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Prime Minister Orbán’s Easter interviews

April 19th, 2017

Commenting on PM Orbán’s Easter interviews, a conservative critic of the government thinks that Fidesz has alienated its conservative intellectual supporters. A pro-government commentator shares the PM’s view, when he detects George Soros behind the recent anti-government protests.

In an interview with Magyar Idők and in a talk on Kossuth Radio, PM Orbán interpreted last week’s anti-government demonstrations (see BudaPost April 17as harbingers of the 2018 Parliamentary election campaign. PM Orbán said that he considers organized discontent as a normal part of democracy, even if the current protests, which he claims are ‘orchestrated’ by NGOs funded by foreign actors including George Soros, make ‘the fists of even some peaceful and devoted Christians itch’. In an aside, PM Orbán suggested that the dispute over the CEU and the NGOs in Hungary is only a ‘side-show’ in the main battle over migration. He suggested that liberal and left-wing forces financed by ‘international powers’ including George Soros want to open borders so that ‘migrants can flow in’ and populations should mix in Europe. Concerning CEU, PM Orbán denied that the government’s aim is to shut down the university, but said that ‘not even George Soros’s people can stand above the law’. Mr Orbán added that ‘I do not believe that conservative intellectuals want to share a platform with those who are financed and commissioned by foreign sources to serve foreign interests’

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 HírlapKároly 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.

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