Internal Affairs / Only those who vote for Fidesz vote for peace 

Only those who vote for Fidesz vote for peace 

On Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’ on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he is concerned that Europe might drift into a war. Mr Orbán said what is at stake in the European Parliament (EP) elections is how many votes pro-war forces and how many votes pro-peace forces will receive. In Hungary, only those who vote for Fidesz vote for peace; those who vote for the Left cast their votes for war. 

In the interview, the Prime Minister said Europe is playing with fire, teetering on the verge of war and peace. 

The war has been ongoing for two years, European leaders have been trying to figure out smart solutions about strategies and sanctions, and are drifting further forward with every passing day; however, not from war to peace, but from peace to war. “This is extremely dangerous, and I’m concerned for the future of Europe,” he observed. 

Recalling the Yugoslav War, Mr Orbán said he has personal experience of what it is like “when the wind of war zips past one’s ear,” at times like this, one must keep one’s wits about one and must therefore refuse to join any statements that talk about the war as though it is some kind of “afternoon tea party.” 

He recalled that according to High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, the possibility of a high-intensity war in Europe is no longer a fantasy, while the Polish Foreign Minister said there is no diplomatic solution to this war and it can only be resolved with raw military force. 

According to the Prime Minister, there are actual intentions behind these statements, “they’re not mere communication bubbles, or air pockets.” 

He said Hungary joined NATO in 1999, and the very next day, it was required to undergo „a baptism of fire” because the organisation decided to attack Serbia, and Hungary was required to make equipment and facilities, primarily airfields, available. 

Mr Orbán said there were US aspirations to also open – in addition to the southern front – another front at the Hungarian border in the North, and in this regard the Americans even had specific military ideas about what Hungary should do. “I rejected this, and as a result, I managed to keep Hungary out of the war,” he stated.

He added that in terms of size and extent, the Yugoslav War falls behind the current Russo-Ukrainian war. However, he remembers, he said in continuation, how many refugees arrived and for how long Hungary had to provide accommodation for them in the vicinity of Pécs. While Hungary was not involved in the war, it took its toll on it anyway, he observed. 

He said Hungary was twice forced into wars which tragically sealed the country’s future. We did not want to take part in the First and Second World Wars, we were forced into both, and in the end, we were among the ones who paid the highest price, he pointed out. 

Mr Orbán stated that the government will not allow anyone to force Hungary a third time into a war, at the end of which the Hungarians “will find themselves on the receiving end” and will suffer severe losses. We will persevere with our pro-peace position, he laid down. 

We must find a European security solution which also involves the Russians and in which everyone feels safe because this alone can guarantee that we avoid the eruption of an armed conflict, he explained. 

In his view, not only losses arise from wars. Wars also have winners, and the aid voted for in Washington for Ukraine “is, in actual fact, a huge war industry order for US industry.” 

Those profiteering from the war “are few in numbers, but they exist and are strong,” “major forces have swung into action behind the pro-war trend,” and this creates a source of tension as the majority of people stand for peace, he stated. 

Mr Orbán also spoke about the fact that in the two halves of the continent, there are different war experiences. “Central Europe stood to lose on every war, while Western Europe gained from every war;” even if at the expense of much suffering, they emerged from the conflicts as victors.

Our historical experience regarding war is that you can only stand to lose, said  Mr Orbán, adding in summary that “the closer you are to a war zone, the higher the price you pay.” 

The Prime Minister said staying out of an armed conflict requires courage and national unity as it is extremely difficult for the leader of a state divided in internal politics to keep their country out of war.

“I believe that 80 to 90 per cent of Hungarians stand for peace,” the Prime Minister said, observing that “I’m obliged to represent the strongest call for life that stems from the life instincts of a country.” 

Mr Orbán took the view that the pro-war Left, too, is aware that war is worse than peace, “on their side what happens is that they are paid.” 

He stressed that in the whole of Europe, and for the time being, also in the United States, pro-war governments are in office. This is why they want a change of government in Hungary, “to create a pro-war government in Hungary, to install a pro-war government in Hungary.” 

He also spoke about the fact that we pay a war surcharge in shops and in the area of economic growth because of the war in Ukraine. 

He added that they will succeed with the plan of guiding the Hungarian economy onto a path of growth this year after the extremely difficult year of 2023, “however, if we were not in a war environment, then economic growth would not be just 2.5 per cent, it would be double that.” 

If the war also continues in 2025, the 2023-2024 military expenditures will not be enough for Hungary, they will have to be raised. And if they are raised, there will be less for other things, the Prime Minister added, stressing that it is more difficult to operate an economy – and with fewer results – in the shadow of a war than in peacetime. 

The Hungarians do not simply want peace; due to their war experiences and due to the economic implications, there is an instinct for peace in the Hungarian people, Mr Orbán stated, adding that while for the French or the Germans, this is a mere political position, “in our case, our profoundest life instincts speak out against war and for peace.” 

What is at stake in the EP elections is how many votes the pro-war forces and how many votes the pro-peace forces will receive, he stated.

The Prime Minister said, in actual fact, what is at stake is war. We should concentrate not on the left or right, not on ideologies, not even on parties; the only thing we should focus on is how the elected officials relate to the issue of war, he argued. 

He took the view that there is a chance for anti-war deputies to obtain a majority in the European Parliament. It may give rise to a degree of self-confidence that by now the pro-peace forces have at all got so far as to make the European vote an open contest. A year ago, this was not the situation, most European people supported the war. 

The European people’s mentality is shifting in the direction of peace, and this can also be expressed in a political sense with the aid of the elections, he stressed. 

In Hungary, only those who vote for Fidesz vote for peace; those who vote for the Left cast their votes for war, he pointed out.

He also said there is a battle under way between the pro-war and pro-peace forces, “they’re wrestling with one another.” Additionally, there are other issues as well such as the topics of gender, family protection and migration. There are major debates on all these issues, he said.

Europe feels that it is at an historic crossroads where it can set out in one direction or in the other, and “we who shape European politics have the feeling that what we’re doing and saying carries much more weight today than usual. The European elections, too, carry much more weight than usual,” he underlined. 

“Mother, this is not the horse I wanted,” Mr Orbán quoted the refrain of an old Hungarian song in connection with the twentieth anniversary of Hungary’s EU membership. He stressed: he believes also today that “it’s better inside than outside,” but in his view, upon Hungary’s accession in 2004, “something other than this was on offer.” They said nothing about the possibility that migrants in the millions would be let into the continent or that a country would have to face repercussions just because it chooses to lay down in its constitution that the father is a man and the mother is a woman, he added. 

He stressed that Hungary joined the EU because Europe meant peace and welfare; however, today, we’re in an economic crisis and instead of peace, European leaders are manoeuvring the continent into a war.

Hungarian fuel prices will be pegged to the average price of the neighbouring countries, leaving Poland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria out of regional data, the Prime Minister stated. 

He stressed that it was a legitimate expectation vis-à-vis the players of the fuel business – wholesalers and retailers – that the Hungarian people should have access to fuel at the same price as the citizens of other countries in the region. 

He added that it is better for fuel traders to see reason and to gauge their profits accordingly than a scenario where the state should achieve this with force. Therefore, he continued, he asked Minister for National Economy Márton Nagy to negotiate, rather than demonstrate force. “We should aim for reason, rather than for arm wrestling,” he said.

At the same time, he indicated, we must also realise that what they suggested to the actors of the fuel business was far from flawless because the suggestion was based on a regional data item of the Central Statistical Office which – in addition to the neighbouring countries – also included the Polish, Czech and Bulgarian prices.

Fuel traders found this unfair, and therefore, they have recalculated the numbers and the mean price to which the government wants to peg the price level, and have decided to use the average price of the neighbouring countries as a benchmark, the Prime Minister stated, stressing that they will enforce the earlier agreement that the Hungarian people cannot be required to pay more for petrol than the average price of the neighbouring countries.

Mr Orbán also spoke about the fact that the focus of the Hungarian economy will remain in Europe under any circumstances, but “its radius of action” must be extended much further than we have been used to in previous decades. He reasoned that while the German market is extremely important for Hungary, the war has “ruined” the Germans because they have detached themselves or the Americans have detached them from the Russian energy system.

Therefore, today, we must achieve a growth in Hungary against the background that our most natural sales market – Western Europe – “is coughing, is ill with the flu, and has taken to bed,” and this could remain the case for another year or two, he said.

He added that it is for a reason that the Chinese president is coming to Hungary next week; it is for a reason that Hungary has increased its activity in Central Asia and that our economic relations with Africa, too, are reviving. 


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