HUNGARY – Viktor Orban was elected for his third straight term as prime minister after his landslide win last month, becoming the longest-serving premier in the post-communist history of the European country. During his last eight years in office, he has tightened control on the media and rejected the EU’s compulsory asylum seekers quotas, which has at times put him at odds with Brussels. The Hungarian nationalist leader started his fourth term as Hungary’s prime minister on Thursday. During his acceptance speech at parliament, Orban spoke about boosting economic growth under a conservative ideology.
These are the key takeaways:
‘Era of liberal democracy is over’
The new government will build a “Christian democracy” that guarantees freedom and security. “It supports the traditional family model of one man and one woman, keeps anti-Semitism at bay, and gives a chance for growth,” he said.
Hungary ‘needs the EU’
As much as he’s known for his eurosceptic policies, Orban admitted that “we need the EU and the EU needs us.” But he also said that the EU should give up “nightmares” of becoming a United States of Europe, taking a swipe at EU leaders who wish to deepen economic and political integration among members. “The EU must return to the grounds of reality. As a first step, it must change its thinking about migration.”
Foreign policy based on neighbours’ influence
Orban said that Hungary’s foreign policy would depend on the influence of Germany, Russia, and Turkey. “Hungary must prioritise geopolitical considerations over ideological thinking. Hungary is and will remain a dedicated member of the Western alliance system. But that does not change the geographical constraints,” he said. “To our west is the land of German iron chancellors, to our east is the world of Slavic soldier peoples, and to our south are massive crowds of Muslim people. Berlin, Moscow, Istanbul — Hungary exists in this space. We need to make calculations based on this.”
Orban’s 3 main plans for his fourth term:
• Reverse a population decline in the country while maintaining a hard line on immigration.
• Boost economic competitiveness and growth
• Work on state healthcare system
The right-wing leader has been Hungary’s prime minister since 2010 and previously served as prime minister of Hungary between 1998 and 2002.
Cristina Abellan Matamoros