Hungary, poverty and chauvinism

This video says about itself:

In Hungary, supporters of Jobbik, a far-right group with anti-Semitic views who gained 45 seats in last year’s election, are capitalising on anti-austerity blues. In France, although the French election saw socialist Francois Hollande take power, it was also marked by the resurgence of the Far Right, with Marine Le Pen whipping up anti-immigration sentiment.

By Markus Salzmann:

Hungarian premier steps up nationalist rhetoric

27 October 2012

Hungarian premier Victor Orban is notorious for his right-wing nationalist rhetoric, but his pronouncements in the course of the past weeks go way beyond past excesses.

In early October Orban delivered a bloodcurdling tirade in which he firmly placed himself in the camp of the extreme right. He consecrated a monument to the mythical bird “Turul” in the southern Hungarian town of Opusztaszer. Orban described the “Turul” as a symbol of national identity and a “prototype” for Hungary, ranting: “The archetype belongs to our blood and our homeland.”

A cult of mythical creatures with grasping claws was a characteristic of the Arrow Cross regime, which established a fascist dictatorship in Hungary in the last months of World War II and murdered tens of thousands of Jews.

Orban not only embraced the symbols of the extreme right in Opusztaszer but also much of their program, declaring: “This monument tells us that there is only one country, namely one capable of uniting all Hungarians on both sides of the Trianon border into a single community.”

The call for a revision of the 1921 Treaty of Trianon which defined the modern borders of Hungary has so far been a central demand of the neo-fascist Jobbik party. Jobbik calls for a Greater Hungary incorporating the Hungarian populated regions of neighbouring countries.

The nationalist tirades of Orban play into the hands of the extreme right. Last week, about a thousand right-wingers marched with torches through a Roma settlement in the east Hungarian city of Miskolc. Jobbik had called for the march and the participants were mainly uniformed members of the paramilitary Hungarian Guard.

Orban’s nationalist outburst comes in response to the decline of his Fidesz party and growing opposition to the austerity measures introduced by the Orban government in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Fidesz won an absolute majority in the federal election of 2010, but is currently polling at between 16 to 19 percent and is only slightly ahead of the opposition Socialists, which has 14 percent support. Jobbik has also lost half of its support since the 2010 elections and is now polling at just 7 percent. According to the survey conducted by Ipsos, 52 percent of Hungarians see no point in taking part in elections.

Fidesz recently lost two elections at a district and community level. In Sopron, a western Hungarian stronghold of Fidesz, the Socialist challenger won with 46 percent of the vote, and in Dunafoldvar, a town south of Budapest, the Fidesz office holder was toppled by an independent candidate supported by the Socialists.

The rapidly developing social crisis in the country has led to growing anger with the government. According to the Central Statistical Office in Budapest, the number of employees in the economic sector has declined for the ninth month in a row. In August alone, the decline was 2.4 percent compared to the same month last year. In the Hungarian private sector, job losses amounted to 45,500 in one year.

5 thoughts on “Hungary, poverty and chauvinism

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