Orbán's rejection of liberal democracy draws fire


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's speech on Saturday, in which he said Hungary is not a liberal democracy and that freedom is not the core value of the state, drew criticism today from the liberal opposition, while the far-right Jobbik party agreed with some aspects of the speech.

The speech, given at a gathering in Romania, drew worldwide attention after the Prime Minister questioned the value of liberal democracy. It seemed to justify and explain some of the current policies of the government run by Orbán's Fidesz Party.

"The new state that we are building in Hungary today is not a liberal state. It doesn't deny liberalism's basic values, such as freedom, but doesn't make it its core element. It uses a particular, national approach," Orbán was quoted as saying. 

“The world today tries to understand systems that are not western in nature and not liberal, and maybe they are not even democratic systems, and yet they are successful, like Singapore, China, India, Russia and Turkey," he explained. "Breaking away from the accepted dogmas and ideologies, we will seek out and hammer out a new form of a Hungarian state that could make our community a success for decades to come in the global race."

The Prime Minister also said that the new state would be based on Christian values, and would be a "work-based state" (a term that some also translated as a "workfare state"). He said the government would seek to "defend national assets," often by buying them, and by seeking to limit foreign influences on the economy. He also expressed the goal of balancing trade with the EU by building trade with other parts of the world, so that trade with the EU drops from around two thirds to 50% of Hungary's foreign trade.

The far-right Jobbik party, which has said that social services should only go to those who work, said they agreed with the idea of a "work-based state".

The Socialist party, said that “a state that is not organized around freedom, sooner or later leaves democracy behind.”

Former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány's Democratic Coalition criticized the speech, noting that “Viktor Orbán is now saying that a fascist and freedom-denying state organization is the example to be followed.”

The leftist Együtt-PM said that “the Hungarian state is not a state for every Hungarian anymore, but a state for the thin beneficiary layer.”

Zwack Profit Falls 16% Figures

Zwack Profit Falls 16%

EC Advances Infringement Procedure Over Hungary's Sovereignt... EU

EC Advances Infringement Procedure Over Hungary's Sovereignt...

Hell Energy Inaugurates HUF 80 bln Capacity Expansion Manufacturing

Hell Energy Inaugurates HUF 80 bln Capacity Expansion

Puskás Arena to Host 2026 Champions League Final In Budapest

Puskás Arena to Host 2026 Champions League Final


Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.