Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán compared Hungary’s membership in the European Union to more than four decades of Soviet occupation of his country during a speech on Monday commemorating the anniversary of Hungary’s 1956 anti-Soviet revolution.
Speaking to a select group of guests in the city of Veszprem, Orbán accused the EU of seeking to strip Hungary of its identity by imposing a model of liberal democracy that he said Hungarians reject. Brussels, the de facto capital of the EU, employs methods against Hungary that hearken back to the days of Soviet domination by Moscow, he said.
“Today, things pop up that remind us of the Soviet times. Yes, it happens that history repeats itself,” Orbán said at the event, from which all media were excluded except Hungary’s state broadcaster. “Fortunately, what once was tragedy is now a comedy at best. Fortunately, Brussels is not Moscow. Moscow was a tragedy. Brussels is just a bad contemporary parody.”
Orbán, a proponent of an alternative form of populist governance that he calls “illiberal democracy,” has long used the holiday to rally his supporters. In recent years, he has used the occasion to draw parallels between the EU’s attempts to bring Hungary into compliance with its rules on corruption and democracy, and the repression the country faced under Soviet occupation in the 20th century.
“We had to dance to the tune that Moscow whistled,” Orbán said of Hungary’s days in the Eastern Bloc. “Brussels whistles too, but we dance as we want to, and if we don’t want to, then we don’t dance!”
Last week, Orbán met with Putin before an international forum in Beijing, a meeting that focused on Hungary’s access to Russian energy. European leaders, as well as other members of the NATO military alliance such as the United States, expressed concern that Orbán had met with Putin, notes APNews.
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