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The survival of central Europe’s peoples is dependent on their friendship and alliance with each other, Viktor Orbán told a ceremony in Esztergom.
Marking the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of Mária Valéria Bridge connecting Hungary and Slovakia, in northern Hungary, the prime minister said that as two countries which had both “learned serious lessons about the aggression of the invaders of the previous century”, it was easy for Hungary and Slovakia to see “that we’re not enemies but companions in misfortune”. “Smart neighbours don’t go to war with each other and aren’t hostile towards each other.” Two nations that respect each other’s culture would always benefit from cooperation, he added. “It’s possible to be a proud European and Slovak and a proud European and Hungarian.” It is possible to achieve economic growth that everyone benefits from, to create jobs for everyone “without giving up our way of life, who we are, our past and our values”, Orbán said, adding that neither country could be successful without the other. He said the bridge’s anniversary needed to be about more than remarking how the bridge connects two countries and its peoples. “New winds are blowing today and we now see the world differently.”