Hungary's Prime Minister shuts down opposition press, then goes after everyone else

Noemi writes, "After closing down Hungary's largest opposition paper (online archive included) Hungarian Prime Miniter Viktor Orban is steadily and methodically turning back the clock on 27 years of history, steadily edging back towards a dictatorship — except this time with a fascist face. He is testing how far the beleaguered EU will allow him to stretch the boundaries of democracy. This is where the attention of European democratic efforts need to be directed. Not in kindergarten tantrums about sandwich spreads."

This authoritarian government has repeatedly amended the constitution: one change embedded discrimination against LGBT people by defining the family as a unit "based on the marriage of a man and a woman, or a linear blood relationship, or guardianship. Indeed, earlier this year Hungary blocked an EU-wide agreement to prevent discrimination against LGBT people.

Other amendments have attacked judicial independence and religious freedoms. Key public institutions, such as the office of the prosecutor general and the constitutional court, have been de facto taken over by the ruling party. "These are institutions that should be independent checks and balances on the government," says Gall. There is a growing atmosphere of intolerance in the country, with those who dissent being denounced as traitors and accomplices of terrorism. Worse still, one of the main opposition parties is Jobbik, an antisemitic neo-fascist party with a paramilitary wing.

Hungary's chilling plight could foreshadow Europe's future
[Owen Jones/The Guardian]

(Image: Orbán Viktor, Európa Pont, CC-BY)