As Europe sleepwalks toward an economic abyss the likes of which has never been seen before—and as its political class seems thoroughly disinterested in taking the steps required to chart an alternative course—Germany’s mainstream press, known for its total marginalization of dissenting viewpoints, deviated from its standard practice last week and gave one of their chief ideological adversaries a microphone and a platform.
To kick off a series of talks called “Storm Over Europe: The Ukraine War, the Energy Crisis, and Geopolitical Challenges,” Cicero and Berlin Zeitung—two political press outlets popular with Germany’s liberal-conservative establishment—invited Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Europe’s premier anti-globalist head of state, to discuss the principal issues of the day and their global implications.
The 80-minute discussion took place inside Berlin’s E-Werk in front of some 250 guests, and was moderated by Cicero‘s editor-in-chief Alexander Marguier and Holger Friedrich, the publisher of the Berliner Zeitung.
Among the listeners was Thilo Sarrazin, a former SPD politician who was thrown out of the party after publishing his book Hostile Takeover: How Islam Impedes Progress and Threatens Society, in which he castigated Germany’s post-war immigration policy and committed the cardinal sin of questioning the sacred cow that is multiculturalism. Hans-Georg Maasen, the ex-president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) and member of the CDU’s conservative wing, was also present, along with CDU politician and former MP Sylvia Pantel, who also serves as the spokeswoman for the conservative “Berliner Kreis.”
During the conversation, the Hungarian prime minister railed against what he and a great many others view as the European Union’s ill-considered sanctions against Russia, which have caused oil and gas prices to skyrocket across Europe, while Gazprom—the Kremlin-owned energy giant—has posted record profits as a result.
The sanctions, which Orbán described as a “catastrophe”—and argued had been implemented in a “primitive” way— are “killing [Hungary] and Germany, too.” However, if they had been carried out “properly,” he continued, “prices wouldn’t be so sky-high right now.”
Then, when asked by Marguier what he meant by implementing the sanctions “properly,” Orbán pointed to the quantifiable fact that sanctions had financially harmed EU countries, while Russia has been left relatively unscathed. “On the question of energy, we are dwarfs and the Russians are giants. A dwarf sanctions a giant and we’re all amazed when the dwarf dies.” The prime minister added that he is not suggesting sanctions be lifted altogether, but that they should be revised.
The Hungarian prime minister rejected slanderous claims, repeated ad nauseam, by the mainstream liberal press and globalist eurocrats in Brussels that he is “Putin’s Trojan horse,” asserting Russia had clearly broken international law, which is why Hungary is on the side of Ukraine.
He underscored: “I belong to the peace camp, so I am for an immediate ceasefire—no matter what the Ukrainians think of it. That distinguishes me from those who want to derive decision from the Ukrainian interests.”
Orban added that, unlike the great many politicians who are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own people for the interests of Ukraine and Washington, he is simply unwilling “to help Ukrainians in such a way that [he] ruins Hungary economically and Hungarians die.”
He also lamented that the collective West had failed to “isolate” the local conflict, as it had managed to do in 2014—a feat he credited Chancellor Angela Merkel with accomplishing. When asked by the panel’s moderators whether war would have been prevented if former German Chancellor Angela Merkel was still in office, Orbán replied with a curt “definitely.”
As the conversation shifted toward the future, Orbán, despite arguing that only negotiations between the Russians and Americans could bring the war to an end, said that Joe Biden, in light of his previous statements in which he called Putin a “war criminal” and urged regime change, was no longer a suitable candidate to negotiate a peace treaty, as The European Conservative previously reported.
“The hope for peace is the name of Donald Trump,” Orbán said.
The discussion comes just weeks after Orbán, who is often labeled an anti-democratic autocrat by his globalist adversaries, announced that Hungary will be as the first European country to carry out a national consultation public survey to ask citizens about their position on sanctions against Russia.
It’s also worth noting that since the war’s onset, popular support for Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party has remained exceptionally high (above 50%). At the same time, other ruling parties across Europe that have backed U.S., UK, and Brussels-led sanctions at the expense of their own citizens’ well-being have witnessed their support decline precipitously, with some governments collapsing entirely, as was seen in July in Italy.
The same phenomenon has also been witnessed in United Kingdom, Norway, Czechia, Slovakia, and to a lesser extent in Poland.
The trend has been observed in France, where in June, Macron lost his grip on the National Assembly; in Germany, where support for the left-liberal Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD), the largest partner in the ‘traffic light’ coalition, has declined considerably; and in Austria, where support for the ruling coalition government, composed of establishment Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP) and left-liberal Die Grünen, dropped from 51% to 30% in August.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s participation in panel discussion is, undoubtedly, a sign that some actors in Germany’s establishment media have unplugged their ears and maybe, just maybe, opened their minds to viewpoints outside of the so-called acceptable political mainstream. But while it may be an encouraging first step in the right direction, it comes at a time when the hour is exceptionally late, and as the liquidation of the German economy—and the destruction of the country as an industrial powerhouse—seems all but assured. Before Germany can even begin to chart an alternative course that may lead it out of the catastrophic predicament it finds itself in, its people must, first and foremost, have the political will-to-survive. Presently, whether Germans possess such a thing remains to be seen.