Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As I wrote downthread, his popularity is between 40% and 45%, hardly the most popular in Europe...

Regarding the article, it makes some sense, but it glosses over too many details of the history of Orbán's march to power for my taste, it completely glosses over the economic populist angle (even though economic policy dominated both Fidesz's government activity and its election campaign), and the final paragraph on Trianon is IMHO off to la-la-land. In more detail on the last:

  • The Trianon borders (not to mention the Trianon borders minus modern Hungary) include more non-ethnic-Hungarians than ethnic Hungarians today, and the largest ethnic-Hungarian-majority area – in Transylvania – is disconnected from Hungary proper, making irredentist dreams completely unrealistic, and Orbán is fully aware of that.
  • Getting extra votes is a much lesser and much more cynical motive to give citizenship to ethic Hungarians in neighbouring countries. In fact for Orbán it's no problem at all if the new citizens move to Hungary proper (thereby further reducing any chance of border revision).
  • So far only a minority of ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries requested citizenship, and even less voted. Part of the reason is that the relationship of their organisations and Fidesz is rather strained: long ago Fidesz tried to use them for domestic purposes, then attempted to topple them by funding rival organisations, which only achieved the splitting of the ethnic Hungarian vote (the Orbán-supported ones failed to beat the main ones and failed at list vote thresholds).
  • In spite of the nationalist rhetoric, Orbán built strategic relations with leaders of neighbouring countries. His good relationship with Romania's similarly populist President Traian Băsescu went as far as telling his Transylvanian supporters to vote for him. As for Slovakia, he recently agreed on a new pipeline with PM Robert Fico (whose populism is nationalist, too).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 12th, 2014 at 03:41:09 PM EST
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