He said this is a kind of virus that only the vaccine can conquer. The three waves of the epidemic showed that the restrictions and the wearing of face masks were not enough to curb the spread of the virus, let alone conquer it. If enough people are vaccinated, we will not have to return to lockdowns and the wearing of face masks, but instead we will be able to return to our normal lives, the lives we are used to, he stressed.
He said already two doses of the vaccine provide protection, but experts strongly recommend that people take a third one. “According to our knowledge at present, about the third dose we can say that it’s better to have it than to not have it. Those who have the third dose will under any circumstances be better-protected than those who don’t,” he said, adding that so far 525,000 people have received the third dose of the vaccine, and as many as 17 million doses will be available up to the end of the year.
He observed that the vast majority of Hungarians have already been vaccinated and are safe. He asked those who had not yet been inoculated to have themselves vaccinated.
He highlighted that the country stands prepared for the fourth wave, and the government will propose the extension of the special legal order and the state of danger until the end of the year.
He said the vaccine works, so does Hungary. The Hungarian economy has shot out of the blocks; according to the second quarterly data, the gross domestic product increased by 17.9 per cent which is the highest growth ever recorded. The performance of the Hungarian economy already exceeds the pre-pandemic level, while in the majority of EU Member States this has yet to happen.
According to Mr Orbán, the government will be able to raise the rate of economic growth to minimum 5.5 per cent this year, but this figure could be even higher by the end of the year.
July data shows that the number of people with jobs is above 4.7 million, he highlighted, pointing out that never before since the fall of communism had this many people had jobs in Hungary. In eleven years almost a million new jobs have come into being, and “we’re only a stone’s throw away from full employment,” he said.
He pointed out that the national consultation, in which 1,423,000 answers were received, compels the government to make decisions. They have already adopted the first decision: they have extended the credit debt repayment moratorium for the needy.
By 15 February 2022, they will refund the personal income tax paid in 2021 to parents raising children. The owners of small businesses who raise children will also receive a tax refund. In total, in February 2022 the tax authority will refund HUF 600 billion to 1.9 million parents.
He added that this year pensioners will receive another inflation supplement, and they, too, will be given a share of the results of the high economic growth. The expected amount of the pension premium will exceed HUF 50,000. In February 2022, the re-introduction of the 13th monthly pension will continue; next February, they will be able to pay every pensioner at least two weeks’ extra pension, he said.
At the beginning of 2022, the government will pay the professional staff of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies a six-monthly bonus. From 1 January 2022, they will introducte exemption from the payment of the personal income tax for young workers under the age of 25 years. There are ongoing talks about raising the minimum wage to HUF 200,000, and there is a good chance that an agreement will be reached, he listed, indicating that, in harmony with the national consultation, the government would like to extend constitutional protection to family grants, low taxes on work and pensions as well.
The Prime Minister also said at the request of the United States Hungary took part in the mission in Afghanistan, and withdrew together with them. It seems that the United States misjudged the situation in Afghanistan, he stated.
Mr Orbán praised Hungarian soldiers for standing their ground, but believes that the danger has not passed, the crisis in Afghanistan could induce further waves of migration. He said Hungary’s policy remains unchanged, borders must be reinforced.
He pointed out the Balkans route has filled to saturation again, and George Soros’s organisations continue to help migrants. Compared with last year, the number of illegal border-crossers and people smugglers has tripled.
He said “Hungary is being continually shot in the back from Brussels,” but the government will not yield an inch, and will protect the borders despite all political pressure. He stressed that the debate on migration is destroying the unity of the EU, and in the interest of preserving unity they propose that all relevant powers should be given back to the Member States.
We will not allow any sexual propaganda aimed at children, the Prime Minister stated in connection with the infringement procedure instituted against the child protection legislation. He said Brussels is attacking the laws which do not allow sexual propaganda in schools and advertisements, and they have officially called upon Hungary to change its public education, advertising and media laws.
“Their demands are absurd, and are contrary to the Hungarian belief that parents have the exclusive right to decide on the sexual education of their children,” he said.
He recalled that on this issue the Hungarian people will have the last word in a referendum about child protection. He added that in Hungary the people decide on both migration and child protection. By contrast, in Brussels and in pro-migration and LGBTQ countries this was never the case, the elite decided on these issues, not the people, he stressed.
Regarding the recovery fund, he said Brussels has not yet reached an agreement with 8 countries, and this is contrary to the basic principle of fair competition. Hungary demands that the Commission urgently abandon its policy of distinguishing between Member States, but as Hungary cannot find itself at a competitive disadvantage as a result, the government will launch the necessary programmes, he stated.
He finally highlighted that the representation of the national interest is the most important, and unless the government acts accordingly, Hungary will drift back to where it was before 2010.