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PM Orbán’s state of the nation speech

February 13th, 2017

A pro-government commentator praises the Prime Minister for offering a sober analysis of global and national challenges in his annual state of the nation address. An independent conservative and a left-wing columnist find his speech belligerent and lacking substance.

In his annual state of the nation address, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated that globalist and liberal ideas suffered a blow in 2016. PM Orbán interpreted these events as ‘the revolt of middle classes against elites’, and predicted similar tendencies for 2017. As for Hungary, PM Orbán suggested that his government will stand up to efforts by Brussels to further centralize the EU. He went on to promise even more jobs and higher wages for Hungarians. In an aside, PM Orbán claimed that Hungary had successfully stopped the flow of undocumented migrants. And he alleged, once again, that they were being helped to reach Europe by NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born philanthropist George Soros. Hungary nevertheless continues to offer asylum to refugees and would do so in future. Among others, Hungary will offer refuge to west European citizens who do no longer feel at home in homelands that are not any longer ‘European’, the Prime Minister quipped.

In 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 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, 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.

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