By: V4 Agency
Hungary will not change its rules on border protection and won’t let anyone in, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an international press briefing held in his office. M Orban talked about the protective measures against the coronavirus and also said that he expected the European Commission to classify nuclear energy as green, and accept energy derived from gas as temporary sustainable.
Regarding the coronavirus epidemic, Mr Orban told the international press briefing that the Hungarian government will continue its vaccination-based defence against the virus for the remainder of the year. Now the focus is on booster vaccinations and the inoculation of 5-11 year olds. Mr Orban added that Hungary was again the swiftest country to react in terms of third vaccinations: 32 per cent of the country’s population have already received a third jab, compared to the EU average of 21.5 percent.
The prime minister described 2021 as a very difficult year, which tormented the world and also Hungary, adding that for Hungarians, this year was all about coronavirus defence and restarting the economy.
He stressed that in 2021 the government was not completely helpless in its pandemic response, as scientists around the globe had invented the vaccine. He expressed his condolences to those who have “lost family members” and wished a “speedy recovery to those going through the illness at the moment.”
PM Orban described economic stimulus, coronavirus defence and the child protection referendum as the three most important topics of 2022.
He remarked that the government would introduce unprecedented economic policy measures and run “serious experiments”, citing as an example a planned income tax relief for under 25s.
Hungary’s coronavirus defence, which will remain vaccine-based, must continue, Mr Orban said, adding that the third, “booster” jab was key in that scheme. He said “it would be logical to introduce mandatory vaccination” as planned by other countries, but Hungarians – because of cultural and spiritual aspects – would then show even more resistance.
It is easier to reach people’s hearts and minds with persuasion than directives and orders, so the government will do everything to convince Hungarians, PM Orban said.
He said currently over 2.4 million doses are available from the Pfizer jab alone, adding that the government is ordering 2 million doses suitable for the inoculation of children. As the European Commission announced at the EU summit over the weekend that a new vaccine would be needed for the omicron variant, the government is also ordering 9.5 million doses of that; these will arrive in the second half of next year and in 2023. The same shipments will include 1.5 million jabs for the vaccination of children. Mr Orban underlined, that
there were, there are and their will be enough vaccines in Hungary.
Regarding the child protection referendum, Hungary’s premier said there is a debate about who should direct, supervise and authorise the upbringing of children, and also about what are the exclusive rights of parents. We reject the EU’s approach in this regard, Mr Orban said, indicating that, as with immigration, Hungarians can express their views on this issue in a referendum.
He pointed out that Hungary is the only country that does not want to rely on the opinion of elites, activists, politicians or European leaders on the issue of children’s education. This is why Hungarian people will be consulted in a referendum.
PM Orban also said that he expects the European Commission to accept the classification of nuclear energy as green energy, as well as the temporary sustainability of energy derived from gas.
The premier said that at Thursday’s European Council meeting the participants could not reach an agreement on energy prices in a debate that continued well into the night. However, he expects that a Commission proposal in line with the overwhelming majority’s opinion, which became obvious during the debate, will be published before year’s end.
Mr Orban said that “those opposing nuclear energy are not enough to form a blocking minority.” He therefore expects the Commission to adopt a clear European position by the end of the year that climate protection cannot be achieved without nuclear energy, and that nuclear energy will therefore be included among the sustainable green energies. The Commission, he said, should also state that energy produced from gas is acceptable as temporarily sustainable.
On the topic of illegal migration, Hungary’s prime minister underlined that Hungary will not change its current rules on border protection and will not let anyone in.
Mr Orban recalled that Hungary’s Constitutional Court had made it clear that Hungary must protect its borders, regardless of any ruling issued by the Court of Justice of European Union.
He said the government had examined its options after the ruling and decided that “we will do nothing to change our current border protection rules, i.e. we will preserve the exact same system we’ve had until now, even despite a call from the European Court of Justice to make changes. We will not change it and we will not let anyone in.”
Assessing the Hungarian Constitutional Court’s ruling, PM Orban stressed that “it provided protection to native and indigenous Hungarians and their culture in terms of their fundamental rights.”
At the press conference, Hungary’s PM also announced that Fidesz would nominate Katalin Novak, the current family affairs minister, as the country’s next president.