(By: Álvaro Peñas – Translation: EJ Source)
Hungarian Justice Minister: “For us, democracy means the will of the people”
Common sense at the center of the EU's madmen
Interview with the Hungarian Minister of Justice, Judit Varga (photo).
On April 3, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party won its fourth term of office with a large absolute majority. I would first like to congratulate you on the outcome of the elections last month. No one has counted on such an overwhelming victory from Fidesz. What are the reasons for this huge support from the Hungarian people?
The Hungarian people have seen that the Christian-conservative side has a common passion, and the name of that passion is Hungary. Over the past 12 years, we have proven that the interests of the Hungarian people are our top priority. That's why we've created 1 million new jobs, reduced overheads, created jobs, and at the same time financially supported families and older people.
Our credo is that Hungary must remain a sovereign Christian country, in which concepts such as faith, homeland or family are not just outdated words, but real values, which form the backbone of our millennial Hungarian identity. We have reached out to each other and sent a clear message to the world: whatever intrigue and cunning tricks the European left uses to bring Hungary to its knees, we will resist and stand up for our compatriots and the future of our children and grandchildren. while at the same time remaining true and fair partners in the EU. In the end, the heart always wins!
Brussels hurt Fidesz's victory. From day one, there was talk of a “legal, but unjustified victory”, and the European Commission has launched the rule of law mechanism to sanction Hungary. Is there a problem with democracy in Brussels? Do you not think that these measures can only lead to a disintegration of the EU?
I bet the result of the election was quite sobering for the Eurocrats in Brussels, who apparently have a different definition of democracy. To us it means the will of the people. And Hungarian citizens have made it clear that they do not want the failed left back.
The rule of law mechanism is only a political instrument to take revenge for the victory of the national conservatives. I would like to recall an article in Bloomberg, a medium that can hardly be accused of being conservative, that these punitive measures would be risky in such difficult times. But Brussels remains stubborn, without considering the consequences. In reality, such petty political battles would only erode the fragile trust in the EU institutions anyway. Nevertheless, we will persevere and remain open to the dialogue to finally realize the dreams of our founders: to be united in great diversity.
Last month I was in Beregsurany, where I could see with my own eyes the enormous efforts Hungary is making towards the influx of refugees from Ukraine. Is the EU offering aid in this crisis or is it just nice words?
Let's let the numbers speak for themselves. Until mid-April, Hungary has spent €1,6 billion protecting its southern borders and more than €105 million overcoming the refugee situation caused by the war in Ukraine. The European Union has so far only covered 2% of these costs, which is ridiculous. Finally, there is cause for optimism, as the European Commission recently announced the first payments of cohesion funds to Member States that help refugees. In the meantime, Brussels is holding back the RRF for political reasons.
Frontex president Fabrice Leggeri resigned last week over the OLAF report, which Leggeri says defends the theses of critical NGOs. What do you think about the events at Frontex and the growing influence of NGOs in the EU?
Certain NGOs are able to exert a significant influence on public life and public debate. Even the European Court of Justice confirmed this when it decided on our law on civil society organizations in Hungary. In the European arena, however, some left-liberal NGOs have become dominant players in decision-making.
An impressive example of this was their preoccupation with the Hungarian elections. They used literally every means to discredit the Conservative government. One of them published a message stating that the Fidesz party manipulated the 2018 elections. Another left-wing organization literally called the government a cancerous tumor, while at the forum of a liberal institution, speakers supported political pressure as an instrument to influence Hungarian politics. And the list could be expanded further. One of the seven theses that Hungary has formulated about the future of Europe is: decisions should be made by chosen leading personalities and not by international NGOs!
In many western media, the Visegrád group is portrayed as disrupted because of the Russian entry into Ukraine. This is also a concern of many Hungarians because of the age-old friendship with the Poles. How is the situation within the V4? Is there a danger of a breakup if the war in Ukraine escalates?
I envy those journalists who have the time and energy to discredit our alliance as if they had no other topics. That's why I repeat it again: the V4 collaboration is lively and good. We regularly consult each other before EU ministers' meetings, exchange our views on various questions and respect each other's point of view. It was never a secret that for Poland the theme of Russia is a red line, any more than our pragmatic dependence on Russian energy. Although the left-wing media systematically forgets to report on it, Slovakia also sources 85% of its gas from Russia. We are on the same side as our V4 allies in many aspects of the war. Peace is our top priority, and Hungary has always joined the sanctions supported by all Member States. So the whole idea of a breakup of the V4 is just a fairy tale of the left-liberals, who cannot accept the result of the Hungarian elections.
What is the effect of the war on the economic situation in Hungary? Despite the crisis, the Hungarian government will increase pensions by 8,9%.
We should be aware that prices will continue to rise as long as the war continues. Therefore, we cannot afford to remain passive. We are doing everything we can to protect the Hungarian people from the effects of the price increases. That is why we have introduced price restrictions and increased pensions, while at the same time maintaining measures already in place such as family help or exempting under 25s from paying payroll tax. The Hungarian economy is still strong and stable, our gross domestic product grew by 7,1% last year, which is the second best in the EU, our unemployment rate is below 4% and Hungarian companies continue to expand. There is no cause for concern, the government will defend the interests of Hungarian citizens and businesses.
Many conservatives seem hopeful after Viktor Orbán's example. Do you think this new one, let me call it “Hungarian Revolution” can be exported?
I really hope that our victory will revitalize all conservatives in Europe. The Hungarian people have proven that it is possible to believe in the values of the family, the fatherland and Christianity, and that the old idea of a union based on a strong alliance of strong nations can be revived . The key to making European conservatism great again lies in the collaboration of think tanks, movements and citizens to carry the spiritual flame for those who have remained in the EU without proper representation, especially after the EPP has lost its identity and has joined the left-liberal forces. Ahead of us is a beautiful and hopeful time, although strategic patience is now required. Because the most important thing right now is peace and security.