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May 01, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: Hungary has won the first battle against the virus

A strict schedule and a gradual pace. This is how Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described the upcoming period on his regular morning interview on Kossuth Radio. Aside from the domestic situation, he also spoke about the current international turmoil.

“In politics, experience is the most important. The only sure thing is what someone has already experienced,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said this morning in his radio interview. “This is true for the current situation [concerning the epidemic], and as it is almost impossible to see clearly amidst all the different theories, the next few days will be about keeping a strict schedule and a gradual pace.”

“The most evident facts are that the virus is here, there is no vaccine yet, and there is no guarantee that the virus will just disappear. Thus, it is not possible to give up the defense against the epidemic,” the prime minister said, adding that new rules were ordered based on how it has spread so far. “Since Budapest and the surrounding Pest County are the most affected areas and the number of deaths is the highest there, movement restrictions will remain in force in these places, while in the countryside they will not.”

Hungary has won the first battle against the coronavirus, the PM said. “We gained time, and our healthcare system is prepared for the future defense,” he said. “If the epidemic were to come in a second, big wave, there would be no one left without care.”

As to the handling of the economic crisis caused by the epidemic, Viktor Orbán said that “just as during the 2008-2010 economic crisis, this time we have again chosen a guiding star. And, again, this guiding principle is labor. We should focus on this because if there is work, we have a chance, and that is everything.” He also pointed out that “it will be a challenge, as different sectors have been affected differently. But as in all crisis management, collaboration is the key – this is the only way we can reattain a 3 percent unemployment rate.”

Regarding the current international situation, the PM said, “I would have been very surprised if George Soros hadn’t appeared, given the situation surrounding the virus, with a new plan [of perpetual bonds]; and there were only a few countries that were able to say no to this plan.” He then remarked that in this case, the obvious scenario from Soros and his mostly liberal supporters was, of course, to attack Hungary and say that the Coronavirus Protection Act is against the rule of law and autocratic, thus nobody would listen to what we had to say against the plan from these financial speculators. “There is a lot that can be done in Europe; there can be campaigns of lies,” the prime minister continued, but in the end, debate can also betray the facts. And, for example, “the Hungarian extraordinary legal system also has a description. You will have to read it sooner or later. It happened. And they found nothing in it. Nothing that would run counter to the traditions of the European Union,” PM Orbán said. “We were also right in this matter.”

Touching upon Romanian President Klaus Johannis’ statement earlier this week, Prime Minister Orbán said: “My relationship with the Romanian president is based on respect, and we want our relations to be based on that. That is why we are confused by his statement, something we have not heard from Romania in the last 30 years. However, I wouldn’t recommend picking up the gauntlet; we should still seek cooperation,” he said, adding that “nevertheless, we expect equal respect for Hungarians and for Hungarian statehood.”