Watch: Orbán Re-Elected Leader of Fidesz - Party Congress Round-Up

  • 20 Nov 2023 3:23 PM
  • Hungary Matters
Watch: Orbán Re-Elected Leader of Fidesz - Party Congress Round-Up
The 30th congress of ruling Fidesz re-elected Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as the party’s leader on Saturday. In his speech to the congress, Orbán said it was an “honour” to be given the mandate to lead the “most successful political community of the country, of Europe”.

Orbán, who has been leading Fidesz since 2003 without interruption, said trust was always an honour, even after so many years. His last mandate two years ago, he said, had been to lead Fidesz and KDNP to victory in the elections and to form a government that would continue building a strong and sovereign Hungary.

“We are in the middle of that cycle … we don’t change horses midway, especially if they pull in the right direction and are still going strong. I am happy to report to congress: the government and I are both going strong, definitely strong enough to manage the remaining two-and-a-half years.”

Regarding the next congress in 2025, he said: “I continue to be in my best years, and plan to remain so in 2025.”

The congress elected as deputy party leaders Gábor Kubatov, Szilárd Németh, Lajos Kósa and MEP Kinga Gál.

Dept PM: Protection of Christian Civilisation, National Sovereignty 'Our Primary Task'

The protection of Christian civilisation and national sovereignty remains a primary task, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, the head of junior ruling KDNP, said at the 30th Fidesz congress.

Greeting attendees on behalf of all sister organisations, Semjén said: “We interpret ourselves as parts of Hungarian history and Hungary’s mission in this present day and age.”

The foundation of that is St Stephen, Hungary’s first king, “who chose Christian civilisation without bowing to the Byzantine Empire or the Holy Roman Empire,” he said.

Today’s challenges are similar as the protection of Christian civilisation and national sovereignty remains a primary task, he said.

Semjén noted that the Christian Democrat (KDNP) party is marking its 79th anniversary in the coming days. KDNP is the only historical party on the Hungarian political spectrum, and the only one founded on a worldview, he said.

KDNP has also been “a partner of every one of Viktor Orbán’s governments in building the country”, he said. Christian parties must all face the dilemma of whether they should remain faithful to the teachings of historical churches, often at the risk of clashing with public tastes and losing the opportunity to govern and shape the country, he said.

Giving in to “the mainstream” and abandoning authentic Christianity may retain votes, “but losing ourselves brings about losing spiritual ground and then votes, as we can see in western Europe”.

“Our response, the Fidesz-KDNP alliance, is one of the most successful ones in Hungarian history and the European Union,” Semjén said. It has brought about a “political miracle” of four two-thirds majorities in parliament, he said.

Hunor Kelemen of Romania’s ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ hailed the Orbán government’s policies for Hungarians across the borders as a “Copernican twist” that had finally brought Hungary and Hungarians living across the borders on the same side.

“After 100 years, it wasn’t Hungary on one side and Hungarian minorities across the borders on the other but Hungarians on either side of the border, entitled to a citizenship, government support and shared responsibility,” he said.

The “Carpathian Basin integration” is not only a national treasure but also an example “showing us the right way”, Kelemen said.

Szijjártó: Hungary National Interest, Common Sense Coincide

Hungary’s government will not give up national interests or the use of common sense, especially since “the two coincide”, the minister of foreign affairs and trade told ruling Fidesz’s 30th party congress on Saturday.

The past four years have seen two great upheavals in the world, bringing crises, conflicts and wars, “but also resulting in the majority of the European political elite practically losing their common sense”, Péter Szijjártó said.

He said some had contracted “war psychosis and think that weapons deliveries will create peace”. “Others take it as a personal slight if a man takes a woman’s hand in public … yet others are offended that there isn’t a welcoming sign every 50 meters on the green border,” he said.

The European elite is also trying to force those “crazy ideas” on everyone, he said. “With some, they use a phone call, a mean glance, an army of NGOs or media attacks.”

But Hungary “cannot be brought to its knees … not even if they invest tens of millions into the opposition,” he said. As a neighbour of Ukraine, Hungary can see clearly that brokering peace is the only way to save lives, and the circumstances for peace talks are “deteriorating day by day”, he said.

“Those bringing weapons into our neighbourhood are prolonging the war. The longer the war, the more the casualties and the greater the destruction.” As a millennium-old Christian country, Hungary also “knows that nations are based on families, and a family consists of a father, a mother and children”.

“And they can’t withhold so many billions of euros we are entitled to that we allow NGOs into schools to explain to boys that they can wear girls’ clothes even though they’re boys,” he said.

Regarding migration, Szijjártó said the Hungarian authorities had thwarted 275,000 attempts of illegal entry on the border last year.

“We know that military-trained would-be terrorists who shoot at our border patrols, storm our border fence and ignore our rules will not bring progress to Europe,” Szijjártó said.

“We don’t need people like that in Europe, especially not in Hungary, and we will never allow them to enter Hungary, no matter the quotas accepted.” “Besides standing up for peace, our families, the protection of our children and our country, we will also reject the pressure of the liberal mainstream,” he said.

Hungary will have to be ready for intensifying attacks, and the government will need the strength represented by Fidesz, “Europe’s strongest party family,” he said.

Finmin: Hungary Back on Growth Path

Hungary has returned to a path of growth in spite of the Russia-Ukraine war, the ongoing “political attacks from Brussels and the pressure from Washington”, Finance Minister Mihály Varga told the 30th congress of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party on Saturday.

Hungary was the fastest growing European Union member state in 2019, and though its growth was broken by the pandemic and the subsequent period, “thanks to the healthy structure of the economy and falling global energy prices, we’re back on a path of growth”, Varga said, adding that “our economic outlook can propel us to the top again.”

Citing the European Commission’s Autumn Economic Forecast released this week, Varga said Hungary was projected to be among the top third of EU countries in terms of growth in 2024, and was set to be the fastest-growing member state in 2025.

He said the then-incoming government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had inherited a “bankrupt” country in 2010, and because the roadmap offered by Brussels would have only led to more austerity and a loss of competitiveness, the government carved its own path.

That new path led to rising employment, Varga said, noting that the number of employed had risen to 4.1 million from 3.7 million, while the jobless rate had been cut from 12% to 4%.

“We’re practically at full employment,” he said. The government, he said, had also reworked the structure of the economy and taken a step towards a demographic turnaround by overhauling the tax system and cutting taxes.

“We built the world’s strongest family benefit system,” the minister said. Regarding the public debt, Varga noted that it had fallen from 80% to 65% by the start of the pandemic, and was now on a downward trend again.

The government also halved the ratio of foreign currency in the country’s debt and increased the share of domestic financing of the national debt to 20%, he said. Hungary has had the highest investment rate in the EU for several years and ranks ninth globally in economic complexity, Varga said.

Gulyás: Fidesz Could Contribute to Europe's 'Rightward Turn'

Hungary will contribute to a “rightward turn in Europe” if it elects as few “leftist legionnaires” as possible to the European Parliament next year, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office told the 30th congress of ruling Fidesz on Saturday.

While Fidesz “won big” at the last EP election, “foreign legionnaires are still too many”, Gergely Gulyás said. Opposition lawmakers cannot be counted on as “they are happy to accept pay and support from elsewhere, too”.

Hungary is not getting what it is entitled to because the leftist parties “do everything in their power to stop education and health care from receiving additional funding”, Gulyás said. He insisted leftist lawmakers received “enormous wages … and were happy to accept unlawful foreign campaign funding, too”.

“Unless we want to dance to Brussels’ tune”, Hungary must send MEPs to Brussels who will reject all forms of migration, and stand up for the security and border protection of Hungary and see the country’s sovereignty as a priority, and will raise their voices for Hungarian interests in Europe, he said.

Those MEPs will have to be able to stand up for the country unequivocally in a hostile environment, he said. “Those who agree with that have only one choice. Only Fidesz instead of the legionnaires!”

Csaba Dömötör, a state secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, said foreign powers had tried to interfere with Hungarian issues many times. Similar powers would now “send the country to war, open the gates to foreigners and attack green investments, he said.

“This is no country for agents, those working against their own country have no majority here, and will never have one,” he said.

“This is the country of Hungarians who will defend it with strength, patience, brains and especially with a stubborn love of the homeland,” he said. An important point of defence will be the EP elections next year, Dömötör said.

“The victory there must be so big it will be heard in every office and meeting room where they tried to decide about Hungarians without asking them.”

Kövér: 'This Is Our Country and We Will Preserve It'

Addressing the 30th congress of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party on Saturday, Speaker of Parliament László Kövér said: “This is our country, and we will preserve it for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Assessing the events of the two years since Fidesz’s last congress, Kövér noted the outbreak of the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the 11 sanctions packages approved by the European Union in response.

He said the sanctions had ended up hurting the European economy rather than the Russian, and had also failed to bring an end to the conflict, “much to the delight of those with arms and oil business interests”.

He said that in response to the formation of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s fifth government, “the federalists in Brussels are trying to outsource the country’s independent judiciary … to all kinds of agencies while trying to rob us of our money”.

The EU has failed to integrate either Türkiye or any of the Western Balkan countries awaiting membership, and “there’s an inpouring of millions of conquerors disguised as refugees”, Kövér said.

Meanwhile, he added, Europe was two years closer “to its own elimination”. “A golden age has come to an end, being replaced by inflation and economic and income contraction,” the speaker said. At the same time, employment and investments are rising, giving hope for the start of a new boom period, he added.

“We haven’t got any younger, but we are, perhaps, happier, and possibly even a bit wiser,” Kövér said.

Deutsch: 'Brussels Bureaucrats Becoming Fanatical War Agitators'

It is “shocking, outrageous and painful” to see every day that “the bureaucrats of the European Union which began as a peace project are becoming fanatical war agitators”, Tamás Deutsch, an MEP of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz, told the party’s 30th congress on Saturday.

The EU’s mission is to guarantee the peace of the hundreds of millions of people living in Europe and its neighbourhood, Deutsch said. But while many are dying in the war in Ukraine, “every MEP of the Hungarian dollar left in Brussels is pushing for escalating the war and more and more weapons deliveries”, he added.

Hungary’s left-wing MEPs, he said, wanted the country to be dragged into the conflict. “But no matter how strong the headwind, we’ll stay out of this war and represent a policy of peace,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deutsch said that “despite all the attacks from Brussels”, Hungary had for years been successful in protecting its southern borders, and in doing so, the EU as well. The Hungarian authorities have prevented the entry of more than 230,000 illegal migrants so far this year, and have prevented more than a million illegal entries since 2015, he said.

He said the MEPs of the “Hungarian dollar left” were “backstabbing Hungarians” because Hungarians had declared in a referendum that “only we can decide whom we want to live together with”.

Deutsch said Brussels bureaucrats also wanted to force Hungary to scrap its child protection law “so that gender sensitivity commandos can roam free in Hungarian kindergartens and schools”. “We understand the message: we’ll be tightening the child protection law,” Deutsch said.

On another subject, he said the “Brussels bureaucracy” was unlawfully withholding the funds owed to Hungary for political reasons.

“They don’t like the decisions we’ve been making since 2010,” he said, insisting that “[Democratic Coalition leader] Ferenc Gyurcsány and the comrades of the dollar left” were the ones behind the “politically extortionate terms they want to force on Hungary”.

Deutsch said change was needed in both Brussels in Hungary, arguing that it was “inconceivable” that Hungarian MEPs should be allowed to manoeuvre against their own country in the future.

Kocsis: 'We Must Leave Behind a Stronger, More Protected and Better Country'

Addressing the 30th congress of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz in Budapest on Saturday, Máté Kocsis, the party’s parliamentary group leader, said Fidesz’s aim was to “leave behind a stronger, more protected and better country than the one we inherited”. Kocsis congratulated Fidesz on its victory in the 2022 general election, hailing its defeat of “every chapter of [Democratic Coalition leader Ferenc] Gyurcsány’s party”.

Speaking about the opposition, he said “Ferenc Gyurcsány’s people … have done everything possible against their homeland in Brussels”.

He said the opposition had “tried getting into power using the money of billionaires, and to this day we don’t know what they promised in return for the dollars [they were donated]”.

The “members of the dollar left”, he said, “regularly ignore Hungarian interests while following foreign orders in domestic politics”.

“They really do dance to the tune of [US financier George] Soros and the Brussels elite,” he added. “We will protect our country’s sovereignty, we will act against any attempted foreign influence operation, even amending the relevant laws,” Kocsis said.

The protection of Hungary’s sovereignty will be guaranteed by the Fundamental Law, all entities contesting elections will be subject to the same rules, and accepting foreign campaign donations will be punishable by up to three years in prison, he said.

Related links

'Foreigners Wanted to Buy Future Hungarian Government', Says Orbán

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner

Hungary Matters

Launched in January 2014, this newsletter published on week days covers 'everything you need to know about what’s going on in Hungary and beyond', according to its publisher the state media agency MTI.

Explore More Reports