In his regular address on Kossuth Rádió, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke about the sanctions crisis, Erasmus, and how Hungary is tackling the issues that Brussel’s mismanagement is forcing on the region while protecting Hungary’s national interests.
According to the prime minister, “something in the world has changed,” as while in 2020, there was hope that the state of crisis that came as a result of the pandemic would be an isolated event. But then came the war, and after the war, there came an energy crisis driven by bad sanctions, and as a result, high inflation.
Simultaneously, PM Orbán noted that migration pressure is constantly increasing and “is now about the same as it was during the great migration invasion of 2015,” in tandem with the war that seems to be “dragging on and getting bloodier.”
Consequently, an “era of danger” has begun for the entirety of Europe, not just Hungary.
On the matter of how Hungary is facing the many risks this turbulent situation entails, the prime minister said that our attitude toward the threat itself must first be “clarified,” both by the government and by “Hungarians within themselves.”
In this regard, the most crucial thing, he said, is for Hungary to “actively respond to the crisis.” Because while pure defensive measures seem sensible enough, it results in a “self-defeating tactic” that can “paralyze us.”
PM Orbán doubled down on this notion, saying that whatever happens regarding the war, geopolitics, or adversities the economy is facing, rather than leaving the populace to fend for themselves, Hungary is “laying down defensive foundations and actively responding,” for example, with the introduction of the Utility Price Protection Fund.
Prime Minister Orbán said, “The right response to danger is active defense through action,” adding that this is what he expects from Hungary itself, especially the government. And in 2023, with dangers old and new, when crises do occur, they should be dealt with in this manner.
Regarding the matter of sanctions, the prime minister said that European people “are the victims of this misguided sanctions policy and the war,” and if sanctions were to be lifted, the cost of energy would quickly decrease and inflation would immediately be cut in half.
The problem is, in his view, that while this would simply require a political decision in Brussels, there is no one with “shoulders broad enough” to carry the burden of admitting “We screwed up.”
“I can only mitigate the damage done,” he said, adding that by “lacking courage and strength, this bungling will continue in Brussels over the next period.”
On the topic of the recent freezing of funds for Erasmus scholarships to Hungarian universities by the European Commission, Prime Minister Orbán stated that “we will not allow students to be the victims of any Brussels decision.”
Reassuring those who are affected by Brussels' decision, Viktor Orbán said “all students should prepare as they have been preparing. There will be a scholarship program. We will agree with the Brussels authorities, and if not, the Hungarian budget will pay for it.”
In his view, the whole ordeal is not about education or policy but that Brussels “wants a change of government.”
PM Orbán said that Brussels believes Europe needs to change, become more diverse, and let immigrants in by the millions. “Because that is good,” and whoever has a different idea regarding the future of Europe or who they want to live with, Brussels will try to impose their will on them.
The prime minister added that the reason Brussels “bought the Hungarian left” was to bring down the government so that they can dictate what to do from above.
But their plan did not work, the prime minister said, adding that “for us, national independence is like breathing.” Any and all attempts to “financially corner” Hungary have thus been deflected so far against the will of the leftist elite.
“Our financial reserves are at an all-time high,” PM Orbán continued. More than a million more people work now than before 2010, and Hungary was the only EU country with real wage growth according to OECD, he added.
Viktor Orbán reassuringly stated “The Hungarian government has consistently defended Hungary's interests and its own positions” and will continue to do so in the future. It will maintain its past achievements. protect the Hungarian people, and realize its ambitions for the year against all odds.