Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has claimed that migration stands in the focal point of current conflicts, adding that if the security of Hungarian people is at stake, there is no room for compromise. "What is going on in Hungary is a dress rehearsal for next year's election campaign. This is what stirred up still water and filled Easter Week with uproar," Orbán told Vasárnapi Újság, a Sunday morning programme of public Kossuth Radio, referring to a series of demonstrations against him and his government over the past few days.
The prime minister called it "completely understandable" that US billionaire George Soros's "international and domestic networks" are protesting against the recent amendment to the higher education law. It is still to be understood, however, why Hungarian academics, scholars and professors "take a stand for Soros keeping his privileges instead of other universities in Hungary getting the same rights as the Central European University enjoys", he said. Orbán called the protests "a peripheral theatre of war" of a crucial conflict, which concerns the ethnic mix of Europe. The Hungarian branches of international NGO networks conceive Europe as a continent letting in foreign ethnicities from other parts of Europe, he insisted.
Asked about when the conflict on migration will escalate, Orbán said that the European Union wanted to close the dispute by June through the approval of new immigration rules that are mandatory for all. "Some of us are still resisting," he said, mentioning the Visegrad Four and Romania as countries determined to preserve Europe's Christian identity. "A crucial clash is in the offing," Orbán said, referring to the European parliamentary debate over Hungary scheduled for late April, and the next two EU summit meetings designed to bring the issue of immigration to a head.
"For the first time in many years, the prime minister feels he has to explain himself; he can sense that his power has been shaken and there is growing resistance against him and his politics," the Socialists Party said in reaction to Viktor Orbán's interview in the daily Magyar Idők. "In line with the method of failed dictators, Orbán is trying to make himself and his followers believe that the millions rebelling against him all serve foreign interests and are funded with foreign money".
The Socialists added that the pro- Europe young demonstrators are demanding freedom of speech, academic freedom and free and fair elections. It is only a matter of time when they will be joined by groups of people let down by the government: factory workers, pensioners, civil servants and humiliated teachers and health-care workers.
On Mandiner, Beáta Bakó thinks that PM Orbán has alienated conservative intellectuals. The conservative pundit contends that the government's policies have nothing to do with conservative principles. Bakó calls the recently passed Higher Education Act an 'attack on CEU' and accuses the government of conducting anti-elitist demagoguery and trying to silence all critics, including conservative intellectuals.
Writing in Magyar Hírlap, Károly Bán without explicitly mentioning the two interviews agrees with the Prime Minister and suggests that the anti-government protests are orchestrated by George Soros. The pro-government columnist suspects that George Soros has lost hope in the Left's potential to defeat Fidesz, and thus he tries to mobilize voters against the current government through his NGO network.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 20:33