Katya Adler brilliantly sums up why Orban re-election spells big trouble for the EU

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Katya Adler brilliantly sums up why Orban re-election spells big trouble for the EU

Nationalist Mr Orban has frequently clashed with the EU while in office and, in his victory speech on Sunday, gloated: "Our win is so huge you can

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Nationalist Mr Orban has frequently clashed with the EU while in office and, in his victory speech on Sunday, gloated: “Our win is so huge you can see it from the Moon, never mind from Brussels.”

Speaking of the recent win, Ms Adler wrote: “You could almost hear the collective thud of EU hearts sinking on Sunday night as Viktor Orban made his victory speech.”

His Fidesz party had 67.8 percent of votes with almost 99 percent counted.

The right-wing PM, known to have had warm relations with Vladimir Putin over the years, has regularly clashed with Brussels over rule of law issues, including press freedom and migration.

Hungary, a member of the EU since 2004, has also previously fallen out with Brussels over Moscow.

In his victory speech, Mr Orban criticised Brussels bureaucrats and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, calling them “opponents”.

His victory was reportedly hailed by Putin who expressed confidence that the two countries could develop further ties “despite the difficult international situation”.

BBC Europe editor Ms Adler said of Mr Orban: “A self-styled illiberal democrat, Hungary’s prime minister has repeatedly clashed with Brussels over rule of law issues, like press freedom and migration.

“They’ve fallen out over Moscow too.

“That’s why there was so much international attention on Hungary’s election.”

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“Neither Nato nor the EU will want to ostracise him altogether.

“The West aims to present a united front when facing Vladimir Putin.

“With his fresh election victory, Viktor Orban will remain an unpredictable thorn in their side for some time to come.”

During Orban’s last 12 years in office, most Hungarian state and private media has been taken over by his allies.

Many Hungarians even believe the war was triggered by Kyiv, according to Ms Adler.

She said: “It was striking this Sunday, that in addition to his supporters, the majority of anti-Orban voters I spoke to in polling stations were ambivalent about who was to blame for the bloodshed in Ukraine.

“A huge contrast to public opinion I’ve come across elsewhere in central and eastern Europe over the last month, in capitals awash with Ukrainian flags.”

Despite bordering Ukraine, Hungary has refused to send weapons to the country or allow other countries to transit their arms through its borders.

According to the prominent BBC journalist: “Orban’s attitude towards Ukraine sits uncomfortably with EU and Nato allies” and as a result, Hungary is “becoming increasingly isolated”.

She added: “With his fresh election victory, Viktor Orban will remain an unpredictable thorn in their side for some time to come”.



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