What is at stake now in the elections is not whether Hungary “should go forward or backward,” but peace or war, prime minister Viktor Orban spoke about this in an interview published on the Internet portal Origo on Thursday.
The prime minister said the Hungarian Left poses a serious threat to peace, while Fidesz is the guarantee of peace. He also said after the elections “the data affair” will have to be looked into and evaluated also from the viewpoint of national security.
According to the prime minister, the upcoming election will be a strange one because in the meantime the stakes have changed.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.
He pointed out that when the campaign began and the opposition held their preliminary elections, it became clear that what was at stake in the elections was whether the failed past from before 2010 would return or “we can go forward”.
However, in the very midst of the campaign a war erupted. Not like the second round of the Yugoslav Wars in 1999 which was bloody and cruel, but a clash between states smaller than Hungary. Now Ukraine, a country of 40 million and Russia, a country of 140 million are at war, and additionally, one of them is a nuclear power. An unprecedented event disrupted the campaign, the prime minister explained.
He also said despite all the troubles, today we can feel safe because while Russia is a nuclear power and there is no doubt about its strength, NATO is stronger. There is a war right next door to us in which a world power is taking part, but if this world power wanted to cross the borders of Ukraine, it would crash into the wall of NATO, and that will defend us, he stressed.
Regarding last week’s NATO and EU summits, Orban said at these meetings he saw something he had never seen before: strategic alternatives competed with each other. Evidently, a country group came into being which would like NATO to become involved in this conflict as much as possible, and rather than seeing a Ukraine-Russia war, they see Russian aggression at this time against Ukraine, but later against NATO’s world, and they believe that involvement in this war is inevitable.
The second position is ours; according to this, NATO should not send weapons and soldiers to this conflict. “Our position is the majority position at present, and therefore NATO decided not to take part in this military conflict: it will not send soldiers, it will not send weapons,” the prime minister said.
At the same time, he added, if the war drags on, and there are signs indicating this, this strategic dilemma will surface at each and every NATO summit, time and again. They will next meet at the Madrid summit in June, and he expects that if the war does not end until then or there is no lasting ceasefire, then this question will arise again.
He also said while the Hungarian Left is not in government, it is part of international politics. They took a position on this issue, and also consulted with their international partners regarding this, he pointed out.
The prime minister said if the Left won the Sunday elections, weapons shipments to Ukraine would start immediately, all deadly weapons would be allowed through the territory of Hungary, and all weapons not currently used by Hungary that are fit for use in an armed conflict would be placed at Ukraine’s disposal with immediate effect. Hungary would join the group that is urging NATO’s intervention in this conflict. Therefore, what is at stake in the upcoming elections is peace or war, he said, highlighting that the Left poses a serious threat to peace, while Fidesz is the guarantee of peace.
Responding to the letter of opposition candidate for prime minister Peter Marky-Zay addressed to him, he said in 2010 when the situation was serious, rather than introducing austerity measures, they completely re-edited the economy. If the Left won on Sunday, there would be austerity again, while if the Right wins, there will be no austerity, he stated, observing that he does not believe that any kind of correspondence with him would help most. The Left’s candidate for prime minister would be better-off speaking to Ferenc Gyurcsany because they are the ones who favour austerity measures, he added.
Analysing the economic situation, he said there is an artificial price boosting policy in the West, and meanwhile inflation has struck. Fifty per cent of inflation arises from energy price rises, Brussels’ flawed energy policy. Additionally, we now have the war, and they decided to impose sanctions.
“We never agreed with them, but in the interest of unity, we never prevented them,” he said, also mentioning that the plan of swift detachment from cheap Russian energy carriers has further boosted inflation.
According to Orban, one thing follows from this: the entire European economy must be re-edited. In his view, the whole of the European Union is facing a very difficult, an intellectually extremely challenging, but politically risky period.
He observed that Hungary is accused of being friendly with the Russians, but it is completely evident that Germany has built much closer relations with Moscow, and many French companies have not left Russia despite the war.
He said the attacks on Hungary are wholly unjustified, politically motivated and in actual fact seek to achieve that the swift development of the states taking part in the Central European cooperation should not pose a challenge to the Western half of Europe. There is additionally a process of cultural alienation behind the whole thing. Western countries regard certain traditions as an unnecessary burden for the future. He described national and Christian traditions as these, underlining that the Central Europeans look upon these not as burdens to be cast off, but as resources.
The prime minister said talking about the stakes in the Sunday child protection referendum: “we mustn’t let the fox into the chicken coop”.
He said it is in the nature of this gender madness that at first its representatives cannot be taken seriously. This is not a mere passing whim, but well-organised forces are working hard to popularise certain approaches to life, he pointed out, adding that these are powerful Western European human rights groups, all the Soros organisations are among them, and finally, they have forged a very powerful alliance for the enforcement of their interests.
The prime minister highlighted that Hungary is a free country, adults are free to live as they want to within the boundaries of the law, no one wants to impose anything on them, but we must under any circumstances draw a line of defence and must not allow anyone to cross it; that line is the issue of the education of our children. It is the parents’ exclusive responsibility what issues they want their children to face and how they want to raise their children for a happy life, he stated.
In Orban’s view, the Left’s position is clear, they belong to the progressive European Left which represents the other side in the process of cultural alienation mentioned earlier. They describe this as ‘a westerly approach’ – in his view, erroneously – the Left is on the other side on the issues of immigration, family and the importance of the nation, not on the side of the Hungarian majority, he laid down.
He also said culturally the Left stands for something so different from the Hungarian majority that this gap cannot be bridged with a political campaign, meaning that they are compelled to draw on external resources if they want to get into power. Naturally, external resources are not given for free, they always have a price, and in return for these resources Hungary would lose a considerable part of its independence, he explained.
The prime minister took the view that the Left’s problem cannot be remedied: either they must switch back to the side of the Hungarians – and should at least accept a part of the Hungarian majority’s views on life – or they must give up on obtaining a majority.
Regarding news reports asserting that the Left’s campaign is organised by a data fishing company registered abroad and suspicions emerged that a left-wing candidate’s campaign may be financed from drug trafficking money, Orban said “the data affair” is a serious matter. He highlighted that after the elections one of the very first tasks will be to see things clearly in this matter, to find out how Hungarian people’s data could be obtained by a company that takes that data abroad and from there feeds them back to Hungary for political purposes. He said he has doubts about whether this could be done within the boundaries of the law, and in his view, this matter should also be assessed from a national security point of view.
Concerning the previously unprecedented number of election OSCE observers, he said by now these Western peace institutions, too, have become fighting institutions, and election observation, too, is no longer about observation, but about levelling accusations; in other words, about how to level accusations well in advance at the political powers they do not like, but which are winning nonetheless.
“We must calmly answer each and every question, we mustn’t take them lightly, and as we’re right, we must show them that,” the prime minister said.
Regarding the Sunday elections, he said he is optimistic, but “we must make one last big push” during the remaining days. The elections are not a foregone conclusion, the turnout will decide this vote, and anything can happen, he added.
Evaluating the present term of government, the prime minister said we have never had an easy four years.
“The Lord edited Hungarian politics in such a way that whenever easy years are about to come, the Left are in government, and whenever we’re facing difficult ones, the Right. Perhaps, the Lord wants to help Hungary in this implicit manner,” he said, adding that each period was difficult, but the one between 2018 and 2022 has been the most difficult one.