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Jul 28, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: The hundred-year-long era of Hungarian solitude is over

Following the work of the last eight years, the people have given the government a mandate to lead Hungary into a new age, Prime Minister Orbán said in Tusnádfürdő this morning, calling for the rebuilding of the whole region of Central Europe.

In his annual speech at the Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that after the electoral victory in 2010 that resulted in a two-thirds majority, his government introduced a successful economic policy – also known as “the Hungarian model” – and adopted a new constitution. The last four years since re-election in 2014 have been all about stabilization. Now, the prime minister said, they have received a mandate to lead Hungary into a new era.

Looking back over those eight years, the prime minister recalled how far the country has come. Compared to a GDP falling at a rate of 6 percent in 2009, the Hungarian economy grew in 2017 by 4 percent, which translates into an increase of 11 trillion HUF. “We paid back the credit that was taken because of the 2008 crisis. We sent the IMF home. We keep the deficit in check. We reduced state debt from 85 percent to 71 percent,” the prime minister said.

Meanwhile, export volume rose to 31.1 trillion HUF from 19.69 trillion HUF in 2009, and the job market now employs 765 thousand more Hungarians, earning 60 percent higher wages. Taking these developments into account, he said, a national government should set ambitious goals.

“One of our goals is that by 2030 Hungary should be among the five best countries in the European Union,” the prime minister said, adding that population decline must be stopped and energy independence must be achieved. Building a new Hungarian army is also a priority.

“The hundred-year-long era of Hungarian solitude is over,” Prime Minister Orbán said, inviting neighboring countries to join forces and reconstruct the Carpathian Basin. “Let’s connect our countries with highways and railways,” he said adding that energy policies and defense strategies should also be synchronized while boosting investment volumes in each other’s economies.

Once we have rebuilt the Carpathian Basin, the prime minister said, it’s our task to construct a new, strong and secure region: Central Europe. This revival, according to the PM, should be based on five fundamental tenets: all central European countries have the right to protect their Christian culture and reject the ideology of multiculturalism; all of these countries have the right to protect the traditional family model and all children should have the right to a mother and a father; they have the right to protect their key economic sectors; they have the right to protect their borders and reject immigration, and they should have the right to stick to the principle of “one nation, one vote” in the EU. 

“There are alternatives to globalism. Central Europe’s path is the path of the alliance of independent nation states,” he said.

On the current state of international affairs, Prime Minister Orbán talked about the ongoing economic rivalry between the United States and China, Russia’s view on geopolitics and the importance of stability in Turkey, Egypt and Israel as a prerequisite to European security. “The leaders of the EU are incompetent. They failed to protect Europe from migration. The European elite has failed, and the European Commission is the symbol of this,” PM Orbán said, reiterating his recent remark that “the European Commission’s days are numbered.”

In his view, although the European Commission should in theory be impartial and unbiased, Brussels clearly favors liberalism and is biased against Central Europe in the EU’s quest for a European socialism.

“Liberal democracy has become liberal non-democracy,” he said, and argued that in the West it has become customary to limit freedom of speech and exercise censorship in the name of political correctness. 

“We have to show them that there is an alternative to liberal democracy. It’s called Christian democracy,” the prime minister said, touching on next year’s European Parliamentary elections. In contrast to past EP elections where there wasn’t a single, overarching issue to vote on, next year’s election will be all about migration. 

“And what will happen if the elite of ’68 steps down? Then it will be our turn. The generation of 1990 will arrive to European politics: a generation of anti-communist Christians with a national spirit,” he said.  “Thirty years ago, we thought our future was Europe. Now we are Europe’s future.”