Hungary’s Orban: Western Europe is under migrant invasion
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s prime minister painted an apocalyptic view of Western Europe on Thursday, saying it was under a migrant invasion that will soon make a minority of native-born Europeans.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, speaking at a massive rally three weeks ahead of Hungary’s parliamentary election, said Western Europe has surrendered with “its hands up” to a mass migration of people from Africa and the Middle East.
“The situation is that those who don’t block migration at their borders will be lost. They will be digested slowly but surely,” said Orban, one of the nationalist politicians who has risen to power in Europe and been openly hostile to refugees and asylum-seekers.
“The youth of Western Europe will still live to see when they become a minority in their own country and lose the only place in the world to call home,” he added.
Orban has often said that mass migration of Muslims into Europe will lead to the loss of the continent’s Christian culture and lifestyle. His comments last month that Hungarians don’t want their “own color, traditions and national culture to be mixed by others” led Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, to brand Orban a racist, xenophobe and bully whose “racial rhetoric is increasingly delusional.”
Orban has made his policies to block immigration the near-exclusive focus of his campaign for a third consecutive term. His relatively short speech to the crowd in front of the Hungarian Parliament building seemed crafted mostly to further increase fear of migration among his supporters.
“They want us to voluntarily give (our country) to others, to foreigners from other continents who don’t speak our language, don’t respect our culture, laws or lifestyle,” Orban said. “They want to exchange ours for their own. There is no exaggeration in this.”
Orban also claimed that foreign powers were working with his domestic opposition to remove the fences he had built on Hungary’s southern borders in 2015 to keep out migrants.
Orban also made another of his attacks on George Soros, the Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist. He alleged Soros was seeking to impose his “open society” ideals on Europe and supports critics of the ruling party’s government, and listed Soros among Hungary’s historical foes — the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburgs and the Soviet Union.
The rally marked the 170th anniversary of the 1848 revolution against Habsburg rule. Orban’s speech was preceded by what organizers called a “Peace March.”
Many tens of thousands of Orban supporters took part in the anniversary event nominally organized by a pro-Orban civic group and held with the full support of Orban’s Fidesz party.
Several opposition groups — including a coalition of left-wing parties, the far-right Jobbik party, the satirical Two-Tailed Dog Party and a student movement — held smaller rallies and remembrances in Budapest, the Hungarian capital.
“Fidesz is a minority and the people wanting change are the majority — and the majority cannot be in opposition,” said Gergely Karacsony, prime ministerial candidate of the Socialist Party and the Dialogue party.