be held in Spain early next year.”

At the moment anti-immigration, pro-family parties are in the minority in Europe, he said.

The prime minister said Europeans — whether French, Germans or Hungarians — needed a voice in the coming decades rallying against the transformation of Europe into an “immigrant continent”. Moreover, they want families that can raise as many children as possible, he added.

“We don’t want to be the alternatives; we want to be the winners,” he said. “We want to influence and even determine the policies of Brussels. Our aim is to create the biggest political force in Europe.”

Concerning the ongoing dispute with Brussels over immigration, the government must follow the decision of the Hungarian Constitutional Court, the prime minister told public radio. Viktor Orbán said the Constitutional Court’s decisions were authoritative in Hungary.

“We have taken an oath to serve the Hungarian people and the Hungarian constitution, not the bureaucrats in Brussels,” Orbán said.

When it comes to disputes with Brussels, the Constitutional Court “has the right to decide as the final arbiter”, the prime minister added.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic was at its peak “or maybe a little beyond” in Hungary, and taking the vaccine is the only way to flatten the curve.

In an interview with public radio, Orbán said the latest surveys showed a slight decrease in the number of new coronavirus infections, those needing hospital treatment, or ventilators.

“There are always losses, but the situation is improving overall,” he said, noting the 166 victims of the disease in the past 24 hours.

“On Thursday, 51,666 people were vaccinated, 42,453 of whom got the third jab,” he said. That is especially important around Christmas, as holding large Christmas gatherings will depend on “whether we are vaccinated,” he said.

The prime minister also announced that 5-11 year-olds will be able to get inoculated from Dec. 15, with registration starting from Wednesday. Around 70,000 vaccines are soon arriving and vaccination points have been designated.

Orbán said pensions will be raised by 5 percent from Jan. 1, while the full 13th month pension will be paid out in February.

“Hungary performed well last year, and we have high hopes for next year, too,” he said, referring to the government’s position that pensioners should also reap the benefits of a strongly performing economy.

Orbán also said that the minimum wage will be raised next year. Employees in the cultural and social sectors will receive a 20 percent increase, while military and law enforcement workers and teachers will receive a 10 percent pay hike.

The prime minister warned, however: “If you give money that you did not make, you’ll go bankrupt sooner or later.” The government and the finance minister must make sure this does not happen in Hungary, he added.

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