He said there are more than three million migrants in Turkey, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that unless the rest of the world shares his country’s burdens and unless the European Union provides money, he will “let these people out”.
Migrants can go either towards Syria, or towards Europe. In order for migrants to set out for Syria, meaning home, territories in those parts must be stabilised in military terms. “If I understand correctly, this is what has happened now,” they have created a security zone, Mr Orbán said.
The Prime Minister stressed that if, however, the Turkish open the gates towards Europe, then migrants in hundreds of thousands will go to Greece, then to the Balkans, and from there onwards to the Hungarian or Croatian border.
“The elementary Hungarian interest is that this should not happen; Röszke was enough once,” Mr Orbán said, and therefore suggested that the Turks should be given money for the construction of cities in the stabilised, occupied territories.
Regarding the Turkish military offensive in Syria, he said now that the United States came to an agreement with Turkey, “we have nothing left to do here in terms of foreign policy,” we must simply agree with NATO’s two largest military forces.
Evaluating the outcome of the municipal elections, the Prime Minister said he regrets the fact that there are several settlements where non-Fidesz mayors were elected, but from the government’s point of view he believes that the 52-53 per cent majority of government-party candidates means that the cabinet has received repeated authorisation for the continuation of the work it began, “meaning that we will continue in the same direction”.
Speaking about Budapest, he highlighted that since the fall of communism there had been two eras. During the Demszky era, Budapest was a filthy, foul-smelling, disorganised city contaminated with crime which stopped developing. It was not worthy of the mission of serving as the nation’s capital. He stated that the government was compelled to assume debts worth more than HUF 200 billion from Budapest.
“I fail to understand how the very idea could come up that Gábor Demszky should be decorated. Is the decoration for bankrupting the city or for destroying it? At the same time, the fact that they want to humiliate István Tarlós by making him stand next to him is the height of impertinence,” he said.
The Prime Minister highlighted that István Tarlós as mayor rescued the capital from bankruptcy, tidied things up, and today Budapest is one of Europe’s most dynamically developing cities. “I am rooting for Budapest that it should stay that way, and that the Demszky era should not return,” he added.
In the context of metropolitan projects, he said three stadiums are currently being built in Budapest, the Bozsik Stadium in Kispest, an athletics stadium and a handball stadium. In the case of these, they must wait and see what decision the Metropolitan General Assembly will adopt, and the situation is similar in the case of a number of cultural projects as well, Mr Orbán said.
He underlined he will adhere to the position that developments cannot be carried out in a city without the agreement and consent of the elected leaders of the settlement concerned.
“I would not be happy to demolish anything […], terminating ongoing projects costs money. We will have to discuss, should we decide to stop any project, who should cover the costs that will so arise and how. At the same time, there are projects on the verge of commencement. If the General Assembly says they do not want them, we will not implement them, or not in Budapest,” he argued.
He further observed that “we should be grateful to the Almighty” that the new stadiums of Fradi, Vasas and MTK cannot be demolished now, and the Puskás Ferenc Stadium, too, will be inaugurated soon.
If the new city leadership does not want Budapest to be one of the world’s sports capitals, it should so decide and the government will adhere to that decision, he said.
In answer to the question as to what role the video recordings featuring Győr Mayor Zsolt Borkai may have played in Fidesz’s election results, the Prime Minister said there is no doubt that “things like this do not help,” they shock people, but “we will never know” whether this was also manifested in votes.
“It would be good, at any rate, if we could get over this as soon as possible because there is something pathetically depressing about the fact that we are compelled to discuss, and indeed people in general talk about what is happening in the bedroom – or God only knows where exactly – of one mayor or politician or another, and the whole country is watching salaciously”, he said, adding that no one is perfect, but in a situation like this there is a “timetable” to follow. If you did something wrong, you have to admit it, then you must repent, you must accept your punishment, and finally you must make amends. “The time for making amends has not yet come, but that is where we must get to,” he observed.
He suggested to the community of right-wing voters that they should not lower the bar, and in his view, the people of Győr will make the decisions that will be necessary for enabling the whole country to get over the incident, satisfied that “we are a serious country, and what happened is what should happen in a situation like this”.
In the radio interview, the Prime Minister also spoke about the economy protection action plan. Regarding this, he said as “the European economy’s prospects are not bright,” we must adopt Hungarian measures which enable us to keep the performance of the Hungarian economy high despite European troubles, meaning that it must at all times be 2 per cent above the EU’s average.
The government has already adopted one of the most significant proposal packages which relates to the modernisation of the system of vocational training. It seeks to ensure that increasingly better-qualified young people are at the disposal of the economy, he said.
Regarding Brexit, Mr Orbán said the agreement between London and the EU protects the interests of Hungarians living in Britain, and the British Parliament itself has approved the fundamental principles of the agreement. Therefore, in his view, from here on this is a mere technicality, “Britain is effectively outside the EU”.