Hungary may not stay in the EU to be insulted
Ask a Hungarian if he or she feels better inside the EU or without it. I think the chances are that the answer would shame Europe. And it is not the fault of Hungarians. They simply do not understand why they should be the target of outside attacks for reasons they just cannot fathom. Or just suspect that it is the two-thirds majority of the center-right Fidesz government that they elected in the spring of 2010, which bothers Europe.
Take the example of Klubradio, the radio station supposedly muzzled by the authorities. For years, it has been on the lips of Commissioner Neelie Kroes, responsible for the digital agenda, lashing out at the Hungarian government’s supposed abuse of its power.
If the topic came up in the EU, reporters from the most prestigious papers have never failed to show up. Journalists from the Budapest stations have been paraded in Brussels to demonstrate a living proof of the oppressed media in Hungary.
“Today the European Federation of Journalists expressed its outrage at the recent closure of the well-known radio station KlubrĂĄdiĂł, and calls on the Media Authority to apply international standards on pluralism and media freedom, and to take into consideration KlubrĂĄdiĂł’s unique position when allocating licenses.” This media release, dated December 22, 2011, was followed, the next day, by an article in The Wall Street Journal with the title “Hungary Hurts Press Freedom, Say Journalists Groups”. Its first sentence reads: “Public outcry and international criticism is becoming an everyday noise concerning Hungary”. Do you know how this “silenced” station fares now? It has been beaming its stuff without interruption and since recently, it is doing it for free of charge.
Would Westerners wish to close down the leading internet sites, the biggest circulation dailies, the most popular broadcasting stations in Hungary? Don’t do it, please, otherwise the opposition will have fewer voices to tell the people that Europe also backs its own worst views on the “Orban dictatorship.”
In my opinion, the same commissioners, the western press and western politicians, that shed huge crocodile tears for the supposed loss of checks and balances in Hungary, are numb or do not give a hoot if members of the large Hungarian communities living in countries neighbouring Hungary are beaten up for merely being Hungarians, or speaking Hungarian, or are not allowed to use their language in public, or are banned from using their mother tongue in their own churches.
I am also sick of hearing that Hungarians are anti-Semitic, xenophobic, anti-gypsy, and the rest of the dictionary of negative adjectives. Or that the government is like the one in Belarus or Kazakhstan. And also that Viktor Orban, the head of their government, is a Napoleon II, a puszta Putyin, a Mussolini, or worse.
I am fed up with hearing from their parties in the opposition, as echoed by EU officials, and an uncritical Western press, that the country is not a republic any more by virtue of the new constitution, while its second article specifies that “Hungary is a republic.”
When I look around today’s Hungary, I can see that its own citizens do not see a dictatorship. On the contrary, they do not lose their eyesight by getting hit by a rubber bullet salvo fired by unidentified policemen at demonstrations, as was the case under the previous socialist-left-liberal coalition. And they see a press that uses a language in attacking the government or the politicians of the ruling coalition, which would not see print in any western country.
Hungarians are disgusted, as any population facing an outside threat, and they are rallying around their government. If the outside attack against Hungary continues, the ruling Fidesz government will win next year’s elections not with a two-thirds, but a four-fifths majority, while the far right Jobbik party may increase its share of the parliamentary seats with UKIP-style rhetoric against the EU.
And – watch out, Europe – Hungarians may demand a referendum so that they can leave the organization of their daily tormentor, even before the Brits might have the opportunity to express their opinion on the European Union.
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