Hungary will not change its controversial immigration laws despite a European Court ruling, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said today, intensifying his nationalist campaign ahead of next year’s imminent parliamentary elections.
Orban said immigration and LGBTQI rights, two issues that have sparked conflict with the European Union, will dominate the agenda as the right-wing Fidesz party prepares for the first by-elections since three overwhelming 2010 elections. .
The dispute over democratic standards has led to a freeze on funding from the EU Recovery Fund for Hungary, complicating Orban’s efforts to be re-elected as the economy is heavily dependent on funds to finance investment and boost growth.
The opposition is united
The 58-year-old prime minister faces a united opposition as inflation hits a 14-year high, the economy slows and the budget deficit jumps to record lows due to high campaign spending.
Earlier this month, Hungary’s Constitutional Court avoided ruling over European Union law in a controversial government move against immigration, averting a deeper crisis after a similar Polish ruling shocked Europe.
There was an objection
The court heard an appeal by the Orban government over an EU court ruling that found that Budapest had violated EU law by deporting refugees across the border to Serbia.
The court ruled that Budapest has the right to apply its own measures in areas where the EU has not yet taken appropriate steps to jointly apply EU rules as well as to safeguard its national identity, a decision taken by Orban. justification of its policies.
“The government has decided that we will not do anything to change the border protection system,” Orban told a news conference. “We will maintain the status quo, even if the European Court of Justice has ordered us to change it,” he said. “We will not change it and we will not let anyone pass.”
Referendum on the rights of LGBTQI
Orban, whose anti-immigration stance has boosted support for Fidesz since the 2015 immigration crisis, also said he would push forward another controversial issue, a referendum on LGBTQ rights in the run-up to the election.
Orb .n considers himself an advocate of traditional Hungarian values against the “LOATKI ideology”.
In the referendum, Hungarians will be asked if they support conducting sex workshops in schools without parental consent, and if they believe that gender reassignment processes should be “promoted” among children.
Orban also told a news conference that Hungary had ordered 9.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, days after it identified the first infections with the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The European Commission has already approved the inclusion of Hungary in Pfizer’s vaccine supplies for the EU.