Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has warned of two civilisations in Europe – one Christian, the other mixed Islamic – as he called for an ‘anti-immigration’ uprising in the EU.
Speaking at a news conference in Budapest, Orban predicted there would be two civilisations, ‘one mixed Muslim-Christian in the West, and one traditional European-Christian in Central Europe.’
The nationalist leader called for ‘anti-immigration forces’ to seize power in May’s European elections and said he would ‘fight’ French President Macron, who he claimed was leading a pro-immigration agenda.
He welcomed a ‘Warsaw-Rome axis’ as he echoed calls for a ‘European Spring’ made by the Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini who challenged the ‘French-German axis’ on Wednesday during a visit to Warsaw.
‘The Polish-Italian or Warsaw-Rome axis is one of the greatest developments that the year could have begun with,’ Orban said.
Orban called Salvini his ‘hero,’ after the Italian leader said there would be a ‘new plan for Europe’ at talks with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of Poland’s governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Orban said Salvini’s stance was ‘brave.’
‘He was the first politician in Europe who said that migration can also be stopped at sea, that made him a hero in my eyes.’ The 55-year-old Hungarian leader said.
Orban, who won a third consecutive term in April with an electoral campaign based on anti-immigration policies, also said that he had ‘great hopes’ for cooperation between Italy and Poland.
He gave full support to an Italian-Polish initiative to form a right-wing alliance for the European Parliament where he hopes anti-immigration parties will gain a majority.
Last September the European Parliament voted to launch unprecedented legal action against Budapest over alleged ‘breaches of democratic values’.
Orban said that ‘for the first time the European elections will decide on a question that touches all of Europe, that is, immigration.’
Orban took aim at Macron, whom he called the leader of pro-immigration policies in Europe.
‘It is nothing personal, but a matter of our countries’ future,’ Orban said of Macron. ‘If what he wants with regards to migration materialises in Europe, that would be bad for Hungary, therefore I must fight him.’
Orban also said he saw no chance for a compromise with Germany. He said German politicians and media attack him, often brutally, exerting undue pressure on him to admit migrants.
Immigration has been the main political vehicle for Orban since 2015, when he was the first leader on the continent to take an extreme hard-line on the issue.
He built a razor wire fence along Hungary’s southern border to stop it as hundreds of thousands of bogus refugees reached Europe’s shores and border.
Orban has tightened his grip on power since 2010, defying EU norms and rising to prominence as the continent’s voters increasingly respond to populist agendas.