Viktor Orbán gave an interview to Radio Kossuth on Friday morning, where he touched on issues such as inflation, the rise in food prices, relations with neighboring countries and energy, reports Hirado.hu.
The Prime Minister stressed that their job is to bring down inflation, hence the price freezes, the interest rate freeze, the price monitoring system, the mandatory promotions. He said that “the process of what we call disinflation has begun” and that the target of bringing inflation below 10 percent by the end of the year can be achieved.
According to Viktor Orbán,
the big food chains and multinational companies are behaving like price speculators: they are raising prices even in circumstances where there is no basis for doing so.
The Prime Minister stressed that while the whole country is fighting inflation, especially food price rises, “unfortunately there are some who are not taking their share of this fight and are even taking advantage of the situation”.
He said that
multinationals were raising the price of imported food, and while at least part of the increase in the price of Hungarian products was going back to Hungarian farmers, the inflation of imported food prices was unjustified and unacceptable.
He stressed that this was simply “profiteering”. “We are standing up to them”, but they are “denouncing us in Brussels”, he added.
He noted that the government had already imposed 3 billion forints (EUR 7.8 million) in fines, that the agencies and consumer protection were “going back and forth”, and that this number of fines should be increased. He emphasized that “we cannot accept that just because we are living in such a high inflationary age, there should be unjustified price speculation on food”, it is outrageous and wrong and must be tackled.
Recalling his speech at Romania’s Baile Tusnad (Tusnádfürdő) last week, Viktor Orbán said that the Bálványos Summer Free University and Student Camp (Tusványos) is an iconic place for the national side and the genre of his speech there is indefinable. He underlined that
he was using the opportunity to speak in Tusnádfürdő to offer common thinking, so the reactions had always been more exciting than the speech itself.
In connection with Tusványos, the Prime Minister stressed that he saw great potential in cooperation with Romania and Slovakia, saying “we could do a lot of good things together in the coming period”. On Slovakia, he pointed out that there will be elections in September. Viktor Orbán said that since the two countries would not be able to “grind in the same mill” on the successor state issue, it should be left to historians, and that it was a mistake to let this issue into the center of Slovak-Hungarian relations. He pointed out that the Slovak approach to this matter is quite different from the Hungarian one. The Hungarians do not draw boundaries between eras, “we Hungarians have been in a flow for 1,100 years, for us it is not broken, fragmented, but one single story”, he reminded.
On the economic situation, the Prime Minister said that “we have met two different meteors”, with many people dying during Covid, a very painful 1,5 years for Hungary. He recalled that the war is different now because, for the time being, it does not threaten jobs. Hungary had full employment before the war, and the war could not change that. Furthermore, in spite of rising energy prices, the Hungarian people still pay the lowest utility bills in the whole of Europe, a great achievement of the economy, he added.
Regarding the EU funds, the Prime Minister said that the European Union owes Hungary around €2 billion for border protection and fence building, €800 billion to teachers, as the government has promised to help raise teachers’ salaries faster, and also the resources of the recovery fund, which was set up to help member states recover quickly from the epidemic. It is not without reason that we ask whether they owe us money, because it has already been spent on something else, like the Ukraine, he pointed out.
Speaking about the war in Ukraine, Viktor Orbán said that the war is very costly, and today only Western money is keeping Ukraine and the Ukrainian army operational alive. He pointed out that
public opinion is increasingly questioning the justification for financing the war, it sees less and less how this war can be won and what the point of financing the war is, rather than peaceful negotiations.
Meanwhile, the politicians in Brussels are sticking to their previous position, which is to say they are going in the opposite direction, he emphasized.
On migration, the Prime Minister said that if you weld in migrants, you will have people coming in who are not known to us, were not chosen by us, but pushed in by people smugglers. It is a different culture, a different behavior that can destroy a country. “We Hungarians also consider the risk to be so high that we do not want to take part in such an experiment. We do not want migrant camps, and if we do not want them, then they will not be in Hungary”, the Prime Minister underlined.
Featured photo via MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán