Orban Rallies Anti-Globalist Forces Ahead of EU Parliament Vote

(Bloomberg) -- Hungary’s prime minister called for nationalist political forces fighting against an increase of immigration into the European Union to unite before the bloc’s parliamentary elections next year.

Viktor Orban, a standard bearer for euroskeptic forces who are challenging the EU’s liberal values, is proselytizing his anti-immigrant politics as populists from across the 28-member bloc vie for more influence in the May European Parliament vote.

"We need to reject the ideology of globalization and support the culture of patriotism," Orban said at a speech in central Budapest Tuesday, commemorating the anniversary of Hungary’s 1956 revolution against Soviet rule. "Brussels is ruled by those that want to build a European empire instead of an alliance of free nations."

Hailed as a hero by President Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon, one of the Hungarian premier’s campaign themes has been his rejection of refugees.

His government erected a fence on the country’s southern border to prevent the arrival of immigrants trying to escape violence in poverty in the Middle East and Africa. It has joined like-minded populist leaders in Poland and the Czech Republic in rejecting quotas for accepting people that other EU states, led by Germany, tried to impose on all members.

Orban and other eastern EU leaders have said that their country’s cultures are under threat from foreigners who have different religions and customs, a stance at contrasts with the EU’s multicultural values. Hungary has almost no Muslim residents.

"Every political force that wants to build Europe into a political empire supports immigration, and expects every nation and people to become multicultural," Orban told the crowd in Budapest. "A growing number of military-age men from other continents and cultures are appearing in our cities, who will slowly but surely push indigenous Europeans into minority."

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