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Fixing Europe’s Orbán Problem

BERLIN/BUDAPEST – In April, when German Chancellor Angel Merkel congratulated Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on his reelection, she let it be known that his large majority implied a “special responsibility” to use good judgment and behave with sensitivity toward opponents. He has done exactly the opposite.

Indeed, Orbán has consistently defied the European Union’s core values and practices. Taking a page from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s playbook, Orbán has wielded his Fidesz party’s two-thirds parliamentary majority to push through a number of laws that attack what freedom remains in Hungary’s media, civil society, and academic community.