In a recent interview with Hungarian media, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán implied that stronger relations with the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right, national conservative political party, are hindered by the desire to maintain optimal intergovernmental relations with Germany. In an interview with Budapester Zeitung, Orbán was asked and replied as follows:
Your party is very reserved towards the AfD, despite the fact that – in terms of content – there’s much more overlap between Fidesz and AfD than between Fidesz and the CDU. Is this perhaps due to some kind of loyalty to your former major ally, the CDU/CSU?
Our policy towards AfD has nothing to do with the CDU. Hungary has a strong interest in maintaining good relations with any serving federal government, be that from the CDU or the SPD. Under no circumstances can party relations be allowed to undermine relations between our governments. It’s a feature of German democracy that if we were to take action related to the AfD, it would affect intergovernmental relations. This is the case in the Federal Republic, and we cannot change it. We therefore need to set priorities. For us relations between governments are more important than relations between parties. So we’re forced to sacrifice relations with the AfD on the altar of the best possible intergovernmental relations.
Read the rest here.
Responding to the interview, AfD MEP Maximilian Krah predicted that the situation between the Hungarian Fidesz party and the AfD would change in the next six months. In his own interview with Hungary Today, Krah said that “woke” politics would lead to ‘poverty, repression, and deep crisis” in Germany and Europe and that pressure on the “woksters in Brussels and Berlin” would lead to ties being established by the two parties:
According to Viktor Orbán, his party’s relations with the AfD must be sacrificed for good interstate relations. Cooperation with Germany and German investment in Hungary is crucial for the Hungarian economy. If Fidesz cooperated with the AfD, would the German media and politics put pressure on German companies such as Audi and Mercedes to quit Hungary?
We understand Prime Minister Orbán’s worries, but we are self-confident enough to say that sooner or later he will have cause to relinquish these concerns and see that we are the future. While no one knows what Germany or Europe will look like in ten or twenty years, we do know for sure that the left-liberal “woke” politics currently beloved by the German mainstream will lead to poverty, repression, and deep crisis. Since the AfD is the only opposition force to this political program, we will continue to grow. We will also win new allies who are already with us ideologically but who think it would be dangerous to show it at this point because of the cordon sanitaire.
So if there would now be official cooperation with the AfD, it would definitely lead to some outcry in the press and some critical questions from the large German industries with close government ties. I do not think that this would lead to a decrease in investment or severe economic consequences, but I am even more convinced that this situation will change in the next six months. We will see that pressure from the “woksters” in Brussels and Berlin on Hungary will actually increase, and that the crisis for German industry will deepen. The only logical thing for Hungary to do at that point will be to establish ties with us. There will be more understanding and acceptance of this.
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“Woke” is an English adjective meaning “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination” that originated in African-American Vernacular English. Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism. It has also been used as shorthand for American Left ideas involving identity politics and social justice, such as the notion of white privilege and slavery reparations for African Americans. Of late, “woke” has been used indiscriminately in the culture wars raging in both the US and Europe. As CNN reported in January:
If 2020 renewed calls for racial equality as Black Lives Matter protests exploded throughout Europe, 2021 brought in the backlash as parts of the political establishment waged a so-called “war against woke.” Stripped of its original meaning of a person being awake to progressive issues, “woke” has been appropriated from the Black vernacular and turned into a political lightning rod in the West’s culture wars. It is now used pejoratively by lawmakers and pundits from both left and right, criticizing the perceived excesses of social and racial justice movements. The politicization of the word, which has seen degrees of success in the United States, has bolstered political resistance to calls for more equality in Europe. The amorphous term has also been interpreted differently, depending on where it is deployed.
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Western culture wars and opposition to “wokeness” are key themes for Russia and the Global National Conservative (GNCA) alliance, described in a Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) report as follows:
Russian President PUTIN has expressed an interest in Russia becoming the ideological center of a new global conservative alliance, and European far-right leaders have taken pro-Russian positions based on a similar ideology. Hungary is at the center of a developing alliance between European far-right nationalists and American conservatives that Russia could potentially exploit for use in information warfare. This alliance operates under the rubric of “National Conservatism,” centered on national sovereignty, cultural identity, and opposition to global institutions and representing a potentially radical change for the US conservative movement away from long-held Reagan-era philosophies.
Read the full report here.
In October, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s political director appeared on a US rightwing podcast where he discussed concerns about “Wokeness” as a “brand new issue in Hungary.” Also in October, GIOR reported that Putin had once again delivered a speech in which he extensively referenced so-called “culture war” themes commonly espoused by rightwing/conservative Western elements. We reported in September on the third US-based National Conservatism Conference in Miami, where “wokeness” was a key topic. Earlier this month, we reported that former US Congresswoman Tuli Gabbard resigned from the Democratic Party, accusing the Democrats of being “under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers, driven by cowardly wokeness.”
Last week, we reported that a former head of the BfV, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency called Hungarian conservatives a ‘bulwark in this increasingly insane European world, which is overrun by woke ideology and the new socialism.”