“We had a low-key Christmas last year, because there wasn’t enough vaccine. We can have a big Christmas this year, but only if the number of people who have received their third booster shot increases”, he declared, adding: “The majority of people are getting their third dose of vaccine; the lowest proportion of people are coming to receive their first vaccination”.
“Closing down is just a slowdown. The solution is the third vaccination”, he added, stressing: “It is still necessary for people to adhere to the previously ordered protective measures, to wear a mask and to keep their distance”.
The Prime Minister asked everyone to get the third vaccination, explaining that “we have saved the lives” of people who have done so.
With relation to possible closures, Mr. Orbán declared: “The Hungarian government is not excluding anything, but would like to avoid everything bad”. “If the numbers for the third vaccination increase, and we see that we have succeeded in stopping the infections, the growth in the number of infections, then there is no reason to close down”, he emphasised.
The Prime Minister also announced that in view of the fact that a large pharmaceutical company has received permission to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 12, Hungary has also procured 2 million doses of the vaccine. The first shipment will be arriving on around 20 December, and will consist of 130 thousand doses, following which shipments of the vaccines that will be available for children will be arriving continuously.
The Prime Minister asked parents to have their children vaccinated if at all possible.
“Public administration and healthcare workers, as well as assisting police officers and military personnel, are working with superhuman effort and represent a guarantee that the healthcare system will not collapse”, he declared. “The healthcare system has available the necessary equipment, beds and ventilators; there is sufficient vaccine and medicines, and we have an epidemic hospital, which if needed can be opened at a moment’s notice; and for the moment there are also enough people, but they need to be commanded”, he added.
“Everything depends on the heroism of our doctors and nurse”, he added, stressing that the government has implemented major wage increases within the sector in recent years. “This is still not enough, and is certainly far from being a lot, but these major measures indicate to healthcare workers that the country is with them” he stated.
Moving on to the subject of migration, the Prime Minister said: “A higher than ever before level of migration pressure must be expected along Hungary’s southern border over the coming months”.
“Pressure is simultaneously increasing along the Spanish-Italian, eastern and Balkan migration routes; 30-35 thousand people are leaving Afghanistan every day, and they will more than likely be wanting to pass through Hungary”, he added, also indicating that over 100 thousand illegal migrants have already been apprehended at the Hungarian border so far this year, which is three times as many as last year.
“The European Union’s regulations on migration were written in peacetime, but it is now not peacetime, and accordingly these regulations are outdated in view of the fact that the old regulations are no longer helping our lives, but are instead bringing trouble to bear on us”, he emphasised.
“While in Berlin’s new government program Germany is referred to as an immigrant country, Hungary does not want to become one. And the two positions are incompatible, and furthermore neither party is expected give up its position”, Mr. Orbán noted.
He summarised the essence of the dispute as follows: “While Hungary is taking illegal border crossers back to the other side of the border fence, and states that the assessment of ‘migrant requests’ should not occur at the Hungarian border or within the territory of Hungary, but at the embassy of the country from which they are arriving, or through which they are passing, the EU does not accept this at all, and would like Hungary to admit these people and perform the necessary procedures here in Hungary”.
“Brussels should not punish countries that are protecting Europe, and should at the very least cover a fair proportion of the costs involved”, he declared. “The EU is giving money to George Soros’s organisations that are facilitating immigration, while those who are protecting the EU receive nothing”, he pointed out.
Viktor Orbán confirmed that the government will be protecting the achievements of the utility charge cut. He commented on arguments that criticise the utility charge cut as being anti-market by saying: “I don’t care about the market; I care about the Hungarian people”. “The market is operated by people, and we are part of it, so we are not talking about some kind of system of regulations that has been passed down to us from the heavens or from God”, he stressed. “It is not worth falling into the trap of the Left, which claims that there exists some kind of oracle that states what a market should look like, but we must instead start out from the fact that we are free and have the capacity to regulate how things should be for ourselves”, he stated.
“The utility charge cut has been working viably for eight years now; it is a successful, defendable and good system, and action must be taken against those who are attacking it, including the Left and Brussels”, he underlined. According to the Prime Minister, Hungarian families are currently under attack from two sides: by the Left, which has never supported the utility charge cut, and by multinationals via Brussels, who want to tax families.
Mr. Orbán also spoke about the fact that if the Left were to win the spring elections, then there will be immediate tax increases. “In contrast, the current government believes in tax cuts, because those create jobs”, he declared.
“We are leaving 750 billion forints (EUR 2 billion) with enterprises, in exchange for which employers are increasing the minimum wage and the guaranteed wage minimum”, he stated. “In addition, the government is also supporting families: we will also be doubling the funding due with relation to baby bonds over the next year”, Mr. Orbán pointed out.