Hungary's Orbán rails against the EU and 'the Western world' in speech on national holiday

Hungary's Orbán rails against the EU and 'the Western world' in speech on national holiday

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sought to mobilise support ahead of the European Union elections this summer, and urged his spectators to help him “occupy Brussels.”

Orbán’s speech on Friday, coinciding with a national holiday commemorating Hungary’s failed 1848 revolution against Habsburg rule, railed against the EU and compared the bloc to imperial occupiers that have dominated Hungary throughout history.

The nationalist leader drew a sharp contrast between his country and the “Western world,” accusing the latter of being a source of rootlessness and destruction.

"They start wars, destroy worlds, redraw countries' borders and graze on everything like locusts," Orbán said. “We Hungarians live differently and want to live differently.”

Orbán's address comes less than three months before EU elections that are expected to show a surge for far-right parties across the continent. Opposition to immigration and LGBTQ+ rights, as well as a commitment to national pride and sovereignty, were some of the topics Orbán addressed in his speech.

New opposition party that promotes dialogue with EU emerges

Hungary's government also faces a challenge from an unexpected source at home. Former insider of Orban's Fidesz party, Péter Magyar, announced his intentions to form a political party on Friday to challenge Fidesz's 14-year grip on power and act as an alternative to Hungary's fragmented opposition.

“If Hungarian voters finally see a real political force that cannot be bribed or blackmailed, that is honest, straight, open and free of extremes, then more and more people will believe that there is hope for change after decades in a political swamp,” Magyar said addressing a crowd of around 10,000 people in Budapest.