Notable Quotes: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

Fidesz Revolution

“It is not simply a matter of the sixth free election in Hungary. A much more important thing happened on this day in Hungary. Today a revolution took place in the voting booths.” 

—April 25, 2010, speaking after the Fidesz-Christian Democratic People’s Party alliance secured a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly following the 2010 general election (source in Hungarian).

“In 2010 Hungary pulled itself together and carried out a revolution.” 

—March 28, 2014, during an interview with the pro-government journalist Zsolt Bayer, referring to the 2010 National Assembly election that brought the second Orbán government to power (source in Hungarian at 4:29). 

“Over the past four years a revolution truly has taken place in this country. This revolution has taken place not on the streets and squares, but in the soul. It was fought not with swords and blood, but with the heart and faith.” 

May 10, 2014, after taking his oath of office as prime minister (source in English).

Duration of Power

“To tell the truth, I have always seen the 20 years between 2010 and 2030 as a unified era.”

May 10, 2018, after taking his oath of office as prime minister (source in Hungarian).

Restitution

“We are gentle and cheerful people, though we are neither blind nor are we pushovers. After the [2018 National Assembly] election we are naturally going to seek restitution—moral, political and legal restitution.” 

March 15, 2018, speaking at commemoration of the outbreak of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution (source in Hungarian).

Minority Government

“I have never led a minority government and I never will . . . It is not good for democracy. We need a majority government. If I do not have a majority, then someone else must form a government. If no one else is capable of doing so, we will go to new elections. There will not be a minority government, which in my view would be terrible for Hungary.” 

May 3, 2013, during interview with the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth (source in English).

Becoming President 

“The chance that I will be president of the republic are under zero.”

May 26, 2015 (source in Hungarian).

Christianity

“The way in which Christian origins, traditions and outlook upon life are not sufficiently acknowledged in the institutions of the European Union still hurts millions of European people to this day. Christianity is not only a religion, but is also a culture on which we have built a whole civilization. This is not a choice, but a fact. If people feel that European politics are fighting against their own origins and are ashamed to admit that we are really a Christian continent, this will only alienate more people from the European Union.” 

May 8, 2014, speaking at the European Forum Conference in Berlin (source in English).

“We openly divulge and acknowledge our objectives. We want a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe. This is only possible if we also affirm that we want a Christian Hungary in a Christian Europe.” 

September 16, 2017, during speech at meeting of the Alliance of Christian Intellectuals in Budapest (source in Hungarian).

“Out of either carelessness or naiveté, the Western half of the not-so-long-ago still strong and Christian Europe is giving up its churches and getting rid of its religious symbols one after another and turning its back on its own culture, not even noticing that with this it is throwing away its own future.” 

October 1, 2017, during consecration of Hungarian Reformed church in Szászfenes (Florești), Romania (source in Hungarian). 

“We offer grateful thanks that divine grace has compensated for our weaknesses and our infirmities and has carried away our flaws. We also see God’s help in the fact that even though we must enter the fray against heavy forces, even global forces, we are still standing, we are still standing on our own feet. We regard the essence of our God-ordained responsibility in our government work to be the preservation of the life outlook which on the basis of Christ’s teachings has made Europe and the Hungarians [magyarság] great, has shielded them at times of danger and helped them through spiritual, intellectual and national crises.”

October 31, 2017, speaking at a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation (source in Hungarian).

“They [George Soros and his “army”] believe in a multi-cultural Europe. They don’t like Christian Europe. The don’t like the traditions of Christian Europe. They don’t like Christians at all.” 

June 8, 2018, during interview on state-run Kossuth Radio (source in Hungarian from 00:29).

The Persecution of Christians

“The truth always begins with stating the facts. It is a fact that today Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. It is a fact that today 215 million Christian people in 108 countries suffer some form of persecution. It is a fact that four out of five people who are oppressed because of their religion are Christians. It is a fact that in 2015, a Christian was murdered in Iraq every five minutes due to his or her religious conviction. And it is a fact that we see very little news about these events in the international press and it is a fact that we must use a magnifying glass in our search for political expressions [megnyilvánulás] condemning the persecution of Christians.” 

October 12, 2017, during speech at conference in Budapest regarding the persecution of Christians (source in Hungarian).

See entire article (193 quotes).

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European Union Net Funding to Hungary, 2011–2016

The European Union provided Hungary with 26.54 billion euros in net funding (gross funding from the EU budget minus contributions to the EU budget) during the first six years in which the second and third Orbán governments were in power for the entire year (2011–2016).

Hungary’s average population was 9.9 million in the years 2011–2016 (source in English). Hungary thus received per-capita net funding of 2,681 euros over this six-year period.

Source: European Commission data on “operating budget balance” for the years 2007–2013 and 2014–2020.

Hungary received the highest amount of per-capita net European Union funding among all 28 EU member states in the years 2011–2016. During this six-year period, 17 member states of the European Union were net recipients of funding from the EU (see table below), while 11 member states were net financial contributors to the EU.

Sources: European Commission data on “operating budget balance” for the years 2007–2013 and 2014–2020; and Trading Economics population data.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has claimed that European Union funding to Hungary serves to counterbalance the profit that Western companies derive as the result of the opening of the country’s markets to them. Prime Minister Orbán said during an interview published in the pro-government daily newspaper Magyar Idők on December 24, 2015 (source in Hungarian):

It is worthwhile to clarify whether we are really getting their [the European Union’s] money. After forty years of communism, central Europe undertook competition with the capital-rich big Western companies. We opened our markets in such a way as to provide Western companies with an enormous advantage and they were able to gain profit-generating positions in our economies that we could never acquire in theirs. In spite of the legal possibility of competition, the difference in the scale of capital has long made this an illusion. We get the sums [of money] that we get in order to counterbalance this. Moreover, the business profit that leaves Hungary for the West reaches the magnitude of the amount of support that arrives from there.

Germany was the greatest net financial contributor to the European Union in the years 2011–2016. During this period, Germany made a per-capita net financial contribution of 945 euros to the EU (see sources A, B and C in English).

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Scenes from the Opposition Demonstration

On April 21, 2018, the Facebook group Mi vagyunk a többség (We Are the Majority) held an opposition demonstration in Budapest. The demonstration drew tens of thousands of participants, though was somewhat smaller than the demonstration the group held in the city one week earlier.

Participants from across the political spectrum attended the demonstration—a new phenomenon in Hungary, where the opposition to the Orbán government has been fragmented into nationalist, socialist, liberal and green factions that do not cooperate with one another.

The main speaker: Mayor Péter Márki-Zay of Hódmezővásárhely, a city in southern Hungary that was considered an unassailable Fidesz bastion until he won a mayoral by-election there in February 2018 as an opposition independent.

The main explicit message of the demonstration: “You are the new opposition!”

The main implicit message of the demonstration: opposition must be extended from Budapest to the “countryside” (vidék) in order to have any chance of defeating the Fidesz-Christian Democratic People’s Party governing alliance.

The most sobering message of the demonstration (from journalist Réka Kinga Papp): “I must note that I already stood here on a stage [at an opposition demonstration] seven years ago, on October 23, 2011.  And the end of the crowd wasn’t visible then either. I didn’t suspect that seven years later we would be demonstrating against the same political power. I would be very happy if seven years from now we were able to go out onto the streets to celebrate a success.”

The most poignant symbolic occurrence: the “Ode to Joy”–based anthem of the European Union played at the end of the demonstration—following the national anthem of Hungary.

Below are some photos from the demonstration.

Click on any photo for gallery view.

See all 24 photos.

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New: 2018 National Assembly Election

National Assembly seats won in 2018 general election.

The FideszChristian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) alliance won its third-consecutive two-thirds majority in the National Assembly of Hungary in the general election held in the county on April 8, 2018.

Fidesz-KDNP won 133, or 66.8 percent, of the 199 seats in the National Assembly. This two-thirds majority will again enable the governing alliance to pass so-called cardinal laws (sarkalatos törvények), including those amending the Fundamental Law of Hungary, without support from National Assembly opposition parties.

Five opposition parties won 64 seats in the National Assembly: the nationalist party Jobbik won 26 seats; the Hungarian Socialist Party-Dialogue for Hungary alliance won 20 seats; the social-liberal party Democratic Coalition won 9 seats; the green-liberal party Politics Can Be Different won 8 seats; and the liberal party Together won 1 seat.

An opposition independent, former Hungarian Central Statics Office director Tamás Mellár, and the National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary won the remaining two seats in the National Assembly.

In comparison to the 2014 National Assembly election, Fidesz-KDNP won the same number of seats in the 2018 National Assembly election, while the Democratic Coalition gained five seats, Jobbik and Politics Can Be Different gained three seats, Together lost two seats and the Hungarian Socialist Party and Dialogue for Hungary, which contested the 2014 election separately, lost ten seats.

Voters cast two ballots in National Assembly elections in Hungary—one for an individual candidate in their electoral district and one for a party at the national level. Of the 199 seats in the National Assembly of Hungary, 106 are derived from elections between individual candidates in an equal number of electoral districts in the country, while 93 are derived from votes for parties at the national level.

Results of 2018 National Assembly election in electoral districts outside Budapest.

In the 2018 National Assembly Election, Fidesz-KDNP candidates defeated their opposition rivals in 91 of 106 electoral districts in Hungary. Fidesz-KDNP candidates won in 85 of 88 electoral districts located outside of Budapest, though won in only 6 of 18 electoral districts in Budapest.

Opposition candidates defeated their Fidesz-KDNP rivals in 14 electoral districts: Hungarian Socialist Party-Dialogue for Hungary candidates in 7 Budapest districts and 1 Szeged district; Democratic Coalition candidates in 3 Budapest districts; Politics Can Be Different and Together candidates in 1 Budapest district each; a Jobbik candidate in the single Dunaújváros district; and independent candidate Tamás Mellár in a Pécs district.

Fidesz-KDNP won 49.6 percent of votes cast for parties in the 2018 National Assembly election, while the seven main opposition parties won 49.2 percent of votes and minor parties, most of them so-called sham parties (kamupárt in Hungarian) that participated in the election exclusively in order to obtain government campaign-funding, received 0.2 percent of the votes.

Of the seven main opposition parties, Jobbik received 19.2 percent of all party votes cast, while the Hungarian Socialist Party-Dialogue for Hungary alliance received 12 percent, Politics Can Be Different received 7.1 percent, the Democratic Coalition received 5.4 percent, the Momentum Movement 3.1 percent, the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party 1.7 percent and Together 0.7 percent.

Results of 2018 National Assembly election in electoral districts in Budapest

Fidesz-KDNP won 42 of the 93 National Assembly seats distributed proportionally to parties via the party lists based on the number of votes cast for the parties at the national level plus the number of so-called fragmentary votes (töredékszavazat) cast for candidates affiliated with the parties in the individual electoral districts—that is, those votes cast for losing candidates in the electoral districts as well as those cast for winning candidates beyond the one vote needed for victory over the second-place candidate.

Opposition parties won 50, or 53.8 percent, of the 93 National Assembly seats distributed to parties based on the number of votes cast for parties plus the number of fragmentary votes. Jobbik won 25 of these 50 seats, while the Hungarian Socialist Party-Dialogue for Hungary alliance won 12, Politics Can Be Different won 7 and the Democratic Coalition won 6.

the National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary won the remaining seat in the National Assembly distributed via party votes.

The opposition parties Momentum Movement, the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party and Together failed to receive the minimum of five percent of all votes cast for parties in order to gain seats in the National Assembly via party and fragmentary votes.

Fidesz-KDNP won 96.2 percent of the 224,564 votes that Hungarian citizens who do not have a permanent address in Hungary cast via mail in the 2018 National Assembly election. Around 60 percent of such Hungarian citizens who registered to vote via mail were from the two countries surrounding Hungary that permit dual citizenship—Romania and Serbia (source in Hungarian).

A total of 70.2 percent of all eligible voters in Hungary participated in the 2018 National Assembly election, up from 61.2 percent from the 2014 National Assembly election.

Source of data (in Hungarian): website of the National Election Office.

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Pre-Election Sampler from the Freesheets

Below are scanned images from the final two issues of the free daily newspaper Lokál and the final issue of the free weekly newspaper Lokál Extra published before the April 8 National Assembly election in Hungary.

The 12-page Lokál has a daily circulation of 150,000 copies and is distributed at public-transportation, railway and inter-city bus stations in Budapest. The 24-page Lokál Extra has a circulation of 1,160,000 copies and is delivered to homes and residential buildings in Budapest and 24 other cities in Hungary (source in Hungarian).

The newspapers operate under the ownership of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s chief strategic adviser Árpád Habony and former legal adviser Tibor Győri.

The free newspapers derive a significant proportion of their revenue from publicly financed advertisements for the Orbán government or state-owned companies such as the Hungarian Electrical Works, Hungarian State Railways and lottery company Szerencsejáték.  

Both free newspapers overtly support the Orbán government and the FideszChristian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) governing coalition.

Most of the articles published in Lokál and Lokál Extra just before the April 8 National Assembly election promoted the campaign strategy and platform of the Orbán government and the Fidesz-KDNP alliance, portraying Muslim migration as a grave security, cultural and religious threat to Hungary and depicting Prime Minister Orbán and the parties under his command as the political forces that are willing and able to defend the country from this menace and the opposition parties and their leaders as the pawns of Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist George/György Soros and the local proponents of his alleged pro-migration policies known collectively as the Soros Plan.

Appearing underneath the scanned images of pages from Lokál and Lokál Extra are translations of the main titles and some of the secondary titles from the given page as well as excerpts from the text of some of the attending articles.

Note that Gábor Vona, who is the subject of many of the articles appearing below, is the president of the opposition party Jobbik.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Lokál, April 6, page 1

 Viktor Orbán: “There is going to be a big battle this weekend. Nobody should stay at home.” 

This Sunday Two Times Fidesz

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Lokál, April 5 and April 6, page 2

 Orbán government campaign advertisement showing a stop sign superimposed on a dense column of migrants marching through the countryside somewhere along the Balkan migration route in 2015.

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Lokál, April 5, page 3

Soros’s Candidates SAID NO to the Fence

“They are lying. This summarizes the electoral machinations of the opposition. These political officials are eating from György Soros’s plate and can hardly wait to win on Sunday so they can open the way for migrants to come pouring into Hungary.”

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Lokál, April 6, page 7

 A Migrant Murdered a Women Who Wanted to Help Him

“A Somalian migrant stabbed to death a 22-year-old woman who was helping refugees at the reception camp in Mölndal in southern Sweden.”

Facts About Migration

“There are 186 no-go zones in Sweden, of which 55 are particularly dangerous. Migrants rape one in eight Swedish women. The number of sex crimes has risen 26 percent in Austria and 670 percent in Leipzig because of migrants. People of ‘foreign background’ commit one out of two crimes in Australia. Migrants commit 93 out of every 100 crimes in Germany. The number of crimes has risen 10.4 percent as a result of this. Migrants attacked 1,035 physicians in France last year alone. A total of 70 million people could leave Nigeria for Europe over the next five years.”

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Lokál, April 5, page 6

 A Migrant Murdered Two Women and Lived with Their Corpses for Months

Africans Committed Rape in Prague

An Immigrant Committed a Stabbing While Shouting Allahu Akbar

Orbán: the Fence Protects Budapest as Well

See entire post.

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The Land of Two Peace Marches

March 15: Hungary’s national holiday commemorating the outbreak of the 1848 revolution against Habsburg rule.

Always a lot of street politics on this date, especially this year with the general election just over three weeks away.

Orange Files covered simultaneous events in Budapest on this day: the Civil Cooperation Forum (CÖF)–organized pro–Orbán government Peace March (Békemenet) and the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party (Kétfarkú Kutya Párt, or MKKP)–organized anti–Orbán government Peace March.

It was the seventh Peace March that the government-organized non-governmental organization CÖF has organized since 2012.

It was the first Peace March that the extra-parliamentary joke party MKKP has organized.

The official and unofficial slogans, respectively, of the Civil Cooperation Forum’s Peace March: “The Homeland Before All Else!” (A Haza Minden Előtt!); and “Hungary Protects Europe!” (in English).

The official and unofficial slogans, respectively, of the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party’s Peace March: “The Banner Before All Else!” (A Molinó Minden Előtt!) and “Let Hungary Be the Land of Two Peace Marches!” (Legyen Magyarország a Két Békemenet Országa!).

Below are some of the photographs that Orange Files and his assistant (wife) took at the CÖF and MKKP Peace Marches held on March 15, 2018.  Many tens of thousands of demonstrators participated in the Civil Cooperation Forum Peace March. Around 10,000 people participated in the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party Peace March.

Click on any photo to see gallery view.

See all photographs from seventh Civil Cooperation Forum Peace March.

See all photographs from the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party Peace March. Most of the photographs of the MKKP Peace March focus on signs that display absurd or punny Hungarian-language text or refer to current scandals involving Fidesz and Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) officials and their family members.

Below are two short videos taken at the dual Peace Marches in Budapest. The video on the top shows the CÖF Peace March proceeding past a stage on which an opposition group placed loudspeakers playing Stalinist-era communist anthems. The video on the bottom shows the MKKP Peace March proceeding with communist anthems of the same type playing from a loudspeaker on an accompanying truck. Both refer to the playing of such anthems at May Day parades during the communist era in Hungary. The communist anthem played at the CÖF Peace March was a serious reference to the communist-like authoritarianism of the Orbán government and the Fidesz-KDNP alliance. The communist anthem played at the MKKP Peace March was an absurd reference to the restoration of authoritarian government in Hungary two decades after the fall of communism.

 

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Orbán Gov’t and Party Campaign Signs

Above are Orange Files photos of the two main 2018 election campaign signs (click to enlarge) of the Viktor Orbán–led government of Hungary and Fidesz political party. They currently appear in large number on billboards, advertising columns and bus-stop shelters throughout Budapest (and presumably all of Hungary).

The sign at left is that of the government of Hungary. It reads:

The UN wants us to continuously receive immigrants.

———HUNGARY DECIDES, NOT THE UN!

The sign at right is that of the Fidesz party. It shows Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist György/George Soros flanked by the four main opposition candidates for prime minister (from left to right: Bernadett Szél of Politics Can Be Different; Ferenc Gyurcsány of the Democratic Coalition; Gábor Vona of Jobbik; and Gergely Karácsony of the Hungarian Socialist Party and Dialogue for Hungary). It reads:

TOGETHER THEY WOULD DISMANTLE THE BORDER BARRIER

The Orbán government sign refers to the proposed “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” that the United Nations published in February 2018 (see document).

Minister of External Economy and Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó announced on March 1, 2018, that the Orbán government rejects the basic premise of the proposed UN compact, which according to Szijjártó is that “migration is a good thing and unstoppable” (source in English).

In his annual “State of the Nation” address on February 18, 2018, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in reference to the UN compact, specifically to the statement in it that “Migration has been part of the human experience throughout history, and we recognize that it can be a source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development in our globalized world” (source in English):

This is obviously utter nonsense. It’s incomprehensible why they would think us to be such raving lunatics as to accept this and then implement it. We must bluntly state that Hungary is not a country of deranged people. We understand that George Soros’s organizations have not only installed themselves in Brussels and Budapest, but also in New York, at the UN. We understand that they are spending incalculable sums of money on pushing through acceptance for migration at a global level.

The Fidesz sign refers to the so-called “Soros Plan” pertaining to the 2015 European migration crisis (see National Consultation on the Soros Plan). According to a post regarding the sign published on the official Fidesz Facebook site (source in Hungarian):

For the opposition leaders, Soros’s will is the most important. They are prepared to implement the Soros Plan: they would dismantle the border barrier and settle immigrants [in Hungary]. Therefore, although they appear to be hopelessly feeble, they are nevertheless dangerous.

In fact, neither George Soros nor any of the four prime ministerial candidates shown on the sign, nor the five parties they represent advocate dismantling Hungary’s southern border barrier (source in Hungarian).

Both signs correspond to the single-theme campaign platform of the Orbán government and Fidesz for the April 8, 2018, general election. Prime Minister Orbán concisely described this platform during a March 1, 2018, television interview (source in Hungarian):

Hungary stands before two paths from which it can choose: either there will be a national government and then we won’t be a country of immigration; or György Soros’s people will form a government and then Hungary will become a country of immigration.

Update: two weeks before the general election, the Orbán government and Fidesz replaced the above campaign signs with those shown below. On the left is the government sign, which displays a stop sign superimposed on a dense column of migrants. On the right is the Fidesz sign, which displays the same five people as the party’s previous sign next to text reading “Let’s Stop Soros’s Candidates!

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