PM: 'There’s democracy in Hungary – period'

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‘‘Hungarians welcomed illiberal democracy; the fact that in English it means something else is not my problem,” Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was quoted as saying today in a wide-ranging interview with the Bloomberg news service. “In the Hungarian context, the word liberal has become negative. Liberal democracy has no or very little support in Hungary.”

The prime minister added: "It’s not true that a democracy can only be liberal. There’s democracy in Hungary – period – it doesn’t need any modifiers."

Regarding energy, Orbán said that the “dossier” of South Stream is closed, and Hungary “needs to change tracks quickly” with a gas pipeline stabilizing the western Balkans and serving “Hungary’s national interest” at the same time. The prime minister urged a solution for the “Serbian, Bosnian problems”, would like to see a “pipeline through Serbia to Hungary” and added that “it’s important that it be an EU country at the other end as well, that means Greece”.

“Scientists say a bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly based on its weight, size and wingspan. And yet it does,” the prime minister said, saying his government's economic policy is the “Hungarian model”, which is like “a bumblebee”.

According to Bloomberg, Orbán talked about economic expansion, a sturdier budget and falling unemployment, dismissing what Bloomberg said were “statistics suggesting his stewardship has heralded a surge in poverty rates and a plunge in foreign direct investment, even after the latter contributed to the nation’s credit rating being downgraded to junk at all three major ratings companies.”

Since the Orbán-led, currently governing, Fidesz party came to power in 2010, the Hungarian forint has weakened 10.8 percent against the euro and ten-year forint bond yields fell to a record 3.53 percent in December 12 as quantitative easing by major central banks raised demand for emerging-market assets, Bloomberg adds.

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