After decades knowing Viktor Orban, the speaker of parliament, Laszlo Kover, has said in an interview to MTI that he does not expect any major changes in the prime minister’s style of governing.
“The prime minister is an exceptionally capable person who can do no other than to give himself,” he said. “You can be sure that Viktor Orban will remain the government’s dominant player; indeed, he may be even more dominant.”
Kover said some people had been surprised that Orban had outlined his ideas for the period up to 2030 in his inauguration speech. But this would have surprised only those who do not know him well enough, as well as those who are comfortable with typically European politicians who only plan for the next election campaign, he said. “Europe is full of such politicians and this is what Europe is like.”
He said that hopefully in the current parliamentary cycle, the government would be more consultative and work in greater depth with the party groups that back it. “I look forward to state secretaries, in particular, consulting with politicians who are experts in their own field,” he said.
Kover also expressed hope that lawmaking would be more thorough and streamlined, and that bills would not be slipped onto the agenda at the last minute, resulting in an adopted law needing correction.
Asked if the opposition and government may be able to build a consensus, he said he had spent the last 28 years imagining that it may be possible. “I dream of this, I’m craving it…”
Even amidst the worst crisis in the last 28 years, the parties had failed to agree on how to handle the migrant issue, he said, adding that not even Jobbik, with its hardline stance, had even tried.
Kover said it was the duty of all parliamentary forces to back the government on the question of the country’s sovereignty. “Whoever undermines this in external forums is just treacherous…” he said.
Meanwhile, he said Hungary’s demographic was the most serious issue to be addressed, and this was possible not only through political means. Creating a public mood that supports families is vitally important, he said. The actual tools of governance are generally limited to improving the financial situation of families, he said, adding that the government had done almost everything humanly possible in this regard. Spending on family benefits in Hungary is Europe’s highest in terms of GDP, he said. But without a spiritual and intellectual turnaround, the demographic question cannot be solved, he added.
“The opposition parties have seen their own role all wrong in this and have caused serious damage in the past eight years,” he said.
Kover said it was in the interest of domestic and international forces opposed to the government to keep divisions in society alive. “It can be seen more and more, however, that this backfires: for all the banners at demonstrations calling on Orban to get lost there are just as many demanding that the opposition do the same.” The majority of those who do not happen to sympathise with the government realise there is no alternative. “The opposition camp is intellectually empty and morally bankrupt…”
Kover argued that the government should not be the one to make a gesture towards breaking down the divide. The ruling parties and the government should do their best to stop allowing themselves to be provoked and keep calm and talk clearly about values that are currently exclusively the government’s own, he said. The opposition, for their part, would do well to engage constructively instead of focusing on being destructive, he added.
Source and photo: MTI