The 15th of March is a time of national celebration and pride in Hungary. In 1848 on this day, the Hungarian people rose up against Habsburg overlords and started a revolution to fight for liberties. This year, the country was divided between two main celebrations.
Zoltán Kész’s victory shattered the two third majority of governing party Fidesz in the parliament. Using this supermajority, the government has implemented a new constitution and new laws curtailing the freedom of speech, human rights and the power of the constitutional court since 2010. Hungary has also become fearfully friendly with Russia regardless of the growing tensions between the EU and Putin.
Fidesz got so detached from reality and from its voters that the government can no longer assess how far it can go. Fidesz’s attempt to tax the Internet was the last straw.
The civil sector should gently, but firmly take hold of the current atmosphere and lead Hungary far away from Russia, and back into the heart of Europe where their people belong.
Putin recognized that many European parties are not satisfied with how the EU works, and Russia positioned itself as an alternative choice, towards which discontented countries can run to.
With a new scandal involving extensive corruption the country is alienating the countries of the West and as much as Prime Minister Orbán wants to follow Putin’s footsteps, the question is whether there would be any country left which would take Hungary seriously?
The strength of civil movements shows how healthy a society is. NGOs matter for the state, because they can shape public opinion and provide valuable research to politicians.
Hungary, whose people have a long, historic dislike for Russia is now torn between the West and the East. Although financed heavily by the European Union, Hungary seeks shady partnership with Putin.