Fidesz faces difficult days in the European People’s Party

It’s been no secret that Viktor Orbán is not a favourite of former Polish PM and outgoing European Council President Donald Tusk. Predictably, it was not a good sign for Fidesz that the EPP’s congress was held in Zagreb, right where Fidesz hasn’t been quite popular in Croatian government circles ever since the Hernádi affair. Furthermore, since Fidesz is suspended, the party wasn’t even invited to the congress, so they lost all the vice presidential seats that Fidesz politicians had so far.

On top of all that, Donald Tusk, who was elected as president of the European People’s Party with a substantial majority, sent Orbán a clear message in his inaugural speech as to what he thinks about the Fidesz government’s policies. Tusk promised to take firm action against those who don’t respect the rule of law and show a dishonest conduct in politics. And those who are unable to accept it have no place in the People’s Party, he said.

Notably enough, the Hungarian Parliament was just holding its debate on the muzzle act which is in stark contrast with all the traditions of European parliamentarism and the sole purpose of which is to push the genie back in the bottle where the results of the local elections released it from.

You cannot turn back time, however. On 13 October, we sent Orbán the message that Hungarian citizens want to live in a European rather than an Asian country, and they want the public offices to be filled by responsible professionals rather than oligarchs. Less than a month later on 10 November we sent Orbán another message: Hungarians want no intimidation and blackmailing. What they want is honest politics and fair political competition. Yesterday Orbán got yet another message, this time from his largest international ally: the president of the European People’s Party told him that he didn’t want anything to do with those who fail to comply with the rules of civilized politics. Rumour has it that most People’s Party politicians just shrug off the Hungarian Prime Minister.

The saddest part of the story is that we, the Hungarian people are also sitting on the train heading straight to the precipice. While the Fidesz government, which has become isolated in Europe, is now looking for compassionate relatives in Central Asia, we cover the costs of the financial sanctions, we lose our youth to westward emigration and we are exploited by the government’s strategic business partners who pay starvation wages for our labour. When the members of Europe’s most influential party family, the People’s Party consider the Hungarian government’s policies either outrageous or ridiculous, it’s a clear sign that this cabinet is playing with the future of our country because our government’s opinion will automatically be rejected (even if it happens to be right) and our causes will be put in the bottom of the drawer and the Hungarian national interest will be swept aside. Orbán is playing with the honour and reputation of our homeland. He may try to ban us from saying it out aloud, he may try to ban the opposition from the Parliament, he may try to slander us but he can never hide the truth. To quote from Donald Tusk’s speech delivered yesterday: we are ready to fight.

And I wish a lot of success for Donald Tusk as the leader of the European People’s Party.


Published on Márton Gyöngyösi's Facebook account