Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered his much anticipated State of the Nation address on Sunday. “The facts show that the last ten years were the most successful in Hungary’s last 100 years,” he said.
PM Orbán said that Hungary is “still here” 100 years after the “death sentence” that was the WWI Trianon Peace Treaty. “Not only are we alive but we have also freed ourselves from the clutches of a hostile ring of countries,” the prime minister told the crowd at Budapest’s Várkert Bazár.
According to MTI, PM Orbán said Hungary was now finding common ground with neighboring Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, and was in a position to engage in broad cooperation and form alliances with them.
“History has again given central European peoples a chance to build a new alliance based on their own national interests, allowing us to defend ourselves against threats from both the east and the west,” PM Orbán said.
The prime minister said that in 2010 the objective of his government taking office had been “to prove to ourselves and to the world that we are still somebody”.
We figured that we would either find a path or create one for ourselves,” he said, adding that the only option left for his government had been the latter since the path set by Brussels and Washington was unacceptable for us.”
PM Orbán said that looking back after ten years he could say “with due modesty” that “we figured out what to do and we did it”.
The prime minister said his government had “sent the IMF home”, managed to pay back the loans early, created 850,000 jobs, put the country’s finances in order and launched schemes to help “a reunification of the nation”, and reconnected Hungarian communities beyond the borders with Hungary.
PM Orbán said that in economic reports released in Brussels this week, “the whole of Europe may read that in 2019 the Hungarian economy registered the highest growth rate on the whole continent”.
The prime minister said preserving and modernizing jobs will remain an important goal for Hungary in 2020 and beyond. He added that in terms of growth “Europe’s economy, and in particular the eurozone region, has simply stalled”, noting that Hungary had 85 percent of its exports going to those countries. “This means that their problem is our problem,” he said.
Hungary must focus its efforts in 2020 and in the years to come on retaining jobs, he stressed.
PM Orbán said that in order to achieve that goal taxes must be reduced, pledging to cut payroll taxes and taxes on small businesses. “Further, we will preserve the value of pensions, in line with the agreement we concluded with the pensioners,” he said.
The prime minister also touched on the government’s climate protection action plan and said Hungarians must again forge common ground when they fill out the next “national consultation” survey and provide a basis for the government’s policies.