In an interview with Hungarian weekly Heti Valasz, former Polish President Lech Walesa said populism is not what he wanted, and he warned the governments of Hungary and Poland not to destroy the European Union.
“My idea was to fight against Communism which would be substituted by democracy and I thought it would solve everything. If I had known that the society was so unprepared, I would have prolonged the whole process. But I believe in democracy because sooner or later it will prevail. The question is how much evil will we have until then,”
– he said.
“I do and I do not like it”, Walesa responded when asked about whether he follows what’s happening in Hungary.
“We have to sit down and talk to each other in order to head off the obstacles. Take the EU for instance: it is bureaucratic but we need it. If Hungarians and Poles destroy it – because they are able to do so –, in 5 minutes France, Germany and Italy would form an alliance we could not influence. Hungarians took the same stance as Poles: they do not want to build but destroy,”
– he stressed.
“I know your prime minister very well, we met several times – even in his home – and earlier I had better opinion about him. He is a wise man with good arguments but I thought we would rather build,”
– Walesa said about Viktor Orban. “Many like populism and demagogy but a responsible person does not act like this,” he added.
Walesa held a speech at the Fidesz congress in 1998, during the last days of the election campaign (which led to the first Fidesz government). In 2014 Walesa received the honorary citizenship of Budapest as well as the Stephen the Saint and the Visegrad Bridge Prizes, this was the last time so far when he visited Budapest.