Tag is exactly Viktor Orban
2020-04-08In an article for Jacobin Magazine, Imre Szijarto and Rosa Schwartzburg describe in length how the far-right government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to pass a law to give itself emergency powers over civil society and the other branches of government. These emergency powers, which include the ability to censor journalists, attacks on LGBTQ rights, the power to grant government contracts (to Orban's cronies), and the takeover of art institutions, represents a blatant power grab that is unprecedented in Europe since the 1930s. Indeed, Orban's emergency power decree has drawn comparisons to figures as varied as Adolf Hitler and Emperor Palpatine (in Hungarian language memes), and the European Union leadership has strongly condemned Orban's decree as akin the "Enabling Act," which was passed by the Nazis in 1933. Orban's autocratic power grab and the democratic backsliding experienced by Hungary were already underway before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has allowed Orban to use a "state of exception" to effectively suspend liberally democracy in Hungary for the foreseeable future.