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Australia Viktor Orbán’s Hungary model opens up a pathway for Italy’s fascist lurch

13:31  29 july  2022
13:31  29 july  2022 Source:   crikey.com.au

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European politics took an unsettling lurch to the 1930s fascist right this week with the blood-and-soil style nationalist ruminations of Hungarian strong-man Viktor Orbán: “We are not a mixed race and we do not want to become a mixed race.”

  Viktor Orbán’s Hungary model opens up a pathway for Italy’s fascist lurch © Provided by Crikey

In one universe, Orbán’s Hungary could be dismissed as a latter-day Ruritania — annoying, but largely harmless. But in the universe in which we live, Orbán has become a model for the right’s rejection of liberal democracy and human rights, embraced by conservative groups across the world.

Right now, one of his proteges — leader of Italy’s Fratelli d’Italia Giorgia Meloni — is on track to be the first overtly fascist prime minister of a western European country since World War II. In Spain, the extremist Vox party is making itself the indispensable partner of the increasing conservative People’s Party.

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  Viktor Orbán’s Hungary model opens up a pathway for Italy’s fascist lurch © Provided by Crikey

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Orbán-mania has leapt the Atlantic, too. The Hungarian is set to headline the right’s big Conservative Political Action Conference scheduled for Texas next week. It’s a return visit, with Orbán hosting CPAC in Hungary in May, including a live broadcast of Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight show.

It’s all part of a lurch to the extreme in conservative politics across the developed world, including in Australia. On the far right, extremist parties like the Fratelli and Vox are growing support, while traditional conservative parties are following after to hang on to their voting base.

Suddenly the extreme right-wing parties are breaking through what was once thought to be a 10% ceiling. (The combined vote of One Nation and the United Australia Party in May was 9.1%.) Now, post-COVID, elections and polls show the extreme right surging past 20% in France, Italy, Spain and Austria.

Flying the flag: Thousands march in defiant Hungary pride

  Flying the flag: Thousands march in defiant Hungary pride Thousands of Hungarians marched in Budapest on Saturday to defend LGBTQ rights, a year after the passage of a law widely described as discriminatory. Brightly dressed revellers took to the streets by the Danube under scorching heat, sporting rainbow umbrellas, flags and a giant heart. Participants, who included foreign diplomats, condemned the text adopted in 2021 prohibiting "the representation or promotion" of LGBTQ among minors. "It's a toolBrightly dressed revellers took to the streets by the Danube under scorching heat, sporting rainbow umbrellas, flags and a giant heart.

It’s being driven, in part, by the climate emergency, with the right trading on the false promise held out to regional communities with the Morrisonian “technology not taxes”. In a rhyme with Australia’s 2019 bushfires, Vox has blamed Spain’s recent wildfires on arson.

The lesson the traditional conservative parties are taking from, say, France (where the traditional conservate vote collapsed in the recent elections) is: if you can’t beat ’em, you better join ’em.

In Spain, the Partido Popular has attempted the traditional reboot, with a new leader who talks centrist and is shifting policy to the right. So far as the polls go, it looks like it’s working. The party had a shock landslide win in the traditional socialist stronghold of Andalusia in June and is leading in the polls for national elections due by December 2023.

  Viktor Orbán’s Hungary model opens up a pathway for Italy’s fascist lurch © Provided by Crikey

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In Italy, the traditional right-wing parties, La Lega and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, used the surge in Fratelli’s support to bring down the technocratic government of Mario Draghi, forcing elections scheduled for October.

Long -standing confidants of Viktor Orbán steps down

 Long -standing confidants of Viktor Orbán steps down Budapest after critical speech. In Romania, the Hungarian head of government spoke about his perspective on a world that was "mixed with mixture". His long -time employee Hegedus finds that talk could come from Goebbels. Even according to the standards, it is unacceptable according to the standards of the "most bloodstream racist". © Bertrand Guay Viktor Orbán caused turmoil with his speech.

Meanwhile, among Hungary’s neighbours, Orbán’s crude ethno-nationalism is being seen through the prism of his enduring irredentist ambitions to reclaim the territories occupied by about 2.2 million Hungarian speakers spread around each of the country’s seven neighbours — including in western Ukraine

Orbán’s claim to speak for the Hungarian minority in the western Zakarpattia Oblast has been both an encouragement for Putin’s invasion in the east and an irritant for Ukraine and its supporters in the European Union. Under Orbán, Hungary has been funding pro-Hungary media and schools in the surrounding regions, particularly in Slovakia and Serbia, as well as Ukraine.

Hungary insisted on action to respect minority (read “Hungarian”) rights as a condition for approving Ukraine’s candidacy for EU membership. Expect this to be the sort of ongoing blockage to full membership that Bulgaria’s insistence on Bulgarian rights has been to North Macedonia.

Meanwhile, Orbán’s on-again, off-again attitude to the Russian invasion has fractured the regional right-wing bloc he was building in the so-called Visegrad group, particularly with his once reliable ally in Poland.

Hungary. Viktor Orban invokes "a cultural point of view" to justify his remarks on the

 Hungary. Viktor Orban invokes © EPA/Maxppp Viktor Orban breeds at his press conference in Vienna in Austria Thursday July 28, 2022. Hungarian Prime Minister maintained his words On the "mixture of breeds" during an official visit to Austria. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, visiting neighboring Austria, defended a Hungarian cultural point of view on Thursday after his virulent speech last weekend against "The mixture of races" .

Like much of the right, Hungary’s politics is more culture wars than economics. There’s the same city-country, young-old divide as in most of the developed world. Like much of central Europe it’s an emigrant country, with population down about 10% since the Soviet collapse.

Leading writer on post-Soviet economies Bálint Magyar has characterised it as the model mafia state, “a mix between a criminal organisation and a privatised, parasitic state” where “an organised ‘upperworld’ of elites have captured the economy, including the oligarchs themselves”.

But with the right rhetoric it’s an “illiberal democracy” that plenty of the world’s right finds irresistible.

The post Viktor Orbán’s Hungary model opens up a pathway for Italy’s fascist lurch appeared first on Crikey.

Hungary's Orban fires up Texas conservatives .
The right-wing leader says in a speech to Republicans that "a Christian politician cannot be racist".The right-wing leader drew enthusiastic applause at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Texas.

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