US President Donald Trump finds words of praise for his Hungarian guest Victor Orban. The Prime Minister sees himself confronted with criticism from home and abroad because of his attitude to democracy and the rule of law. Trump, on the other hand, impresses with his “tough” style.
Donald Trump has praised the controversial Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Orban has done an “excellent” job in many ways, Trump said Monday at a meeting with the right-wing national premier at the White House in Washington. Orban is a “tough”, but respected head of state, who has made in the opinion of many people the right thing in the immigration policy. “Probably just like me a bit controversial, but that’s okay,” added the US president over Orban.
Trump’s sympathy for EU critics
Orban is massively criticized for eroding democracy and the rule of law in Hungary for years, silencing critical media and weakening the opposition with arbitrary fines. With fences, incitement campaigns and a restrictive asylum policy, he seals off his country. Political scientists speak of a “hybrid system” between democracy and autocracy.
Orbán’s Fidesz party, like the CDU and CSU, belongs to the conservative European People’s Party (EPP). However, Hungary’s membership there has been suspended since mid-March. The EPP did not want to tolerate Orban’s ongoing agitation against Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission. Trump, on the other hand, is now turning to those European governments that are extremely critical of the EU, including Hungary. (mc / dpa)