Internal Affairs / The goal in 2024 is for families to be in the focus 

The goal in 2024 is for families to be in the focus 

The goal in 2024 is for families – rather than great struggles – to be at the centre of politics, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated at an international press conference held in Budapest on Thursday. 

Mr Orbán said in 2023 people in Hungary have fought and worked hard not to lose what they had previously achieved; as of 2024, the government hopes that the country will be able to work with a view to making progress.

In his view, 2023 has been a year of great struggles; we have had the war, an increasing threat of terrorism, migration, inflation and Brussels to cope with.

He said the government’s goals were clear: in the case of a war, Hungary must stay out of the conflict, we must keep the intensifying threat of terrorism in Europe away from the country, must curb migration, must knock inflation down and must come to an agreement with Brussels, “despite the continual fault-finding.”

The Prime Minister said on the issues of inflation, the war and migration they have been successful; they have achieved the goals they set.

He added that Hungarian families, too, had been compelled to engage in a major struggle because the war had brought sanctions and a rise in energy prices with it which had in turn jeopardised the value of pensions and wages.

They have managed to fully protect the value of pensions, but it appears that they have also succeeded in protecting a higher percentage of wages than had seemed realistic mid-year when there had been a 4 to 5 per cent biannual decrease in real wages which they had managed to force down to below one per cent by the end of the year, he stated. 

Among the government’s measures announced so far with a view to taking a step forward, he mentioned the new housing programme, stressing that they sincerely hope that the housing benefit plus programme will create an opportunity for many tens of thousands of families to take a step forward.

He recalled that they had approved the agreement between employers and workers relating to a 10 to 15 per cent increase in minimum wages.

He also said that the government guarantees the value of pensions; in actual fact, as they estimated inflation to be higher than it will be, the value of pensions could slightly increase. 

Mr Orbán stressed that the European parliamentary elections would be in the focus of next year’s political goals. He took the view that the general opinion in Hungary is that the bureaucrats in Brussels “live in a bubble,” “Brussels is blind,” fails to see real life, and is detached from the problems with which people are struggling not only in Hungary, but also in the whole of Europe.

Therefore, regarding the goal of the 2024 EP elections, he said we must open the eyes of Brussels so that they see reality, and be able to rectify the leadership errors that were committed in 2023. 

Mr Orbán described this year as a year of major struggles, and 2024 as a year of major plans, adding that in the EP elections they will seek to achieve a significant political change in Brussels. 

He announced that a three-year pay increase programme could be launched for teachers and nursery teachers; as expected, from January, the average incomes of teachers will increase by 32.2 per cent.

Mr Orbán said “if the conditions are met, and we’re close to that, we’ll be able to launch a three-year pay rise programme for teachers and nursery teachers.” 

In answer to a question, he said “there is a legal act yet to be completed” for the pay rise of teachers; Hungary has yet to receive a letter from Brussels which reassures the government that Brussels will cover a set percentage of the salary increase. Once the letter arrives, the government has a plan in place about what to do. 

As part of the programme, the government intends to implement a 32.2 per cent pay rise effective from 1 January, meaning an increase that will first manifest itself in the February salaries. “There will be a lower, but significant” increase from 1 January 2025 and 2026 as well, he added. 

At the end of the pay rise programme, average teacher salaries will be around HUF 800,000,he said. 

He observed that the salaries mentioned were average salaries; there will be differences based on performance and geographical locations. 

He said the new Brussels migration pact adopted on Wednesday will, no doubt, prove to be a failure. 

Until the EU finally brings itself to stating that which Hungary has stated – that those who want to enter its territory on any grounds must first submit an application and must wait for the assessment of their application outside the borders of the EU – any package they may adopt is bound to fail. 

“A mountain is in labour, but will give birth to a mouse, and even that will run into the EU, rather than out of it,” he said. 

The Prime Minister is convinced that the Hungarian legislation is “a model law,” the only legislation proven to work in the whole of Europe that Brussels should not attack. 

At the press conference, the Prime Minister was asked to respond to the fact that the chief executive of the Polish public service television company had been sacked. Mr Orbán said he does not wish to interfere with Poland’s affairs, but the debate that is ongoing is not confined to Poland. Strange things are happening in the western democratic world, there are “model democracies” in the West where the courts seek to thwart the nomination of one of the presidential candidates with the best chances, and a party with significant parliamentary presence may be under national security surveillance.

“Some disease is eating away” at the bodies of western democracies, he said, observing that if all this were to happen in Hungary, perhaps NATO troops would have already been deployed.

The Prime Minister received multiple questions about the latest EU summit, Ukraine’s accession talks and support for Ukraine’s EU member candidacy. Mr Orbán reiterated that he had tried to convince the other Member States for eight hours not to start accession talks with Ukraine because that would be a mistake.

He said “Hungary can’t lay a claim to the role of Cassandra,” does not believe that it is able to tell what the future holds. However, it has experiences as there was exactly the same kind of opposition in relation to migration which eventually caused huge problems in the EU, he pointed out.

He added that if Hungary still continued to insist after many long years that Ukraine’s accession was not a desirable outcome, the decision of the Hungarian Parliament would still be required, in the absence of which Ukraine could not be admitted to the European Union. 

He also said in his view, instead of membership, a more realistic strategic partnership should be offered to Ukraine. 

Regarding finances, he stressed that Ukraine could also be supported outside the EU budget.

Mr Orbán said it is not Hungary’s goal to block things, to say no, but rather to say yes, and to have good decisions adopted in Brussels. He described the provision of funds for Ukraine from within the EU budget as a flawed decision because it could jeopardise other chapters of the budget, including the funds earmarked for Hungary. 

We do not want to tie the financial grants to be provided for Ukraine to any Hungarian financial issue; the Hungarian position related to Ukraine does not depend on whether the funds due to the Hungarian people are released or not, he stated. 

“The EU method that they have a problem with the Hungarian people, and then they punish the Hungarian people’s children through the Erasmus Programme is alien to the Hungarian soul. We regard this as an extremely mean thing to do; we don’t do anything of the sort, we don’t tie different things together,” he pointed out.

We are able to agree on the issue of Ukraine not if there is money for Hungary, but when there is a proposal that is meaningful in itself, he said, adding that the number one priority is that the funding of Ukraine should be done outside the budget and should not be connected to other fiscal issues.

He recalled that Hungary believed that the EU budget was good as it was; if we alter it in any way, that will only result in problems, and so all we ask for is that they implement that which is in the budget.

He added that the Hungarian people’s money, too, was in the budget, and therefore, Hungary was entitled to that. “If they start amending the budget, Hungarian interests emerge, too, and we will negotiate accordingly,” he laid down. 

In the Russo-Ukrainian war, the Prime Minister continued to urge for a ceasefire, regardless of all post-war settlements. Following this, he continued, time must be allowed for formulating a framework for the ensuing peace talks. 

In his view, Europe is facing a threat that unless they start negotiations, the Russians will come to an agreement with the Americans over Europe’s head. 

He said it is also important that Hungary should not have a common border with Russia, that between Hungary and Russia “there should always be something, some state formation; this has been Ukraine in recent history.” Any alteration to this state of affairs did not tally with Hungary’s intentions, he added. 

Hungary will not consent to any step that could drag it into a war. “We don’t want to be in an alliance with a country that is waging bloody wars at present at its eastern border,” he said, further indicating that this is not “a selfish Hungarian position,” NATO itself says so. 

He said Ukraine’s NATO membership would mean that the next morning Hungary would be required to send soldiers to Ukraine. 

Regarding the invitation of the President of Ukraine, he said “the wind blew us together” at the inauguration of the Argentinian President where Volodymyr Zelenskyy “made an offer for negotiations which I accepted.” 

He added that the parties had to clarify what they were talking about because any negotiations regarding bilateral relations must be prepared by the two foreign ministers, while regarding the issue of Ukraine’s EU membership, EU ministers must first come to an agreement. 

In the context of the European Union’s summit due to be held next February, the Prime Minister said two issues to be debated there must be separated from each other; one of them being the provision of financial aid for Ukraine, while the other being any requests by individual Member States for the amendment of the budget, independently of this. 

Regarding the first, he said 26 Member States propose that we give Ukraine EUR 50 billion for four years, money “that we currently don’t have,” and so the community should take out a loan via the seven-year EU budget.

He said “we should designate a reasonable timeframe” for such funding, given that “we have no idea what will happen in a quarter of a year’s time,” and should tie its extent to the role agreed to be undertaken by the United States as “an expenditure of an uncertain magnitude could destabilise our budget.” He highlighted that the solution would be for everyone to contribute funds, for instance, in relation to their gross domestic product. 

We do not want to take out a loan together with anyone, the Prime Minister observed, stressing that we do not want to make the same mistake that we made in the case of the recovery facility as the coronavirus pandemic has already passed, but multiple Member States still have not been given access to the funds they are entitled to. 

We take the view that it is not reasonable to raise money together with other countries while we have ongoing political disputes with those countries, he added. 

Regarding initiatives aimed at other amendments to the EU budget, Mr Orbán said once such a process starts, “Hungary itself will make its own proposals.” This has yet to happen, the relevant details will be clarified in the month ahead, the Prime Minister said. 

In answer to the question of whether the Hungarians of Transcarpathia would be better-off if Ukraine were a member of the European Union, he said “yes, this could be done in a way which ensures that they are better-off.” 

Commenting on the fact that former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko was not allowed to leave his country as, according to intelligence, he was going to meet with the Hungarian Prime Minister, Mr Orbán said on this issue he is more permissive than public opinion in general because Ukraine is at war, and so extraordinary rules are being enforced, “there are no elections, political parties have effectively been banned, freedom of the press has been practically eliminated.” This, he said, he regards as something bad that is to be accepted, “I don’t have a single word of criticism in this regard because if the Ukrainian state believes that someone’s departure from the country’s territory causes a national security risk, they must proceed accordingly.”

At the same time, he raised the question that if the meeting of a Ukrainian citizen with a Hungarian prime minister were to cause a national security risk, then how should Ukraine want to be a member of the EU? 

In answer to a question about whether the triggering of a procedure under Article 7 is a realistic threat for Hungary, he said this is not the case as it is already under the effect of such a procedure. However, the purpose of the procedure currently under way is not to deprive Hungary of any right, he recalled.

He added that according to the Treaties, a procedure under Article 7 aimed at the suspension of voting rights can only be instituted if there is an ongoing breach related to the rule of law. 

However, the European Commission has only just concluded that this threat has passed, given that the Hungarian judiciary is in order, he recalled, adding that “in the whole of the European Union, Hungary has the most up-to-date judicial system with the highest score, we have just received a piece of paper about this.” There is no reason for the commencement of such a procedure, and so he does not see this as a threat, he stated.

In answer to a question relating to EU funds, he said it is a publicly admitted fact that in Brussels Hungary is being blackmailed, the blackmailers are members of the European Parliament who threaten the European Commission with removing it from power should it nonetheless choose to provide money for Hungary.

According to the Prime Minister, there is not much they can do about this. Mr Orbán said in this blackmailed situation he will do everything he can to enforce Hungary’s interests. 

He also said, at present, the group of Fidesz Members of the European Parliament are conducting talks with the group of European conservatives; however, they will not surrender their independent status until the elections. 

He took the view that “in Brussels, things are going intolerably badly,” there is no peace within the EU’s borders, and the European economy – rather than gaining in strength – is heading in the opposite direction. In his opinion, the reason for this is that a Brussels elite has come into being, some members of which are on the Left, while others on the Right, but in actual fact, “they’re all in one big group together.” 

There is no rotation in European politics anymore, and so they want to tip the European party structure off balance, he said, adding that “our plan is to offer an attractive option to the centre-right together with the right-wing forces now gaining in strength,” thereby achieving the implementation of a different kind of migration, economic and foreign policy. 

Regarding the 2024 Hungarian EU presidency, he said Hungary will primarily be required to play the role of mediator. “As to how – given this role – we’ll be able to protect our national interests is a difficult question,” he added.

The Prime Minister described the state of the cooperation of the Visegrád countries as sad. In his view, partly due to internal difficulties and partly due to external pressure, the V4 has fallen apart; they are now working on how to bring them back together. He added that there was hope for a meeting of the prime ministers during the Czech presidency in February where they could reconsider whether, under the changed circumstances, this Central European strategy had any reality. He recalled that the V4 had been established to ensure that rather than a single French-German axis deciding on all important matters, Central Europe, too, should have a voice. 

In answer to a question relating to the pressure of migration experienced in recent months at the Hungarian-Slovak border, Mr Orbán refuted allegations that there had been any fluctuation in the quality of border protection in recent periods. He said the “malicious assumption” that for political reasons Hungary sometimes thickens, while at other times thins down the fabric of border protection is untrue. 

“In this regard, we give as much as we can,” he stressed, adding that we can only speak about soldiers, police officers and border guards in words of the highest praise, they do everything they can to protect the borders. 

Regarding his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his recent visit to China, he said the meeting was a chance “coincidence of intentions.” He refuted press reports that he was unable to avoid the meeting, pointing out that “the Hungarian prime minister is able to avoid anyone if they so choose.” 

He stated that he did not act under pressure in foreign policy, but represented a sovereign Hungarian state. 

In answer to the question of whether he is planning a bilateral meeting with Vladimir Putin, he said there was no such intention on the part of either party. 

In the context of the ratification of Sweden’s NATO accession, he stressed that there was “no Turkish-Hungarian agreement” about this. The two countries are able to adopt a decision on the matter independently of one another, and the Hungarian Parliament insists on this, he laid down, observing that the government can make promises regarding dates, but that will be decided by Parliament.

In his view, Members of Parliament “don’t much fancy this decision.” The reason being that after the Hungarian Parliament ratified Finland’s accession, the very next day the Finnish government sued Hungary in the EU in connection with another matter, he explained. 

Responding to a question relating to Israel and the terrorist attack on Israel, the Prime Minister said Hungary is among one of the few countries within the EU which believes in connection with the specific incident that Israel has the right to protect itself and to do everything it can to prevent the development of such a situation ever again. He described Israel’s stability as an elementary Hungarian and European security interest. He indicated that at the latest EU summit differences had been reduced in consequence of a debate; there is some hope that, sooner or later, there will be a pan-European position which treats Israel’s stability as a strategic issue the same as Hungary does. 

In answer to a question, Mr Orbán said it is “a base and capital sin” if money is sent from the European Union’s budget to “registered terrorist organisations.” At the same time, he indicated that they were looking not only into whether this had happened, but also into whether money may have been channelled to terrorist organisations through funds provided as humanitarian, educational or other aid. 

Regarding the fact that former US President Donald Trump has been disqualified from running for the presidency in Colorado, Mr Orbán observed that we did not have a say in the functioning of the judiciary of the United States. We have only one request to them: that they immediately stop lecturing us, he stated. 

In connection with the collapse of the Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) Hungarian college building, he said within the government Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén has been tasked with providing all possible assistance for the school and its students. 

He described the amendment of the Ukrainian law affecting the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia as a very important matter, highlighting at the same time that the rules relating to the protection of minorities are worthless if the relevant legal practice is not reinforced. 

They are in the process of studying the new legislation, and while they do not want to underestimate its worth, they proposed a different solution to the Ukrainians, he observed, asking the question: given that in 2015 Ukraine took a law away from the Hungarians, why don’t they give that law back, together with the relevant practice attached to it? 

Mr Orbán cautioned in connection with the motherland assistance that can be provided for the Hungarians of Upper Hungary (Slovakia) due to sensibilities concerning good neighbourly relations. 

In his view, the Hungarians of Upper Hungary are an extremely strong community which is unable to demonstrate its strength in terms of political representation, and so the community itself must take care of this. 

He stressed that Hungarian-Slovak relations had not been this good since time immemorial, and therefore he sincerely hoped that the new Slovak government would have “a warmer heart and sharper hearing” regarding the community needs of the Hungarians living there. 

In answer to a question, the Prime Minister stressed that the economy was evidently in a better state than it had been in 2010, and any debate on this was absurd. He said the most important item of data is that today in Hungary one million more people – 4.7 million people – have jobs than 13 years ago. 

Regarding the exemption from the payment of personal income tax planned earlier for mothers with three children, he said he is engaged “in a determined fight” on this matter with financial reality and the finance minister representing the same. At the finance minister’s request, the government was required to prioritise family protection measures, and the new housing benefit ‘csok plus’ was ranked higher on the list. At the same time, the Prime Minister is determined to extend the personal income tax exemption.

Concerning the raising of the excise on fuel, he said “we must do this because the EU forces us to; if they didn’t, we wouldn’t raise it.” 

In answer to a question related to gas prices, he said the government is continuously monitoring what is happening on the gas market. Meanwhile, “today, no one can find themselves at a disadvantage” as those who believe that this is the case are free to quit the system of the protection of household energy bills and to start paying market prices. He said the rapid changes in the market and prices warranted the establishment of a separate ministry. 

In answer to a question about the causes of high inflation, Mr Orbán stressed that Hungary was extremely exposed to energy price changes abroad, and was only able to defend itself against this high exposure through the development of its own energy sources. 

He said it is one of the most significant achievements of the past ten years that an enormous solar capacity has been developed. In his view, Hungary is “making great strides” towards becoming self-sufficient in energy: if they are also able to complete the Paks 2 project, then sometime around 2030-2032, nuclear energy will cover 60 per cent of the country’s electricity needs, solar energy will be responsible for another 30 to 35 per cent, and fossil energy will cover the rest. 

These developments are exhausting the majority of funds as in order to back up solar parks, we must also build gas-fuelled power plants, he warned. 

He highlighted that they had announced three enormous projects; the relevant international public procurement procedures are currently under way, meaning that Hungary is in the middle of an enormous energy development programme. 

Regarding the acquisition of the Ferihegy airport, the Prime Minister said “we are already at the end of the process,” “an announcement could be made any day now,” the acquisition “is a done deal, only some technical details must be concluded.”

He stressed that there was keen competition for tourism and the hosting of international organisations. Everyone wants to have a share, and in this regard air travel is key, an area where Hungary has recently “sustained a major disadvantage” because “it hasn’t even entered this race.” 

He added that without the state undertaking a role, in this area it was impossible to reach the very top. However, the government does not wish to claim that it is able to operate an airport. Therefore, they need a suitable owner partner which they have already found in the person of a French company, and “if we can bring in further investors, we will be happy to do so.” 

The Prime Minister was also asked about the debts of hospitals. He said the problem stems from the fact that Hungarian health care is neither a state, nor a private system, but “a mixture” of the two. He added that the government wanted to maintain the single-insurer model, and so it was heading in the direction of better-regulated health care, whilst not prohibiting private health care either.

They are seeking to clarify, he said in continuation, why the same operation in one hospital is priced differently than in another. He said this work must be completed swiftly, this is why they made changes to personnel in positions of director general and hospital director.

According to Mr Orbán, they have done away with the “most flammable” component of the mixture of state and private health care, and for this he cannot be grateful enough to the chamber of physicians. He described the fact that the chamber of physicians itself sought the elimination of patient gratuities and offered the government cooperation as a professional and moral gesture of historic significance.

The government does not tie the pay rise of teachers to EU funds, he pointed out, adding that there is no debate about the fact that Hungary must be able to raise teachers’ salaries from its own resources. At the same time, he pointed out that “if we solely rely on our own resources,” this process could take five to six years to complete, while if it is also possible to use external resources for the purpose, this period can be reduced to just 3 years.

The sovereignty protection law serves the goal of transparency and increased publicity, the Prime Minister stated, recalling that at the time of the establishment of Fidesz, too, he fought against the communists with the power of public attention, and also now they believe that they must fight using the same methods against the powerful foreign forces which want to exert influence on Hungary.

In answer to the question of whether the legislation will affect the media, he said people keep talking about fears of some kind, but he has a different approach, he does not live in a world of self-generated fears, but seeks to rely on facts.

He stressed that it was a fact that at the latest parliamentary elections in Hungary funds in the magnitude of several million dollars had emerged with a view to influencing the outcome of the elections, as also admitted to by left-wing actors. This is not about the media, it is about this problem, he indicated, adding that the sovereignty protection legislation seeks to close the loopholes to such attempts of influence. He promised that within a few months everyone will be able to see how the law works, and if necessary, they will make changes. 

In answer to the question of why the planned child protection legislation was not presented to Parliament in the autumn, Mr Orbán said “we are unable to fight two battles at once, the battle of sovereignty protection and the battle of child protection. First one, then the other. That will be on the agenda, too,” he said. 

He added that since the referendum on child protection, a task force had been working on the relevant bill within Fidesz’s parliamentary group.

For the time being, facts do not justify the fears that have emerged on the issue of guest workers, the Prime Minister stated, adding that the threat of “others taking our country away from us” – as is the case in Western Europe – is a realistic threat, but not in Hungary.

In continuation, he said Hungary still has significant workforce reserves, and it is to be hoped that in the case of the current projects in Szeged and Békés County they will be able to mobilise them; therefore, there is no need for the influx of guest workers in large numbers.

He also stressed that it was private companies, not the government, that imported guest workers. However, stringent rules apply to them which – if needs be – they will tighten further.

Today, every Hungarian can go to bed, knowing that in Hungary jobs belong to the Hungarian people, no one is allowed to stay in the territory of the country without due legal grounds, and once those legal grounds cease to exist, they must leave the country, he stated, adding that they are only letting in guest workers from countries with which Hungary has a deportation agreement.

He further said that Hungarian industry policy has both the necessary energy and worker conditions, and these are being continuously upgraded. “We have water – as we are a large pool – at our disposal in unlimited quantities, it’s only a question of will where to transport it, and we also have workforce reserves,” he pointed out. 

In answer to a question relating to the pay rise of ministers and the prime minister, he said since 2010 they have launched pay rise programmes continuously in one employment sector after another, and have left politicians – including Members of Parliament and members of the government – to the last. He mentioned as an important rule that if there is no pay rise in Hungary, the salaries of politicians cannot be increased either. In his view, this is a transparent and predictable system connected “to the needs and considerations of day-to-day life and the people.” 

Regarding the debate with respect to the subject-matter of active euthanasia that was launched by constitutional lawyer Dániel Karsai who is suffering from an incurable disease, Mr Orbán said there is a referendum initiative, and so from here on, no action is required on the government’s part; the referendum will decide.

He said this is a human, not only a legal issue; we face the fate of a human being, not a mere case. “All I can say to the individual concerned who brought this issue to the attention of the wider public is that we stand with him, we sympathise with him, we wish him much strength, and if he allows us, we will also pray for him so that he can get through this difficult period,” he said. 

As President of Fidesz, Mr Orbán informed members of the press and the public that at its latest board meeting, the larger government party had decided to name their candidate for the position of Mayor of Budapest by March, at the latest. When asked about specific names, he said “anything beyond this is nothing more than a legend from Budapest cafes.” 

In Budapest, the community of Fidesz and the Christian Democratic People’s Party is the largest political force, he pointed out. 

He also said there is no law that would prohibit the amendment of the municipal election legislation half a year before the elections. 

When they amended this law, they did not breach any legal act, he added. 

In connection with the property development in the Rákosrendező area in Budapest and its name ‘Maxi Dubai’, Mr Orbán observed that in general he would like anything that the Hungarians do not to begin with the adjective ‘mini’. If we do something, its size and quality should strive for the maximum within the boundaries of reason. 

“We must strive for a national maximum, not for a minimum,” he laid down. 

Regarding the project, he informed members of the press and the public that the government had been contacted by a foreign state with an offer that a company designated by them would implement a major property development in Hungary; in a place which is “today more in the category of shame,” he said, referring to Rákosrendező.

Mr Orbán added that he had tasked Minister for Construction and Transport János Lázár with clarifying this issue. This is a multi-step process which seeks to determine whether the project will come to anything. The government is not far from being able to conclude an international contract with the applicant country. However, this will only lay down that it is possible to negotiate about something to happen. 

In answer to a question relating to the quality of the work of Interior Minister Sándor Pintér, he said they can never be entirely satisfied with the situation of health care or education, but the minister is doing his job well. 

In answer to another question, he spoke about the fact that in the spring he flew from Egypt to Italy on board a defence forces plane. 

“There is no need to take pictures or to carry out complex operations; we always let the public know where we are, what we do,” he replied. 

In response to the question of whether it was a private visit, he said, according to the laws, the Hungarian prime minister is under continuous protection around the clock. Every detail of the case is fully regulated, and he proceeds in full compliance with the rules, he stressed.

He was asked for his opinion regarding the fact that in the summer Lőrinc Mészáros had been spotted on board a new yacht worth HUF 27 billion. Mr Orbán said they should contact the owner, the Hungarian government does not concern itself with business transactions. It concerns itself with issues of economic policy, and this topic falls beyond that realm. 

In response to the claim that MBH Bank, too, has a share in the yacht and that bank is partly state-owned, the Prime Minister said they should have sold the state share a long time ago, except Minister Márton Nagy thought that they time had not come yet; there is no point in the state maintaining this thirty-something per cent stake. 

“I wish all Hungarian capital holders all the very best,” he said in answer to the suggestion that now “friends and family members” – including Lőrinc Mészáros and the Prime Minister’s son-in-law István Tiborcz – are climbing ever higher up the list of the top one hundred richest persons. In this context, Mr Orbán stressed that the government made no distinction on the basis of the persons of capital holders. In Hungary, there are standard regulations which must be observed by everyone. 

Commenting on the dismissal of former Director General of the Hungarian National Museum László L. Simon, the Prime Minister said the Minister had decided within his own competence. 

The Prime Minister received another question on this subject-matter: How come a few exhibited pictures displaying homosexuals were enough to dismiss the director general when on TikTok – which is known to have many teenage users – Mr Orbán himself named as his favourite a book which features a homosexual love affair. Mr Orbán said in reply that in Hungary people can buy a very large number of books featuring lengthy descriptions of emotional relationships between same-sex individuals, by both Hungarian and foreign authors. 

In answer to the question of where the limit is between promoting homosexuality and talking about homosexuality at an acceptable level, he said if the person asking the question wants to know “whether I’m allowed to say what my favourite book is, I think I am.” 

Regarding the possiblibility of former Fidesz Mayor of Győr Zsolt Borkai standing in the next municipal elections, he said he is not a Győr voter, but if he were, he would look for another option. 


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