The far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has been invited to speak by a group funded by the Hungarian government this month.
Yiannopoulos will be delivering a speech at the Public Foundation for the Research of Central and East European History and Society, a group dedicated to protecting the country’s “educational and cultural goods.” The group is sponsored by the heavily anti-immigrant, far-right Fidesz party currently in power in Hungary, which was re-elected for a third term last month.
A longtime mainstreamer of racist “alt-right” ideas, Yiannopoulos had been invited to speak in Hungary by the same group in January. However, the event — discussing “The Future of Europe” — was postponed until after the Hungarian elections, amid widespread outrage in the country.
On April 8, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán swept to electoral victory. Despite only winning 47% of the popular vote in the country, his Fidesz party secured 133 of the parliament’s 199 seats, a full two-thirds. The strongman has vowed to become the voice of illiberal democracy in Europe and said he would use his third mandate to further crack down on immigrants and immigrant rights organizations in the country.
“Milo’s invitation and the fact that Steve Bannon considers Orbán ‘the most significant guy on the scene’ on the far right today illustrates that, despite the fact that Orbán’s party is a member of the mainstream European conservative party family in the European Union, his biggest fans are somewhere in the international far right,” András Bíró-Nagy, a Hungarian political analyst at Policy Solutions, tells Hatewatch.
Orbán, who has long opposed the European Union’s refugee resettlement plan and who is a popular voice for the anti-immigrant movement in Europe, vowed to pass “Stop Soros” measures. His massive anti-Soros campaign, which accused opposition candidates of plotting with the American billionaire philanthropist to turn Hungary into an immigrant country, played on antisemitic tropes. This is a popular move in a country where a third of the population holds “strong or moderate” antisemitic beliefs.
With an overwhelming majority in parliament, the government has the majority it needs to pass any legislation it desires, including constitutional amendments. Apparently, with the election now behind it, the party is now free to invite far-right trolls from overseas.