Levi Winchester, Express, November 6, 2015
Europe has been warned that it “cannot build its future on immigration instead of families” as the Hungarian prime minister once again urged against taking in unprecedented numbers of migrants.
Viktor Orban waded into the crisis as he spoke of the dangers Europe could face if it tries to solve its demographic and economic problems by taking in large swathes of refugees.
Addressing crowds at a conference in Budapest this week, the outspoken leader said the continent must instead push families to have more children because “the survival of our civilisation and our culture is at stake”.
Mr Orban, leader of the ruling right-wing Fidesz party, has previously attacked the European Union over their response to the migrant crisis engulfing the continent.
He also once delcared that his country does not want to take in large numbers of Muslims, as he argued it should be up to individual leaders to decide who they allow in.
But he also received backlash in return over his country’s decision to erect a razor-wire fence along the EU’s external frontier with Serbia earlier this year.
This summer saw Hungary battle to cope with hundreds of thousands of migrants who were desperately trying to make their way through the country as part of their journey across Europe.
Hundreds stood in protest outside a train station in Budapest as they demanded entries onto trains that would take them into Austria or Germany.
Speaking in Budapest yesterday, Mr Orban declared that “Europe has been betrayed” and warned that the continent could soon become a place “no longer be for those citizens living here”.
He added launched a fresh attack on European states as he blasted their “huge well-functioning intelligence services” for not being ready for the huge influx of several thousand refugees arriving in Europe each day.
More than 700,000 people – many fleeing war and persecution in the Middle East and Africa – have arrived in Europe so far this year.
The majority of them have Germany and Sweden in their sights, with Slovenia now being their main point of entry into the passport-free Schengen zone.
Mr Orban said: “Europe cannot build its future on immigration instead of families.”
Hungary has previously pledged to challenge the mandatory quota system set by the EU for refugee relocation, with Mr Orban blasting the move as having “no democratic basis”.
The quota system was poised to disperse 160,000 Syrian, Eritrean and Iraqi refugees and economic migrants across the continent over the next two years.
Britain has refused to be part of the quota system, with David Cameron having pledged to accept up to 20,000 vulnerable Syrians directly from refugee camps in the region by 2020.
He asked during a radio interview: “Who in Europe voted to allow people to arrive illegally in their millions and then be distributed?”
The population of Hungary has declined every year since 1980, and in 2011 fell below 10 million for the first time since 1960.
Meanwhile, a shock forecast from Brussels this week predicted three million more migrants will arrive in Europe by the end of next year.
The prediction came as it emerged that the EU’s quota system has almost ground to a halt.
Arrangements have been made so far to move only 116 migrants from Greece and Italy and only about 1,400 places have been made available by 14 member states.