The Prime Minister said Hungary has an advantage of six to eight weeks as regards vaccinations compared with all other countries of the European Union “because we procured vaccines sooner and vaccinated people faster”. He added that we are among the first as far as the restarting of life is concerned.
The Prime Minister said he is very concerned, however, that there are three million people who have not yet had themselves vaccinated.
Those who are not vaccinated will be found by the virus, “we have three million potential patients,” Mr Orbán stressed, and asked everyone “to not be deluded by the beautiful summer atmosphere” “and the fine numbers,” those who have not yet had themselves vaccinated should register and have themselves inoculated.
The Prime Minister also drew attention to the fact that those who have been vaccinated are, according to the information available at present, immune to the virus variants that have emerged to date. For the time being, experts have not yet projected the emergence on the horizon of a variant against which the vaccines used to date do not provide protection, he said.
Mr Orbán encouraged everyone to have themselves inoculated due to the appearance of mutations, and asked everyone “to make peace with the notion that only the vaccine provides protection against the virus”.
In answer to the question as to whether the anti-paedophile legislation adopted by Parliament on Tuesday is anti-gay, the Prime Minister said, first of all, we should be permissive inasmuch as that on this issue it is the opinion of gay people that matters most. “To us, it doesn’t appear like that. For some reason they think it is,” he added. In his view, gay people would do well to read the law, and once they have done so, the first thing they will find is that it does not apply to persons over the age of 18, but is about “the protection of our children”. He observed that they have no intention of adopting a similar legislative act relating to the over 18s.
In his view, if members of the gay community read the law in question all the way through, they will also find that the starting point of the legislation is that the sexual education of children is exclusively their parents’ business, and this cannot be taken away by any institution.
“We cannot have a situation in Hungary where parents are, all of a sudden, faced with the fact that they have a certain idea about the sexual education of their own children and the next minute they find that in school their children are told something else, or something else is happening. Those children belong to their parents, not to the school, not to the state,” he stressed. In continuation, he said while the state has an obligation to protect children, at the end of the day, children “belong to a father and a mother,” meaning that they decide on their education.
In his view, this is the premise of the law which lays down that parents must be given an opportunity to decide on these matters, the boundaries of sexual education in schools must be determined very clearly, parents’ rights must be guaranteed, and minor children must be protected from gaining access to contents on any platform which are otherwise contrary to the educational principles that their parents intend to raise them by.
In answer to a question, the Prime Minister said, in his view, Brussels will not be able to find a single point in the legislation, based on which it could institute infringement proceedings regarding this issue.
Changing over to issues concerning the economy, Mr Orbán said regarding the plans for the introduction of a minimum tax in the European Union that Hungary has a vested interest in not accepting tax regulations imposed on it from outside. The starting point of the present economic growth and the success ahead is our fiscal regime which makes Hungary competitive. Any changes to this system, any tax increase would result in a fall in living standards, he argued. Tax increases are poison for the Hungarian economy, he stressed.
The Prime Minister pointed out that this is a time not for accumulating reserves, but for recovery. Next year will have to be used to “reinforce” the country and families, he stated. This is no time to accumulate reserves; instead, this is the time to give back the next weekly instalment of the 13th monthly pension, to introduce tax exemption for young people, and – provided that the country’s economic growth reaches 5.5 per cent – to refund the taxes paid and to reach an agreement with businesses about the conditions of a minimum wage of HUF 200,000.
He added that meanwhile the sovereign debt, too, must return to a downward course, but this is not a time for its radical reduction.
In connection with migration, he indicated that at next week’s EU summit of prime ministers, that will also feature on the agenda because the pressure of migration has increased, and the plan that Member States should resettle the migrants let in by the southern states has been tabled again.
He said also to date, Hungary has been firmly opposed to this because it believes that migration is a bad thing. According to the Prime Minister, Hungary has four migration defence lines: in Afghanistan to the East and in Mali to the South, the second defence line is at the Mediterranean and Turkey, the third defence line lies at the Southern borders of Serbia, while the Serbian-Hungarian border constitutes the fourth line of defence.
He highlighted that Hungary did not just take part in a joint NATO mission in Afghanistan, but by doing so it also protected its own interests. He also indicated that they are continuously exploring the possibility of military involvement in Mali as well. “Over there, this is not some adventure for us, we don’t just turn up in remote parts of the world unauthorised, but we protect our Hungarian national interests, which is understandable especially from the viewpoint of migration,” he said.