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Viktor Orban at a government meeting. Facebook

Orban: ‘The current political system in Europe will collapse’

In an interview with the Austrian daily eXXpress, Viktor Orban, Hungary's Prime Minister said he was convinced that the current political system in Europe would collapse within this decade.

Published: January 31, 2023, 7:12 am

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    “The gap is growing, the alienation between Hungary and the EU is progressing,” said the Hungarian leader. Viktor Orban (59) held an exclusive conversation with several journalists at the congress of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium – including eXXpress editor-in-chief Richard Schmitt – about the current European situation.

    The journalists who attended the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Congress held a two-and-a-half-hour conversation with Hungary’s Prime Minister.

    Orban spoke openly about the current conflict situation between Europe and Russia. But he also assessed the situation in the European Union with surprising clarity: “I know what the heads of government in France and Germany are talking about: more migration. And about gender. We Hungarians have a traditional family model – but they are so different.”

    And Orban emphasized several times: “They want the ‘United States of Europe’ – we certainly don’t.”

    The war in Ukraine destroyed old alliances

    And the Hungarian prime minister questioned the direction the EU has taken: “How is this going to continue? The current political system in Europe cannot survive much longer, it will collapse. Then it’s going to be like, ‘Back to tradition’.” He was asked when he thought this would become a reality. “In this decade. And the conservatives of Europe need a head, a figurehead.”

    The current war in Europe has destroyed many things, said Orban: “Our previous alliance with Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Italy is also suffering from this.” However, the new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is considered by Hungary’s prime minister to be a “game changer”.

    But according to Orban, Italy is currently in a financial pickle. “She [Meloni] only has to survive the negotiations with the EU leadership on payments from the recovery fund until March. Italy needs the money.”

    Due to his criticism of the current political situation of the EU leadership, Viktor Orban was asked by one of the journalists present whether he was still in favor of Hungary staying in the EU. His answer surprised the media representatives: “Definitely not. But we have to. Normal people with normal views do not want to stay in this EU. The problem of mainstream Europe with us Hungarians is: We are successful.”

    The prime minister then spoke about the hostilities on Hungary’s border: “Of course, with this attitude you are immediately insulted as a ‘fascist’ or as a ‘homophobe’. I know now: I’m the black sheep in everything. But what really matters? Our voters do. But an election victory is not enough either, and one’s surroundings must not always be hostile to one either. Yes: I am for a patriotic Christian Hungary.”

    The conversation took place after a media congress of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) in Budapest. The MCC is an interdisciplinary think tank, the professional college offers various programs such as a leadership and journalism academy, and also courses for undergraduates and high school students on economics, social sciences and law.

    Orban compares Ukraine to Afghanistan

    Hungary has repeatedly criticised European Union sanctions on Russia, saying that they risked destroying the European economy. Moreover, Orban recently described Ukraine as a no man’s land and compared it to Afghanistan, prompting further outrage.

    “This bloody sanctions regime drives inflation skyward,” Orban told state broadcaster MR1 earlier this month. “If sanctions were to end, energy prices would drop immediately, along with general prices, meaning inflation would halve.”

    EU intransigence on providing Hungary with funding also means that the government are offering teachers only a 10 percent pay rise but could increase this to 20,8 percent if Brussels released the Covid funds.

    Hungary has signaled that it would veto any EU sanctions against Russia affecting nuclear energy. Hungary has a Russian-built nuclear plant it plans to expand.

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