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Jun 14, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: We can only support EU leaders who respect Central Europe

The Visegrád Group is unified in terms of both personnel- and content-related questions, PM Orbán said in his radio interview this morning, adding that he thinks it’s possible to find the right candidate for European Commission president “within one or two weeks”. In the remainder of the interview, the prime minister touched upon the relationship between Fidesz and the European People’s Party, Hungary’s priorities in the next five years, economic policy and the aftermath of the Hableány boat accident.

Speaking on Kossuth Radio’s program “Good Morning Hungary,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán began his interview by recounting yesterday’s informal meeting of V4 prime ministers in Budapest. “The Visegrád Group is unified in terms of both personnel- and content-related questions,” PM Orbán said. For leading EU positions, however, the V4 will only support leaders “who respect Central Europe and give the respect they deserve to the people of the V4.”

In the PM’s view, no politician should be nominated to embody Europe’s unity who has previously participated in an affront against any member state.

“This is the time for the 28 prime ministers to adopt a document that outlines the direction for the future of Europe,” PM Orbán said, referring to the strategic document passed by the European Council, the gathering of EU heads of state and government, every five years. As member states have the option to propose additions to the text, Hungary’s priorities will be to stop illegal migration, respect nation states, protect Christian culture and retain independence in terms of economic policy.

Regarding his party’s relations with the European People’s Party (EPP), Prime Minister Orbán said that “to which group we belong is now secondary” because “for us, Hungary comes first in Brussels, too.”

“If we stay in one place, we will be exposed to the changes of European politics,” PM Orbán reminded, adding that “what’s important is not where we belong, but who we are and what we want.”

A feeling has developed in Hungary, according to the prime minister, that things are going in the right direction. “What do we do when things start to go better? We have to protect what we have achieved,” PM Orbán said. He proposed that it is possible to implement an economic policy that will keep Hungary’s GDP growth rate at current levels while Western economies gradually slow down.

But it’s about more than just economic growth, the PM said. “[T]he aim of our budget is to strengthen families.”

Offering his condolences to the families of the victims, Prime Minister Orbán said that the Hableány sightseeing boat’s tragic crash in Budapest some two and a half weeks ago was “a serious, heartfelt event that shook the whole country.”

“The victims were our guests,” the PM continued, “and now we stand here as a hospitable, welcoming nation and we lost them. We are grieving.”