Chairman of the center-right Movement for a Modern Hungary (MoMa) Lajos Bokros said on ATV Friday morning that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s declaration of Hungary’s need to maintain its ethnic and cultural homogeneity was a turning point moment.
“If the country has a prime minister who says – in a manner intended for the public to hear – that Hungary needs ethnic and cultural homogeneity, then he espouses fascist morals and values,” Bokros said.
Orbán’s statement, delivered before business leaders at an economics conference in late February, was not in and of itself a milestone because the prime minister has made similar statements before, Bokros said. What made this occasion special was the timing and location of the statement.
“It is worth mentioning that even the lackeys that surround Orbán could not distinguish between Orbán saying this privately versus him making the statement at the opening ceremony for the Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce,” Bokros said.
Bokros, who was Hungary’s finance minister under the administration of Gyula Horn (1994-98), says he researched whether any of the business leaders present at the ceremony stood up and walked out when Orbán made the statement.
“It is interesting to see what a leader who embodies and represents autocracy actually says, but it is also interesting to see whether he has an audience that is receptive to this,” Bokros said. “Nobody left the room.”
According to Bokros, the cultural and moral damage being done to Hungary will ensure that the country lags behind the mainstream of Europe and western civilization for a century.
“This is the greatest danger, And this is what we must fight against with all our power. This snarling perspective of exclusion and xenophobia brings to the present the darkest days of history. This trampling in the mud of our nation’s dignity must be tossed in the garbage dump of history as soon as possible.”
Bokros said this process of throwing out the trash must begin with the 2018 national election and the end of Fidesz’s despotic rule.
“We will have to start over, rebuilding institutions and healing the wounded souls.”
Referring to the government’s intense xenophobic propaganda campaign (which began well before the refugee crisis hit Hungary), Bokros said Hungary’s lopsided pro-government media environment had inflicted substantial harm on the country’s value system. The Hungarian media, he argues, didn’t come close to the much more objective and humane reporting of the crisis provided by international news organizations.
“You don’t have to be liberal, conservative, socialist or have left-wing values — anyone can believe whatever they want. But you must approach this issue from a humane perspective and understand that the refugee is a person too, a person created in the likeness of God, a person that deserves food and shelter when their lives are being bombed to pieces, when their families were taken from them, when their futures are being taken away from them,” Bokros said.
“This is the real problem in Hungary. [Fidesz] has poisoned the hearts and souls of the people, and this is what we must immediately rid ourselves of because an autocracy that tramples the dignity of man in the mud is most certainly incapable of creating social advancement and economic growth.”