Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, let his true colors shine over the weekend in a speech in a Hungarian-speaking part of Romania. The FT:
“The hottest intellectual topic of today is understanding systems which are non-western, non-liberal, which are not liberal democracies, perhaps which are not even democracies, and they still make some nations successful,” Mr Orbán said. He added that Singapore, China, India, Russia and Turkey were “stars” in this respect. […]In the past four years, and looking towards the next four, Mr Orbán said: “We are making ourselves independent of and free from western European dogma and ideology.”
The video of the speech, far from being leaked, was actually posted on the Hungarian government’s website.While it’s convenient to have more proof that troubling things are afoot in Hungary (especially proof provided by such an official source), regular readers should not be terribly surprised. Charles Gati was on the case in our pages in late 2011. Our own Francis Fukuyama was asking questions about Orbán in January 2012 (and got a furious reply from the Hungarian government for his trouble). And we have done our best to point out when Orbán and his supporters have crossed various lines since in our daily coverage.With Hungary’s leader increasingly sounding like Putin’s Mini-Me, it’s clear that the totalitarian temptation is alive and well in Eastern Europe. That’s something EU leaders should worry about, especially as parties sympathetic to hard-line Hungarians gain power in the union’s parliament.