articleimg-1
Feb 07, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Hungary’s “watermelons” show their true colors

They’re green on the outside, red on the inside. Our green ideologues have become the new revolutionaries who know better than Hungary’s voters and the government they elected and would – in the name of the great green leap forward – put their utopian ideas over the interests of Hungarian citizens.

I think I’ve seen this film before.

In a letter to the editor published in Politico, Dávid Dorosz, Budapest’s current deputy mayor for Climate and Development, attempts to take down Minister of Justice Judit Varga’s commentary on the Hungarian Government’s Christian conservative Green policy, which appeared in Politico two weeks ago.

If you needed more reason why Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that Hungary’s Greens (as well as Europe’s) are, in fact, watermelons -- green on the outside and red on the inside -- then look no further!

In his letter, Dorosz argues that the Orbán Government has always put corporate interests ahead of climate action, “eroded social and health care systems” and introduced “huge corporate tax breaks.” If you’re struggling to understand how these affect climate policy, you’re not alone.

“Eroded” is quite a rhetorical stretch when you take a close look at what we’re doing for families, education and the long-term unemployed. As for those “huge corporate tax breaks,” yes, Hungary’s corporate tax rate is the lowest in the EU, attracting investment and boosting jobs. It’s one of the reasons that our unemployment rate is also among the lowest in Europe. Perhaps Dorosz could ask any of the hundreds of thousands of Hungarians who are now back to work – the jobless rate was 12 percent when his fellow leftists were in power but it’s now below 4 – how they feel about tax breaks.

But the revolutionaries always had a penchant for dramatic language over facts.

He claims that the Orbán Government has a “disastrous environmental record.” Why? Because we’re down on wind energy. No, seriously, he really wrote that. Apparently, he’s unaware of the growing skepticism of wind energy across the EU. And then there’s the watermelon criticism of Orbán’s opposition last year to the EU’s 2050 carbon neutrality goal. Yes, he opposed it and for very good reason; it would have placed an unfair and costly burden on countries that are producing less carbon emissions instead of making the polluters pay.

As always, what’s most interesting is what he leaves out. He fails to mention that over the last ten years of Orbán Governments, Hungary made it into the elite club of just 21 countries that managed to increase economic output while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Or how about the fact that next to a roaring, 4.9 percent growth in GDP in 2018, we reduced GHG emissions by 0.7 percent? I guess that wouldn’t support their watermelon rhetoric. Nor would the fact that Hungary routinely outperforms the EU average in terms of GHG reduction by at least 9 percent.

Don’t let facts get in the way.

Back to the subject of alternative energy, why would we need any more wind energy when we’ve got watermelons like Dorosz blowing so much hot air?