Marking the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of Mária Valéria Bridge connecting Hungary and Slovakia, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that back when the bridge was inaugurated, Central Europeans were rightfully optimistic.
“We believed the years of real struggles and the hard part were behind us,” the prime minister said at the inauguration. “But that mood has evaporated and we had to realise that we cannot have our future be dependent on the goodwill of outside players,” PM Orbán said. “We have to fight for our own achievements each and every day.” “Twenty years ago even Brussels was on our side and supported us even with the construction of this bridge,” the prime minister said. “But today, more and more it sees Central Europeans as unequal partners and second-class member states.”
PM Orbán said Brussels wanted to force Central Europeans to live with people it did not want to live together with and to enact policies that would limit their economic opportunities. “They also want to force a way of life onto us that goes against everything we value and want to preserve,” he said. “It’s hard to fight this threat." Meanwhile, the prime minister said the Visegrad Group (V4) comprising Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland had continuously prospered over the past decade. The V4 have established an effective and stable alliance and have tackled civilisational crises together, PM Orbán said. Twenty years after the reconstruction of the Mária Valéria Bridge, Central European cooperation is stronger than ever, he added. “The Mária Valéria Bridge has remained a symbol that says we are the future of Europe and we mustn’t allow the bridges connecting us to be torn down ever again,” PM Orbán said.
Photo credit: MTI