EU reduced to weak regional player unable to defend itself – Hungary’s Orban

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban © Kacper Pempel
The deadly shooting rampage in Europe’s leading nation, Germany, is a sign that Britain’s exit from the EU has reduced the bloc to a weak regional player unable to achieve any goals or protect its citizens, Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban said.

“Never before in my whole life I was as discouraged as after as the attack in Munich,” in which a lone gunman killed 9 people and injured 27 others on Friday, Orban said, according to Agerpres news agency.

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“In the last 30 or 40 years, we perceived the Germans as the guarantors of our democracy,” Orban said. “But you see that the same thing that happened yesterday, a few days ago took place in Nice. It’s now closing on us all, but even more serious is that this attack happened in Germany – the country which we consider to be our fulcrum. And this means that even in that country there’s no absolute guarantee [of security] anymore.”

The time has come to give up on the “idealization of Europe” and the “false self-esteem” because after Brexit the EU has lost its global role, the Hungarian PM said in a speech at a student summer camp at the Romanian town of Baile Tusnad on Saturday.

“Europe… is a regional player, who can’t protect its borders and citizens as well as keep the people together,” he said.

The “weakened” EU is also unable to counter the refugee influx, which is only going to increase due to the spike in population in Africa and Asia, Orban added.

“The European political elite has failed the test,” he said. “It can’t reach any single one of its goals. When we gather in Bratislava (for the next EU summit) … we should openly say that we have to discuss the future of Europe because the political leadership of Europe has failed the test.”

According to the Hungarian PM, European bureaucrats are more dangerous for member states than Islamic terrorists.

“Our problem isn’t in Mecca, but in Brussels. Islam is not an obstacle for us, but the officials Brussels are. We know how we should treat Islam, if we are left alone,” he said.

Orban expressed belief that the crisis of the Western elite has led to a crisis of democracy as for the last half-century all politicians in power – no matter left- or right-wing – came from “the same political incubator… represented the same school.”

After the UK decided to quit the European Union, the bloc must consider putting together its own military, he added.

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“We need a real army, in which there’ll be understanding; in which the orders are given to the same language,” the PM said, adding that the need for EU member states’ active participation in NATO would still remain.

The Hungarian prime minister also touched on US presidential elections and effectively endorsed Donald Trump as a “valiant American presidential candidate.” While claiming that he is “not Donald Trump’s campaigner,” Orban said that the Republican nominee’s anti-terrorism proposals make him a stronger option for Europe and Hungary, as compared to the Democrats and Hillary Clinton.

“I listened to [Trump] and I have to tell you that he made three proposals to stop terrorism,” Orban said. “And as a European, I myself could not have drawn up better what Europe needs.”