Poland welcomes victory of anti-migrant Orban

  • Poland welcomes victory of anti-migrant Orban

Poland welcomes victory of anti-migrant Orban

The right-wing nationalist projected himself as a savior of Hungary's Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe, an image which resonated with more than 2.5 million voters, especially in rural areas.

An anti-Communist hero to many, Hungary's longest-serving prime minister Viktor Orban has veered far from his formative liberal views to become a staunch opponent of immigration, admired by the far right across Europe.

Viktor Orban had previously refused to participate in the program of resettlement of refugees in the European Union.

The official noted that the new parliament, which could be formed by the end of April, could adopt the new legislation among its first initiatives. "Stop Soros" refers to Hungarian-born USA billionaire George Soros, whose funding of liberal democratic, open-border causes in Europe has made him a major adversary of Orban.

The government's "Stop Soros" bill submitted to parliament before the election would impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that the government says back migration in Hungary.

One non-governmental organization described the prospect of the bill as "terrifyingly serious".

Orban, who won a third consecutive parliamentary supermajority, has used the past eight years to extend his influence over the media as part of an unprecedented centralization of power despite European Union objections.

The government has been accused of using anti-Semitic tropes in its relentless campaign against Soros, who is Jewish.

"Orban has more backbone and character than all the cowards of the European Union combined", Geert Wilders, chairman of the Dutch anti-Islam Party for Freedom said in a tweet in April 2017.

The closure of Magyar Nemzet will be a milestone in the gradual disappearance of independent media in Hungary that western European Union leaders and worldwide rights groups say underlines the country's slide into authoritarianism.

"President Juncker and the Commission feel that defending these principles and defending these values is the common duty of all member states with no exception". Gabor Borokai, a former government spokesman for Orban, said the campaign diverted public discourse from key issues, such as the emigration of Hungarians to western Europe, or the poor state of the health care system.

The right-wing nationalist Jobbik party placed second with 26 seats, while a Socialist-led, left-wing coalition came in third with 20 seats.

Some of the NGOs that could be hit by the new law said they expected a hardening in the new government's stance.

The EU has launched a battery of legal action against Orban's government, taking it to the bloc's top court over a crackdown on education and foreign-backed civil society groups that critics say targets USA billionaire George Soros.