PM Orban: Hungary must remain up and running

Our battle plan in the autumn is different from what it was during the spring, but the most important thing is that Hungary must - and will - remain functional, PM Viktor Orban told Hungary s public broadcaster in an exclusive interview on Saturday night.


Speaking to Hungary s public broadcaster in connection with the coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he starts each morning by checking the infection numbers and mortality rates.

“I must say that the actual figures are even higher. We need to focus on fatality numbers and we can succeed in keeping them lower,” he added.

He said the battle plan in the autumn will be different from the one in spring. As we already know the enemy and Hungary s healthcare system has withstood the pressure, we are in a better situation. We conducted a national consultation survey in the summer, so we also know what people want.

We must keep Hungary fully operational and we can t allow the virus to paralyse the country, PM Orban said, adding that virologists also see the need to give advice that does not entail having to stop the whole country. He stressed, however, that the rules already imposed on, for instance,  wearing masks and avoiding crowds and public gatherings in times of illness, must be followed and enforced.

We respectfully ask people to follow the rules, otherwise, we will need to introduce sanctions, Mr Orban said. Parents, for example, want the schools to remain up and running. If there are problems, we must isolate the class in question, unlike during spring, when we were unaware of the potential damages of the virus as people were buried in mass graves abroad. Hungary has passed the test with flying colours, Mr Orban explained, adding that they make decisions based on expert opinions provided by epidemiologists.

The government s priority now is to keep the country up and running, he said, noting that Hungary must prepare for a surge in the number of infections, something also witnessed abroad.

Hungary will protect the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses, the prime minister said. The government is mulling a number of issues, such as imposing a visiting ban on nursing homes, or checking children s body temperature in schools. We have already decided on these, saving the lives of tens of thousands of elderly people in the spring, and we will do it again, he added. Our hospitals boast more then ten thousand free beds and sufficient ventillator numbers, so we are able to protect the health of every Hungarian, PM Orban said.

Viktor Orban stressed that while protecting jobs is paramount, the government s goal is to create even new ones. There is only one serious problem though, and that s tourism in Budapest, the premier said, adding that the capital will need a special strategy.

Responding to criticism from abroad, Viktor Orban said “big states have big egos and, for some reason, the Germans think that they know everything better.” Besides crisis management, we must focus on a number of long-term issues, as the Germans want to live with people from different, foreign cultures. We do not want an open society and wish to live in a civilisation determined by Christian culture, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban concluded.



coronavirus, economy, Hungary, pandemic, viktor orban