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Posts Tagged ‘Orban’

Christian Democracy or Illiberal Democracy?

Posted by hkarner - 30. Januar 2020

Jan-Werner Mueller is Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author, most recently, of Furcht und Freiheit (Fear and Freedom), which was awarded the Bavarian Book Prize.

In considering whether to expel the increasingly illiberal Fidesz party, the European People’s Party must not allow Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to hold himself out as a representative of Christian Democracy. True Christian Democrats reject chauvinistic nationalism and have been indispensable to European integration.

PRINCETON – For years, a conflict has been brewing between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the European People’s Party, the supranational organization of Christian Democratic and center-right parties in European Union member states. After much hesitation, the EPP suspended Orbán’s party, Fidesz, last March, and is now deciding whether to expel it.

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Trump’s Role Model

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2019

David M. Driesen

David M. Driesen is University Professor at Syracuse University College of Law.

US President Donald Trump and his advisers have evidently learned a great deal from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán about racist immigration policies and how to destroy a democracy. Trump is not making America great or even good; he is making it Hungarian.

SYRACUSE – US President Donald Trump did not invent his immigration policy. Instead, he borrowed much of it from his fellow autocrat Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister, who fanned anti-migrant sentiment among a large enough share of voters to gain the political power he needed to dismantle Hungarian democracy.

Given Trump’s imitation of Orbán, US liberals who bewail the cruelty and stupidity of Trump’s immigration policies, and conservatives who advocate “border security,” miss the point. Trump is not using such measures to try to make America great; like his role model, he is trying to manufacture an immigration-related crisis to help him establish an autocracy. And although Trump’s efforts in this regard are less far advanced than Orbán’s nine-year-old project in Hungary, he has made more progress than most Americans realize.Orbán, like Trump, has made demonization of immigrants a defining feature of his administration.

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Hungary’s Mafia State Fights for Impunity

Posted by hkarner - 20. Juni 2019

Bálint Madlovics

Bálint Madlovics is a fellow at the Financial Research Institute in Budapest.

Bálint Magyar, a former Hungarian minister of education, is a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the Central European University in Budapest.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán presides over a political-economic clan that is indistinguishable from a private criminal organization. Orbán’s anti-EU stance does not reflect a different vision of Europe. Rather, it stems from his need to insulate himself and his clan from law enforcement.

BUDAPEST – Hungary has become a . It is led not by a party but by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s political-economic clan, which treats society as its private domain while formally maintaining a democratic façade. The Hungarian state’s actions are not impersonal but rather discretionary, aimed at taking down the clan’s opponents and redistributing wealth and assets to loyalists. Orbán uses the bloodless means of bureaucratic coercion, yet still acts illegally: corruption and politically selective law enforcement are central to his system.

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Trump’s Dubious Hungarian Friend

Posted by hkarner - 16. Mai 2019

Date: 15-05-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By William A. Galston

‘Viktor Orbán has done a tremendous job,’ the president says. What a disgrace.

On May 13, 2019, President Donald Trump met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the White House, referring to him as being „respected all over Europe.“

“Viktor Orbán has done a tremendous job in so many different ways,” said President Trump as he received Hungary’s prime minister in the Oval Office Monday. “Respected all over Europe. Probably, like me, a little bit controversial, but that’s OK.” With these remarks, the U.S. president gave his seal of approval to Europe’s leading illiberal politician less than two weeks before elections for the European Parliament.

David Cornstein, the U.S. ambassador to Hungary and a personal friend of Mr. Trump, remarked in a recent interview: “I can tell you, knowing the president for a good 25 or 30 years, that he would love to have the situation that Viktor Orbán has.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Two Idiots Meet

Posted by hkarner - 14. Mai 2019

Date: 13-05-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: In a Reversal, U.S. to Host Hungarian Prime Minister

Trump administration hopes to keep Viktor Orban in the Western fold, as the Central European nation’s leader, who had been on the outs with Washington, increasingly turns toward Russia and China

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is set to visit President Trump at the White House on May 13.

BUDAPEST—Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is visiting President
Trump at the White House on Monday, marking a policy reversal for an administration worried that the Central European nation is slipping away from Washington’s orbit.

Mr. Orban, a former anticommunist dissident who has led Hungary for all but eight years since 1998, first turned away with the U.S. in the early 2000s, and in 2016 became one of the few European heads of government to endorse Mr. Trump’s presidential run.

But behind that seeming thaw is lingering wariness. The State Department and national security adviser feel the premier has tilted too far toward Moscow, U.S. officials said, adding that he has embraced Chinese technology and resisted Washington’s efforts to persuade Hungary to buy more gas from the U.S. and less from Russia. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hungary becomes the latest site of protests in Europe.

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2018

Date: 18-12-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board
Subject: Backlash in Budapest

Hungary has moved in an anti-democratic direction since Viktor Orban returned to power in 2010. But the protests in Budapest in recent days are a reminder that he hasn’t dragged all of his countrymen along with his program.

The demonstrations began Wednesday after the National Assembly, where Mr. Orban’s Fidesz Party has a two-thirds majority, passed labor legislation that critics call the “slave law.” It lets businesses ask employees to work up to 400 overtime hours annually, up from 250. The legislation also gives employers more time to settle overtime payments.

Hungary isn’t welcoming to immigrants, many of its most-qualified workers leave for better-paying work elsewhere in Europe, and its roughly 1.5 births per woman is one of the lowest fertility rates in the world. All of this has led to a severe labor shortage, and liberalizing overtime laws is a good economic idea. But the measure is opposed even by nearly two-thirds of Mr. Orban’s supporters. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hungary’s Orban Loses Biggest Ally Ahead of EU Sanctions Vote

Posted by hkarner - 13. September 2018

Date: 12-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

European center-right establishment signals willingness to endorse censure motion against country over erosion of democratic norms

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban rejected accusations he had eroded his country’s rule of law, in a speech at the European Parliament on Tuesday in Strasbourg, France.

STRASBOURG, France—Europe’s center-right establishment on Tuesday unexpectedly dropped its support for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban over domestic policies it described as anti-democratic, raising the likelihood the country would be censured in the European Parliament.

In a parliamentary debate with Mr. Orban on the rule of law in Hungary, several top EU lawmakers said he had gradually eroded the post-Communist country’s fledgling democracy since coming to power eight years ago.

It was the first time in Mr. Orban’s long-running disputes with the EU that the influential European People’s Party—the largest group in the EU parliament, which includes the party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel—dropped its support for Mr. Orban. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hungary’s Orban Tests EU’s Ability to Enforce Rule of Law

Posted by hkarner - 12. September 2018

Date: 11-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Prime minister pillories bloc’s lawmakers as elites, but he has cultivated ties with traditional parties that may shield him from censure motion

Viktor Orban has been dubbed the “Trump before Trump” by former White House adviser Steve Bannon.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has built almost unchecked power at home by attacking the European Union as a club of liberal, internationalist elites. Now he is counting on some of them to protect him from censure by the bloc.

A majority of lawmakers in the European Parliament, the EU’s legislative arm, wants member countries to admonish Hungary, as they did last year with Poland, for failing to uphold European legal standards. But for the vote to pass on Wednesday, a two-third majority of the 751-strong parliament is needed.

Whatever the outcome, Mr. Orban is likely to emerge unscathed thanks to his skills in testing the limits of what is acceptable in a Western democracy.

Dubbed the “Trump before Trump” by former White House adviser Steve Bannon, Mr. Orban rose to power by pillorying the EU. But unlike President Trump, who has lambasted political establishments on both sides of the Atlantic, Mr. Orban over the past decade cultivated links with Europe’s traditional parties. Their support could be pivotal in a vote that will test the EU’s authority to check the powers of nationalists.

Mr. Orban will have the chance to defend his government in a speech to the European Parliament on Tuesday, in which he is expected to appeal to some of those supporters, who span members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, British conservatives and Italian lawmakers in the far-right League party.

His government has attacked the vote as a “witch hunt,” with government spokesman Laszlo Kovacs on Monday accusing lawmakers of perpetrating lies to punish Hungary for its opposition to liberal migration policies.

The lead drafter of the censure, Judith Sargentini, a Dutch lawmaker from the leftist Greens party, last week said her motion was based on the findings of many international bodies critical of Mr. Orban. “There is no turning back to a normal functioning democracy in Hungary,” she said.
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Orbán rüstet sich für seine nächste Schlacht

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juli 2018

Date: 05-07-2018
Source: WELT

Viktor Orbán macht der Kanzlerin seine Aufwartung in einer Zeit, in der Angela Merkel so angeschlagen ist wie selten zuvor. Umso strahlender dürfte der Ungar in Berlin auftreten.

In der Asylpolitik ist die EU nun dort, wo Ungarns Premier sie haben will. Doch bei seinem Berlin-Besuch kann er sich auf diesem Erfolg nicht lange ausruhen – denn Angela Merkel hat etwas, was Orbán unbedingt braucht.

Es ist ein heikler Besuch in schwierigen Zeiten, wenigstens aus Sicht des Kanzleramts. Am Donnerstag kommt ausgerechnet Ungarns Ministerpräsident Viktor Orbán nach Berlin zu Gesprächen mit Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) und Innenminister Horst Seehofer (CSU). Der Termin mit Europas ältestem Abschottungsbefürworter dürfte aus Sicht der Kanzlerin zur Unzeit kommen, haben sich die beiden Schwesterparteien doch eben erst auf einen Asylkompromiss geeinigt, der allerdings noch vom Koalitionspartner SPD abgesegnet werden muss.

Tatsächlich aber war das Treffen bereits direkt nach Orbáns Wiederwahl vereinbart worden, noch bevor der Streit die Union in Flammen setzte und das Ende von Merkels Kanzlerschaft nahe schien. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hungary’s Orbán Moves Into New Term Facing Opposition Abroad but Not at Home

Posted by hkarner - 10. Mai 2018

Date: 09-05-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The prime minister is in command of a country that has become a model for antiestablishment and nativist parties

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

BUDAPEST—In the days after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s party won an electoral landslide last month, one of the country’s oldest newspapers started running out of basic supplies.

Employees were asked to curb phone calls at the 80-year-old Magyar Nemzet, a conservative outlet that has criticized Mr. Orbán’s conservative-nationalist government and exposed government malfeasance. The newspaper’s political patron had stopped bankrolling it and advertisers had long ceased placing ads.

“If they advertised with us, the next day the tax authorities would investigate them,” said senior editor Lukács Csaba. Last month, the paper closed.

Hungary’s Parliament began a new session Tuesday with Mr. Orbán in sweeping command of a country that has become one of the European Union’s deepest challenges, a model for antiestablishment and nativist parties that have soured on Western democracy, immigration, or both.

Mr. Orbán, who won a two-thirds majority in last month’s parliamentary election, takes office after signaling his intent to crack down on institutions ranging from aid groups helping asylum seekers to a university founded by liberal billionaire George Soros that he views as a threat to Hungary’s social fabric. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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