Hungary’s far-right Prime Minister Victor Orban has sparked outrage for lashing out against the “mixing” of European and non-European races.
His speech immediately drew mass outrage across Europe, both from within Hungary and in other European nations.
“We are not a mixed race… and we do not want to become a mixed race,” Orban said about Hungary.
Orban said that countries where European and non-Europeans “mix” were “no longer nations.” The comments are not new for Orban, who has been making similar claims for years. But these comments were couched in stark far-right terms.
An MEP from the opposition Momentum party Katalin Cseh said she was appalled by the speech, stating that the statements recall a time that “we would all like to forget” and shows “the true colors of the regime.”
Cseh addressed mixed-race people in Hungary on Twitter, saying “Your skin color may be different, you may come from Europe or beyond, but you are one of us, and we are proud of you. Diversity strengthens the nation, it doesn’t weaken it.”
In Romania, MEP Alin Mituta also responded angrily to the speech, saying that speaking about any kind of race or ethnic “purity” is “purely delusional and dangerous,” and that so was Orban.
The speech was made during a showpiece annual speech in Romania, where the prime minister previously floated major policy ideas or ideological directions.
In this same speech in 2014 is where Orban announced that he wanted to build an “illiberal democracy” in Hungary.
This year’s speech was apocalyptic. It predicted the decline of the West, and a “decade of peril, uncertainty, and war.”
Military support for Ukraine was intensely criticized in the speech, as Orban positioned himself as Russia’s biggest ally within the European Union.
Hungary is a member of NATO as well. But Orban has long held warm relationships with Russia and even more so with Russian President Vladimir Putin himself. He spent five hours in Moscow talking with Putin in February, right after the Kremlin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine has called Orban’s speech “Russian propaganda.”
Orban won a fourth consecutive term in an election earlier this year. His government is accused of stifling media and journalism freedom, and also for backsliding on democratic norms since his party took power in 2010. The main talking point for Orban’s government is far-right anti-migration rhetoric.