PM Viktor Orbán: The EU is not a country

Saturday, November 23, 2013

We can't expect from Brussels or anyone else to solve our problems said in an interview with NHK Japanese public television PM Viktor Orbán.

It is not good that Hungary depends only on the European Union by trading exclusively with EU countries; this situation should be changed, Hungary should be open to Asia as well said the prime minister to NHK Japanese public television on Friday.

"If you look at the data, 75 to 80 percent of Hungary's export go to EU countries, which is not good. I mean, it is good, but it also means that this situation makes the Hungarian economy unstable. Therefore, our strategy is to diversify and open to the east" said Viktor Orbán.

During the Hungarian prime minister's official visit in Japan a number of bilateral agreements were announced - among others, energy and education related agreements as well as Japanese investment agreements. According to NHK public television, the aim of the Japanese leaders is to gain a foothold in Central Europe.

The NHK reporter pointed out that the EU negotiating free - trade agreements with several Asian countries including Japan; the Japanese and the Hungarian prime ministers discussed free-trade issues as well but, PM Orbán remarked that bilateral agreements are just as important as the EU-Asia free-trade agreement because this is the only way that the individual member states can enforce their national interests.

"The EU is not a country. There are areas, which fall under the jurisdiction of the EU, such as free trade negotiations; but Europe is made up by nation states and these states conduct their own economic policies. So we can't wait to Brussels or any other major city to make our country prosperous, but we have to do it ourselves. So if we want investments in our country we have to achieve that on bilateral basis" Orbán said, adding that the fact that Budapest improves its relations with Asia will positively affect the entire European economy.

In the interview, the future of the nuclear energy has been also discussed as Hungary has been contemplating the expansion of the Paks power plant.

The prime minister said "In Europe there are countries that want to give up on nuclear energy, but Hungary is not among them. If we want to remain competitive on the world market, we need cheap energy".

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