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CPAC Hungary: Donald Trump says conservatives are "winning now" and "will close it out"
Far-right figures from both sides of the Atlantic have gathered in Budapest this week for the second time at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Hungary is the only European country hosting the event so far. The second day of CPAC Hungary kicked off on Friday in Budapest with a surprise video message from former US President Donald Trump. Trump praised far-right Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and called him a “tremendous man, a tremendous leader". This year he closed his virtual speech a message to the conservative crows: “Keep up the fight, and never waiver in defense of our freedom and our civilization. We have the communists globalists and in retreat and as long as we press confidently ahead, we will absolutely win. We are winning now and we will close it out.”
The first day of the event featured Orban as the keynote speaker who last year won his fourth consecutive term. Orban said the reason CPAC comes to Budapest is that "Hungary is an incubator where the conservative policies of the future are being tested." The nationalist prime minister likened liberalism to a “virus” that “targets the most vulnerable part of the Western world: nations.” The Hungarian President also mentioned the war in Ukraine briefly saying he is sure if Trump would still be president there would be “no war in Ukraine and Europe”.
He asked Trump to “return” and to “make America great again”. Orban proudly mentioned that conservatives have “occupied big European sanctuaries” the past years: “Budapest, Warsaw, Rome, Jerusalem, and Vienna is also not hopeless,” the nationalist leader said. “But the truth is that the main sanctuaries of modern democracies Washington and Brussels are still in the hands of liberals. Let’s do something to change that.” Orban received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Among other right-wing figures, Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo Bolsonaro have also sent video messages to the two-day event.
US ambassador David Pressman, told AFP news agency that Hungary should focus on the “real war” in Ukraine. "There's an unfortunate eagerness to talk about a fake culture war in Hungary," told AFP.
Hungarian Parliament adopts declaration:"We don't want to become a country of immigrants"
On Wednesday a declaration rejecting migration was adopted by the Hungarian Parliament. The National Assembly voted on the declaration in an emergency procedure.
"We don't want to become a country of immigrants", the document reads, adding that 'migration must be stopped'. The statements stresses that in order to protect the constitutional identity and Christian culture, migration must be stopped, borders must be protected and the countries of origin should be assisted locally."
The decision comes after Pope Francis' weekend visit to Budapest. The religious leader asked the crowd "to open the doors" and "to become open doors like Jesus.""It is sad and painful to see closed doors, (...) the closed doors towards those who are strangers, different, refugees, or poor.
Reporters without borders: Hungary still remains in the 'problematic' category on the Press Freedom Index
Hungary has now moved up from 85th to 72nd place out of 180 countries in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders reported. However the central european country still remains in the "problematic" category.
Nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whom RSF has deemed a 'press freedom predator', has built a media empire whose outlets follow his party’s orders. "Independent media maintain major positions in the market, but they are subject to political, economic, and regulatory pressures," the report writes.
Hungary's right wing government revecived constant criticism when 500 separate media outlets placed under an umbrella foundation called KESMA. During the past decade the media landscape has gradually changed, as several outlets were bought by pro-government businessmen or closed down.
Hungarian President pardons convicted far-right terrorist on the eve of Pope Francis visit
Hungarian President Katalin Novák pardoned György Budaházy, a convicted far-right terrorist, and other members of the extremist Hunnia Movement terrorist cell.
“The week of the papal visit is a special occasion for the head of state to exercise her power of pardon,” Novák’s office said in a statement. “Among others, the President of the Republic also pardoned those convicted in what was known as the Hunnia trial, for whom she decided to suspend their prison terms,” the statement added.
In the 2000s Budaházy’s group the far right group tried to blow up homes of leftwing and liberal politicians, attacked a gay club, a ticket office which refused to sell tickets of fascist rock bands, and targeted a Jewish politician. After Viktor Orbán’s 2002 election defeat Budaházy occupied a bridge to prevent peaceful transfer of power. After his 2023 release Budaházy said he would like to take on a role in public life.