Viktor Orbán: “our Vision Of Europe Is To Build On Strong Nations In A Strong Europe”
Copied from Baron Bodissey by 
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Europe Europe

Viktor Orbán: “our Vision Of Europe Is To Build On Strong Nations In A Strong Europe”

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Copied from Baron Bodissey by 
@ottobattista
| Europe Europe

A few days ago the European Union, acting via the European Commission, initiated legal action against Hungary for passing legislation that might effectively prevent the Central European University in Budapest from handing out any more diplomas. The CEU is George Soros’ operation, and Mr. Soros was not happy with the revised Hungarian law. He told the European Commission to jump, and it said: “Yessir! How high?”

Yesterday Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited the European Parliament and laid out Hungary’s position on the CEU and other contentious issues. He emphatically declared that George Soros is hostile to Europe and the euro. He insisted that the EU must abide by its own regulations and the treaties that comprise its legal basis, which all member states have agreed to.

Many thanks to CrossWare for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Transcript:

12:50 Deeply respected Mr President, respected commission Vice-President, representative ladies and gentlemen,
12:54 … The European Parliament is again having a discussion
12:58 about Hungary. I came here to Brussels,
13:02 to you, to participate in this discussion.
13:06 In my almost thirty-year career as a representative,
13:10 I always greatly appreciated debates,
13:14 and the clash of very different ideas. Democracy
13:18 is based on debate for the European Union too;
13:22 this provides its moral base. I am convinced
13:26 that better decisions are always born out of
13:30 debates and not from one-sided announcements.
13:34 With my attendance here I wish to assist to you,
13:38 in making a well-thought-out decision
13:42 when Hungary is on your agenda.
13:46 I remember the decisions of the
13:50 previous parliament about Hungary, which have not withstood
13:54 the test of time. Let’s just think about
13:58 how spectacular and embarrassing the failure of the Tavares Report was for everybody,
14:02 … You should know
14:06 that we Hungarians never give up struggles,
14:10 and today I will try to use the strength of sound logic in this debate, too.
14:14 Our difference is partly with you and
14:18 partly with an American financial speculator.
14:22 … I know,
14:26 the strength, size and weight of Hungary
14:30 are much smaller than yours and smaller than
14:34 that of the American financial speculator George Soros,
14:38 who is now attacking Hungary.
14:42 Although he ruined millions of European citizens’ lives with his speculations,
14:46 was penalized in Hungary for speculation,
14:50 and is also the open enemy of the euro,
14:54 yet he is held in such great esteem here
14:58 that the highest leaders of the European Union meet with him.
15:02 But that is no reason
15:06 to condemn us based on fabricated accusations here,
15:10 because justice is not dependent on a country’s size. Respected house,
15:14 I came to defend my country in this debate.
15:18 But it is important also to talk about our successes.
15:22 In 2008 we started from the point where
15:26 Greece was. The government of Hungary at that time,
15:30 was the first one who came to the IMF and to you,
15:34 the European Union, for a loan… Since then —
15:38 before the deadline and in full — we paid it back.
15:42 Since then we created many thousands of jobs.
15:46 Hungary is its own way to the lowest unemployment
15:50 rate in the European Union. Today it is 4%.
15:54 We created a society based on employment instead of welfare.
15:58 We give jobs to everyone who wishes to work.
16:02 Our target is the full employment. Year by year our budget deficit
16:06 turns out better than your target expectations,
16:10 the mandatory limits. Last time it was -1.8%.
16:14 Our state debt is steadily decreasing;
16:18 our financial growth is around a stable 4%.
16:22 We still have numerous problems to solve, but there is reason to be proud.
16:26 I am convinced that the success of Hungary
16:30 is also a European success, and the EU today
16:34 needs successes. It would be folly
16:38 If, based on ideological differences, this fact
16:42 did not receive the appropriate attention.
16:46 Respected European Parliament, I see that there are multiple causes
16:50 that you might be interested in.
16:54 Spread around the news that with a new law, the Hungarian government closed down
16:58 the American speculator George Soros’ private university
17:02 operating in Budapest. …
17:06 The Dean [Michael Ignatieff, Canadian progressive] of this university
17:10 wrote the following to the teachers and the students, and I quote:
17:14 “I would like to emphasize that nothing is endangering the existence
17:18 of the Central European University. The University will continue its work in all circumstances.”
17:22 Respected commission, respected parliament:
17:26 this accusation lacks any merit. There is no factual basis to it.
17:30 This is an absurd situation. It’s as if someone were indicted
17:34 for murder and even sentenced for it, while
17:38 the alleged victim is alive and present, and
17:42 even is in the crowd himself, screaming: Murderer!
17:46 The reality is the following:
17:50 that the smaller modification of the education law accepted by
17:54 the Hungarian Parliament impacts 28 — yes, twenty-eight —
17:58 foreign universities and do nothing more than
18:02 align the regulation in such a way
18:06 that it closes the way to speculation and abuse.
18:10 It demands transparency and eliminates
18:14 the privileged status they enjoyed, opposed to their European counterparts.
18:18 … You are European lawmakers.
18:22 For me, the Prime Minister of Hungary and a member of the European Union,
18:26 it is my duty to ensure
18:30 that European and Hungarian universities should not have a handicap
18:34 compared to their competitors from outside of the EU.
18:38 No matter how big and rich a man
18:42 their owner. Respected parliament,
18:46 the other case on the agenda
18:50 is the National Consultation organized by my government in recent days.
18:54 I would like to inform you that in Hungary over the past decade
18:58 it has become the custom that we frequently consult our citizens.
19:02 In the last couple of years
19:06 there were four different occasions when we had such consultations.
19:10 I wholeheartedly recommend that method to you.
19:14 In its present consultation the Hungarian government asked its citizens about concrete issues,
19:18 what positions should be represented by the government in Brussels,
19:22 and asked the Hungarian people’s support for those issues.
19:26 Respected representative ladies and gentlemen, I would like to clearly state
19:30 that Hungary and the Hungarian government are committed
19:34 in the direction of the European Union, and that is
19:38 In question. Hungarian politics
19:42 has been built on that foundation for the last 30 years.
19:46 That is why I gave it my signature, and that is why I agree
19:50 completely with the recently accepted Roman Statement [on the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome],
19:54 and my “party family”, the European People’s Party’s
19:58 program, which was accepted in Malta.
20:02 But at the same time, respected Mr President,
20:06 in numerous cases we have not been satisfied with the
20:10 operation of the European Union. We voice our
20:14 criticisms, because we would like to fix the problems,
20:18 and reform the European Union.
20:22 We are convinced the trust of the citizens
20:26 in the European institutions can only be restored
20:30 if we do everything in our power
20:34 to eliminate all the causes of low-efficiency operations.
20:38 For the “therapy”, we will need a clearly-spoken,
20:42 diagnosis, naming the problems
20:46 in an unmistakable way.
20:50 I personally — but also Hungarians in general —
20:54 like clear straight talk. We phrase everything in a straightforward way,
20:58 so everyone can understand it,
21:02 even when we know not everyone will like it.
21:06 In the meantime we are irritated by the verbal political straitjacket
21:10 that makes it impossible to clearly call things by their names.
21:14 This is now widespread in European public life.
21:18 But I do not believe that in the 28 countries of
21:22 the European Union an identical temper and style of debate
21:26 could be expected. Which is exactly why
21:30 I find the European political culture
21:34 exciting and like it so much myself.
21:38 If you break it down the prejudice against us,
21:42 you will find re-creative, creative and innovative
21:46 political thinking. That is true for the consultation as well.
21:50 I am convinced that is exactly what Hungary
21:54 can thank for its success.
21:58 The pair of question asked in
22:02 the National Consultation, the Hungarian government’s basic stance
22:06 — that is the straight talk — is opposed to the opinion of the commission.
22:10 Our positions are very clear.
22:14 We would not like — and we think it is not compatible
22:18 with our basic treaties with the EU — to make it mandatory
22:22 to settle migrants in our country.
22:26 The decision on who we live together with
22:30 belongs solely to Hungarian citizens. The important
22:34 information… important information
22:38 is that George Soros and his NGOs
22:42 want to transport one million migrants
22:46 every year to the European Union. This program was
22:50 publicly announced by him, and he even offered loans for it.
22:54 You might also have read about it. We reject his suggestion.
22:58 Nor would we like it
23:02 if we were to lose the ability to regulate
23:06 energy prices for our population by the state.
23:10 Because we are afraid this will increase the burden on the population and again
23:14 lead to broad price increases. [Past socialist government sold energy companies to foreigners.]
23:18 And Hungarian families have suffered enough from this.
23:22 Nor would we like that our national authorities’ right to set taxes
23:26 would be transferred to the Union, because
23:30 we believe this would ruin our competitiveness.
23:34 Nor do w understand why the commission — in its report every year —
23:38 criticizes the Hungarian institution of public works system [instead of welfare],
23:42 which is an important element of
23:46 our employment-based rather than welfare-based society.
23:50 These are actual debate questions. We do not want
23:54 to change our positions on these issues.
23:58 We do not want the reordering of national and EU authority.
24:06 So we are presently defending the status quo, which was reached by common agreement.
24:10 This where the “Stop Brussels” name comes from.
24:14 This is not a crime?! Together we all accepted these regulations, which are now
24:18 operative and we are defending. The present rules,
24:22 which we want to defend, were also agreed upon by all sides,
24:26 and were European successes. For this, I believe,
24:30 can’t be called the Hungarian position,
24:34 and the national consultation anti-European.
24:38 It is also true, and I would not want to hide it, that our vision of Europe
24:42 is to build on strong nations in a strong Europe.
24:46 In such a Europe the member states bear and
24:50 do not reject their responsibilities.
24:54 Responsibility for state debt, the budget,
24:58 and defending the border. Respected representatives, we
25:02 want to shape with the tools of debate and persuasion
25:06 the decision-making process here. I suggest that if someone does not like our country’s
25:10 opinion, bring their opinions against it and let’s
25:14 have our debates, but I ask you not to condemn us for
25:18 the fact that Hungary has its own independent opinion.
25:22 Respected house, the third issue is the planned law about the non-governmental organizations.
25:26 The presently discussed — I mean in the Hungarian Parliament —
25:30 presently discussed draft, based on the American example [Foreign Agent Registration Act].
25:34 In multiple countries of the Union, and if known correctly,
25:38 in the framework of the Pieper Report, too; and in the parliament, you yourselves as well,
25:42 deal with the difficult question: how it is possible
25:46 to increase the transparency of the operations
25:50 of the strong, rich foreign capital lobbies,
25:54 who want to influence democratic decision-making.
25:58 Hungarian law is based on the principle
26:02 of transparency. We do not want anything from NGOs other than one might know
26:06 what money and what interests is stand behind them.
26:10 This does not impair their Constitutional rights; they can voice their opinion,
26:14 they can represent their interests and freely organize.
26:18 Respected representatives, it is also important to state
26:22 that the attitude of the Hungarian government so far,
26:26 without any evasion, has always been consistent.
26:30 We wish to abide by the rules of the club, and
26:34 we have always abided by them. I am aware that
26:38 with EU membership come not only rights but responsibilities.
26:42 We always tried to resolve past conflicts
26:46 with debates and negotiations. I am happy to report,
26:50 as a result of this, with mutual agreements we were able to decide
26:54 such complex issues as media regulation,
26:58 the new Hungarian Basic Law [Constitution], the restructuring of the Hungarian judicial system,
27:02 or even the atomic energy development program [issues that the EU lost after bitter fights].
27:06 These issues were all successfully closed. I would like to assure you, Mr. Vice-President,
27:10 That in the present issues we will strive for the same results.
27:14 Respected house, Hungary is a proud country. The Hungarians always
27:18 regarded themselves as a European nation,
27:22 holders of and committed to important Christian values,
27:26 and wanted to have a voice in decisions which were about them.
27:30 My government in Hungary has worked
27:34 to strengthen the country’s commitment to Europe.
27:38 Our work is successful. The support for the European Union
27:42 by the member countries is the highest in Hungary.
27:46 Is above 70%, and we are proud of that.
27:50 Believe me, the people support it, but
27:54 they only support the European Union if it is fair,
27:58 and capable of open dialogue, and can admit
28:02 that from time to time it needs reform.
28:06 Respected Mr. President, we always gave you our respect.
28:10 I ask that if it is about Hungary, please restrain your prejudices.
28:14 I ask you to adhere to the truth and
28:18 I ask you to measure with an equal gauge.
28:22 Only this way can we all be worthy of the name: European.
28:26 Thank you for listening to me.

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