Orbán: We are being hit, beaten, kicked and bitten

January 27. 2023. – 08:24 AM



Copied to clipboard

Most Friday mornings, Hungary’s prime minister gives an interview on one of the state-owned radio stations. Since the independent media has not had a chance to interview him for several years, these weekly radio interviews are the only opportunity to find out what the leader of the country thinks about current events, how he sees his opponents and any issues at hand. This is a summary of the most important points from this week's interview.

On why Hungary is not sending weapons to Ukraine

If the left were governing today, we would be up to our necks in the war as a weapons supplier, Viktor Orbán said on Kossuth Rádió on Friday morning. The Germans originally said that they were only sending helmets, but now they are sending tanks, and there is even talk of planes, he said.

But Fidesz continues to insist that Hungary should stay out of the war in Ukraine. The people voted for peace on 3 April, the Prime Minister said.

If somebody sends weapons, they are essentially funding the budget of one of the warring parties. They can say whatever they want, but this gets them involved in the war. There is great pressure on the Hungarian government internationally as well, to get involved in this war, and Orbán also regards the Hungarian left as pro-war.

"We are being hit, beaten, kicked and bitten"

- the prime minister added.

On the uniqueness of national consultation

"The national consultation is a Hungaricum", Orbán said. In Western democracies, voters can only express their opinions in elections, while in Hungary, people have been asked about important issues from time to time since 2010.

Orbán said the national consultation had produced a clear result: Hungarians do not want sanctions because they are more harmful to Europe and Hungary than to Russia.

On new sanction plans in Brussels

There are new sanctions planned in Brussels: nuclear energy is on the agenda. Orbán said he expects a big battle, but the Hungarian government will veto. The national consultation is of great help in this, as the Hungarians have made their views clear. Orbán said that it's the prime minister, not the 1.4 million respondents, who will be sitting at the negotiating table in Brussels. And he will represent the national interest.

On bringing inflation down

Orbán said that the introduction of the price caps was the right decision, because otherwise it would have been difficult to survive the high inflation.

"Inflation is a public enemy," the prime minister said. He expects inflation to start coming down sometime around February-March and to be in single digits by the end of the year.

"The government has given the Hungarian economy the vaccine against inflation."

- and its fever is slowly going down, he said, and asked the people to be patient just a bit longer.

“We live in a diverse media freedom”

"In today's Western Europe, there is no room for the voice of the people," the Prime Minister said. In the Western world, he said, the media is one-sided, which is why anti-war positions are neglected.

"Hungarian public sphere is much more diverse than theirs," he added. In Hungary, one has no problem having access to either leftist and conservative approaches. "We live in a diverse media freedom,"

he said.

Not only is there a dollar left, but there's also the dollar media, according to Orbán.

The prime minister said that the left's position on migration, war and gender is wrong because they are being paid from abroad. It would otherwise be possible to cooperate with the left on important issues, if they represented the national interest, he added.

Viktor Orbán avoids critical questions at home. It’s been years since he gave an interview to independent media. However, for years, most Friday mornings he has been a regular guest on state-owned Kossuth Rádió, where he is interviewed by a leading editor of the public broadcasting service (operating from an annual budget of 320 millions of euros). Katalin Nagy has been almost exclusively the only person allowed to interview Orbán on the state-owned channel throughout his third and fourth term with a two-thirds majority in parliament. She has received the state decoration of the Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary and doesn’t shy away from asking questions.