Orban in the aftermath of Merkel's departure: There will be a barefoot fight

Original article on POLITICO.eu

One thing is certain: the era of ambiguity, political stalking and drifting with Merkel is over. Urban Books“We have taken off our gloves, we are entering a new era,” he added.

Orbán said Merkel (who will retire this week after 16 years in power) understands Hungary because of its East German background. But he described the 2015 European migration crisis as a “rupture” in relations.

Orban wrote: “The immigration crisis was a great test in itself. It became Rubicon because it revealed deep philosophical, political, and emotional differences between us about the concept of nations, freedom, and the role of Germany.”

“Germany is on a different path to European civilization, towards what looks like a post-Christian, post-national state,” he said.

“Restoring European cooperation will require extraordinary efforts in the post-Merkel era,” he wrote.

He described the German coalition of Social Democrats, Free Democrats and Liberals as a left-wing government with “a pro-immigration, pro-federal and pro-German European agenda”.

Orbán has not always been so negative about Germany, a major investor in the Hungarian economy.

In 2019, after talks with Merkel, he stated that “we see no future event on the horizon that could disrupt German-Hungarian relations”.

Last year, Orban said he tried to persuade Merkel not to step down.

Merkel’s critics accuse her of being too lenient in her approach to Orban – widely accused of undermining the country’s democratic norms and institutions – for most of her tenure as chancellor.

Orbán has steadily moved away from the European mainstream until he left the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) earlier this year and forged ties with far-right leaders such as France’s Marine Le Pen and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.

Editing: Mishaw Bronatowski

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