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First comments on PM Orbán’s speech at Tusnadfürdő

July 30th, 2018

In their first reactions to PM Orbán’s Tusnádfürdő address, liberal and left-wing commentators suggest that Viktor Orbán wants to elevate his illiberal politics to the European stage. Pro-government columnist agree with the Prime Minister that liberal elites need to be replaced.

In his annual address at the Free Youth University at the Transylvanian resort town of Băile Tusnad (Tusnádfürdő) in Romania, the Prime Minister said that Europe is in what he called a civilizational crisis, and expressed the hope that the current European leadership will be replaced as a result of the 2019 European Parliamentary election. PM Orbán said that political correctness has made Western Europe liberal, but not democratic, as facts and opinions disliked by the elite are suppressed by the mainstream media and the internet giants. In order to overcome the deep crisis, Europe needs to return to Christian democratic principles, he suggested. He underscored that Christian democracy is illiberal, as it is based on Christian principles, and opposes multiculturalism and mass immigration. The main aim of Christian democratic politics should be the defence of human dignity, families, nation and religion, PM Orbán contended. He hinted that his government will launch a new project of ‘cultural and spiritual’ renewal in September.

444.hu’s Péter Magyari believes that PM Orbán has announced his bid for Europe’s leadership. The liberal commentator interprets the Prime Minister’s speech as evidence that Viktor Orbán could leave the European People’s Party and join a new coalition of anti-immigration nationalist and anti-EU integration parties.

In Mérce (former Kettős Mérce), András Jámbor thinks that Mr Orbán wants to become the leader of right-wing populist parties in the region. He has elevated his illiberal rhetoric to the European level, and instead of claiming to defend the Hungarians, he now wants to defend what he calls European civilization, the alt-left blogger contends. Jámbor accuses the premier of needing of such illiberal politics in order to limit freedom and entrench his authoritarian leadership.

168 Óra’s Zoltán Lakner accuses PM Orbán of declaring war on the European Commisision and blackmailing the European People’s Party. The left-wing analyst opines that Orbán wants to reform the EU according to his illiberal vision rather than abandoning it. As for Hungary, Lakner anticipates that the government will launch an even louder culture war in order to solidify its voting base along ideological lines.

In Pesti Srácok, Gyula T. Máté finds PM Orbán’s message clear: Hungary takes responsibility for Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin, wants to fight the over bureaucratized EU led by the ‘German-French axis’, as well as to combat the ‘liberal dictatorship’ in politics and culture. The pro-government commentator finds absurd the liberal claim that the migration crisis has been overcome, and immigration is no longer an important issue in Europe. Máté attributes the ‘hysterical’ liberal reactions to PM Orbán’s Tusnádfürdő address to the Hungarian liberal fear that they will soon lose their European allies in opposing PM Orbán’s politics.

In a lapidary comment on 888.hu, Gábor G. Fodor suggests that PM Orbán has announced the beginning of a new era. “Liberal elites need to be defeated”, the pro-government analyst comments on Mr Orbán’s Tusnádfürdő address.

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