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Viktor Orbán’s speech at the inauguration ceremony of the regional educational swimming complex

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I wish to welcome you all, church leaders, elected officials, fellow parliamentarians, the Esteemed Mayor, and also the representatives of Hungarian communities from beyond the border.

If you allow me, I would first move the mandatory duties out of the way, now that the Esteemed Mayor was kind enough to say that before I came here – where I am touched to see that in the interest of this event today, you were even prepared to endure being soaked through to the skin. Anyway, before we came here, we indeed concluded some agreements with the Esteemed Mayor. If you allow me, I would outline these to you briefly, without trying your patience. I did tell the Esteemed Mayor that I brought rain with me, rain that brings May flowers. This much should be enough, but the truth is that I did not get away with this joke on its own, and the Mayor said that he would also like to conclude agreements about some serious matters because these are important for the people of Csenger. I believe there is scope for committing these agreements to writing, and for implementing them afterwards. First of all, we jointly decided on the development and enlargement of an industrial park which is, by the Mayor’s account, rather important as far as local jobs are concerned. This will cost no less than 650 million forints. We decided, and at this point, I would especially like to welcome the Makovecz Family, that we have a programme here which seeks to foster the life and work of Imre Makovecz and is about the construction of buildings which were previously dreamt up and planned, and one has to be blind not to see that there is a building in your main square here which does not do credit to the square. We would demolish it, and according to the Mayor’s proposal, we are going to build in its place a bus stop, a bus terminal on the basis of an already existing plan. We also decided that the Vetés industrial park situated on the other side of the border should be connected together with your town. We shall most definitely build the road leading to the border, and we are going to engage in talks with the Romanian Government about creating a border crossing point there. And we finally agreed that – now that I have recently been to Szatmárnémeti and there I shook hands with the Mayor regarding the upgrading of the M49 express road to a four-lane road – we are going to take this four-lane road all the way to Szatmárnémeti. We shall soon start the planning of the section falling on this side, and you will see that we are going to build this road. Additionally, I would like to confirm the Government’s decision that we shall soon build here a penal institution. This will provide jobs for more than two hundred people indeed, and the training programmes have already begun. I would like to thank the Esteemed Mayor and fellow-MP Kovács for the assistance that they rendered to me on this matter.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

But this is not why we gathered together, if you allow me, but in order to inaugurate the educational swimming complex towering here, behind me. Before I do so, however, allow me to tell you that, upon searching my memory, I found that I first came to your town in 1993. I am pleased to be back here again. I also remembered that I was here in 2000 to attend a funeral when we buried Mayor and fellow-parliamentarian Zilahi, and after that there was a mayoral election campaign. So I had the opportunity to visit this part of the country. My last memories regarding your locality date from some 17 years ago. So I would like to congratulate you on the results you have achieved since because you who live in this town may perhaps appreciate the development you have gone through less as those who are in the forest tend not to see the trees. But those who come from further away, like myself, can see that this town has developed a great deal recently. And what I mean is that this has obviously not been given to you as some gift, but you have worked hard for it. There is an enormous amount of work, effort and human action behind this development. So I would like to congratulate the Mayor and the people of Csenger on the fair progress you have made.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I came from Transdanubia, and the name of Szatmár is also known there. We, too, regard Szatmár as a worthy place. The whole of Hungary looks upon this part of the country as a region that we have every reason to be proud of. The people of Szatmár have a good reputation throughout the country. Images of the town itself are known even to those who are not from here. And once again, we have to mention the name of the Makovecz family, and must conjure up the memory of our beloved Imre, who put you on the map of Hungarian art history as well. We should be eternally grateful to him for that.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The other reason why I came here and wanted to inaugurate this swimming complex personally was that I wanted to tell you in some credible manner that the construction of this swimming complex behind me is at least as important for us as the construction of the Budapest Danube Arena. Because it is true that the two facilities cannot be compared in terms of size, and that facility will also host world championships, but for Hungary the town of Csenger and its environs, the localities and villages around here, are just as important as the capital. And I wanted to make it clear that though major projects are taking place in Budapest, this does not mean that we should forget about the country’s smaller localities, such as Csenger with a population of five or six thousand, or localities in the vicinity of Csenger. Fellow-MP Sándor Kovács is right: the Hungarian Government – or at least this government in office which regards itself as a civic, national and Christian government – must always remember that we may well fight our fights in Brussels and in Budapest, but our true heartland is here, in localities such as this, localities that we find here in Szatmár, for instance, in the town of Csenger. We always rely on this heartland. I wish to thank you for your support to date, and I would like to ask you to allow me to continue to rely on your support in the difficult debates we have ahead of us as I have done in the past few years.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our cooperation, that is, the cooperation between the Christian Democratic People’s Party, Fidesz and the people living here is not a recent one, but goes back many long years. You have always given us your trust, and on our part, we agreed to represent your interests, the interests of the families living here and the interests of the localities in the vicinity in the Hungarian Parliament. The swimming complex we are now inaugurating is the first swallow. The first of the 24 swallows that we are going to inaugurate by the end of July. The Hungarian Government decided that there should be a swimming complex in every district centre, at least in every district centre, which partly serves the people living here and partly serves the education and physical training of young people. The Budapest project I just mentioned is important, but the Hungarian swimming sport does not only need a head, but also a foot, on which it can stand firmly for decades. There is a genius of a swimmer behind me who comes from your world, from Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County. God bless the Minister of State as well!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

However, not only Hungarian swimming, but we all need strong young people. Naturally, the goal is to enable every Hungarian child to learn to swim and for every Hungarian child to do sports. But this is important not only for the people of Csenger and for parents. This is also in the best interests of Hungary as, Ladies and Gentlemen, children are the most important. Respect for our parents is important, it is important to have jobs, but we all know that children are the most important in the lives of families, and so also in the life of the country. If there are no children, there is no future, and if our children are not healthy, neither will our future be. If our children are not strong, the future of Hungary cannot stand on strong feet, and I am therefore pleased that we finally got to the stage – that Hungary finally got to the stage – that we are able to build gymnasiums, sports halls and swimming complexes in every district centre which enable the next generation to be worthy of their forefathers, and to become strong enough to carry the country on their shoulders during the next few decades. As, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is obvious that they will carry the burdens of Hungary in the next few decades, for instance, the burdens of our generation, because we, too, shall soon become pensioners.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While we talk about children, we must not forget that a common ailment is torturing the whole of Europe, namely, that there are not enough children. As there are not enough children, the future is uncertain. If you take a look at Hungary, or even if you take a look at the families living in our territories situated beyond the border, you may see that Hungarian children are scarce, too, and if there are not enough children, there is no future. The question is what kind of an answer we give to this challenge. There are countries in Europe which take the view that they should resort to external help in order to sustain themselves in the decades to come. They invite immigrants and migrants to Europe, and there are countries which have faith in themselves, and attempt to rise to this historic task from their own resources, by mobilising their own internal reserves. Hungary falls into the latter group of countries. I would like to make it clear that as long as this Government is in office, whatever ideas may be conceived in Brussels, we shall never solve the problem, the problem of few children by resorting to migrants. This is our ailment, this is our problem, we have to solve it by relying on our own strength. But I am convinced that there is sufficient vitality in the Hungarian people and there is sufficient vitality in Hungarian families. We shall reverse this process, this negative and unfavourable process, and we shall be capable of guaranteeing our own nation’s physical and biological survival.

Until then, however, Ladies and Gentlemen, while the current unfavourable trend continues to exist, we have to know that the tree trunk that is to be carried on the shoulders of every generation will be thicker and thicker, and we have to say therefore – and today is a good occasion to do so – that the cause of Hungarian young people, the cause of educating them in healthy lifestyles is Hungary’s number one national cause. There is nothing more important than this. Sport is the most suitable means to educate young people because it teaches perseverance, health, an active life and honest competition, and at the same time, as you may have heard from fellow-MP Kovács, it also creates communities. Hungary needs a strong, healthy, feisty and committed youth, and young people will fit that description if we, parents raise them to be like that.

This is why we decided, Ladies and Gentlemen, to help parents by ensuring that there are places and sports facilities which may promote the healthy education of children, and where they may learn to swim and to compete fairly. Naturally, these swimming pools are not only built for children. According to our calculations, they will provide an opportunity for some seven hundred thousand people to do sports. I would also like to disperse a concern. There were governments also in the past which tried to build an educational swimming complex or two. Their concept, however, failed in that they did build a swimming complex or two, but the municipalities concerned were unable to cover the maintenance costs. They were simply crushed by those costs. Therefore, an agreement was reached between mayors and the Government that not only do we build swimming pools, but we also make available the funds necessary for the maintenance of their operation. In other words, the swimming complex will also be maintained by the Hungarian State.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me say a few words about results as well, given that thanks to everyday physical education, we now have 1 million 200 thousand children doing sports in Hungary every day. 1 million 200 thousand children do sports every day in Hungary. New facilities are being built one after the other, old ones are being refurbished. We also bring international sports events to Hungary, not only because it is worth it, but also because this induces young people to do sports. In 2017 Hungary is hosting 81 international sports events, and also for 2018 another fifty international sports events have been projected to take place in Hungary.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Mayor, Dear Young People of Csenger,

I am asking you to use this beautiful new swimming pool with good health and pleasure. The future is yours; I am asking the young people of Csenger to have faith in your motherland, in Hungary, Szatmár has a future, and Csenger, too, has a future. We have launched the great story of the rise of East-Hungary in recent years. This is a great and long novel. What’s more, it will be a whole epic poem. We have completed the first few pages, and this present day, too, deserves at least a passage. I congratulate you on this swimming pool, and I hereby inaugurate the swimming complex for the use of the town of Csenger.

Go for it, Hungary! Go for it, Csenger! Go for it, Hungarians!