“We won because we achieved – in such difficult times as now during the pandemic – that economic grants cannot be tied to political conditions, simply because they hinder us in taking swift action,” the Prime Minister said.
He stressed that common sense had prevailed also because with this decision they had managed to preserve Europe’s unity, had defended the European constitution – they did not allow it to be circumvented and tricked – and had averted the threat of using budgetary means to force immigrants upon the Hungarian people. In other words, they prevented the imposition of financial sanctions on countries which refuse to take migrants in, the Prime Minister said.
They also protected the Hungarian people’s money, and so that which Hungary is entitled to Hungary will receive, he stressed.
Mr Orbán took the view it is now evident that the EU can only function successfully as a community of nations, which is a promising development from the respect of the continent’s future.
What was at stake in this dispute, he continued, was the question of who would control Europe in the future: the governments of Member States and the European Council, or would George Soros succeed in imposing his power network on Europe? “A network which comprises NGOs spreading liberal, post-national and post-Christian ideas, the international mainstream media relaying and enhancing their messages, a significant group of Members of the European Parliament, and Soros agents delegated to the Commission. They wanted a new weapon for themselves which they can readily turn against countries George Soros doesn’t like,” he explained.
However, at the last minute, the governments of Europe woke up and stated unanimously that political issues cannot be connected to financial issues; subjective criteria cannot serve as the basis for financial decisions; and the legal procedure laid down in the Treaties of the EU cannot be circumvented, the Prime Minister stated.
Recalling events leading to the EU agreement, he said the German EU presidency expected the modernisation of the European economy, the rekindling of the spark lost with Britain’s departure and the management of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic from the planned recovery fund. According to their proposal, Member States will create a fund by taking out a loan together, and the debts of those who cannot pay will be assumed by those who can.
Hungary was not happy about the thought of collective borrowing, but in order to show solidarity with those in need we finally accepted the concept, he recalled.
In the summer, the Hungarian Parliament tied conditions to the adoption of the German proposal, he highlighted, including that Member States in comparable situations must be afforded comparable treatment, richer countries should not be given more money than poorer ones, and according to the resolution, tying the availability of funds to political and ideological conditions is unacceptable.
At the EU summit held in July, an agreement conforming to these conditions was reached. However, later, the German presidency and the European Parliament came to an agreement which would have tied financial aid to political and ideological conditions.
The Prime Minister pointed out that meanwhile rather unsophisticated attacks had been levelled at Hungary. He mentioned that one of the German Vice Presidents of the European Parliament called for starving Hungary and Poland out, while a high-ranking German state leader bluntly said that an instrument would finally be available which would be very painful for these two countries.
However, the Hungarian and Polish governments announced that the agreement between the European Parliament and the German presidency was not acceptable, and political issues must be detached again from the issue of economic aid. Finally, “common sense prevailed,” “the EU preserved its unity and won,” he said, stressing that the agreement makes it clear that the EU is an alliance of nations and states.
There are, however, open issues left to fight. According to the European Commission’s migration action plan, Europe should continue the relocation of migrants to the continent; the commissioner responsible for migration spoke about 34 million migrants for whom we should provide housing, benefits and the franchise, the Prime Minister said, indicating that a gender action plan has also been tabled in the meantime.
Mr Orbán took the view that Hungary must oppose both the migration and gender action plans with all its might. Instead of immigrants, we must support the births of children, while instead of gender issues, we must reinforce the conventional family model, he stressed.
He also spoke about the coronavirus epidemic, stating that the first shipment of vaccines could be expected in the last few days of December.
He said the Operational Group had completed the country’s vaccination plan; the vaccine will be voluntary and free. In the first round, health care and other frontline workers will be vaccinated, to be followed by people suffering from chronic conditions, he said, encouraging everyone who would like to be vaccinated to register.
“Every life matters, we have contracts with all vaccine manufacturers that can be taken seriously,” Mr Orbán added, highlighting that the fight against the virus and the vaccine are not political issues, and therefore they are negotiating both in the East and in the West. He added that the government does not care about the interests of multinational pharmaceutical companies; their only priority is to make sure that Hungarians have access to reliable vaccines within the shortest possible time.
He indicated at the same time that until vaccination starts, disease control regulations must be maintained, and though they are strict, he asked everyone to observe them.
“We have difficult weeks ahead […], we will have to hold on until the vaccine arrives,” he said.