After his major political victory, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán is laying out the priorities his government will adopt. The New York Times reports that Mr. Orbán has taken direct aim at immigration with a planned tax on groups supporting it. Marc Santora and Helene Bienvenu write (abridged):
In his victorious campaign to secure a third consecutive term as prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban had a clear, urgent message: The nation was at risk from an international cabal looking to undermine its sovereignty, and it would be overrun with migrants if he was not elected.
With his party firmly in control of this Central European country, Mr. Orban says it is time to take that campaign continental. On Thursday, in his first address to Parliament in his new term, he styled himself as the leader of a movement to reform the European Union and as defender of the sovereign rights of its member nations.
He presented a vision for Europe that stood in stark contrast to the one embraced by Western leaders like President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, with their acceptance of political and ethnic pluralism, dissent and fairly high levels of migration from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
“We need to say it out loud because you can’t reform a nation in secrecy: The era of liberal democracy is over,” Mr. Orban said. “Rather than try to fix a liberal democracy that has run aground, we will build a 21st-century Christian democracy.”
He made no mention of the Hungarian-American financier George Soros, whom he demonized nearly daily during the campaign, or of legislation aimed squarely at institutions connected to Mr. Soros.
Mr. Orban is framing Christian democracy as something different, a bulwark in a clash of civilizations, with Muslim migrants threatening Christianity and Christian values.
Mr. Orban has said he plans to impose a 25 percent tax on any foreign-funded group that supports migration, a move that would make it nearly impossible for some organizations to continue working.
Read more here.
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