VIDEO: [Euractiv] Giving a speech in the European Parliament, Viktor Orban defends Hungary’s position and criticises the proceedings to strip Hungary of EU voting rights. [Sep 11, 2018]
The right-wing nationalist particularly opposes immigration by Muslims.
Hungary’s population is falling by 32,000 a year. Women there have fewer children than the EU average.
As part of the measures, young couples will be offered interest-free loans of 10m forint (£27,400; $36,000), to be cancelled once they have three children.
Mr Orban said that “for the West”, the answer to falling birth rates in Europe was immigration: “For every missing child, there should be one coming in and then the numbers will be fine.
“Hungarian people think differently,” he said. “We do not need numbers. We need Hungarian children.”
While Mr Orban was delivering his state of the nation address, the latest demonstrations were being held in Budapest against his government’s policies.
About 2,000 people gathered in front of his office, while others blocked one of the main bridges across the Danube river.
Correspondents say the biggest applause during Mr Orban’s speech was for his announcement of a seven-point plan to increase the birth rate.
Other points in the government’s plan include:
Mr Orban finished his speech with: “Long live Hungary and long live the Hungarians!”
The average number of children a Hungarian woman will have in her lifetime (fertility rate) is 1.45. This puts the country below the EU average of 1.58.
This article continues at [BBC] Hungary tries for baby boom with tax breaks and loan forgiveness