Orban’s message to Merkel?

As Hungary Journal recently reported, the Hungarian V4 presidency is organising an international, English-language conference entitled “The Future of Europe” in the Castle Garden Bazaar, Budapest between 23-25 January. One of the invited speakers is well-known alt-right political commentator, publisher, blogger and journalist Milo Yiannopoulos. The conference’s German speaker is Götz Kubitschek, a publisher and pundit on the right side of Germany’s conservative right, with contacts to the far right.

In its recent article, Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet focused on Kubitschek’s invitation. According to the article Kubitschek is leading institutions, publishing companies and outlets, spreading “extreme right, anti-Islam, racist ideas”. Magyar Nemzet recalled the Kubitschek caused a scandal on the Frankfurt Bookfair this year by inviting “skinheads, soccer hooligans to the fair”.

According to the newspaper the pundit keeps distance from the neo-nazi NPD, but has good relations to several of its politicians, and has been trying to increase his influence in the AfD. He’s considered the chief ideologist of the AfD’s extreme right Wing.

Magyar Nemzet writes that the party’s chairmain in Thüringen, Björn Höcke, who spoke in January against the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, is considered Kubitschek’s follower. Two former leaders of the AfD, Bernd Lucke and Frauke Petry deemed Kubitschek’s views and his presence in the party dangerous. As founder of the AfD, Lucke personally prevented Kubitschek’s party membership.

Having this in mind, Kubitschek’s invitation to the conference financed by the Hungarian MFA is an interesting development. According to observers, it might be an intentional act of provocation by the Hungarian government to the weakening German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, as Prime Minister Viktor Orban likes to map out his boundaries.

Alongside Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Orban is the guest of honour at the summit of Merkel’s Bavarian ally, CSU in January. CSU is still the main ally of Fidesz in Germany, but according to some Hungarian press information, Fidesz would be glad to see a stronger AfD in German politics.

Al Jazeera was asking experts about the possible motives behind Yiannopoulos’s invitation. “In the last two or three years [Fidesz has] basically been running this kind of ideology. [It is] critical of refugees coming from Islamic countries.”, Hungarian political economist Zoltan Pogatsa said. Yiannopoulos’s anti-refugee rhetoric “fits into the ideas of the entire region”, Pogatsa said.

“The inclusion of Milo is impossible to understand, as he is a flamboyant, openly gay internet troll, whereas Fidesz tries to sell itself as a conservative, pro-family values party,” Cas Mudde, an expert in European far-right movements and professor at the University of Georgia added.

UPDATE: The conference’s programme was removed from its site on Saturday, for reasons so far unknown.

Hungary Journal
Photo: MTI

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5 thoughts on “Orban’s message to Merkel?

  1. I am sorry to see these slandering remarks about Götz Kubitschek repeated here. While journalism in Germany seems to have become an extension of the government, spreading only the allowed opinion (except of course for a few independent writers and formations) and I am used to reading such uncritical statements in German magazines I am saddened to see that a Hungarian journal simply repeats this shit instead of doing a little research on its own.

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