Harsh Criticism for Orbán: 'Take Away Hungary's European Council Vote'
After the Iron Curtain came down, István Hegedüs, 55, was a parliamentarian for Hungary's conservative Fidesz party, which was in the opposition at the time. But now he is fiercely critical of the party's leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and his move to consolidate power. Europe must react, he tells SPIEGEL.
SPIEGEL: Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has used his two-thirds majority in parliament to pass constitutional amendments that disempower the constitutional court. Is democracy in the country threatened?
SPIEGEL: Does Orbán want to introduce one-party rule in Hungary?
Hegedüs: Orbán judges the post-communist era very negatively. He believes that the old insiders are still governing. His "Orbán Revolution" aims to secure long-term power for his conservative party Fidesz, even if they lose the next election in 2014. Additionally, he is filling every central position with his people, and extended the terms for the state's most important posts. The president of the media authority, for instance, was appointed for nine years.
SPIEGEL: Does the public support him in these changes?
SPIEGEL: What can Brussels do to save Hungarian democracy?
Hegedüs: EU member states should react quickly and clearly. They must precisely analyze the changes to the constitution, and could then take away the right to vote in the European Council from Orbán's government. That would be a symbolic measure that, unlike economic sanctions, would not hurt the people.
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