During his state-of-the-union speech at the weekend, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban doubled-down on his objection to Muslim refugees entering the EU and reiterated his claim to be the protector of European culture and Christianity.
His speech referred to “dark clouds” over Europe as he warned that the continued flow of Muslim refugees would result in an “occupied Europe” that would lead to the eventual collapse of the West.
In response to Orban’s incendiary speech, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn compared the fire-brand Hungarian prime minister to a dictator. Asselborn told German daily Der Tagesspiegel that Orban’s decision to close refugee organisations in Hungary was akin to wielding dictatorial powers, based on Orban’s personal quest to maintain power “is more important than any political moral decency”, adding that Orban has lost “the compass of human dignity.”
Asselborn went on to chastise Orban for his strident anti-Islamic comments, which he claims violate the moral essence of Christian dogma and the EU’s own treaties – both cornerstone beliefs that Orban claims he is defending.
Hungary’s Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó was swift to condemn Asselborn in the local Hungarian press, saying the latter is a “pro-migration politician” and “an idiot” who “hates Hungary” and “follows in the footsteps of George Soros”.
“Jean Asselborn is an idiot, but Hungarians are not,” Szijjártó said, reiterating that immigration threatens Hungary’s “security interests”.
As Hungary heads to the polls in April, castigating Brussels and EU leaders have become Orban’s main campaign tactic to mobilise his conservative, eurosceptic electoral base.