Orbán tries to destroy Germany’s positive image in Central Eastern Europe, depicting Germany as the capital of the decadent, liberal, pro-immigration EU that is doomed to fail. Tolerating such a behaviour would be a huge long-term strategic mistake for Germany.
The attack on CEU is one in a series of attempts to eliminate the so-called enemies of illiberal democracy. The government has manufactured a fear-inducing narrative by inventing an imaginary enemy threatening the people of Hungary.
Europe seems to face a more immediate threat than Le Pen. It comes from a central European country whose governing party belongs to the most mainstream European party, the European People’s Party, Hungary.
Hungary’s largest left-wing political daily, Népszabadság, has shut down unexpectedly, and it is more than likely that this development is linked to the governing Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Independent journalists are not giving up, however, despite the ruling party’s tightening grip on the media.
The Hungarian tax authority scandal is complicated and mysterious. One thing is clear, however: Fidesz came into conflict with the Obama administration – which took more effective action than the European Union against a corrupt and Russia-oriented government.
The year 2014 was supposed to be a year of success stories for Fidesz in Hungary. But demonstrations against the internet tax have become a channel through which the people have been able to express their dissatisfaction.
Recent actions taken by Hungarian police against NGOs is not a singular manifestation of the excessive use of force. It is a logical consequence of Viktor Orbán’s campaign waged against the civil sector.
On 6 April, Fidesz obtained another two-thirds majority in the Hungarian parliament. What will Viktor Orbán want to do with his supermajority, and what are the next four years likely to bring in Hungarian politics and society?