Citizens of Hungary and Slovakia want mutual respect, they want to cooperate, meaning that they would like to be successful together, Prime Minister Viktor Orban stressed after he received Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic in his office in Budapest on Friday.
At a joint international press conference held after the meeting, Orban thanked his Slovak counterpart for his messages and gestures to Hungarians living in Slovakia as well as for the cooperation forged during the coronavirus epidemic. He also thanked Matovic for having had the government programme translated into Hungarian in Slovakia.
The Prime Minister referred to the inauguration of the new Danube bridge at Komárom and the six new border crossing stations to be built by 2022 – three of which will be Ipoly bridges and with which the number of border crossing points will increase to 40 –, as well as the facts that the two countries’ electric power networks will be connected together at two points, and the volume of the Hungarian-Slovak gas pipeline built earlier will be increased significantly, to almost three-fold as events of historic significance in the coming months.
With this, Hungary and Slovakia are contributing to the stability of the whole of Central Europe, Orban stated, asking his Slovak colleague to support Hungarian-Slovak relations and to consider the Hungarian community in Slovakia favourably.
In answer to a question relating to the EU’s post-coronavirus epidemic recovery concept, Orban said the underlying philosophy of the EU plan falls far from Hungarian life instincts because Hungarians take the view that money must be earned first, then spent.
However, the Hungarian government itself understands, he continued, that there is a crisis, the European economy must be restarted, and as they could not agree on anything other than a credit-based package, “we will conquer our life instincts” but only if the content is reasonable and just; in a case to the contrary, it will not work.
Successful economic action plans cannot be built on an unfair content, and so if they want to help, it is inconceivable that poorer countries should be given less than richer ones, the Prime Minister stated.
In answer to another question from the press, the Prime Minister said at the talks he did not bring up the issue of the Treaty of Trianon, but indicated that Budapest appreciated the Slovak Prime Minister’s gestures and statements, “they touched the Hungarian people’s hearts”.
He added that the reason why he had not brought up the issue of Trianon was that “it’s impossible for us to think about it the same way” and so they should not talk about it much either. Everyone will process this issue themselves, if possible in a way which will not constitute obstacles to future cooperation.
2021 will also be a year of economy protection
Due to the expected second wave of the coronavirus epidemic and the remedying of the economic impacts, 2021 will also be a year of economy protection, Orban stated earlier, on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary.
Regarding the EU’s recovery concept, he highlighted that it is completely contrary to the Hungarian way of thinking which holds that money must be earned first and then spent. If someone believes that they are doing well, are optimistic about their future and decide to take out a loan, they should do so at their own risk, and should not involve others in their own transactions, lest those others should end up paying the price for that person’s bad decision, he argued.
He indicated, at the same time, that he realises that something has to be done because there are states – not in Central Europe – which are in great trouble.
The EU devised the idea of joint borrowing, and while he has reservations, just this once they will have to resort to this solution, he said.
He said, however, that this cannot happen through the unfair utilisation of funds in such a way that only some countries are favoured during the distribution of money. “The Central European countries cannot be taken for a ride, we cannot be taken for fools,” he stated, demanding a fair distribution mechanism.