Whether Hungary and central Europe are able to stand on their own feet and outperform richer countries will transpire next year, Orbán said in an interview with public Kossuth Radio. Hungary's economic successes of recent years had been thanks to tax cuts, he said, helping the country boost production and its competitiveness while wages also grew exponentially.

Orbán said these achievements belong to the entire region's Hungarian community too. He accused some opposition parties of standing against cross-border Hungarian communities, and he said it was good that Hungarians in neighbouring countries have their own political representation.

Commenting on remarks of Donald Tusk, former EU president and newly elected head of the European People's Party, who had said that the right to freedom cannot be sacrificed for security, Orbán said his Fidesz party was "waiting for the EPP to clarify its views and plans". Until that point, Fidesz would "keep its membership" in the party family "suspended".

The prime minister said a Hungarian ruling party could not belong to a pro-migration political community that failed to support border protection, the border fence, or denied respect to Hungarians and appreciation for the country's efforts in protecting Europe. The EPP had "drifted to the left", and there was a question mark over whether the new leader would restore the original state of affairs. "If he doesn't, we will have to build a new community," he said.

The "migration debate", which Orbán said would be one of the most important issues of the next five years, needed a "good closure". European leaders had made two great mistakes in the past years. These pertained to migration and economy, Orbán said. The latter had put the eurozone in a "dire situation ... they have hard years ahead of them." NGOs that worked on "flooding Europe with migrants" were the "enemies of Europe".

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Speaking of recent meetings of the Hungarian Permanent Conference and the Diaspora Council, he said spiritual ties and economic ties had strengthened recently, enhancing national cohesion. Those ties and trade with its neighbours were at the root of Hungary's strong economic performance.

Orbán said that gaining the European Commission's enlargement and neighbourhood post was Hungary's "biggest diplomatic success of the past ten years". In that time Hungary had never managed to attain comparable influence in the EU, and the post would be "the most important" of the next five years. He noted that the post covered migration, security and aspects of energy policy, since the Hungarian commissioner would also be dealing with the Caucasus and Azerbaijan.

He said many people had striven to prevent Hungary from capturing the post, and the opposition had joined forces in Brussels to try to prevent Olivér Várhelyi from being appointed, while US financier George Soros, the prime minister insisted, had personally intervened with the same aim in mind. Orbán called Várhelyi an "excellent patriot and a good European", adding "I would never appoint people who aren't good patriots or can't reconcile that with international missions".


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