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Hungary’s Orbán praises Erdoğan while criticizing ‘undemocratic’ Western Europe

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Hungary’s right-wing nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán railed against what he called “undemocratic” Western European states in a speech on Saturday while praising Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for bringing “good stability” to Turkey, which he counted among countries that can stop the migrant influx into the EU, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

“You can criticize Erdoğan’s system, but good stability in Turkey is good for us. … Today, the safety of the Carpathian Basin and Europe relies on the stability of Turkey, Israel and Egypt, which can stop the influx of Muslims,” Agence France-Presse quoted Orbán as saying while speaking to a gathering of ethnic Hungarians in neighboring Romania.

While outlining his vision for the continent’s future, Orbán said that “there is liberalism in the West, but there is no democracy.”

He claimed that in Western European countries, “restrictions on freedom of expression and censorship have become commonplace.”

Orbán also sharpened his criticism of Brussels institutions, branding the European Commission a “symbol of failure.”

“The European Commission is going, we are coming,” he said.

In the latest of a series of disputes with Hungary over its migration policy and rule of law, the commission last week referred Hungary to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over controversial laws penalizing aid to migrants.

The commission has also referred Hungary to the ECJ for failing to resolve complaints made in December 2015 that it held asylum seekers for too long in transit centers and did not treat them properly.

Orbán also used the speech to explain his own definition of “Christian democracy.”

“If you like, it’s illiberal,” Orbán said, emphasizing that it was “anti-immigrant, anti-multicultural and stands for the Christian family model.”

He said he would make immigration a key theme in next year’s European Parliament elections.

“Europe’s leaders are inadequate, they are unable to defend Europe from immigration,” he said.

Referring to the ethnically Hungarian area of Romania where he was speaking, Orbán said it would “still exist when all of Europe has been invaded by Islam.”

In contrast to the criticism of Western Europe and immigration, Orbán struck a softer tone when referring to other states on the EU’s borders criticized by Brussels.

He slammed the EU’s policy of sanctions against Russia and called the bloc’s policy towards Moscow “primitive.”

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