The polls just opened in Hungary for today’s referendum on whether or not Hungarians will accept mandatory migrant quotas from the European Union. The following op-ed was published by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in advance of the vote by the news portal Magyar Idők. Many thanks to CrossWare for the translation.
Every Thirty Years We Hit the Mainstream
by Viktor Orbán
October 1, 2016
On Sunday October 2nd a lot of people will be watching Hungary. We are calling for the Hungarians to take part in an historic referendum.
It is a beautiful tradition of free Hungary, to use referendums before decisions of historical weight, to determine the points of agreement and to act with a unified will.
This is what happened when at the regime change we had a referendum to determine our EU and NATO membership, which was based on our common will. the referendum about unifying our nation with the Hungarians who happened to live outside of our borders was a much harder case. We had more YES than NO, but we could not have cloudless happiness because the leftist Liberals attacked our nation. They denied the rights of Hungarians living outside of our borders, scaring people with the vision of 23 million Romanian migrants.
Déjà vu. Now the same leftist Liberals are advocating against our national interests again.
They sing from the music sheets of Brussels and prepare the field for the settlement of unlimited numbers of migrants without our permission, in the same way as their European colleagues who openly represent it in Brussels.
On Sunday we have a seemingly simple question to answer. But it is like a drop of the sea: everything is in it what could change the fate of the European Union, and in it Hungary. It is a fact worth mentioning that Hungary is the only EU member state that allowed its citizens to express their opinions about the migration.
It is a general European feeling that the elites in Brussels make decisions over the people’s heads, and some of those decisions are against the interests of Europe.
We want this practice to end. Are the Hungarians strong enough alone? Knowing the balance of powers, obviously we are not, but if we want change, someone has to take the first step and that does not depend on size. Today someone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.
On Sunday we must veto the Brussels elites’ inhuman decision. The forced settlement brings back the worst of our memories: the forced movement of masses of people against their will. The human smugglers and politicians misleading thousands of unfortunate people. They lure them for a thousands-of-kilometers-long journey. They promise them things which are not possible and cannot be fulfilled. And now in facing reality the Brusselites want to make us to pay the price for their faulty political decisions.
They want to push the millions who arrive into places they do not want to live, and force them on communities that do not want this burden.
In politics there are mistakes which can be corrected. But the clock can’t be turned back, and we cannot afford to make such errors. We cannot risk the future of Hungary. Uncontrolled migration means real danger. Our usual peaceful European life and safety are at risk. So the discussion about the migration cannot be kept inside the plastic world of political correctness. We cannot accept the Liberal euro-blah-blah. It is not working; it is ineffective, because reality is escaping from its prison. That is why nobody can keep this discussion within a tight circle of the elites, either. Once the European people have a voice in this argument, there is no doubt about the outcome.
From the proper point of view we can see this is not about a refugee crisis but general migration. This process has been happening for years now, quietly behind the scenes. The only thing that has happened now is that it has become faster and more visible. We can now clearly see the details, the intentions, the dangers and the consequences. This is only the beginning, the scouts — the real pressure will come when millions stop waiting in Africa and start coming here.
This new age of migration will create a situation in Europe which will be bad for everyone and good for nobody.
It will be equally bad for the people living here and for the newcomers, too. We will cease to have peace, order, safety and good life, and there will be chaos, tensions, conflicts, violence and impoverishment. This is not a misty prediction, because we can say with absolute certainty that if we pour two liters of water into a one-liter pot, half of it will flow out. It is also not a prophecy that if someone lets the foxes into the henhouse, it will be bad for everybody, as the foxes will eat chickens and the farmer will shoot the foxes. Everybody ends up losing, and we can’t act surprised about this. Then who wants this? Whose interest does all of this serve? European citizens await answers to these questions.
The thought is not just created in the migrants mind that contrary to Australia, the USA, Israel and all the Arab countries in the Middle East where they refuse to accept refugees, there is a place where they let them in and accept their rights to a better life. They have enough common sense, so there is no reason to be angry with them. It is not their fault. Then what happened?
The politics represented by Brussels brought this trouble upon our heads and invited the unfortunate masses into Europe for a better life.
European leaders must answer these uncomfortable questions from their people: Why did they do this? And why did they tolerate it?
It is very obvious the migrants are not refugees, but are going for economic reasons to Germany, Austria and Sweden. To get to Germany they have pass through five safe countries!
We are not stony-hearted, and it is not easy to say no. But sometimes this is the right thing to do.
This is how to be both fair and smart. We Christians must clarify our relationships to the migrants. We look at them as victims. They are victims of local conflicts and liberal politics that made them believe they can come here because this is Canaan. But nothing dictates that we must sacrifice ourselves, our families, our lifestyle and customs for this.
Every Hungarian knows these lines: “Goodwill is not enough, we also need intelligence.” Intelligence, and without common sense the good intentions will cause more trouble, even much more than they tried to resolve.
As Széchenyi taught us: the mind and heart must live in harmony. Common sense and mercy must be applied together.
This means if we really want to help, then bring the assistance there rather than bring the trouble here. That is the gold standard, that is what our Christian principles dictate. It comes from our Christian responsibilities to undertake only as much as would make the situation better and not worse. Common sense looks at the facts, and not ideologies. Our present facts and experiences are disheartening. The formula is simple. Where they allow the migrants in, they will overwhelm the locals; they are more fertile than the native population. As their numbers grow, they feel less and less need to integrate — why would they do that, when in their eyes they look stronger than the others?
We only need to do some simple calculations to see that this silent battle will be won by them if we allow it!
The economic consequences of the migration are very clear; no man with a half a brain could dispute them. The tragic reality is — as opposed to the false illusions — we cannot use any of the newly-arrived as workforce. Maybe Germany will attempt to sort out the best and hand over the useless leftovers to the others. In the meantime, the defense against terrorism consumes huge resources, and I am not even sure it is possible. The degradation of public safety is unstoppable, and we have not even talked about the social, medical and cultural consequences yet.
Without any theatricality, with quiet honesty we can say: the European Union is at a crossroads. It will either continue in the direction of reformation, or it will fall apart. Hypocritical moralisation, double standards and the increasing arrogance of the liberal elite and endless ideological arguments will bring down the EU. If we can get rid of this disease in European politics, that will be the renewal itself.
We Hungarians were not looking for arguments or the role of the European alarm clock. We just wanted to defend ourselves. We want nobody else to have the right to decide who we want to live with. Based on its sensitive geographical location, it seems that every thirty years Hungary ends up in the eye of a political hurricane. In 1956, when the Soviet Union left Austria we wanted to push the Iron Curtain over our eastern borders and get rid of the world of “homo sovieticus”. In 1989 we opened the borders so as to be part of the German reunification.
Now in 2015-2016 we were the ones who stopped the dangerous migration at the borders of Europe. We did not ask for this task; history gave it to us. We did not run away; we have not backed down.
We will not back down. Even now, those who are firing at our backs we are protecting with high costs, sparing no effort. Unfair? Yes, but not unusual. In 1956 they first encouraged us, but then left to ourselves. After 1990 they did not let us join the EU for fourteen years, and now, instead of saying thanks or giving us some recognition, they insult us.
Was it worth it? It was worth it in ’56, in 1990, and today, too. We are the type of people who do not wait for praise, tolerate well the unfairness of others, and are satisfied with having a clear conscience. This is the secret of our survival and key to future successes. We love unity and friendship, alliances, but if needed we can stand alone, too.
On October 2nd, with the Hungarian referendum, we send a message to every European citizen. We send the message that we European citizens have the power to shake the EU from its destructive path, or let them destroy themselves. Sunday our task is to create an even larger unity. The referendum will decide how strong the country will stand against the battles of interests that lies ahead of us. A strong referendum, a strong Hungary; a weak referendum, a weak country.
Who asks us to abstain from voting, weakens the country, ruins our chances, risks our independence, our safety and everything we Hungarians worked so hard for.
In the next couple of months we must block Brussels from pushing through the laws they want to use to force us to accept migrants. Our comrades in fate, the Visegrad countries, will play a huge role in this. Next year we will see how the elections in large European countries turn out, and what direction the European Union takes.
It will be a long road, but it is worth making the trip, if on October 2nd enough of us say NO in unison.
We need everybody who loves Hungary, and loves it as it is, with its strengths and weaknesses, and who do not want it changed with force and violence.
We need those who cling to the original idea of the European Union, the colorful group of European nations with their strengths and weaknesses. We European citizens must prevent the noble original ideas of the Roman charter from sinking in the swamp of nihilism.
That is what we the Hungarians vote about on October 2nd. Let’s meet there!
— Viktor Orbán