Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has offered to open up his country to refugees – but only those seeking sanctuary from the liberal policies of western Europe.
In the annual state of the nation address Orban insisted that Hungary was facing attacks in five areas:
- from migrants, moving through the Balkans towards central and western Europe
- from billionaire George Soros, whom Orban accuses of funding anti-government groups
- from EU challenges to his attempts to fix energy prices
- from EU efforts to synchronise tax policies
- from EU efforts to control funding for job creation
“Of course we can give shelter to the real refugees: Germans, Dutch, French, Italians; scared politicians and journalists; Christians who had to flee their own country; those people who want to find here the Europe that they lost at their home,” he noted to applause.
His speech came as the government announced plans to hold migrants moving into the European Union in holding camps constructed from shipping containers while their asylum applications are considered. The refugees and other migrants will therefore no longer be free to travel through and out of the country, a restriction denounced as illegal by human rights groups.
In his speech, Orban hit out at a liberal vision of open economies which he described thus: “The foxes are let into the henhouse to compete freely, and nobody can stop the foxes winning time after time.”
And he praised the strength of Hungary and its economy, observing that nation credit ratings were being upgraded, that wages were rising and household debt falling.