Ruling Fidesz MEPs Tamás Deutsch and Balázs Hidvéghi, along with co-ruling KDNP (Christian Democrat) MEP György Hölvényi, published an open letter on Fidesz’s website addressed to Donald Tusk, President of the European People’s Party on Thursday.
Tusk recently gave a lengthy interview to German weekly Der Spiegel in which the EPP President complained about “some heads of state and government, including some belonging to the European People’s Party,” for telling their citizens that they “have to sacrifice their civil liberties, the rule of law, and human rights in order to protect themselves from the virus.” When asked about Hungarian PM Orbán and the epidemic bill giving special powers to the government, Tusk said Orbán had been ruling Hungary with emergency measures since the refugee crisis. He added that Orbán “uses the fear of migration and now of the virus to consolidate power.” Donald Tusk said that they had been friends and he used to defend Orbán, but he will not do this anymore, as power corrupted the once young freedom fighter. “How often in our history have we seen politicians use laws that have been properly enacted to increase their power? You know this, being from Germany. I’m sure that Carl Schmitt would be very proud of Viktor Orbán,” Tusk said.
Carl Schmitt was a controversial political scientist, a member of the Nazi Party, but considered to be a conservative thinker by many. A loud advocate of state sovereignty and autonomy, his political views were based on the distinction between friend and enemy. Some of the masterminds in Fidesz think tanks are known to be great admirers of his.
“We have learned with astonishment that in a recent Spiegel interview you basically called the Hungarian Prime Minister a Nazi,” the open letter published in English stated.
“We hereby express our profound indignation and categorically reject your statement,” they added.
The MEPs said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had “never said or done anything to deserve such parallels.”
The Fidesz and KDNP MEPs added that “political disagreements are a normal phenomenon in any democracy.”
“However, calling a political opponent a Nazi without any justification has so far only been a well-known tool of the Left against conservative politicians and parties,” they wrote. “It is all the more disappointing to see the leader of a Christian-democratic party do the same.”
“Calling someone a Nazi without justification is also a disgrace towards the millions of people – Jews and others – who suffered under Nazi terror,” the letter added.
The MEPs said that “however extraordinary these times may be, political leaders must remain worthy of the office they hold.”
“We believe these comments go way too far and should be rectified,” they added, concluding the open letter.
A few weeks ago, the EPP President likened the Hungarian Prime Minister, among others, to a virus that threats the EU.
In the featured photo illustration: Donald Trump and Viktor Orbán in 2019. Photo by Balázs Szecsődi/PM’s Press Office