Hungary will not be defeated
18. 11. 2022.
In times of crisis, rather than playing for time and mere survival, a government must take action and alleviate the problems; our starting point should be that Hungary will not be defeated, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’ where in the context of the war in Ukraine, he called for a ceasefire and peace talks and rejected the policy of sanctions.

The Prime Minister recalled that in the past 12 years, he had “been in charge” of the management of three major crises – the financial crisis left behind after the Gyurcsány Government, the migration crisis and the COVID crisis – and learnt that “it’s true that the problems come from outside, but if you freeze, if you become paralysed, you’ll be destroyed”.

In his view, in such situations, rather than playing for time and mere survival, you must seek to alleviate the problems. You must be proactive, take action and protect your fundamental interests, he added. “I usually tell members of the government that Hungary won’t be defeated, this must be our starting point,” he said.

He pointed out that we need a ceasefire and peace talks in the war in Ukraine. The policy of sanctions is a step towards war, he said, highlighting that while sanctions are measures of an economic nature, if someone intervenes in a conflict with sanctions, by doing so they also take a stance, “taking a step towards one warring party or the other, meaning towards war”.

Photo: Zoltán Fischer/Prime Minister’s Press Office

He stressed that if Europe looks upon itself as a party to the war, it will become involved in this conflict ever more deeply, and with this the threat we are facing will become ever more menacing. It is evident that step by step we are slipping into this war; we are not yet being shot at, but we are very close to becoming an actual party to the war, the Prime Minister said, stating that “what Europe is doing” is extremely dangerous.

Hungary is speaking in the language of peace, but other than us, no one is following this line, he said, observing that while we hear news reports about the fact that in secret, in the background, there are Russian-US talks, at this time, there are no signs indicating that these amount to meaningful talks.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Hungary had never supported the policy of sanctions and would not henceforth either.

Photo: Zoltán Fischer/Prime Minister’s Press Office

He highlighted that Hungary cannot afford to veto every single measure, “at times, we must let a thing or two pass”. However, “we must insist on fighting for a rule of exception for ourselves, a rule that is in keeping with Hungary’s best interests”. Therefore, “Hungary has so far always managed to remove itself from the most devastating consequences” of the sanctions, he said, adding that he is sure that if there will be a ninth package of sanctions, then – even if at the expense of huge battles – he will achieve an exemption for Hungary on issues that are crucial for us such as nuclear energy.

Speaking about the importance of the national consultation, the Prime Minister said during talks it is very important for the Hungarian government of the day to have the people’s support. “Both we here at home and actors of international politics in Brussels must feel that what the Hungarian government says is a national interest because the entire nation believes” that it is, he said.

According to the Prime Minister, while the government is unable to counter the negative impacts of the sanctions with the reduction of household energy bills and the price caps, it is able to reduce them. For this, the government has an action plan consisting of eleven measures at present. The latest measure was the fixing of the prices of potatoes and eggs, he said, adding that the government cannot fix the price of every product because by doing so, socialism would return and the economy would collapse, but in some crucial areas it is possible to help people with such measures.

He also said without the reduction of household energy bills, every family’s expenses would be around HUF 180,000 higher.

According to the Prime Minister, the goal for next year is to preserve full employment, to have a growth above the average of the European Union, to avoid recession and to not surrender our most important national strategic objectives such as the unification of the nation and family support.

Regarding the latter, he said “it will make more sense to talk about them in December”. He stated: “we will never surrender important national strategic goals,” this is why the government has launched a factory rescue programme, supports small and medium-sized enterprises, has imposed price caps and a cap on interest rates, and is helping businesses in the catering and hotel sectors.

Photo: Zoltán Fischer/Prime Minister’s Press Office

Proposals are forthcoming on a continuous basis in order to make the situation bearable for both businesses and the Hungarian people, he said.

Mr Orbán also highlighted that the fact that prior to the elections, left-wing parties had received large sums from abroad was not only illegal, but also morally reprehensible and amounted to the deception of the Hungarian people. He indicated that in the case he will under any circumstances have to consult with the minister responsible for the intelligence services as well as with the heads of the institutions carrying out intelligence work, but it is certain, he said, that “we have reason to be shocked”.

In his view, this case is not complicated, however. “The situation is that during the period leading up to the elections, and it appears, even after the elections, some political parties asking for the Hungarian people’s trust, left-wing parties and their leaders were and perhaps still are in the pay of foreign agents,” he said.

He was of the opinion that this is illegal, but this is a matter for lawyers to decide.

He pointed out that a gross intervention in the election campaigns from abroad in such a way that some actors, individuals and parties taking part in those campaigns are financed from abroad is contrary to Hungary’s national interests.

This is not only morally reprehensible, but amounts to the deception of Hungarian citizens who believe that they cast their votes for a party and a leader with sovereign integrity who has no underlying secret commitment that would prevent them from serving the country’s best interests during their work, he stressed.