Europe is being built in central Europe, by Hungarians, Slovaks, Czechs and Poles, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the inauguration of a new bridge spanning the Danube between Hungary and Slovakia near Komárom, on Thursday.
At the event also attended by Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič, Orbán said building bridges was equivalent to building the future. “This inauguration shows that the Danube connects Hungarians and Slovaks rather than dividing them,” he said.
States have to remain functional despite the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
“History has shown that success comes to those who stand together and not opposite each other,” he said.
The geographical position of Hungary and Slovakia, being between Germany and Russia, gives them strategic relevance, Orbán said. “If we do not organise the region, foreign powers will do so,” he said, adding that organising the region was only possible if the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia cooperated.
Road and railway networks are key to the EU’s competitiveness, Orbán said. In funding the new bridge, the EU participated in “one of the best investments of its history”, he said.
By 2025, there will be nine Hungarian motorways that extend to the borders, he said.
In the near future, Hungary plans to complete the Hungarian stretch of a motorway linking Poland and Greece, Orbán said. Another “grand plan” is to build a railway network linking the capital cities of the Visegrad countries, he said.
He welcomed that the bridge was built as the joint property of Hungary and Slovakia, and praised the trust at the root of such an agreement.
Slovak-Hungarian cooperation is at an all-time high, Orbán said, with Slovakia ranking third among Hungary’s trading partners. The 840 Slovak companies doing business in Hungary employ more than 4,000 people, he said.
Orbán thanked all who contributed to the bridge’s construction and said he hoped the new bridge would make the lives of Hungarians and Slovaks easier.
featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI