Recently the gap which exists between Western elites and electors has grown spectacularly: while the opinion of Western liberal, left-wing groups and politicians – regarding themselves as the continent’s elite – about us is that which has become widely known in the past eight years, members of the public who are compelled to face mass migration and deteriorating public security take the view that it is time for a change, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács stated in an interview given to the newspaper Magyar Idők which was published in its Monday issue.

He added that “what we are observing in Austria, Germany and Italy reflects this”.

He said Hungary’s perception in the international press is negative as regards mainstream European media. However, now that the EP campaign has practically begun, even in the West articles are published which acknowledge that the Hungarian position on migration and the future of Europe is consistent. “There are signs indicating that European electors are waking up”, he added.

He took the view that “one cannot expect a great deal of sympathy” from so-called mainstream media. Social media, however, serve as an effective means for the wider distribution of the Hungarian position.

According to Mr Kovács, “the asymmetrical media feedback we have observed in connection with the Sargentini report and its mechanical adoption without any critical comment clearly highlight the double standards that have been applied in relation to Hungary for eight years now. This warns us how high the stakes will be in the EP elections to be held next May”. He said, “The series of attacks we have been compelled to endure for eight years clearly shows that right-wing, centre-right or Christian democratic parties are never given the same chance in the international arena as left-wing, liberal parties. Earlier, before 2015, we were taken to task about our concept of democracy, while since then the Hungarian government has been criticised over the issue of migration because it has a different view than that which left-wing and liberal politicians hold regarding the future of Europe.”

Concerning the “duel” between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and French President Emmanuel Macron, Mr Kovács said on the European political scene pro-immigration politicians and politicians opposed to immigration are up against one another. He took the view that Mr Macron’s popularity in France stands at rock bottom, and therefore the President – rather than seeking to convince his local electorate – endeavours to present a globalist, trans-European view. “If we take a look at the efforts Paris is making to strengthen French culture and the French language in the EU as well as in its former colonies, we can talk about nationalism, pure and simple”, he stated, adding that Mr Macron’s “statement that he will not allow nationalists to defend national sovereignty reveals his true aspirations”. By contrast, “our view is clear: it is based on national sovereignty, the concept which constitutes the very foundations of the EU, and which holds that Europe is an alliance of nations in which the emphasis is on nations and on their cooperation which is beneficial for all parties”.

The government spokesperson also highlighted that “we are compelled to face not only opposition media, but also opposition NGOs whose false messages do a great deal of damage”. In his view, these NGOs do not have any kind of democratic legitimacy or support from the electorate; at the same time, via mass communication they are major players who influence politics. “It further adds to this asymmetry that these organisations only have a handful of members, a few hundred at most, and the 1 per cent tax donations, too, only cover a fraction of their expenditures. By contrast, they receive the bulk of their funding from foundations associated with George Soros or some international human rights organisation, or from large corporations”, Mr Kovács said.