“Hungary is the country of the brave that made clear to the whole of Europe on Sunday that they want honest and clear speech and want to call the problem plaguing this continent by its name,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told commercial Echo TV early on Monday.
Assessing the victory of his Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance in Sunday’s general election, Orbán noted that in the lead-up to the vote, he had urged voters to understand that the election could decide Hungary’s fate “for decades to come”.
“I was certain that we were doing it right,” Orbán said. “So, if we are straightforward and speak clearly, if we don’t back down … then this nation — when there is danger — will pull itself together and turn out in great numbers and demonstrate a unified will to the world.”
“The result is such a success that there is a serious weight of responsibility on my shoulders,” the prime minister said.
Orbán said he wanted Hungary to “keep its feet on the ground and be aware of reality, but it must be seen that Europe is suffering from disingenuousness”.
“When the continent is unable to speak openly about the problems plaguing it, its fears or things it considers important about its future”, then it was not the size of a country’s military, GDP or area that counted, but rather “the purity of thought and voice”.
“And this is not about big nations and small nations, but about brave nations and brave people,” Orbán said. “And Hungary is a country of brave people.”
“This is our continent, this is our homeland, our greater homeland,” the prime minister said. “We love it and we want its future to be just as bright as the successful decades behind us,” he said.
“We don’t stand opposed to Europe and the European Union, but rather we want Europe, we want the European Union and we want a successful and strong European Union,” Orbán added. “But for that we first need to speak openly about everything that torments us.”
“Hungarians are very strong when it comes to this, and our language clearly helps, too; our political traditions are also built on the idea that honest politicians are those who dare to think what everyone else is already thinking,” Orbán said. “We’ve politely, respectfully … clearly said what is good and what isn’t,” he added.
“Hungary does not want to make the mistakes that bigger and richer countries have committed, and we do not want Europe to be wrecked by these mistakes; we want to correct them,” Orbán said.
“After today’s election, Hungary will be ready to fully weigh in and participate in common European tasks.”
Voters made decisions on several important issues on Sunday and “first of all, we want Hungary to remain a Hungarian country”, Orbán said. “We have a culture, and irrespective of what someone’s approach to God is, we call it a Christian culture; this has grown out of a thousand-year tradition of the Christian state,” he added.
The prime minister said it was important, too, that the government should protect its achievements, “because even if Hungary is not yet at the stage where it should be or where it would like to be … it has set off on a path of the Hungarian model which is, in many respects, different from other countries’ economic, social and cultural policies.”
He insisted the Hungarian model was a “European policy serving liberty” and cited achievements such as low unemployment and the most generous family support system in the whole of Europe.
Asked whether the election results had brought him the moral and political gratification he had previously talked about, he said: “Let’s sleep on it”.
He also said it was important that turnout in Budapest was higher than expected and turnout in the countryside had caught up with that in Budapest.
“We are a wise people, and when [Hungarians] feel that there is trouble, then even in the farthest corners of the country they realise that it is time to take action”, Orbán said.
Featured image: MTI