Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in a keynote speech on Saturday kicking off the official election period in Hungary, warned his supporters that former prime ministers Ferenc Gyurcsány and Gordon Bajnai were planning a comeback.
In his speech held at the Várkert Bazaar in Budapest, Orbán cited Gyurcsány as saying recently that both politicians were ready to return, and he accused Gyurcsány and Bajnai of “lumbering the whole country” with their “talk show”.
If Gyurcsány made a comeback, he said, “he’ll take us back to where we were before…”
Orbán said not only had the virus “attacked Hungary”, but so had the left wing in its hope of overthrowing the government.
He accused the left of demanding the lifting of lockdowns when it was appropriate to maintain them and of insisting on locking down when it was right to lift restrictions.
Orbán said the left cried “dictatorship”, conducted a campaign damning the government abroad, distributed fake videos, and spread horror stories.
He said exploiting the fear of millions of families in the hope of overthrowing the government during a deadly pandemic was “indefensible” and “grossly irresponsible”.
The prime minister said the left would have to face up to their actions on April 3.
The government, he said, had remained united and composed during the pandemic, and not for a single moment had the country’s capacities been endangered. In other words, the new constitutional order enacted in 2011, Orbán added, had stood the test.
The prime minister told supporters that “we have one thing in common: we share a passion for Hungary.”
He accused the left wing of adopting “a new political strategy” which involved “insulting people, making fun of people with disabilities, marching into the countryside and threatening pensioners and looking down on women”.
“People can’t believe their ears,” he said.
“De Gaulle may have been right: everyone can talk, but the leader also knows when to listen,” the prime minister said.
Orbán said the “greatest achievement” was that the Hungarian economy had withstood the crisis.
He noted tax relief for workers below the age of 25, tax refunds for families and the restoration of the 13-month pension.
“We are giving back what the Gyurcsány-Bajnai government took away.”
The prime minister also noted the 20 percent increase in the minimum wage this year and a 4 percent cut in taxes on labour.
Orbán referred to a “great national agreement” that brought the unions, employers, government and parliament under one roof. “Except, of course, the left, which didn’t vote for anything.”
Meanwhile, the prime minister announced the extension of the cap on prices for fuel at the pump by three months.
Orbán said that despite the pandemic, not since the change in 1990 political system had so many people had a job in Hungary, and now a million more people worked than during the Gyurcsány government.
He said Hungary’s exports had grown by a record 119 billion euros last year. In 2010, he noted, the government set out to draw key sectors under Hungarian control, reducing foreign ownership of banks, the media and energy companies to below 50 percent.