In thrall to Viktor Orbán and the hard right, Europe is facing its moment of truth

In thrall to Viktor Orbán and the hard right, Europe is facing its moment of truth

Simon Tisdall writes:

Viktor Orbán was his usual poisonous self, spouting toxic twaddle in true Boris Johnson/Nigel Farage style. Hungary’s hard-right prime minister and Europe’s saboteur-in-chief warned supporters at a Budapest rally that, without him, their country would be overrun by millions of illegal migrants and cease to exist as a nation.

The EU was to blame, he said. The commission was under the spell of his liberal nemesis, the Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros. It was secretly preparing to go to war with Russia over Ukraine. A vote for his ruling party, Fidesz, in this weekend’s European parliamentary polls was the only way to keep the peace.

“We can only stay out of the war if Hungarian voters support the government,” Orbán declared. “We must win the European elections in such a way that the Brussels bureaucrats in their fear will open the doors of the city to us and leave their offices in a hurry.”

Orbán’s slogan summed up the unsubtle approach of the EU’s longest-serving, most subversive national leader: “Occupy Brussels! No migration. No gender. No war!” It’s crude stuff, but it resonates in Hungary and beyond. Polls suggest Fidesz will win again, despite reinvigorated opposition led by a party turncoat, Péter Magyar.

Coming from Orbán, such cynically bonkers Europhobia is nothing new, but for one astonishing fact. He takes charge of the EU on 1 July. For six months, he will hold the rotating presidency of the council of ministers, which comprises heads of government and is the most powerful EU decision-making body. [Continue reading…]

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