Europe

New Opposition to Orban Illiberalism in Hungary 6-24-17

Sources: "What to do with Hungary" "Magyars en marche!"  

Overview of Orban's Hungary - he has put oligarch cronies in charge of major media outlets. He has rewritten the Hungarian Constitution and eliminated many checks ad balances. He has rigged the system (gerrymandering?) in favor of his Fidesz so that it controls two-thirds of the legislature while commanding less than half the vote. From the article: "Today Mr Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, is one of Vladimir Putin’s closest friends in Europe. His country is increasingly dominated by one party, his own. Elections may be free, but they are not fair. Mr Orban has rewritten the constitution, dismantled checks and balances (“a US invention” unsuited to Europe, he says), muzzled the press and empowered oligarchs. Refugees, who supposedly threaten Hungary’s Christian identity, are beaten by police and mauled by police dogs. Debates over values, Mr Orban thinks, “unnecessarily generate social problems”. He wants to fashion an “illiberal state” modelled on China, Russia and Turkey."

The EU has tools - economic ones - to help restrain the worst of Orban's illiberal excesses. Hungary gets $6.7 billion a year in EU aid and 95% of all publicly finance infrastructure) projects are co-financed by the EU. Further, 75% of all Hungarians want to stay in the EU. Note that Russia just loaned Orban $11.2 billion to expand a nuclear power plant

And a new opposition party, Momentum, is modeling itself after France's En Marche and rejecting left-right labels and rejecting establishment politicians as out-of-date ad corrupt. The leader of Momentum is Andras Fekete-Gyor.  Momentum rejects the idea of allying with Hungary's major opposition party, the Socialists.