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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the inauguration of a feed mixing plant for UBM Feed Kft.

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Greetings to the Honourable Mayor, Mr. Miklós Kerezsi, the Oprea Family and Mr. Ákos Varga. I also greet the representatives of local authorities. I understand that ethnic Romanian Members of Parliament are also among us. God bless them, also, and thank you for coming.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to be here in Kerelőszentpál/Sânpaul in Romania. As far as I understood in my meeting with the owners, the feed manufacturing plant we’re opening here is one of largest not only Romania, but also perhaps in the entire Central European region. You obviously invited me here in order to contribute a few thoughts to this event. First of all, I’d like to address the Hungarians. A strategy for the nation can be worded in complex terms, but also in simple terms. We have great, illustrious forebears, and now all we need to do is to understand what they put into words. István Széchenyi, the man known as “the greatest Hungarian”, once said that being Hungarian is an unparalleled experience – but not a profitable one. The essence of our strategy for the nation is that being Hungarian should continue to be an unparalleled experience, and should finally – for the first time in history – be one that is also profitable. From this point of view I welcome this project, because it gives Hungarians the hope that, in addition to our culture, our language and our history – all of which point to the past – we also have a future here: it gives Hungarians the hope that we’ll be able – as President Hunor Kelemen has just said – to create prosperity and security for ourselves, our families, and also our children.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The second thought I will put to you is about Central Europe. Naturally, there are distinct nations in this region, but there is a long overdue need to recognise that these peoples share a common fate. Of course we have our differences, but there are matters and interests in which we are allies. And if the peoples of Central Europe don’t understand that they must choose the path of cooperation – through joint projects, for instance – then despite our membership of the European Union, we’ll always trail behind the richer and luckier countries. If we want our talents and hard work to be rewarded with an appropriate share of the opportunities, money and resources in the European economy, then we must work together. I can give you some good examples of this. For instance, we’ve established excellent economic cooperation with Serbia, and we’ve established excellent economic cooperation with the Slovaks. And we’ve observed the activities of the remaining German community here in Romania – which is regrettably much smaller than it should be. We discovered the model for foundations which the Germans use to support the German community living here, while cooperating with Romanians and gaining acceptance for this method from the Romanian government. And so what I would like to say is that although our cooperation with the Serbs and Slovaks is quite advanced, and Romanian-Hungarian cooperation lags somewhat behind, this deficit can be made up. If there are enterprising Hungarians and enterprising Romanian families here – as in this instance – Romanian-Hungarian economic cooperation will receive a much greater boost than many today believe to be possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is always said that money comes into our countries from the European Union. There is truth in this, but I would also like to highlight the fact that if we compare the amount of money coming in with the amount that Western European countries are taking out of our countries, then I have to say that they’re taking out more than they’re bringing in. And if we don’t want this to remain true until the end of time, we’ll have to act, take up the challenge, and compete with them. We must introduce the technologies that they’re using, and then develop so that we can edge ahead of them and gain a competitive advantage. We must enter this contest and we must commit to cooperation. I know that here and now this sounds a little like an illusion, but in five, ten or fifteen years’ time you’ll see a much faster reduction than we would believe in the gap that there still is between those countries which were subjected to communism and those which were not. We Hungarians, at least, clearly see this. In Hungary economic development is promising. I’m not only talking about macro-economic figures, but also about companies such as the ones with the stories we’ve heard here today: Hungarian companies which have come here and are seeking cooperation with partners here.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is why there are financial institutions in Hungary like the one mentioned here – Eximbank – with the task of seeking to finance, support and encourage cooperation between businesses in neighbouring countries and businesses in Hungary. I’m proud that the Hungarian government has had a role in the implementation of this splendid project here.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Naturally, we have a historical deficit. Here I’d like to mention that we’re conducting serious talks with the Romanian government in order to finally create infrastructure links between our countries. I see that motorways are being built, but there are still far too few of them, and I can in no way claim that the Hungarian motorway system is linked to the Romanian motorway system. This is a silly situation, and we must change it. The situation is similar with regard to railway links, and so we’re engaged in intensive talks to build a genuine Western European-style rapid rail line – with trains travelling at speeds of over 300 kilometres per hour – between Bucharest and Budapest. This will also connect Kolozsvár/Cluj to Central Europe’s economic bloodstream. These are great things that today appear to be incredible; but if we were able to create the Belgrade-Budapest rapid rail line with the Serbs, why can’t we do the same here with the Romanians?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would also like to say a few words about the fact that there will be elections. Let’s not beat about the bush: these elections will be important. For you the most important consideration is what’s happening here, and the next most important is what’s happening in Hungary. But nowadays we live in a world in which events in Brussels and in Europe are far from irrelevant. The President made a subtle – perhaps even philosophical – reference to this issue, but I’d like to speak about it explicitly. Indeed, Hunor, we must elect representatives and we must make good decisions – not only on our representatives in Hungary and Romania, but also in Brussels. We must send leaders and representatives there who will stand up for the interests of Romania, of Hungary, and of Central Europe. So although today we are opening an industrial plant, I’d like to encourage both Hungarians and Romanians to vote in the European elections on 26 May: to want to be a part of Europe, to want to use the opportunities offered by it, and to want our voice to be heard there. And if this is what we want, let’s do what we need to do to realise it.

Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to stress that this is an investment. I can tell you that the Hungarian government has also set up funds and facilities with credit institutions to facilitate implementation of more investments like this. So you could not only rely on us for this investment: you’ll also be able to rely on us in the future. And now that we’ve come to an agreement with the Romanian government on how Hungary could contribute to the development of Hungarian-Romanian joint ventures in Szeklerland and Transylvania, the Hungarian economy has enabled the Hungarian government to raise the funds needed for this. Therefore I ask everyone to be alert to the opportunities that are opening up, to the calls for proposals, to the information being distributed, and to seek out opportunities to effectively and intelligently use the economic and financial facilities provided by Hungary, for the happiness and advancement of us all, and in a way that strengthens the identity of every nation. Let us look towards the economy and take advantage of the unrivalled opportunities offered by the next ten to fifteen years. As I see it, Hungary is not only strong today, but will be strong over the next five to ten years; and we’ve decided to use our strength in building up the Central European region, and we’ll seek cooperation with our neighbours. Our intention is to put behind us the era which we call our “one hundred years of solitude”: an era in which Hungarians were more often seen as enemies to be kept in isolation. The time has come for us to cooperate; and if the one hundred years of solitude comes to an end and Romanians are prepared to cooperate with Hungarians, Serbs with Hungarians and Slovaks with Hungarians, then everyone will benefit. Whoever cooperates with the Hungarians will most certainly benefit. I give you my word on that, and the Hungarian government shall also make available to you the funds which are necessary for this. Take the initiative, strive for success, and indeed it may finally come.

Thank you for your attention.