Speaker Laszlo Kover - Photo: MTI

Kover: National interests require surpassing ideological divides

Certain national interests require that people surpass ideological divides and preserve sovereignty together, against the "arrogance of Brussels bureaucracy that has betrayed Europeans", House Speaker Laszlo Kover told Polish weekly Sieci in an interview published on Monday.

Kover said the Visegrad Group had been the most productive at a time when it was led by the prime ministers of the Polish PiS, Slovak Social Democrat Smer, the liberal Czech ANO movement and Hungary’s Fidesz, which then sat in the European People’s Party in the EP.

Fidesz sees PiS as an ally, he said. “It was a mistake to let the Russian-Ukrainian conflict become the watershed issue between Poland and Hungary, as that excluded the possibility of accepting and reconciling differing approaches and national interests.”

The EU was originally built on such solidarity, he added.

Commenting on PiS losing the Polish elections, Kover said the results had hinged on the image the left liberal media had broadcast about the party.

Fidesz had “set up a right-wing television” after its defeat in 2006, in cooperation with “nationally minded capital”, and the channel was instrumental in “uncovering the dirty politics of the Socialist-Liberal coalition after 2006”, leading to their resounding defeat in 2010, he said.

The Hungarian model was “unique” in Europe, Kover said, as it allowed equal opportunities to right-wing sources to get their message to the voters in traditional media. Meanwhile, conservative parties such as PiS and Fidesz must contend with social media sites which continue to censor content they deem politically incorrect, he added.

Right-wing politics in Hungary has been determined by the fundamental values of “God, homeland, family” since the second world war, he said.

While young people are generally disenfranchised and tend to stay away from politics or “vote against the satus quo”, Fidesz retains the largest proportion of young voters in Hungary, he said. The Momentum party, which started out “as a representative of the young generations coming after Fidesz”, has fallen below 4 percent at the latest election and lost its seats in the EP, he said.

Speaking of ties between Catholics and Protestants, Kover said the two denominations were linked by more than what divided them. “Unfortunately, the most important among those is the anti-Christian psychological terror increasingly prevalent in European public life, that sometimes even turns into existential threat,” he added.


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