Is anyone still in doubt about why the CDU is not stopping Viktor Orbán’s illiberal frenzy? Let me tell you why they tolerate Fidesz’s anti-European policy: for money. It may sound harsh, but one can hardly think of a better explanation.
A few days ago, the announcement was published in the Hungarian State Gazette: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has appointed the former EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger as co-chairman of the so-called “National Science Policy Council” in Hungary. That’s right, let that sink in: among others Oettinger will make decisions about how to use R&D and innovation resources distributed in Hungary.
Let’s be clear: this particular Council was set up by the Fidesz government after they trampled on academic freedom and European values in an outrageous manner and seized the entire academic research network, placing it in the hands of the state (more precisely, Orbán). The same Günther Oettinger will now lead this body, who as EU commissioner had found nothing dodgy earlier about the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Hungary as part of the Russian loan trap and flew to Budapest in 2016 on the private jet of a German businessman with particularly good Russian connections to meet Orbán.
This is simply astonishing. Everything is happening before our eyes, and they no longer bother to deny it. And the European right-wing, the dominant German Christian-Democratic party group simply looks away, perhaps not even ashamed. While you, our dear German friends, talk about safeguarding academic and university freedom and preach about defending European values and red lines, this is what’s going on in your party group, in the colony of Fidesz.
Is this why Angela Merkel and the German right have defended Fidesz and Viktor Orbán for years? Because, in spite of all his anti-multinational invectives, he keeps serving German economic interests and even plays the Hungarian R&D resources over to Oettinger?
Something deeply dark is unfolding, and you, our dear German friends, are getting more and more absorbed by this darkness. You can still step out its path. That is, if you want to.
MEP István Ujhelyi