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Growing nationalism in the West seen as a threat to Hungary

June 18th, 2018

A left-wing liberal columnist thinks that the rise of nationalist politics in the EU and the US will severely limit the Hungarian government’s possibilities to defend Hungarian interests.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Márton Gergely thinks that the rise of illiberal, protectionist and anti-immigration politicians in the West will harm Hungary’s geopolitical and economic interests. The left-wing liberal pundit finds it strange that the Hungarian government cherishes the increasingly nationalist rhetoric of right-wing politicians in the US and the EU. Although Western nationalists send messages that are similar to the Fidesz vision, the ‘national envy’ advocated by the new Right will result in more protectionism, Gergely predicts. If EU member states and the US put their national interests before international co-operation and rule-based politics, the Hungarian government will have much less elbow room to defend Hungarian interests, he continues. Gergely adds that the introduction of tariffs in the name of defending the national economy in the US and similar retaliatory action by the EU will harm Hungary’s interests too. Finally, Gergely fears that the rise of parties akin to Fidesz in the EU will result in Hungary receiving far less cohesion funds from the EU, as nationalist governments in western Europe will be less likely to support development in the East.

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