- 14 Sep 2016 9:00 AM
Addressing the annual informal meeting of pro-government intellectuals and party officials, PM Viktor Orbán excoriated the European elites who, in his view, stop the continent from protecting itself against uncontrolled immigration and thereby against Islamist terrorism. The spread of terrorism in Europe, he said, was a sad reminder of 9/11 2001. He expressed the hope that Hungary’s referendum against compulsory migrant quotas will be followed by similar referenda in other European countries.
In an angry front page editorial, Népszabadság deems it revealing that in his speech on the anniversary Mr Orbán quoted the late radical right-wing leader István Csurka who 15 years ago accused the United States of having provoked the terrorist acts with its expansionist foreign policies. Although Mr Orbán quoted Csurka in another context (namely that Hungary’s liberals wanted to ‘sit on the jury’, that is, to overrule decisions rather than governing the country), Népszabadság thinks that mentioning his name in a positive sense on the anniversary was outrageous.
In Magyar Nemzet, Csaba Lukács writes that life in the northern hemisphere has become more dangerous since 2001 and despite all the measures taken against the terrorist threat, ordinary citizens cannot feel safe. Politicians use the anniversary to highlight their own agendas, he continues, including those Hungarian leaders who have referred to 9/11 in order to mobilise voters to turn up for the quota referendum on October 2nd .
Commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech on National Public Radio, political philosopher András Lánczi said that for the first time in Hungarian history, a referendum may entail international consequences. The post war seventy years of safety and peace in Europe seem to be over, he explained, and the conviction is spreading that profound changes are needed. Referenda and elections are ahead in Austria, Italy, France and Germany and they may all be influenced by the outcome of the referendum on 2 October, he suggests.
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MTI photo: Varga György