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Interview with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the HírTV outside broadcast studio on the night of the European Parliament election

Zsolt Bayer: Prime Minister, after the 2010 parliamentary elections Tamás Deutsch made the following immortal observation: “After elections the winners tell jokes, and the losers analyse the results.” Do you have a good joke?

I’d like to go home. The good thing about every campaign is that it ends, we can finally see the results, and we can catch our breath. Perhaps the public don’t see this much, but over the past few weeks tens of thousands of volunteer activists have been at work, night and day. The high turnout was not something that the wind blew in through our window: we worked hard for it. Never before have so many Hungarians voted in a European Parliament election. To a considerable extent this is due to the fact that those of us who are in love with a civic, national and Christian Hungary have convinced one another that although these are European elections, they are about our country – and so we must go to the polls. As I see it, we’ve argued our case successfully. I congratulate everyone who voted in the election – regardless of whether they paid us the honour of placing their trust in us or in others.

Given the unprecedented turnout, we can confidently say that, with thirteen mandates, Fidesz–KDNP has achieved a historic victory.

Well, in all modesty we can say that it was a record turnout and a record victory.

That’s right. What is the message that this record victory achieved with this turnout sends to the Government, and to the new Fidesz–KDNP group in the European Parliament?

Perhaps the message it sends to the Government is “carry on, we have faith in you, and we’re there with you – we stand behind you”. There’s a great deal of work that Hungary still has to do, because although things aren’t going badly and the country is clearly doing better and better, things aren’t going quite the way we’d like them to: Hungary is not yet the country we would like to see, not quite the country we would like our children and grandchildren to see. So there’s a great deal of work ahead of us, and it’s important – it’s also important for me personally – that in every election the people give me positive feedback and encouragement that the work we do is meaningful, and that they also see the work that we’re doing together with them and with their support is meaningful. And the elections send the message to Europe that the Hungarians are a European nation. We believe that the European peoples must work together. We also believe that Europe is made up of nations, and therefore the people that we send to Brussels are Hungarians – and not only from within our borders, but also from beyond the borders. If Brussels wants the people to support the European ideal, then we must change things, we must restore the security of the continent, we must end the threat of terrorism, we must stop migration, and we must finally pursue a rational economic policy which allows the European economy to grow. So I believe that the message to Brussels can be summed up thus: “Change!”

Let’s come back home for a minute. The current state of affairs suggests that DK has climbed on top of the ruins of the opposition. They’ve reached the summit, if you like – we cannot deny that. Tonight Ferenc Gyurcsány has become the opposition’s dominant leader. What are your thoughts on this?

If you’ll allow me, today I’d rather talk about the fact that 52 per cent of those people who went to the polls voted for us: I’d rather talk about the people in that 52 per cent, and the trust they’ve placed in us. In my view, in all due respect, what’s happening in the opposition is secondary. Today Hungary has shown great unity, and has expressed that unity in the support they’ve given to the government parties.

My last question, Prime Minister, and then I’ll let you go home. Do you think, in light of these results – and now I don’t want to analyse the results of other countries in the European Parliament elections – that generally there’s a chance that in Europe the concept of the nation will be restored to the place it deserves: that it will regain the status it deserves?

If we look at things in a European context, then first of all – once again, with due modesty – we must point out that we’ve been in government for nine years. During this time, we – the country and the Government – have had to live through some very difficult periods. I don’t know a single European party, not a single government, which after nine years of hard work has seen its number of votes increase. This has happened in only one country: Hungary. This leads me to the conclusion that people truly want unity and cohesion, and are looking for a government which represents the values that are also important for them: homeland, family, nation, Christianity, security and jobs. So I believe that, thanks to the work completed by the Government over the past nine years, an unprecedented unity has been forged which gives us good prospects for the future, and also strengthens my voice in the political sphere in Brussels. Because the kind of achievement shown by Hungary today cannot be seen anywhere else in Europe. Now, starting tomorrow, there will be negotiations on the selection of European leaders. Today’s result means that in that struggle, in that debate, our voice will be much stronger than it was even just a few weeks ago. So I believe that I’ve received an extremely strong mandate from the people, strong confirmation that in the weeks ahead I should strive to ensure the selection of leaders who believe that nations are important, who believe that Christianity is important, and who want to stop immigration. And I sincerely believe that I will be able to make good use of the strong mandate which we’ve received from the people today.

And next week this work will have already begun. I wish you much success and strength. Thank you for being here with us.

Thank you. Good night.