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Czytelnia Salon24, 30 stycznia 2013 r.

Viktor Orbán o Węgrzech, kryzysie i Europie

 Publikujemy przemówienie premiera Węgier wygłoszone dziś w brukselskim think tanku The Bruegel Economic Research Institute. Tekst jest po agnielsku. Może ktoś z blogerów przetłumaczy i opublikuje u siebie wersję polską?

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 First of all, let me please thank you for having me here today.  Well, it is not easy to find an answer, why you have invited me.  It is obvious that there are stronger and more populated countries in the European Union whose impact on our community is much bigger than Hungary’s.

 

I am aware that a country of Hungary’s size cannot say grave things but can say interesting things.  I will keep this wisdom in mind throughout my remarks.  Hungary is the land of freedom-fighters, therefore this invitation to be provocative is something that gives me pleasure.

 

One reason for inviting me could be: it is difficult to decide for the unbiased observer, while easy for the biased ones, what to think about Hungary.  Is it a black sheep or is it a European success story?

 

It is true that in the last two and a half years we have done everything in a different way than all the others.  We have taken a different road to reach the common targets, such as budget deficit under 3 %, decreasing state debt, increasing employment and starting growth.  Maybe this is a reason why I was asked to address you here today.

Everything I will say just now is based on experience.  I do not reject neither the theoretical approach, nor the argumentation based on logic, but I will speak now based on practice and experience.

 

I have seen the European Union as prime minister of a candidate country. Long time ago.  At that time the Union seemed to be victorious, optimistic and ambitious.  As prime minister of a candidate country, I had the chance to see the foundation of the Euro-zone and I was lucky enough to experience the joy and happiness caused by the reunification of the continent that had been divided because of communism.

 

I am sitting among the prime ministers today as well, may I say again,  but can hardly recognize ourselves of ten years ago.

 

The purpose of what I have to say is not to give a lecture here but to launch a debate. Accordingly, I will present, dear President, if you allow me, seven theses.

 

 

Thesis number one:

 

The relative position of the major players in the world economy and in world politics is changing rapidly.  The weight of Europe has been declining in terms of production and trade.  It is a real danger that between the emerging East and the revitalizing United States, Europe ’will fetch up in a no man’s land’. Speaking in the uninspired voice of realists, we have to say that the realistic objective for us in the near future is not to reverse the trend but rather to stabilize the situation.

 

 

Thesis number two:

 

In order to have the chance to increase our share in the world economy and world politics, it is not enough to cure our internal problems or simply renew the continent – we need to implement a new geopolitical concept as well.  We have to find the way to unify Europe’s developed technology, infrastructure, innovative industry and sophisticated financial system with those practically unlimited natural resources which are to be found east of us, mainly in Russia.

 

Aligning this with Atlanticism is one of the most difficult intellectual and political challenges of the future. For Central Europe, this is going to be a serious point on the agenda, because we require security guarantees under these new circumstances not only regarding defense rather than energy, traffic routes and free trade as well. 

This is dictated by historical experience and this is what provides the deep geopolitical and historical foundation of the V4 cooperation.

 

 

Thesis number three:

 

The crisis of the European Union and the crisis of the Euro-zone is basically crisis of competitiveness. It is often quoted that Europe’s share of the world’s population is 8%, while we account for 25% of the world’s production, but 50% of social expenditures.  This list of numbers raise a serious dilemma itself, but here comes the yet darker other side of the coin: the total state debt of the EU27 reaches 11 [thousand] billion Euros, the yearly payment of this sum with interests are 2 billion Euros, and the member states of the EU produce approximately 1.2 thousand million Euros of new debt every day.

 

Who is the crazy one to be ready to finance a system like this?

 

And above all, who is ready to do so from cheap sources, which are indispensable for competitiveness?

 

It seems to me that the European Union is in need of an economic system change. I am not in a position to speak on behalf of Europe, but I can definitely speak on behalf of Hungary.  Instead of chasing the illusions surrounding the welfare state, we have converted to a workfare state. It is true that in our ex-Communist countries, welfare states have never been built up, as opposed to Western Europe. Today this seems to be an advantage.  Hungary’s last two and a half years were about this.  We have understood that reforms, including structural reforms, are not enough.  We have understood that we need something what is deeper and something what is more general. 

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