Speaking to the Hungarian parliament on the day he was officially reconfirmed prime minister of Hungary, Mr Orban lashed out against the EU in an extraordinary rant.
The Hungarian leader hit out at “liberals” across the bloc accusing Brussels of “striving for absolutism”.
He said: “I would like to say that it is important for a nation to know its place in the world. We must neither overestimate nor underestimate ourselves.
“Today Hungary is not the focus of unusual Western public attention because of its population, its army or its economic strength. The reason for this attention is that Hungary – alongside Poland – has become the last Christian, conservative bastion of the Western world.
“The way we think about the world and the future is different from that of the liberal, globalist mainstream; and we are building our country in a way that is different from the way that they are building theirs.
“We may be able to live side by side with one another – after all, we believe in the benefits of competition.
“But today Brussels strives for absolutism. Or rather, today Brussels is the symbol of the pursuit of absolutism and homogeneity.
“Politics, national governance – and even Europe – can only be imagined and practiced in one way, they say.
“Anyone who does not march in step will be punished by the evening. Hungary is rebelling against this. We will not be brought to heel!”
Mr Orban has repeatedly clashed with the EU over policies, most lately over LGBTQ rights and rule of law issues, but said the importance of Hungary being a member of NATO had never been as obvious as now.
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Hungary, with a few other member states, has so far rejected the EU’s proposed current sanctions on Russian oil. Budapest says it wants hundreds of millions of euros from the bloc to mitigate the cost of ditching Russian crude. The EU needs all 27 states to agree to the embargo for it to go ahead.
He said the most important task of his new government would be to steer Hungary’s economy through a European economic crisis, defending the tax breaks and benefits granted to families and defending households’ capped energy bills.
“The war and the European policy of sanctions given in response, has created an energy crisis,” Mr Orban said.
“The energy crisis, and the interest rate hikes in the United States have jointly brought about the era of high inflation. All this will bring about the era of recession, when a decline in economic output, stagnation and years of slight increases in output will follow each other in Europe.”
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He projected the war in neighboring Ukraine would “last for a long time… and will pose a permanent security threat to Hungary”.
He said the National Bank of Hungary and the government would have to coordinate steps to curb inflation.
Earlier in the day, the European Commission published its fresh economic forecasts, in which it said Hungary’s GDP growth would slow to 3.6 percent this year from 7.1 percent in 2021, while average inflation would come in at 9 percent this year.
“In 2022, the deficit is forecast to remain elevated at 6.0 percent of GDP, reflecting the introduction of several expansionary measures and additional spending related to high energy prices,” it added.