Viktor Orbán said that the Government had to recommend the withdrawal of the Olympic bid to save Hungary from disgrace.
“A referendum is a Hungarian issue, but the Olympic bid must be won not here in Hungary, but before the International Olympic Committee. We could win the referendum at home – but even then it would only be a majority. But to win the Olympic bid at international level requires not a majority, but unity”, the Prime Minister explained – adding that this is why no referendum is being held in Paris or Los Angeles, the other two countries bidding to host the 2024 Olympic Games.
“Never in the history of the Summer Olympics has the right to host the Olympics been won by a city in which there was a referendum on the issue”, he noted.
According to the Prime Minister, “coming immediately after a dispute on the issue”, Budapest’s Olympic bid would have been “beaten to a pulp” when the decision was made on who should host the Games. This, he said, is a danger and “loss of face” that the country should not be subjected to.
“One’s heart bleeds”, he continued, because this has long been a dream for many Hungarians, and now “a dream has been murdered here”.
“There is a political organisation that hasn’t even tried to conceal the fact that it doesn’t really care about the Olympics, but wants to form a political party and enter the political arena. To do this it was even prepared to become a murderer of dreams”, Mr. Orbán said.
He called the Momentum Movement, which organised the petition against the Olympics, the new SZDSZ.
“And we also know what comes next, because we have already experienced that too: a little elbowing with the MSZP, and then an MSZP-SZDSZ coalition. This is what we should prepare for”, he said.
Asked whether he thought there would be an Olympic Games in Hungary in his political career, the Prime Minister joked: modern medical science is extending the limits of human life, so “I have a good chance of living to see that”.