Charges of corruption are just an excuse. Something to use to undermine the disobedient Orban government
The article below has been excerpted from a larger text by one Eva Balogh.
Balogh is a Hungarian emigre scholar who as a young woman fled Soviet-dominated Hungary for America in the 1950s.
She is very much an opponent of Viktor Orban and cavalierly dismisses Hungarian leaders as being "paranoid".
Nonetheless she does provide a very good overview of how Hungary government sees its position in the world.
This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared at Hungarian Spectrum
Fidesz politicians are convinced that the United States wants to remove Viktor Orbán and cause his government’s fall.
All this is to be achieved by means of the “phony” charge of corruption.
Their argument runs along the following lines. Until now the Obama administration paid little attention to the region, but this past summer the decision was made to “create a defensive curtain” in Central Europe between Russia and the West.
The pretext is the alleged fight against corruption. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania are the targets.
Fidesz politicians point to recent Slovak demonstrations against corruption which were “publicly supported” by the U.S. ambassador in Bratislava.
Or, they claim, the Americans practically forced the Romanian government to take seriously the widespread corruption in the country.
They are certain that the resignation of Petr Nečas, the former Czech prime minister, “under very strange circumstances” was also the work of the CIA.
In its fight against the targeted Central European governments Washington relies heavily on NGOs and investigative journalists specializing in unveiling corruption cases.
George Soros’s name must always be invoked in such conspiracy theories. And indeed, Átlátszó.hu, sponsored in part by the Soros Foundation, was specifically mentioned as a tool of American political designs.
To these Fidesz politicians’ way of thinking, all of troubles recently encountered by the government are due solely to American interference.
It doesn’t seem to occur to them that the government itself has given plenty of reason for public disenchantment.
In fact, the first demonstrations were organized only against the internet tax.
Admittedly, over the course of weeks new demands were added, and by now the demonstrators want to get rid of Viktor Orbán’s whole regime.
The Fidesz politicians who expressed an opinion think, I am sure incorrectly, that the Americans have no real evidence against Ildikó Vida and, if they do, they received it illegally.
Vida got into the picture only because of the new “cold war” that broke out between the United States and Russia.
Hungarian corruption is only an excuse for putting pressure on the Hungarian government because of its Russian policy and Paks.
Meanwhile the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade who were brought in by Péter Szijjártó are solidly anti-American.
They consider the diplomats who served under János Martonyi to be “American agents” because of their alleged trans-atlantic sentiments.
So I don’t foresee any improvement in American-Hungarian relations in the near future, unless the economic and political troubles of Putin’s Russia become so crippling that Orbán will have to change his foreign policy orientation.
But given the ever shriller condemnations and accusations, it will be difficult to change course.
Eva S. Balogh left Hungary for Canada and then the US after the failed 1956 Hungarian revolution against the Soviets. She has a Ph.D. in history from Yale where she taught East European history.