National consultation: an all-time record
According to the Prime Minister, the areas of agreement created through national consultations enable the people, and their elected parliament and government, to act with a common will. Referring to the topics of national consultations held so far, he stated that this common will forms the foundations of the country’s most recent achievements, and this is why it has been possible to rescue Hungary from financial disaster, to curb prices, to provide jobs for hundreds of thousands of people, to raise wages, and to set Hungary on the course of economic growth. Hungarians are increasingly interested in public affairs, and seek to voice their opinions, he stressed, pointing out that it is important that “a nation and its elected government should sing from the same hymn sheet”.
He said that it is possible to arrive at an agreement with the strength and numbers that “authorise us to regard our views as the national view”, asserting that “Over the last few years a new unity has been forged: a new national unity, a spiritual and political unity of action”. The Hungarian people are unified, he said, by the idea that “we want a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe”, and the Government is ready to take the lead in this programme.
At the same time Mr. Orbán added that today in Europe “the mainstream political class” brands consulting voters as an exercise in populism.
Regarding the recently concluded national consultation, he stressed that the 1.68 questionnaires which were completed and returned constitute “an all-time record”. The 1.4 million questionnaires which have been analysed so far, he said, show that respondents unanimously supported “protecting the reductions in household utility charges”, and likewise want illegal immigrants to remain under supervision until the authorities make final decisions on their applications. There is also full agreement, he continued, on the need to punish those activities which assist illegal immigration: the popularisation of people smuggling and illegal migration. According to 99 per cent of those who completed the questionnaires, he said, organisations funded from abroad must be required to register the fact and must agree to disclose to the public the names of the countries or organisations sponsoring their activities, and the purpose of such support.
On job creation, the people take the view that Hungarians should continue to have the right to decide on the future of the Hungarian economy, he said. Similarly, the Prime Minister told Parliament that an overwhelming majority believe that in the future Hungary must continue to insist on the Hungarian people’s right to decide on their taxation affairs.
We must not allow Brussels to take control
The Prime Minister added that the majority of Hungarians believe that today “Brussels is sitting back-to-front on the horse”, that it must not be allowed to take powers away from Hungarians, and that it must not be allowed to force migrant resettlement programmes on Hungary.
He added that the majority take the view that we must likewise not allow Brussels to interfere in the determination of taxes, wages and utility charges in Hungary.
The European Union is not Brussels, he said, but a voluntary alliance of independent European nations.
Hungary is not anti-European, and never has been, he said. In fact, he continued, the opposite is true: the Government represents a truly European position by defending current European agreements, including the present division of tasks between the Member States and Brussels. He added that it is not the Hungarians who have changed their position, but “Brussels has changed its tune”.
Brussels is openly siding with terrorists
In his view, “Brussels is openly siding with terrorists”, and this is something which he finds inexplicable. Referring to the Syrian national who was sentenced to ten years in a maximum-security prison and subsequent expulsion from Hungary after being found guilty of an act of terrorism and illegally crossing the border, he said that Brussels sees “Ahmed H.’s clearly impossible lies” as being more important than the Hungarian people’s security, and that this is unacceptable.
The Prime Minister also said he finds it absurd that in Brussels today “a financial speculator ruining the lives of millions of people” is defining “the way forward”, and that European leaders “bow” before George Soros, who tells them what Europe should do.
Mr. Orbán said that if someone were truly so eager to help the unfortunate millions in the Middle East and Africa, they would not use millions of dollars to finance “a network of political activists disguised as human rights warriors”, but would create jobs, schools and hospitals where these are needed.
He asked Members of Parliament to side with the Hungarian people in the disputes between Brussels and the Hungarian government, and between the “Soros mafia” and Hungary. “I ask that none of you cut off your nose to spite your face”, he said, “because those who support immigration, those who would dismantle the fence, those who would settle in Hungary migrants with unknown pasts and identities – and equally unknown intentions – are acting […] against the Hungarian nation”.
Hungary will not yield to blackmail from Brussels
The Prime Minister stated that the southern border fence will remain for as long as he is prime minister, adding that as long as Fidesz-KDNP governs the country, they will not yield to any blackmail from Brussels, and will reject mandatory migrant resettlement quotas.
“As long as the civic, national side forms the line of defence, the country will be protected”, he said, and promised to protect the results achieved so far through hard work. He also stressed that as long as Hungary remains on democratic foundations, it will not accept Brussels’ attempts to curtail its national powers by stealth.
The clear increase in illegal immigration in Italy, the increasing pressure on the Hungarian border and the continuing terrorist attacks in cities across Europe clearly demonstrate that “Mass migration continues to remain Europe’s number one challenge”, he said. He added that another indication of the long-term nature of the migrant crisis is that “despite the population’s clear opposition, pro-immigration forces in Brussels and the Member States have not abandoned their aim of settling millions of migrants in Europe, as George Soros has urged in a plan he has publically released”.
Additionally, Mr. Orbán continued, other serious European issues are also emerging on the horizon: the jobs of thousands of Hungarian lorry drivers continue to be threatened by ill-conceived rules adopted in Brussels on workers. If Hungary is not alert and does not stand up for its economic interests, he said, this practice may quickly spread to other sectors, and may detrimentally affect Hungarian workers working and travelling abroad.
Hungary is on the right course
Turning to the economic results achieved by the Government after the past seven “arduous years”, the Prime Minister mentioned the following: laying the foundations for a workfare economy instead of a benefit-based economy; the largest increase in employment of any EU country; the third largest increase in the minimum wage of any EU country since 2010; and the Hungarian economy’s annual growth rate of 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year. He added that the viability of the Hungarian model is now recognised everywhere – even by those who had previously voiced concerns.
“Hungary is on the right track, we have every reason to be optimistic, and we have a future once again”, he stated, stressing that the country has managed to achieve these results on a national basis, by pursuing its national interests. Mr. Orbán therefore suggested that Hungary should not risk this “for the sake of some vaguely-defined utopia – whether it is called the United States of Europe, open society or anything else”.
He said that in the latest national consultation the people have once again emphatically stated that “we must not accept our future being planned in Moscow, Brussels or Washington. The decisions that concern us shall be adopted by us here in Budapest”.
We must prepare for the debates on the future of Europe
Finally the Prime Minister told Parliament that it must prepare for debates in the autumn about the future of the European Union, adding that, as Hungary is a member of the European Union and will remain a member, these debates are also about the future of Hungary.
Speaking about the French election at the weekend, he said that the rebellion of the European people has reached France, and the parties of the old elite – the socialists and the people’s party – have simply been “forced from the field”.
Referring to the French election and the German election in September, he added that we can expect the two great continental powers to try to transform Europe, but it remains to be seen whether this will help or hinder assertion of Hungarian national interests in Brussels.
He observed, however, that Brussels has already released a document on possible directions for development of Europe, and later published reform proposals on social affairs, the deepening of economic and monetary union, European defence policy and globalisation, which will soon be followed by proposals regarding the future of the European budget. “Debates on weighty issues are ahead of us […] and they will have long-term consequences”, said Mr. Orbán, who concluded his speech by pointing out that the National Consultation was conducted with the best timing and speed, and that “at the best possible moment it has hammered into place the route marker posts between which Hungary can and must proceed in the debates ahead of us”.