Hungary: Orbán considers alternative to democracy

30 July 2012
Presseurop
Népszava, Magyar Nemzet, Magyar Narancs

Already contested in Europe, Viktor Orbán sparked fresh controversy twice last week. At a July 27 meeting of the National Association of Entrepreneurs (VOSZ) in Budapest, the Hungarian Prime Minister evoked the possibility of a new system instead of democracy, because his “semi-Asian” people “only understood force”. And on 29 July, on the occasion of a visit by representatives of the Hungarian minority in Romania, he remarked that the European Union which is “mainly responsible for the severity of the current crisis, treats Eastern European countries with disdain” and “will never succeed”.

“Brussels is stupid, Orbán is intelligent”, announces Népszava. The left-wing daily continues –

… with his speech Orbán has dispelled any doubts about his preference for an authoritarian regime over democracy. His remarks were not a slip of the tongue, but evidence of a fundamental position. Now we know what he thinks about Europe, about Hungary and democracy […] His declaration about the possibility of a non-democratic system is clearly a threat to the citizens of Hungary.

Even Magyar Nemzet, which usually sides with the Prime Minister, has trouble defending him. The Budapest daily points out that

… his approach to the Union is relevant, and the national renaissance celebrated by Orbán has an impact on Europe. However, the problem is to find the golden mean between national and common interests. What we are hearing from Orbán is a monologue and not a dialogue, which is not a good sign.

Finally, liberal weekly Magyar Narancs adopts a more trenchant line

…if we re-elect Orbán in 2014, he will be proved right: we will have demonstrated that we truly are a semi-Asian people.