Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban prior to the start of an EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium on June 23, 2022 | Olivier Hoslet/EPA
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban prior to the start of an EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium on June 23, 2022 | Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban has said that Hungarians "do not want to mix with other races" as a consequence of migrant arrivals in Europe. The statement has drawn massive criticism in Hungary and in the EU, with some accusing the right-wing nationalist leader of 'Nazism'.

During a speech in Romania, Victor Orban for the first time spoke openly about a racist theory, claiming that "Hungarians do not want to mix with other races".

Orban delivered his remarks at the Tusvanyos Summer rally in Romania held every year by a Hungarian ethnic minority living in the country. The text of his speech was published by the socialist newspaper Nepszava.

Orban listed the dangers that allegedly threaten Hungarian society: war, recession and what he considers the biggest danger -- unregulated mass migration that would lead to "mixing of races". He ended his speech by a call to action for an immediate demographic change of policy as Europe would otherwise soon be "substituted" by foreigners.

'The Great Substitution' conspiracy theory

The theory of the Fidesz party leader is that Europe is now populated by peoples who no longer represent nations but rather an ethnic conglomerate of "different races, European and extra-European that mix together." He predicted that by 2050, nations will no longer exist in the EU, only mixed populations.

"But the Hungarian people, here in the basin of the Carpathian Mountains do not want to mix with other races, we will fight against a similar destiny," Orban argued. To him, this is the crux of the problem with the EU.

"Brussels and Soros want to oblige us to host immigrants, they have even condemned us in court, but we will not yield to this policy," Orban added, addressing his supporters. He then declared that "The world owes us, because we are defending Europe with a border barrier blocking the arrival of immigrants but we will force the world to pay back this debt."

Orban also reiterated the extremist 'great substitution' theory, claiming that the West was headed toward demographic, spiritual and economic decline. "If there will not be a change in the demographic policy, our population will soon be substituted by foreigners who will take our place," he said.

'A Nazi speech'

While Orban had repeatedly talked about his "racial purity" theories in the past, he had avoided using right-wing nationalist terms until now. The escalation in his rhetoric was widely condemned by politicians inside and outside of Hungary.

The leader of Hungary's Democratic Party (Dk), Ferenc Gyurcsany, said that "this Nazi speech erases Hungary from the list of honest peoples." Hungarian historian Krisztian Ungvary called Orban's remarks "a truly Nazi speech."

Andras Heisler, president of the Jewish Hungarian community (Mazsihisz), asked for a public explanation on the part of the prime minister on the theory of "the mixing of races, hard to accept for Hungarian Jews, survivors of the racial laws of the 1930s."

The group leader of Hungary's Green Party, Peter Ungar, reminded Orban that science does not recognize the existence of different races but of only one species, the homo sapiens.

'Delusional and dangerous'

In Romania, criticism of Orban's remarks was similarly harsh. Speaking about "races" and ethnic "purity" was "delusional and dangerous," especially in a region like southeastern Europe, Romanian European Member of Parliament Alin Mituta said on Twitter.

Others, like international affairs expert Istvan Szent-Ivanyi, highlighted the risk of Hungary getting kicked out of the European Union if Orban continues with his radical approach toward migration policies. "Orban wants Hungary to stay out of the war in Ukraine, from migration, from the minimum global tax and economic recession," Szent-Ivanyi said. "But with these racist speeches, he is only likely to soon end up outside of the EU."

The European Commission (EC), meanwhile, declared through a spokesperson that "We never comment the observations made by European political representatives, what is clear is that the EU has a set of values that are written in the Treaties and it only implements policies aligned with these values."

 

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