The Prime Minister highlighted that in the present difficult situation, there is a political logic, the manifestation of which one can see in a number of Western countries, and according to which they intend to shift a considerable part of the burdens of the crisis onto agriculture. In Hungary, nothing of the kind will ever happen, we will not manage any crisis at the expense of agriculture, Mr Orbán stated, adding that over here there are no austerity measures, over here the people and agriculture will not be made to pay the price of the crisis.
He said on 3 April not simply a party won, but the Hungarian countryside claimed a victory, and while we must not underestimate the support received in Budapest, the elections were won by the countryside. Therefore, the countryside has legitimate expectations towards the new government which in turn has an obligation towards the countryside, he explained, adding that the government must meet the needs and serve the interests of the countryside.
He also said there had been no drought for a very long time on the scale of the present one, and if that were not enough, there is also a war next door, in consequence of which prices have gone through the roof, and the gravity of this situation as well as the weight of the tasks that it entails are felt by everyone, including agricultural experts, politicians and members of the public. At times like this, the only solution lies in unity, and so it is not a coincidence that on 3 April the government parties managed to win the elections in such enormous unity, he stated.
The Prime Minister described the National Federation of Hungarian Peasants Associations and Cooperatives (MAGOSZ) as an old ally. They have been able to rely upon one another to date, together with MAGOSZ the government pledged to represent the interests and values of Hungary’s agricultural community, and the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture came into being out of this joint political will, he recalled.
He said the European situation is complex and is hard to predict, the war has brought about a new situation for everyone. At present, the war determines everything, the situation is extremely unpredictable, and at times like this, it is important for everyone to keep their cool, we need strategic calm, he stressed.
He took the view that if they respond swiftly to the developments of the rapidly changing environment, politics will be just as hectic and unpredictable as the change of events. We need fixed points of reference that we must consistently insist upon such as a controlled deficit of the budget, the reduction of household energy bills, the family support system, full employment, the protection of the value of pensions and the reduction of the sovereign debt, he listed.
According to Mr Orbán, while Hungary has limited means to control the inflation that is affecting the country due to the war, the Hungarian economy has a chance to find a path, even amidst the present complex environment, following which it can be left out of the economic crisis.
He said the V4 countries have a realistic chance of even being left out of a general European recession by following a smart economic policy. If the Visegrád countries are able to designate an independent path for themselves, one that is different from that followed by Brussels, there is a chance that they will be left out of the European recession, he stated.
He observed that while it is naturally not in our favour that there is a war under way right next door to us because we have differences regarding the perception of the war and Russia, there is a chance for the four countries to implement an economic policy – coordinating their respective policies – which “leads us away from under the cloudy sky that is now threatening us” even against the background of a slowing growth.
He highlighted that this means that there is a chance for the Hungarian economy to increase, rather than decrease this year, and it may well be possible for the Hungarian economy to grow at a rate between 4 and 6 per cent this year, even if we take the uncertainty of the war into consideration. At the same time, it is important that we will be compelled to pursue our economic policy in an environment where our biggest market Germany is suffering from serious ailments, he stated.
Mr Orbán said cooperation with the EU, too, will affect the Hungarian economic situation, and at this time, it seems like all technical obstacles have been removed from reaching an agreement with the European Union, they were able to make a proposal that satisfied the EU’s needs, they separated the differences on the gender issue from the issue of funds, “or at least, we have taken a step in that direction”. Meaning that in theory, everything is ready for an agreement to be reached by and between the EU and Hungary, an agreement that “both parties need,” he said.
He said “our political opponents” want to prevent this, the European Left are doing everything they can to stop the European Commission and Hungary from reaching an agreement, and “regrettably, the Hungarian Left, too, are part of that campaign.
The Prime Minister also said some time ago they had managed to achieve that Hungarian arable land should remain in Hungarian hands, and “this will not change”.