Viktor Orbán and Horst Seehofer: The Complete Press Conference

As promised, here is a subtitled video of the full press conference from the Seeon Monastery in Bavaria.

Last Friday, the CSU (Christian Social Union) held its annual party conclave at Seeon. Horst Seehofer, Minister President of Bavaria and leader of the CSU, invited Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to be a guest at the conclave.

In the following video of Last Friday night’s press conference, Alexander Dobrindt, head of the Bundestag group of CSU parliamentarians, speaks first, followed by Mr. Orbán and then Mr. Seehofer.

Many thanks to Egri Nök, Anton, and CrossWare for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Previously: Viktor Orbán’s interview with Bild

Video transcript:

00:00   We thank our friend Viktor Orbán
00:04   for finding the time to visit our conclave in Seeon.
00:14   We had an intense exchange over questions of economic collaboration
00:23   and questions on the future development of Europe.
00:31   Hungary, together with the Visegrad states,
00:36   is one of Germany’s closest economic trade partners.
00:42   The trade balance with the Visegrad states is markedly higher
00:46   than that of Germany with France.
00:52   We will continue to back that economic partnership, which promises growth.
01:01   During the past year Hungary has seen economic growth rates
01:07   that lie above the European Union average.
01:12   This also has something to do with
01:18   the participation and involvement of German and Bavarian companies in Hungary.
01:25   We have discussed European questions, and the refugee question.
01:34   We know that Hungary acts in accordance with
01:38   the rule of law when protecting the outer borders.
01:43   Hungary is a member of the EU, of Schengen, and of NATO,
01:49   and as such, is an important partner in dialogue
01:54   on strategic European questions, especially for us.
01:59   And I have stressed that we will not let the thread of the conversation break.
02:07   We are concerned with showing solidarity on the rebuilding of pacified crisis regions.
02:18   Hungary there, too, stands on the same position as Germany:
02:25   We will provide rebuilding aid and humanitarian aid in pacified regions.
02:35   So I can only say in the name of the whole regional faction:
02:40   This was a very successful visit,
02:44   and we are looking forward to further discussions
02:51   and meetings with Viktor Orbán and the Hungarian government.
02:56   Please, Viktor.
02:59   Ladies and Gentlemen,
03:03   it is an honor to be here,
03:08   Long and deep relations make Bavarians and Hungarians close.
03:16   So long, that the thread even reaches
03:22   from the family of the first Christian Hungarian king, to Audi.
03:25   The relationship’s depth is equalled by the friendship.
03:31   In Bavaria I have never detected any malice towards Hungary,
03:37   the Hungarian people, or the Hungarian government.
03:45   We have always had correct, honest, open conversations, just as today.
03:54   It was a very good audience, and very good partners in dialogue.
04:01   I thank the gentlemen, the chief of the regional faction and the president, for that.
04:06   And in order not to keep you guessing, I can tell you what it was about.
04:12   First, I said that I do not want to act with lack of respect.
04:21   I do not want to interfere with internal German politics.
04:24   Our attitude is an attitude of respect.
04:30   German discussions are led by Germans; decisions are made by German politicians.
04:40   I wish you success in the respective discussions.
04:47   I have said that the migration problem has become a democracy problem.
04:58   The Europeans have a clear will; you might say the will of the people is unambiguous.
05:09   They do not want to live under the threat of terrorism.
05:14   They want safety; they want the borders protected.
05:21   and they want those who have no reason to live here in the Schengen area to be removed
05:34   and sent back to where they can again begin their new life.
05:39   In previous years I have asked whether it will be possible
05:45   for us to assert the will of the people.
05:51   In Europe, leading politicians in many places have not done what the people wanted.
06:00   This is a violation of democratic principles, and this conflict must be resolved.
06:10   I have told our Bavarian friends that 2018 will be the year
06:16   in which the will of the people will be restored;
06:23   and that the European people will step-by-step ensure that decisions
06:32   made in relation to immigration must serve their interests.
06:41   I have learned a lot from President Seehofer. One of the things I learned
06:46   was that legality cannot be based on illegality.
06:57   For this reason laws must always precisely be abided by. The higher the pressure,
07:03   the bigger the problem, the more these laws must be adhered to.
07:11   I can modestly yet proudly say that Hungary is a country that understood this rule.
07:20   From the very beginning we stood for protecting the border and Schengen.
07:31   We built a fence and maintained border controls,
07:41   whilst elsewhere in Europe chaos and illegality was being celebrated.
07:49   I have made clear to our Bavarian partners that Hungary operates on the basis of legality,
07:59   and now, just as then, two years ago, consider me your border patrol captain.
08:10   Because the southern Bavaria border runs along the Hungarian-Serbian border,
08:17   and when we protect this border, we protect Bavaria, too.
08:23   We talked about economic questions, too.
08:27   The bilateral relations are brilliant.
08:31   But we have identified new areas where we would like to expand.
08:39   We also discussed the future of the European economy.
08:44   I can state that there is a complete agreement of opinion
08:49   between the CSU and the parties of the Hungarian government.
08:55   You can’t live on other people’s money.
08:58   Everyone has to generate their own share.
09:04   The nation’s debt must be reduced.
09:08   The domestic deficit needs to be kept under 3 percent.
09:14   Job market reforms must be undertaken in each respective country.
09:20   These are the homework assignments for each member state.
09:25   It is a national responsibility that we must carry.
09:30   And we won’t support any reforms — as they won’t do any good —
09:39   that replace national responsibility with national irresponsibility,
09:44   and European responsibility.
09:51   And finally, I thanked President Seehofer for his great speech
09:57   at the CSU party convention in December.
10:05   We had been waiting for this speech, and this tone, for a long time.
10:12   We acknowledged with appreciation the statement that
10:17   Bavaria is, and will remain, a Christian country.
10:22   And as far as I can see, our discussion about the future has a common cultural basis.
10:30   I expect that in the future we will also have exciting and inspirational discussions.
10:39   The example of Bavaria has always been an incentive for Hungary.
10:46   We want to become as successful as the Bavarians, too.
10:51   We are looking for the “how”;
10:54   this can’t be achieved in just one day,
10:57   but the Hungarian economy is so well-positioned that we can be proud of it.
11:05   And I have made it clear that we intend to build the Hungarian economy
11:10   on the Hungarian people’s own achievements.
11:15   We ask for partnership, and we seek economic collaboration.
11:22   Thank you very much.
11:26   Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Viktor —
11:33   Bavaria and Hungary have been linked by respect and friendship for a long time.
11:39   That is why we have, again, invited our friend Viktor Orbán,
11:45   the head of government of Hungary, to Bavaria.
11:50   Viktor Orbán was a brave resistance fighter under the communist dictatorship.
11:57   He has repeatedly magnificently received his people’s trust in democratic elections.
12:08   And he is very successful in the further positive development of Hungary.
12:17   He stands, without doubt, on the grounds of the rule of law.
12:23   As you know, he is the head of the Fidesz.
12:27   Fidesz was accepted into the set of the European People’s Parties,
12:34   following the proposal of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
12:41   We have just had a very good discussion, very honest, open.
12:49   I think we have inspired each other to new ideas for our further work.
12:57   There will also be a tremendous project for the future of Europe,
13:04   regarding bilateral cooperation.
13:08   We can only solve the tasks of the future together.
13:15   That is why we will continue this dialogue for solving the tasks of the future.
13:25   The Free State of Bavaria will undertake an initiative,
13:29   for an even better, closer cooperation of the Central European states,
13:37   and Hungary will be part of that.
13:42   I will personally organize this initiative.
13:48   So that the cooperation with the Central European states, who are our important neighbors —
13:55   we heard today that Bavaria’s trade volume with them
14:01   is larger than with France and Great Britain —
14:07   that is why it is in the Bavarian interest too, to deepen these relationships
14:12   with a Central European alliance that we aspire to.
14:19   I am grateful that you took the time,
14:23   with a large delegation — we did not only discuss with the regional faction,
14:27   but we had very intense exchanges with the delegation.
14:34   And we will do everything so that the friendship between Hungary and Bavaria
14:44   will deepen even more in the coming months and years.
14:50   Thank you. —This closes our press conference.

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