European Union, Hungary, Orban discussed on Worldly
It was frustrating for him to have to put up with even the veneer of a democratic system even though it was cleverly designed to keep him not a foul of EU rules about democracy. You're supposed to still be a democracy if you're going to be in European Union and it is a big deal for Hungary to be in the EU reason being the EU gives them a tremendous amount of subsidies which the government has used to funnel money to their preferred businesses and private sector leaders and also just generally keep their economy afloat site poor management by the organ regime. So it's strings overreach. Not just because it's unnecessary for dealing with the coronavirus problem but because it is in fact likely to produce a backlash you already have people in the European Union talking about what kinds of punishments or not exactly sanctions in the sense of like what. America does the country that doesn't like but other kinds of internal rules that might maybe restrict the flow of money to Hungary a have hearings of some sort about its continued membership in the EU right if it gets cut off from EU funding and resources. There isn't an obvious way for the government to make up the gap moreover it strikes me. This is from talking to Hungarians again that it's really really important for the regime's legitimacy to be able to tell people that they still live in democracy. If you'll get pulling inside Hungary people still believe that they should have democracy. I think ordinary citizens believed at least as of two thousand eighteen that they were still living in one. That was part of the point of having a state bought media right. You can convince people their living democracy even though they're not but if they do this and then they Now recently a new push to try to take power away from mayors at the local level. It just so happens that some of the mayors in the country's largest cities including Budapest. Our opposition party mayors that they actually managed to despite the playing field being so tilted against them manage to win some local elections which is an extraordinary feat and a testament to the fact that maybe Hungarians are starting to get tired of the way that Bonn had been running the country. Now it's GonNa be much much much much more difficult to say. We respect the will of the People. We respect what they decided to do. And that could in theory there have been street. Protests against government policies that successfully forced them to back off. That could Engender a serious popular backlash against the regime. So that's kind of why I actually think that the timing right now is really smart on Orban's part not that again. Not that I support this idea but I think the timing actually makes a lot of sense because one just talking about popular protests and backlash. Well if everyone's scared of getting corona virus and it doesn't gather in large groups that makes protesting a lot harder just physically you know logistically. So there's that there's also the kind of broader idea a lot of strong men dictators. We've seen this in authoritarian regimes across the world. And over time they like to present themselves. Often is this benevolent father. Figure who is watching over the country in protecting you and keeping you safe and I can understand at a time of great fear overcurrent virus. Alex like you said they. They may only have a comparatively low number of cases but their neighbors and other countries in the EU have a lot more cases and and I can understand that presenting himself as this look. I'm just doing this to protect you. It reminds me a lot of how you see. Hooton trying to set himself up as a wise elder Russia. You've seen that obviously in the Kim family regimes throughout time in North Korea is like we are the ones protecting you from this threat so I think in that sense it makes sense the question which I think you've both gotten at is okay. That lasts for only so long right once. This threat goes away and it will. It may be months or a year but it will and at that point if he doesn't then rescinded which everything points to the fact that he probably won't then do you start to see popular protests. Then do you start to see the backlash capitalizing on on fear? A lot of people just want to make sure that the government's in control and doing something in a way that people who don't normally like government control you know might not otherwise. Have those kind of stronger feelings. Like I wanNA feel like somebody's in charge and taking control and keeping me safe so I will let him have these powers for now. The question again is what happens when the crisis is over. We're going to take a quick break. Because Jen helpfully brought up the fact that this is not just a Hungary problem but actually global problem. We're talking about a few other places where the current of. Irs Crisis has served as an opportunity for authoritarian leaders to or authoritarian minded leaders in democracies to try to expand their own powers or scope of control of the state. Hey It's Swisher you may know me as the only person who looks cool wearing sunglasses indoors but in my spare time. I hosted podcast called Rico decode every week. We talk about power changed the people you need to know. Around tech and beyond some of my recent guests include Edward Snowden Megan and the cast of the ellwood which was a huge thrill for me. If any of these sound interesting to you. Listen them now on Rico. Decode subscribe to the show for free on apple podcasts or your favorite podcast APP to be the first to hear new interviews every week. Hey it is as a host of Ezra Klein show podcast. We've been covering a huge amount of corona virus related questions over on the show and this week we sat.