Hungarians and Slovaks want to be successful together
12. 06. 2020.
Citizens of Hungary and Slovakia want mutual respect, they want to cooperate, meaning that they would like to be successful together, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stressed after he received Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic in his office in Budapest on Friday.

At a joint international press conference held after the meeting, Mr Orbán thanked his Slovak counterpart for his messages and gestures to Hungarians living in Slovakia as well as for the cooperation forged during the coronavirus epidemic. He also thanked Mr Matovic for having had the government programme translated into Hungarian in Slovakia.

He said Hungary is proud of the Slovak community living here which is rendering a splendid performance and whose fiscal grants have almost quadrupled since 2010. He observed that a bill which proposes to transfer the schools used by Slovaks in Hungary to the community’s ownership currently lies before Parliament.

The Prime Minister described the vivid relations between the two countries as fantastic, indicating among others that Slovakia is Hungary’s third most important trade partner. He asked the Slovak Prime Minister to send as many Slovak investors to Hungary as possible. To this end, Hungary has opened a credit line worth EUR 600 million with Eximbank.

Photo: Cher Vivien Benko

The Prime Minister referred to the inauguration of the new Danube bridge at Komárom and the six new border crossing stations to be built by 2022 – three of which will be Ipoly bridges and with which the number of border crossing points will increase to 40 –, as well as the facts that the two countries’ electric power networks will be connected together at two points, and the volume of the Hungarian-Slovak gas pipeline built earlier will be increased significantly, to almost three-fold as events of historic significance in the coming months.

With this, Hungary and Slovakia are contributing to the stability of the whole of Central Europe, Mr Orbán stated, asking his Slovak colleague to support Hungarian-Slovak relations and to consider the Hungarian community in Slovakia favourably.

In answer to a question relating to the EU’s post-coronavirus epidemic recovery concept, Mr Orbán said the underlying philosophy of the EU plan falls far from Hungarian life instincts because Hungarians take the view that money must be earned first, then spent.

Photo: Cher Vivien Benko

However, the Hungarian government itself understands, he continued, that there is a crisis, the European economy must be restarted, and as they could not agree on anything other than a credit-based package, “we will conquer our life instincts” but only if the content is reasonable and just; in a case to the contrary, it will not work.

Successful economic action plans cannot be built on an unfair content, and so if they want to help, it is inconceivable that poorer countries should be given less than richer ones, the Prime Minister stated.

In answer to another question from the press, the Prime Minister said at the talks he did not bring up the issue of the Treaty of Trianon, but indicated that Budapest appreciated the Slovak Prime Minister’s gestures and statements, “they touched the Hungarian people’s hearts”.

Photo: Cher Vivien Benko

He added that the reason why he had not brought up the issue of Trianon was that “it’s impossible for us to think about it the same way” and so they should not talk about it much either. Everyone will process this issue themselves, if possible in a way which will not constitute obstacles to future cooperation.

It is the Hungarian people’s business to live together with an historic injustice as from Hungary’s point of view Trianon will never appear just, Mr Orbán said, adding that Hungarians have a clear historical awareness, and take the view that relations with their neighbours should be arranged in such a way that what happened a hundred years ago should not hinder cooperation.