One does not have to agree with everything the present Hungarian government says and does, but one thing is clear - Viktor Orban is right when criticizing the EU for double standards and meddling in Hungary´s internal affairs:
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday (15 March) accused the EU of colonialism and meddling in his country's domestic affairs.
His words come after Budapest was hit with a €500 million EU funds freeze for its continued budget deficit and with legal action over constitutional changes limiting the independence of media, judges and the central bank.
"We will not be a colony. Hungarians won't live according to the commands of foreign powers, they won't give up their independence or their freedom," Orban told over 100,000 people gathered outside the parliament in Budapest on the anniversary of the country's 1848 revolution against Hapsburg rule.
"As a European nation we demand equal treatment. We will not be second class European citizens. Our rightful demand is to have the same standards apply to us, which apply to other countries," he said.
These words reflect a sense that Brussels is keener to apply its new tough budget rules to smaller countries, than it is to larger ones. Earlier this week, a budget concession was granted to Spain while Hungary was sanctioned.
Orban's centre-right party (Fidesz) enjoys a super-majority in the parliament after a landslide win in the 2010 elections. The political dominance has allowed him to pass sweeping constitutional changes - changes that the European Parliament and democracy watchdogs have since deemed anti-democratic.
An anti-Communist himself, Orban compared EU meddling with Soviet rule: "We are more than familiar with the character of unsolicited comradely assistance, even if it comes wearing a finely tailored suit and not a uniform with shoulder patches."
It is also easy to agree whit what University of Kent professor Frank Furedi (born in Hungary) recently wrote:
Message to EU meddlers: Hands off Hungary!
Brussels’ culture war against the ‘white savages’ of Hungary is destroying democracy and helping to boost reactionary right-wingers.
Thirty or 40 years ago, the way that the EU and the IMF are behaving towards Hungary would have been described as a classic example of neo-colonial pressure. Unlike Greece, Hungary is not simply being lectured about the need to sort out its economy - it has also been subjected to a veritable culture war. As far as the EU and the Western media are concerned, the real crime of the Hungarian government is not so much its inept economic strategy as its promotion of cultural and political values that run counter to what is deemed correct in Brussels.
The Brussels bureaucracy has long regarded Hungary as a society in danger of being engulfed by white savages. In 2006, when people in Budapest rioted against their corrupt government, the EU and sections of the Western media described the demonstrators as right-wing mobs posing a threat to democratic values. At the time, Brussels weighed in to support its man in Budapest, Ferenc Gyurcsany, the Socialist prime minister. The fact that Gyurcsany had lied to cover up the scale of Hungary’s massive budget deficit, and that he had admitted his dishonesty to some of his close colleagues, did not stop his mates in the EU from singing his praises. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the Party of European Socialists, was quick to rush to Gyurcsany’s defence, claiming he was the ‘best man to make the reforms that Hungary needs’.