In his annual ‘State of the Nation’ address this afternoon, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán discussed a wide range of issues, including his government’s stance on the war in Ukraine, the fight against inflation, and the biggest dangers facing Hungary in the next few years.
On questions impacting Hungary’s future the most, PM Orbán said that it is yet to be seen whether “the enormous changes in European life, which are bringing new intellectual, political, economic and military challenges, will enhance or weaken Hungarians' zest for life.”
Listing what he considered Hungary’s recent successes, he said that since 2010, “1 million people have taken up employment. Never before have so many people worked in Hungary, and Hungarian economic output has tripled.”
According to the PM, if 2022 was the most difficult year, then 2023 will be the most dangerous year since the regime change. “Alongside migration, which is slowly becoming permanent, we have two new enemies, two new threats. One is war, the other inflation,” he said.
He claimed that “Hungary recognizes Ukraine's right to self-defense, to fight against external aggression. But it would not be right from any point of view, certainly not from a moral point of view, to put Ukraine's interests before Hungary's,” he said, arguing that for Hungary, humanitarian support for Ukraine “does not mean that we must end our relations with Russia.”
“In terms of conventional warfare, the war in Ukraine has shown precisely that Russia would not stand a chance against NATO,” PM Orbán said.
On Hungary’s commitment to NATO, PM Orbán confirmed that “NATO membership is vital for Hungary.” At the same time, “NATO is not a war alliance. It is not a war coalition. Membership of NATO does not imply any obligation beyond joint defense, nor can member states expect each other to attack a country together for some common war objective,” the prime minister said.
Hungarian opposition parties dismissed the speech as populist and one that lacked several major issues faced by the Hungarian population as well as responsibility on the part of the government.
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