BUDAPEST, Hungary – European Union leaders in Brussels are to blame for the influx of migrants and are bent on creating a United States of Europe which will swallow up nation states, Hungary's prime minister said Tuesday.
Viktor Orban said during commemorations of Hungary's 1848 revolution against Austria's Habsburgs that "the time has come to ring the alarm bells and gather allies" to reject the alleged Brussels scheme.
"If we want to stop the mass migration, first we must put the brakes on Brussels," he said in a speech at the National Museum.
Orban staunchly opposes taking in Muslims, is organizing a national referendum opposing any EU decision to resettle migrants among members states, and Hungary is suing the EU at the European Court of Justice to avoid participating in a resettlement scheme.
He has equated migration with terrorism, brought in tougher immigration and asylum rules which have been criticized by the U.N. refugee agency.
Promising asylum to "real refugees," Hungary granted some sort of international protection to just 508 people last year.
Critics accuse Orban, whose popularity has risen during the migrant crisis, with fomenting anti-migrant sentiment in Central Europe and of using the issue as a distraction from domestic issues.
He has said that Europe is not free because "the truth is not allowed to be said."
"It is forbidden to say that immigration brings crime and terror to our countries," Orban said. "It is forbidden to say that the arriving masses from other cultures are a threat to our way of life, our culture, our habits and our Christian traditions."
Before closing off its southern borders with Serbia and Croatia with fences and razor wire beginning in mid-September, Hungary allowed nearly 400,000 migrants to pass through on their way to Germany and other western European destinations.
"Mass migration is a slow water which erodes the shore with a persistent flow," Orban said. "It masquerades as a humanitarian issue but its true nature is to occupy space."