We will be able to rely on Austria in coming years as well, and the situation is the same also the other way around
28. 07. 2022.
We will be able to rely on Austria in the coming years as well, and the situation is the same also the other way around, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated on Thursday in Vienna after he had talks with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer. They held a press conference together.

The Prime Minister said “when there are easy times, friendship is easy, too; when there are hard times, friendship is harder, too”. Now, there are hard times, and the question is whether the special historical friendship that exists between the two countries will help on the issues of the war, migration, energy and economic cooperation. After the talks, the parties were able to conclude that “we will be able to rely on Austria in the coming years as well,” and the situation is the same also the other way around.

He said on the issue of atomic energy, he does not see a chance for reaching a common position because “we don’t have the rivers and opportunities that our Austrian friends do, and so we’re unable to do without atomic energy in our energy system”. This debate will continue to remain, but the parties will attempt to cooperate and to give each other mutual security guarantees, he added.

He said in its present form the war cannot be won, the strategy must be changed, or else there will not be peace. If there is no peace, “we won’t be able to solve any problem, we won’t have energy and the entire European Union will be pushed into a wartime economic situation,” he said stating his view, adding that when an energy emergency is declared in Brussels when access to certain goods must be restricted, it is the first sign of a wartime economy.

He took the view that unless efforts are made for peace, they will be dragged into a wartime economic situation which will be far worse than what we imagine today. It is unclear how to avoid recession if the war continues, and recession will also bring unemployment with it, he underlined.

He said 2,000 Austrian businesses operate in Hungary; with this, they constitute the second largest investor community in Hungary, and without Austrian investors the Hungarian economy would not be able to function at the high standard that it is functioning at at present.

According to Mr Orbán, “our situation is different from that of Austria” as the magnitude of immigration and migration and the problems caused by them “is completely different in your country than in Hungary”. Hungary will always protect its borders, and with this it serves as an obstacle to the arrival of illegal migration of any kind in Austria, he said, adding that Austria, too, has a vested interest in Hungary protecting its Southern borders, “we are your captain of the fort at the Serbian-Hungarian border”.

Hungary has achieved fantastic results in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism, and “in this effort our government has always been at the vanguard,” the Prime Minister pointed out.

He said on the most important issues of an intellectual nature, including on the issues of anti-Semitism and racism, there is full agreement with Chancellor Nehammer, “I fully share the thoughts of the Austrian Chancellor”.

He highlighted that in Hungary there is zero tolerance in this regard, such acts are to be punished with the full force of the law, and neither are they tolerated in political discourse. Therefore, “I asked the Chancellor, if in doubt – should any sensitive issues of a historical or intellectual nature emerge – to construe news reports coming from Hungary at all times according to a cultural concept”.

He stressed that “in Hungary not a single political issue can be approached on a biological basis; the only possible approach is a cultural one”.

He said “I’m perhaps the only openly anti-immigration politician in the entire European Union, so I don’t resort to cunning, don’t make empty references, don’t beat about the bush; instead, I have a very clear and direct opinion, and I myself define myself as an anti-migration and anti-immigration politician. Therefore, I wouldn’t like migration to intensify in Hungary.” This position is not rooted in biological foundations, “this is not a race issue for us, it’s a cultural issue, quite simply, we want to maintain our civilisation as it is today,” he pointed out.

He observed that “perhaps, at times, the language I use can be misunderstood”.

In answer to a question, Mr Orbán also highlighted that the Treaties of the EU clearly lay down that each country is free to determine its own energy mix within its own national competence, and if “Brussels wants to interfere in that” – regardless of whether Brussels’ intentions are good or bad – “that will always sound like negative news to the Hungarian ear”. “But there is nothing we can do” because European unity is also important, and it often happens that Hungary does not agree with something, but regards European unity as a value, and so accepts decisions that are not in its favour, he said, adding that this is the situation in this regard, too.

The Prime Minister said so far Hungary has managed to come to an agreement with the EU on every issue regarding the sanctions, but we have now reached a wall, the issue of the gas embargo, and he suggests to the EU that “we should try to avoid crashing into that wall”; in that respect, he is not alone.

He observed that the reason for the Hungarian objection raised regarding the issue of Patriarch Kirill is that in a wider context, from the angle of the future of European civilisation, “we will need orthodoxy”.