PM: China’s success is ‘spiritual trauma’ for EU

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"Admitting that non-democracies are more successful than Europe is even more difficult than facing the EU's reduced competitiveness," Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told German business daily Handelsblatt today, adding that China's success is a "spiritual trauma" for Europe.

The Prime Minister also stressed that he is not an advocate of following those regimes as examples because "you need the Chinese people for the China model and the Russians for the Russian one. In Europe and in Hungary those models are not operational".

Russian connection

Concerning Russia and Ukraine, Orbán stressed that Hungary is neither moving towards Russia, nor moving away from it. He said that Hungary wishes to see a "security buffer zone" between the country and Russia, and supports the idea that Ukraine should be accepted as a European Union member in the medium term. He added that, though Hungary would welcome Ukraine's accession to the EU, Ukraine first needs to become politically and economically stable, and be able to safeguard its own borders.

Orbán maintained that he had "fought for Hungary's sovereignty" against Russia and that he had prevented a 25% stake in Hungarian oil and gas company MOL from being acquired by Russian investors. He also insisted that he had gained control "over the agreement on gas supplies for Hungary" and said that "Russia's influence in Central Europe is a lot smaller than it was in 2010".

Reflecting on the planned construction of two new nuclear reactors in Paks, Orbán said that Russia's Gazprom was chosen, as they could meet all security, ownership and financial criteria, while other nations also ran for the tender.

Domestic dissatisfaction

Reflecting on domestic issues, the prime minister voiced tolerance for recent demonstrations in Hungary and said he considered it an obligation to “talk to each other” despite his party’s supermajority in Hungarian parliamentary, European and local elections.

He said that young people dissatisfied with government policies are also disappointed with the political elite of the past 25 years since the political regime change. He suggested a comparison between their position and the motivation of the founders of his Fidesz party, who, back in 1988, "also wanted to expel the whole communist regime".

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