In his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, George Soros decried Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for turning Hungary into a “mafia state”, and added that Orbán’s Fidesz Party has built its entire election campaign around demonization of the Hungarian-American billionaire.
Going further, Soros claimed that Fidesz has bought up MSZP (that Hungarian Socialist Party), a left-wing opposition party, and that Fidesz spies can be found in other opposition parties as well. Thus, it would be really difficult to build cooperation among opposition parties and to beat Fidesz at the forthcoming election in April. Therefore, Soros predicts, Fidesz will win easily.
Responding to the financier’s comments, Gergely Gulyás, leader of Fidesz’s parliamentary faction, said that the Soros’ speech was “insulting”,”full of falsehoods” and that every Hungarian should speak up against the allegations that Hungary is a mafia state. He labeled the speech as “campaign opening”, referring to Fidesz claims that the Hungarian-American financier is somehow directly orchestrating Hungary’s opposition parties ahead of the April elections. In addition, members of MSZP have also denied Soros’ accusations, saying that, while he is right about Fidesz, his claims regarding the Socialists are “false and silly”.
At a press conference last week, Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér announced that the ruling Fidesz-KDNP government is proposing a series of laws called “Stop Soros”, which are designed to penalize supposed “promoters of illegal migration.” This came on the heels of recent revelations that the Orbán government had quietly granted asylum to about 1,300 refugees last year, which has caused a huge stir in Hungarian domestic politics due to the fact that this seemingly undercuts the Orbán government’s longstanding rhetoric regarding the “dangers” of migrants.
image via Yuri Gripas – Reuters