“On February 24 this year, no one would have thought that there would not only be a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but that an era would come to an end and European history would enter a new phase, the era of wars,” PM Orbán said in his Friday morning radio interview. The prime minister added that Hungary is trying to stay out of the war, but the fighting is also taking place in the economy, and part of this translates into an increase in energy prices. He said that we used to have a modern and secure life, but now we have to fight for everything we used to take for granted.
There will be two big battles, the prime minister said: one for the affordability of utilities and one for jobs. According to PM Orbán, the war has caused the price of electricity to rise fivefold and that of gas sixfold. He said that there are countries committed to the sanctions policy, but Brussels must admit that it was a mistake, that it has not fulfilled its purpose and has even had the opposite effect.
Brussels thought that the sanctions policy would hurt the Russians, but it hurts us more, PM Orbán said, adding that the sanctions policy is not shortening the war, bringing it to a conclusion, but instead clearly prolonging it. According to the prime minister, European policy “has shot itself in the lungs, not in the foot.”
“In some countries there will be no gas; in some countries there will be gas, but it will be very expensive. We belong to this latter group. The question is how long we can make the price bearable,” PM Orbán said. He added that he has set up an operational group for this purpose, which will be headed by Gergely Gulyás, who will be able to make decisions as he sees fit.
The prime minister underlined that his government is trying to save the utility cost reduction program so that low prices will continue to be guaranteed for the average consumer. He said that in order to keep the cuts, it was necessary to make above-average consumers pay market prices.
If we did not do so, the entire cost reduction program would have to be abolished, PM Orbán said. The prime minister added that the government had the exact figures, which showed that three-quarters of households were below the average consumption.
Touching upon sanctions against Russia once again, the prime minister said that Hungary has always opposed sanctions because they do not help Ukraine. “We must help Ukraine in a way that does not hurt us,” PM Orbán said. If this continues, the European economy will be strangled, and the moment of truth must come, he said. According to the prime minister, Europe must admit that it chose the wrong tactics and that the only solution to this economic problem is peace.
Commenting on the amendment to the popular tax form “KATA,” adopted earlier this week, the prime minister said that the amendment was a necessary and good decision. “In the beginning, there was no problem because small entrepreneurs opting for KATA taxation were invoicing individuals. But then the companies realized that it was worthwhile for them to opt for this form of taxation,” PM Orbán said, adding that “in times of war, this is not an option, not because of the budget, but because of pensions.”
Concluding with the topic of border protection and migration, Prime Minister Orbán said that the army is in a state of emergency, and the army must now be mobilized. “In the coming days, extra resources will be allocated to creating special ranger units to protect the border. The southern border can no longer be dealt with by the army, and the police cannot hold out much longer,” he added.
“If the EU did not support migration, there would be no migration problem,” PM Orbán said, adding that he will sign a decree on the creation of the border ranger units this afternoon.