In the interview – which appeared on Saturday – the Prime Minister said that maintaining competitiveness is a challenge. In the field of specialist expertise, he said, the question is whether an old type of approach will be successfully replaced by modern knowledge based on digital technology; meanwhile, with regard to social processes, we must determine whether we will be capable of reversing population decline.
Among other issues, the Prime Minister mentioned the question of whether we will succeed in preserving religious communities, or if “individualism will become even more widespread everywhere”. He also raised the question of the possible effects of successfully developing artificial intelligence.
“These questions will be answered during our lifetime”, said Mr. Orbán, who added that in Hungary’s political culture there is the opportunity to conduct open and honest dialogue on every important topic. “Unfortunately, this is no longer true everywhere in Europe”, he said.
The Prime Minister was also asked what mercy means to him. In his reply, he stressed that the most important message of mercy is that “we open our hearts towards others, because a person who isolates themselves and is self-absorbed is lost”. The Catholic Church can also help in this with its assertiveness and stability; as a cornerstone it can continue to be a point of reference for our lives, he explained.
In reply to a question, Mr. Orbán also spoke about the Deputy State Secretariat to combat the persecution of Christians which has been established at the Ministry of Human Capacities. Hungary, he stressed, is breaking with the tradition that in Europe it is only possible to draw up a document entirely composed of value-neutral references to people who are persecuted for their beliefs and religion. “Hungary is a Christian country and so we must primarily help those who are closest to us –and that means Christians”, the Prime Minister highlighted, pointing out that “Our Government is Christian-inspired, and this also results in government obligations”.
The Prime Minister called the situation that has developed in Europe as massive population movement, which in his view does not just include refugees who are fleeing war-torn areas. Mr. Orbán continued by saying that most of the masses of people flowing into Western Europe are no longer from Syria, but include people from Afghanistan and Pakistan – and in future those arriving from Central Africa are expected to cause the biggest problem. He added that all this indicates that the problems will not come to an end even after peace comes to Syria.
Mr. Orbán said that he sees responsibility for others in the form of concentric rings. “My primary responsibility is to those who are closest to me: my family, my friends, my religious community and my nation”, he said, adding that “there are further rings in addition to these, and if I have the opportunity I must also help those – but not in a hypocritical way”. As an example of this he said that large, one-off aid projects are not enough; and inviting some of the unfortunate masses into our countries is not only counterproductive, but is in fact harmful.