Hungary will be able to remain successful even in a broad international crisis environment, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told a conference on Saturday.
In his address to the annually-organised Tranzit festival in Tihany, at Lake Balaton, Szijjártó said that in the face of great troubles around the world when circumstances of a recession are prevalent in Europe, Hungary has had a track record of 12 years of successful government strategy and policies. Hungary has successfully enforced its national interests and the country’s maneuvering space has been continually increasing, he added.
Szijjártó said that following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, a new dimension of life developed in Hungary, Europe and in the world. A wave of migrants followed within days and questions emerged, such as whether Hungary would supply weapons and allow the transport of weapons through its territory or not. There were even some who had not excluded sending Hungarian soldiers to Ukraine and one had to “keep a clear head” even at NATO meetings, he said.
Then came the election campaign, with its focus shifting from social and economic policy issues to war and peace. It revealed a total discord between Hungary’s left wing and right wing as to what vision they would offer to Hungarians for the future, he said. The allied ruling parties achieved a landslide victory and it was the first time in the history of modern democratic Hungary that “a political family” received over three million supporting votes, Szijjártó said.
He said that in the current era of crises and dangers, the question is whether Hungary can protect itself not only in physical terms but also economically and in terms of values. He said there were six sources of danger, including a danger of physical security, economic danger, energy supply problems, the strengthening of migration resulting from supply difficulties, the poor continental and global responses to the war and political blackmail.
Hungary will be successful because
“we are world champions in economic crisis management”,
he said. The country has and will have enough energy needed for its normal operation and the normal operation of its economy, it pursues a foreign policy based on national interests as against dictates from centres of power, and the government enjoys political stability, resulting in “political courage”, the foreign minister said.
The coronavirus pandemic caused recession around the world in 2021, yet Hungary’s economy had its most successful year since the fall of communism, with an economic growth of over 7 percent, 4.7 million people holding a job, 119 billion euros worth of exports and investments totalling 1,886 billion forints (EUR 4.6bn), Szijjártó said.
It has become clear that for the country to have sufficient energy supplies, it needs the energy sources and transport routes, he said. When a continent’s annual natural gas consumption of 400 billion cubic metres includes 170 billion cubic metres coming from a single geographical location, it is impossible to replace within a few years, he added.
Szijjártó said that Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant at Paks had received an implementation licence for an expansion a few days before, adding that in line with European regulations nuclear energy is not affected by sanctions. The world is not only made up of North America and Europe, he said. Hungary’s foreign policy based on mutual respect has been met with respect in a large part of the world as a result of which its maneuvering space is continually expanding, Szijjártó added.
A right-wing change is expected at the parliamentary election in Italy and also at the midterm elections in the United States, he said. Throughout Europe, parties that pursue policies based on national values, tax cuts and family support are increasingly popular, the foreign minister said.