Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addressed the parliament today to open the fall semester of the National Assembly. After explaining that Hungary’s economy is doing just fine, the prime minister turned to his favorite theme: migration. Opposition party politicians fired back, calling him a “fiery-spirited democrat turned despot” and a Don Quixote tilting at windmills.
According to index.hu, the prime minister opened with remarks on Hungary’s economic situation: public debt levels are below 74 percent, more than 4.4 million people are working, unemployment is low, wages are rising, construction and tourism are booming, and the number of those working in agriculture has increased 25 percent over the past seven years.
“By and large, I see the increase in wages have made it worthwhile for more and more people to start working in Hungary,” Orbán said.
Reflecting on the successes of this past year, he went on to tout the successful visits to Hungary by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Thanks to the FINA aquatic games held in summer, Budapest has become a member of the “elite club of global sporting cities”. Orbán said.
Orbán: Brussels, migration and rape
“What we have seen until now is only the warm-up,” he said of migration. Citing a NATO report, the prime minister said some 60 million people would depart Africa for Europe by 2020.
“A consequence of Brussels’ failed immigration policy is the dramatic decrease in public safety, the now weekly terrorist attacks,” Orbán said.
According to him, there are two types of European countries: immigrant and non-immigrant countries (with the latter including Hungary). The future of Europe depended on cooperation between these types of countries.
The western countries “will rape us” if we do not cooperate with them, that is what the refugee quota is all about, Orbán said, because the bureaucrats trying to force migrants into Hungary are the same who “eat out of [the open Society Foundation’s George] Soros’ hand”.
(It seems Fidesz really likes using the word “rape” to discuss the EU-Hungary relationship. Two weeks ago, when Hungary lost its case in the European Court of Justice, Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó used “rape” to describe his interpretation of what the ruling did to EU values and law.)
Opposition parties group leaders react
Jobbik chairman and parliamentary group leader Gábor Vona accused Orbán of being a “fiery-spirited democrat turned despot” and of leading the country down a bad path. Likening the prime minister to communist-era leaders Kádár and Rákosi, Vona recommended that Orbán take a look around and see who is around him now and who was around him in 1989.
“All that’s left is soccer, sunflower seeds and the mini-train,” Vona said, in reference to Orbán’s likings.
According to Vona, Jobbik will win the 2018 national election and will hold Orbán to account.
Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) group leader Bertalan Tóth likened Orbán’s opening remarks to Don Quixote’s tilting at windmills while “the country is rotting”. Tóth took jabs at him for the high levels of corruption and even the Azeri axe-murderer scandal, before promising that MSZP would hold the prime minister to account.
Politics Can Be Different (LMP) co-chair and parliament group leader Bernadett Szél told Orbán that the general election will not be about the border fence or the refugee quota because “no one will tear down the fence and no one will force a quota”.
According to Szél, what needs to be broken down is the “edifice” that was constructed by Fidesz and the Socialists over the last three decades.
“You have looted this country, cheated and lied,” she said, before accusing ruling party Fidesz of ramping up “industrialized corruption” and building a system of overlords.
Orban responds with jokes
“I see that the number of candidates for prime minister have multiplied over the summer,” Orbán joked, adding that these opposition politicians have only become aggressive because they are not seen or taken seriously by Hungarians.
“You cannot build a country out of your own personal ambitions or desires for power. I ask that you heed [this advice],” he said.
- To Vona, he said the act of governing requires something more serious than tweezers to pluck one’s eyebrows.
- To Tóth, he said the Socialists took away one-month’s pension.
- To Szél, he said LMP’s own MEP had stated that the quota is the only way to resolve the refugee crisis. “So, that’s enough about there being no quota,” Orbán said.
Concluding, he derided MSZP for its position on immigration and personally named MSZP politicians Ágnes Kunhalmi, Csaba Hováth and László Botka — politicians whom he said could not be trusted to lead a country because they “would do anything for money and power”.