Not left-wing ideology and thought police, but sound economic and social policies are needed, the successful Ungarian PM says:
“… The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that, according to a survey in June 2021, only 45 per cent of Germans say that they feel free to express their opinions, with 44 per cent thinking the opposite. Respondents say they could easily find themselves in hot water if they speak their mind about Islam, patriotism or love for their country. Václav Klaus – by far the most illuminating spirit among the former political leaders in Europe today – says that the individual, the family and the nation are under simultaneous attack, and that this endangers the future of Europe. European Parliament Vice-President Barley says that Hungary and Poland must be starved. A Vice-President of the European Commission calls a Member State of the EU – in other words us – a “sick democracy”. What has happened to our European Union?
In 2008 the EU accounted for 25 per cent of the world’s GDP, while in 2019 this figure had fallen to just 18 per cent. In 2008 the EU accounted for 22 per cent of the world’s total manufacturing value added, while in 2019 the figure was just 15 per cent. In 2001, fourteen of the world’s fifty largest companies were European, while today only seven are. Of the world’s ten largest financial centres, not a single one is in the European Union. Thirty years ago the European Union was filing seven times as many patent applications as China, while today China files fourteen times as many as the European Union. The past twenty-five years have seen the founding of twenty companies across the world which are currently valued at more than 100 billion dollars. Nine of them are American, eight are Chinese, but not a single one is European. What has happened to our European Union?
Over the past thirty years, the United States has increased its military spending by more than 30 per cent, China has increased its military budget nine-fold, by 900 per cent. Today the EU is still where it was thirty years ago. Of the countries with the highest military budgets, today only two European Union countries are in the world’s top ten. What has happened to our European Union?
Only one quarter of European Union citizens believe that the next generation will have a better life than today’s generation, with 57 per cent of French people, 53 per cent of Belgians and 44 per cent of Germans believing that the coming generations in France, Belgium and Germany will have worse lives than today. Where has the European dream disappeared? What has happened to our European Union? According to a 2016 study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the European single market provides the Member States with increased revenue. It is true, however, that this is not equally distributed: for the Germans it means an extra 1,046 euros per capita; for the French an extra 1,074 euros; for the Hungarians an extra 408 euros; and for the Poles an extra 382 euros. This shows that there’s divergence rather than convergence. According to a 2017 study by the CEP, another German think tank, only Germany and the Netherlands have gained and continue to gain from the euro, while all the other states in the eurozone have been suffering major losses. What has happened to our European Union?
Today is the Day of Hungarian Freedom. Thirty years of freedom. It was thirty years ago that we won the Cold War. President Reagan switched the set of railway points and launched the decisive showdown in the Cold War. With courage strengthened by the Polish Pope, Poland’s Solidarity proved that the Soviets no longer had the strength to deploy the only force keeping the socialist camp together: its army and violence. Hungary’s 1956 Revolution was already history. And seven years later, with courage derived from the Poles, the peoples of Central Europe – all of us – lined up alongside Poland and won the final battle of the Cold War in 1989-90. We were there. We know that freedom did not just come knocking on our door: we fought for it. Communism did not just collapse: we brought it down. The Berlin Wall did not just collapse: we demolished it. The Soviets did not leave: we forced them out. We brought it down, we demolished it, we forced them out; and we fought for it bravely and without bloodshed, with courage and cunning. Today we are the same as we were then: Europe’s last surviving freedom fighters. Europe’s history did not simply change: we changed it. We know that now when the European Union is in trouble, it will not mend its ways, transform and switch to the right path of its own accord. We must mend its ways, we must transform it, and we must lead it back to the right path – the path that was once successful.
Today the European Union once more needs freedom fighters like us.”
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