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Viktor Orbán’s speech at the inauguration of the Ludovika Campus in Budapest

Prime Minister Péter Boross, Honourable Mayor of Budapest, Honourable Mayor, Rector, Chief Prosecutor, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning to you all. I cordially welcome you all to the Ludovika, our historic memorial site. Eight years ago, in 2010 – after two turbulent decades – we embarked not only on the restoration of the country, but also on the restoration of Budapest. For this we express our gratitude and thanks to the Mayor of Budapest. Over the past four years, together we’ve been able to continue the work we began. Here in the heart of Budapest over the course of six years we have achieved the following: we have founded a university; we have renovated one of Central Europe’s finest classicist buildings; we have built a student hall of residence; we have renewed Orczy Park, added one hectare to the area of green space, and created within it sports facilities – a swimming pool, a riding school and a running track – for the use not only of students but also local residents.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the end of February we officially opened the National Riding School, while refurbishment work was earlier completed on the Music Academy, the Erkel Theatre and the Castle Garden Bazaar. Work is also underway on the renovation of the Opera House and the City Park project. Others say it for us, but we should also hear it: today Budapest is Central Europe’s fastest developing and most exciting city. In recent years it has been good to see that, by providing a home for the National University of Public Service, this building has not only regained its former glory, but also its former mission. It preserves the memory of our heroes, who won respect and honour for Hungary with their knowledge, their courage and their commitment. Year after year this university inducts new generations into the service of the homeland. The message it sent out long ago is the same as that today: “We are who we were; and we will be who we are”. Today it sends out the same message as it did long ago, that the whole world may fall apart, but the service of the homeland’s moral imperative remains forever in the heart of Ludovika, and in the hearts of those who pass through it. Ludovika has always taught its students to see Hungary as an independent, free and Hungarian country. This is what those who established it worked for, and this is why it was opposed by those who besieged it in 1919 and by those who closed it down after World War II. And this is why we decided to revive this old spirit by restoring and renewing this building and its surroundings, and by bringing here the National University of Public Service.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We Hungarians have only one homeland: we have no other. We could recite a long list of those who wanted to take it from us, and the means they have used. Today the list of their modern counterparts is not a short one either. We have learnt that it is enough to make one bad decision, take one step in the wrong direction, and our downhill course will be unstoppable. It is enough to take one wrong turning, and our fate will no longer be in our own hands.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today also in Ludovika the requirement is for straight talking, and this is no time for embellishment: once again there are those who want to take our homeland from us; they want us to give it to others, and they want us, too, to be an immigrant country. Six years ago, when we founded the National University of Public Service, we were preparing for times of peace. We had started the building of a strong state, which would be able to act directly and rapidly; and the events of recent years have shown the soundness of this conception. But this period has only been the stress test, and the true difficulties are ahead of us. What we have experienced so far has only been the first wave of the flood approaching us. Many millions of people – many tens of millions – are preparing to set out from the Middle East and Africa; and for all of them the destination is Europe. Here I would also like to make it clear that in the midst of the threats from immigration and the chaotic situation in Europe, the Government sees the safety of Hungarians as its paramount concern. Where there is no security there will be no investments, no urban renewal, no new jobs, no growth, no public administration career system, and no wages or pensions which retain their value over time. I want to state this loud and clear, so that every resident of Budapest can hear it: in Hungary migration threatens Budapest and the people of Budapest first and foremost. Let us not forget what happened three years ago at Keleti Railway Station and Pope John Paul II Square. We cannot afford to let that happen again. The fence built on Hungary’s southern border protects Budapest most of all. At present there are no immigrant quarters in the cities of Central Europe. One bad decision, one misguided choice would be enough to render Budapest unrecognisable. We do not need to say it ourselves, as many others have said it for us, and I quote them: “There is nothing like this anywhere else in the world. Its beauty astonished me, as did the fact that here in Budapest the Hungarian people can live in such safety”.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today Budapest is one of the world’s safest cities. It is good to live here, it is good to raise children here, and it is good to know that our families are safe. This is no longer the case in the cities of immigrant countries. On 8 April the people of Budapest will decide on this. Those who vote for opposition candidates will be voting for the path leading to everyday life in an immigrant country, while those who vote for our candidates will be voting for security. We shall preserve Budapest as a beautiful, exciting and safe city. In order that we may defend Hungary and the jointly achieved results of recent years, we need a combat-ready army, combat-ready border defence, a strong police force and a well-functioning public administration system. Today the guarantor of this is the National University of Public Service. The Government can assist in this work by providing here in the University all the conditions necessary for the best and most modern training for the defence and service of the nation. Here we have built a 21st-century public service university for future Hungarian police officers, soldiers and public administration specialists which could hold its own anywhere in the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’ll speak to the point: the election this Sunday will also have an impact on the future of the National University of Public Service. The values which constitute the guiding moral principle for this institution and its students are those which our opponents have always looked upon with disdain, and which they look upon with disdain today: homeland, service, duty, integrity and order. This is why we stand on opposite sides of the fence: we want to keep it, while they want to dismantle it. Students, Tutors, Ladies and Gentlemen, for this reason what is truly at stake in the election on 8 April is the Hungarian future. Our opponents have no interest in Hungary having a strong and well-functioning government: they want a weak state and a weak government, which carries out the instructions that are sent here. But for us Hungary comes first. We want to write our own future, and we want to write it in Hungarian. And in this, dear students, you are important supporting pillars and buttresses.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Honourable Rector,

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who took part in the renovation of the Ludovika Campus for their work. I thank the residents of District VIII for the great patience they have shown in the face of the building works. My wish for the students of the National University of Public Service is for you to be proud to study in an institution with such a great past, for you to remain true to its spirit, and throughout everything to persist in the service of the homeland.

Thank you for your kind attention.