Hungary’s state secretary for international communications and relations on Monday slammed financier George Soros for “political profiteering”.
Commenting on a Soros interview published by Project Syndicate’s blog, as well as an article by Guy Verhofstadt calling Prime Minister Viktor Orbán a populist and a dictator, Kovács wrote on Facebook:
“It is interesting to call someone a dictator for placing the decision on ending the state of emergency into the hands of parliament. That the majority in that parliament is held by parties not to [the authors’] taste is a democratic decision of the Hungarian people.”
Verhofstadt, a group leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament, compared the Hungarian law on the protection efforts against the novel coronavirus to Hitler’s Enabling Act of 1933.
Far more worrying, however, are populist efforts to use the crisis to undermine democracy. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is a case in point. Having spent the last decade attacking the free press, NGOs, and political opponents, Orbán has used the COVID-19 crisis as pretext to push through legislation that enables him to rule by decree indefinitely. This is Europe’s first such dictatorial démarche since Adolf Hitler’s Enabling Act of 1933.
“What they brand as populism can be defined with Abraham Lincoln’s words: of the people, by the people, for the people,” Kovács said.
Meanwhile, Soros is proposing perpetual bonds to handle the economic fallout after the coronavirus pandemic, a tool that would “plunge his professed homeland, Europe, deep into debt”, Kovács said.