May 10, 2018 / 1:33 PM / 18 days ago

EU must give up "nightmares" of United States of Europe - Hungarian PM

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - The European Union should give up the “delusional nightmares” of a United States of Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday in pledging to defend his nation’s Christian values and fight EU migrant settlement quotas.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reacts after taking the oath of office in the Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Orban, a maverick anti-immigration nationalist, won re-election for a third straight four-year term last month and is already the longest-serving premier in Hungary’s post-Communist history.

His populist rhetoric and strong criticism of EU policies have put Orban at odds with older, western members of the bloc but won him a landslide victory at home, as his nationalist line proved popular with voters.

In his first speech in the new parliament, which on Thursday elected him prime minister as a formality, Orban said his new government would build a “Christian democracy”.

He promised to boost growth and competitiveness and reverse a demographic decline. “We will oppose the mandatory migrant settlement quotas... and will fight for the protection of borders,” he said.

“(The EU) must give up the delusional nightmares of a United States of Europe; the EU must return to the grounds of reality. As a first step it must change its thinking about migration.”

Orban also said the era of liberal democracy had ended.

“We have replaced a shipwrecked liberal democracy with a 21st-century Christian democracy, which guarantees people’s freedom, security,” Orban, in power since 2010, told parliament.

“It supports the traditional family model of one man and one woman, keeps anti-Semitism at bay, and gives a chance for growth,” he added.

Orban also outlined broad plans for the next 12 years entailing rapid economic and social progress under a conservative ideology.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses the Parliament for the first time since his reelection in Budapest, Hungary, May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Reporting by Krisztina Than and Marton Dunai; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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