National consultation to be launched
29. 05. 2020.
A national consultation will be launched about the coronavirus and the measures adopted in the interest of restarting the economy, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on Friday on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’.

He said most of the questionnaire is already complete, and as expected, consultation will start as early as Friday afternoon.

He indicated that they would also ask the people about “the George Soros kind of plan” about the issuance of “perpetual bonds” without a maturity date which “will result in debt slavery”.

The series of questions will be sent to members of the public by post; the Prime Minister asked everyone to complete the questionnaire and send it back.

Regarding the coronavirus epidemic, the Prime Minister described the introduction of the special legal order as one of the best decisions of the past ten years because during an epidemic speed is of the essence, and in the special legal order the government is able to amend laws with decrees.

However, as we have won the first battle against the epidemic and so there is no need for a special legal order for the management of the situation, after Parliament’s decision the government will no longer be able to adopt decrees on issues that require a law to be passed, he said.

He stressed at the same time that the epidemic has not gone away yet, and according to professors, a second wave will emerge with great probability in the autumn. This second wave “cannot find us in the same situation as the first one did,” we must prepare for it.

Therefore, they will maintain a state of disease control preparedness which means that the Operational Group will continue its operation, the disease control system for overseeing hospitals will remain in effect, and the Chief Medical Officer will be given reinforced powers, he outlined.

Mr Orbán took the view that Hungary defended itself against the epidemic more successfully than Western European countries because all the decisions, including declaring a state of danger, the ban on school attendance and the closure of the borders, were adopted earlier, meaning in good time, thanks to the special legal order.

He said at the same time that we must prepare for the eventuality that in one location or another, for instance, in elderly care homes or hospitals, infections could start “multiplying” even now, during the abatement of the epidemic. Therefore, he instructed the Operational Group to set up a so-called deployment unit; if case numbers start increasing anywhere in the country, this unit will be deployed and will localise the infection.

The Prime Minister also reacted to opposition criticisms. He said according to the Left, there had been dictatorship in Hungary already since 2010, but “that was nothing because with the special legal order” dictatorship had been introduced again, and now, with the returning of special powers, a third dictatorship was about to begin.

Mr Orbán also commented on the European Commission’s draft EU budget for the next seven years, arguing that the EUR 750 billion intended for the economic recovery fund planned to be set up due to the coronavirus epidemic “would not be earned” through hard work, but would be borrowed as a debt, for the repayment of which the community would assume a joint guarantee. He took the view that in actual fact this is the concrete embodiment of “a Europe bond”, and as they are planning to take out this loan for a term of 30 years, “even our grandchildren would have to consider the possibility that if a nation other than the Hungarians is unable to repay their loan, then they would have to do that for them”.

He said he does not reject the plan outright, but his instincts “rebel” against it, and he therefore suggests that all countries should calmly study it and then decide whether they want to go down this path.

At the same time, he dismissed the proposed solution for the distribution of funds among Member States as absurd and perverse because “it provides more funds for the rich than for the poor”.

Regarding the situation of the Hungarian economy, the Prime Minister said if we manage to implement the measures planned in the interest of restarting the economy, “not only will we come out of 2020 well, but we could also have a fantastic 2021, and the budget that we have just submitted lays the foundations for that”.

In the radio interview, the Prime Minister offered his condolences to relatives of the victims of last week’s double murder at Deák tér. “We apprehended the perpetrators immediately in vain; that will not bring their lives back,” he said.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the entry into office of his second government, Mr Orbán highlighted that in 1990 they had been unable to achieve a change that could have renewed the country. We “downed” the communists, “pushed out” the Soviets, and the Hungarian people took control of their future. However, the fight between representatives of the old regime and the new world did not come to an end with the entry into office of the first anti-communist government led by József Antall; instead “our opponent launched into a massive attack”. The Left reorganised themselves, and a drawn-out struggle began: for 20 years, “sometimes the future won, at other times the past,” he said.

However, after his two-thirds victory in 2010, he was certain, he continued, that this struggle had to be brought to an end, and “the future must win”; this was his plan. Therefore, they created a new constitution for which to a large degree we have “constitutional president” Pál Schmitt to thank, he pointed out.

The Prime Minister also recalled that in 2010 Hungary was in the midst of a major financial crisis, but did not want to manage the crisis the way the socialists did who shifted all the burdens onto families: They took one month’s pension and one month’s wages away, raised taxes, did away with the family support system, and drove millions of families into debt slavery with the foreign currency loans. In this regard, he mentioned the name of György Matolcsy – who was Minister for National Economy between 2010 and 2013 and currently serves as governor of the central bank – who took the view that there is another path in economics than that pursued by liberals.

He finally stressed that “a higher purpose” of government is to make every Hungarian appreciate that “we belong together, this is a great nation”. “On the whole, we are heading in the direction we wanted to. I believe that every Hungarian feels more at ease with themselves,” he said, also highlighting that today Hungary is perhaps Europe’s only workfare society.