Andrea Földi-Kovács: Good Evening. Welcome to this special edition of Daily News with Zsolt Bayer and Andrea Földi-Kovács. In the studio we also have our special guest, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Good evening.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Prime Minister, two years ago, some time around the beginning of the migration wave, there was an intensification in attacks on Hungary in relation to its obligations and for two years, people in this country – regardless of their party affiliations – have felt uneasy, because the European Parliament has noted, and I quote, a “serious deterioration in the rule of law and democracy in Hungary”. I assume you followed the hearing of the “LIBE Committee” earlier today. Did you find out whether their automatic guilty verdict has been officially delivered?
Let’s go back to the basics. Here we are talking about the European Parliament. The organisational architecture of Brussels, and of the entire European Union, is a complex system of buildings and corridors. There are doors leading everywhere. One of the most important of these entrances is the European Parliament. This is not the same as the Commission or the Council: currently the Parliament seems to be the most politically motivated element in this Brussels structure. And if anything happens in Hungary that is contrary to the interests of the “Great Powers”, large corporations or important people, the Parliament is the first to react and to criticise Hungary. The reason I’ve brought this up is that this game against Hungary did not start in 2015…
Andrea Földi-Kovács: I said that it intensified in 2015.
…but earlier. If you think about it, it was maybe in 2013, when here in Hungary we decided to implement reductions in household utility charges. A couple of months later we received the Tavares Report. No one would admit that the reason action had been taken against us was that we’d threatened the interests of large Western European energy companies – but we all knew that this was the real reason. This was concealed, however, by the camouflage of “democracy issues”, and the European Parliament began to attack Hungary. And once again, what we are seeing has nothing to do with the state of Hungarian democracy: it is about a plan, a concept, for shipping millions of migrants to Europe. The intention is to set up a Europe with a mixed population. Many people consider this to be a desirable objective, but there is a country that is not only against this plan, but is also blocking its implementation. That country is Hungary. And once again the first to act and to attack is the European Parliament, and once again it raises questions relating to Hungarian democracy. This is despite the fact that – and now I’m trying to be accurate with the dates – before 2013 Barroso was still the President of the European Commission, and Hungary and the EU had resolved all matters associated with the debate over democracy. So we have written evidence that freedom of the press is fine, our media law is fine, our election law is fine and our new constitution is also fine. This lengthy – years-long – process led to an agreement with the Commission. We amended some laws or agreed to face court cases, acknowledged the court’s decision and brought the argument to a close. So in Brussels there is no further debate about Hungarian democracy. The European Parliament is the one attacking us on this pretext, but in fact its actions are not linked to democracy, but to threats to important interests. This is an accurate description of the current situation.
Zsolt Bayer: But on three issues – CEU, civil society organisations and the migrant quota – they seem to have gone one step further, and Hungary is being brought before the European Court of Justice. Should we start worrying?
If we pin these questions on the political map of Europe, we will see that the issues of the university, bogus civil society organisations – as I prefer to call them – and the quota all lead to a person named George Soros. And all of George Soros’s problems with Hungary lead us to the issue of immigration. CEU is the university of our fellow Hungarian citizen, George Soros; he is the one financing the civil society organisations, paying them and guaranteeing their operation – and, I think, he is also the one issuing directions. This whole immigration issue is part of his programme, part of his plan. I have brought his plan here, as its very existence is sometimes challenged. So, if you don’t mind, I thought I would display it to you in a theatrical manner. This is it: here in my hands is the Soros Plan. It exists, he made it public, and you can read the wording he uses in it; so he was the first to call it the “Soros Plan”. Here it is written that this is the comprehensive six-point plan that he has made public. Then, at the end of the text, he says that Hungarians also have a six-point plan, which runs counter to his plan; and he states that his plan must be implemented, regardless of Hungarians’ opposition to it. So if I look at the issues of CEU, civil society organisations and immigration, these all lead back to George Soros. And then this whole story leads to his plan: a plan to establish a Europe with a mixed population.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: We’ll talk about it in more detail in a while, but first there’s an incident on which I’d like to ask your opinion. Whether certain people in Europe or the world like it or not, over the past few years your views on the issue of migration have been quite strong and consistent. You’ve always emphasised Europe’s peace, identity and culture as values that need to be protected. Looking back over the past two years, what do you think of the nomination of George Soros for the Nobel Peace Prize?
What’s more, if I’m not mistaken the nomination has been made by Hungarians – right?
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Yes.
So this is a Hungarian nomination. Therefore this means that Hungary is a free country, and no Hungarians are prevented from making nominations. And it’s lucky that we don’t have to make the decision on it.
Zsolt Bayer: Just an interesting aside: for some months there have been arguments over whether or not there is a Soros Plan out there.
If you don’t mind, I would say that this is a reading problem. Those who are able to read and want to do so, will read it; the author of the plan used that expression in the text and has been using it. But anyone who doesn’t want to read is still free to speak – untroubled by the facts. But in reality, the Government of Hungary has to act in response to a plan which presents a real and present danger.
Zsolt Bayer: To such an extent that I would like to read out a single section to you. Those nominating George Soros for the Nobel Peace Prize – Gábor Iványi and his associates – wrote the following closing to their nomination letter: “In the issue of Foreign Policy published on July 19, 2016 he [George Soros] elaborated his position regarding the European migration crisis, which has been the most complex conception of the topic to date.” It sounds like they’ve nominated him for a Nobel Prize on grounds which elsewhere they’ve claimed don’t exist.
Well, no surprise there, because…
Zsolt Bayer: No, of course.
… in Hungarian politics we’ve seen even bigger blunders than that.
Zsolt Bayer: I can’t let you off on the question of whether we need to worry about Hungary being taken to court over three matters.
The word “worry” may be a slight exaggeration. We have to deal with it, as there will be a public debate, and Hungary is a country that – in my opinion – has reasons to be proud of its status as a civilised country. In other words, if we are involved in a debate we have to be prepared and we have to act with civility. We must present our arguments intelligibly, clearly and convincingly. And then the honourable court will make its decision – which we shall acknowledge.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Now that we are talking about debates or hearings, initially there was a debate in Strasbourg in which we saw that Hungary and Hungarian politicians – including the Prime Minister – stood up for the country. And during the plenary session even some faint supporting voices could be heard. And now, looking at the recent “LIBE Committee” hearing, more explicit criticism was expressed in relation to the EU mechanisms. I’m talking about critical comments from Members of the European Parliament who spoke up for Hungary and Poland. While watching this hearing, I kept an eye on the list of the European policy institutes linked to George Soros: the list of “reliable” Members of the European Parliament. And interestingly, those who criticised Hungary at the committee meeting are included on that list. Let me describe it with a sports metaphor: as far as I know, in football dual registration is not permitted. Does this mean that in the European Parliament it is permitted?
Well, money has to be worked for, that’s for sure – because the relationship that you’ve just described exists. Now there may be several answers to the question of why perhaps there are more people who share our views. The first possible answer may be that Péter Szijjártó was better than me at arguing our case, and was able to convince more people of the validity of our views. The other answer may be what we call “democracy”. So if one takes a glance at the western half of Europe, one will see that there is a growing chasm between what people think of immigration and want from it, and what is done by their elected leaders. Democracy is a system in which the measures and programmes proposed by leaders may differ from what the people want. There are many examples of this, and they are part of this system of government. This difference in opinion may grow to a certain point, but then the system will make corrections: in other words, the leaders will be sent packing. So what happens is that if over an extended period people feel that their leaders are not doing what they asked them to do – indeed that their leaders’ actions do not meet their expectations, and are contrary to their interests – they will send their leaders off with fleas in their ears. And this is what’s happening today in ever more countries in Western Europe. Even though we don’t agree with them, we have to accept that they are, after all, democratic leaders, and that they would like to keep their position and win the trust of their voters. They would like to win the people’s trust, so sooner or later they will have to modify their views on immigration. I am not an oracle, and I am not predicting the future, but in the end the great majority will hold our views, because our views – of Hungary – represent the opinions of most Europeans. Consequently, what we say certainly represents the opinion of Hungarians – that’s confirmed by the National Consultation, the referendum and many other indicators; but I’m also convinced that the majority of people in EU Member States increasingly share this view, and will also urge their leaders to change their positions. This will never be acknowledged, though. This means that the Hungarian is a truly generous nation: we even find delight in admitting our own mistakes, in saying that we made a mistake and that we now hold a different view. This is not typical of everyone, so they won’t admit that they weren’t right and, let’s say, the Hungarians were right; but gradually they will modify their views. This is where we are today; and in the end they will reach the positions represented by Hungary.
Zsolt Bayer: The most prominent place where the process that you’ve just described is currently taking place is Germany: for the first time since the Second World War a government cannot be formed, and the reason for this can surely be traced back to the migrant issue. However, leaving aside for now George Soros as an individual, isn’t this a question of sovereignty? In the democratic context that you’ve also referred to, they want to overrule the will of the Hungarian government and the Hungarian state – or, if you like, the people of Hungary – in a matter of sovereignty that may not be overruled, because it represents the deepest layers of sovereignty, and is one that others may have no say in.
Yes, well, we can use the word: “sovereignty”. It’s a bit elaborate, and sounds foreign to the Hungarian ear, but maybe we understand what it means. We could just as well use the word “freedom”, however. Here, the issue is one of Hungarian freedom.
Zsolt Bayer: Well, that does sound better.
Freedom means that we are free individuals and free Hungarians, we are free as people and as citizens, and we are also free as a community: as the Hungarian nation. And in the European Union now there is an argument that is in fact linked to sovereignty – or in other words freedom. This is the question of whether every country must host immigrants, or whether in future the Member States will have the freedom, the right and the sovereignty to reject this. Hungary is saying to other countries that we respect your desire for such a future for yourselves. That is your responsibility: if you want a country with a mixed population, if you want cities like Brussels, Cologne or Vienna…
Zsolt Bayer: Paris,…
… or Marseille, then that is your business. If you want it, so be it. We only ask you to respect our desire for a different future for ourselves and for our children. Budapest is not like the cities I’ve mentioned, and we don’t want it to become anything like them in that respect; neither do we want Debrecen or Pécs to become cities like that. This is our view. Do we or do we not have the freedom to live like this and to choose our own future? This is an issue of sovereignty and freedom. And today it seems that this right – our right to freedom – is being contested by those who want to force us to implement laws which would enable them to send immigrants here, despite our opposition to it.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Prime Minister, the Government strongly criticises European decision-makers – let alone the civil society organisations – for using such nebulous notions as international rights, European values and human rights. This notion of freedom is also too vague. In exactly what way is Hungary’s freedom being violated? In addition to, for example, being forced to host illegal migrants against our will, what do you mean by this?
I’m asking whether we have the freedom to say who will live in the territory of Hungary. This must be decided by the Hungarians, the Parliament elected by the Hungarians, the Government elected by the Parliament and its immigration authorities. Are we, the Hungarians, to decide this or will it be others from outside Hungary, who do not speak our language, are not part of our history, do not share our fate and are citizens of other countries? Will they tell us what to do and who to live alongside? In my opinion, it was not good when others told us who we were not allowed to live alongside. That also caused problems. And now they want to tell us who we can live alongside. This will also cause problems. Therefore we must reject it, citing our traditional fundamental freedoms.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: More precisely, here I…
Zsolt Bayer: Excuse me. Yes?
Andrea Földi-Kovács: I just wanted to say that whether our freedom is also violated in other respects or only in this matter, and this is why the attacks are so fierce?
Well, this is obviously a matter of great importance that brings all the other problems to the surface. It suddenly casts a completely different light on all matters when, against our will, a mass of millions of unidentified people arrive on the continent as migrants. It is also the sort of historic challenge that suddenly casts a different light on everything when we consider that studies by NATO and international research institutions show that currently tens of millions – and later hundreds of millions – of people want to move to the European continent. It casts a different light, for example, on the question of whether competences within the EU are assigned according to the principle of freedom. I could list other examples for which I’ve had the feeling that the European Commission is cunningly using stealth tactics to appropriate certain powers from the Member States in ways not authorised by the founding treaties of the EU. This is a process that we do not support, and it must be stopped. If we want to change how the competences are shared between the Member States and Brussels, we have to start an honest and open argument, which must be conducted and concluded according to legislative procedure. But today competences are being quietly thieved from the nations by Brussels, by the Brussels bureaucracy. And this leads to an even wider question – of who thinks what about the future of the European Union. When, after lively debates and a referendum, we joined the European Union, we knew the founding treaties of the European Union and we saw the EU as an association of free nations. Today a newly emergent tendency declares that such things were the past and that the future should be different: in the future, it is said, we should instead establish a United States of Europe, like the United States of America, and with a similar legal framework. There is a Hungarian party that supports this idea, and so the idea of living in a United States of Europe also has devotees in Hungary. But for the time being the majority in Europe and Hungary would like to preserve their status within an association of free nations. But this debate is ongoing. So every single specific matter – including specific matters which are less important than immigration – has a meaning within this greater context. The question is whether or not it will shift us from an association of free nations in the direction of a United States of Europe. Considering what’s at stake, this question makes the debate even more exciting intellectually, and even more serious.
Zsolt Bayer: Yes, but in addition to the stealthy appropriation of competences that you’ve mentioned, for months a truly insidious argument has been brazenly mouthed straight into our faces. The gist of this argument is that Hungary is a member of the EU, which is like a club. Following from this, Hungary is on the one hand required to demonstrate solidarity with the other members of this club; and on the other hand, if we accept the Cohesion Funds we are entitled to – in other words we enjoy the benefits of our membership – then we shouldn’t imagine that we can avoid what you might call its disadvantages, and we should rise above objections to migrants.
There are views like that.
Zsolt Bayer: Yes there are, but what’s your opinion on this? I consider the second part especially – and I’m trying to put it politely – outrageous.
The second part, which implies that we’ve sold our free will for money, is not to my liking. What it’s basically about is this: “We’re sending you money, so shut up” – I’m sorry – “hold your tongues”.
Zsolt Bayer: Yes.
This is basically…
Zsolt Bayer: And do everything you are told in all matters.
Yes, yes, and don’t pursue separate paths and don’t have ideas of reform. In my opinion, a great feature of the European Union – though from time to time they want to change this, as they do now – is that things are arranged so that everyone can reap their own benefits. So I think that, if they “do the math”, everyone can say they benefit from this arrangement. The fashionable term for this is a “win-win situation”: the accepted phrase to describe situations in which everyone in a cooperation benefits. We undoubtedly receive funds from the European Union, but I believe that in Hungary much higher amounts are received by Western corporations and companies from Western countries contributing to the Cohesion Fund. So at public events in Germany I usually say that, as long as a Hungarian worker in the Audi factory in Győr earns a third or a quarter of the amount earned for the same work by a German worker in Germany, and the difference is pocketed as profit, there should be no mention of the Cohesion Fund. Adding everything up, the current arrangement is good for the Hungarians, good for the Germans and good for Brussels: so it’s good for everyone. If we start arguing that “you get money through this channel”, and forget that the other side benefits through another channel, and we build political positions which claim that receiving funds from the Cohesion Fund means that one has to do this or that, then we will upset this fragile balance and develop the feeling that others are the only ones benefiting, and we are not. So I reject all such arguments, not only on the grounds of Hungarian pride and national interest, but also as a European, because they upset the balance of the existential foundations of the European Union: the balance of interests.
Zsolt Bayer: And let me add one more sentence in conclusion. One year ago a German politician, an economic specialist, said that from every ten euros that Hungary receives from the Cohesion Fund, nine eventually return to Germany.
According to a Polish study that I know of, eight euros return.
Zsolt Bayer: That’s not a low number either.
True enough, but in the meantime we also benefit from it. It would be false and untrue to tell the Hungarians that being a member of the EU is not good for us, as through this we attract investment and jobs are created. Eight years ago the unemployment rate was around 12 per cent, and today it’s 4 per cent. For this foreign investments were also needed. Unfortunately wages are still lagging behind, but we are also making progress in increasing them. Every year there is progress. So the current situation is good for the Hungarians – it’s just that the rules of the game should not be changed. Because if the current rules of the game are retained, then we Hungarians are talented enough to be able to benefit while keeping to these rules. But the rules of the game should not be changed during the match.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: But Prime Minister, they do want to change them, and information from ever more sources indicates that they want to cut the Cohesion Funds, for instance the agricultural funds – in particular those to Hungary and Poland. If it is vulnerable, or more vulnerable due to the lack of these funds, what can Hungary do in this freedom fight – if you don’t mind me using that term?
In EU-related matters I believe in following a policy of agreement. And, by the way, for the adoption of the EU budget unanimity is required.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Aren’t you concerned that it will happen?
As you can see, I am fighting, and I hope I don’t give the impression of being concerned about something. I think we are fighting bravely, openly and with all our heart and soul to protect our national interests. And we’re doing this because we are clear about our strengths and legal opportunities, and we are also perfectly aware that if we persevere and continue down this road, in the end we will not only prove to be right but we will also enjoy the benefits.
Zsolt Bayer: You’ve just made two references to economics, you’ve quoted two figures. I don’t want to get lost in detail, but as we talked about sovereignty at the beginning of the interview, I don’t think we can afford to forget that sovereignty also has economic implications. Having been granted funds from the Cohesion Fund, and having a thousand ties with the economy of the EU, can we say that somehow over the past seven years Hungary has taken the path of economic sovereignty?
There are two things I can say in relation to this. The first is that if we look at how we managed to be part of the economic fabric of the EU and share in its division of labour, we can say trade between Germany and the Visegrád Four, the Polish, the Czechs, the Slovakians and the Hungarians – the four of us together, because economically this region should be seen as a whole – is 55 per cent higher in volume than that between Germany and France. France has a population of some 61 million, and our combined population in the Visegrád Four is approximately the same: around 62–63 million. Yet despite such historical drawbacks as the forty years of communism, we’ve managed to reach a point at which our Germany-V4 trade volume exceeds that between Germany and France by some 61 per cent. This is fantastic. It means that our integration into Europe’s economic fabric has been managed well by us: we are an important factor in that fabric, and Hungary’s growth is in the 3 to 5 per cent range – with an economic growth level of around 4 per cent this year; this is also the case for the other V4 countries. It can be affirmed that today the engine of economic growth is in Central Europe, and the strongest pillar in the entire European economy is the cooperation between Central Europe and Germany. We should talk about this with due modesty, but with self-awareness. We are not poor countries begging and pleading for things from the EU, but we represent a national economy – or, rather, four cooperating national economies – that strongly contribute to the European Union’s total economic performance with significant amounts of money and remarkable economic performance. We should be proud of this. The second possible answer to your question is that sovereignty also means that there are areas in economy, which are classified by economic experts as critical infrastructure. Although of course there are debates about it, in my opinion such assets must be owned by the nation in question. Despite the fact that these infrastructures were incorporated into the world economy and the European economic system, certain things have to remain in national ownership. And another point for debate is whether national ownership should mean the private property of Hungarian individuals, or public assets: state-owned assets, let’s say. But at any rate the nation should have influence over these assets. I think that one such critical infrastructure element is financial infrastructure: Hungary’s banking system, in other words. Even at the outset I wasn’t selling a pig in a poke when I declared that at least fifty per cent of Hungary’s banking system must be owned by Hungarians; and we’ve managed to achieve that state of affairs. Another area was the energy sector, especially in a country like Hungary, that has no independent energy sources: we have to find other ways to acquire and purchase energy. If we look at the Hungarian energy sector today, we can say that a significant part of it, a major part of it, is in Hungarian hands. And the third area is what is sometimes called “the consciousness industry”. To me this term sounds a bit demeaning, with the implication that someone is manipulating my mind; but anyway, we can call it the world of media. I am personally convinced that another element of national sovereignty is that most of a country’s media systems should be in national hands. And, well, I don’t want to conceal the fact that I would like to achieve a bit more than that. So what I want is for the ratio of Hungarian media held by Hungarians to be the same as that held by Germans in Germany and by Americans in the USA. That’s the level to achieve…
Zsolt Bayer: Then we still have a lot to do.
We’re on our way, but we aren’t there yet.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Let’s stop here for a moment. Again, I can’t help referring to the LIBE Committee meeting, and quoting Gábor Polyák from the University of Pécs, who was there representing Mérték Media Monitor. He said that Hungary still has a free press, but no freedom of press. How do you interpret this statement?
Well, luckily, as I didn’t say it I don’t have to interpret it. Everyone must bear responsibility for their own words and their sense…
Andrea Földi-Kovács: I guess you know what they were referring to. He gave a lengthy analysis of the Hungarian media market and its ownership structures, referring to the fact that acquisitions have taken place here.
I just wanted to say that everyone must bear responsibility for their own statements. In relation to this matter I can say that in this discussion we shouldn’t ignore the technological change that has occurred in the field of press freedom. Today, even if somebody attempted it, it would be very hard to suppress opinion, since now we have all become journalists: we use Twitter, send various messages, and we are all reporting events around us. So with the availability of social media – which has become an integral part of our lives – it’s almost physically impossible to suppress opinion in a free society. But now, who are the owners? Who is buying what? So far what I’ve seen is that when leftists have been the buyers, or when people associated with the left have become owners in the media, people have had no concerns or problems with it. But when conservatives or people associated with the Christian democrats began to buy media companies, then all of a sudden it was seen as the end of press freedom. This is a unique Hungarian example of double standards.
Zsolt Bayer: Here let me quote a sentence that was formulated not too long ago by a Hungarian prime minister, – namely, that if the political right wants to have a television company, then they should buy one. Do you remember that sentence?
I clearly remember it, because at that time I was the one who suggested allowing the various parties to have a fair share of the public media; and this was rejected with on the grounds of freedom of the press. Just as an aside, in German public media there may still exist a programme council, including members delegated by the political parties. Anyway, [former prime minister] Péter Medgyessy said – with an impudence appropriate for a finance minister – that “whoever needs one, should buy one”. So now the political right is making such efforts through establishing, buying, investing and developing. In other words, we acted in the way we were requested to by Péter Medgyessy. And now I can truthfully say that since then there has been a change in Hungary’s media landscape, which used to be clearly and overwhelmingly leftist. The Christian-civic-national community has made its voice heard. Here we have this television channel, that I consider to be of the political right, representing our community’s values and focusing on our world and our lives. So undoubtedly there have been great changes in Hungary. I could even say that the political left and Péter Medgyessy can be satisfied, as his advice has been followed.
Zsolt Bayer: I’d like to return to the topic of economy for one more sentence. In my car this morning, out of some kind of morbid curiosity, I was listening to Klub Radio, and Professor János Kornai was their special guest. The reporter confronted him with what serious economists have kept repeating practically since 2010: that unorthodox economic policy is doomed to collapse, and will collapse in minutes. But since then, seven years – almost eight years – have passed, and there are no signs of any collapse. Professor Kornai said that he has always taken issue with the followers of this theory, because he says there will be no such collapse; and indeed, he said, it’s not collapse that we should be concerned about, but the fact that this unorthodox economic policy is slow, and we’re not on the path of economic growth that we could otherwise be on.
“We could do better”: is that what he wanted to say? How well said.
Zsolt Bayer: Yes, that’s what he wanted to say. However, if we compare the figures with the EU, they seem to show something else.
Also in comparison with the EU. I’m a long-time reader of the Professor’s works – a long-time reader with declining respect, however. I think in the second half of the ’80s he had a prominent role in Hungary in the intellectual revolution against the one-party system and the planned economy. This was partly due to his books and writings. So it’s worth listening to what he says, but I find his writing to be increasingly biased. So while I continue to read his works, I do so without enthusiasm. His assertion you refer to is one which is particularly uncontroversial, because even we could agree with it. I’m also working and researching with my colleagues, economists and other experts on how we could increase Hungary’s economic growth from the 3 to 5 per cent range to over 5 per cent. We agree on that question. But many writers forget to mention that this is a considerable growth rate in comparison with the European Union as a whole; and what they – and here we are talking about a person affiliated with the political left – completely forget to talk about is that when Hungary was led by their favourites, the liberal-socialist coalitions, not only was achieving growth beyond them, but the economy shrank and the country was driven to the brink of bankruptcy. The performance of a government and an era can never be judged in isolation: it’s better to compare it with the preceding era. I wish there had never been a 2007, 2008 and 2009, when the Hungarian economy collapsed and we were badly burnt; I wish that instead there had been the 3 to 4 per cent growth that is so often criticised today. If that had been the case, Hungary would be much further ahead now.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Prime Minister, with regard to freedom….
Excuse me, can I say one more thing in relation to this? When I read the Professor’s writings, because he has recently published a collection of his earlier works; I think I’ve realised why the political left in Hungary has become so intellectually empty. This, I think, is something that we can all see. We all hear about who’s teaming up with whom, who needs to establish technical or other alliances for power – and, obviously, for money; but we have no information on what sense it would make, why would it be good for Hungarians and for what service it would present an opportunity. In calling it “intellectual emptiness”, I mean that it’s proof that one cannot say intellectually meaningful things about either the present or about the future if those things defy even the most basic facts. So you might not like this government and its economic policy; but it is a huge lie which will prevent future ideas of intellectual quality to say that we have not improved, we have not progressed or people have not received the opportunity to take at least one small step forward every year. It should at the very least be partially acknowledged that in this country in recent years many things have happened that we can be proud of, which are not necessarily the Government’s achievement, but the people’s. Even though they are in opposition, they might still feel pride in their country. For instance, people who for many years or for decades had not had the chance to find work have now been given the opportunity, and they’ve taken it. This really is cause for pride. But if we dispute it or deny it, then how can we aim to say any intellectually new, fresh ideas to the community, to Hungary? There’s no way of doing that. This is the reason for all the current political debates in Hungary being about power, and lacking any intellectual depth. We represent something: I personally make efforts to represent national self-interest, freedom and pride; I don’t see anything that could be represented on the other side, however – or even on a third side. This is why the political debates in Hungary are so ill-tempered: in political debates there’s nothing that would lift our soul or heart or the future and would open some kind of horizon. Everything is down in the mud.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: In my opinion it’s good to have debates, and it’s also to the good if there’s a debate between Hungarian political parties. Having talked about matters such as freedom, sovereignty, the ownership of critical infrastructure, the press, economic balance and a number of other economic topics, we definitely need to talk about the risks or threats to our ability as Hungarians to decide our own fate. We should talk about the recent news – which perhaps was made public last week – that the [intelligence] services will be involved in the screening of NGOs which are active in Hungary. My question is this: has any data been revealed which would suggest that, in relation to migration, anyone has attempted to influence events unconstitutionally, or in a way that puts national security at risk?
These are two different questions. One question is whether something is outside the law. In this there are roles for the police, the prosecution service and the courts. The other question is whether there are any undertakings or activities which are legal, but which aim to limit Hungary’s independence. The answer to this latter question is that there are indeed such activities – both in Hungary and on the international scene. Such activities can be linked to George Soros, to his money and his networks. Everyone has been able to hear that the other day 18 billion dollars was transferred from Soros companies to foundations. All over the world – because here we’re not only speaking about Hungary – these foundations serve to finance such networks and activists: an invisible army. There are also several dozen such foundations here in Hungary. Here hundreds of people are being paid, and during the election campaign thousands of people will be paid, they will set up rural organisational centres…
Zsolt Bayer: They’ve already announced it.
They’ve already announced it. They will function like a political party: they want to influence the decisions of Hungarian people; and in Hungary they would like to have a government that we simply – and with good reason – consider would be a Soros list or Soros politicians. So in Hungary they would like to have a government formed by such people, who share the views on immigration of Brussels and of Soros and his machinery: in other words, people who are willing to accept Hungary as a European country with a mixed population. This is what is at stake in the upcoming election, and they are working hard for the attainment of their goal. And this is a tangible, identifiable and describable process with describable people and monetary amounts. We have accurate national security intelligence on this. This work is not only being carried out here, but it’s also being conducted against Hungary in an international context. It’s being done in the media – this has more or less been investigated and identified – and it’s being done in decision-making processes in Brussels. But Hungary… Let me give you an example, which I read today… was it today? It is the report on the hearing of the LIBE Committee. A news portal – that cannot be accused of being pro-government – made a report about it, and then in tiny letters at the end of the text it states that the European Parliament granted funds for the writing of the report. What kind of a report can we have if, on the one hand, we have the interests of Hungary and, on the other hand, we have the European Parliament? While we are in dispute with each other about the topic, the Hungarian report is financed by the European Parliament? Well… So I just wanted to say that we’ve managed to identify numerous correlations like this – right up to channelling Members of the European Parliament in Brussels into the Soros network. Here we are facing a well-structured system, which has been under the radar for a long time, but has been brought to light by the immigration disputes of recent years, and is now increasingly visible. Since the Hungarian people do not want to live in a country with a mixed population and do not want to see migrants in Hungary, it is my duty – not simply a matter of inclination, but a duty… And, by the way, European data shows that only 1 or maybe 2 per cent of migrants are political refugees, with the rest being economic migrants, so we don’t want a future like that for ourselves … and so my duty is to implement their decision, fight for them, protect the country and also protect the people with every means possible – including the intelligence services, the legal system and diplomacy. And this is exactly what I shall do. I don’t want to sell a pig in a poke: in this matter I can see no compromise, agreement or deal. For as long as I am able, based on the trust that people have placed in me, I shall do this work coolly and calmly – just as when we set up Fidesz to oppose and overthrow the communists.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Let me ask you a very brief question. These processes have been documented. Are you planning to take any steps in this regard?
I do nothing else.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Through the intelligence services.
All means must be used. When it comes to the security of Hungarian people, when it comes to the defence of Hungarian interests, and it is about the future of Hungary, then every means employed in current international practice should be utilised.
Zsolt Bayer: Very closely connected to this, one realises that there exists a plan and there is indeed a person with actual organisations that seek to create a Europe and a world with a mixed population. We realise that. But what makes me a little sadder still is that when listening to many people – representatives and decision-makers in the European Parliament, for example – one comes to the chilling conclusion that they genuinely believe that this is good. And it is much more difficult to fight against that than against an existing, identifiable individual and his organisations.
Yes, thank you for this question, because it shows that when approaching this situation we need to retain our composure and our Christian attitude; because we must not allow ourselves to think that in all this only evil is at work, and nothing else. No doubt there are evil people who are scheming to fulfil their desire of transforming Europe. A financial speculator only makes money – or only makes good money – when confusion reigns. And a financial speculator is someone who makes money when others lose money. This forms the core of their art, and so they are not popular anywhere in the world, regardless of their nationality or citizenship: financial speculators are not liked anywhere in the world. What this means is that when they are successful then we lose. This would have been the case in Hungary, also, if we had not defended the Hungarian economy, for example, against George Soros during a period of manipulative trading against OTP Bank: there has been an example of this, and it could be seen in the press. So here we’ve also been repeatedly exposed to financial attacks, which we’ve had to repel. But it wouldn’t be right if, behind all the opinions that support the migration, we only see evil people who want to do bad from a selfish economic point of view, while realising that what they want is wrong. As I’ve said, this is one aspect. But there are many people who are not like that, have no bad intentions and intend no harm, but genuinely believe and are convinced that the direction of humankind’s development will be good, and lead to a higher order and quality of human and societal life, when people from different cultures are thoroughly mixed: when there are mixed attitudes, and we see the creation of a world of mixed populations, similar to the United States of America. Many of them think that such a world would be truly tolerant, free, happy and full of colour. I think that this idea is contrary to the rules of common sense. I understand why they are enthusiastic about it, but I think that it is utopian. Life will never be like that. If we mix with people coming from distant cultures who hold views on fundamental matters that are very different from ours, it will not result in the good life, but in parallel societies. We will be importing hatred, and we will be bringing anti-Semitism into Europe. Our views on the equality of men and women will come to an end, because we will not live in a world in which those principles are respected. Freedom of religion will also come to an end. So I believe that the mixing of certain cultures will not bring a superior, higher level of life, but will instead push us towards a society of much worse quality. Therefore it must be prevented – and that is something we can still do. I see it as a lesson to be learnt from the mistakes of the West. The West made a mistake. They didn’t want cities like the ones they have now: did they want to live in cities like Marseille or Paris or Brussels? Is that what they wanted? But the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. And those decisions were also made by people with good intentions. What should we learn from, if not from the mistakes that others have made? So we must learn from the mistakes of the West, and we must give a clear answer. Do we want Budapest, Debrecen, Pécs or Szeged to become cities like that? No we don’t. Today this is the opinion of Hungarians. And as long as they hold this opinion, we must enforce it.
Zsolt Bayer: Thank you very much.
Andrea Földi-Kovács: Thank you very much. And thank you, Zsolt for being here with me tonight so that we could ask questions together. That was the Daily News. Thank you for watching. Tomorrow Kriszta Tóth will be waiting for you in this studio. Don’t miss the Daily News. Goodbye.