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May 04, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán on EU budget: ‘As long as Hungarians do not say okay, there won’t be any budget’

“Keep calm,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in his interview on Kossuth Rádió this morning, referring to discussions over the EU’s next multi-year budget. The debate will be long and drawn out, but ultimately it has to have unanimous support, and “as long as Hungarians do not say okay, there won’t be any budget.”

Emphasizing the importance of a strong Europe based on strong nation states, the prime minister made reference to ideas in the current budget discussions that would diminish the sovereignty and decision-making authority of the member states. He also spoke about the Stop Soros legislative package, next year’s European Parliamentary elections and, of course, his new government.

“The tasks, circumstances may always change, but the goals, most importantly, remain unaltered,” the prime minister said of the work that the fourth Orbán Government will undertake. “There are several things my critics would be right to point out, but the lack of straightforward talk is not one of them,” he said, citing tax cuts, wage increases and maintaining Hungary’s security among the top priorities.

On the setup of his new government, Prime Minister Orbán said that it is not a coincidence that seven ministers out of 14 are political outsiders, as he “picked the people fit for the tasks, not the tasks fit for the people.” The prime minister also revealed that the new government will have three deputy prime ministers: Zsolt Semjén, as general deputy prime minister; Sándor Pintér, interior minister responsible for national security; and Mihály Varga, finance minister responsible for economy.

Responding to a question about what he meant by a recent comment that he intends to control the new government instead of leading it, PM Orbán responded that during his previous terms there have always been particular issues – like correcting the Bokros package (an austerity package imposed under a previous Socialist government), adopting a new constitution, or managing the economic and migration crises - which deflected his attention from exercising full control over the government. Currently, he doesn’t see any such topics on the horizon.

The goal of the Stop Soros legislative package is to “bring George Soros’ shadow army into the light,” the prime minister said. “Migration isn’t a question of human rights, it’s a question of national security,” he added. The governing parties will move forward with amendments to the constitution to prevent migration, which will include this Stop Soros legislation.

“The EP elections will be nothing other than a giant referendum and consultation about migration,” said PM Orbán, predicting that the issue will dominate the campaign for the European Parliamentary elections. Speaking about the EU’s next multi-annual budget, Orbán pointed out that even though “it is not the EPP but George Soros who has the largest group in the European Parliament,” Hungarians shouldn’t worry. As long as Hungary does not consent, there won’t be any budget.

“A United States of Europe shouldn’t be established,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in closing, “Europe has to rely on the alliance of sovereign nation states.”