Orbán: The EU has abandoned the two goals it was created for: peace and prosperity
March 31. 2023. – 08:39 AM
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.
There is no doubt that the war is getting bloodier and more brutal, Viktor Orbán said on Kossuth Rádió on Friday morning. Despite all this, at the recent EU summit he did not see more countries in favour of peace.
"The number of countries supporting peace instead of war has not increased at all," the Prime Minister said. People want peace, while EU leaders are taking a pro-war stance, he added. For them, the main issue continues to be deciding which weapons to send to Ukraine. He said that it was slowly becoming a legitimate question among EU leaders whether EU member states could send peacekeeping troops to Ukraine in some form.
As Hungary is next door to the war, for the Hungarian people war is worrying and dangerous, and our security is at risk, the prime minister said, and added that
"today, the term "world war" is no longer a literary exaggeration,(…) a world war is a real danger at the moment."
It is our nervous system that is most irritated by this war, because we are right next to it, but the others aren't at ease either, according to Orbán.
Hungary believes we should not take a stand for Ukraine, but for peace. With this position we belong to the minority in the European Union and to the majority in the world, Orbán explained. According to the Prime Minister, the other EU countries are constantly using blackmail to try and drag Hungary into war, but today the Hungarian Parliament is protesting against this by voting in favour of the pro-peace proposal and is taking a stand for peace.
"Peace talks are not what we should be talking about now, but a ceasefire."
- Orbán said. Once there is a ceasefire, the terms and details of peace can be worked out.
“Those who are pro-war have put the whole European Union in danger” according to him. The EU is supposed to serve peace, but today it represents the opposite. Not only have one or two countries been dragged into war against their will, but
the very purpose of the European Union has been called into question, having abandoned the two goals for which it was created: peace and prosperity, he concluded.
The one challenge still ahead: removing the price caps
"Inflation will not become lower on its own, inflation has to be brought down. You've got to grab it by its neck and break it."
- the prime minister said, turning to economic issues. He said the Hungarian government had done this work, it has administered the anti-inflation vaccine, so inflation could fall to single digits by the end of the year. The first signs of this have already appeared, Orbán said, an anti-inflationary competition has begun: grocery stores have started competing over which products to offer at lower prices.
There is one challenge still ahead for the government: the lifting of the price caps. Orbán said that these could not be lifted while inflation was high, but he said that as inflation falls, the food price freezes would be removed gradually and at a suitable pace.
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.