The Prime Minister was in the District VIII (Józsefváros) on Monday on the first Budapest stop in his election campaign tour of the country. He was received by Mayor Máté Kocsis (Fidesz-KDNP), and later visited several locations in the district.
In the interview Mr. Orbán said that he can see that the tone of the election campaign is becoming increasingly radical and coarse. He declared that their party belongs to a civic, national and Christian community.
He said that “We must always remember that, from 1956 onwards, generations have fought and worked for Hungary to become a place where Hungarian people can decide on what happens in their homeland: this is called an election”.
He added that no matter how ugly the face of the campaign sometimes is, in a country that suffered dictatorship for forty years an election will always remain a celebration: a celebration of the fact that a community can decide what path to take and in what direction to develop in the coming years.
The Prime Minister highlighted the fact that Budapest’s District VIII is the location of development projects of national significance, of which not only the local residents can be proud, but also every Hungarian. Mr. Kocsis, he noted, has achieved everything that it has been possible to achieve in his capacity as mayor, and in future he can best serve the district as a Member of Parliament.
Mr. Orbán said that he had chosen District VIII as the first place in Budapest to visit because of its mayor.
Outlining his standpoint, Mr. Orbán said the following: “We are talking about a successful Mayor: I urge the electorate to support him in his bid to become a Member of Parliament. One might ask why a good mayor needs to be taken from a dynamically developing District. Máté Kocsis has already done everything it has been possible to achieve in this position. If we want to realise great new things in Józsefváros – and this is something for which we have major plans – then these must be launched from Parliament, using the opportunities that exist at national governmental level, rather than from the Mayor’s Office.
The Prime Minister said that another reason he had decided to visit District VIII was the quantity and importance of the work completed there. Taking account of how many major development projects have been realised in Budapest, then the district is probably in first place, he stressed. Development projects of national importance have been realised there, of which every Hungarian can be proud, he said, citing the restoration of the Ludovika Military Academy and the National Riding School. He called these projects with symbolic impact at a national level.
The Prime Minister continued by saying: “Thirdly, most of the residents of this part of the city are middle-class people with strong national feelings. When the country gains momentum and national development is tangible, the people who live here can be counted on, and this is why I wanted to meet them.”
He stated that of course in future the people of Józsefváros can continue to count on the Government’s support, but a few factors must be taken into account.
“The first is that the current national government must receive the electorate’s confidence in the upcoming election”, he said, “And secondly, we need good people”.
District VIII has achieved such rapid development because every week the Mayor knocked on his door with new plans, ideas and proposals, he said.
He stressed that using local resources the area can and must be made more attractive, through resurfacing paths and pavements, upgrading and maintaining green areas and squares. Now, however, development requires major funding from the national budget.
According to Mr. Orbán, one of the greatest successes of Józsefváros is that in recent years public safety has improved significantly.
It is marvellous that the university has been improved, that parks have been upgraded and that healthcare institutions have been refurbished, he noted, but the basis for all this is security. The district’s people, he declared, know that their families and children are safer than they were eight years ago.
In the Prime Minister’s view, in 2015 the appearance of migrants in the area came as such a shock because it happened in a city where public safety was improving.
He continued thus: “The people of Budapest have to know that the capital is a vulnerable area. If you look at where the quality of life decreased the most when migrants flooded into Western Europe, you will see that it was in the capitals and major cities. And accordingly Budapest – and within it Józsefváros – must protect itself from migrants. Otherwise what happened three years ago will happen again.”
“We do not want what happened in the summer of 2015 at Keleti Railway Station or on Pope John Paul II Square to happen again”, he emphasised.
“And what this requires is that politicians – and there are a good many of them – who do not serve the interests of the Hungarian people, but instead want to turn Hungary into an immigrant county and Budapest into an immigrant city, must not be allowed anywhere near the helm. Whether Budapest becomes a migrant city or remains the capital of Hungary will be decided in the election.”
According to Mr. Orbán, six or seven years ago few people could have imagined the current situation.
“The spectacular display of power from the non-Christian cultures of Africa and Asia that we experienced in 2015 alerted everyone to the fact that we must change our way of thinking. The economy, healthcare, education and city development are all important, but these achievements are worth nothing if in the meantime we lose our own culture”, he said.
“The world is not only changing in a spiritual sense, but the feeling that one is at home is disappearing. The residents of major Western European cities live where they have always lived, but the world around them has suddenly changed, and they are starting to feel like strangers in their own localities”, the Prime Minister said.