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Viktor Orbán’s latest criticism of Brussels’ hegemony is sparking fury

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Hungary/EU – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has once again criticized the European Union’s hegemonic, totalitarian drift. His numerous detractors in the EU are now attacking him for supposedly drawing a parallel between today’s EU and Hitler’s Third Reich, which is clearly a distortion of his words.

Orbán made the comment while he was in Veszprém, Hungary, which is the European Capital of Culture 2023 (along with Eleusis in Greece and Timișoara in Romania), on Friday, May 12, where he participated in the opening of the Centre for Dance and Movement Arts. During his speech there, he mentioned, as he often does, the difficult relations between Hungary and the European Union:

Talking about Europe today is a difficult task (…) cooperation between European states has always been difficult and complex (…)

But since the fall of Rome, a dream, a temptation has always hovered above the nation-states: to reunite, unite in a single empire, the territories of ancient Rome – that is to say, Europe.

Byzantium, Charlemagne, [the Holy Roman Emperor] Otto, Napoleon, Hitler: for different reasons, all dreamed of European unity. And it is still like this today.

The Hungarian Prime Minister then recalled that the original purpose of European cooperation was to safeguard peace in Europe, yet “today we are facing a war” in Europe. Hence his question:

If it cannot fulfil its original mission, what is the European Union?

Orbán’s latest verbal attack against the EU institutions did not go unnoticed among the Europhiles, who focused the thrust of their criticism on his reference to the German Führer.

Ferenc Gyurcsány, Hungary’s former socialist Prime Minister and the éminence grise of the current opposition, who is also a former secretary of the Communist Youth, said on Facebook:

Orbán is saying that Hitler also wanted European unity. This man is sick.

(…) To tell Europe that there is no peace and prosperity is a blatant and self-exonerating lie from Orbán’s mouth. (…)

This man is sick. Intellectually, morally, politically. And in my opinion, it makes our country sick.

The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jan Lipavský (Pirate Party), hit the same notes during a televised debate on Sunday, May 14:

No one is forcing Hungarians to be part of this community if they don’t feel comfortable.

The Czech EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, who was taking part in the same discussion, added that in her opinion Hungary has not been a democratic country “for a long time”.