Orbán said the Hungarian economy has been growing at 4-5 percent in recent years, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 3 percent with the public debt also shrinking. Highlighting Hungary's stability, he noted that it is the only country in Europe not to have held early elections since 1990.

As regards Hungary's conservative leadership, the prime minister said the main difference between the Hungarian government and other European conservative governments is that Hungary's ruling parties are not under pressure to enter into a coalition with other parties, given their outright parliamentary majority.

Another difference, he said, is the media landscape. Unlike in Hungary, 90 percent of the media in western Europe "belongs to the progressive liberals and only 10 percent belongs to the conservatives". Political affiliations were more balanced in the Hungarian media and this made him "the lucky one among European conservative politicians" who got to speak his mind.

Commenting on accusations of populism levelled against his government, Orbán said that when he was young, a populist politician was someone who could not deliver on their promises, and keeping promises was about democracy rather than populism. Citing an example, he noted that his government had vowed to create one million jobs over a ten-year period when it came to power in 2010, and has added 860,000 jobs to the economy over nine years.

Orbán criticised liberalism, saying such governments had failed twice within a single decade. The first failure had come in 2008 when they failed to properly address the economic crisis. The second was in 2015 "when they failed to protect their citizens and their countries' borders" during the migration crisis. Liberal democracy, which had served as the basic principle of liberal governments, had "come to an end in this sense". He called for liberalism to be replaced by "Christian democracy".

Concerning the migration crisis, Orbán insisted there is not a single Muslim migrant in Hungary, whereas in western European countries the share of the Muslim population is growing. He said liberals had a positive view of this trend, arguing that "they don't like Christian society". This was "their business" but he asked liberals not to "force such a trend onto central Europe". At the same time, the migrant crisis had opened the door to discussions about identity, "about who we are".

The prime minister said Europe needs new challenges and "new energetic movements" if the continent is to be competitive. On the European Union, he said there are two opposing views as to how Europe should be organised. One wanted to build the continent from the bottom up, which would entail a form of cooperation among member states. Meanwhile, according to the other view, Europe should be built from the top down, which he described as a "federalist, empire-oriented approach which doesn't include sovereign states".

The two views are in constant competition with one another, Orbán said, and this is the reason for the unresolved disputes among EU leaders.

About the European People's Party (EPP) of which Orbán's ruling Fidesz is a member, he said the conservative grouping is determined to be a part of the EU's power structure "no matter what". If this meant giving up certain values and compromising with the left, then the party family would do so, slowly losing its identity in the process.

Unless the EPP "starts a new chapter", it would keep moving in the leftist, liberal direction because pressure from the media and universities among other places would force it to give up more and more aspects of its original ideology. Orbán said he will attempt to carry out a "counter-revolution" to this trend.

As regards the state of central Europe, the prime minister said it is the continent's most successful region today. He said that when talking about Hungary's achievements he must also mention the successes of other countries in the region such as Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia and Serbia. Orbán said that irrespective of their European political families, the countries he mentioned all had nationally minded conservative governments.


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