PM Orbán: There’s a difference between vandalism and expressing a political opinion

“A difference should be drawn,” said Prime Minister Orbán this morning, “between vandalism, violence and expressing a political opinion.” In his regular radio interview, the prime minister also spoke about the upcoming European Parliamentary elections in April, the EU-Africa Summit, and the new rules in the Labor Code.

The amendments to the Labor Code respond to current labor market conditions, the prime minister said in response to the recent demonstrations against the changes, by giving people the opportunity to work more and earn more money if they want.

“Since 2010, unemployment has declined from ten percent to four, which means that in economic terms, we are one percent away from full employment,” he said, adding that the government objective is to help both workers and Hungarian small and medium enterprises to grow and be productive in the most flexible and fair legal environment possible.

“Here you don’t have to do something, strike back or show strength,” the prime minister said, regarding the events in Parliament last Wednesday and the demonstrations on Kossuth Square, “but strength is now in tolerance and in patience.” He said it’s important to hear the demonstrators and their opinion. However, there is a clear difference between expressing political opinions and committing vandalism. Violence is never the proper way to express disagreement.

Turning to the EU-Africa summit, the prime minister said that when it comes to international decision-making, “we should understand the world, know what is happening in the world, and be aware of our position and possibilities.”

“The population of Africa will double by 2050, which means we will have to be able to protect our borders, and we are capable of it,” the PM said, adding that it’s crucial to deliver the assistance there, to those troubled regions. Hungary now offers full scholarships to 900 university students from Africa, so they can gain knowledge and learn best-practices here and take that back to their country. The Hungarian government also offers a credit line for SMEs setting up businesses and creating jobs on the African continent.

Approaching the end of the year, the prime minister also talked about the European Parliamentary elections coming in May 2019. Europe urgently needs serious changes, he said, in its economic policies, among other areas, and these changes will be at stake in the upcoming elections. “We need MEPs who represent Hungary’s interests in Brussels, not MEPs who represent Brussels’s interests in Hungary.”