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Viktor Orban: We’ve received one of the strongest mandates in the last 30 years

 
 
 
 
 
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The Hungarian people voted in favour of national sovereignty in Sunday’s general election, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told an international press conference in Parliament on Tuesday.

Assessing the election campaign, Orban said it was voters who had determined the most important topics: migration and the question of national sovereignty. And they said they should be the only ones to decide whom they wish to live together with, “and we must respect this decision”, the prime minister added.

Orban said there would be “significant changes” in his new government. The cabinet will be reshuffled “with mostly new people.” He said the new government could be formed in 3-4 weeks’ time. “We don’t intend to continue with the previous term but instead open a new one,” Orban said, adding that the terms of all of his ministers and state secretaries had expired. Asked if he could name any ministers who would stay on in the new cabinet, he said: “I could, but I don’t want to.”

Hungary is a country that wants a strong Europe of strong member states, the prime minister said. He said his government had to stand by a “Europe of nations” rather than a “united states of Europe”.

Orban said the size of his Fidesz party’s support was clear, “and we received a strong mandate; in fact one of the strongest — if not the strongest — of the last 30 years.” The prime minister said his new government would work to improve Hungary’s demographic indicators.

Asked about an opposition demonstration announced for this coming Saturday, Orban said: “The people have decided and that’s all there is to it.”

Asked about the possibility of central bank governor Gyorgy Matolcsy taking up a role in the new government, Orban said that since Sunday, he had only spoken to Matolcsy about market reactions to his victory. The prime minister said he had received “reassuring answers” from Matolcsy and that they had not discussed anything else.

Orban said the new government’s economic policy would follow “the economic school of Matolcsy”, whose premise is that the country’s finances must be in order. Therefore, Hungary’s public debt is expected to decline further, he added.

On the topic of the “Stop Soros” bill, he said the proposal had been submitted to parliament before the election so that voters would be able to make their decision knowing that, and this fact boosted its legitimacy. “We feel empowered to pass it,” he said.

Asked about whether he had received congratulations from Hungarian opposition parties, Orban said he was of the school of thought that if someone loses then it is normal to give their congratulations. “There are other schools of thought,” he added.

The prime minister noted that President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker had congratulated him by phone and he had invited Juncker to visit Hungary, and his visit was expected within a week or two.

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