articleimg-1
Dec 12, 2018

PM Orbán pays tribute to József Antall

During a conference marking the 25th anniversary of Antall’s death, the prime minister spoke of his respect for the leader who helped bring Hungary out of communist times

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has paid tribute to József Antall, Hungary’s first freely elected prime minister.

During a conference marking the 25th anniversary of Antall’s death, the prime minister spoke of his respect for the leader who helped bring Hungary out of communist times.

Summing up the legacy of Antall, PM Orbán said that the prime minister had never given up his goal “to steer Hungary back to what it was before the communist rule“.

“It was a miracle that Antall managed to keep his coalition government together and launch an economic reform under difficult circumstances,” the prime minister said.

“We are grateful for Antall’s personal example, his sacrifice for the country, his love, patience and confidence in the Fidesz party and a new political generation,” PM Orbán said.

Antall and his government also managed to avert bankruptcy and had the courage to reject the proposal of US financier George Soros for “robbing the country”, PM Orbán said.

The prime minister added that when he became prime minister he had to “fight the same battles against post-communist forces” in his government’s efforts to build a “Christian, civic and national Hungary”. He insisted that communism had not been removed in 1990, and argued that the communists no longer had a majority “but they were still there”.

Doing away with communism would have required a new constitution to conclude that system and open a new, national epoch, the prime minister said. PM Orbán said that all the other post-communist countries had passed new constitutions in the 1990s while “Hungary had to fight for one until 2010” against “those ardently defending the diluted ideology of communism”.

The prime minister highlighted how Hungary’s new constitution was instrumental in “recovering its pre-communist self, returning from internationalism to national pride, from atheism to Christianity, and from the envy between social classes to civic fairness”.

“Without those foundations we would not have full employment, a work-based economy and GDP growth of about 5 percent and we could not protect ourselves against migration,” the prime minister added.