Orbán noted that in 2009, towards the end of left-wing rule, "our shared assets, reserves and future possibilities had all been used up". Hungary needed more than just crisis management, it needed a complete renewal, a new direction, he said. Today, the number of marriages was increasing, infant mortality had been reduced, employment had grown from 55 percent to 70 percent, unemployment had been reduced to one-third of its earlier level, incomes were growing, and the minimum wage had more than doubled. Thanks to the joint efforts of the past ten years, Hungarians had faith in their future again.

The prime minister said Hungarians are again ready to fight their battles with victory chances. "We shall win, we shall win again and again," he said, adding that "for us, victory is not when our party wins but when it is our country that is victorious". Addressing successful entrepreneurs, Orbán asked them to make investments abroad and repatriate the profits, which could offset the amount of the profit taken out of Hungary. He said this could take at least ten years.

As regards the "trunk" of the country, who are neither poor nor well-to-do, Orbán said these people expect to have work, security and a home. He listed the 800,000 jobs created, the doubling of the minimum wage, the family tax benefit, free school dinners and textbooks, the child-care fee available to working mothers, the centrally mandated utility price cuts, stable pensions, all the things benefitting these social groups that his government has introduced.

"However, the toughest nut to crack will be to help lift the hundreds of thousands struggling with poverty," he said. "The government has undertaken to fight poverty, and Hungary is a place where everyone will benefit from being Hungarian, and step by step, with persistent hard work, we will eliminate poverty."

He said everyone will have work and a home, every child will have access to crèche, kindergarten, school, school dinners and textbooks, there will be support for young people and a respectable old age for seniors.

Addressing home politics, the prime minister called the Hungarian opposition "a bunch of pro-immigration politicians who are kept on a respirator by [US billionaire] George Soros and the EU bureaucrats".

"It is a kind of political pornography" that the Socialists and the extreme right have formed a coalition. "We have to hear that listing MPs of Jewish origin is not anti-Semitism and he who says this wants to become mayor of Budapest instead of sneaking away. We can only say that this is a shame."

The prime minister said it is a shame on the whole of Europe that the international left wing supports this and sends its leader here to give his blessing for this political aberration. Resorting to physical violence and running riot in parliament, the politicians of the opposition coalition seem like comedians rather than political leaders, he said.

Orbán said "our national pride has its economic foundations... By its population, Hungary takes 88th place among the world's nations but it is 34th in terms of its export volume. This is thanks to the performance of Hungarian engineers and workers."

"We have answers to the challenge of the global economic slowdown and will not give up our plan that Hungary's economic growth should exceed the EU average by at least 2 percentage points every year. Our greatest achievements are yet to come. We have just got into the swing of it."

Orbán said the Hungarian economy is undergoing a dimension shift, with the ratio of high value-added industries based on research increasing. There would always be manual labour, the work of physical workers would always be needed, they must be appreciated. However, the industries based on digitalisation and robot technology must be boosted. He noted that in the new major projects inaugurated in 2018, the average wage is 425,000 forints compared to 304,000 forints in ones made a year earlier, which shows that new types of jobs are being created in Hungary.

The prime minister said that 30 years after the change of system, we have to again "stand by our nationhood, our Christianity, we have to protect our families, our communities and our freedom as well". There were once again forces advocating open societies and a world without nations, to "fabricate" a supranational global government, and were still controlled from abroad. He called Brussels "the citadel of new internationalism", and immigration "the instrument of this internationalism".

Brussels had worked out a seven-point plan of action for turning Europe into a continent of immigrants after the European Parliament elections. Orbán said Brussels wants to introduce mandatory migrant quotas and curb the member states' rights to defend their border. George Soros had made no secret of his plan to defend migrants, an effort hindered by national boundaries. The European Parliament had voted for introducing migrant visas and increasing support for pro-immigration organisations.

Further, plans were afoot to fine member states that did not obey [the dictate]. "The target countries for migrants are witnessing the emergence of a Christian-Muslim world with a shrinking rate of Christians. But we, central Europeans, still have a future of our own," he said, adding that the government's immigration policy will remain stable.

The prime minister called the European left wing "a vanguard of speculators, an advocate of cosmopolitanism, global government and worldwide migration, and a gravedigger of nations, families and the Christian way of life." "The battle has become open since Soros put the Socialist [Frans] Timmermans at the head of the pro-immigration forces and the list of pro-immigration politicians. But we are determined to halt the pro-immigration majority. We wish to see Europe respect the nations' decisions on their future and accept that we, central Europeans, wish to advance on the road we have chosen."

Orbán noted that the birth rate keeps declining all over Europe and that the western countries have reacted to the challenge with immigration. "Immigration, however, would mean that we have laid down our arms," he said. The prime minister noted that fully 1.382 million "national consultation" questionnaires on the government's family protection measures have been returned, and 80 percent of the respondents expressed support for the government's family policy.

In his address, Orbán announced a seven-point family protection action plan. "This is Hungary's answer [to challenges], rather than immigration," he said (see box for points of the plan). Orbán revealed measures to raise the standard of language teaching in grammar schools, including government-funded language courses for all ninth and eleventh graders abroad. He also announced that the government would earmark HUF 700 billion for health-care development projects, including the construction of central hospitals in Budapest.

Opposition holds protest

Speakers at a joint demonstration of the opposition parties criticised the address and challenged Orbán on the state of democracy. About 1000-1500 demonstrators gathered in front of the President's Office and the Prime Minister's Office in Buda Castle, with activists holding flags of the Socialist, DK, Jobbik and Momentum parties. Zsolt Gréczy, parliamentary spokesman of the leftist opposition DK, said Viktor Orbán is Hungary's dictator and Hungary's form of government is dictatorship.

He said Orbán's state-of-the-nation address ignored the deceived foreign currency loan holders, pensioners who do not receive their pension on time, and young people who cannot go to university to continue their education.

Péter Jakab, spokesman of Jobbik, said Orbán had "thrown ten thousand people out on the street" in three years, and "turned his childhood crony into the richest man in the country". Jakab said the State Audit Office is sanctioning the opposition in order to prevent them from campaigning in the European parliamentary election and the municipal election, accusing Fidesz of preparing for election fraud.


Erzsébet Schmuck, deputy parliamentary leader of the green LMP, said Orbán had made a huge mistake by adopting the "slave law" because this meant turning against Hungarian workers. She said the prime minister had announced his family policy measures because he had realised that he could not win the European parliamentary election by constantly talking about migrants.

Anett Bősz of the Liberals told her audience they needed to give courage and faith to those who were "trodden on" by the government, and to rebuild the rule of law and democracy.

Socialist MP Ildikó Borbély Bangó said members of the next generation will only be able to have a better life than their parents if they leave their country to study and build a future for themselves abroad.

Balázs Nemes, spokesman of Momentum, said "hope is spreading" because "the Fidesz regime has already failed in the capital", and first major cities and later smaller towns will follow suit.

Independent MP Bernadett Szél said Orbán wants to see "a stupid country with dumbed-down subjects", this is why he chased away the country's best university and enchains the others or converts them into private universities that "only his cronies can afford". "The Hungarian Academy of Sciences was founded by the greatest Hungarian and the smallest Hungarian wants to put it in the grave," she said.

Protesters marched over to the headquarters of the State Audit Office to continue the demonstration. Representatives of the opposition parties said the governing Fidesz party is trying to use the office to hamper their activity by administrative means. At the end of the demonstration, protesters placed stickers with the words "Fidesz party headquarters" on the entrance of the office’s headquarters.

The seven-point action plan

  • Every woman under 40 years of age will be eligible to a HUF 10 million preferential loan when they first get married. After the third child, the remaining debt will be excused.
  • The preferential loan of the family home purchase scheme (csok) will be extended; families raising two or more children will now also be able to use it for purchasing resale homes.
  • The government will repay 1 million forints of the mortgage loan of families with two or more children. This measure was first announced in August 2017 for families with three or more children, with the government paying off 1 million forints of families' mortgages for every third and subsequent child from January 2018. The measure has now been extended to include families raising two children.
  • Women who have had and raised at least four children will be exempt from personal income tax payment for the rest of their lives.
  • The government will launch a car purchase subsidy programme for large families. Families raising at least three children will be eligible to a grant of 2.5 million forints to buy a new car seating at least seven people.
  • The government will create 21,000 crèche places over three years.
  • Grandparents will also be eligible for a child-care fee and look after young children instead of the parents.

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