October 16, 2021

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Orban supports Babis before elections in the Czech Republic

Orban supports Babis before elections in the Czech Republic

In the final round just before the parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic on October 8-9, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis received support from the head of the Hungarian government, Viktor Orban. Last week, the Fides leader appeared in Usti in Elbe, the city where Babis will run for a Member of Parliament. First, the two politicians met face to face, and then took part in an hour-long debate on the stage of North Bohemia, which filled to the last seat with spectators.

The debate among prime ministers was dominated by criticism of EU immigration policy. Babis thanked Orban for erecting a fence on its southern border in 2015, which prevented crowds of migrants from creeping toward Germany through the Czech territory. The authorities in Prague also decided to support Budapest and decided to send 50 policemen to guard the Hungarian-Serbian border. According to Orban, large meals are not necessary at the moment, but when a large wave of immigrants arrives from Afghanistan, he will, as he emphasized, turn to the Czechs for help.

After meeting with Babis, the Hungarian Prime Minister also met with Czech President Milos Zeman. Together they discussed the negative consequences for both countries of the Green New Deal, which was pushed by the European Commission.

A strange friendship between two prime ministers

On the Vltava River, no one doubts that with this visit Urban decided to support the Czech Prime Minister, whom he openly calls his friend. This seems strange, especially in the context of the actions of EU Commissioner Vera Juruwa – party friend of Andrei Babis from the ANO party, who himself recommended him for a position in Brussels. It is Jourova who constantly attacks the Hungarian authorities and the government of Viktor Orban in the European Forum for allegedly violating the law and threatening to launch the so-called rule of law mechanism. In this case, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic did not hear about trying to defend his friend against the one he loved. So it must be a strange friendship.

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Orbán appears to have decided that he had more of a pragmatic victory for Babis than the victory of the anti-Babis coalition led by the ideological Pirate Party. As they say in his surroundings: Better cruel friendship than outright hostility, it is better to talk to a cynic than to a fanatic.

Since pre-election polls show that the current government and the opposition go hand in hand with equal chances of winning, even a small number of votes may decide victory. In this context, Orbán’s visit was intended to lure right-wing voters to Babis’ side, especially the anti-immigration and Euroskeptics, for whom the Hungarian prime minister remains an undisputed hero. These voters have so far voted mainly for Tomio Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy Party, but they can shift their support at the last minute, which Babish (whose ANO party – it is worth remembering – belongs to ALDE international, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) depends on it. , next to a party like, for example, Nowoczesna z Polski). However, no one from Nowoczesna went to Prague to support a friend from his international political family. Was there no friendship in the family?

In the context of the current dispute over Turów, it is hard to find anyone in Poland who keeps their fingers crossed for Babiš. However, there is no guarantee that after his possible defeat in the elections, future negotiations, for example with the Pirate Party, will be easier for us.