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EU election campaign in Hungary: war or peace

EU election campaign in Hungary: war or peace
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(© picture alliance / ASSOCIATED PRESS / Szilard Koszticsak)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party is focusing its entire campaign for the European elections on the war in Ukraine, stressing that while the majority of European countries are for war, the Hungarian government is for peace and is calling for the war to be ended as soon as possible, including a halt to Western arms supplies. Independent Hungarian media take a closer look at this strategy.

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An immoral stance

Orbán’s strategy doesn’t even bring Hungary economic advantages, Népszava criticises:

“The peace for which the government has been fighting so fervently since the beginning of the war in Ukraine is quite different from the original meaning of the word: Ukraine should surrender and give up its most valuable territories, as well as its freedom to choose the kind of society it wants to build. … This immoral stance seems to be ‘paying off’ for the time being. It relieves Hungary of the economic burden of supporting Ukraine, and it also means that we are one of the last countries in the EU to still benefit from the – supposedly – cheaper Russian raw materials. … However, even with these unfair advantages, under the Fidesz government all the relevant economic indicators have worsened.”

Only the core voters count

Orbán’s campaign reveals that he expects a low voter turnout, writes Válasz Online:

“’Operation Tolstoy’, the strategy of mendaciously simplifying the election into a choice between war and peace, is in fact a carefully thought-out response to the current political situation. This strategy follows from the recognition that this time, since those who are still undecided don’t matter, the only thing that does matter is to galvanise one’s own camp – in other words, scare them into believing that these EU elections are a matter of life and death. And since their excitement threshold is high ‘thanks’ to the previous campaigns, common sense really doesn’t play a role here. … Viktor Orbán is counting on turnout being low.”

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