The price of climate protection must be paid by those destroying the climate, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview published by pro-Fidesz daily Magyar Nemzet on Tuesday.
The largest, richest states and the largest international companies are primarily responsible for the climate crisis, Orbán said in his interview. “They must be given the invoice rather than the poorer countries.” “We cannot accept their raising fuel and food prices citing climate protection, exacting another ransom from Hungarian families,” he said.
Climate protection, Orbán said, “is not a matter of party affiliation or ideology” and added that “empty, political slogans will do more harm than good”.
On another subject, the prime minister spoke about the government’s family policy, and said that the family protection action plan offers “unprecedented support to Hungarians, an opportunity to plan for their future”. Support for families is crucial for a nation’s survival, he said, and argued that “if a nation is unable to sustain itself biologically, it will not be capable of preserving its cultural and spiritual community either, and will disappear”.
He added that the government’s programmes have helped some 500,000 people to own a home, and Hungarian families had been able to save a total of 2,250 billion forints (EUR 6.8bn) through support schemes between 2011-2019.
Hungary has “Europe’s most comprehensive family support system” including a proportionate income tax, extensive home buying plans, incentives for young mothers to take up employment, as well as programmes to build kindergartens and creches, Orbán said. He added that the Hungarian economy is on an upswing, but warned that “this level is not enough to take further family protection measures”.
Orbán said that 2020 would be a difficult year for Europe, and said that Brussels had made “two grave mistakes: it allowed migrants in and mismanaged Europe’s economic policy”. He argued that the EU’s competitiveness continued to deteriorate and the euro zone’s performance was worsening. Meanwhile, central Europe has become the “engine” behind the community’s economic growth. Hungary needs to protect its achievements, he said, adding that it would require “a comprehensive economy protection action plan”. The national economy needs “skills, technology and industries which can ensure not only jobs but high profits in the long run,” Orbán said, and mentioned the car manufacturing sector, with special regard to electric vehicles.
Concerning migration, Orbán said that it would “remain the most important issue for Europe” for the coming decades and determine Europe’s policies and interstate relations. In Western countries, “which allowed migrants to enter, the Muslim population has grown every year, while there are fewer Christians”, Orbán said, and added that “there is no will” to stop that tendency. “Migrant countries will not accept that Hungary refuses to follow suit and they exert an increasing pressure,” he said. He also cautioned that a “naturally fluctuating” migration pressure was again on the increase. He insisted that if Hungary had not built its border fence “the country would again be flooded by masses of migrants”. “Meanwhile, Brussels persistently attacks Hungary’s border protection rules and does not send a cent” to contribute to Hungary’s border protection costs, Orbán said.
“Brussels targets states that are against migration and which rejected the migrant distribution quota scheme,” Orbán said. Hungary wants to stay a nation state with a Christian culture as opposed to the “Soros network’s” efforts to “make Europe a continent of a mixed culture, possibly through eliminating nation states”, Orbán said. “They believe in the strength of their jaw and we believe that they will shatter their teeth,” he added.
Concerning the new European Commission, Orbán said that his government would support and cooperate with Europe’s institutions, but added that “Hungary comes first, therefore we will not be deterred from debates”.
Answering a question about the government’s fight against poverty, Orbán said that the number of people living in deep poverty had decreased to one third since 2010. “There are still several hundreds of thousands of them, but I can already see to improve their situation step by step”.
Referring to the upcoming Christmas holiday, Orbán called for “silence rather than the noise of battle, acceptance and love rather than arguments, reflection rather than small talk, celestial rather than profane, and Christmas carols”.
featured image: illustration; by MTI/PM’s Press Office/Benkő Vivien Cher