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Let’s not give up our goals

In a state of health care emergency, the laws make it compulsory for health care workers to carry out their duties as deployed, meaning that in a situation like this they can be centrally deployed wherever they are needed, he said, indicating that health care workers who fall ill must be replaced.

The Prime Minister added that they had appropriated 110 student residence facilities suitable for accommodating 19,820 persons, and 58 hotels with places for 5,661 persons. At the same time, 3,543 vehicles have been commissioned for the purpose, and they are ready to provide meals for 203,770 persons.

This is a military deployment action plan for the phase of mass infections, Mr Orbán said, adding that the great charge which will put our health care system to the test has yet to come.

“We must fight for each and every human life,” the Prime Minister stated, praising the work of physicians, nurses, paramedics, disease control experts, police officers, soldiers, those working in supermarkets and pharmacies, and truck drivers as well as the efforts of mothers staying at home with their children, teachers providing digital education and the elderly for whom it is especially hard that they cannot meet relatives and friends in this situation.

He announced at the same time that this year every health care worker would be given a HUF 500,000 extra bonus. The disease control fund containing this as well as other measures and financial tools will be introduced on Saturday by Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office.

Mr Orbán also mentioned that, according to plans, on Wednesday a decision would be adopted regarding the future of the restrictions on movement introduced last week.

He said the restrictions on movement will remain in force until next Saturday, and a decision will have to be made about whether to uphold them or not. “If we absolutely must, we will, but I do appreciate that this is an unnatural state of affairs,” he said.

He observed that Easter which is a family holiday is approaching. “Both one’s feet and heart would dictate that one should set out,” but under the circumstances “this will hardly be possible” or only amidst stringent restrictions.

He added that Easter might perhaps be a good opportunity for everyone to reconsider how to organise life until a vaccine against the coronavirus is discovered.

Regarding EU criticisms levelled at the coronavirus legislation, he said “Brussels is busy picking on us, instead of focusing on the virus”. “I don’t know what kind of people are sitting there, but I do know that here in Budapest the loss of every Hungarian life is painful. […] One cannot have a more important task than finding ways to save lives. This requires unity and cooperation,” he argued.

“In Brussels, they’re sitting in some sort of bubble, busy telling others what to do, instead of saving lives,” he said, pointing out that it is imperative that “we should not allow ourselves to be provoked”.

The Prime Minister also drew attention to the fact that Hungarian Parliament is working at full speed, while regarding the state of danger powers granted to the government and himself, he highlighted that these powers are more or less the equivalent of the powers the President of France has during peace time.

He said, stating his position, that this is quite evidently a political attack as “there are some who are eager to seize control of the country, they would like to plunder it and to obtain its resources. This network is headed by George Soros, it is his people in Brussels who are in the positions from which criticisms are being levelled at us”.

The Prime Minister also remarked that so far Hungary had received practical assistance with its containment effort from the Turkic Council and China.

Regarding the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic, Mr Orbán said the biggest economic stimulus plan – comprising four chapters – in the history of the Hungarian economy will be completed by Monday afternoon and presented on Tuesday. The first chapter will be about the preservation of jobs, while the second one about creating new ones.

We need a convincing and powerful action plan which gives hope for the future, he stressed.

He said he would not like to return to the era of a benefit-based economy because benefits lead to loans, mostly from abroad, and then once again “we’ll turn into that street, at the end of which the IMF and financial speculators like George Soros will be awaiting us with open arms”.

“We should fight against this crisis by not giving up our goals, we should not give up what we have achieved, we should not give up Hungary’s independence […], the workfare economy and the possibility of a proud life,” Mr Orbán said.

He also said he had never given up the hope that one day the opposition, too, would realise that “this is no time for party-political debates, and we should unite forces”. He is asking every Member of Parliament to support the economy protection action plan which is aimed at protecting jobs and creating new ones. “Let’s line up for battle, and state together: we will create as many jobs as destroyed by the virus,” he said.

He finally observed that opposition claims regarding EU funds are factually not true. “There is no such thing as money for free, money can be distributed, but sooner or later that money will have to be produced”. “The world has seen no such thing as that a community is given money as a gift, without any work or effort, which it is then free to distribute. It can be done from credit, but in the end you will have to pay the price of that credit, and it always costs you more than doing the work in the first place,” the Prime Minister said.