During the lengthy interview, Hungary’s prime minister discussed both current and long-term affairs, including the events of the past decades, the future of the European Union and Eastern Europe, migration and vaccine politics, according to Hungary’s state news agency (MTI).
Responding to a question on “illiberal nation-building,” PM Orban said liberal democracy, as such, does not exist today, only “liberal non-democracy,” as it contains liberalism, but no democracy. Liberals aim for opinion hegemony using political correctness to stigmatise conservatives and Christian democrats and try to preclude them, the prime minister stressed. “I am fighting against the liberals for freedom. While I am on the side of freedom, they are on the side of opinion hegemony,” Mr Orban said.
Hungary’s premier talked about Fidesz’s departure from the European People’s Party (EPP) and, within the same context, also about what they would like to achieve in European politics in the future. “We want to change Brussels,” Mr Orban stressed. In its current form, Brussels is unable to provide adequate answers to people’s problems, something the issue of migration has also highlighted, and its answer to the 2008 financial crisis was not convincing, either, he explained. “We wanted to change Brussels together with the EPP, but they weren’t up to it. Now we have to build a new political community that is able to influence Brussels,” the Hungarian PM added.
Speaking about the differences between Hungary’s and Germany’s views on the issue of migration, Mr Orban said Germans believe that when Germany’s native population – which is starting to leave its Christian values behind – will live together with millions of Muslim migrants, then the two will mix and a new society will be born. I do not believe in this, because it will lead to parallel societies that will live side by side, potentially causing enormous problems, Mr Orban said. “I do not wish this for my home country,” he stressed.
In response to a question regarding EU institutions, Hungary’s prime minister said there are certain elements in the EU which should be strengthened. However, it’s the exact opposite in the case of the European Parliament, which undoubtedly plays a negative role: it places European politics on a party basis, which the European left tends to use for its attacks against the sovereignity of certain states. “So the question is not yes or no to the EU, but what kind of EU?” he pointed out.
As to the possible future of the EU, it looks certain that “no European nation will be created” by 2030, Mr Orban said, adding that the Hungarians, the Slovaks, the Germans and the French will continue to live here. There will be nations and countries and there will be cooperation, the form of which will be invented, but whether the “post-Christian and post-national” societies will be able to build a stable Western Europe remains to be seen. In this context, Hungary’s premier emphasized that he was much more convinced about the future of Central Europe. “I believe that our children will have much better lives. We will experience a big Central European renaissance in the economy, demography, security policy, culture,” Mr Orban stressed.
He talked about the EU’s Russia policy, which he described as primitive, as the EU “can only say yes or no” within this context. “We, on the other hand, need a more nuanced policy which reflects the understanding that Russia is a very strong country, one that also respects strength,” Mr Orban said.
Responding to a question about Hungary’s anti-coronavirus vaccine policy, PM Orban said it was clear from spring last year that the demand for vaccines will be bigger than the supply and, as Hungary has good ties with both Russia and China, they made preliminary inquiries as to whether they would be able to sell vaccines to Hungary. He emphasized that the automatic distribution of the Russian and Chinese jabs was never authorised and that these vaccines had to be approved by Hungary’s medical authorities. Answering a question, he added: as Slovakia had asked for assistance in testing the Sputnik V vaccine, Hungary will issue an expert report.