The Prime Minister said 121 patients currently in hospital require assisted ventilation. The number of active patient stands at 84,719, meaning that this many people are unable to work, they are the ones whose health is at risk, and some of them are fighting for their lives.
The Prime Minister highlighted that on Thursday 25,000 persons had received the first dose of the vaccine and 117,000 the second dose. This is good news, but in Hungary another three million adults have not yet been inoculated, and “it is a scientific fact that this virus will not go away”.
Many erroneously believe that if they are not inoculated, they can get away with it, without contracting the virus. “The virus will find even the very last person who has not been immunised,” we can only protect our own and our family’s health with the vaccine, Mr Orbán stressed.
He said the organisation of vaccination is an enormous challenge, and the fact that Hungary is now achieving better results as regards first vaccinations than the United States – a country where they themselves are manufacturing vaccines – calls for heightened self-esteem.
He observed that now everyone is afraid of the Indian mutation; however, the vaccines that are used in Hungary are all, without exception, capable of conquering that variant, too. According to the Prime Minister, it is nothing more than scaremongering that several EU countries may not allow in people inoculated with Eastern vaccines. Other countries are not yet talking about travel, for them this is a bridge too far for the time being, while Hungary is concluding bilateral agreements one by one which will allow free movement, he pointed out.
He took the view that perhaps in July there will be a common EU card, and then it will be mandatory to accept the vaccines recognised in Europe in one another’s countries, while countries will have the possibility to accept other vaccines. However, there is no country that would bar tourists.
Mr Orbán also said we must now change over from the defence operations against the virus to the restarting of the economy. When the epidemic was at its peak, defence operations were important also in the economy, we had to protect jobs and salaries. However, now that “we have pinned down” the third wave, instead of defending ourselves we must restart the economy, he said, adding that the 2022 budget will be about this.
He observed that the figures of the 2nd quarter could already testify to promising results.
Regarding the EU summit held this week, the Prime Minister said everyone regards climate protection as an important priority, but positions on the distribution of burdens vary. Different countries are unable to bear the same burden, and while the idea that the price of climate change should be paid by the people may appear natural in the West because over there welfare offers greater scope for manoeuvring, in Hungary we are unable and unwilling to levy taxes on the people because over here we struggled for years to reduce housing utility bills, he stated.
He stressed that the distribution of the bill of climate protection is not acceptable. According to the countries of Central Europe, large corporations are responsible for the bulk of climate destruction, and therefore the bill should not be footed by the people. The next two to three years will also be about climate protection, and we must likewise continue the fight for lower housing utility bills, he said.
Mr Orbán further mentioned that on Thursday he had met with the leader of the Spanish right-wing VOX party. He said old topics relegated as lesser priorities due to the fight against the pandemic are re-emerging, including climate protection and illegal immigration. In 2015 when Hungary decided to build the fence, it was criticised by the Spanish government. Now, however, their fence on their border is taller than ours, he said, adding that the group of anti-immigration forces has had a new addition in the form of a strong up-and-coming party.
The Prime Minister also reported that on Friday he is having talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He said it is not a welcome development that Britain has left the EU because they agreed with us on a number of issues. Britain is in the processing of developing bilateral relations, and Hungary, too, must build cooperation with Britain; they are currently seeking areas of cooperation, he said.
Regarding the 15th anniversary of the Őszöd speech, Mr Orbán said one can hardly forget what happened; he clearly remembers when riots started in the wake of the speech. He stressed that one is always shocked, not so much by the fact that something like this could happen, but more by the circumstance that the person who provoked the incidents at the time is still present in Hungarian politics as if nothing had happened. No one took responsibility, no one apologised, and now he is fighting with the same man as “he is the boss on the other side,” he said, adding that also at the Budapest Municipality people he knows from the Gyurcsány Cabinet are emerging one by one; “behind the Mayor’s back, almost the entire Gyurcsány Cabinet has been reformed”.
He said parents can tell young people what happened.
In the context of Children’s Day, Mr Orbán said the pandemic has also taken its toll on children, and it is to be hoped that they will have a more enjoyable Children’s Day this year.