Sit with Orbán at the Visegrad table? Only to make him change course • RESPECT

Is this the last time that the people of Orbán have taken money from the Germans, the Swedes, the Dutch to fill their pockets and strengthen their power over the village, the region, the media space? European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen’s decision to launch insurance to protect the EU budget may lead to exactly that.

The legislative measure of last January makes the use of European subsidies conditional on respect for the rule of law, i.e. the existence of an independent judiciary, a free press or police and prosecutors able to investigate and prosecute what they have. The Orbán regime has long been a scorpion, as EC analysis and numerous findings from investigative journalists show, who describedhow Orbán’s people, including his family members, became the wealthiest entrepreneurs in Hungary during his tenure thanks to EU grants.

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Politicians, especially among the net contributors to the EU budget, mentioned that the Germans, Swedes, Dutch and others wanted to stop building Orbán’s autocratic empire with European money for a long time and there’s no reason to think they won’t now (unless Orbán changes his current course). The outcome, which is expected to come in a few months, will be the EU’s decision on how much money and what – be it structural funds or subsidies to farmers – Hungary will lose. Orbán’s critics said Tuesday’s EC verdict applaudedthe Hungarian government mocked Brussels.

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The final vote on the stop will be majority and will have to be raised by at least 15 of the 27 Member States (probably the finance ministers). The Czechs will have their part in this, and perhaps the most crucial one. Not only because the Czech minister will have to make a decision, but also because the vote on the hour will most likely fall in the Czech EU presidency, which begins on July 1. The debate between the 27 countries would then be moderated by the Czechs.

The attitude of the Czech government towards Orbán puts him under additional pressure. In particular, the Prime Minister’s ODS, but also the People’s Party and part of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s TOP 09 have been defending for a long time. The government’s leading conservatives have done so so far despite Orbán secretly leaning towards Putin and in his victory speech after the election he identified, among others, Volodymyr Zelenský, whom the Czech Prime Minister went to kyiv during the war.

MEP Alexandr Vondra only said he was “sorry” for Orbán’s stance. Petr Fiala congratulated Orbán on his victory and added that he “believes” that the Hungarian leader will now be “more actively involved in resolving Russian aggression in Ukraine”. Vondra, Fiala and others constantly repeat that the task of Czech politics is to keep Orbán at the (Visegrad) table. Do not exclude him from your environment, do not criticize him, and on the contrary try to change his attitude in the debate. “We cannot teach Hungary how to behave,” Fiala said last year.

Let’s take these words seriously, because the Czech government has only two options left. Either cut you off from Orbán, which he obviously doesn’t want, at least for now. Or take joint responsibility for the internal development of Hungary. This means, at the called table, that Orbán will not become a Russian or Chinese “mole” in the EU, replacing the arrested European billions with Russian or Chinese billions and moving his country to the door with the exit sign of the EU.

It really threatens if Orbán continues to build an octopus state and use his veto power in the EU for the next four years. European states can proceed in such a way that they do not become hostages to one, and patience with Orbán has run out, as the launch of fiscal insurance has shown. If a large group of European leaders had opposed it, Ursula von der Leyen would not have joined.

But Hungary is not only Orbán, but also Hungarians. Neighbors, members of NATO. And because of them, the Czech government must try to keep the country in Western orbit, when it seems that it has already chosen the path of maintaining a common Visegrad table.

If Czech officials fail to persuade Orbán to change the current course, or even try to do so, this could be the last proof that Visegrad is nothing. That since Hungary and the Czech Republic joined the EU and NATO, it works according to the formula “I am a nationalist and a eurosceptic, you a nationalist and a eurosceptic, we will talk for a while”. But he has no inner confidence or power that can change anything when needed.

The miracle of the Hungarian opposition did not take place. Viktor Orbán will reign

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