Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech in Parliament before the start of daily business
17 September 2018, Budapest
Honourable Speaker, Honourable House, Honourable Fellow Members of Parliament,
According to our constitutional traditions, at the beginning of each parliamentary session the Prime Minister renders an account of events since the end of the previous session. This is also when we talk about what can be expected in the near future. This is why I stand here before you today.
As we all know, in 2010 the national government launched a new economic policy. Our national economic policy is so different from the pre-2010 socialist-liberal economic policy that it is no exaggeration to call it an entirely new economic model. And as this economic policy is fundamentally based on Hungarian interests, there is every reason to call it the Hungarian model.
Now, Honourable House,
The Hungarian model also performed well this summer. We have good cause to express our appreciation to the actors in the Hungarian economy: to workers, businesspeople, employers, the National Bank and those directing the course of the economy; and in particular to Deputy Prime Minister Mihály Varga, who is also a symbol of continuity. If there is work, there is everything; this is not just received wisdom, but also the essence of the Hungarian economic model. We are building a work-based economy – instead of the welfare benefits-based economy that is so fashionable in Europe today. In the summer we all – yourselves included – could see the economic data for the first half of the year. Compared with 2010, the number of those in employment has increased by almost eight hundred thousand. This increase is primarily in the domestic private sector, in which the number of those in work increased by six hundred thousand. We are approaching the “dream threshold” of 4.5 million: in the near future 4.5 million Hungarians will be in employment. By the end of the first half of the year, Honourable House, unemployment stood at 3.6 per cent; this figure places us third in Europe, after the Germans and the Czechs. This is a fine achievement, but not enough: we would like to rise to the top of the European rankings. For sixty-five months – more than five years – wages in Hungary have been continuously rising. Although we have come a long way since 2010, we are still not where we would like to be. At any rate, so far all parties involved have adhered to the trilateral agreement on pay rises and tax reductions concluded between employers, workers and the Government – and I have been promised that this will continue to be the case in the future. This means that we can continue to look forward to prosperous and promising periods for the Hungarian economy. This also means that we are honouring the undertakings that we made in 2010, then in 2014, and most recently in 2018: that our governance of the country will make it ever more worthwhile for people to work and commit to having and raising children. The results of the Hungarian model are also encouraging in terms of our goal of raising Hungary to become one of the European Union’s five best and most liveable countries.
I can further inform the Honourable House that in the second quarter of this year the Hungarian economy grew by 4.8 per cent, which is double the average for the European Union. This is good news for everyone – including senior citizens. According to our agreement concluded with pensioners, it is almost certain that we will again be able to pay a pension premium at the end of the year. To our way of thinking, the earlier efforts of pensioners have also played a part in the current success of the Hungarian economy. They, too, should enjoy their share of today’s successes: this is fitting and fair.
The fact that the German manufacturer BMW decided on a major investment in Debrecen has attracted much public attention. There are usually a number of reasons for such a decision. I am convinced that the main reason was the excellent quality of Hungarian workers: their outstanding abilities and their performance. We have every reason to be proud of our world-class workers; it is thanks to them that industrial power houses, from Győr to Debrecen, are pulsing with activity. I believe, however, that too little attention has been paid to the recent announcement of an investment that is even larger than that of BMW. This is a true giga-development which will be implemented in Tiszaújváros, where MOL and the German company ThyssenKrupp will jointly build a plant worth 390 billion forints. The project will start before the end of this year. Congratulations on MOL’s latest success, which we are also proud of. At the same time, let me remind you that we also have good reason to tip our hats to those working in agriculture. Post-harvest produce data indicates that Hungary would be able to supply bread to not just ten million people, but to as many as twenty million.
More than one and a half million children have started the school year, and one million of them are receiving their textbooks free of charge. Perhaps there is no other country in Europe where this is the case. This year 85,000 students have gained admission to higher education institutions: 2,500 more than last year. Sixty-five thousand students are studying with state scholarships – and this, in turn, is 5,000 more than a year ago. As you know, the greatest development in the history of Hungarian school education is under way. In 2018 we will spend 606 billion forints more on education than in 2010: the last year of socialist governance. More than five hundred developments are under way, and only a few days ago we distributed 45,000 laptops, 24,000 tablets and a further 8,000 other devices designed to assist digital education. This is yet another step, and I believe it is also a new record. This is unprecedented in the history of Hungarian education, and a true investment in the future.
As regards the near future, we should focus on two priority areas: demographic issues and European politics. Life, too, is subject to mathematics, which is sometimes cruel. Our ancestors also recognised this. As the poet Arany wrote, “If the storms of time wash us away, God will never again see the Hungarian.” The formula is a simple one: unless we strengthen Hungarian families, unless more children are born, sooner or later we will disappear – and so will the Hungarian people. As far as we are concerned, we do not wish to resign ourselves to that fate. We are a national Christian government, and so far we have pursued family-centred policy. What has happened so far is only a necessary condition for our survival, but it is not a sufficient one: we need ever more initiatives; and so we will soon launch a national consultation in order to lay the foundations for our further measures. I believe that, to some extent, the creation of the new National Curriculum is also linked to the great question of the future of the nation. We have already released the draft of this document for public debate. I respectfully ask all those in the public sphere – including the opposition – to take part in this dialogue.
Another political debate commanding public attention in the near future will take place on the European scene. In May 2019 there will be elections to the European Parliament: this is when the mandates of members of the European Commission expire, and the current European elite departs. Not before time. They were unable to keep the United Kingdom in Europe, and they were unable to keep migrants out of Europe. Both of those were grave errors: historic mistakes. The question is what will come after them. That is what the citizens of Europe will decide in May 2019. It seems – all signs appear to indicate – that migration will be the most important issue for the future. Therefore in Europe today political forces are divided into two camps: pro-immigration and anti-immigration. Today this is more important than party preferences, and so today it overrides the traditional party structures. Today Italy, Austria, Hungary and Poland are prominent among the anti-immigration forces; there are more of us than this, but others have not been in the limelight. Italy and Poland are receiving attention because of their size, while Hungary and Austria are in focus as a result of their special geographical locations. These four countries are under continuous attack. In European politics not a day goes by without someone biting at our ankles: we are being attacked by the pro-immigration bureaucrats in Brussels, as well as pro-immigration national governments. These four countries are being attacked from the Soros network’s gun emplacements. And they are also being attacked by the global elite, which have so artfully and thoroughly devised a plan for European population replacement, in the hope that they can thereby weaken nation states and parties based on Christian foundations, and then take control of the European Union – and with it the nations of Europe. They want to weaken Hungary and Poland with punitive measures from Brussels, labelled as rule-of-law procedures; they are seeking to remove the Italian interior minister, who is playing a key role; and Austria is being subjected to the political gravitational pull of a more massive body.
I am convinced that immigration and the migrant invasion are not party issues, but national issues of the highest order, which stand above tactical party political considerations. Therefore Hungary stands by every government that rejects immigration – whatever its party composition may be. I would like to make it clear that they can rely on us. To my mind, the European Parliament’s report on Hungary and its timing should also be seen in this context. An infantile debate has evolved around whether the report is about Hungary or the Hungarian government. I advise everyone to read the title of the document. They could have written that the report is about the Hungarian government and its decisions. But they did not, they did not write that: they wrote that it is about Hungary. It is therefore obvious that the report was written about Hungary and against Hungary. Nineteen of the claims made in the report are about ongoing procedures; thirteen concern debates and agreements that have already been concluded; while thirty-seven items are factual errors. There are also absurd claims – regarding anti-Semitism in Hungary, for instance: it is widely known that in Hungary there is a policy of zero tolerance towards anti-Semitism. It is also known that, due to the religious aspect of migration, anti-Semitism is rising in Western Europe, while it is decreasing in Central Europe. Indeed, the situation today is that the European seat of modern-day anti-Semitism is in Brussels, and in Brussels politics: it is from there that anti-Israeli political campaigns are being financed. To the tune of billions. The reports on this are in our possession, in the possession of the Hungarian government.
Hungary accords everyone respect – sometimes, I feel, even those whom it should not. But with all due respect, this report [on Hungary] can only be described as an absurd collection of lies. Even a law undergraduate can see that the method of its adoption was a clear violation of the EU’s founding treaties. This means that they want to start a procedure against a Member State, citing alleged deficiencies in that state’s record on the rule of law, by means which themselves flout the most elementary precepts of the rule of law. The Hungarian government is planning to take legal action, and we will ask Minister Gulyás to take the necessary steps in this matter.
Honourable Speaker, Honourable House,
I would like to clarify matters: as I see it, Hungary is being attacked because the Hungarian people have decided that we shall not become an immigrant country.
Honourable Speaker, Honourable House,
We have already successfully fought two battles. The first was when the initial great wave of migrants reached Europe. Let us cast our minds back: in 2015 Brussels raised its hands in surrender, repeating the mantra that illegal immigration cannot be stopped. Back then we proved through action – building a fence – that this is indeed possible, if there is the necessary will and determination. The second battle centred on the migrant quotas: millions of Hungarians voiced their unanimous will – we made it clear – that Hungary rejects mandatory resettlement quotas. And in this we were not alone: as a result of the clear stand we took, ever more European Member States share our position.
We have defended our borders, and we have made it clear that we shall decide on who we want to live alongside and who we do not want to live alongside. As far as I see, pro-immigration forces have a single option left to them: they want to deprive Hungary of the right to defend its own borders. We prime ministers will be discussing the proposal on this in Salzburg this week. I can tell you that it is a welcome development that, instead of talking about quotas, the European Union is finally turning its attention to the defence of borders. It is right for us to strengthen our border defences. It is also right for those who are not strong enough to defend their own borders to receive help. But it is not right for them to try to deprive us of the right to defend our own borders, and for Brussels to seek to take control of Hungary’s border defences instead of us.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For decades after Hungary’s occupation by Germany in 1944 and then the Soviets in 1945 we were not in control of our own borders. In 1990 we finally regained our sovereignty, and with it the right to defend our own borders. Those who are now defending our borders are not only professionals, but patriots. They are members of the Hungarian army and our law enforcement agencies. They have sworn an oath to undertake these duties; this is an additional factor that no money can buy. This is our strongest defensive shield, and for this our uniformed officers serving on the Hungarian border deserve our gratitude. Let us not forget that for Brussels bureaucrats, however, a fence is not a fence: it is a gate – with long fixed wings either side. Even now they are not saying that the EU’s borders must be defended with all means necessary, but instead they are seeking to set up a reception service. They do not want to stop immigration: they want to manage it. They want the keys to the gates. The leader of the largest European state has clearly spoken about this in her own national parliament; and for the benefit of those who claim that there is no such plan, I shall now quote her. This is what we heard: “Those countries with an external border must give up some of their national responsibilities, to ensure that we can give comprehensive powers to the Frontex border agency. This requires a degree of solidarity, when it is about people coming to us, or about our duty, for example, to make legal migration possible.” These are the facts. It would be difficult to misunderstand this. They want to deprive Hungary of the right to defend its borders – in order to make migration possible. On this matter our view is clear: our country is not a transit building, and it is not a reception camp. If we want to mix with other cultures and civilisations, then we will discuss it and decide on it – although I would advise the Hungarian people against it. At all events, this decision is theirs, and theirs alone.
Honourable House, Honourable Speaker,
Since the beginning of the migration crisis, public security in Europe has deteriorated; this is a fact. According to official data, since the beginning of the migrant crisis terrorist attacks committed by people from migrant backgrounds have claimed 347 lives. These perpetrators entered Europe. They will also want to enter in the future. Hungary has proved that it is able to defend its borders. Everyone has been able to see that we are not just talking, but also taking action. No one can deny that we understand this issue and this task. We are better at the defence of borders than anyone in Brussels, or in any international organisation. Therefore we shall not surrender the right to defend our borders, and we shall not yield an inch to anyone seeking to deprive us of that right. This is how I shall represent Hungary at this week’s European summit.
Thank you for your attention.