Life is indeed a wonderful director: next Tuesday evening in Brussels there will be two, from a Hungarian point of view, major events happening almost simultaneously. On one side of the city, the first international screening of the Orbán regime-backed propaganda thriller („Elkxrtuk”) will take place with the active participation of the so-called National Cooperation System’s (NER) unconditional servants and victims. Surely, there will be scones, champagne, glittering slim-fit jackets, NER-celebrities and a public media parade. On the other side of the city, there will be an open community meeting at the same time, where the independent candidate for prime minister of the opposition alliance and future prime minister of Hungary, Péter Márki-Zay will talk and listen to some of the Hungarians in Brussels. He will tell them what they can expect from him once he will be heading the next government and hear what they expect from him as one of the architects of the post-Orbán era.
This evening will be an accurate snapshot: on the one side, the man behind whom, regardless of party political ideologies, the majority of the country that wants change, the true cooperative system of the nation, has rallied; while on the other, in a rapidly encapsulating enclosure, the members of the elite who, out of profit or compulsion, still serve the nation-dividing, false reality building of this regime. The freedom fighters in Brussels, in chamber suits bought on Brussels’ tab.
I have hosted many important Hungarian decision-makers in the capital of the European Union; I have organized high-level meetings for many important people at various institutions, but, I must admit, I have never had such an easy job. The doors opened almost by themselves before Péter Márki-Zay, even those that had previously been closed or were not even considered, precisely because of political differences. Europe is curious to meet Viktor Orbán’s challenger; Europe wants to meet Hungary’s next Prime Minister, who has been able to unite the masses of the left and right who want change. The doors are opening for him on Social Democratic, Liberal, Green and even Christian Conservative corridors.
This is a peculiarity not only in the Hungarian environment entangled in the war between left and right, but also at EU level. So, while Viktor Orbán and Fidesz have in recent years only managed to get thrown out of the most influential right-wing community and had the doors in Brussels closed/slammed in their face one after the other, the opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister is being welcomed with genuine interest and openness in the institutions of the EU.
It’s time to decide what is more beneficial and useful for Hungary: seeking alliances or seeking enemies. Péter Márki-Zay is a man of alliances, while the disgraced leader of Fidesz is a man of enemies.
Oh yes, one last remark about the government’s Brussels film premiere: the Fideszians did not even dare to translate the original title of the propaganda movie. ‘The Price of Lying’ was the working title written in block capitals on the invitations, instead of or right above ‘Elkxrtuk’ (transl. “We FuXXked up”), which is on posters in bright red all over the place back at home. Very brave indeed.
After the Hungarian Prime Minister’s landmark speech in Tusványos in 2014, in which he proclaimed the illiberal state, I pledged that as an MEP I would write an open letter every week to draw the public’s attention to the crimes of this regime. For the three hundred and twenty-third time, I am ringing the bells of alarm, as it still seems necessary. And because, as a radical European democrat, it is my duty to do so.
Member of the European Parliament