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PM Orbán Shows the Way for the Right in Kötcse Private Meeting

Péter Cseresnyés 2019.09.09.

On Saturday, the 19th annual Civic Picnic in the village of Kötcse was held. During the private meeting, the most prominent Hungarian conservative and right-wing politicians and intellectuals met, and as one of the key elements of the event, Viktor Orbán gave a speech. This year, the Hungarian Prime Minister talked about topics such as the upcoming local elections, the situation of European politics, and the danger of the German economic recession and its impact on Hungary.

The annual Civic Picnic in the village of Kötcse, in southwestern Hungary near Lake Balaton, is an old tradition that Viktor Orbán previously defined as a meeting place of the Hungarian right wings’ “full intellectual power.” Addressing a press conference ahead of the event, Cabinet Chief Antal Rogán said Orbán will talk about the focus of boosting the country’s national independence.

Orbán: Hungary Says ‘Yes’ to Democracy, ‘No’ to Liberalism

During the picnic, everything is considered confidential information, even the invitation warns those who are present that they cannot talk about what has been discussed during the event. Thus, people can only rely on unconfirmed press sources in regard to what exactly has been said. Yet the annual civic picnic gathers media attention each and every year as Viktor Orbán talks in private about the matters what he considers to be the most important, and on which the government will build their policies for the coming months and years.

According to ATV’s unofficial sources, talking about the future of Europe and Hungary in his speech, Orbán used a roundabout simile: countries are driving together, but at some point, they are driving off a highway. According to the Prime Minister, Hungary is lucky enough to be able to see where the Western European countries are heading and based on this, the country can decide when to exit the roundabout and which way to continue.

Orbán: Salvini ‘Brother in Arms’

According to index.hu‘s information, talking about foreign politics, Orbán stated that former Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini, and former Austrian vice-chancellor Hans-Christian Strache, had indeed been defeated. However, the defeat of the so-called “national forces”  (where Orbán also lists Fidesz)  is only temporary, he added. There was “no breakthrough” but he hopes for one. If Salvini becomes the Italian prime minister that would be a breakthrough, for which he sees a good chance, Orbán emphasized.

The Prime Minister also warned of a possible economic crisis in Europe, adding that he did not expect a shock similar to the recession in 2008.

In his speech, Viktor Orbán talked highly of Katalin Novák, the state secretary for family and youth affairs, above all for organizing a successful international demographic summit. According to Orbán, issues around demography and family policy remain a top priority for the government.

Orbán: Govt Duty to Pursue Strong Demographic Policy

The Prime Minister also praised Budapest Mayor István Tarlós, drawing attention to the fact that, apart from him, there are almost exclusively left-wing mayors in European capitals. According to the unofficial sources, Orbán seemed confident that Tarlós will win the municipal election for the third time in October.

According to Népszava’s sources, in his speech, Orbán also talked about the government preparing to change the current rules of adoption for same-sex couples.

The prime minister did not speak specifically about Ursula von der Leyen or European Commission candidate László Trócsányi, but mentioned that Germany’s leading role in the EU has weakened.

Featured photo by Balázs Szecsődi/MTI