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Sep 13, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán in an exclusive interview: Our war plan against the coronavirus is about ensuring that Hungary continues to function

Armed with the outcome of the national consultation on the coronavirus and based on our experience in dealing with the epidemic, PM Orbán said that now we need to put in motion a “war plan” that will protect the lives of Hungarian people and keep the country functioning.

In an exclusive interview on public television tonight, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary must implement a “war plan” that protects the lives of the Hungarian people while ensuring that the country continues to function.

“We conducted a national consultation over the summer. Now we know exactly what the Hungarian people want, what they hope for, and how we must organize the defense against the coronavirus,” PM Orbán said. He added that by now, we already know “what kind of enemy we are facing, and we know precisely that we have all the necessary tools to carry out an effective defense.”

“I have the opinions of more than 1.8 million Hungarians on my side,” the prime minister said, referring to the number of Hungarians who returned the national consultation questionnaires on the coronavirus. Confirming that the Hungarian healthcare system has proven itself to be fit for protecting the lives of our people, PM Orbán said that “the success of our defense can be measured in the human lives that have been saved.”

Pointing out the difference in Hungary’s current defense strategy compared to the one introduced in the spring, PM Orbán said that “our situation now is easier because we already have experience [in dealing with the first wave of the coronavirus],” which means that “we are no longer facing an unknown enemy; we are facing one that we know very well.” In the spring, the PM added, “we saved the lives of thousands or even tens of thousands of Hungarian people,” but we must also ensure that Hungary continues to function.

Addressing the fear of citizens that movement restrictions and similar measures may be introduced in the fight against the second wave of COVID-19, the prime minister said that Hungary’s current plan is about not letting the virus “paralyze the country” and “infect the daily lives of the Hungarian people.”

“We do not want to introduce a curfew; we do not want movement restrictions. We want everything to happen as it normally should,” the PM said, asking Hungarians to obey the few rules currently in force. “If we do not obey the rules, we will bring trouble upon ourselves,” he said.

Besides human lives, the second most important thing is protecting our jobs. “If you look at the numbers, you will find that we have kept our promise,” the PM said regarding the government’s long-standing goal of creating as many jobs as the pandemic destroys.

Coming to his concluding remarks, Prime Minister Orbán said that the attitude needed right now is “confident predictability,” and this is what his government will stand for in the fight against the coronavirus.