An attack on Hungary? Prime Minister Orban gave an angry speech about Russia’s economic sanctions

Anger over Russia sanctions
Orban predicts the collapse of the EU

Hungary’s prime minister attacks the EU with military language. Orban describes the sanctions against Russia, which he himself helped decide, as an attack on his country. In fact, his speech on the national holiday was about the 1956 anti-Stalinist uprising.

Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has accused the European Union of insidiously “shooting back” at Hungary with sanctions against Russia. Speaking this afternoon in the town of Salégárcek during a holiday commemorating the 1956 uprising in Hungary, he prophesied that the EU would face a similar fate to the Eastern Bloc, which began to disintegrate in 1989. “We shouldn’t be worried about shooters in Hungary somewhere in the shadow of the watchtowers in Brussels,” Orban said. “They will end up where their predecessors end up.”

Orban has been at loggerheads with the European Union over the dismantling of the rule of law in Hungary. Among other things, Hungary is threatened with withdrawing billions in corona aid. On October 23, Orban made the comments during a holiday when Hungary commemorates the 1956 anti-Stalinist uprising that was bloodily crushed by Moscow. The West has failed in its own country against Stalinism. Hungary learned from this that it must always protect itself, Orban said. “We will wait when necessary and fight as hard as we can,” he said.

Orban: “Brussels sanctions are destroying us”

“Brussels sanctions are ruining us” posters were put up in Budapest and other parts of the country. In mid-October, the Orbán government launched a “national consultation” on EU sanctions against Russia, which primarily affect energy imports from Russia. Orban has repeatedly criticized EU sanctions imposed over Moscow’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Hungary is heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas. The government in Budapest was careful to maintain good relations with the Kremlin from the beginning of the war. He also refused to provide military aid to Ukraine.

Unlike previous years, Orbán’s supporters did not gather in Budapest on October 23 this year. A huge rally was to take place in Hungary’s capital to protest poor pay for teachers. Instead, Orban spoke in Zalaegerszeg, western Hungary, where there is a memorial site related to the resistance against the Stalinists. The event was held in the presence of invited guests and was heavily cordoned off by the police. Residents were allowed to leave their residences only after showing their identity cards from Saturday to Sunday evening.

(This article was first published on Sunday, October 23, 2022.)

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