Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke at WDR public broadcaster’s Europa Forum in Berlin today, where he is currently on an official visit. During his opening speech, titled “Europe at crossroads” the Prime Minister underlined that the energy sector is the most important issue as far as the future of European competitiveness is concerned. He stated that energy prices must be kept radically low in order to secure Europe's future.
The Hungarian Prime Minister assessed the state of Europe and his own election win, which he characterised as a sweeping victory for the European centre. Neither the left- nor the right-wing extremists got authorisation from the voters, he added. "Water levels keep changing, and in politics, the question is never about how high (...) the tide is for extremists but about how tall the dykes are. In Hungary, tall dykes have been built with the help of politics based on European cooperation, human dignity and economic rationality, so Hungary is stable," he highlighted.
In his 20-minute lecture, delivered in front of several hundred people, he stated that no one could hope to deliver on economic promises, by using someone else's money, adding that this is the reason that Hungary paid back its IMF loan early and set a debt ceiling, as well as reducing the public debt and preventing the budget deficit from going above the European threshold.
Prime Minister Orbán emphasised that the labour market must be supported, and if the private sector is unable to provide jobs for everyone then it is the role of the state to endeavour for full employment.
Talking about EU integration, he stated that time has proven that the EU accession of Central European states has been a joint success story, and the region will become the engine of growth for European economy.
In response to a question about the new election system enabling a two-thirds majority in Parliament with 44 percent of the vote, Prime Minister Orbán highlighted that when the Socialists won in 1994, the situation was exactly the same in terms of figures and added that if Hungary had the UK-type election system, then the ruling parties would have 92 percent majority in Parliament. Answering a question on Western principles, he stated that whereas political models must stay within the framework of international agreements, policies can differ from those followed in the West.
The Hungarian Prime Minister is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and held talks with President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso as well. With Mr Barroso he discussed energy security and assessed relations between Hungary and the European Union, which they agreed are good. Talking about energy security, Prime Minister Orbán stated that Hungary was deeply concerned for European energy security and urged a stronger common energy policy.
(Prime Minister's Office)