In an interview with Hungary’s state-run radio Friday morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán explained that he, along with Hungarian Olympic Committee president Zsolt Borkai and Budapest Mayor István Tarlós, had made the decision to withdraw Budapest’s Olympic bid “in the interest of saving Hungary the shame and humiliation.”
When asked whether holding a referendum would have been shameful, Orbán responded, “No… the referendum is a Hungarian issue. The Olympics aren’t decided in Hungary but by an international competition held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in front of the International Olympic Committee.”
According to Orbán, “a majority [in a referendum] is not enough, complete unity is what is needed” to win the right to host the games.
Orbán went on to contend that Hungary’s failed 2024 Olympic bid “was a shameful and humiliating defeat,” and Momentum Movement’s political ambitions had resulted in the “murdering of dreams.”
The state radio reporter asked him to explain the difference between a “civil” and a “civil organization.”
“What we refer to as civil organizations in Hungary are those who as citizens volunteer and organize themselves because of their dedication toward an issue,” Orbán responded. “They try to make that issue important and encourage decision-makers to deal with and make good decisions regarding it. There are 60,000 such civil organizations in Hungary.
“And then there are completely separate things that are international networks which call themselves ‘civil’. They create local offices country-by-country, they hire activists – who they often times even pay – and they represent international interests, primarily the interests of the globalist international capitalists. They call themselves ‘civil’. They want to appear as the ‘civils’ because it is a good thing to be a ‘civil’, it is a noble thing and worthy of praise.”
According to Orbán, such activities are not honorable, and he promised that the Hungarian government would address these organizations throughout the coming year, an idea he said he got from the United States because people are talking about “foreign-funded international organizations influencing the US elections.” He said the same thing is happening in the French elections, but he avoided making any reference to Russia.
“So, we are dealing with a typically Western democracy kind of problem. We also have to deal with this. Of course, we don’t have to cross the red line, but Hungarians can certainly say that we are capable of determining – as we have plenty of times – what should happen with Hungary. And those who receive funding from abroad to influence Hungarian public life should admit it, make it public, be transparent and accountable — just like political parties.
“We have tolerated the existence of these foreign-capitalist-funded international organizations over the past 20-some-odd years. They’ve been here under our skin, under our nails, like splinters. But we’ve gotten along with them,” until the migration issue, Orbán said.
“Organizations hiding in the shadow of the unknown, those which do not admit who they receive funding from and for what purpose, are encouraging the migrants to abuse Hungarian laws to somehow gain entry into Hungary.”