Hungary insists that economic matters should be separated from the “politically controversial” rule of law conditionality, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said regarding the EU’s multiannual budget and its pandemic recovery package
“We could approve the budget and the recovery package swiftly and without ado, and put aside the decree stirring political debate, the so-called rule of law decree, to be discussed later,” Orbán has told public radio, adding that Hungary and Poland have agreed to represent that standpoint.
Orbán said that according to an agreement signed by the Hungarian and Polish prime ministers, the two countries would represent the same views in the debate, and neither would accept stances the other was opposed to.
Referring to reports that Poland was ready to give up the veto if the EU added a declaration to the decree to detail its implementation, Orbán said “adding some declaration … won’t cut it. Hungary is adamant that the two issues should be separated.”
Commenting on the suggestion that 25 of the EU’s member states could agree to set up the recovery package without the outliers, Orbán said he was not aware of such a possibility. “But if that happened, what would be wrong with that?” The EU could agree on the budget later, and Hungary “would not lose money,” he said.
Regarding the recovery package, Orbán said Hungary would welcome a way to avoid taking out loans jointly with high-deficit countries like Italy and Greece, instead of whom the other countries might be forced to pay the debt. Hungary participated in the scheme “as a favour, a gesture of solidarity”, he said.
Commenting on a proposal by European People’s Party group leader Manfred Weber that decisions on issues concerning the rule of law should be left up to the European Commission while disputes should be settled by the Court of Justice of the European Union, Orbán said: “Everyone’s talking all kinds of nonsense and this is also true for Mr. Weber.”
“We’re not stupid, we weren’t born yesterday . we can put two and two together,” the prime minister said, insisting that Weber’s proposal meant that the EU wanted to “force anything onto member states that can be painted as a rule of law issue with a simple majority vote”.
Orbán said the EC’s migration-related proposal made “no attempt to hide the intention that they want to provide housing and welfare entitlements and grant citizenship to 34 million migrants”.
They want to be able to shoot down Hungary and Poland’s opposition to migration with a simple majority vote. That’s what this is all about, that’s what the so-called rule of law tool would be used for.”
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has told public radio that the European Union wanted to allow 34 million migrants into the bloc, and planned to “give them housing, social benefits, citizenship and voting rights.”
Referring to financier George Soros, Orbán said the EU’s goals amounted to “implementing the Soros plan”.
If leftists gave voting rights to 34 million people in Europe, they could count on their votes for a long time.”
Orbán said Hungarian left-wing parties were working to implement the same plan in Hungary, by bringing migrants to the country “who would then vote for them”.
“We can’t allow them to transform Hungary,” he said.
Asked if the case of long-time Fidesz MEP József Szájer, who this week quit the party after his scandal in Brussels, and a motion by EPP members for a vote on expelling Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch from the political family’s European Parliamentary group were Brussels’s way of turning up the pressure on Hungary, Orbán said this was a malicious interpretation of these developments, “especially when it comes to the Germans, but we can’t rule anything out”. The prime minister added, that he saw no evidence that the two issues and the budget debate were related.
Concerning the pandemic, Orbán stressed the importance of making a safe coronavirus vaccine available to the public as quickly as possible.
We mustn’t let political considerations or the interests of pharmaceutical companies get in the way of this, which is why we have to negotiate both with the East and the West”
Commenting on the UK’s approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and preparations for a mass vaccination programme, Orbán said: “Those who quit [the European Union] now follow their own path, they’re looking for a solution of their own and are able to protect the health and lives of their citizens quicker than those of us who stayed.”
The prime minister reaffirmed that health-care workers and patients in the most critical condition would be the first to be administered a vaccine when it becomes available.
As regards the status of coronavirus-related restrictions in Hungary beyond Dec. 11, the prime minister said the government would decide on the next steps at a meeting of the operative board coordinating the response to the epidemic on Monday. He added that it had been made clear at earlier meetings that scientists and doctors firmly oppose any major relaxation of restrictions.
Concerning this Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Romania, Orbán said Romania was an important economic partner for Hungary. “We’ve tied ourselves to the Hungarian community there and whenever we go there, it means money for Romania,” he said.
Orbán said Hungary and Romania had a shared interest in both countries having stable governments and urged the Hungarian community to back the ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party on Sunday.
Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Máthé/MTI