Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview on Friday that he expected 2024 to be ‘a difficult and busy year’ in terms of diplomacy.
Orbán told public radio that preparations had started ‘for a long march’, which included Hungary taking up the presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July, and this involved ‘intensive diplomacy’.
He said Slovak President Robert Fico’s recent visit to Budapest had been a highlight, and he noted that he had met Fico 33 times over the years. He added that he was glad to see ‘an old soldier’ return because it is always easier to work together with a well-known partner than with a new one. ‘New partners are not bad, either, as cooperation with the new Romanian prime minister offers great opportunities to improve bilateral ties,’ he added. Commenting on a visit by the prime minister of Vietnam, he said
the rise of Asian countries is not a temporary trend, and the West must understand that it is not alone in dictating economic rules.
The National Consultation public survey was an important exercise in taking joint action as well as addressing specific issues, he added. ‘Deep national thinking is very strong in Hungary,’ Orbán said, adding that Hungarian national feeling of belonging goes back a thousand years, whereas in Western Europe to only one or two hundred years. He highlighted that more than 1.5 million people returned the questionnaires ‘because they thought it important for the country’. It was better, he said, to assert interests together than separately. ‘The consultation proves that we are still a strong country and a strong nation’, he nailed down, adding that this message ‘will be heard in Brussels’.
Orbán remarked that the EU’s reasons for not handing over Hungary’s funding was ‘just blah-blah’ and their real issue with the country had to do with ‘migration, gender and war’. ‘But we cannot compromise on these issues,’ he said.
‘These are more important issues…than money,’
the prime minister declared, adding that there was ‘no money in the world’ that would get Hungary to allow migrants into Hungary and ‘take the country away from us.’
Similarly, there was also no money in the world that could convince Hungarians ‘to hand over their children to [the]LGBTQ [ideology]’. ‘That would be impossible to imagine in Hungarian families’, where the raising of children ‘is exclusively the job’ of the parents. ‘Nobody can take this away from them, especially not schools,’ he added. Orbán stressed that Hungary would not allow circumstances like those in the West develop with ‘the threat of terrorism, crime and parallel societies’.
In terms of the economy, the Prime Minister said Hungary’s economy ‘is crisis-proof even without European Union funding’ and can come through the hardest of periods. Orbán said that when EU money was ‘most needed’ after the Covid pandemic and during the current period of rising energy prices, it never came. Nevertheless, Hungary solved both crises, with inflation having been pushed down from 25 per cent to around 6 per cent without EU help. Hungary’s ‘future is bright’ in terms of growth prospects this year, Orbán asserted. ‘We’ll be in the front row of European comparisons too,’ he added.
Commenting on the upcoming European Parliament elections, he said it was time for those joining the race to come forward and present their plans clearly. ‘The elections will be about issues such as migration, family and war,’ he underscored.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI