Budapest, May 19 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday called the resolution adopted by the European Parliament condemning Hungary earlier this week a product of a “flawed policy”, adding that the document was actually a “Soros report”. Hungary’s economic policy based on wage increases and low taxes will have to be protected in next year’s elections, Orbán said.
Speaking to public Kossuth Radio, the prime minister attributed the “attacks being carried out against Hungary” to migration, arguing that there is a community of interests in Europe that aims to bring hundreds of thousands of migrants to the continent each year.
The mastermind, organiser and, in part, financier behind this concept is US billionaire George Soros, Orbán added.
Drawing a parallel between the EP resolution and a 2013 report criticising the Hungarian government prepared by Portuguese green EP Rui Tavares, Orbán said that this time the EP decided to compile a “Soros report” on Hungary, adding that the so-called Tavares report had “failed shamefully”.
Reading this report “one doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Orban said, pointing out as an example a passage discussing clashes between Hungarian police and a group of migrants on the southern border near Roszke in September 2015. The passage says a Syrian national involved in the clashes has been “sentenced to 10 years in prison … on the sole grounds of using a megaphone to ease tensions and of throwing three objects at the border police”. Orbán said that contrary to what is written in the resolution, the Syrian man in question had attempted “to break through” Hungary’s border fence, using a megaphone to try to rile up the crowd and attacked the policemen on duty at the border.
Orbán was asked to comment on remarks made by Manfred Weber, group leader of the European People’s Party, who had said that the ball was now in the Hungarian prime minister’s court, and that if he addressed the EP’s concerns, he would prove that he is a team player, but if not, then there would be consequences for Hungary. Orbán commented saying that such things “would never be said in China”, which he said demonstrated how “distorted” European politics have become.
He lamented that EU member states were “not respected” by European institutions and that those in Brussels, regardless of their party affiliation, can tell member states how they should behave.
“The essence of Europe is not in Brussels, but in the member states. Europe is not Brussels; it is Warsaw, Budapest, Paris, Berlin, Rome,” the prime minister said.
Orbán emphasised the importance of standing by Hungarian national interests.
“We want to be the ones to decide whom we should or shouldn’t live with.”
The attacks being mounted on Hungary will not deter the government from its goals, Orban said, adding that Hungary would continue to “walk its own path”. Hungary will not hand over the right to set taxation policy or energy prices to Brussels, either, Orbán insisted.
He said the view that the current distribution of power within the EU should be kept intact was also a European position.
Orbán said Hungary would participate in the dispute settlement procedure with the EU and would see the procedure through until the end of a legal case, if necessary. Asked what would happen if the European court ordered Hungary to change its laws, Orban said the country would have no choice but to comply with the order in that case. “But what that compliance entails … will be another battle,” he added.
Hungary’s economic policy must be protected in 2018 election
If this is successful, then economic growth could exceed 5 percent by around 2020, Orbán told public radio Kossuth.
After economic growth reaches 1-3 percent and later 3-5 percent, the last phase of the economic plan devised in 2010 involves financial stabilisation, Orbán said.
Commenting on the cabinet’s demography goals, he said the Hungarian nation should become a community that is able to reproduce itself by 2030. This requires families to feel secure and “it requires men and women, because we have a conventional approach and a family means a man and a woman to us”. It also requires a range of government measures, including family support, making it easier to find jobs and transforming the education system, he added.
Commenting on his recent visit in China, he said the role of China in the global economy is to grow considerably in the coming decades. The invited guests at the meeting in Beijing were representatives of countries that are potentially going to play a role in global economic growth in the next two or three decades. It is “excellent news” that Hungary was among them, Orbán said. Hungary’s situation is easier now than before because its finances are in order, he added.
Orbán said what’s most important is that Hungarian goods should be able to reach Chinese markets without restrictions. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and his team “have done a fantastic job” in this respect and Hungary is now in a prestigious position in terms of Chinese export licences.
“For us Hungarians the most important thing is that we can sell our goods not only to the West but also to the East. We are safe if there is excess demand for Hungarian agricultural products”, he said.
He cited some “flagship” Chinese projects in Hungary, such as the regional hub of the Bank of China, a Huawei distribution centre and China’s regional tourism centre.
In response to a question about the atmosphere of recent talks in China and Brussels and which were more pleasant, he said the Chinese are generally more “cheerful” because their philosophical thinking focuses on an attempt to reach harmony, whereas western thinking focuses on the aspiration of freedom. The latter is always conflict-ridden because European politics is “always in a state of alarm against trends that threaten freedom,” he said. In terms of the atmosphere, it is easier in China but intellectually it is more difficult because the Chinese “know their own interests perfectly well” and refuse to make even the smallest compromises.