“Hungarians have faith in their future again, we have created a national consensus on the issue of family,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his traditional state-of-the-nation address in Budapest.
“Neither the third two-thirds majority, nor the outstanding economic growth were given to us as a present, Hungarians have worked hard for both,” Orbán said. Politics and the economy are deeply related and the achievements “can never be attributed to blind luck alone”, he added.
Orbán noted that in 2009, towards the end of left-wing rule, “our shared assets, reserves and future possibilities had all been used up”. Hungary needed more than just crisis management, it needed a complete renewal, a new direction, he said. Today, the number of marriages is increasing, infant mortality has been reduced, employment has grown from 55% to 70%, unemployment has been reduced to one-third of its earlier level, incomes are growing, and the minimum wage has more than doubled. “Thanks to the joint efforts of the past ten years, Hungarians have faith in their future again”, Orbán said.
Addressing successful entrepreneurs, Orbán asked them to make investments abroad and repatriate the profits, which could offset the amount of the profit taken out of Hungary. He said this could take at least ten years.
As regards the “trunk” of the country, who are neither poor, nor well-to-do, Orbán said these people expect to have work, security and a home. He listed the 800,000 jobs created, the doubling of the minimum wage, the family tax benefit, free school dinners and textbooks, the child-care fee available to working mothers, the centrally mandated utility price cuts, stable pensions, all the things benefiting these social groups that his government has introduced.
“However, the toughest nut to crack will be to help lift the hundreds of thousands struggling with poverty,” he said. Orbán said his government has undertaken to fight poverty, and Hungary is a place where everyone will benefit from being Hungarian, and step by step, with persistent hard work, “we will eliminate poverty”.
He said everyone will have work and a home, every child will have access to crèche, kindergarten, school, school dinners and textbooks, there will be support for young people, and a respectable old age for seniors.
Orbán said “our national pride has its economic foundations”. “By its population, Hungary takes 88th place among the world’s nations, but it is 34th in terms of its export volume. This is thanks to the performance of Hungarian engineers and workers”, he said. “We have answers to the challenge of the global economic slowdown and will not give up our plan that Hungary’s economic growth should exceed the EU average by at least 2 percentage points every year. Our greatest achievements are yet to come, we have just got into the swing of it,” he said.