Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has offered to open up his country to refugees – but only those seeking sanctuary from the liberal policies of western Europe. In the annual state of the nation address Orban insisted that Hungary was facing attacks in five areas:
- from migrants, moving through the Balkans towards central and western Europe
- from billionaire George Soros, whom Orban accuses of funding anti-government groups
- from EU challenges to his attempts to fix energy prices
- from EU efforts to synchronise tax policies
- from EU efforts to control funding for job creation
"Of course we can give shelter to the real refugees: Germans, Dutch, French, Italians; scared politicians and journalists; Christians who had to flee their own country; those people who want to find here the Europe that they lost at their home," he noted to applause.
His speech came as the government announced plans to hold migrants moving into the European Union in holding camps constructed from shipping containers while their asylum applications are considered. The refugees and other migrants will therefore no longer be free to travel through and out of the country, a restriction denounced as illegal by human rights groups.
In his speech, Orban hit out at a liberal vision of open economies which he described thus: "The foxes are let into the henhouse to compete freely, and nobody can stop the foxes winning time after time."
And he praised the strength of Hungary and its economy, observing that nation credit ratings were being upgraded, that wages were rising and household debt falling.
In pro-government Magyar Idők, Zsolt Bayer agrees with the Prime Minister that what we are witnessing is a middle class revolt against liberal elites to reclaim democracy. The pro-government columnist thinks that masses have realized the perils of globalization. Most importantly, people fear that the liberal ideology of an open society undermines national identity and Christian values, Bayer suggests.
In the right wing daily Magyar Nemzet, György Pápay accuses the Prime Minister of depicting an alternative reality rather than offering a reasonable vision of the country and the world. Rather than engaging with more important issues including the economy, PM Orbán mostly focused on 'imaginary enemies' including Brussels, NGOs funded by George Soros, migrants and global actors allegedly involved in a vast secret conspiracy.
In a similar vein, left-wing 168 Óra's Zoltán Lakner finds PM Orbán's speech highly combative. The left-wing analyst accuses him of adopting the strategy of the far right to identify imaginary internal and external enemies as well as suspecting secret global plots targeting Hungary.
Opposition parties voiced criticism of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's state of the nation address on Friday, saying that he had failed to address Hungary's actual problems. The Jobbik party said that important issues such as corruption and the "smear campaigns" launched against his political opponents were missing from Orbán's speech. Parliamentary leader János Volner said that Hungary's economic capacity is fundamentally based on EU funds, money transfers from Hungarians working abroad and the car industry. Volner said the missing private pension funds belie Orbán's assertion that Hungary's future is secured. The prime minister carefully avoided speaking about the problems of health care which his government was unable and unwilling to resolve. The same goes for education, which is at an historic low, he said.
The Socialist Party called the prime minister a "coward" for what they said was his failure to face Hungary's reality. Party spokesman István Nyakó criticised Orbán for not speaking about the problems concerning the public, "the rows snaking in front of soup kitchens" and "the practice of heating the lawns of stadiums instead of family homes". "Nor did he disclose where he had hidden the profit stemming from the decrease in global gas and electricity prices," he said. Last year Hungary left the organisation that mobilises its member states against corruption, Nyakó said. Rather than a destination for refugees from Europe, Hungary is a place to flee from as the country fell behind the other Visegrad countries in terms of competitiveness and wages, he said.
Green LMP accused Orbán of deliberately keeping Hungary weak so that he could later claim that he is saving the country. "The hell Hungary's getting stronger," LMP spokesman József Gál said, arguing that Hungary's interests were being subordinated to the interests of Russia, Wall Street and Hungarian oligarchs. He said the country's biggest problem was that wages "are growing a lot slower than the bank accounts of Fidesz oligarchs". Until this is reversed, Hungary has no future, he stated.
The Liberal Party said Orbán lives "in his own world", and had failed to address real problems of the country in his address held "in the shadow of barricades and police cordons". It is shocking and sad to hear Orbán trying to parade the total disaster of more than six years' government as a success, the party said in a statement.
Source: euronews.com; Magyar Idok; Magyar Nemzet; 168 ora; budapost.eu
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 17:05