Weekly newsletter

Conservative-Green Coalitions: Tusk Supports, Orbán Not So Much

Fanni Kaszás 2020.01.09.

Following the formation of the new conservative-green coalition government of Austria under the leadership of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, president of center-right European People’s Party (EPP) Donald Tusk said that the coalition is “sending a signal that center-right parties in Europe should look for new alliances on the left to govern.” Talking at his year-opening press conference, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also addressed the question, saying that such a coalition shouldn’t be ruled out, but it won’t happen under his leadership.

Tusk tweeted that Australia is a warning, that “climate protection and the protection of our planet” are important issues and the new coalition government in Austria is “an important guideline for all the EPP.”

This is a very different view point from that of Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán. Back in May last year, he said that Europe should take over the (then) Austrian model of coalition cooperation. In an interview with Austrian daily news site, Kleine Zeitung, the Hungarian PM said Europe should take over “the Austrian model in which the center-right cooperates with the right wing,” as “Seen from Budapest, this cooperation seems successful,” adding that “there is stability with clear-cut objectives and tax cuts, suggesting that Austria is on the right track.” However, in May, Heinz-Christian Strache resigned his post as Austria’s vice-chancellor after a scandal which caused the collapse of the Austrian governing coalition and an early election.

Orbán: Europe Should Take over Austrian Model of Right-Wing Cooperation

When asked about a possible coalition of Fidesz and a green party – like the newly formed coalition government in Austria – at his year-opening press conference, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that “nothing should be ruled out;” however, if it happens, it wouldn’t be with his leadership, as he thinks „Hungarian green movements are like watermelons: the outside is green, the inside is red.”

Orbán added, praising Sebastian Kurz’s leadership skills, that the Austrian Chancellor continues to surprise everyone. The PM said that Austria has become a very inspirational example, even if he does not agree with everything that is happening there.

In Orbán’s view, the EPP is drifting among many things because it is constantly adopting left-wing interpretations, even though the protection of the built environment, for example, is a Christian-democratic stance. Greens are gaining ground because the world is changing, which they interpret well in their politics, giving answers to real situations.

featured photo: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Szecsõdi Balázs