PM Orban: there would be no referendum without Brussels attacking us
As Brussels has attacked Hungary, we need a referendum on child protection, PM Viktor Orban told Hungary's public radio in his regular Friday morning interview. The Hungarian premier recalled that Hungary was already able to stop Brussels once when it held a referendum on migrant resettlement quotas.
Why is it necessary to hold a referendum on child protection when one of the questions in the national consultation survey also pertains to child protection, the public radio’s host asked at the beginning of the interview. PM Orban responded by saying: “because Brussels has attacked Hungary,” adding that the European Commission has sent a 54-page paper to the Hungarian government this week “demanding that we change the Hungarian child protection law.” The Hungarian premier emphasized that laws on both families’ and children’s rights fall within national competencies according to the EU’s fundamental document, that is, “if Brussels had not attacked us, there would be no referendum.” We need support from all Hungarians to win this battle, the PM emphasized. The situation was the same in the case of migration, PM Orban pointed out, adding that without the result of the referendum on migration at the time, the Hungarian government would have been unable to resist the pressure. “Those who cast their vote in the Hungarian referendum protected the whole of Europe from mandatory resettlement quotas,” the Hungarian premier stressed.
Speaking about the European Commission’s report, PM Orban noted that “they want us to allow sexual propaganda into schools and dispute parents’ rights to decide when and in what form they intend to introduce children to issues of sexuality. With this move, they want to take children’s education out of the hands of parents because this is how it already works in Western Europe, he stressed. According to the Commission, there are some rights that have precedence over parental rights, but we cannot accept this, the premier underlined. In their approach, this whole issue is not really about raising children, but about extending the European ideal of freedom. This is not what Hungarians think about this issue, however. Hungarians say there are adults and there are children. Staying within legal boundaries, adults are free to do what they want, including what they want to do with each other, but this cannot apply to children. “For us, it’s not a matter of freedom but a matter of lifestyle,” he emphasized.
According to the Hungarian premier, bureaucrats in Brussels think that history is moving in the same direction in all cases, which very much resembles communism. He added that liberalism is about fully achieving freedom, but the current issue is about limiting our rights as parents. Liberals have become the enemies of freedom, but they constitute a majority in Brussels. We, anti-communists are fighting against the enemies of freedom in the same way as we struggled against the communists at the time, PM Orban stressed. We are a European nation, and we expect respect. To be blackmailed financially is totally unacceptable. “Justice for Hungary!” the premier summed up his message.
Regarding the recovery programme, the Hungarian PM said there was an agreement about its economic contents and drew attention to the fact that time was of the essence in this issue. Brussels is now asking for a two-month delay in the payment of the sums. PM Orban emphasized, however, that the EU can only delay payment “but cannot prevent it as we are entitled for this money.” However, there is no time to wait, so programmes will be launched from the Hungarian funds earmarked for recovery, he said. After the adoption of the child protection law, “we suddenly became very corrupt”, the PM stressed, adding that the country was in for a protracted ideological war, but “we will win the battle, just like we did earlier about the issue of migration.” Mr Orban expressed his hope that the parliament would green-light the referendum, and it can be carried out in January or February. He advised everyone to get informed, look at what is going on in Western Europe, and form their own opinion. In his opinion, those who do not vote and boycott the referendum simply leave the decision to others.
The coronavirus situation also came up during the interview. Regarding that, Mr Orban said that further restrictions could be considered, but they do not want those to become a reality. He emphasized that these are dangerous times and one should not be overconfident about the future. The premier also noted that 55 per cent of the population has already received both doses of the vaccine. We are one of the safest countries in Europe, while the fourth wave has already started in the western part of the continent. That epidemic will be brought into Hungary. He also noted that jabs give protection against severe illness. Mr Orban opined that the Operative Board made the right decision to open the opportunity for a third jab from 1 August. “We are the first in Europe to do so. Now elderly people are in the gravest danger, so we contact those 15 per cent of them who did not get themselves inoculated. We also launch general vaccination for minors over 12 before school starts, he recalled earlier decisions. He emphasized he was reluctant to make vaccination compulsory in the health sector, but he was finally convinced by the facts.
Speaking about the Olympics, the prime minister said he would not attend the games because of the pandemic, as it would be inappropriate for politicians to attend while fans could not. “Olympics without fans is painful,” Mr Orban said, adding that if Hungary hosted the Olympic Games, spectators could be present without any problem.