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Nov 15, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: We need to halt the demographic decline

A country with a declining population, Prime Minister Orbán said, should not live under the illusion that the decline will stop without our own effort. In his speech at the meeting of the Hungarian Diaspora Council yesterday, the Prime Minister touched upon an array of pressing issues including immigration, family policy, the state of Hungary’s economy, and the country’s military capabilities.

In a speech this morning, he also addressed topics that concern Hungarians living abroad.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Orbán addressed the IX. plenary session of the Hungarian Diaspora Council, where he kicked off his speech by reminding those gathered that “a country with a declining population should not live under the illusion that the decline will stop without our own efforts.” In the PM’s view, immigration is not the answer for Hungary’s demographic problems.

“Hungarians can only be replaced with Hungarians,” he said to illustrate that Hungary does not simply want an increase in the number of people living here, but Hungarian babies increasing that number.

“We need to halt the demographic decline,” PM Orbán continued. “We need a fertility rate of 2.1, but it’s only possible through a long-term family policy.”

According to Orbán, next year will bring about the second Family Protection Action Plan. Katalin Novák, the State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs, is already working on its details. “

“Hungary does so much to empower families because, without strong families, a strong Hungary cannot exist,” the prime minister said.

Speaking about the economy, PM Orbán said that the backbone of Hungary’s strength is financial stability. Public debt is on the decline, and GDP growth stands at around 4-5 percent.

“It is the government’s goal to keep Hungary’s economic growth more than 2 percent above the EU average,” the PM said.

“Hungary’s economy is prone to changes in its international setting,” Orbán also warned, adding that the upcoming international “cooldown” must be remedied with an Economy Protection Action Plan.

On Hungary’s military capabilities, the prime minister said that “NATO and the national military together equal security.”

At the same time, PM Orbán added, “By 2026, Hungary will be able to ensure the safety of Hungarians in a regional conflict even without NATO.”

In another speech this morning, delivered at the meeting of the Hungarian Standing Conference (known by its Hungarian acronym MÁÉRT), Prime Minister Orbán talked about the importance of ethnic Hungarian parties in neighboring countries that can “effectively represent Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin.”

Speaking for the government of Hungary, PM Orbán said that besides political support from the motherland, more and more attention will be turned towards the economic development of areas with high Hungarian populations. We need to make our neighbors understand, he concluded, that Hungary’s national and economic development does not pose a threat to them, but rather an opportunity.