“Our primary duty is to guarantee the security of Hungary and the Hungarian people”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a public forum in Szeged on Tuesday.

Before a crowd of over two hundred people at the Gál Ferenc College of Higher Education in Szeged, Mr. Szijjártó emphasised: “No amount of pressure can break the Hungarian Government while it has the will, mandate and support of the Hungarian people behind it”.

“Our ‘bureaucrat friends in Brussels’ must also accept the fact that the Hungarians and the people of Central Europe reserve the right to insist on their national identity and on their cultural, religious and historical traditions, and that they are not prepared to give these up no matter how much pressure is applied to them” he highlighted. “Hungary is a country of Hungarians, and it will remain so”, he declared.

“Today, the broad political mandate and stability that characterises Hungary is totally unheard of in Western Europe”, he continued, calling it a huge competitive advantage that a political family has a two-thirds parliamentary majority behind it. “The only other place where anything similar exists in Europe is in Poland”, he added.

“We would not have been able to protect Hungary during the past fie years, since the migration crisis has posed a true challenge, without being able to govern with a two-thirds majority”, the Minister said.

“Everything that has happened in Hungary during the past nine years has happened in accordance with the will and mandate of the Hungarian people and in accordance with the national interest”, he emphasised.

“In 2009, few people would have placed their bets on there being economic indices and figures in ten years’ time with relation to which Hungary is the best in Europe”, he pointed out.

“Ten years ago, Hungary was characterised by an economic downturn and a state of near bankruptcy. There was only one country ahead of Greece that needed the IMF’s assistance and program, and that was Hungary”, he added.

“At the time, unemployment stood at 12 percent, sovereign debt was over 85 percent, the budget deficit for the first six months of the year approached 7 percent, and whatever cupboard we opened, there were skeletons falling out of it”, he said.

“However, the Government made an unexpected move and used economic policy instruments that others criticised as bold, the goals of which were not survival, but for Hungary to be among the winners in the world following the crisis. The goal was the establishment of a work-based or workfare society in which the state supports families instead of hindering them, and in which parents work while also raising children”, he highlighted.

“This was the goal served by the series of measures that have resulted in Hungary now having the lowest rates of taxes in Europe”, he added. “In 2010, there were 1.8 million taxpayers in Hungary, but now there are 4.5 million; never since the regime change have so many people been working and paying taxes as there are now. In addition, Hungary can now also boast the highest rate of economic growth in the European Union in view of the fact that it finished in first place last year with a result of 5 percent, and its rate of economic growth of 5.1 percent achieved during the first half of this year also places Hungary in first place, far ahead of the other European Union member states”, he listed.

“We have also succeeded in proving that economic growth can be produced without taking the country into debt, and it is fiscal discipline and economic growth together that define the ‘Hungarian model’, the existence of which was not previously acknowledged”, the Minister stated.

Mr. Szijjártó pointed out that since 2014 Hungary has closed every single year by breaking the previous year’s record for foreign investment. “A total of 1350 billion forints (EUR 4 billion) in investment arrived in Hungary last year, and 731 billion forints (EUR 2.19 billion) in investment has already arrived during the first six months of this year”, he pointed out.

The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade asked those present to support the campaign of independent candidate for the post of mayor, Pál Nemesi, to enable the change that will allow cooperation between the city and the Government to be much stronger and more effective than it was in previous years to also come about in Szeged.

At the public forum, Pál Nemesi, the independent candidate for the post of Mayor of Szeged, who is being backed by the governing Fides-KDNP coalition, highlighted the fact that there is a marked difference between the performance of the Hungarian economy during the past eight-ten years, and that of Szeged. “The private sector is extremely saddened by the disadvantage that characterises Szeged, since instead of catching up to the average county capitals in Hungary, the city is instead falling even further behind”, he said.

According to the President of the Csongrád County Chamber of Commerce and Industry, industrial and economic development has shifted into the background during the past government term, and accordingly he asked the Minister to ensure that in future Szeged “is included to an even greater extent in the focus that will enable the city to begin moving in a direction that dynamically determines its development”.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)