Hungary’s Orban Says EU Elections Are Decisive for Migration

orban immigration
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban waves after delivering his address on the national holiday marking the 62nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Hungarian revolution. (Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP)

Hungary’s prime minister reasserted Tuesday that European Union leaders deliberately failed to stop mass migration to the continent and want to create a “European empire” to subjugate individual nations.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, speaking during commemorations of a short-lived 1956 anti-Soviet revolution, called on voters to reject globalism and support “the culture of patriotism” in next year’s European Parliament elections.

“The European Parliament elections in May will decide in which direction Europe’s wagon will turn,” Orban told a large crowd outside the House of Terror Museum. “We should reject the ideology of globalism and support instead the culture of patriotism.”

Orban also claimed that if immigration continues, “autochthonous Europeans” would become a minority and “terror will become part of life in large cities.”

“Those who want to knead a European empire out of the European Union are all, without exception, pro-immigration,” he said. “They deliberately failed to use their huge military and police might, they deliberately failed to defend Europe from the masses of migrants.”

Since 2015, Orban has made increasingly strict anti-immigration policies his principal political focus, which helped his Fidesz party in April win a third consecutive two-thirds majority in parliament.

Opposition parties, at their own commemorative event Tuesday, called on Hungary to join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office to better fight state corruption.

“The current Hungarian government is not sustained by an armed power with limitless replacements or by the endless line of Russian tanks,” said Akos Hadhazy, an independent opposition lawmaker. “It is sustained by a practically unimaginable amount of money, the European Union funds which can be stolen without limits.”

Hungary and Poland are among the few EU members who reject joining the EU prosecutor’s office, calling it a matter of national sovereignty. Hadhazy said he was confident that gathering 1 million petition signatures plus pressure from the EU would compel Orban’s government to join the office.

Later, supporters of nationalist opposition party Jobbik pelted eggs at the headquarters of the state media company and shouted slogans against its alleged pro-government bias.

They also attempted to drown out a report from the scene by Hir TV, a private broadcaster that until a recent change of ownership favored Jobbik but currently is more aligned with Orban’s government.

The brief but bloody 1956 uprising began on the afternoon of Oct. 23 with a student march in Budapest in solidarity with reforms in Poland. Over 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed and 200,000 Hungarian refugees fled, most toward Austria.

Hundreds of revolutionaries, including Prime Minister Imre Nagy, were executed in the wake of the uprising and the establishment of a Soviet-backed government led by Janos Kadar.

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