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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s laudation when presenting the Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit to Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to welcome among us Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, a friend of Hungary. The Honourable Prime Minister has done a great deal to ensure that the thousand-year-old friendship between the Bulgarian and Hungarian peoples is not merely a subject for the chronicles of history. The Honourable Prime Minister has done a great deal to ensure that Bulgarian-Hungarian friendship is not only linked to the past, but also to the present and the future. In our calendar we mark the Day of Bulgarian-Hungarian Friendship, when we remember the battles we have fought together. We Hungarians have always taken comfort in the knowledge that there is a people in the Balkans with a fate, a spirit and a history akin to ours – a nation which understands our actions and way of thinking. This is a valuable friendship. It is especially valuable now, when Europe is behaving like someone who has not learned anything from the past centuries, but has forgotten everything. Today, once again, we must protect the southern borders of Europe. This task falls on those who not only have long histories, but also have long memories. For more than a thousand years we Hungarians and Bulgarians have withstood the storms of history. We know that there are historic errors which cannot be corrected. We therefore seek to make all our decisions serve the interests of our nations, because this is the only way we can defend ourselves, and the only way we can defend Europe. For this very reason, for us Hungarians it is a matter of pride and joy to honour Prime Minister Borissov with the Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit. This award is about both the thousand-year-old Hungarian-Bulgarian friendship, and is a tribute to an extraordinary political career. This state decoration is recognition of the fact that Bulgarians – with the Honourable Prime Minister at the helm – are not only standing up for Bulgaria, and are not only strengthening the Hungarian people’s security as a result, but are defending the whole of Europe. Our Bulgarian friends are not bound by any treaty to act in this manner, but they are obliged by their history and Christian values. Once again Europe’s fate is being decided at Bulgaria’s southern borders.

Honourable Prime Minister,

Please accept this state decoration in recognition of your efforts, with which you have succeeded in strengthening the thousand-year-old friendship between the Bulgarian and Hungarian peoples. We are also presenting you with this honour because, with your committed actions, you have defended not only the southern border of the European Union, but also the security of the Hungarian people. Thank you for your hard work, we are grateful for it.

Long live Bulgaria!