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Orbán gives interview to Fox News’ anchor Tucker Carlson in Hungary
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gave a long interview to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in Hungary, a feat that attracted more attention in the US than in Hungary.
Carlson conducted a roughly fifteen-minute interview with Orbán in the library room of the Carmelite Monastery - home of the Prime Minister’s Office - located in the Castle district.
He introduced Orban to conservative American news consumers by saying that the Hungarian prime minister had succeeded in "angering the liberals." Tucker Carlson also recalled that President Joe Biden called Orban a “totalitarian dictator”.
The first part of the interview dealt with the 2015 refugee crisis and asked the Hungarian leader why he said no to admitting refugees.
“That was the only reasonable behavior,” Orban said. “If somebody without getting any permission on behalf of the Hungarian State crosses your border, you have to defend your country and to say “Guys, stop!” And if you would like to cross or you would like to come, there’s a legal procedure,” he added.
Carlson did not ask what happened to the refugees who tried to follow the legal path.
Orban also spoke in length about the negative effects of mixing muslim and christian communities, calling it “very risky”, with a chance of being “very bad.”
“Each nation has the right to take this risk or to reject this risk. We, Hungarians, decided not to take that risk to mix up our society,” Orbán underlined.
The Hungarian Prime Minister also explained in length that his vision of Christian conservatism in Hungary contributed to a successful society, envied by the West, and that he could very well imagine westerners immigrating to Hungary, seeking refuge from the societies that have become far too liberal: “We can’t exclude the future of the European history when there will be a new migration from the West to the East.”
“Democratic thinking has lost two major international supporters. And the opponents came into power. This is a totally new circumstance around Hungary. For me as a politician, it’s a strong challenge, how to handle it,” Orban lamented at the end of the interview, speaking of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Before the interview, Carlson gave a speech in the northern town of Esztergom, in which he praised Hungary, or rather its government, for its strong stance against migration - he even traveled down to the border with Serbia to inspect the famous fence erected by the Hungarian government following the 2015 migration crisis.
Carlson also witnessed as two refugees were sent back to Serbia: he reminded his viewers how efficient and clean the whole procedure was, and said he did not see all the trash and human suffering characteristic of the American border.
He failed to mention that Hungary had abolished the transit zones at its border only after a decision of the European Court of Justice, and if the anchor had visited earlier, he would have seen something completely different, and much less humane.
Also, the way in which refugees were turned back in front of his eyes remains illegal to this day according to the European Court of Human Rights.
Hungary very satisfied with its performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games
“The Hungarian team, which returned home with twenty medals, performed extremely well at the Tokyo Games, which ended on Sunday,” Krisztián Kulcsár, President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB) said in a press conference Wednesday.
Kulcsar underlined that the MOB managed to totally reach its preliminary target set up before the Games, recalling that there were only 13 medals in their professional prognosis back in 2019.
“All in all, the Covid epidemic had no influence on the Hungarians' performance. Outperforming Rio, we won medals in nine Olympic sports and earned Olympic points in 12 sport discipline, with 70 of our Olympics athletes finishing in the top six," Kulcsár added.
Sports director László Fábián summed up the Tokyo Games as "twenty-twenty-twenty", referring to the original year of the Games, postponed because of Covid, and to the number of Hungarian medals.
He also emphasized that Finland was the first in the number of golds per million inhabitants before this year's Olympics, but now Hungary took the top place of the perpetual rankings.
Since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the Hungarian delegation has not won as many medals as in 2021 in Tokyo.
The result of 6 golds, however, is two less than five years ago in Rio. In the last five Olympics, the number of gold medals won by Hungarian athletes was 8, 8, 3, 8, and 8. Tokyo gave 6 golds in four Olympic sports compared to 8 golds in Rio in three disciplines.
The 20 medals in Tokyo were obtained in nine disciplines, a great increase from the four that brought the 15 medals of the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Third jab against Covid-19 available to Hungarians
From August 1, Hungarians who have been vaccinated with the second dose at least four months ago can also receive the third dose of the vaccine.
“It is quite clear that the frequency of infection is also increasing among those who have been vaccinated twice, which means that the third vaccination must be pre-arranged and started, ”Miklós Kásler, the Hungarian minister responsible for Health said in a video message posted on his Facebook page before the start of the campaign.
“We are not world leaders in the third vaccination, this is already happening in the rest of the world, I would mention Canada as an example, which has perhaps the best health system in the world,” he added.
Kásler also explained that Hungarian professionals preferred the administration of a third dose of vaccine that differed from the first two.
Meanwhile, the free antibody test organized by the Budapest Municipality has been completed. Its objective was to examine whether the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine produced enough antibodies against the coronavirus in the body of volunteers in Budapest over the age of 60.
The results of a total of some 14,000 tests show that 26 percent of those over 60 years of age vaccinated with Sinopharm do not have sufficient antibodies.
The government, without officially recognizing a lack of efficiency of the Chinese jab, included elderly people vaccinated with Sinopharm’s product among the people to be vaccinated for health reasons.
Thus, health authorities — which have repeatedly claimed that the Chinese vaccine was as effective among the elderly as the others — have taken into account data from recent weeks.
As of Thursday morning, some 75,000 people received their third jab in Hungary, out of the 83,000 who have registered.
In Hungary, FB advertising does not count as political advertising
Commenting on the massive use of Facebook ads by a Fidesz candidate in a by-election last November, the Hungarian State Audit Office (SAO) argued that “Social Media advertising did not count as political advertising according to the current local regulations.”
The State Audit Office did not find any irregularities in Zsófia Koncz's - MP of Fidesz - campaign last year, even though she spent more money on Facebook ads alone than she could have spent altogether, according to a report by RTL News.
The Hungarian law on elections puts a limit of 5 million HUF as the total sum allowed to be spent on advertisements, but Koncz broke that ceiling, by paying 5.6 million on Facebook ads alone.
But the SAO said, in its report, that Zsófia Koncz went by book, and kept her expenses under the legal threshold.
Fidesz MP Zsófia Koncz, who won a seat in the Borsod parliamentary by-election, took an oath at the plenary session of the Parliament on November 2, 2020.
She took the eat of her late father by defeating the common candidate of the opposition parties, in an important vote, as her seat meant that the government kept his qualified majority of two-thirds of the MPs in the Parliament. A two-third majority is imperative for the ruling parties, as it allows them to modify the Basic Law and important legislation requiring a qualified majority.
Several organizations, including K-Monitor, have also reported to the SAO, but according to the latter, they can only check what the candidates are accounting for, and advertisements in social media do not count as political advertisements.
According to the report, the SAO acknowledges the fact that more and more political ads have been launched in social media, it has also indicated last year that the rules should be changed, but “no party or NGO has responded so far”.