Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

PM Orbán’s speech at Tusnád 2016

July 25th, 2016

While most news sites confine themselves to lengthy reports on the Prime Minister’s address at the annual gathering in Transylvania, two opposition portals devote detailed comments to Mr Orbán’s positive assessment of Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican Party Convention last Friday.

The Prime Minister told a crowd of a few hundred people that his main goal was to preserve Hungary as a safe place amidst the general uncertainty signalled by economic stagnation, Brexit and the migration crisis. These three phenomena should in themselves be sufficient to prompt a serious overhaul of European integration, he said. He opposed drives to transfer more competences from the national to the supranational level, but urged closer co-operation among the secret services of the member states as well as the creation of a joint European military force. He welcomed three ideas expressed by Donald Trump in his acceptance speech, namely to impose stricter controls on immigration, create an efficient international intelligence network and abandon the policy of exporting democracy. Western agencies translate his description of Mr Trump (‘derék’) as ‘decent’ or even ‘valiant’, but BudaPost suggests that it means something much less emphatic and even distancing the speaker from someone whom he credits with good intentions but not necessarily with anything more. The first ‘Summer University’ at Tusnádfürdő (Băile Tușnad) was organised by Fidesz in 1990 and since then has been held every year, with Mr Orbán as the keynote speaker.

On Index, Tamás Mészáros calls Mr Orbán’s performance a ‘world first’ since no other heads of state or government have openly supported Donald Trump so far. He remarks however that the ideas the Hungarian Prime Minister found attractive in Mr Trump’s acceptance speech were among the least radical ones. Meanwhile he considers it highly unusual for the Prime Minister of a NATO ally to openly take sides in the race for the White House. Mr Orbán, Mészáros argues, would be rightly outraged if leading American politicians expressed their preferences for one of Hungary’s political parties.

Index also asked the Prime Minister’s spokesman about the matter. Bertalan Havasi dismissed the claim that Mr Orbán expressed support for Mr Trump. He said that was a ‘rather simplified deduction by journalists’.  Mr Orbán, according to his spokesman, in reality welcomed Mr Trump’s formulae on a few specific issues, namely on immigration.

On Kettős Mérce, Nóra Diószegi Horváth thinks that although Mr Orbán hit the international headlines with his remarks on Donald Trump, that was not the essential part of his ’monologue’. She believes the main message of the Prime Minister’s speech was what he said about the decline of Western Europe and the emergence of the Eastern EU member countries as a positive alternative. If this is true, she asks, why do so many young people from East European countries seek employment in the west? She also contests Mr Orbán’s claim that Hungary is the only country where the population is being asked to express their opinion on migration.  The referendum on migration quotas scheduled for  October 2nd will have no legal impact whatsoever, she says, but will cost ‘a great amount of money’.

In an analysis of Mr Orbán’s speech on Hiradó, the public media website, pro-government pundit Gábor G. Fodor says Mr Orbán is seeking new paths to follow in Europe with the aim of keeping the European Union together. As to Mr Orbán’s remarks on Donald Trump, Fodor thinks what counts is not which of his ideas are worthy of support, but that the Republican presidential nominee is an ‘outsider’ who is not bound by ‘political correctness’ and ‘infallible dogmas’. The ‘ossified élites’, Fodor explains, can only be ‘broken up’ from outside.


Tags: , , ,