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PM Orbán’s annual speech at Băile Tușnad

July 25th, 2017

Commentators sharply disagree on Viktor Orbán’s thesis that the V4 countries represent ‘the future of Europe’.

At the traditional annual Fidesz event at the Transylvanian spa resort of Băile Tușnad (Tusnádfürdő in Hungarian), Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that 27 years ago Hungarians thought they just had to follow western Europe, and their bright future would be guaranteed. Today, he continued, Europe is losing sight of its core values – Christian Democratic parties are being ‘de-Christianised’, while the Left has made an alliance with global capital. They ‘efuse to see the dangers of mass immigration from other cultures. Central European countries, on the other hand, value their cultural and national heritage, and therefore ‘we are Europe’s future’, Mr Orbán said. He also cautioned against investing the EU with further competences and said that some of its power should be given back to the member countries.

In Népszava, Róbert Friss interprets the Prime Minister’s words as proof that he wants to ’push the Union back into the past’. He believes the Union must ’go forward where its only future lies’. He describes the Prime Minister as someone shouting in a dark forest about the unity of the Visegrád Four, while that unity is rather shaky. Today, he writes, Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest speak with one voice, but at the sight of the French-German plans for the future of the Union, long term national interests may well break that unity.

In Magyar Hírlap, on the other hand, Sándor Faggyas praises Hungary’s stance as an expression of ‘sober Realpolitik’. Hungary stood alone in Europe for a long time, but has been embraced since by the rest of the Visegrád Four, he writes, and these countries co-operate ever more closely along that road. He accepts Mr Orbán’s definition of the V4 as the safest and most dynamic region in Europe – and security is becoming an increasingly important factor in business decisions, he adds.


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