Conservative EU countries, under pressure to reverse, woke up

If you’ve ever doubted that bright ideologues are heartless hypocrites, look at what the liberal European Union just did to Poland and Hungary, even as those conservative countries were doing their best to absorb 1.7 million Ukrainian refugees are pouring across their borders.

It’s hard to believe that in the midst of Europe’s biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II, the European Parliament last week voted to impose millions of dollars in economic sanctions on the former communist countries, including a pandemic credit freeze as punishment for refusing to follow the so-called EU “values”.

Their sin is to have conservative populist governments that have rejected the open borders and LGBTQ policies imposed by Brussels. Like Florida and Texas, Poland and Hungary have passed laws banning schools Indoctrinating young children about gender ideology and sexual orientation. And nations refused to allow illegal migrants from the Middle East to cross their borders after Germany’s Angela Merkel unilaterally escorted millions of mostly young Muslim men to Europe during the 2015 Syrian crisis.

“Taxpayers’ money must be protected from those who undermine EU values,” the European Parliament said in a press release on Thursday.

Come just three weeks ahead of Hungary’s conservative nationalists Prime Minister Viktor Orban is asking voters for a fifth termthe EU intervention is nothing less than electoral interference, says his chief political adviser Bolasz Orban (no relation).

Bolasz Orban, 36, says the Hungarian government has been under “ridiculous pressure” from Brussels “for years” because of its conservative family policy.

“The liberal policies became very popular in some Brussels institutions, especially in the European Parliament,” Bolasz Orban said on the phone from Budapest on Sunday.

Ukrainian refugees stand at a border checkpoint in Medyka, Poland on March 13, 2022.
Ukrainian refugees stand at a border checkpoint in Medyka, Poland on March 13, 2022.
REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

“These politicians are mostly leftists, liberals, green progressives. Politically they are on a different side. The problem is that they look at European cooperation from an ideological point of view, although originally it was never about ideological homogeneity [but] economic prosperity.”

On border security, energy policy, education and family values, he says, the liberal overlords of Brussels are trying to impose their will on Hungary’s democratically elected government.

“We warmly welcome the Ukrainian refugees,” Orban says, noting that Hungary has taken in “about 400,000” refugees since the Russian invasion, a significant burden for a country of 10 million people.

But Hungary wants to keep the right to distinguish between illegal migrants from halfway around the world and refugees fleeing a war zone next door.

Brussels overwhelmed

The EU is trying to “destroy all the legal mechanisms necessary to secure our borders, the structures we invented, the fence, the physical borders and legal mechanisms. . . You want to make it impossible [to stop] illegal migrants.”

Similarly, the EU is trying to force Hungary to overturn laws passed by its parliament that ban the indoctrination of children in the intricacies of gender fluidity.

“You say so goes against homosexuality and sexual minorities. That’s a lie. Hungary is a free country. Everyone can do what they want from the age of 18, but we protect our children and protect them from gender propaganda from kindergarten and they attack that.”

In the energy sector, Hungary has come under pressure from Germany and Austria close its nuclear power plants, which provide almost half of their electricity and help keep Hungary’s greenhouse gas emissions among the lowest in Europe. Without nuclear power, Hungary would be even more dependent on Russian gas, which provides 80% of household heat.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's top political adviser accused the EU of election interference after sanctioning Hungary five weeks before the country's election.
The top political adviser to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán accused the EU of interfering in the elections after it sanctioned Hungary five weeks before the country’s election.
REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has branded the EU’s climate plans as a “utopian fantasy” and blamed them for soaring energy prices in Europe, finally backed Brussels’ goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

But Hungary has capped utility prices in the country to protect families from rising energy bills. The EU has also come into conflict with this, says Bolasz Orban.

“At the moment there is a price cap on electricity costs and that is why Hungarians pay the lowest electricity bills in Europe. From the point of view of market liberalization [the EU] continues to attack this price cap.”

Hungary spends 6.2% of its gross domestic product on family support programs, double the OECD average, and encourages couples to have more children. A surprisingly generous new Family Housing Allowance Program offers families who promise to have at least three children $130,000 plus a $220,000 loan to build a new green home.

Married Hungarian women receive a $30,000 low-interest “baby loan” that becomes interest-free after the first child and does not have to be repaid after the third.

Again the Brussels Liberals disapproved. “Our problem is that on the one hand they don’t support these ideas and on the other hand . . . The Brussels documents are always about giving the money to illegal migrants and not supporting Hungarian families.”

Brussels’ authoritarian encroachment forced Britain’s “Brexit” out of the EU. But Orban says a “hexit” is not in sight.

Orban's government has several family-friendly policies, such as loans for parents.
Orban’s government has several family-friendly policies, such as loans for parents.
Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images

“Hungarians are very pro-European. . . It comes from medieval history when we were the last frontier, the defenders of Christian Europe. We want to be a member of the club, but grassroots voters can distinguish between pro-European and critical of Brussels.”

Europe’s left bloc

To understand Hungary’s plight, imagine Washington, DC was Brussels and the Biden administration was in permanent power. A terrible thought.

Currently, four of the five largest member states of the EU – Italy, Spain, France, Germany – are led by progressive, green or liberal governments. Only Poland is mostly conservative.

Bolasz Orban asks the EU to imagine if the situation were reversed and the conservatives became the majority bloc and decided to disregard the national sovereignty of smaller countries. For example, how would Sweden and Holland like it if they were pressured to abolish same-sex marriages?

Smug lefties should remember that the worm is always spinning, so it’s best to treat your opponents as you would like to be treated yourself. Conservative EU countries, under pressure to reverse, woke up


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