Alahna Kindred — The Express March 31, 2018
DESPITE Brussels’ disgust for Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán is gaining popularity in the polls just one week ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections.
Mr Orbán has been able to strike a chord with his countrymen as he warns them of a dystopian future where civilisations clash.
He has claimed that his nationalist government is battling international forces that are set on “breaking” Hungary down.
Mr Orbán addressed his supporters at a rally saying: “Europe is now under invasion.”
“Brussels is not defending Europe and it is not halting immigration . . . It wants to dilute the population of Europe and to replace it, to cast aside our culture, our way of life and everything which separates and distinguishes us Europeans from the other peoples of the world.”
He’s been accused of being complacent when he comes to corruption but domestic opponents and he has clashed with the EU over his attempts to build what he calls an “illiberal democracy”.
Polls already suggest Mr Orbán will win a parliamentary majority for his nationalist-conservative Fidesz party.
This party is benefiting from upward economic conditions and divided opposition, which is what could partly explain his popularity.
Hungary’s grade domestic product grew by four percent last year and unemployment fell to just 3.8 percent.
Furthermore, Fidesz is popular with higher-income voters after a flat tax was introduced.
Mr Orban’s biggest support comes from his stance on immigration
He has proposed to make the border stronger, not with a wall, but with a razor-wire fence along Hungary’s border.
Mr Orban has also portrayed himself as the guarantor of Hungarian identity.
Andras Biro-Nagy, from Policy Solutions, a think-tank in Budapest says immigration is one of the big issues this election.
He says: “Immigration is an issue that goes beyond party politics. This is why [Fidesz] consider it their winning card.
“[His supporters] . . . consider Orbán a great visionary leader, who is the defender of Christian Hungary.”