These are the darlings of the mainstream media. They’re quoted as authoritative, credible sources in international coverage of Hungary – former minister, research director of such-and-such think tank, some other respectable-sounding affiliation – but they are never charged with peddling, a politically motivated line, despite what is for the Hungarian reader a clear political affiliation.
“[T]he EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future,” a certain American billionaire financier wrote almost four years ago on his favorite, liberal website Project Syndicate . That text, “Rebuilding the Asylum System,” called for a “comprehensive plan” that became the backbone in the Soros network’s relentless promotion – absent any democratic mandate – of a pro-immigration agenda in Europe.
It’s the same site, four years later, where Bálint Magyar, a former education minister and founding member of Hungary’s Free Democrats – the liberal SZDSZ which fell out of parliament in 2010 for lack of voter support – claims right in the second line of his article that “Orbán’s anti-EU stance does not reflect a different vision of Europe.” Straight up, there are two problems with this.
PM Orbán and this government are, in fact, not against the EU. We never have been. In Hungary, a country with one of the highest EU approval rates in the bloc, no political party could prevail without a clear, pro-European agenda. Hungary’s place, as the prime minister has said many times, is in Europe.
Secondly, where we disagree with some is on the specific direction that Europe’s integration should take. In our view, the EU must not pursue the path of a ‘United States of Europe’, an empire controlled by an unelected, unaccountable group of Brussels-based bureaucrats. Instead, national competences should be respected and sovereignty returned to the member states. A strong Europe based on strong nation states.
Yes, that’s a “different vision of Europe,” one shared by many, many European citizens.
In a paragraph towards the end of his polemic, Magyar and his cohort write that PM Orbán “tried to boost his standing” by “exploiting” the EU’s migration crisis. What the authors ignore is that PM Orbán’s government did not “exploit” mass migration, but presented the only realistic solution to the very real problem. Nearly half a million immigrants crossed our border into the EU in 2015. The solution that the Orbán Government applied, the one supported by Hungary’s voters, was to stop illegal migration on Hungary’s southern borders, an external frontier of the EU.
Magyar and Madlovics then go on to accuse Hungary’s government of being a “Trojan horse capable of undermining further EU integration and thwarting Europe’s global political ambitions”. In fact, the only global political ambition that Prime Minister Orbán has sought to “thwart” is that of George Soros and his liberal network. The Soros-funded, so-called civic groups have plotted – among other things – to import millions of immigrants to Europe, to provide financial support to them out of taxpayer pockets and to make softer Europe’s borders in what would become a ‘United States of Europe’ based on the liberal idea of an open society and utterly lacking any democratic mandate.
That’s the international angle. What the international audience should know – and what the Hungarian audience finds hard to stomach – Bálint Magyar, a leader of a failed political party, published a book six years ago applying the term “mafia state” to the democratically elected Hungarian government. That mafia line could only be published in Project Syndicate because no other self-respecting, international news outlet would go near it.
Finally, the Socialist-Liberal government of which Bálint Magyar was a member and the Gyurcsány Government that succeeded it, they were failures. Deficits ballooned, debt went up, unemployment increased, GDP went through the floor. These political operatives will try every line – illiberal democracy, inhuman response to immigration, corruption – to discredit the Orbán Governments. But once again, on May 26th, the governing parties swept the election with an absolute majority. There’s a reason for that response from the Hungarian voters.
Photo: EU Watch