PM Orbán urges voters to choose peace in this Sunday’s elections

The prime minister called for national unity, saying that “on June 9, we’re only allowed to vote for peace, in the name of national unity.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has urged voters to choose peace in this Sunday’s elections “in the name of national unity”.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new Tomori Pál Bridge on the Danube linking Paks and Kalocsa, in central Hungary, the prime minister said the bridge was not just a structure linking the two banks of the river, but “a gigantic exclamation mark made of steel and concrete”. “It reminds us Hungarians of the danger posed by division, especially in a time of war,” he said. “If we don’t stick together, we’ll become the playground of foreign powers, our country will be condemned to senseless destruction, and we’ll write ourselves out of history for a long time because our fate will be taken out of our hands,” PM Orbán said. “This warning is a timely one again when Europe is in a state of preparation for war.” The prime minister called for national unity, saying that “on June 9, we’re only allowed to vote for peace, in the name of national unity.” Orbán urged those at the ceremony to back the candidates of the allied ruling Fidesz and Christian Democrat parties in Sunday’s elections and to “give it their all” in the final days of the campaign.

The prime minister said the construction of the new Kalocsa-Paks Bridge was part of a “complex, well thought-out long-term national development plan”. The prime minister said his government had become a “professional” when it came to the inauguration of bridges in recent years, noting that a total of 19 brides have been built since 2010 compared with the five built under the previous Socialist-led government. He said the government intended to carry out as many investment projects as possible in the southern half of the country, adding that this required roads and bridges. Orbán said he was convinced that the southern parts of Hungary would grow in importance in the future, and the trade turnover between Serbia and Hungary would turn this part of the country into a “gateway to the West”. As part of this plan, the M6 motorway has been extended to the southern border, linking the Croatian-Slavonian areas with Hungary, he said. The next step will be to divert traffic from Serbia, logistics hubs, investments and a significant number of production units to this region with a view to connecting the Paks and Kalocsa areas to a fast-growing region, he said.

The prime minister noted that two of Hungary’s most important strategic investment projects, namely the new nuclear power plant in Paks and a section of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line, are being carried out in this region. He added that the next bridge will be built at Mohács, in the south. Orbán said the Kalocsa-Paks Bridge would benefit not just locals, but the entire country. He said Hungarians wanted to be able to “connect with their own people and the outside world”, but Kalocsa and Paks had not been connected until now. The Sárkoz region had so far been far removed from the country’s motorways, but the government considered it a duty to connect the internal areas to the country’s bloodstream, he added. Orbán said that in 2010, the western part of Hungary had been significantly more developed than the east, accounting for the lion’s share of the country’s industrial output and economic growth. This, he said, was “not only unfair but also harmful” when it came to the country’s development, adding that the government had decided to build the “industrial triangle” of Miskolc, Nyíregyháza and Debrecen to free up the region’s economic potential. The major developments are ongoing and their completion is in sight, the prime minister said.