Viktor Orbán has become a liability. The past period has clearly and unambiguously shown that the current head of government is incapable of bringing peace and reaching an agreement with the European Union. For more than fifteen months now, there has been no agreement on the more than HUF 6,000 billion in recovery funds due to Hungary, and the entering into force of the rule of law procedures has put the additional HUF 13,000 billion in funding due to us from the EU budget for the coming years in real danger. It is already certain that the EU will freeze all funds because of the Fidesz government’s rampage anti-European fight over the past decade, but the question is how much and for how long. The government is well aware of this, as Brussels informed it in detail during the negotiations, however, Fidesz is hiding this information from the Hungarian public. Even a single euro cent lost is a serious loss for Hungary, especially if it is actually caused by a single person and that person’s dead-end policy.
Every single EU subsidy Hungary is entitled to could be saved and drawn down immediately if the government could finally reach an agreement with the European Union and gave the necessary guarantees, made the commitments, stopped corruption at state level and restored the rule of law according to European standards. The vision of the current Fidesz leader over the past decade has been built on the abundance of money, the scaremongering with created enemies and there mock defeats. However, the covid pandemic, the climate crisis, the global economic crisis that is intensifying along these lines, and then Russian aggression, which is amplifying the negative impacts, are crumbling the Fidesz superstructure like a house of cards; but alas, the security of Hungarian families’ livelihoods is crumbling with it, too. Twelve years of two-thirds mandate have resulted in a greased and misguidedly arrogant Fidesz elite and a country with a weakened immune system, which is almost defenceless in the face of global crises. If Viktor Orbán were able to make a real turnaround, a real compromise and peace around him, the whole country’s burdens would be eased. But as it is, he continues to hold the country hostage, including his own political community, in the grip of the intoxication and financial spiral of autocratic power. It is time for Fidesz to realise that it simply will not work with Orbán. And this is no longer a game.
Many rightly question the fairness of the last election – even the OSCE report – but it is pointless to doubt the result: Fidesz has the majority in Parliament and gives us the Prime Minister. Therefore, it is the duty and responsibility of the Fidesz community to secure the majority behind the government and the Prime Minister. It is clear and perceptible that within Fidesz, too, there is a growing awareness that with Orbán, a clash is inevitable; we are not stopping at the wall, but are increasingly sure that we will smash into it. Not only the government, but also we Hungarians, all of us. Orbán is most definitely a great cardsharp, who most of the time gets his way, but now his luck cannot be trusted; if we do not want the whole country to see the serious and irreversible damage of further gambling, it is time to change the striker. It does happen. They also take off the captain when he’s tired, or when a different formation is needed, when a different game needs to be played. Orbán himself said that he doesn’t have that long left in politics. More precisely, he said: “I have already been paid. Every day I spend on the high shelf is just a bonus.” This statement was made more than ten years ago, so he’s had a fair bit of the bonus. Surely there must be someone in Fidesz – we know, we can see, that there are people who have been preparing for this for a long time – who feels up to the task, who might be able to make peace with Europe, who would strive for real national unity at home, at least on certain issues, and who might be able to lead our country out of the crisis. Viktor Orbán is simply not capable of this, and he is now clearly a liability. It is Fidesz’s responsibility to decide how much longer it will allow the fate of the country to be put at risk just so that he can stay on the ‘high shelf’. The governing parties like to say that the country comes first. I agree. And not just on a poster.
Member of the European Parliament
31 July, 2022