Who Will Confront the Hatred in Hungary?
All sides agreed that there should be no fuss when Hungaryâs Viktor OrbĂĄn took over the presidency of the European Union yesterday. The EUâs technocrats would allow OrbĂĄn to play the big guy on the international stage, as long as he let Brussels run Europe behind the scenes. Brussels assured OrbĂĄnâs rightwing Fidesz party in return that it would not look too closely at how he runs Hungary.
Both parties will maintain the pretence that Hungary is a decent democracy and not discuss the ugly little state that is growing within Europeâs borders. The silence of Europeâs rulers will suit Fidesz nicely. Ever since it won a landslide victory over the corrupt and incompetent Hungarian left, it has been turning Hungary into aâŚ well, I will not call it a fascist country or even a neo-fascist county, but just note that an old, foul stench wafts from the ânew societyâ OrbĂĄnâs patriots are building on the Danube.
You can catch a smell of it in Fideszâs propaganda. Its first act was to order public buildings to display a passage from its manifesto. âIn spring 2010, the Hungarian nation gathered its strength once again and brought about a successful revolution in the polling booth,â the citizenry was informed. They should rejoice because Fidesz will lead Hungary to a bright new tomorrow based on âwork, home, family, health and orderâ.
Fidesz then seized control of private pensions, hacked back the powers of a supreme court that might have checked its supremacy and established a media council, which can impose large fines on broadcasters and print and online publishers for such fuzzily worded crimes as âoffending human dignityâ. It has packed the council with party loyalists, naturally, and already Hungarian newspapers and magazines are publishing blank pages in protest against official censorship.