Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Everything in which Russia becomes involved seems to turn septic. Now Hungary.
“The Russia Touch”. Like the Midas Touch, but everything Russia touches festers.
Orban’s quest to drive Hungary into the same black hole as his much-admired Russia is proceeding steadily. Notable comments on Orban’s persistent media falsehoods by Juncker.
HUNGARY has descended into chaos after thousands hit the streets of Budapest in a mass revolt against right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s punishing new “slave law” that allows employers to pressure workers for crippling overtime – in a move which has seen the EU come under fire.
Hungary passed a law on Wednesday to set up courts overseen directly by the justice minister, a move critics said would allow political interference in judicial matters and further undermine the rule of law.
Political control of a new supreme court in Hungary puts leader Viktor Orban in the vanguard of an anti-EU rebellion.
Overtime limit raised, with legislation establishing new courts also passed
Chaos as Hungarian MPs pass laws on overtime and judiciary
European Union leaders on Friday backed a plan to tackle fake news on the internet and the bloc’s chief executive rounded on one of the EU chiefs, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, as one of the main culprits in spreading disinformation. The EU plan endorsed by the bloc’s 28 national leaders is largely aimed at guarding against what the United States, NATO and the EU say are Russian attempts to undermine Western democracies. But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the bloc should also look within its own ranks in its fight against disinformation and he zeroed in on Orban whose populist politics have raised hackles in Brussels. Singling out Orban, Juncker told reporters: “Some of the prime ministers sitting around the table, they are the origin of the fake news.” “When Mr. Orban for example says … that migrants are responsible for Brexit, it’s fake news. So let’s not put all the responsibility on others,” Juncker said. Since sweeping to power in 2010, Orban, once a campaigner against Hungary’s Soviet Communist overlords, has used his parliamentary majority to pressure courts, media and non-government groups in ways his opponents say breach EU rules. He has irked many in the EU by taking on the image of a crusader for the rights of nation states and ethnic majorities against rules of civic behavior agreed in Brussels.
Viktor Orbán is a darling and hero of many on the American right — and the British right and other rights. For them, the Hungarian leader is a bulwark of Western civilization and a scourge of liberal democracy. Last year, Steve King, the Iowa Republican, tweeted, “History will record PM Orban the Winston Churchill of Western Civilization.” (Personally, I would accord that honor to Churchill.) What about “scourge of liberal democracy”? Here, Orbán’s fans are certainly right. In May, Orbán declared, “The era of liberal democracy is over.” That reminded me of President Clinton’s statement in his 1996 State of the Union address: “The era of big government is over.” Unfortunately, Clinton was wrong. Whether Orbán is right, we will see. In April, Patrick J. Buchanan had a column — characteristically frank, characteristically interesting. PJB is not one to obfuscate. That is one of his best qualities. He wrote, “The democracy worshippers of the West cannot compete with the authoritarians in meeting the crisis of our time because they do not see what is happening to the West as a crisis.” The Hungarian people, he further said, “have used democratic means to elect autocratic men who will put the Hungarian nation first.” Linger on those phrases — “democratic means,” “autocratic men.” That has been the story in Russia, Venezuela, and many another country. Hugo Chávez’s first election in 1998 was fair and square. Writing for The Weekly Standard last August, Arch Puddington said, “Hungary has become a model for the dismantling of a European democracy by a democratically elected government.” Like Putin, said Puddington, Orbán “started with the media” — and then moved on to other aspects of life. Here is a headline from this morning: “Hungary to Set Up Courts Overseen Directly by Government.” (Article here.) The Helsinki Committee called this latest development “a serious threat to the rule of law in Hungary.” Orbán is a canny politician — he studied at Oxford on a Soros scholarship. He is no fool. He knows his history, he knows his politics. Rallying the folks earlier this year, he said, “We are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the whole world.”