On January 1st, the six month revolving EU Presidency will pass onto the Hungarian government, a government comprising of two nationalist parties- Fidesz and the KDNP. But before any SNPers and Plaiders go a-hopping and a-skipping at the “success” of another one of their Euro-Nat brothers, here’s a couple of statements from members of the two parties which should make even the most wild-eyed of cybernats on The Scotsman's Midnight Shift blanch:
“I love Hungary, I love Hungarian people, and I prefer Hungarian interests to global financial capital, or Jewish capital, if you like, which wants to devour the whole world, but especially, Hungary,” Fidesz Mayor of Edeleny, Oszkar Molnar: 2009To be fair, the party leader, Viktor Orban, did admit to feeling rather "embarrassed" after that first one; Mr Semjén, in contrast, is now his Deputy Prime-Minister….
""The former (socialist) government stole more than all the Gypsies put together." He ( Semjén) talked about "the foreign garbage" the multinational companies feed Hungarians. According to him there was a secret socialist-liberal plan that envisaged the immigration of one million people from Asia in order to satisfy the needs of the multinational companies for a large labor force.""As I said in my title, 'barmies" and I have covered the rest of the government’s (slightly) more mainstream nationalist credentials previously here. Since that time the incorporation of an ethnic Magyar party into the Slovak ruling coalition has dampened the Greater Hungary cultural populism somewhat but in compensation Orban has decided that the foreign multinationals should be targetted for “solidarity” taxes. That has succeeded in keeping the rabid nats more than happy- after all, if you can no longer bash the Slovaks, Romanians, Ukranians etc on behalf of the Motherland, then Volksbank, Tescos and Cora will do nicely.
In truth though, the arbitary nature of that tax points towards the bigger problem (or at least it would be if the Commission had any backbone) of the Hungarian government assuming the EU’s Presidency and that is not its nationalism but its increasingly authoritarian nature.
Since the summer, helped by the fact that it controls 2/3 of the parliament, the following power grab has been proposed or taken place:
Expropriation of the private pension system.
Emasculation of judicial independence
Removal of other democratic checks and balances
Imposition of the "solidarity" tax already mentioned
And finally a Media Law, the harshness of which can only be presently seen in one place elsewhere in Europe and that's Belarus.
The seriousness of the movement towards what is, to all intents and purposes, a one-party state is shown by the fact that if Hungary had been wishing to join the European Union today as opposed to 2004, it would not have met the requisite conditions; yet its government is presently preparing to take over the organisation's presidency and thus dictate to the likes of Messrs Mugabe and Lukashenko what they should and should not be doing with their country's media!
But should it bother us in the UK?
Well... to answer that one, you have to find the answer to the question:
Why did the Conservatives enlisting some of Europe's more reactionary parties for its Euro-sceptic grouping bother so many in the media and UK blogosphere (including this blog) earlier on this year?
Purely partisan reasons or because they felt they have a duty as members of the European Union to stand up for the liberal, democratic principles which the organisation claims as its foundations? Several of the papers who did raise their voices at the Cameron cosying up to the likes of Law and Justice have taken a stand now also but as for those who previously were the more outspoken online guardians of the continent's morality... then... shush... if you listen very carefully you might just able to catch their hypocritical silence.
It has all seriously kicked off today.
The rumours are that pressure is growing within the EUcracy to stop Orban from getting hold of the presidency unless the media law is sorted out.
This from the head of the Green faction in the European parliament, Cohn-Bendit:
"Hungary is moving backward toward a communist surveillance dictatorship,"