Hungary election 2018: Populism on rise is another blow to EU with Viktor Orban victory | World | News


This is the third consecutive term Mr Orban has won which makes him the longest-serving non-communist premier.

Claiming victory while the National Electoral Office was still counting the votes, Mr Obran declared: “We have won.”

The re-election of Mr Orban will reinforce the EU veto role the governments of Hungary and Poland have designed themselves as the “Visegrad group”, which they form with Slovakia and Czech Republic in the EU.

Although Hungary is economically and financially dependent on Western European markets and investment – as well as EU structural aid – in recent years Budapest has pushed back against Brussels-based Governance.

Much of this is triggered by their opposition to the EU’s refugee policy and their campaign on a nationalist agenda which advocates more sovereignty rather than “more Europe”.

Political analyst at Hungarian think tank Policy Solutions, Andras Biro-Nagy, said: “There are two different worlds to this election.

“To the outside world, it’s all about migration and conspiracy theories. But for many opponents of Orban in the country, social issues and corruption allegations are more important.

“Orban’s far-right rhetoric is even more extreme than (President Donald) Trump when it comes to migration.

“The country has shifted to the far-right and, in doing so, has become a role model for such parties with similar ambitions in Austria, Germany and France.”

Mr Orban has consistently vowed to maintain a forceful defence of the country’s borders and culture against an influx of people from the Middle East and Africa.

During the refugee crisis in 2015, Hungary had 175,000 submissions for asylum with only 425 being accepted, according to Eurostat.

Mr Orban said: “Europe is now under invasion … (Brussels) wants to dilute the population of Europe and to replace it, to cast aside our culture, our way of life and everything which separates and distinguishes us Europeans from the other peoples of the world.”

Rising populism also undermines France and Germany’s focus on centralism and order, which could undermine the euro.

The election will also strengthen Italy’s Eurosceptic Five Star Movement’s case to govern and embolden more populist movements in Poland and Austria.

The Italian election resulted in no overall majority for any party but saw the Five Star Movement win the majority share of votes.

Speaking about the election, the former Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini told RT’s Going Underground that the Italian election results should be a wake-up call for the European Union to stop “dictating rules” to its member states.

He said: “It is absolutely true that those who won the Italian election want to re-discuss the current European policies and the European and the Italian position vis-à-vis Europe.

“We need a European revolution. We need to change and renegotiate even some basic pillars of the European Union after this kind of political response in Italy.

“We are in the middle of a difficult movement in Europe. The so-called Franco-German access, the Brexit negotiations and now the Italian election outcome.”

Hungary is not in the Euro so it is unlikely to be affected immediately, but it could cause uncertainty in the future.

If investor anxiety over the success of the EU grows due to a rise in populism, it could start to affect the value of the euro, according to sources.

But the problem with the European Central Bank at the moment is that the euro is too strong, so a weakening could be good for the Eurozone.

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