Hungary’s influencial prime minister has declared that ‘Christianity is Europe’s last hope’ after calling out politicians in Brussels, Berlin and Paris of ushering in the ‘decline of Christian culture and the advance of Islam’.
During his annual state of the nation speech, Viktor Orban called yesterday for a global alliance against migration as his populist Fidesz party began campaigning for an April 8 election in which it is expected to win a third consecutive landslide victory.
He highlighted the fact that Islam would soon ‘knock on Central Europe’s door’ from both the west and the south.
In a populist rallying cry, Orban insisted that Western Europe is being overtaken by Muslims, before claiming that ‘born Germans are being forced back from most large German cities, as migrants always occupy big cities first’.
The politician, who has been prime minister since 2010, is popular in Hungary but is increasingly at odds with mainstream European Union politicians and appears to thrive on controversy, including repeated clashes with Brussels.
Orban told an audience at the Royal Castle in Budapest: ‘Christianity is Europe’s last hope. Our worst nightmares can come true. The West falls as it fails to see Europe being overrun.’
Domestically, Orban is popular partly because he is widely credited with reversing an economic slump in Hungary and controlling its public finances.
In his speech, Orban said that Europe faces a divide between nations of the East and the West, which he called an ‘immigrant zone, a mixed population world that heads in a direction different from ours’.
And he went on to claim that the West wants eastern Europe to follow its lead, which could trigger an increasingly vicious struggle.
‘Absurd as it may sound the danger we face comes from the West, from politicians in Brussels, Berlin and Paris,’ Orban said to loud applause. ‘Of course we will fight, and use ever stronger legal tools. The first is our “Stop Soros” law.’
This was a reference to the Hungarian-born US financier George Soros, whose philanthropy is seen as aimed at backing liberal and open-border values.
During the international migrant crisis, Orban ordered a double razor wire fence to be built to keep people out of Hungary.
Orban also accused the Hungarian opposition of being on the wrong side of history when it opposed his toughness on migrants.
Orban said: ‘Soros has antagonised not only us but also England, President Trump and Israel too. Everywhere he wants to get migration accepted. It won’t work. We are not alone and we will fight together and we will succeed.’
Meanwhile, he cited Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland as allies.
The speech echoes the message of other right-wingers.