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Orbán and Kaczyński Want a Cultural Counter-Revolution in Europe

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By Olivier Bault.

Poland, Krynica – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, head of the Conservative party Fidesz, and Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the Conservative Law and Justice party in power in Poland, participating in a debate of the Economic Forum in Krynica, Poland, have called for a cultural counter-revolution in Europe.

Krynica, a charming spa town in southern Poland, is the Davos of Central and Eastern Europe. Organized since 1990, the Forum in Krynica brings together leaders from politics and business in the region and not only. This year, over 3,000 participants from over 50 different countries discuss together the political, economic and social situation in Europe and in the world, with six plenary sessions and 150 lectures and debates. One theme of the 26th Economic Forum in Krynica, is the future of the European Union after Brexit.

At a debate held on Tuesday, Jarosław Kaczyński and Viktor Orbán made no secret that Poland and Hungary are mutually inspiring reforms undertaken by each country, and the Hungarian Prime Minister joked about the fact that hostility of the international press against the two countries is rather a proof of recognition of the efforts. And if the two countries campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU, in order to preserve the freedom of movement of workers but also because London was so far the best bulwark against the excesses of Brussels, Viktor Orbán, supported by Jarosław Kaczyński spoke about the opportunities created by the decision of the British people.

“I have been going regularly to Brussels for 11 years,” said Orbán, “the European elites, policy makers, the people who run the media imagine that the development of humanity needs the liquidation of our identities, that it is not to be modern Polish, Czech or Hungarian, it is not modern to be a Christian. A new identity appeared instead, that of a European. We wanted to push things. And we said Brexit? The British have said “no”. They wanted to remain British. […] The European identity does not exist, there are Poles and Hungarians. […] The crisis strengthens our argument. All these phenomena observed in Europe today show that a cultural counter-revolution is possible. We, in Central Europe, we can initiate this renaissance”.

Article written by Olivier Bault and published in Présent on Saturday, September 10.
Translated from French by the Visegrád Post.