Speeches / Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the presentation of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance election manifesto

Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the presentation of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance election manifesto

Good afternoon Dear Friends.

We have come together today to launch our European election campaign. We have won every European election for the past twenty years. We are the most successful political community in Hungary and in Europe. We must not lower our sights: I propose that we win this one too. But in the meantime, let us maintain our modesty. There is no victory without humility. Let us be clear: our opponents have been unable to win the trust of the people for a decade and a half because they have squandered their honour and forgotten humility. Because electoral victory, Dear Friends, is only an instrument – a good instrument – with which we can serve the people. This is what we have been doing as a governing party for fourteen years. This – and only this – is the reason that we have won people’s trust again and again. Keeping that trust, earning it once more, is a difficult task. If we want to win – and we do want to win – we have to clearly see and profess who we are. 

My Friends, 

We are the ones who set the Hungarian economy back on its feet, after it was bankrupted by the Gyurcsány Left. In Hungary today one million more people are in work. We are the ones who have given jobs to the Roma: today there are twice as many Roma people working in Hungary as there were under Gyurcsány, and they are highly valued citizens of Hungary. Now also in this electoral battle we are counting on them. We are the ones who have succeeded in increasing the minimum wage to three and a half times the level it was under the Left, and we have increased the average wage to three times the level it was. We have preserved the average value of pensions, and have even increased it; and we are the ones who gave back the thirteenth month’s pension that the Left took from pensioners. We are the ones who have halved the number of Hungarians living in severe deprivation, and we are the ones who will eradicate the poverty in Hungary that was bequeathed to us by the Left.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

No amount of left-wing lies or political mischief can override reality. In 2010 the Hungarian economy was about half the size it is today. To put it another way, in fourteen years we have almost doubled the size of the Hungarian economy. In 2010 Hungarians had 3 million cars; today, they have more than 4.2 million. Households’ cash savings, which were 1,000 billion forints in 2010, have grown to 5,500 billion. The truth is that Hungarians are better off today than they were during the Gyurcsány era – although not as well off as they would like to be. People know this, and that is why in every election, again and again, they let us know that they want us to continue our work. The outlook for the Hungarian economy is encouraging. Let us not indulge in false modesty: the work we have done makes us the clear favourites in this election. This chance was not given to us as a gift: we have worked for it.

But there is a snag. Today Hungary’s achievements are under threat from Europe, from Brussels. Before our eyes, the strong, peaceful, free and happy Europe that we love so much, and which we longed for all our lives under communism, is in decline and is fracturing. Let us not mince our words: Brussels is in trouble – big trouble. The leadership has failed. Europe’s economy is in decline. The green transition is a catastrophe. Ukrainian grain is ruining European farmers. Migrants are pouring across the borders. Crime is increasing. Violence is on the rise. They want to re-educate children and hand them over to gender activists. What can we do in this situation? First, let us speak clearly. If you have performed badly in the mandate you have been given, if you have taken your voters into trouble, if they no longer expect anything from you, there is only one thing you can do: get your hat and coat, and leave. The Brussels leadership must go! They do not deserve another chance! We need change in Brussels! We also know that this will not happen automatically. We have to make it happen. We have to occupy Brussels, push aside the Brussels bureaucrats, and take matters into our own hands. If we do not, then the incompetence and debility of the Brussels leaders will exact a heavy price not only on Europe, but also on us Hungarians. 

Dear Friends,

In Brussels this week I launched our campaign. And they banned our rally. I thought I would look at the text of the order which banned it. A ban is a disembodied thing, but it is also a legal form, it is a decision for which it is necessary to specify the reason. I will now quote from this prohibition order. “The event cannot be held”, says the text, “because the event is intended to bring together academics and representatives of culture and politics who have national, conservative views, and because these people belong to the religious Right.” This is the justification. Then it goes on to say, “The past and future of conservatism are inextricably linked to the idea of the nation, the principle of national independence, and the revival of unique national traditions.” This was the official justification for the ban.

My Friends,

The only thing more scandalous than this was the final settlement or disposition of the matter – because of course in the end we were able to hold this conference. But before that, our appeal against the order was thrown out by two judges: not a mayor, not a lawyer, not a lawyer from the municipality, but two judges. Then, when the Belgian prime minister made public what the correct assessment of the situation was, a third judge upheld the appeal – in the same case, with the same reasoning. This is the rule of law over there. This is the rule of law in the Western sense. And they lecture us! Everyone can see, Dear Friends, that Europe today is balancing on the boundary between repression and freedom; and I think that this election will decide which way it moves. It seems that, after having done so in Budapest, we have been given the task of saving freedom in Brussels. 

My Friends,

There are, however, even bigger problems than this. In Brussels today there is a pro-war majority. The mood in Europe is that of war, and politics is dominated by the logic of war. I see preparations for war from everyone and from all sides. The Secretary General of NATO wants to set up a NATO-Ukraine mission. The European leaders are already drifting into the war: I talk to them and I hear them, and they see the war as their war, and they are fighting it as if it was their war. Remember: at first it was just about sending helmets. Right, send hats! Then sanctions, but not on energy carriers, of course! Oh, but then of course sanctions on those too. Then came the supply of arms: first firearms, then tanks, then planes. Then financial aid. Tens of billions, again and again. Now we stand at somewhere around 100 billion. In euros, my friends! Everything needed has been given. But the situation is not getting better – in fact it is getting worse and worse. We are one step away from the West sending troops to Ukraine. This is a vortex of war that could drag Europe down into the depths. Brussels is playing with fire. What it is doing is tempting God. We have clear memories, some of us have personal experience, and we have learned well: world wars are never called “world wars” in the beginning. They are called “the Third Balkan War”, “the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact”, “the partition of Poland”; and then they ended up as two world wars. It is no exaggeration to say that what they are doing is tempting God. 

We Hungarians know what wars are like. We have been in them quite often enough. I am convinced that we must stay out of this war. This is not our war. We do not want war, and we do not want Hungary to once again become the plaything of great powers. We must therefore stand up for peace: at home, in Brussels, in Washington, in the UN, and in NATO. I propose that we make a clear commitment: as long as there is a national government leading the country, Hungary will not enter the Russo-Ukrainian war on anyone’s side. But, My Friends, you must also know – and I am sure you do know – that if it were not for Fidesz and the KDNP, if it were not for the national forces in government, Hungary would already be up to its neck in the war. The pro-war governments, the bureaucrats in Brussels, George Soros’s network, are sending millions of dollars to the pro-war left in Budapest, who make no secret of the fact that they want a change of government which meets the demands of their paymasters. The latter want a pro-war government instead of a pro-peace government, a puppet government subordinate to Brussels and Washington instead of a national government.

My Friends,

A hundred words end with just one. Let us not abandon Hungary! We must fight! We must defend the peace and security of the Hungarian people. We must protect our economic achievements. We must protect our families, and especially our children! To make it clear to Brussels: no migration, no gender, no war! This is what is written in the election manifesto that we are issuing today, and we ask every citizen of Hungary to support this Fidesz election manifesto, which is also supported by KDNP.

God above us all, Hungary before all else! Go Hungary, go, Hungarians!


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