In an interview given to public service television news channel M1 on Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the security of the Hungarian people is the Government’s top priority; “this is the path it has pursued” to date, and there is no need to change its way of thinking, he stated.

With reference to the attacks in Paris on Friday night, the Prime Minister stated that the Government must continue to pursue and reinforce its current policy, while at the same time the direction and cooperation to date between the Government and political and professional organisations have been very satisfactory. Mr. Orbán said that when the Government first received intelligence from organisations responsible for security, “alarm bells immediately started ringing in our heads; this has not been the case elsewhere”.

Hungary has done everything conceivably possible in the interest of protecting the country and its own citizens, as well as in the interest of protecting Europe and European citizens, he reiterated; when possible, it has done even more, sending units of police and border guards to territories outside Hungary. Regarding the level of terrorism threat the country is exposed to, the Prime Minister pointed out that “we do not need any further information, because real life has surpassed all our expectations”.

Speaking about the migration flow heading for Europe, he said that Europe has transported in hundreds of thousands of people whose identities are unknown, whose precise origins are unknown and whose intentions are unknown, and as terrorists some of them are no doubt “exploiting this enormous flow of migrants to gain access to Europe”; therefore, the threat is ongoing and direct.

Mr. Orbán pointed out that for months Hungarian security agencies have been warning the Government that the fact that there would be serious security implications – including for Hungary – related to masses of people “pouring in – without any checks or information – from countries with which the European Union is at war, or in which it is conducting military operations”. There were also important security considerations behind construction of Hungary’s border fence, he said.

He added that he continuously seeks to incorporate the intelligence and expertise of the Hungarian secret services, the counter-terrorism agency and the police into Hungarian policy, but this is not the case everywhere in Europe. In answer to a question, the Prime Minister said that “it would be reasonable to change our laws”, because there are some data management problems, but at this point in time it is too early to talk about these; “let us allow the Government to address these issues on Wednesday”, he said.

He said that this is not the first time in Europe that an ideology has overwhelmed political decision-makers, and concerns over security, crime and threats “are somehow removed from the equation”. He added that “Even now, we are on the wrong path”; the overwhelming opinion in Brussels and some large EU Member States continues to be that on the whole immigration is a good thing, and what Europe is doing right now is the correct and useful thing to do, he said. Meanwhile, he continued, it is quite obvious – to Hungarians, for instance – that this is not the case.

The Prime Minister said that many are now trying to convince the people that there is no correlation of any kind between immigration and terrorism, and “it is extremely disheartening to see this”. The whole European political leadership should make a sharp turn and change direction, he remarked. He also reiterated that wherever there are immigrants in large numbers, crime rates increase, public security deteriorates, and life becomes ever less liveable. The European elite are not willing to talk about this, despite the fact that we must address this social phenomenon, he said.

Mr. Orbán said that, in the last few days since the attacks in Paris, the leaders of the EU’s institutions have been trying to convince the European people that what has happened is no reason to change our immigration policy; the Prime Minister takes the opposite view, saying that “the entirety of European policy should be reconsidered”, we must protect our borders, our culture and our economic interests. So far there are no signs indicating a clear change in response to the events, he said.

The Prime Minister argued that the EU must insist that Greece honours its obligation under the Schengen Agreement to protect its borders. If Greece is unable to do so, he added, “a second line of defence” must be designated, at which those entering EU territory are subject to controls. The Prime Minister thinks that the Dublin Regulation is “dead”, but he would not discard the Schengen Agreement: it must be preserved and protected, because without this there is no free movement and employment in Europe. However, only those who observe this agreement may be parties to it, he stated.

Mr. Orbán pointed out that “the gap has increased intolerably” between the expectations and way of thinking of the European people and the policies of European leaders: no one authorised them to allow in hundreds of thousands of people in an uncontrolled manner. It is only a question of time before the people “will reshape Europe’s elected leaders to better fit the mould”, he said. Mr. Orbán stressed that Hungary does not wish to be a passive observer of European politics, and it is making proposals on an ongoing basis. There are very intensive consultations between the Visegrád countries. Central Europe is a “healthy region, which functions on the basis of good instincts”. He said that a Central European political culture is emerging, together with regular joint action in Europe which embodies that culture.

On this issue the key country is Germany, which could put an end to the flood of migrants with a single sentence, he stressed. Regarding the Government’s stance against mandatory resettlement quotas, the Prime Minister said that it is simply not possible for the Hungarian people “to import a terrorism threat” from other countries by allowing unidentified individuals into Hungary.

The Prime Minister stated that as yet there is no new date for the cancelled Fidesz party congress, but on Tuesday or Wednesday a date will be set.