by Nick Hallett
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned European
leaders that if they do not adopt tougher migration policies and consult
voters they face a threat to the democratic order.
Addressing a conference of the European People’s Party (EPP) in
Madrid, Mr. Orban said Europe is in “deep trouble” due to the huge
influx of migrants it has experienced over the past months, Politico reports.
“This is an uncontrolled and unregulated process,” he said, adding
that it poses a direct threat to democracy because governments did not
“get authorisation from (citizens) for millions to walk into our
Mr Oban told the gathering of centre-right politicians from across
Europe that left-wing parties were “importing future leftist voters” and
trying to “hide it behind humanism.”
He also suggested German Chancellor Angela Merkel – a fellow EPP
member – was creating chaos by encouraging more migrants to come to
Europe and then travel across the continent rather than stopping in the
first country they come to.
The grouping, which has traditionally been dominated by Mrs. Merkel,
loudly applauded the Hungarian Prime Minister, suggesting a growing rift
in the European centre-right.
Mr. Orban also said the flow of migrants had now turned into an
“unlimited supply of people”, and it is impossible to open European life
to all of them.
“The German, Hungarian or Austrian way of life is not a basic right
of all people on earth,” he said. “It is only a right for those people
who have contributed to it. We have to help them get back their own
lives, with dignity, and we have to send them back to their own
“We have heartfelt compassion for the people who left their homes,”
he added. “They are victims … but considering them victims does not mean
we must make ourselves victims.”
The speech put the German Chancellor on the back foot, forcing her to
clarify in a later speech that she still respects Europe’s border
“We insist on the territorial integrity of all countries in Europe.
That is the basis of peaceful coexistence and we cannot make any
compromises on that,” she said.
Meanwhile, European Council President Donald Tusk appeared to back Mr. Orban’s comments, but sought to soften the tone.
“We cannot pretend any longer that the great tide of migrants is
something that we want and that we are conducting a well-thought out
policy,” Mr. Tusk said. “We have lost our ability to control our borders
… but on the other hand we cannot give into populism and xenophobia.”