Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán declares start of ‘new era’

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Sunday declared the start of a "new era", announcing in Vienna a new European political pact with Herbert Kickl, the head of the Freedom Party of Austria, and Andrej Babis, the former prime minister of the Czech Republic, who heads the ANO party.
1. July 2024 7:58

“One era of European politics started in 1989 with the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, and this era has concluded” with the outcome of the European Parliament elections, Orbán told a press conference held in Vienna. “This era is now over.”

He added that the decisive moment of the new era was the formation of a new European political group, “which will change European politics”.

Orbán said a political force was being formed today that would soon become “the strongest grouping” of the European right wing.

“This will happen in a matter of days,” Orbán said “The sky’s the limit thereafter,” he declared. “European politics must be changed; Europe must change,” he added.

In 20 of the 27 EU member states, parties that promised change won the European parliamentary elections, he said. But “the Brussels elite resisted,” he said. “They didn’t accept” the outcome, he added.

“They don’t want change; they want to maintain the status quo. This is unacceptable,” Orbán said, adding that the new grouping would “bring about change in the face of the Brussels elite”.

Meanwhile, Orbán unveiled a new “Patriots’ manifesto” that outlined the grouping’s ideals and goals.

Orbán said the European economy was in a state of crisis and its weight in the world was declining, while the threat of terrorism and migration was a constant.

Referring to the war in Ukraine, he said no one had succeeded in preventing its outbreak and no one had managed to isolate it.

“We’re living in the shadow of the war’s escalation,” he said, adding that Europeans wanted peace, order and development, while “the Brussels elite is for war, migration and stagnation”.

Notwithstanding poor external conditions, “the bad political decisions of the current Brussels elite also contributed to this crisis,” he said, adding that Europe was “uncompetitive” and “we’re on the verge of a trade war with our most important potential trading partners and they mismanaged the green transition.”

“What we have in Brussels now is not green policies, but poisonous green policies,” Orbán said, adding these “will kill us rather than cure us”. “Today, more coal is used in Europe than before the green transition was started and prices are much higher, which ruins the economy,” Orbán said.

He said change was now under way in Europe, with several European governments having folded in light of the EP election results. This was proof that democracy only worked on a national level. National governments resigned “but the Brussels elite resisted because Brussels is not a democratic construct,” he said.

“Three parties are here before you: the strongest Austrian party, the strongest Czech party and the strongest Hungarian party,” the prime minister said. “They are taking responsibility” to launch this new grouping, he declared.

Orbán drew a distinction between politics in Hungary and “Brussels”, saying Budapest wanted to stop illegal migration, represented “the traditional family” and believed in national sovereignty.

He called Hungary an “island of difference in the great European liberal ocean”.

Orbán said he had learned from Babis that “ideas do not stand on their own; ideas must be combined with success in government, and he called Babis “the best finance minister in Europe”, who had performed “a minor financial miracle” before going on to become a successful prime minister.

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