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19 Jan, 2024 21:27

‘No money’ can make Hungary accept immigrants – PM 

Some things are far more important than EU funding, Viktor Orban has said
‘No money’ can make Hungary accept immigrants – PM 

Hungary will not change its mind about immigration, gender issues, and the Ukraine conflict no matter what, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.

In an interview with the state broadcaster Kossuth Radio, Orban touched on the ongoing dispute with Brussels, which had frozen around 20 billion euros (almost $22 billion) in funds intended for Budapest over ‘rule of law’ and ‘human rights’ concerns. 

According to the PM, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently admitted that the bloc’s problem with Hungary was that it refused to accept immigrants and allow LGBTQ activists into schools.

“Their allegations are nonsense,” Orban said. “We cannot concede on migration, gender, and the war. These issues are more significant, more valuable parts of life than money.”

“No amount of money can make us accept migrants or allow our country to be taken away from us,” he added. In some other EU member states, he said, mass immigration has resulted in terrorism, rising crime, and even “parallel societies.”

He described the demands from Brussels about the LGBTQ agenda as “inconceivable” and argued that “the upbringing of children, especially their sexual education, belongs to families and parents, not schools.”

The upcoming elections for the European Parliament, scheduled for June, will “revolve around migration, our families, and the war” he said, referring to the Ukraine conflict. Unlike most of the EU, Hungary has refused to send Kiev weapons or allow their transit over its territory, and repeatedly called for peace with Russia.

Hungary has also blocked the EU proposal to give €50 billion ($54 billion) to Ukraine over the next four years, demanding at least an annual audit of the funding.

Budapest is due to assume the rotating presidency of the European Council in July, and Brussels “desperately” wants to avoid Orban becoming its acting head, Politico reported earlier this month.

A group of European Parliament members has initiated the procedure to strip Hungary of voting rights in the bloc. According to Finnish MEP Petri Sarvamaa, this is the only way to “protect the European way of life and democracy.”