“For us, Hungary comes first,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a keynote speech assessing his government’s performance since it entered power in 2010.
“The past eight years have been a success, and better than we expected”, Orban said at the event held at Budapest’s Varkert Bazar on Sunday. “We are perhaps ahead of where we expected to be.” He added that his Fidesz government had promised to create 1 million jobs in 10 years, and by now 736,000 new jobs had been forged. The prime minister also made note of the agreement to raise wages and cut taxes.
Speaking ahead of the April general election, Orban also noted that pensioners had received an extra payment at Christmas time. “Taking into account the errors, too, I think the past eight years are not only presentable but we can be proud of many achievements,” Orban said, adding that he wished Hungary another “eight years that are not worse”. He said the country looked better than it did eight years ago but he added: “We have not yet finished our work; there’s still plenty left to do”.
Orban insisted that the country was now performing better, but not yet as well as its talents would warrant. Hungary, he said, was a place where “hard work is rewarded, a place where more people are in work, taking home more and keeping families across the country.”
“The Hungarian model is working,” Orban insisted. Its success was due to “the millions of Hungarians who believe in it,” he added. “To honour work, support families, retain national identity, preserve independence; this is the future and this future can be ours.” He paid tribute to the 700,000 people who support their families, not through benefits, but through their own work. He also lauded Hungarian firms that create jobs and a new generation of young people who are forming families.
The prime minister said a key result of the past eight years was that financial vulnerability was now a thing of the past. “Families are no longer paying for the profits of multinationals through their household bills,” he said. Orban also insisted that the era of energy dependence was also a thing of the past, given that soon natural gas would not only come from Russia but from Romania and Poland, too.
Orban noted that over 50 percent of the Hungarian banking sector was now “in the hands of the nation” and this was also true of the media. He added that there would be no national independence without a Hungarian banking system and media.
“We now have our independence,” he said, warning however that this independence would have to be protected “from time to time”. “Don’t forget that the country’s fate should never be handed over to internationalists,” he said. “We are not only a civic government but a government of the nation,” Orban said. “The homeland comes before all else.” “Our fame, renown and influence punches above the country’s size and economic weight,” he said.
The prime minister insisted that eight years of the Fidesz governing in alliance with the Christian Democrats had led to the end of “political correctness” in the country and “euro-blah-blah, prissy liberalism and politically correct hot air”. “We are sending the muzzle back to Brussels and the leash back to the IMF.” “Here in Budapest, we say what we think and do as we say,” Orban said, adding that this was a great luxury in today’s European political climate. Addressing the 30 years of the Fidesz party, he emphasised the party’s “anti-communism and patriotism”. Fidesz, he added, was different from the country’s other parties because “we love Hungary passionately and we would do anything for it.”
Orban bemoaned what he insisted was the lamentable state of Hungary’s opposition parties. “Hungary deserves better,” he said. “It is no wonder there seems to be a general will to change the opposition rather than the government,” he said.
Opposition party reactions
Jobbik: While Orban’s strawmen have acquired unheard-of wealth, Hungary has taken in 20,000 rich migrants and 2,300 poor ones. The Hungarian head of government is robbing the country in a way that would shame the mafia.
Gergely Karacsony, MSZP-PM prime ministerial candidate: Had the fate of Hungary really been important to the prime minister, he would have taken into account where the country’s economy, education and health care have ended up.
Bernadett Szel, LMP prime ministerial candidate: Orban spoke of an alternative reality, the true reality was a fight against propaganda. Orban is implementing the Putin plan year by year, step by step.
Democratic Coalition: This was the last such speech Orban will make, after the April election he will have to answer in court to the charges brought against his relatives.
Liberal Party: Our regional competitors are performing far better than us. Only corruption has grown in Hungary.
Source and photo: MTI