Viktor Orbán said in the 54-page document which the European Commission sent to the Hungarian government they demand that we change the child protection legislation. Family law and laws relating to the rights of children fall within national competence. However, we have been put under enormous pressure from Brussels.
“They’re blackmailing us, threatening us, instituting infringement procedures,” they are delaying the payment of the funds we are entitled to, and so as the future of our children is at stake, we cannot give in, Mr Orbán said.
He pointed out that the government on its own will not be strong enough in this fight, they need the support of every single Hungarian. This was the case with the mandatory migrant resettlement quotas as well: the government on its own would not have been able to resist, but at the time, the Hungarians who took part in the referendum defended the whole of Europe from the mandatory distribution of migrants, he explained.
The Prime Minister took the view that Brussels would want us to allow LGBTQ propagandists into our schools. According to the European Commission, in school there are rights which take priority over the rights of parents. According to the EU, they expect this to result in the fulfilment of the European freedom ideal. However, children do not fall within the realm of the freedoms of adults, and this is not a question of freedom, but a question of protecting our children, he stated.
He highlighted that “they want to take the education of our children away from us”. Things may well be different in Western Europe; however, the education of Hungarian children is the business of the Hungarian people, he said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that according to the Brussels bureaucrats, history can only progress in a single direction, and this is very similar to communism, except that it is now expressed in the liberal language. The liberals have become the enemies of freedom, he stated.
He observed that in the world there are nations which must be respected, and it is unacceptable that Brussels should abuse its power and blackmail us financially.
Mr Orbán announced the government had decided to set up a Hungarian recovery fund within the economy protection fund, and to start the programmes which would otherwise be financed from the European recovery fund.
He said the most important characteristic of the European recovery fund is that it is a rapid facility, and therefore to delay disbursement – it is to be expected that the European Union will be seeking a two-month postponement for the continuation of negotiations – questions the very essence of the fund.
We are entitled to this money, “they can delay it, but they cannot not give it to us,” and therefore the government decided to launch the same programmes that Brussels has already approved. “We will pay those sums, regardless of whether money will come from Brussels or not,” he stressed.
To claim, he continued, that the government wants to divert attention away from some topics with the child protection referendum is nothing less than looking down on the Hungarian people. It is to be hoped that we will be able to hold the referendum in January or February, he added.
Mr Orbán advised everyone to think this issue through, to inform themselves, to see what is happening in Western Europe, to form an opinion and to take part in the referendum because those who do not and boycott the referendum leave the decision to the majority. They do not want to legislate, but instead they want to protect an already existing law, and so boycotting the referendum makes no sense, he pointed out.
As regards the Pegasus case, Interior Minister Sándor Pintér has already said everything that has to be said, he stated.
In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister said 23 persons had been found infected with the delta variant of the virus and two with the gamma variant. Health care experts are working hard to thoroughly assess the situation. Fifty-five per cent of people have already received both doses of the vaccine, and as a result, Hungary is one of Europe’s safest countries from an epidemiological point of view. However, the fourth wave has started in Western Europe, and Hungary, too, will have its share, he pointed out.
The vaccine protects people from the severe progression of the disease, he highlighted, adding that from 1 August any Hungarian citizen will be able to ask for a third dose of the vaccine, and in this respect, Hungary is number one in Europe.
He recalled that we must repeatedly focus more on the elderly as they are again most at risk. Therefore, those who have not had themselves vaccinated will be contacted in person. For children over the age of 12, a vaccination campaign will be launched in the days before the start of the school year, he said.
The Prime Minister also said making vaccination compulsory in health care is an acceptable measure because there are other vaccines, too, which are compulsory for those working in the sector.
He stressed that the government is in its place, the Operational Group is continuously in session, they are analysing the situation on an ongoing basis, and the government is adopting the necessary decisions quickly and effectively, in a focused manner.
Regarding the Tokyo Olympic Games about to start, he said if Hungary was hosting the event, there would be no obstacle to holding the games amidst normal circumstances. Fifteen million Hungarians are looking forward to our athletes standing their ground to the best of their abilities, he said.