Government to defend reductions in household utility bills
02. 12. 2016.
In an interview on Kossuth Rádió on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the Government will not allow Brussels to phase out statutory fixed energy prices. The phasing out of statutory fixed prices from the European energy system would mean the end of reductions in household utility bills.

In his view, competition in the energy sector does not lead falling prices, but, through “all sorts of background deals”, to increases. If there is no price regulation in Central Europe, he pointed out, pensioners, families and the disadvantaged will have to pay much higher energy prices.

The Government will defend the reductions in household utility charges, and while this will be a difficult struggle, “we stand a chance”, Mr. Orbán stated, adding that in Brussels he expects the opposition position of Hungary to further strengthen.

The Prime Minister also mentioned that unemployment is now below 5 per cent, effectively meaning that whoever wants to work is able to do so. The situation, however, is not yet ideal, he indicated, as there are regional differences. It is not always easy to find a job, and people do not always get the jobs they would like, he said, “But, nonetheless, we can say that everyone has access to work of some kind, and in the worst-case scenario, to employment in one of the public works schemes”. Now, he continued, the goal is to make it increasingly worthwhile to work in Hungary; the Government’s decision is based on everyone receiving tax cuts if there are wage increases in return. He stated that tax cuts also enhance competitiveness, while pay rises contribute to improvement in the quality of the Hungarian work force.

Mr. Orbán said that the economic situation in Hungary is more promising today than at any time since 1990. “We cannot say that we have arrived, but we can say that we are well on the way, and our direction of travel is promising”, the Prime Minister said, stressing that “we are one of the winning countries”, and this is something which the country has not experienced for a long time. In his assessment, next year everyone will be able to take a step forward, including pensioners, active workers and young people.

One by one the Government has won the battles which have also had fundamental economic implications, Mr. Orbán said, and “Hungary has slowly but surely turned from a black sheep into a success story”, which its opponents are also gradually beginning to recognise, “even if they do not like it”. Nevertheless, he noted, the Hungarian opposition has not supported the Cabinet in a single one of its measures.

Responding to the observation that the Germans assume their economy will continue to slow until 2018, Mr. Orbán said that there is more to the world than Germany, and it has some other corners as well. By example he mentioned the policy of eastward and southward opening.

If world economic growth is slowing down, the Government, the Chamber of Commerce and trade unions can be expected to chart a course which protects and maintains economic growth even alongside such external economic conditions, he said, adding that “we shall not lay down our arms, as we want higher growth”.

Failure awaits those who do not understand that the people reject immigration

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán believes that, over time, we will see the fall of governments which do not understand that their peoples do not want immigration and do not want to see foreigners in their midst.

The Prime Minister said that “This is just a question of time – it will happen. We just have to hold out until democracy is restored, because democracy in Europe today is in a state of imbalance: there is no democratic balance, and the people have ideas which are different from those which their leaders want to impose upon them”.

The Prime Minister stated that, according to the rules of democracy, this conflict will disappear, and “this iron rule will prevail”. Those who have not set out with this “democratic attitude” will also learn that they either become democrats or they fail, he said, remarking that this is gradually happening in Europe, step by step. Furthermore, this is also what has happened in the United States, he observed.

Speaking about those who are opposed to immigration, he said that “We must hold on until finally we are in the majority”. With regard to the Constitutional Court ruling on the EU quota system which was made public on Wednesday, Mr. Orbán said that when he heard the decision, he tipped his hat to the Court, because with this he has received “enormous assistance” in the battle to be fought in Brussels.

“We can now dismiss the opposition’s objections, we can forget that the opposition decided to side with Brussels and that Jobbik tried to trip us up, because now we have succeeded in side-stepping an opposition which has tried to throw up obstacles to our progress”, he noted.

The Constitutional Court made it clear that – based on the existing text of the Fundamental Law, and even without a constitutional amendment – the Government has the right and duty to stand up for the country’s identity, constitutional identity and fundamental interests. In other words, the Cabinet cannot support a Brussels decision which violates Hungary’s sovereignty. “No one can tell us whom we should live together with; this is the privilege of Parliament and the people”, he said in relation to the ruling, which, he stated, is good news for everyone who does not want Hungary “to be occupied”.

Regarding the anticipated developments on the immigration issue at the EU summit in mid-December, he said that at present the match is drawn. He described the balance of forces as being like David and Goliath, with the Visegrád Four as David. “The EU’s decision-making mechanism, however, is one in which the prime ministers can only decide on important issues on the basis of unanimity – and therefore even David stands a chance”, he said.

Mr. Orbán was also asked about Turkey. He said that the country has a good chance of preserving its stability, and this is the most important aspect in terms of Hungary’s interest, because if there is “chaos” in Turkey, Europe will suffer gravely as a result.