Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban doubled down on his criticism of the European Union’s handling of immigration in an annual speech Saturday, predicting a shift toward illiberal “Christian democracy” in the 2019 European Parliament.
Orban, a member of the conservative nationalist and populist Fidesz party, has been a vocal leader among other EU nations who are similarly rejecting the EU’s attempts to be more lenient on migration and asylum seekers specifically.
“Their big goal to transform Europe, to ship it into a post-Christian era, and into an era when nations disappear – this process could be undermined in the European elections. And it is our elementary interest to stop this transformation,” Orban said on Saturday in a speech to ethnic Hungarians in Romania, Reuters reported.
He slammed what he calls the Western political “elite” and accused them of failing to protect Europe from mass Muslim immigration, which he predicts will cause a shift in EU leadership in 2019.
Orban called on the EU to come up with an alternative to liberal democracy and its leftist progressive policies and instead move toward a more Christian democracy, which he says rejects multiculturalism, mass immigration and communism while defending Christian values, according to the report.
“We are facing a big moment: we are saying goodbye not simply to liberal democracy … but to the 1968 elite,” he added.
Orban also said Friday in a radio interview that the next European Parliament should not punish countries who choose to protect their borders from immigrants, and instead should punish countries who let large amounts of immigrants into Europe, violating the existing rules of the EU.
“We need a new Commission… with a new approach,” Orban said on the radio.
Orban endorsed the founding of an anti-EU Movement group by Steve Bannon in a continuing effort to boost a nationalistic culture and an anti-immigrant vote for parliament in May 2019.
“The European elite is visibly nervous,” Orban told hundreds of supporters at the speech on Saturday.
Hungary followed in the United States’ footsteps on July 18 when Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced his country would back out of the United Nations migration pact, formally titled the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, saying it would increase the number of migrants coming to Europe and calling it a “threat to the world.”
“This document is entirely against Hungary’s security interests,” Szijjarto said. (RELATED: Hungary Backs Out Of UN Migration Pact, Calling It A ‘Threat To The World’)
Orban and his Fidesz party, which holds a strong lead in opinion polls after it won national elections by a landslide in April, have made targeted attacks against U.S. billionaire philanthropist George Soros and his liberal charity groups, accusing them of promoting illegal immigration to undermine Christian values.
Hungary’s parliament passed a “STOP Soros” bill on June 20, which makes it illegal to help migrants not entitled to protection apply for asylum and also prohibits helping illegal migrants gain status to remain in Hungary. (RELATED: Hungary Passes ‘STOP Soros’ Law That Punished Aid To Illegal Immigrants)
Orban was re-elected for a third consecutive term in April, and European Parliamentary elections will be held in May 2019.
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