Prime minister Viktor Orbán in Parliament – Photo: MTI

PM thanks Poland for "friendship, perseverance and camaraderie".

Orbán: Hungary’s sovereignty, money ‘protected’

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, addressing parliament on Monday, said "common sense won the day" in the course of the European Council summit last week, and Hungary's sovereignty and money had been protected. Orbán also thanked Poland for its "friendship, perseverance and camaraderie".

“We won because amidst times as hard as the current epidemic, it was decided that economic support shouldn’t be tied to political conditions as this would hamper us from taking quick action,” the prime minister said.

He said common sense had prevailed, too, since European unity had been preserved and the European treaties defended. At the same time, migrants would not be forced on Hungarians using budget handouts as leverage, he added.

Also, what Hungary is owed in terms of European funding, the country would receive, Orbán said. The EU, he added, only worked as a community of nations, and this principle had been accepted.

What was at stake in the debate was who would end up governing Europe in the future — the governments of EU member states and the European Council or the powers associated with financier George Soros, “a network of NGOs disseminating liberal, post-national and post-Christian ideas” aided and abetted by the international mainstream media.

Orbán said that at the last moment, European governments had woken up, unanimously declaring that political issues could not be linked to financial ones, and subjective criteria should not be the basis for financial decisions. Also, they realised the legal system enshrined in the EU treaty must be enforced, the prime minister said.

He said the German presidency aimed for the recovery fund to modernise the European economy, compensate for Brexit and handle the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic.

In the summer, the Hungarian parliament set out the conditions on the basis of which the country may agree to raising joint debt to pay for the recovery fund. Accordingly, Hungarian lawmakers stated that member states should receive equal treatment and richer countries should not receive more than poor ones. Further, funding should not be tied to political or ideological considerations, he noted.

These conditions were accepted at the EU summit in July, Orbán said, adding that the German presidency and the EP reached an agreement later which broke the terms of that agreement.

In the meantime Hungary came under attack, with one German EP vice-president calling for Hungary and Poland to be “starved”, while a senior German official hailed the new tool “that would be highly painful” for the two countries.

The prime minister noted that Hungary and Poland then declared the German presidency-EP deal “unacceptable” and insisted on separating political issues from funding.

Orbán added that several issues were outstanding. One, he said, was the European Commission’s migration plan to continue importing migrants and to give 34 million migrants housing, welfare and voting rights.

Hungary, he said, was staunchly opposed to both migration and “the gender action plan”. Instead of pro-immigration policies, families should be strengthened, he said, adding that the traditional family model rather than gender politics should be nourished.

On the topic of the coronavirus epidemic, Orbán said the first dose of a vaccine could be expected in the last days of December.

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