BBC: Rise of the right threatens Hungary’s position in Europe

Parliament

As Fidesz loses popularity to far-right party, Jobbik, it has taken a rightward shift in its policy, which may threaten Hungary’s position in Europe, the BBC reported today in their article entitled “Does extremism threaten Hungaryʼs standing in Europe?”

Current governing party Fidesz swept into power during the 2010 elections and many Hungarians continued to support Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s populist and Eurosceptic approach, the BBC reports.

However, since local elections last October, Fidesz’s popularity has dropped, while the far-right party, Jobbik, has seen a rise in popularity. This has led Fidesz to adopt a new approach to win back its far right supporters, the BBC maintains, including their recent billboard campaign addressing immigrants and Orbánʼs suggestion that the death penalty should be reintroduced in Hungary.

Meanwhile, Jobbik leader Gábor Vona says he is working to rid the party of its extremist image, in order to be more appealing in the 2018 election; an tactic many critics have called disingenuous, BBC notes.

The last time a far-right party came into power in Europe – the Austrian Freedom Party in a coalition – it caused a fracturing of relations with the EU, the piece adds.

Yet, despite their Euroscepticism, Hungarians remain generally supportive of the EU, which the BBC attributes to the current “financial realities”.

A survey by Hungary’s Ipsos yesterday, however, revealed that with the exception of the Democratic Coalition, led by former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, all Hungarian parties have seen a decline in support, while the number people who said they would not attend an election was on the rise.

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