Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has pushed back on claims that conservative-led Central European countries defying Brussels on migrant quotas and other globalist policies survive on EU funds, saying simply: “Like hell we do!”
Hungary and other Central European countries with governments leaning towards national conservativism and national populism, such as Poland, have come in for heavy criticism from the European Union establishment in recent years for refusing compulsory migrant redistribution, enforcing strong border controls, and introducing policies to support marriage and motherhood as an alternative to mass migration, among other things.
Critics of these Central European governments have often implied they should have no right to gainsay the will of globalist politicians and bureaucrats from France, Germany, and minor countries like Belgium which consider themselves the leaders of the EU and the arbiters of “European values”, as they are net beneficiaries of the EU’s central budget.
Such arguments have gained new prominence as EU member-states have hashed out a coronavirus relief package, with attempts by globalist politicians to link funding to so-called “rule of law” commitments — that is, commitments by Central European countries to give up socially conservative programmes and judicial reforms — having failed, and Hungary and its allies seemingly major winners in the agreed package.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 29, 2020
“[F]or some reason… we say that we receive money from the European Union. Like hell we do!” said Orbán during an interview with Kossuth Radio, a transcript of which has been seen by Breitbart London.
“We don’t receive money from the European Union: we recover some of the money taken out of Hungary by Westerners,” the Hungarian leader insisted.
“I really want the Hungarian people to not look at EU funds as something we receive from people who are richer and stronger than us, but to think of us as having joined more fortunate countries after having been through forty years of communism,” he explained.
“We allow them to bring their goods here without the imposition of protective customs tariffs. We allow them to invest here and to force us to compete with them, despite the fact that we started the race one lap behind them. We’ve signed up to all this, and in return we expect them to give us back a fair share of the resultant business profits – because it’s ours and we’ve worked for it,” he said.
“We agreed to join the race under unequal conditions, and in return we’re entitled to some kind of financial rebate creating equal opportunities. This is how it must be perceived.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 22, 2020
Orbán noted that “a former European commissioner dealing with economic affairs has calculated that around 70 to 80 per cent of the money with which the European Union reimburses us with is in fact used for the purchase of products manufactured by Western companies, and investments implemented by Western companies” — so the globalist-led EU member-states are not necessarily acting purely from the goodness of their hearts when they agree to a net transfer of EU funds to former Soviet satellite states.
“[T]hey also benefit. So it’s both humiliating and untrue to present European Union funds as the EU condescending to push some money towards us poor Central Europeans,” Orbán emphasised.
“I’d like us Hungarians to have much greater self-respect, in which it’s clearly recognised that of course we started with an enormous handicap, from conditions of hardship: the communists destroyed everything here and plundered the country, and in the ’50s they took from the people everything that we could have built a future on,” he recalled.
“And yet we got back up on our feet and today we’re competitive.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 12, 2020