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Leading dailies on Viktor Orbán’s Tusnád speech

July 26th, 2016

Left-wing columnists find the PM’s messages ambiguous. A pro-government commentator thinks that Mr Orbán has offered a clear analysis and a feasible proposal to overcome Europe’s multiple crises. A centrist pundit believes the prime minister may become one of the new leaders of the EU.

Népszabadság in a front page editorial contends that the speech at Tusnádfürdő (see BudaPost July 25) was full of contradictions. On the one hand, he strongly criticized EU centralization, while at the same time he called for a joint European army, Népszabadság writes. The leading left-wing daily finds the PM’s anti-elitist and anti-establishment messages ambiguous as well, bearing in mind that Viktor Orbán is also part of Europe’s political elite.

In Népszava, György Sebes admits that PM Orbán has offered a coherent and credible analysis of the European political, economic, social and security crisis. But as for his proposed solutions to the multiple crises of Europe, Sebes thinks that he has been carried away by his ‘political self’, and instead of offering meaningful solutions, he used the opportunity for campaign purposes in view of the October 2 referendum against the planned EU migrant redistribution quotas.

Magyar Idők’s Ferenc Kis agrees with the Prime Minister that Hungary and the Visegrad countries may become the vanguards of the new Europe where security and stability become the central political principles. The pro-government analyst contends that without a European army as proposed by PM Orbán, the EU cannot become a major global player. He also agrees with the Prime Minister that in order to stop uncontrolled migration and increase security, European countries need to defend their borders, and should not shrink even from harsh measures. If Europe fails to stop a mass migration, which, according to Kis, only serves the economic interests of the US and some other EU countries, European nations may soon become extinct in their own homelands.

In Magyar Nemzet, Albert Gazda interprets the PM’s speech as an indication that Viktor Orbán wants to become an even more important player on the European level. The centrist analyst recalls that Fidesz has always followed a pragmatic and somewhat opportunistic strategy. Whenever there was a vacuum in the political space, Fidesz filled it, even if this required an ideological U-turn. He goes on to speculate that Mr Orbán in his speech envisioned a Europe where security and demographic challenges trump liberal considerations. If he is right in his prediction and European political sentiments and tendencies do indeed shift in the way he predicts, the Hungarian Prime Minister may eventually become one of the leaders of this new Europe, Gazda suspects.

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