We will protect families with all available governmental means

The government will protect families from inflation with all available governmental means, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’ where he also said if Brussels fails to take action, Hungary will – in cooperation with Romania, Poland and Slovakia – extend the ban on the importation of Ukrainian grain expiring at midnight on Friday within national competence.

Mr Orbán said he believes that the measures introduced so far will prove to be enough to push inflation to below 10 per cent, meaning to a single digit by the end of the year. In his view, multinational retail chains are exploiting the price rises caused by the war and the sanctions, and are trying to raise prices more than they should. This plays a major role in the development of inflation, and so action must be taken against price speculator multinationals as the government has done, he pointed out.

He said other countries are resorting to different methods, price caps “went out of fashion” sometime ago, Hungary itself has changed over to mandatory promotions, but as far as he can see, there are a few countries that will re-introduce price caps in relation to petrol and basic food products. There is a wide range of methods available, and if necessary, they will take further action, they will not sit back and idly watch events unfold: they will protect the people and families with all available governmental means, he laid down.

He said the war and the sanctions introduced in response thereto also play a part, and so action must be taken against those, too. He reiterated that Hungary has been opposed to the war and the sanctions right from the beginning, and has always sought to localise the conflict. Yet, the country is unable to remove itself from the impacts of the war, and so the whole situation is unfair on the Hungarian people, he said.

Despite the fact that the EU is fundamentally a peace project, at present, pro-war forces are in an overwhelming majority, the Prime Minister said, taking the view at the same time that the deterioration of the economic situation will be the deciding factor that will induce the governments of EU Member States to enter the peace camp and to end the war in Ukraine within the shortest possible time.

Since the outbreak of the war, “we have given Ukraine European funds worth around a hundred and eighty-something billion forints, and in return for that we haven’t found ourselves a single step closer to peace; in fact, today we’re further away from it than ever before,” he said, observing that the decisive means are in the hands of the Americans.

Regarding rising petrol prices, he pointed out that Hungary is paying an extra HUF 48 billion due to the fact that the Ukrainians have raised the transit fee of the oil pipeline three and a half-fold. He said the oil necessary for the production of petrol comes from Russia via Ukraine, and Hungary must pay for the use of the pipeline; however, the Ukrainians raised this fee “from one minute to the next.” In Hungary, the private economy “takes care” of petrol trade, the actors of which immediately integrate any excess fees into their prices. This boosts the price of petrol, and that in turn boosts inflation by half a per cent, he added.

Mr Orbán said he had conflicting emotions due to the price rise because while he is very angry, he can also see that “the poor Ukrainians” are fighting for their lives, have no money or weapons, and are outnumbered by the enemy. Despite this, rather than seeking to restore peace, they want to continue the war and are trying to raise funds from wherever they can.

“I will do everything I can to divert the Ukrainians away from pursuing this policy of raising the fee payable for the use of the pipeline, thereby messing us about, and driving Hungarian families and the Hungarian economy into a difficult situation,” he said.

The Prime Minister announced that if Brussels fails to take action, then Hungary – in cooperation with Romania, Poland and Slovakia – will extend within national competence the ban on the importation of Ukrainian grain expiring at midnight on Friday.

“For the time being, the Brussels bureaucrats don’t want to extend it, and if they fail to extend it by midnight tonight, then we will in national competence, in cooperation with a few countries – Romanians, Polish, Hungarians, Slovaks – extend this ban on importation which will, no doubt, lead to a major battle in Brussels,” Mr Orbán said.

He added that such battles must be fought every single day because Brussels is not prepared to side with the Member States and the European people, but instead represents American interests also on the issue of grain. In his view, the Ukrainian grain is, in actual fact, no longer Ukrainian, but “a commercial product originating from territories that have, most probably, been in US ownership for some time,” and so this opens a new dimension to the debate on Ukraine: who stands to win and who stands to lose in this war? One thing is certain: America stands to win, while Europe stands to lose, he stressed.

Mr Orbán said it is his personal goal to ensure that people who decide to raise children in Hungary should be better off also financially than those who do not, and that young people should not be deterred from raising children just because they have financial and economic difficulties.

He highlighted that today in Europe there is no common demographic policy. This is why they are holding forums such as the demographic summit currently under way in Budapest, in order to induce decision-makers “to keep this, too, on the agenda,” he said, indicating that as a result of the family policy introduced in 2010, 160,000 more children have been born.

Regarding next year’s elections in the European Parliament, the Prime Minister said what is at stake is that after the elections the EU should have a leadership which wants peace, one that – rather than isolating itself – wants to cooperate with the world’s other regions, is able to stop migration, surrenders gender propaganda, and supports families and the raising of children instead, and also leaves behind the double standards employed in relation to Poland and Hungary.


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