The Prime Minister said Hungary is stable enough politically and its economy is strong enough to knock inflation down, to protect pensions, salaries and jobs, and to achieve a significant economic growth again next year. He stressed that austerity measures were out of the question.
The Prime Minister said Hungary had successfully implemented the biggest sports event in the country’s history, the Budapest World Athletics Championships. “We have proved once again that in the reception, organisation and implementation of international events we are among the world’s best.” Guests arrived from some 200 countries from around the world, a billion viewers saw the broadcasts, 170,000 visitors came to Budapest to attend the event, spending 460,000 guest nights here, he listed. He added that the world championships had generated a revenue for the Hungarian economy amounting to more than double the expenditures.
He also said one of the government’s prime undertakings is to maintain Hungary’s energy security “despite the turmoil on the world energy market;” “what’s more, to build even in this chaotic situation an energy economy that will guarantee our independence.” Therefore, in the summer the government entered into energy cooperation with Turkey, Azerbaijan and Qatar, and concluded agreements with all three countries, he added.
He highlighted that Brussels had decided to “sever Europe from Russian energy carriers; I’m convinced that this is contrary to Europe’s best interests, and so to Hungary’s best interests, too, but at this time we don’t have enough strength to prevent this.” The government’s goal can be nothing other than to reduce the negative impacts of the Brussels decisions, he stated.
He said “the Turkic world” is playing a strategic role in Europe’s energy supply. They agreed that Hungary would not only convey gas via Turkey, but would also purchase gas from Turkey directly; the conveyance to Hungary of the gas procured from Azerbaijan has started; and they also agreed on overarching energy conveyance plans with Azerbaijan, he listed.
The Prime Minister stressed that the weight of the East, including the Turkic world will increase for Europe; it will become unavoidable slowly, but surely, and “the Hungarian government has been aware of this for a long time.”
He recalled that the fragility of the Minsk agreements concluded with a view to the settlement of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict had been obvious from the start, they saw that unless Ukraine surrendered its intention of joining NATO, it was only a question of time before another conflict would emerge which could also jeopardise the energy supplies coming from Russia. Therefore, the government has raised Central Asian relations to a strategic and amicable level, he added.
He highlighted that, as a result, the Russo-Ukrainian war and “the terrorist attack committed against the NordStream pipeline – presumably, a state-backed terrorist attack – did not present us with an unsolvable task regarding the country’s energy supply;” Hungary’s eastern foreign policy strategy is working.
He observed that they had replenished Hungary’s gas storage facilities; at present, 60 per cent of the annual gas consumption is already available.
Mr Orbán next informed Members of Parliament that in the summer they had conducted a review of the entire electricity power grid. The result of the review is promising, they can open a considerable percentage of the national grid, and following the resolution of the outstanding settlement disputes, they will be able to receive retail solar energy as well.
He stated that Hungary was one of the few countries which had since 1990 reduced its carbon dioxide emissions whilst increasing the output of its economy. They are four to five years ahead of the planned schedule, and “it is no exaggeration to say that Hungary belongs to the club of climate champions,” he said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that one of the government’s most important strategic decisions was for Hungary to have an effective defence force and to also have a world-class defence industry; to this end, they have taken multiple steps. In the coming decade, Europe will become “re-militarised,” and in the interest of its own security, Hungary will have to adapt to this new situation. Therefore, they concluded further agreements, as a result of which Hungary will also start manufacturing combat drones as part of a German-Israeli-Hungarian cooperation scheme, he explained.
He observed that they had strengthened Hungary’s strategic partnership with Serbia and had also extended it to the areas of defence and the defence industry. This year, as many as four thousand persons have concluded contracts with the army, and the recruitment programme is ongoing, he added.
Mr Orbán said a serious clash has developed between European countries, including Hungary, and the Brussels bureaucrats due to the grain dumping coming from Ukraine. Earlier, at Brussels’ request, Hungary opened a transport corridor so that food products from Ukraine can reach Africa via Hungary, but “we were deceived,” he recalled.
He added that rather than transporting Ukrainian grain on to Africa, they are selling it here in Hungary at prices lower than those of Hungarian farmers, thereby forcing domestic produce off the local market. The government does not want “bread to be baked for Hungarian families” from Ukrainian grain of uncertain quality, instead of from Hungarian grain of good and guaranteed quality, he said.
He highlighted that we had managed to achieve a European ban on importation. However, in September “the Brusselites lifted the ban on importation in Ukraine’s favour,” and this seriously violates the interests of the Central European countries and is destroying Hungarian farmers. Therefore, together with Poland and Slovakia, they have imposed a ban on importation from Ukraine in relation to 23 agricultural products, he said, adding that the dispute has since escalated, and has been brought before the World Trade Organization (WTO), but “we continue to urge Brussels to stand up for the Central European Member States and to not betray Hungary, either.”
In continuation, Mr Orbán said at the beginning of the school year, the Ukrainian management of the Munkács (Mukachevo) Hungarian secondary school in Transcarpathia forbade the singing of the Hungarian national anthem and the wearing of the Hungarian national colours at school events. “For years the Ukrainians have been bullying Hungarian schools, want to transform them into Ukrainian schools, and when they fail to do so, they want to close them down,” he said.
He highlighted that the Hungarian government will fight for the interests of the Hungarians of Transcarpathia, in particular, for the rights of Hungarian children at every international forum. “We will not support Ukraine on any issue in international life until they restore the earlier laws which guaranteed the rights of the Hungarians of Transcarpathia,” he stated.
He said in the summer the government had also adopted important economic decisions. The government’s goal is to bring inflation down to a single digit by the end of the year. Energy prices and the Brussels sanctions have raised inflation in Hungary to such a degree that the central bank is unable to cope with it, and so the government has taken over its task of and responsibility for fighting against inflation, he recalled.
He said the central bank has accumulated a significant debt in recent years, and the government proposes that they rescue the central bank from the tight corner it finds itself in. To this end, they will submit a legislative amendment to Parliament.
He recalled that “in the interest of curbing multinational companies resorting to unjustified price increases” they have introduced an online price monitoring system and ordered mandatory price reduction campaigns. Their plan is working, in September inflation is at around 12 per cent, and by the end of the year, inflation will most certainly go below 10 per cent, he said.
He observed that if traders “are unable or unwilling to keep fuel prices – which significantly boost inflation – in check, we will again intervene.”
The Prime Minister also said they had further adopted decisions in order to incentivise Hungarians with savings to invest their money in government securities. Two thirds of Hungary’s sovereign debt are in Hungarian hands, while a third is in foreign hands. At the same time, 24 per cent of the total sovereign debt is in the hands of Hungarian households, and with this “we are at the vanguard of the European Union,” he stated.
Regarding the expected events of the autumn session, Mr Orbán said while Hungary continues to make every effort in the interest of peace, the Russo-Ukrainian war will continue. The front lines are not moving, and tens of thousands of people will die on both sides. “We urge with inexhaustible patience the stopping of the bloodshed, an immediate ceasefire and peace talks,” he stressed, adding that there is no military solution to the conflict, the same as before, and diplomats should take control over events back from the hands of soldiers.
He observed that tens of thousands of people fleeing from Ukraine had found new and safe homes in Hungary. At the same time, the Hungarian government will not grant the Ukrainian government’s request, and “we will not force anyone back into Ukraine.”
The Prime Minister also said the dispute between the Brussels bureaucrats and Hungary on the issue of migration will continue in the autumn; in actual fact, it will intensify and probably broaden. Earlier, despite Hungary and Poland’s protest, “they pushed a new migration pact through,” but it is obvious that the pact has failed: the migrants arriving via the sea route at the Island of Lampedusa “are creating the impression of a veritable invading army,” he said.
He highlighted that so far this year, at Hungary’s southern border, 128,000 attempts of illegal entry had been foiled, and attacks on border hunters had become daily occurrences. 168,000 serious attacks have been recorded, and several police officers have been injured. Migrants are becoming ever more violent, and under such circumstances, Hungary cannot meet the demands of the Brussels bureaucrats, he stated.
He said Brussels demands that these migrants be let into Hungary, and we should create migrant camps, migrant ghettos in Hungary for thousands or even tens of thousands of people. In fact, “they demand that we shouldn’t only take in those who are besieging our borders, but also bring here migrants from other European countries,” meaning that “they want to force upon us the very people from whom we are today protecting the southern border,” he added.
Mr Orbán stressed that there was not a single word in our accession agreement about the mandatory taking in of migrants, migrant quotas or migrant ghettos,” and “we can’t accept anything of the kind subsequently either.” The autumn will be difficult because the Brusselites “will want to push the migrant pact down our throats before next year’s European elections,” he said.
Mr Orbán recalled that rather than migrants quotas, we need a border fence and border protection; rather than bringing trouble here, we must take help over there. There will only be a European solution if the Brusselites accept and understand that only those people may enter the territory of the European Union whose applications were assessed on a preliminary basis and who received permission to enter, he added.
He said there is another battle under way between Hungary and Brussels as “they have imposed demands – of an economic nature – on us.” We can only fight and win the conflict with Brussels in debates conducted with full openness and the robust – if possible – full support of the Hungarian people, he said.
He stressed that we must make it clear in Brussels that they are up against the Hungarian people, not the Hungarian government. Without the protection of household energy bills, the livelihood of Hungarian families would be in danger, and “we will not accept that Brussels bureaucrats who don’t live here, who are not familiar with the situation of Hungarian families, who barely know anything about Hungary and who represent God only knows what kinds of interests should decide how much the price of energy should be in Hungary,” he laid down.
He highlighted: neither can they accept that Brussels should want to make us scrap the taxes of price speculator multinationals or the taxes levied on the extra profits of banks and energy companies. “We cannot give multinational companies carte blanche to freely raise their prices again and to increase their profits sky-high,” he stated.
He said the interest cap system is protecting more than half a million Hungarian families. It is evident that things cannot stay this way indefinitely; however, it will only be possible to phase out the interest cap once inflation, and with it the level of interest rates have decreased significantly and no longer destroy families repaying their debts, he added.
He stressed that the time has not yet coming for the phasing out of the interest cap, and Brussels cannot demand this from Hungary.
The Prime Minister said “we must do the very opposite of what Brussels demands.” Austerity measures are out of the question. Families must be protected, the protection of household energy bills must be maintained, in November pensioners must be given the further raises they’re entitled to on the basis of the rate of inflation, jobs must be protected, the sovereign debt must be reduced, domestic corporate ownership must be increased, not decreased, and by the end of the year wages must be balanced with prices so that wages should not depreciate at least on an annual average and so that in 2024 both the economy and wages should start growing again, he listed.
He highlighted that “we don’t need economic instructions from Brussels which have nothing to do with real life, we don’t need forced austerity measures that have failed a thousand times before. Instead, Brussels should give us the money the Hungarians are entitled to, and the state of the budget, too, would immediately brighten up.”
The Prime Minister said this year Brussels “owes us 3 billion euros, while we have met our payment obligation of one billion euros.” Meanwhile, Brussels expects us “to consent to the amendment of the European Union’s budget which requires unanimity ,” and asks “us to give more money whilst denying us for political reasons that which we would be entitled to,” he said.
He stressed that, as expected, this autumn, Hungary’s opponents will present their demands all at once, “the Soros Empire, the Brussels bureaucrats and the American Democrats want from us things that we’re unable, and I believe, we’re unwilling to give them.”
He said the US administration continues to want us “to join the war, to supply weapons, to give Ukraine even more money, or at least consent to Brussels giving our money to them.” Brussels “wants us to let migrants in and to build migrant ghettos for them. To let sexual propaganda into our schools, to hand over to them economic decision-making powers, to surrender the right to an independent foreign policy, and to surrender the right to unanimous decisions on foreign policy issues,” he listed.
He observed: they threaten us that “unless we do all that, they will keep exerting pressure on us, will retain the Brussels funds, and will pay the Hungarian Left, meaning the domestic opponents of the Hungarian government through the Soros Empire’s cashiers.”
Mr Orbán said in response to this we can say that Hungary does not belong “to the Club of Jawohl countries” which obediently say when phoned from Brussels: Jawohl! Secondly, we can say that Hungary cannot allow anyone to restrict its independence and sovereignty. Thirdly, Hungary made Brussels an offer of tolerance “under which we don’t demand that they adopt our views on migration, the education of children in school or foreign policy; in return, we ask them to tolerate ours,” he pointed out.
In continuation, he said, fourthly, we can say that we cannot accept their economic demands because “we don’t want to go back to where Hungary’s enemies want to guide us, back to the Gyurcsány era,” when decisions were made about Hungary’s fate not here in Budapest, but in Brussels and Washington; when the IMF “sat on our necks here” and demanded austerity measures; when the banks, energy companies, the media and telecommunications were all in foreign ownership; when lending was conducted in Swiss francs which made millions of families and almost the whole country bankrupt. When they took a monthly pension away from pensioners, they took a monthly salary away from nurses, physicians, teachers and civil servants, when family support was scrapped, and when Hungarian families paid the highest household energy bills in Europe, he listed.
He stressed that Hungary was stable enough politically and its economy was strong enough to knock inflation down, to protect pensions, to protect salaries, to protect jobs, and to achieve a significant growth again next year.