Hungary’s defence is “not the task of NATO or the European Union but our task”, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at the inauguration of the new Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces in Parliament on Wednesday.
President Janos Ader inaugurated General Ferenc Korom as new chief of staff in Parliament. The outgoing chief of staff, Tibor Benko, is the minister of defence-elect.
Speaking at the inauguration, Orban said that a strong Hungary cannot exist without a strong military.
“A nation that is incapable of defending itself does not deserve to be one,”
After successful efforts to change the constitution, enact policies on Hungarian communities abroad, the economy and family support, the priority for the upcoming government cycle will be to strengthen national security, Orban said. The budget of the Hungarian Army will be more than doubled in the coming years, he said.
Hungary witnessed armed conflicts erupting in neighbouring countries in the 1990s, Orban said. Now, there are millions of migrants ready to make their way over, he added.
Orban asked Korom for a revamped, modern and powerful army fit to face contemporary challenges and committed to the homeland. It should be able to take up the challenge of the armed forces of any nation and be made attractive to young people who are key to forming a strong military, he said.
Referring to Benko, Orban noted that for the first time since the 1989-1990 change in political system, a serving officer had been appointed to head the defence ministry.