Prime Minister Orbán: “The independence and viability of Ukraine are a direct interest of Hungary”
Orbán said that despite the crisis, Hungarian investment capital abroad had been “turbocharged”. He noted the government’s decision to ensure that profits repatriated by foreign companies operating in Hungary are matched by the repatriation of profits by Hungarian companies operating abroad.
Read the previous part of Viktor Orbán’s speech in THIS item.
“Only in this way can the Hungarian economy be kept in balance,” he said, noting new foreign investment by oil and gas company MOL and OTP Bank, among others.
In the meantime, the prime minister referred to the continuation of support programs for Hungarian communities abroad, noting that the government has built 170 kindergartens in neighboring countries and renovated 790.
Orbán told his supporters that also during the crisis, Hungary avoided “recipes from Brussels” in favor of its “own path”. Referring to central bank governor György Matolcsy and finance minister Mihály Varga, he said Hungary had adopted “the Matolcsy-Varga remedy” to revive the economy. Rather than stepping on the brakes, economic policy took over in a corner, he said.
Orbán said that despite the risks, the country’s economic growth had reached 7% amid the pandemic in 2021. Public debt, meanwhile, was kept below 80% of GDP and was on track to fall to 77 % by the end of the year, he added. .
Prime Minister chastised left wing for failing to vote for legal Covid-19 protective measures, adding opposition had also failed to vote for credit moratorium, pay rise minimum, tax reduction for families, tax relief for workers under the age of 25 and other tax reductions.
The Gyurcsány-Bajnai government, he added, had done the opposite of the current government in times of crisis, abolishing the 13-month pension and housing construction schemes, as well as the family tax credit, between others, while introducing a fee for visits to the GP and hospitals.
Meanwhile, reviewing foreign policy, the prime minister noted that Hungary was “surrounded by unstable regions”, including the Western Balkans.
Reassuring the Balkans was a simple matter, he said, arguing for early EU membership of Western Balkan countries and a “European Marshall Plan”. Orbán added that it was “a pity” that none of this happened.
Orbán said Hungary was now stronger and would not sit on the sidelines while “the big powers” adopted “bad policies” and “caused damage” to its neighboring region.
“Neither Berlin nor Brussels can go against the Hungarians when it comes to Balkan politics, and neither can they do without us. We will not accept decisions taken in Brussels that are contrary to Hungary’s interests.
Orbán said Hungary had an interest in “peace, economic development and the region becoming a member of the EU”.
On the Russian-Ukrainian standoff, Orbán said that given Hungary’s size, as well as its military and economic power, its influence on relations between the EU, the West and Russia was limited, but the government had made it clear that it viewed the EU strategy as “flawed” and the sanctions against Russia “as a dead end”.
Europe would remain “anaemic” without economic cooperation with Russia, he said, adding that giving the Chinese a huge economic advantage would be a “strategic mistake”.
Orbán said that in the face of the EU’s inflexible foreign policy, the government had developed a Hungarian model based on NATO and EU membership, while maintaining balanced political and economic relations with Russia.
“Hungary may not have a nuclear-powered icebreaker,” he said, “but a pickaxe…may be enough to exercise common sense.”
Regarding Hungary’s security, he said that “an area of adequate extent” between Hungary and Russia was necessary, and that the independence and viability of Ukraine was therefore a direct interest of Hungary.
Orbán underlined Hungary’s support for the development of Europe’s military capabilities and a common European defense force, and he noted the related ongoing efforts to create a modern Hungarian army.