PM Orban: Hungarians and Serbs have started building a new future
Hungarians and Serbs have begun building a new future of which they will both be the winners, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday in Serbia's Horgos, at a ceremony marking the refurbishment of the Szeged-Subotica railway line.
In his speech, Hungary’s prime minister emphasized that although renovating the 150-year-old railway line is the plan, they are actually laying the foundations. Talk of foundation building is symbolic of the new future Serbs and Hungarians have started building, Mr Orban said, adding that
“together we are stronger,” therefore our bilateral relations need to be strengthened, which is why an agreement on strategic cooperation and alliance was concluded.
Trials and tribulations throughout history have cut this railway line in half and with it the inhabitants of both cities suffered great losses, and the railway line became completely insignificant, PM Orban recalled. He added that six years ago, thousands of illegal migrants proceeded along the railway line into Hungary and Europe, so the route had to be shut down, until traffic was eventually cut off entirely.
In PM Orban’s view, this is a typically Central European phenomenon: “something is devised far away from us in some imperial centre”, then they try to force it on us and “we end up paying the price for it”. Foreign powers have always brought only war and unrest here, he said. He added that whatever came from the outside “separated us”, bringing deterioration and conflict. Hungary’s prime minister stressed that
“it was high time we took control of shaping our own destiny.”
The Schengen border is now stretching along this line, Mr Orban stressed, adding that the European Union’s external frontier should not be here but further south and Serbs should be able to travel to Hungary and Europe without any passport checks. Serbia is the gateway to the Balkans and a key state in ensuring Europe’s security, Viktor Orban said.
Serbia has been ready for accession for years, Hungary’s prime minister said, adding that the question will soon be whether it still wants to join, and whether the bloc – which it wants to join – is still in existence. Hungary remains a committed supporter of Serbia, he reiterated.
This project “has a bigger brother”, the upgrade of the Budapest-Belgrade railway link, and the parties are determined to complete the building of tracks between the town of Baja in southern Hungary and the city of Subotica in northern Serbia soon. Efforts are being made so that these development projects can be implemented with the simplest possible border controls, because the aim of politics is to serve the interests of those who live here, Hungary’s prime minister said.
Together, Hungarians and Serbs are not twice, but many times stronger than individually, and everything they do together, everything they build together, appears to be proof of this,
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic underlined.
In his speech, Mr Vucic thanked PM Orban for having the courage and vision to create completely new foundations in terms of the Hungary-Serbia ties. Relations between the two countries and two nations have never been as good as in recent years, Aleksandar Vucic noted. He highlighted that
“a strong Serbia means a strong Hungary, and a strong Hungary means a strong Serbia, which is in the interest of us all”.