How far will Hungary's Orban go for anti-refugee policies?

by Abel Hampton April 11, 2018, 6:15
How far will Hungary's Orban go for anti-refugee policies?

This puts Orbán on course for a third consecutive term in office as Hungary's Prime Minister. Asselborn has floated the idea that Hungary should be suspended from the European Union for violating the bloc's democratic core values and treating refugees "like animals", an accusation that Hungary's Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó rejected while personally Asselborn in the process.

He shook up Hungary's judiciary, brought state media under closer control - many independent titles have been bought up by Orban allies - and tacked hard-right during Europe's 2015 migrant crisis.

Magyar Nemzet, a national daily newspaper established in 1938, said on its website Tuesday that it was working on its last edition. The anti-Soros rhetoric came against a wider backdrop of antisemitism in Hungary.

Hungary's opposition to migration quotas is expected to harden even further.

Fidesz won a landslide victory at the country's election, with voters handing the party a two-thirds majority.

Anti-EU politicians, including France's Marine Le Pen, welcomed his win. State media in Hungary is widely supportive of Oban and opposition voices were sidelined in the runup to Sunday's election.

Poland's nationalist government shares Mr Orban's view that Muslim migrants threaten Europe's "Christian" heritage. The Polish and Czech leaders are also critical of the European Union and are taking tough policies against refugees and immigrants.

Orban has been defiant in the face of EU criticism, and some observers say the fact his Fidesz party is part of the European People's Party (EPP), the dominant force in the European Parliament, has given him cover in Brussels. Fidesz is a member of that group, despite the policy disputes.

Viktor Orban and Horst Seehofer
In the parliamentary elections in Hungary has won the ruling coalition

"Congratulations, Viktor Orban! A bad day for the European Union, a good one for Europe", tweeted Deputy AfD Parliamentary Leader Beatrix von Storch. His language echoed that of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Orban celebrated his party's gains in a speech to his supporters, shortly after the preliminary results were announced.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Horst Seehofer is a critic of Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policies How did the result play out? "Alongside high voter turnout, the country will have a strong, legitimate parliament". The Socialists are in third with 12%, and the LMP, Hungary's main Green Party, is in fourth with 7%.

By winning 134 in parliament out of the total 199, Fidesz and their smaller Christian democrat ally KDNP have the "supermajority" needed to pass legislation on their own, without needing any votes from the opposition.

Daniel Hegedus, research adviser at Freedom House, said Orban's new victory casts a "dark shadow on the future, especially concerning the attacks against the critical civil society". "However, human rights is an ideal, and it can not be shut down". Viktor Orban has promised a "settling of accounts - moral, politically, and legally" with his opponents.

'If the dam bursts, if the borders are opened, if immigrants set foot in Hungary, there will be no going back, ' Orban said during his campaign-closing rally on Friday.

Orban's election campaign was dominated by immigration, with him promising to defend the country's borders and block migration by Muslims. He has also promised to cut taxes and push for pro-growth reforms.


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