At the Castle Garden Bazaar in Budapest on Friday the Prime Minister delivered his 19th annual state of the nation address, at an event organised by the Association for Hungarian Civic Cooperation. He identified the first of these five attacks as Brussels’ aim to prohibit reductions in public utility charges. According to Mr. Orbán, the question is whether Hungary should defend the reductions in utility charges, or return to a situation in which large corporations are entrusted with determining energy charges.
The second issue which he said will remain on the agenda is that of migration, because “despite the bloody reality and the terrible facts, migrants can still move around Europe without restrictions”, and so the question is whether migrants should be held in detention until their claims for asylum have received final rulings.
According to Mr. Orbán, it will also be necessary to take up arms against increasingly strong activists from international organisations, and against covert foreign attempts to exert influence. This is the work of paid activists from international organisations and their offices in Hungary: “Here there are large predators swimming in the water, and this is the transnational empire of George Soros”. Despite the will of the people declared last autumn in Hungary’s quota referendum, the international financier’s organisations “are working to bring hundreds of thousands of migrants into Europe”, he said.
According to the Prime Minister, the fourth and fifth attacks will be aimed against keeping tax policy and job creation funding within the national sphere of competence. With regard to taxation, he said that “Brussels wants to seize further powers from the Member States, and so we must ask whether nations should be free to decide on their own taxes”, adding that “The question is similar with regard to job creation initiatives – because Brussels will also attack those”.
“If we want Hungary to continue to be a winning country in 2017, we Hungarians must provide clear answers to these five questions. In fact, behind all five questions lies the issue of national self-determination”, he said.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the eventful nature of 2016. “History defied predictions” and “mocked the prophets of liberal politics”, because, although they all thought that the global liberal world order was unalterable, history “took a sharp turn” and “departed from the course marked out for it”.
Mr. Orbán cited Brexit, the US presidential election, the “ejection” of the Italian government and the Hungarian quota referendum as examples of the fact that in many places people had had enough of “arrogance and condescension”, and the forced imposition of utopian ideals.
He said that in Europe over the past year there has been an uprising of those whose voices had been silenced and whose “mouths had been gagged” in the name of political correctness.
Despite its prosperity, the Prime Minister said, in the European Union the future is casting a shadow over the present.
Mr. Orbán said that in 2016 the “battle lines” had been thrown into sharp relief, nations had revolted against the globalists, and the middle classes had revolted against their leaders. In the EU, this means that sovereign countries stand in opposition to federalists and voters stand in opposition to the Brussels bureaucrats.
In the Prime Minister’s opinion, the reason dissatisfaction turned into revolt was because in the western half of Europe and across the Atlantic “the era of open societies” was entrenched, and with this came political thought policing: political correctness.
“The open society would sweep away a democracy of debate and replace it with a democracy of correctness”, he said, “and true power, decisions and influence was not held by elected governments, but was put in the hands of unelected global networks, media gurus and international organisations”.
From an economic perspective, Mr. Orbán described the “open society” thus: “The foxes are let into the henhouse to freely compete, and nobody can stop the foxes winning – time after time”. If in the end, he added, the “poor, slowly-awakening citizens” resist, they are flooded with millions of migrants, who have different religions and customs”.
“This is how the world’s most bizarre coalition of people smugglers, human rights activists and elite European politicians came into existence, specifically to deliberately bring millions of migrants into Europe”, he said.
The “lords of globalist politics” have not given up, however, and have proclaimed that if somewhere an election is not won by liberals, then in that place democracy no longer exists. They have proclaimed that “the people are a danger to democracy”, he said, and suddenly “those who previously feared hysterically for press freedom” are now demanding restrictions on the media and the internet. “If someone finds Hungary’s ‘royal’ public television insufficiently neutral, they should switch to an American channel occasionally; it will be a relief to switch back”, he said.
“Enough of that, because we didn’t gather here today for an assessment of the EU – no matter how attractive the possibility of global governance may be to a Hungarian”, he said. He then turned to the subject of Hungary, and drew attention to the fact that the Hungarians have already gone through their uprising, “and in fact we were perhaps the first to stage an uprising – in 2010”. Over the past seven years Hungary has constructed its own political and economic system, which is “made to measure for us and matches our taste”, the Prime Minister said.
As examples of Hungary’s “uprising”, he mentioned “sending home” the international Monetary Fund (IMF), the taxing of multinational companies and reductions in public utility charges.
Despite the fact that the former government of the United States, Brussels “and even Berlin” proclaimed that the migrants must not be stopped, the Hungarian government resisted: it built a fence and stopped them, thus protecting Hungary and “with it Europe also”.
“Of course”, he said, “we shall let in true refugees: Germans, Dutch, French and Italians, terrified politicians and journalists who here in Hungary want to find the Europe they have lost in their homelands”.
The Prime Minister said that it is important to maintain political stability, because losing it would be a luxury “that we cannot afford, and it will not happen while we are at the helm”.
The future of Hungarians is assured, Hungary is developing and gaining strength, and “tomorrow must not cast a shadow on today”, Mr. Orbán said. “We were black sheep, but today we are the success story”, he said, referring to the fact that credit rating agencies are successively upgrading the country, wages are increasing and household debt is falling.
“We have no reason to worry about tomorrow: families will get back on their feet, and we will pull ourselves together financially, too”, the Prime Minister said.
“If everyone does their job properly and we abide by the law, then everything will go well and every year everyone will be able to take a step forward”, he added.
Mr. Orbán asked everyone to value every single job, every job done well and every single worker. In Hungary in the future we must continue to respect cleaning ladies, road workers, dock workers, bricklayers and labourers: “we are one nation and one country, and they too have a place in our common future”, he said.
“Hungary must be capable of maintaining itself”, the Prime Minister stressed. He spoke about the falling Hungarian population level, saying that “so far there is no breakthrough on this front”, and that therefore the Government is providing all possible support to people who decide to have children.
He also called for children to be taught patriotism, patriotic feelings and a patriotic way of thinking in school.
Mr. Orbán asked whether the Government led the country well in 2016.
The Prime Minister said that the average Hungarian is never satisfied with any government, “no matter how easy life may be”, but one should never be disheartened by dissatisfaction.
“Hungarians have suffered enough from hesitant, helpless and plank-headed leaders, from those who were always explaining what cannot be done and why not”, he said: “Self-pity was a plague throughout the country; it was the culture of socialist government”.
The Prime Minister stated that Hungary is finally showing success in moving forward from a culture of self-pity to a culture of action.
He said that the golden rule of Hungarian politics is embodied in a quote from Sándor Márai: “We don’t know the meaning of mediocrity”.
In the Prime Minister’s opinion, a good administration leads the people to the finish line so that when they arrive there the people feel that they didn’t need leaders at all.
“May 2017 be a year which, when it is over, we feel that it went by like a charm”, he added.
Mr. Orbán closed his speech with his customary exhortation: “Go Hungary! Go Hungarians!”