Orbán: I prayed hard for Erdoğan's victory

June 02. 2023. – 09:07 AM



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Most Friday mornings, Hungary’s Prime Minister gives an interview on one of the public 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

The real victims of the Russian-Ukrainian war are those whose family members are dying because the front line "spares neither God nor man", thus began Viktor Orbán's semi-regular Friday statement on Kossuth Rádió.

The prime minister brought up that the Ukrainians were preparing a counter-attack, which "is the Ukrainians' business, and I myself don't aspire to military glory. But even a man with a year and a half of military experience like myself knows perfectly well – even without a military academy education, because one learnt it in the army – that if I attack, I will suffer three times as many casualties as those who are on the defensive. And for a country whose population is a fraction of that of the opposing side, launching a major military offensive in such circumstances is a bloodbath. We have to do everything we can, even before a counter-offensive is launched, to convince the parties that a ceasefire is needed and that peace talks are necessary," Orbán explained.

"The vast majority in the EU is against us, they are at our throats. It is difficult to be the only prime minister who stands for peace",

but Orbán concluded that "if you are Hungarian, you have to stand up for that which is right". And, he said, "the truth is that the Hungarians saw it correctly, they were right. The parties should have been striving for peace from the beginning", Orbán said, adding that from the Ukrainian point of view, something even better could have been achieved by negotiating before the war. "So then, why was there a war in the first place?" – he asked.

Where possible, loyal relations should be established with EU and NATO countries, because they are part of the same group after all. However, at the same time the Hungarian government should stand up for what is right. So it's a balancing act, and "I think that's fine at the moment," he concluded.

Brussels kept making a fuss

The Prime Minister also spoke about inflation. He said that inflation doesn't go up and down all by itself, but "there is a will and a force behind it. And that must be broken down". He said that the government's commitment to deliver single digit inflation by the end of the year was a very serious one. Orbán isn't sure that Hungarians are aware of the size of this commitment. If inflation isn't brought down, then the government can't continue to grow the Hungarian economy.

If Paks II were finished we could 'lean back'. Our energy vulnerability would be lower and it would be cheaper. "There was so much hassle in Brussels – at the initiative of the Hungarian left, since those that are working against the Paks project are from Hungary – that we slipped with the timeline. We are out of luck in this respect". But Orbán said that we should act instead of complaining.

The issue of the Hungarian cuts in utility bills is not a matter for Brussels, while at the same time

they are proposing that we “ruin families and put pensioners in an impossible situation”.

The Hungarian Prime Minister said that the proposals from Brussels could be summed up by the word "austerity", but said that he has been fighting against this for thirteen years. He said that the Hungarian government's support on this subject "is far-reaching", because even a left-wing pensioner agrees with the reduction in utility costs, they don't want to pay more either.

Erdoğan's victory is a huge relief

On Erdoğan's recent victory in Turkey Orbán said it was "a huge relief. I didn't just root for him, I prayed specifically for President Erdoğan's victory, I prayed hard and a lot. It would have been a tragedy if he had not won". If he hadn't won, George Soros's man would have won in Turkey and he would have opened the Turkish borders to refugees, Orbán said. "We needed Erdoğan's victory like a breath of air".

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.