The attackers want to conquer that, which is the very essence and foundation of Europe: the Christian lifestyle – said Katalin Novak, Minister of State for Family, Youth and International Affairs, in an interview given for PestiSrácok.hu. The Vice President of Fidesz’s Hungarian Civic Alliance explained the basics of Fidesz-KDNP’s European goals, a Christian-democratic revolution. She also explained how Victor Orban mobilized the youth along the old-new idea of Christian freedom in Italy at the National Conference on Conservatism. Katalin Novak stated that European people are sick and tired of others telling them what and how to think. “There is no need to force anything on young people, we must not start an opinion dictatorship. Those who claim to be liberal are willing to tolerate only one kind of ideology, however, instead of opinion-terror we need to provide space for people’s natural, fundamental values” – she explained in an interview given via telephone right after having a prayer dinner with Donald Trump, where the participants’ goal was to strengthen the good relationship between Fidesz and the American Republicans.
Ha szeretné, hogy a keresztény szabadság eszméjét külföldön is megértsék, ossza meg ezt az interjút magyarul nem beszélő barátaival. Az eredeti verzió ITT olvasható!
In the recent past, a less violent an organized siege of migrants hit the Serbian-Hungarian border crossing again. Can we say that, not only our borders, but Europe is under attack?
Ideologically, absolutely. And this is more dangerous than a physical siege, because, we can defend ourselves against an attack at the border with proper security, while an ideological siege oozes into our everyday lives unnoticeably. Many people wake up only to realize that we have been defeated already. These attackers want to conquer the very thing that provides the foundation of Europe: the Christian lifestyle.
Could a united European Christian Democratic force respond to the challenge? Is this the way you were looking for in Rome?
Like-minded people went up on stage and met at the Rome Conference, who agree that, the richness of Europe lies in the diversity and coexistence of nation-states. There is no need to import anything or anyone to become a multicultural Europe, since different cultures are living side by side in peace, thanks God (except in the Yugoslav or Ukrainian conflict). This peace is precisely guaranteed by the balance of diversity, which, however, is a delicate balance, can be ruined if we give up our national values and nation states in general. Those who believe in the vision of a federal or United Europe would deprive the continent of the value of diversity, although globally, Europe can only compete if it preserves its specific characteristics, strengthens its cultural and economic traditions, and does not dissolve in an international melting pot. Such an attempt has already been made during the Soviet Union – it did not work. So, it is our common mission to protect the Christian way of life, nation states and families. We tried to explain the common points of this mission in Rome, where Viktor Orban was the main speaker.
In Brussels, you (together with us, the Hungarian patriots) are the minority to be trampled, because things are going in a completely different direction there. All we need to think about is the latest news that Brussels wants to introduce taxes in the EU to implement its utopian migrant and climate policies…
We want to make it clear to everyone: what matters is not what the Brussels elite wants, but where the people of Europe are headed. There is democracy, and voters are telling us something else: they don’t like that the real decision makers are not the politicians they elected, but self-appointed bodies whom they do not know. This is not what the European Union is about, since the European Commission in Brussels, which has overstepped its powers in recent years, has a task according to the Treaties: to enforce and implement treaties adopted by the leaders of the Member States. The European Union must represent the interests of the Member States, embodied by the European Council with the heads of governments. The functioning of the EU must be fixed, and barriers must be put up so Brussels cannot become some kind of super-government that forces its will on the Member States and on the people without any authorization.
What does this fight mean to the people, what conclusion did you come to in Roma?
There is no need to force anything on young people, we must not start an opinion-dictatorship. Those who claim to be liberal are willing to tolerate only one kind of ideology, however, instead of opinion-terror, we need to provide space for people’s natural, fundamental values. Most young people are proud of their nation, their athletic success, their anthem, their homeland. These things should not be allowed to be suppressed! Left-wing liberals are, in actuality, persecuting the national feeling, which is unacceptable. Reality is contrary to their vision, because for most people a strong national identity is important, while being able to accept other identities as well. The overwhelming majority is proud of their family and would like to have children. Why should this goal be suppressed or taken away? More than ninety percent of women raise children in Hungary after a certain age. Why do they want to convince them that this is a bad thing? The traditional conservative idea belongs to the European man: “I do not stigmatize anyone, I do not incite, I accept difference, while I am proud of my identity!” An important part of this conservative worldview is protecting the created world, protecting the environment. Instead of cheap slogans and neo-communist tricks, we really want to preserve the planet for our children and want to pass it on to them in the state we received it from our parents. In fact, this is one of the most important conservative values and missions.
Is this a rebellion of normality?
I would not say so because, unlike so-called liberals, I would never classify anyone as abnormal. Rather, it is a revolution of traditional, natural, instinctive thinking and free action. Viktor Orban said that he can afford the luxury that most European leaders cannot: to say what he thinks. This is what I wish for everyone: think, debate, openly believe, and live in real freedom. This thought is now demanding a way for itself. Many people in Europe are already bored of not being able to tell a joke freely or say, for example, that they do not wish to live in a Muslim-majority country. People must be given maximum freedom to express their views as long as they do not incite hatred or violate the dignity of others. This is also part of the Christian freedom that many people desire, and which Viktor Orbán has spoken of several times. We are tired of always having someone telling us what and how to think.
From all this, Benedek Jávor, the spokesman for Budapest’s Mayor Gergely Karácsony in Brussels, and the liberal media could only bring out that you “did bungabunga” with Berlusconi …
It is hard to shock me, for it has happened before. Once they did a report on – according to them – one of my terrifying speeches before I actually did it. They regularly make fake news about me, they claim I said things I never actually said. One of them, for example, said on television that Matteo Salvini refused to meet Viktor Orbán in Rome, and then the shocking moment came, as they could see the photos, and I can also testify, that they had an important meeting. Most importantly, we met with our allies and partners in Rome, and Viktor Orbán was the main speaker at the National Conference on Conservatism and was very successful in his speech. About Benedek Jávor’s primitive commentary: Berlusconi was elected three times as Prime Minister of Italy, and he is the founder and president of Forza Italia, our partner-party within the People’s Party. It’s natural that, as Fidesz’s Vice President for Federal Policy, I meet our allies. It is frustrating that this fact triggers filthy fantasy in an alleged politician. I am not interested in Jávor who humiliated himself multiple times in Brussels, but the question arises: what this “abuse” tells of Gergely Karácsony, who appointed Jávor as the head of his Brussels office? I suppose if the Mayor’s comrades in Brussels were aware of Jávor’s behavior, they would immediately qualify this kind of primitive thinking as sexist. It looks like to me that Karácsony doesn’t want to be the Mayor of every resident of Budapest as I distance myself from the fact that such a vulgar man represents me in Brussels.
We are not alone at PestiSrácok.hu with the idea that you not only discussed the new ways of Europe in Rome, but also deepened the friendship between Viktor Orban and Matteo Salvini?
It is not fresh news that we are strengthening our international relations, including the cooperation between Fidesz and the League. My role as Vice President is to make this process more intense, more systematic and to improve networks. Inter-party cooperation is just as important in world politics as intergovernmental cooperation, so we are looking for our natural, Christian-democratic allies with conservative values outside the European People’s Party as well. We do so, also as members of the International Christian Democratic International (CDI) and as the International Democratic Union (IDU) beyond Europe. Is it time to ask whether we can still agree on our common goals, the preservation of Christian culture, the strengthening of families and the security of Europe in the People’s Party? This is not about Fidesz. Which party family we physically belong to is a marginal question. The future of Europe is at stake, the question is whether they are about to abandon the center-right political community and betray their voters. The European People’s Party politicians are already in a technical alliance with the left-wing liberals. What’s there to look for? We want to remain a center-right bastion against unprincipled compromises that only aim for one goal: to remain in power.
You accompanied Viktor Orban to Berlin, where he met with CDU’s leader and Angela Merkel. In your opinion can Merkel and her party still be convinced about what you have just said?
Angela Merkel is still a very strong politician and has a high profile in her party. Both Merkel and Germany are prior partners for our country. However, if you look only at the recent Thuringian state election, you can see why the CDU’s leaders have things to worry about. German politics are facing major challenges and it is far from us to give them advice, but I think it is also in the interests of the German people that Germany can preserve its Christian culture and traditional values. We hope that there is another way for Angela Merkel, as opposed to Austria, where Sebastian Kurz has been forced to rule with the left-wing Greens. It would be good if the sober middle-class in Germany, the traditional right-wing, refused to form a coalition that which would be accompanied by the abandonment of their core values. We therefore wish the CDU-CSU alliance to strengthen itself and to represent the center-right Christian Democratic values. We at Fidesz are open for co-operation and thinking together about our future in the People’s Party. Only a few people know that, in contrary to what Donald Tusk, the People’s Party president said, no agreement or decision has been made on Fidesz membership, since the party has not voted for anything. Tusk announced what would happen. It is said that he imports the polish domestic political tensions, his personal insults and ambitions into the People’s Party. The same things happened with Manfred Weber. Unfortunately, these leaders do not understand that the debate is not about them or about us, but about the future of Europe. We still do not want to quit at all costs, we do have a vision of what kind of alliance and paths the European People’s Party could return to with its original mission, but stumbling, licking wounds and aligning with liberal standards make no sense and has no future.
On Thursday, you attended a prayer dinner in Washington, where Donald Trump, the President of the United States also expressed his faith in a company of Christian leaders from nearly every country in the world. What encouragements and messages did you receive at the meeting?
When the representatives of 150 countries come together, it is obvious that the world is not Europe, and although we live here and, therefore, for us, it is most important what happens here, it is just as important as what happens elsewhere. In Australia and the United Kingdom, we are witnessing a conservative advance. Donald Trump’s popularity is unbroken in the US, and he has good reason to hope for another victory, and I haven’t even touched on the strengthening of the South American right. These are important messages, as is the important question of how Brexit will affect Europe. I do not need to go on and explain why it’s so outstandingly important that Hungary is so highly valued in the United States. We became particularly visible because of two areas, and we have developed close cooperation between governments because of these: strengthening family policy and combating the persecution of Christians. It is no accident that the most important theme of the prayer breakfast was religious persecution and the protection of human life. These issues were also dominant in Donald Trump’s speech, and we are working closely with the US on these issues at the UN. It’s an important resource for Hungarian center-right politics that Donald Trump and Republicans view Hungary as an ally and Hungarian family policy as a model.
Fordította: Dezse Balázs/PestiSrácok.hu
Cover photo: EMMI