Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán: Hungary won’t get involved in war under national government

As long as Hungary has a national government, it will not get involved in either side of the Russia-Ukraine war, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the launch of the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance's European Parliament election campaign on Friday.

If Fidesz and the Christian Democrats were not the ones in power, Hungary would be “up to its neck in the war”, the prime minister said.

He said “pro-war governments, Brussels bureaucrats” and the network of US financier George Soros were “sending millions of dollars” to the Hungarian “pro-war left” in Budapest. Orbán said the left wanted “a puppet pro-war government controlled by Brussels and Washington” instead of a pro-peace government.

The prime minister called for protecting the peace and safety of the Hungarian people as well as the country’s economic achievements. “We have to protect our families and especially our children,” he said.

“Just so those in Brussels also understand: No migration, no gender, no war!” Orbán said, quoting his party’s election manifesto.

“We’ve won every European election for the last 20 years,” Orbán said. “We’re the most successful political community in Hungary and Europe, so we can’t set a lesser goal. I recommend we win this one too.”

Orbán said the reason their political opponents had been unable to win people’s trust for the last decade-and-a-half was that they had squandered their integrity and “forgot about humility”. He said an election victory was just a means to serving the people, which was what the ruling parties had been doing for 14 years.

He said it was difficult to continually earn people’s trust, so in order to win, they had to be honest about “who we are”. “We’re the ones who got the Hungarian economy back on its feet after . the left bankrupted it.” Orbán said there were a million more people, including twice as many Roma people working today than under the previous Socialist governments. “We’re the ones who gave the Roma jobs . we’re counting on them again in this election,” he said.

Under the ruling parties, the minimum wage has increased 3.5-fold compared with what it was under the left-wing governments, Orbán said. Meanwhile, the average wage has tripled, the average pension has increased and the 13th-month pension has been restored, he added.

“We are the ones who reduced the number of Hungarians in deep poverty and we are the ones who will eliminate the poverty left behind by the left,” he said.

Orbán said “no lies from the left or political troublemaking can overwrite reality”. He said the size of the Hungarian economy in 2010 was about half of what it is today, so the size of the Hungarian economy had almost doubled over the last 14 years. Whereas in 2010 there were 3 million cars registered to Hungarians, today there are more than 4.2 million, and total household savings have increased to 5,500 billion forints (EUR 14.0bn) from 1,000 billion, the prime minister said.

“The truth is that Hungarians are better off today than they were under [former Socialist prime minister Ferenc] Gyurcsany, although still not as well off as we would like,” Orbán said, adding that the people were aware of this, which was why they continued to support Fidesz and the Christian Democrats in every election.

“Let’s not pretend to be modest: Hungary’s economic outlook is encouraging,” he said. “Our track record makes us the clear favourites for this election, too.”

Meanwhile, Orbán said the incumbent Brussels leadership needed to go and did not deserve another chance. Hungary’s achievements, he said, were “under threat from the direction of Europe and Brussels”.

“The strong, peaceful, free and happy Europe we love so much and longed for under communism is in decline . before our very eyes,” Orbán said.

The prime minister said the leadership in Brussels had failed, Europe’s economy was in decline and the green transition was “a disaster”. He said Ukrainian grain was driving European farmers to ruin, migrants were flooding the continent, the crime rate was up and there was an increasing amount of violence. “They want to re-educate children and turn them over to gender activists,” he added.

Orbán said the change in Brussels would not happen on its own, adding that “we are the ones who have to make it”. “We must occupy Brussels, push the Brussels bureaucrats aside and take matters into our own hands,” he said. “If we don’t do this, it won’t just be Europe, but also us Hungarians who will pay a heavy price for the incompetence and helplessness of the leadership in Brussels.”

Orbán noted that he had also launched the election campaign in Brussels this week, but the event had been banned.

He cited the text of the ruling banning the event as saying that it could not be organised because its aim had been to bring together academics with national conservative views, political and culture representatives, and also because these people “belong to the religious right”. He cited the justification for the ruling as saying that the past and future of conservatism were inextricably linked to the idea of the nation, the principle of national independence and the revival of unique national traditions.

Orbán said it was outrageous that it was not until the Belgian prime minister had said “what the correct assessment of the situation was” that a third judge approved their appeal and they were able to hold the conference.

“That’s what the rule of law is like when its Western, and despite that they’re the ones lecturing us,” he said.

Orbán said Europe was balancing on the borderline of oppression and freedom, and it will be decided at the upcoming election which way it goes. “It appears that after saving freedom in Budapest, we have the task of saving it in Brussels, too,” he added.

“Brussels has a pro-war majority now, there is an atmosphere of war in Europe and politics are ruled by a war logic,” Orbán said. Preparations are being made for war everywhere, with the NATO secretary-general wanting to set up a NATO mission for Ukraine, Orbán said.

“European leaders have drifted into war and they consider the war their own, fighting it as their own war,” Orbán added.

He said that at first they only talked about supplying helmets, which was followed by sanctions. Initially energy was not sanctioned but eventually it was also affected, he said. Then came weapons — initially firearms, then tanks and aircraft — followed by financial support. “Further and further tens of billions, by now we stand at around 100 billion, in euros,” Orbán added.

He said the situation was not improving, but quite the opposite, with the West being only one step away from sending soldiers to Ukraine.

Orbán said it was a vortex of war that could drag Europe deep down. “Brussels is playing with fire,” he added.

“We Hungarians know what war is like, we’ve been involved in it often enough,” he said, adding that he was convinced that “we must stay out of this war”.

“This is not our war, we do not want a war and we do not want Hungary to once again become a plaything of the great powers,” he said.

“As a result, we must hold on to peace, at home, in Brussels, in Washington, in the UN, and also in NATO,” he added.

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