by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered a stinging speech in the European Parliament Wednesday, asserting Hungary’s right to self-governance and defending its actions regarding immigration and against American financial speculator George Soros.
“I know that the power, size and weight of Hungary is much smaller than that of the financial speculator, George Soros, who is now attacking Hungary,” Orbán said.
“Despite ruining the lives of millions of European with his financial speculations, being penalized in Hungary for speculations, and who is an openly admitted enemy of the euro, he is so highly praised that he is received by the EU’s top leaders,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s address built upon comments he made in an Easter interview with Magyar Idők, in which he stated the motives behind Hungary’s diffidence toward George Soros.
“There can be no special privileges, and no one may stand above the law – not even George Soros’s people,” he said.
Through his organisations in Hungary, and hidden from the public gaze, Orbán said, “George Soros is spending endless amounts of money to support illegal immigration.”
“To pursue his interests he pays a number of lobbying organisations operating in the guise of civil society. He maintains a regular network, with its own promoters, its own media, hundreds of people, and its own university.”
“I believe that George Soros must not be underestimated: he is a powerful billionaire of enormous determination who, when it comes to his interests, respects neither God nor man,” he said.
In his address before Parliament Wednesday, Orbán said that the basic stance of the government is contrary to the intentions of the European Commission regarding immigration.
“Our position is clear: we do not want, and do not think it is in accordance with the founding treaties of the Union, to settle migrants in our country in a mandatory way,” he said. “The decision on who we live with can only be made by the Hungarian citizens.”
The Prime Minister said it is important to note that “George Soros and his NGOs want to transport one million migrants to the EU per year. He has personally, publicly announced this programme and provides a financial loan for it. You could read this yourselves.”
“We reject this,” Orbán said. “We do not want to lose the right of national ratemaking for public utilities, because we fear that this would increase the burdens of the people and once again lead to drastic price increases, from which Hungarian families have suffered enough.
Regarding the regulation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Orbán said that the Hungarian proposal “follows the American example.”
The “complicated question,” he said, is “how we can make the operations of financially strong foreign external lobbies, willing to influence democratic decision-making, transparent to everyone.”
“The Hungarian legislation builds on the principal of clarity and transparency. We want nothing else but to be able to know of NGOs what kind of money and what kind of interests are behind them. This does not undermine their constitutional rights to have their voices heard, represent their interests and be able to organise themselves freely,” he said.
Orbán said that Hungarians are in favor of “straight talk” and reject attempts to beat around the bush or hide behind diplomatic language when discussing important issues.
“We talk clearly and unambiguously, so everyone can understand, even if we know that this may not appeal to everyone,” he said. “We on the other hand are irritated by the restrained political language, unable to name things for what they are, that has become widespread in European public life nowadays.”