Hungary closed the era of stabilisation in 2014 and has taken a “flying start” into a new period, Orbán added. The public and private sectors could only support wage rises that came from improved economic performance. This was why the government had made improving economic competitiveness one of the most important tasks of the coming years.
Orbán acknowledged and thanked teachers and healthcare workers for their efforts, while noting that wage increases had been continuous and of a significant scale, but were inadequate.
Today the country is able to ensure that everybody takes a step forward every year, but the length of these steps, that is, the size and pace of wage rises, is bound by the limits of economic performance, he said.
Orbán eased concerns over the debt of the Klebelsberg Institute (Klik), which oversees public schools in Hungary, saying if we could deal with the International Monetary Fund and if we could tackle more than 1,200 billion forints of local council debt, then the “several billion forints” of Klik debt should not pose an unsurpassable obstacle.

Modern-age migration threatens not only past achievements but also future possibilities, he said. Financial stability, economic convergence, foreign policy, public peace and order, and national culture had come under threat. “Our children’s possibilities for a life in Europe” had also come under threat.

The year 2015 has put an end to an era when Europe’s protection and security have been taken for granted, Orbán said.

He also discussed the principles of his government’s foreign policy, saying it includes peace, co-operation, trade, mutual investment, regional balance and national interests. Berlin, Moscow and Ankara represented the three points of reference for Hungary’s foreign policy and Hungary must not allow being dragged into international schemes against any of Germany, Russia or Turkey.
Orbán urged the reinforcement of Hungary’s lines of border defence. New units of troops have been sent to the border, police have been put on standby in Bacs-Kiskun and Csongrad counties, and the defence and interior ministers have been ordered to make preparations for the construction of a line of defence along Hungary’s border with Romania, he added. If we must, we would defend our border along its entire length, from Slovenia to Ukraine. Hungary was a sovereign state and one could only enter if laws were observed and the officers of the law were obeyed.
Orbán said Europe’s future is not endangered mainly by migrants but by the political, economic and intellectual leaders who are trying to reshape Europe and the people of Europe. The world citizens of the political and intellectual elite in Brussels and a few European capitals were standing against the majority of people with national sentiments. Migration could be stopped but the problem was that Brussels lacked the will to protect itself.

He compared the European Union’s actions to the captain of a boat threatened by a crash who focuses not on ways to avoid the crash but starts selecting rescue boats for smokers and non-smokers. It is not too late for Brussels to understand that it is crucial to face reality instead of pursuing dreams, Orbán said. The reality was that a world of “parallel societies” had been under construction in many European countries for quite some time, and these societies had

suppressed “our world” because new arrivals “have no wish at all to take over our way of life, since they believe theirs to be more suitable”.
The referendum initiated by the government is not about the already decided matter of quotas, which Hungary has taken to court, but about the mandatory migration quotas that are part of the new European immigration system that will be on the agenda in March, Orbán said. Brussels must stop, as its “lunatic immigration policy” went against national sovereignty and the will of the people.
The mandatory migration quota was a symbol of the current era as it condensed everything that was tearing apart the alliance of European peoples. The quotas were supported by those who wanted the EU to be a “United States of Europe” and didn’t want to hear anything about a Europe of free nations. Hungary would not refuse Europe in spite of its weaknesses, but at the same time it didn’t want Europe “to give up its thousand-year-old values and be brought to its knees by a flood of people”.
In response to the prime minister’s speech, radical nationalist Jobbik said Orbán was “living in a virtual Hungary”. Jobbik spokesman Ádám Mirkóczki said the reality is that there are some villages and city districts in Hungary where the parallel societies that Orbán said were unimaginable do exist, and where the law does not apply. “The reality is that there are some schools in which there is money for neither heat nor chalk; the condition of healthcare institutions is tragic, with equipment that is obsolete; and the amount of state debt has risen, too,” he added.

Socialist Party leader József Tóbiás said Orbán failed to address real social problems, which shows that he cannot be expected to provide a solution. “Viktor Orbán is lost,” Tóbiás said, adding that there is a large gap between the speech and reality. While Orbán is talking about 21st-century health care, in reality the sector is in ruins, education has collapsed and public administration has disintegrated, he said, referring to the thousands of doctors leaving Hungary to work abroad.

Lajos Oláh, an MP of opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) called the speech “tragic” and said it praised the Horthy regime and rejected European Union values. The prime minister is dreaming of a world in which only Fidesz “landlords and casino moguls” feel good, but where there is no place for “teachers with plaid shirts” and “doctors and nurses who flee abroad”, he added. Migrants don’t pose the biggest threat to the country but the prime minister and “his gang of skinheads”, Oláh said.

Opposition LMP said the speech was proof that the prime minister had “lost touch with reality”. LMP spokesman József Gál said Orbán had praised multinational companies against whom attacks were continuously launched by the opposition. There will be a “government of multinationals”, not a civic government, he added. While the prime minister may think the government rescued the education and healthcare systems, they were really saved by those who finish their jobs every day for a wage that is unworthy of the work they do, Gál said.

Együtt protest backs migrants

The opposition Együtt party will boycott the government’s referendum initiative on migrant quotas, party leader Viktor Szigetvári said at a demonstration held near the venue where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held a state of the nation speech on Sunday. Együtt will present its arguments about the issue during the campaign, Szigetvári told the demonstration. Orbán and everybody that assisted his “constitutional coup” will have to leave public life, he said. Együtt will start a signature drive against preventing referendums by force and against incitement to hatred against the European Union, he added.
Co-leader of the opposition PM party Gergely Karácsony, the mayor of Budapest’s Zugló district, referred to an incident at the national election office last week and condemned the government for “sending thugs” there. Szigetvári said Orbán’s aim is to take Hungary out of the EU, while Együtt travels the “sensible middle road”. The party does not think Hungary should not turn back even a single refugee, but it does believe that a few thousand should be taken in as a show of solidarity, he added.
Péter Juhasz, the deputy head of Együtt, said Orbán had “destroyed the remnants of democracy with bald guys”, referring to the election office incident. During Juhász’s remarks, the crowd chanted “We won’t allow it!” and “Orbán out!”.
The organisers of the protest estimated 3,000-4,000 people participated. The demonstrators crowded near the Várkert Bazár at the foot of the Buda Castle, with some spilling over onto the Danube promenade, on the other side of the tram tracks. They held up banners on which was written “Don’t allow the devastation of democracy!” and other slogans, while a banner of governing Fidesz, on which was written “We welcome the demonstrators on the side of immigration, but don’t agree with them”, was also strung up in front of the Várkert Bazár.

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