Dec 07, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán on the double-standards of Brussels: ‘Democracy is stronger today in central Europe than in western Europe’

“The Hungarian national economy has become a powerful and shock resistant economy, one that is able to provide jobs for the people,” Prime Minister Orbán said this morning, commenting on Q3 GDP growth topping 5 percent. In his regular radio interview, the PM talked about the reasons behind Hungary’s economic success, the ongoing national consultation and the affronts coming from Brussels.

The prime minister, speaking on Kossuth Radio’s program Good Morning, Hungary earlier today, said that the current economic policy – the so-called “Hungarian model” – relies heavily on the natural talent and diligence of the Hungarian people. Among the other reasons behind the country’s economic success, the PM cited the fact that the government has “set up a new economic system, instead of trying to fix the previous one.” 

“The Hungarian national economy has become a powerful and shock resistant economy, one that is able to provide jobs for the people,” he said, responding to news of Hungary’s record-breaking 5 percent GDP growth in the third quarter. Although the country has taken a step forward each year, he said, there is still much to be done.

Turning to the national consultation on family policy, the prime minister said that it’s a method that didn’t really exist before. Although Hungarian public life is traditionally “rather stormy,” he said, there should be some stable points, issues that garner wide agreement. In the prime minister’s view, those issues should include jobs, pensions, migration and family policy.

“We have to do this, we need to keep doing this. We should provide more and more assistance to young couples to promote child rearing,” PM Orbán said when asked about Hungary’s plan to achieve the 2.1 birthrate figure. “If we help young people,” he added, “if we make it clear that child rearing doesn’t limit their lives, but expands it, that they will have a richer life, not a poorer one,” then we can get closer to a self-sustaining population.

On the European Parliament, the PM said that he can “see signs of fatigue” among the MEPs. “There’s a need for fresh blood,” he said, adding that once the new representatives have taken office, “the quality of democracy will significantly improve.”

The prime minister also had a few choice words in response to the news that local authorities in Brussels took down the government’s mobile billboard . PM Orbán said that “whoever comes after Hungary, or tries to bite Hungary, had better brandish sharp teeth because we do not tolerate that.” The prime minister noted that the incident provided a classic example of the double standards of Brussels. They allowed Guy Verhofstadt’s mobile billboard on the city’s streets, but when Hungary responds, they prohibit it. That shows, the prime minister said, that “the vitality in democracy today is stronger in east-central Europe than it is in western Europe.”