My greetings to Prime Minister Golob, to the personal representative of Prime Minister Plenković, to the heads of the companies and to everyone here today.
I would like to tell you why this investment is close to my heart, and why it is also an emotional issue for us Hungarians. Once there was a country called Yugoslavia. Hungary was not part of it. Therefore the peoples living in Yugoslavia and the Hungarians were cut off from one another. There was hardly any contact between their two worlds. As a result, we Hungarians built all our links – gas, oil or electricity – in an East-West context: East-West, but never North-South. There was no point in building North-South infrastructure. Yugoslavia may have disappeared, but the separation remained. How strange it is that Hungary has many neighbours, but the only neighbour with which we have no connections in terms of gas pipelines or oil or electricity systems is Slovenia. All this is the legacy of the past. It is a legacy that we would like to have eradicated; but we cannot eradicate this legacy until we build complete North-South infrastructure interconnectivity. This project is also important for me personally, because back in 1999 I led the Hungarian government that brought our electricity power supply line right down to the Hungarian border. I was able to conclude an agreement with the Croatian prime minister of the time, and back then – perhaps in 1999 or 2000 – we handed over the Croatian-Hungarian electricity interconnection. And I was here when we laid the foundation stone for this substation, and I am able to be here now at the handover of this substation. This is a good opportunity to thank all the governments of Slovenia that have been involved in this long process and that have helped us to get here. I would like to thank the Slovenian people for standing by this project. They too believed that we need to move beyond the past. They too know that without North-South infrastructure the two countries cannot connect with each other, we cannot reap the benefits of cooperation, and we are missing an opportunity. I am grateful to the Prime Minister that this day has come, a day which symbolises both peoples’ hope for the future – the hope that if we work together we can achieve more than if we try to work separately. Gas, oil, electricity: three links were missing. We have now achieved the realisation of one of these. If we follow the trail of history, the task for the Hungarians is clear: let us do everything we can to ensure that the other missing links between Slovenia and Hungary can be completed.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
You know that Hungarians are romantic by nature. Romanticism spurs people to great things: great loves, great enterprises, things of great matter. And we believe that the corner of the world in which we live, which is no longer separated from our neighbours to the south, the Central Europe to which we all belong, has a bright future. We believe that living here are peoples who are extremely talented, who are capable and able to work hard, who are willing to take risks, and who love their country and their families. This gives them the energy that, simply put, makes us successful. We speak different languages – for example, you do not understand me now and I did not understand what you were saying earlier; but beyond language, beyond these different languages, these instincts for life bind us together. And if the politicians understand this, and if they act in accordance with these shared instincts of our peoples, and if the Central European states are interconnected, then I am sure that we will see the realisation of the great dream of a Central Europe that is not the loser of history, but the winner. I am sure that we can overcome the historical handicap that we have all suffered because of the storms of history. I am sure that this handicap can be erased, and that we can turn Central Europe into the happiest, most prosperous and safest region in Europe. It was with this hope that we embarked on this project, and it is with this hope that I am pleased to say that we can now hand it over.
God bless us all! God bless Slovenia!