Maybe the most surprising thing about Viktor Orbán's speech today was how tame it was compared to his earlier 15 March orations. For most of his speech, he lauded Poland and the Polish-Hungarian friendship and spoke about the protection of Christian culture. Not a single time did he bring George Soros up, and he only implicitly likened Brussels to an occupying empire on one occasion, heated by the enthusiasm of the Polish people in the crowd as he talked about the relationship of the two nations.
Maybe Manfred Weber's tough words are having an effect on Orbán, maybe he just did not want to provoke tensions before the political assembly of the EPP next Wednesday, either way, here are the main points of the surprisingly reserved speech:
- Orbán welcomed the Polish guests and Prime Minister Moriawiecki, and said Hungary and Poland has a special place in the hearts of Hungarians, thousand-year-old friendship. He added that without Poland, there would be no free Hungary, and Europe could not have been reunified. He said this strong relationship might seem like a romantic legend in today's European politics, but
"We think of life as a great romantic adventure that is worth nothing without true friends."
- A great Central European Renaissance is about to take place according to Orbán; the region is about to relive its former glory. Hungary and Poland know how to be friends in tough times, but finally, the two nations will live in a world in which they want to live. He added:
"If Brussels attacks Poland, they attack the entire region, including us Hungarians. We are sending a message to those builders of empires who wish to extend their shadow over Central Europe: They will always have to account for the strong bond between Poland and Hungary."
- Orbán said 1848 reminds Hungarians of their common goal: a free nation living in Hungary in their own independent state. He said Hungarians have a right to their country, their Hungarian way of life, as they like it. He said misfortune and occupying forces can push this truth aside, but no matter how cunning or smart, no empire can change that. Hungary has never been defeated in the wars for preserving the nation and its Christian culture. Orbán said that the fact we are still here is the greatest victory a nation like ours can have over empires.
- Orbán mentioned historical examples of Hungarians insisting on free choice - and added this thirst for liberty stemmed from Christianity, therefore there is no free Hungary without Christianity, just like there will be no freedom in Europe without Christianity.
"without Christian culture, there will be no free life in Europe, and we will lose Europe without the protection of our Christian culture, and Europe will no longer belong to Europeans. We wish for the blindness of the people of Europe to heal, so they can see that we would all lose our freedoms in a Liberal Empire of Europe."
- About the EP election, Orbán said Hungarians fought the longest in 1848, and Hungarians faced the Russian arms in 1956, and Hungarians stopped migration at Europe's southern border in 2015, and Hungarians want a strong Europe with strong nation-states, and a strong European leader who takes help where it's needed and does not bring problems here. He said:
"We want a new beginning, to stop Europe's decline and to end the fever-dreams about a United States of Europe, so Europe can belong to Europeans once again."
- Concluding his speech, Orbán ended with the mix of his old catchphrase "Go Hungary, go Hungarians" with the bit inspired by Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro: "Hungary first, God above all."