Prime minister Viktor Orbán – Photo: PMO

Justice minister marks 15th anniversary of leak

Orbán: Socialist-Liberal government turned against people after 2006 Oszod speech

People in protests following the leaked "Oszod speech" in 2006 were "not only beaten and left in blood", the then government also "deceived voters and ruled against them", coupled with economic measures, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio on Friday morning. Marking the 15th anniversary of the leaking of the speech, Orbán said it had been a "terrifying moment" of Hungarian politics, adding that then PM Gyurcsany had "created that situation, he delivered the speech, lied to the people and came to power through lies, took people's money and then drove the country to bankruptcy" yet "he has remained the leader of the Left until this day".

In the speech leaked on September 17 in 2006, the previous Socialist prime minister is heard telling the party group at a meeting held in Balatonoszod behind closed doors that they had lied about the state of the economy to win the general election.

“This is not past tense but the past still living with us and which keeps trying to return,” Orbán said. He insisted that the Socialist-Liberal government had stripped the elderly of their thirteen month’s pension and stopped supporting families, while they “doubled, tripled” the price of household gas and electricity.

The incumbent government, however, “returned all” with a re-established family assistance system, reintroduced housing subsidies and wage hikes, the prime minister said. “Once pensioners get back their 13th month pensions, we can say that we have left behind the whole Oszod speech,” he added.

Orbán highlighted the significance of the government’s recent National Consultation public survey, and said that “a difficult decade is ahead of us; we will have migration and epidemics and we need to get prepared and it is good if the people are given an opportunity to indicate what are the solid points they insist on”.

Concerning topics in the survey, Orbán mentioned minimum wages, Hungary’s capability to produce coronavirus vaccines, as well as the issue of families. Elaborating on the latter, he said that the European Parliament “would transfer the education of children from parents to political activists, an endeavour we must oppose”. He also called for standing the course against the EU over migration and support for Hungary’s rights and sovereignty.

The prime minister said that a recent exchange with Pope Francis in Budapest had “reaffirmed” him, and quoted the pontiff as saying that “Hungary’s fight to protect families” was one of the most important efforts for Europe’s future. He said that the pope had been “straight and tough” in saying that the family could not be relativised, and insisted that families were formed by “mother, father and child; full stop”.

The pope also “sees that there are great forces at work, especially in Brussels… and he spoke as firmly as I have perhaps never been able to. He said that relativisation of the family must not be allowed… and added ‘go ahead’, do it, and we will do so,” Orbán said.

Speaking about the pandemic, he highlighted the importance of protection against the coronavirus and said that “it is better to get a booster jab than not to get it”.

A third jab is available to anyone within two weeks of registration, no matter where they live in the country, Orbán said. The severity of the fourth wave of the coronavirus epidemic will depend on the country’s vaccination rate, he added.

People who refuse to get vaccinated are in danger of getting infected, he said, urging people of all ages to take up vaccination. At the same time, he said the government would not make vaccination mandatory over the board, because “Hungarians would not tolerate that”.

Commenting on the economy, Orbán said “no matter what Brussels does”, Hungary was financially stable and all post-pandemic developments can be started in time. The funding provided by Brussels to the EU member states for post-pandemic recovery is all credit and if Brussels denies the allocation to Hungary for political reasons, “we will go to the money market alone to make up for the missing resources”, Orbán said.

This job has been performed “brilliantly” by the finance minister who has brought this loan to Hungary “in a complicated scheme” under perhaps the most favorable terms of all time, he said.

Orbán said more people held jobs in Hungary currently than at any point since 1990, which is partly why the economy works well. “Everyone should be aware that since 2010, we have built a labour-based economy, replacing Gyurcsany’s benefits-based Socialist-type policies which encouraged people not to work,” he added.

The labour-based economy can be coupled with high living standards if Hungary has access to the EU market of 400 million euros, he said. As a result, “we will be among the last ones to leave the EU even if it once comes to an end”, Orbán said.

Justice minister marks 15th anniversary of Gyurcsany Oszod speech leak

Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Friday that “it was revealed on this day 15 years ago” that former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and his allies had lied “morning, noon and night”, and instead of governing, they misled everyone while bringing Hungary to the brink of bankruptcy.

In a Facebook post also published in English, Varga said that “following the leak of his speech in Oszod, Gyurcsany, who still controls the opposition, pushed Hungary into the deepest rule of law and moral crisis since the regime change”. Varga said it meant “police brutality, mass pre-trial detentions with no legal basis, people blinded by rubber bullets, beaten young and elderly people, police officers without identifiers, peaceful protesters attacked by mounted police, Kossuth square declared as an area of operations for months surrounded by mobile barriers and a Member of Parliament badly beaten up”.

“Then, of course, Europe and Brussels remained deeply silent,” she said.

“There was no Sargentini report or Article 7 procedure at the time. No concern for the state of Hungarian democracy and the rule of law, neither by the European Commission nor by the European Parliament or the well-known NGOs that envisage the end of the world today,” she added.

Varga said that “Gyurcsany and his team did not regret anything, did not apologise to anyone. Let there be no doubt that, if he had the opportunity, he would continue in the same way as the real leader of the opposition just like before, with the assistance of Brussels, of course.”

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