Regarding the reactions to his annual “lecture” at Tusnádfürdő, the prime minister elaborated that for him it is more interesting to see “how people respond to a call for collective reflection” in both the domestic and foreign political spheres.
In his view, “there is an intellectual spirit in modern politics,” although he added that the domestic opposition is still stuck at its own “provincialism,” hindering their political endeavors. In the foreign political sphere, however, PM Orbán noted that following a meeting with Romania’s newly elected prime minister, he has high hopes that the two countries “can achieve serious things together,” adding that in Romania’s PM, he sees a “young, strong and agile leader,”
Shifting his focus to Slovakia, Prime Minister Orbán reiterated that while he understands that pre-election fervor in Slovakia makes certain topics more sensitive, our issues that are rooted in differing historical perspectives should stay within the purview of historians. He added that when Slovakian politics are on a stable trajectory again, the two countries “could do many nice things together.”
The prime minister also shared his insights regarding current economic prospects, which have been affected by a series of “meteoric” crises, starting with the pandemic and followed by the breakout of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the EU’s misguided sanctions policy. PM Orbán said that while the European labor market was not impacted on a notable scale, the European answer given to the war yielded hardships, namely inflation, including skyrocketing energy prices, that has adversely affected the region’s economy, especially Hungary’s.
For this reason, PM Orbán said that the government’s main interest is to protect Hungarian families through utility price reductions while simultaneously cracking down on inflation through price caps, interest rate freezes, price monitoring systems, and mandatory discounts.
The strict application of these government measures is at the forefront currently, as according to PM Orbán, certain “speculators” in tandem with the Brussels elite are working against Hungarian efforts to curb inflation.
Despite such headwinds, Hungarian measures have been fruitful, he added, saying the country expects to bring “inflation below 10 percent by the end of the year.”
Of course, it is the war, not the misguided European sanctions policy, that is the real cause of current economic problems, the prime minister said. Therefore, the war in Ukraine was at the forefront of this week’s government agenda.
The PM noted that “if there is a war, then it makes sense to talk about peace,” as this war is already “depriving hundreds of thousands of people of a full life, including family members, orphaned children, and widows.” He added that “if the voice of peace is not strong enough, the prevailing public perception among politicians will be that the only solution in such a situation is war.”
PM Orbán said that while Hungary is constantly working to positively advance the effort for a diplomatic solution to this conflict, it is up to the United States to decide the outcome since “today, only Western money keeps Ukraine alive and the Ukrainian army operational” and Europe “is at the limit of its capacity” to support Ukraine any further.
According to PM Orbán, this conflict has become “a burden on the world economy,” as instead of “localizing” the conflict as was done during the annexation of Crimea, “the West chose to fight to the last Ukrainian soldier.” Therefore, the whole conflict was forced to escalate “to a Western, European, and then global level.”
In his view, it was a mistake to let this conflict “become a cloud over the entire system of world economic relations.” The prime minister said that “the whole thing was mismanaged from the start.”
PM Orbán also commented on the “coincidence” that Italy received €19 billion from Brussels’ Covid recovery fund a few weeks after deciding to accept migrants after long being “opposed to mandatory quotas and the creation of migrant ghettos.”
The PM added that he is “not a fan of these games.”
He concluded by stating, in relation to the EU’s new migrant relocation scheme, that “all we Hungarians can say is that we consider the risk in itself, the risk of the country's ruin to be so great that we do not want to take part in such an experiment,” as we do not want to “feel like indigenous people in our own country.”