In less than a year of elections, Victor Oban could bring him a billion euros between him and his reputation as a leading figure who turned the EU down to protect the interests of his country. There is none.
Hungary expected to receive € 7.2 billion as the first tranche of EU pandemic funding this year, but Brussels has not yet approved the package. EU quote Corruption concerns For hold up. However, the Hungarian Prime Minister seized the government’s ongoing confrontation with Brussels over the controversial Budapest anti-LGBT + law, causing delays and defending himself against Hungarian values. Presented as a person.
According to analysts, this stance allows him to quietly succumb to Brussels’ anti-corruption demands and gain access to funds while appearing to be doing so while standing on the block.
“When the pressure on our country is so strong, only the shared will of the people can protect us,” Oban said in a video posted on Facebook last week, vowing to stand firm and on this issue. “The power to swear a referendum and accuse Brussels of” abuse. ”
Government ministers gathered around the strategy. Justice Minister Judit Varga argued that Budapest would not succumb to ideological issues. In an interview with the Financial Times last week, she said the conflict was a “world war” between the EU’s liberals and conservatives, although millions of voters with other countries probably supported Hungary. He suggested that he was not free to say so.
Controversy with Brussels over LGBT + bills — banning LGBT + content depictions and promotion in Hungarian schools and media Caused anger Between EU lawmakers and officials — observers say they have given Orban a political opportunity.
Next spring’s elections are expected to be the closest battle since Orban and his right-wing Fidesz came to power in 2010. After six opposition parties united behind one candidate for the first time, bringing a level of grouping with the ruling party. poll..
Those familiar with the prime minister’s ideas and demanding that he not be named say that the more Brussels puts pressure on Budapest, the more Oban can rejuvenate his voter base and pretend to be a defender of Hungarian interests. Stated.
He said he didn’t have a political “master plan” when he submitted the bill, but saw the turmoil in Brussels and felt the possibility. “This war wasn’t planned, but if you want to fight, this is a good thing. It’s more than a win.”
Capucine May, a European analyst at risk intelligence firm Belisk Maplecroft, said Oban is likely to support LGBT + legislation while compromising corruption concerns.
“Retrospective of recent LGBT legislation will undermine Fides’ confidence in their constituent bases prior to the 2022 elections,” she said. The EU has “taken no action in response to the social recession,” she added. “”[The delay] Is due to [Hungary’s] Inadequate anti-corruption measures, not social reforms. Orban will probably compromise to meet EU anti-corruption requirements. “
The government says it can fund the recovery program without the first tranche of EU funding. “It’s not particularly difficult,” Orban Chief of Staff Gergely Gulyas said at a press conference earlier this month. “The Hungarian economy is seen much more favorably than before, so it is much easier to raise these funds in the international financial markets.”
Barga is confident that Hungary will eventually receive a € 1 billion financing tranche this year, which accounts for 13% of the country’s required recovery funds, in accordance with EU regulations, but aimed at funding. The program said it would start independently.
“We’re calculating 6.3% growth this year, giving us enough confidence that this won’t be an intolerable burden,” she said, citing official government data.
The Treasury declined to comment. It’s unclear whether a bond issuance or a loan is needed to make up for the shortfall.
Katalin Cseh, a liberal member of the European Parliament in Hungary, said Oban used LGBT + conflicts to mask the issue of systematic corruption in the payment of EU funds. “Obviously, this homophobic law has created a powerful political storm,” she told FT. “But, [recovery plan] The backlash over the law of homophobia denies the very serious corruption problem that exists. “
On Saturday, thousands of Hungarians participated in the annual Pride March in Budapest, helping LGBT + people and protesting the law.
EU gave an overview Anti-corruption concerns In a wide EU report last week. “This does not mean that we do not oppose LGBTI law … but this is not a pillar of debate,” EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said at a press conference. “The pillar of the discussion is [country-specific recommendations on corruption].. “
Barga argued that the bill was a major issue. A Brussels negotiator “makes a specific request,” she said. “Our recovery fund negotiation partners are feeling ideological pressure from the LGBTQ lobby … We received from them a clear statement of this.”
She added: “Idealistic elements have appeared in the talks … Great forces are working to overwhelm the government.”
But when observers take advantage of tensions with the EU for domestic political interests, Budapest Burnt bridge With its international partner.
Peter Creco, director of Hungarian think-tank political capital, said the Hungarian prime minister was likely to win the political game and potentially next year’s elections, adding: This is an unstable situation for Oban. “
European Parliamentarian Cseh said: “Orban expects the EU to run out of cash and does not want to compromise at all to hurt Hungary as a whole.”
Additional report by Sam Fleming in Brussels
Viktor Orban scent opportunity in Hungarian LGBT + columns with Brussels
Source link Viktor Orban scent opportunity in Hungarian LGBT + columns with Brussels