Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in an interview to public radio, said that it was a secondary consideration which European grouping Fidesz belonged to in the future. Orbán said political groupings were in the process of being formed. “It’s not possible to stay put in one place because then we’d be exposed to changes in European politics,” he said, adding that the ruling party would abide by the Hungarian interest in determining its position on the European political stage. Fidesz, he said, would have no place in a political family that became pro-immigration and disregarded its Christian roots. He added that Fidesz would not want to belong to a formation that failed to respect nations or became “hostage to the bureaucrats of Brussels”. Orbán said an attempt would be made to maintain the European People’s Party as the party of Helmut Kohl. This grouping would respect nations, place primacy on Christianity and give proper weight to the interests of central Europeans. Further, it would put a premium on creating a potent European economy. Such an EPP would be “good and useful for Hungary”, he added. Regarding the EPP committee examining the question of the Fidesz party’s place in the grouping, the prime minister said Fidesz and the EPP body were engaged in discussions as equal partners. It would soon emerge whether each side’s goals were compatible, he added.
Referring to Thursday’s Visegrad Group talks, Orbán said the V4 states would enforce their own interests when it came to deciding on EU leadership positions. Germany’s trade with the V4 is much larger than with France, so “we’re talking about a decisive group of countries” and “the engine of European growth is currently central Europe”. The prime minister said a central European leader would have to embody this self-assurance, strength and optimistic outlook at European level, too. He added that any leader from outside central Europe would have to respect central Europe “and not look down on us”. He said it was too early to talk about specific individuals, but anyone who took part in “attacking any member state” would not receive his support. “A broad list must be submitted,” he said, adding that an agreement may be reached within a week or two. Orbán said that regarding the future of the EU, the positions of Visegrad Group countries did not differ on any substantive matters, adding that he only endorsed documents or people whose aim was to stop migration.
The independence of economic policymaking by member states must be respected, he said. No single economic policy should be forced on divergent countries, he said, adding that Brussels bureaucrats should not be allowed to shape Hungary’s budget or tax system. “Only Hungarians can say what’s good for Hungary,” Orbán said. The government can work with its partners as long as Hungary’s interests are served, he added.
In connection with next year’s budget, Orbán said “the feeling that things are going in the right direction in the country” had a solid basis, referring to “a growing number of jobs, higher wages and an economic performance that inspires hope”. “What we have achieved so far must be protected,” he said, adding that risks to the economy must be reduced. He said the economies of Hungary’s most important trading partners in western Europe were slowing down, and the government had reacted by designing an economic protection action plan that offered both tax cuts and measures to support growth.
Meanwhile, on the topic of the Danube collision, Orbán said the country had been shaken by the fact that “those who died were our guests”. An agreement with South Korea will be made on a fitting memorial to commemorate the victims, he added.