How Vladimir Putin feeds Europe’s rabid right

Anna Nemtsova writes: Victor Orban, the right-wing leader of Hungary, offered his people a simple formula: Come and vote in a referendum against allowing in more asylum-seekers and you will be safe from terrorism in your country.

Prime Minister Orban also promised that if people did not show up for the migration referendum on Sunday, Hungary would have wasted more than $36 million, which is what the authorities were spending to organize the vote to reject the European Union quota of 1,229 refugees. That was the price to stop terrorism, according to Orban. (According to critics, that was $30,000 per head of anti-humanitarian spending.)

As often happens in Europe these days, the results were confusing, and unsettling.

Orban had compared migrants to “poison.” Hungary would “give Europe the finger,” he said, vowing to change Hungary’s constitution so the European Union would have no right to impose any rules on the country without its parliament’s approval.

This is the same country, remember, that just a dozen years ago celebrated its membership in the EU. Now it wants to restructure the whole thing. [Continue reading…]

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