Visiting the south Hungarian city of Pécs, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán pledged to locals on Friday that the government would step in and help out the financially strained local council.
“Pecs is not in a good budgetary situation; we have to solve this,” Orbán said at a ceremony held in the Kodály Centre to celebrate a local university anniversary. “Those that created the problem will sort it out,” the prime minister said, adding that locals could count on the government. “We will stand behind the people of Pécs,” he said. “Kindly support us.”
The local authority of Pécs is controlled by the ruling Fidesz party.
Addressing the ceremony celebrating the 650th anniversary of the University of Pécs, Hungary’s oldest university, Orban said that next year the cabinet would spend 552 billion forints (EUR 1.8bn) more on education than in 2010. He noted that more than 250,000 students would pursue their studies across the country.
“The most burning question for us today is the future of young Hungarians,” he said, adding that the future they choose for themselves would also be the future of Hungary, and Europe as well.
“Our generation, seeking to free itself from communism, made uncompromising efforts to achieve freedom and national independence and the reunification of Europe,” Orbán said.
“If we allow Europe’s spiritual, economic, political and military might to shrivel, and if the demographic decline … continues while migration pressures further increase, then Europe will disappear from the map,” said Orbán. “Europe today is at the 12th hour.”
Hungary’s future lies in “brave young Hungarians who dare to go against the stream”; in those who give preference to family, community and the nation over multiculturalism, the prime minister said.