Hungary cannot turn back
21. 01. 2022.
We must learn from what happened before 2010, from how much effort it took to rectify the mistakes, and once we have succeeded, we cannot turn back again to where only problems would await us, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’ on Friday.

Mr Orbán said the slogan ‘Hungary is going forward, not backward’ encompasses the struggle that Hungary has pursued in the past 12 years as in 2010 Hungary was a bankrupt country; the country was “bled out and destroyed”.

He said now, however, those would want to come back who “as left-wing politicians bankrupted the country before 2010,” and now they say they are ready to take over the country after the elections. This would mean that we would be going backward, he added.

He took the view that there is no point in throwing all the hard work of the past few years out the window because if those were to return who bankrupted the country, they would do what they did before, “that’s what they’re good at, at austerity measures, at taking things away from the people, at reducing pensions; they won’t increase the minimum wage, they won’t increase pensions because that is not what they did when they had the opportunity”.

He stressed that in consequence of the Left’s governance, unemployment was above 12 per cent, instead of increasing, the economy’s performance shrank, taxes were “sky high”, “we had the IMF on our necks,” and the Left who are now criticising health care took an entire monthly salary away from healthcare workers and teachers, and an entire monthly pension away from pensioners.

He highlighted that the incumbent government is giving back the 13th monthly pension, is continuously increasing the minimum wage and the salaries of people in a variety of segments, instead of unemployment now there is a shortage of workforce, taxes are positively favourable by European standards, and economic growth is plus 7 per cent, not minus 2 to 3 per cent.

He also stressed that it is not only that the Left had committed errors and sins before 2010, but they likewise refused to support in Parliament the decisions adopted by the government after 2010 with a view to rectifying them. They did not vote for the tax reductions and the re-introduction of the 13th monthly pension either, he highlighted, adding that the Left are also attacking the measures introduced recently due to the high rate of inflation such as the introduction of a ceiling on certain foodstuffs, the cap on fuel prices and the cap on interest rates.

The Prime Minister also criticised the Left for attacking the fight against the pandemic. He said we can, and indeed we must conduct a debate about what constitutes a good defence effort, but we must do so without compromising that effort in the meantime.

He said the debate regarding how to defend ourselves against the pandemic is a pan-European phenomenon. However, the Hungarian Left stand out of the European practice through the fact that they fabricated fake videos. Mr Orbán is not aware of instances in any Western European countries where facts were falsified, fake videos were fabricated, and the debate on the fight against the pandemic was conducted in a way that compromised the effectiveness of the effort, he said.

He took the view that the way in which the defence effort is being attacked in Hungary is an insult to physicians and nurses, and equally to the work conducted in hospitals. However, the entire healthcare system is doing everything it can to provide help for patients, and physicians and nurses deserve nothing but praise, he stated.

He observed that the organisation of vaccinations is making good progress everywhere.

Mr Orbán took the view that the Left are unable to differentiate between attacking the government and speaking condescendingly about the country.

The Prime Minister said he is opposed to the privatisation of healthcare. At the same time, in his view, the privatisation of healthcare has always been part of the programme of the Hungarian Left because a great many of them worked and continue to work for business groups with interests in private healthcare, and so “on account of their former masters and patrons” they have a vested interest in opening up business opportunities to international capital.

Regarding migration, the Prime Minister said Hungary is defending the whole of Europe. However, rather than helping with our defence effort, Brussels is attacking Hungary.

Mr Orbán said in 2020, 45,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended at the border; in 2021, as many as 122,000. This clearly shows that the number of illegal border-crossing attempts is increasing. The issue of migration has not been resolved; in fact, it will continue to remain with us as a threat and a source of danger also in the coming years, and so the system of border protection will have to be reinforced and transformed, he stated, adding that new forces will have to be deployed: armed officers who are specifically employed for the protection of the borders in the largest possible numbers.

He also said the Hungarians are “always also captains of the fortress,” and are defending the borders of the whole of Europe. Since 2015, this has cost the Hungarian people HUF 600 billion, but Brussels refuses to support this effort, “in fact, they’re shooting us in the back,” are attacking us, instead of helping, the Prime Minister said.

He pointed out that Hungary does not want to become an immigrant country, “we don’t want to, we will never say that Muslim adults substitute for missing Christian children just fine” because at the end of our lives we would like to leave our countries not to strangers, but to our own children.

Regarding the pandemic situation, the Prime Minister said, according to Friday data, the number of new infections is rising, but the number of patients requiring assisted ventilation is decreasing, and the number of patients requiring hospitalisation, too, is increasing at a slower rate than the rate at which the omicron variant is spreading.