In the context of the recent Hamas attack on Israel, on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’, the Prime Minister said when one sees the “impression” of terror, that always has a shocking effect. One “sympathises with the people who suffered the attack and prays for the relatives and survivors, one is emotionally on the victims’ side,” he said.
He added that it is at times like this that one can appreciate how valuable the peace and stability that Hungary lives in are, and it is the duty of the elected leaders to protect them.
He said Hungary has always been against terrorism, regardless of the country targeted by any act of terrorism.
He said if a country is attacked in an act of terrorism, the leaders of that country – Prime Minister Netanyahu in this case – “can evidently think about nothing other” than that it is their duty to their own people to do everything they can to prevent such incidents.
If someone is the victim of a terrorist attack, they have the right to take steps to ensure that this could never happen again, that their citizens should never again fall victim to acts of terrorism, he explained.
Mr Orbán said the conflict must be localised because there is a war under way now, but it is a war on terror similar to that which the Americans engaged in. At this time, there is no war between states; the threat is that Israel might engage in a war with a neighbouring Arabic country, he pointed out.
In his view, an Arab-Israeli war would destabilise the region, would shake everything in world politics to such an extent that the shock waves could even be felt in Hungary.
It is the duty of Hungarian diplomacy – whilst recognising Israel’s right to defend itself – to engage in a policy of de-escalation in order to prevent a war between states, he underlined.
He also said they sincerely hope they will be able to bring out of Israel all Hungarians who want to leave. He added that they are not aware of Hungarian nationals being among the victims.
He recalled that “things were beginning to change for the better in that corner of the world,” during the term of US President Donald Trump, Arab-Israeli relations improved much; there was improvement in relations between Israel and Arabic states even in areas which no one a few years earlier thought was possible.
He observed that Hungary had no intelligence of any kind about whether this act of terrorism had been perpetrated for the very reason of stopping this process; there is only speculation for the time being. However, despite the terrorist attack, we should try and salvage as much of the results achieved in relations in recent years as possible.
He said it is shocking that there are pro-Palestine demonstrations throughout Europe. He indicated that attempts were made even in Hungary to organise such demonstrations; “however, no one is allowed to hold demonstrations promoting the cause of terrorist organisations because that in itself would pose a threat of terror.” Therefore, “we will not authorise any such demonstration,” he stated.
However, in a number of places in Western Europe, there is nothing the authorities seem to be able to do to prevent pro-terrorist demonstrations, and this means that in those countries there are people in large numbers who believe that such acts are acceptable, he pointed out. He took the view that as during the migration crisis people in very large numbers were allowed into Western European countries uncontrolled, these people may well include Hamas agents, and that is a serious and direct threat to all Western European countries.
“We should be thankful to the Lord that in 2015 we had our wits about us, and also our hearts, we built a physical fence and put in place legal restrictions with which we were able to keep the threat of terrorism that necessarily goes hand in hand with migration away from Hungary,” he stated.
He said the pandemic, the Russo-Ukrainian war and now the terrorist attack on Israel show that we are living in an era of threats, but this does not mean that we should resign ourselves to the curtailment of our level of security in Hungary; also in an era of threats, the Hungarian State must stand its ground.
Hungary has one of Europe’s largest Jewish communities, “this is, of course, a diverse world, there are Orthodox and Neolog Jews, the same as in Israel,” and evidently, these people hold different political views, but they are all citizens of Hungary.
They are Hungarian citizens, and they must be protected by the Hungarian State,he stressed.
He highlighted that we cannot allow any Hungarian citizen to have the feeling that they are in danger due to their origin or religion.
He also stressed that only the Hungarian model works against migrants, and instead of adopting it, the European Union wants to destroy it. Mr Orbán highlighted that Brussels wants “us to share the security risk that they’re compelled to endure due to the flawed decisions they made in earlier years.”
They are creating rules with which they want to force Hungary to allow into its territory the very people who commit violent acts at the southern border, are aggressive and use weapons against Hungarian border guards.
According to Brussels’ decision, Hungary would be required to build a refugee camp for ten thousand people, “a migrant ghetto,” we should keep migrants there for a while, and we should then let them out, the Prime Minister said, stressing that we must defend ourselves against this.
He said with the incumbent leaders of the EU “we won’t be able to protect Hungary” because “rather than fighting us face to face, Brussels is attacking is from the back,” “rather than helping, they’re destroying everything they can,” and pose a continual security risk to Hungary. Therefore, in next year’s European Parliament elections, a significant change will have to be achieved in the EU.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also said that the two Hungarian researchers who had recently been awarded the Nobel Prize had come from the hinterland of Hungary; this conveys the message that the Hungarian people need not be afraid because they are talented enough to achieve outstanding results even in the most difficult times.
In the context of the Nobel Prizes of Katalin Karikó and Ferenc Krausz, the Prime Minister stressed that both Hungarian scientists “come from the hinterland of Hungary,” one of them from the Cuman-Jász region, the other one from Mór which is Swabian country. He added that we are not talking about people from downtown Budapest or the children of wealthy families who attended universities in America or Europe; we are talking about the world of “the Hungarian hinterland.”
“This is our big reserve, the reserve of the Hungarians, no matter how hard the times we’re living in are, we need never be afraid because fantastic brains are bred out there on the peripheries, in the hinterland regions of Hungary who – if given a tiny little opportunity – immediately start upward, and find themselves among the world’s best,” the Prime Minister said, taking the view that these include our athletes and scientists, while we can also boast quite a few formidable personalities in the field of culture.
He said the two Nobel Prizes are encouraging for the future and convey the message that “don’t be afraid, Hungarians, you’re talented enough to achieve outstanding results even in the most difficult times.”
Regarding the economy, the Prime Minister highlighted that this year was about knocking inflation down, while next year the government would again start economic growth.
Mr Orbán said the fight against inflation traditionally falls within the remit of the central bank; however, Hungary was up against “an international inflationary flood” on such a scale that the national bank was unable to stop it “with its own little buckets.” They needed more formidable tools, and so the government was compelled to take over the task of and responsibility for the fight against inflation, he said.
He stressed that they would have liked to maintain a relatively high level of economic growth amidst the fight against inflation, but in this endeavour they have failed. Therefore, the government decided that the goal for this year is to knock inflation down, even at the expense of a loss as regards economic growth, while in 2024 they will target a high level of economic growth, the Prime Minister stated.
He pointed out that this will not be easy because in an environment where the others are not growing, it is especially difficult for a country like Hungary to grow, given that its internal market is small, and a large part of its economic performance comes from producing goods here and selling them abroad.
Therefore, he said it is important at times like this that “the country should not stand on just a single leg,” meaning that in addition to the German economy continuing to play a dominant role and the European Union remaining our primary market, we must remain open to every market of the world. He added that there is a major debate in the world today about whether the world economy should be divided into a western part and an eastern part, or we should follow the logic of connectivity; the Hungarian economy has clearly a vested interest in connectivity.
Mr Orbán said this is why he is going on a longer visit involving multiple negotiations to China next week. The part of the Hungarian State concerned with foreign trade will have a formidable challenge to rise to in the year ahead: investments will have to be created in Hungary, while the products so made will have to be sold, he pointed out.
Regarding his visit to Georgia in the last couple of days, Mr Orbán said Georgia is a European country standing on Christian foundations; it is also an important transit country between the rest of the Caucasus region and Europe.
He added that according to EU plans, they want to bring electricity generated in Azerbaijan to Europe via Georgia, Romania and Hungary. This requires the laying of a several-thousand-kilometre-long high-voltage cable under the Black Sea as well as the building of all related infrastructure. This will benefit the people living there, will benefit Hungary’s security and energy supply, and will also benefit the whole of Europe. We sincerely hope that the EU will not back out of this, Mr Orbán said in conclusion.