Hungary’s strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been reprimanded by the European Union for his anti-immigrant and provocative stances, has some backers in Greece: the notorious ultra-extreme right Golden Dawn group which has been accused of using neo-Nazi methods.
Hungary suffered brutally under the Nazis and Budapest was the site of a torture center now a museum called the House of Terror showcasing what the occupiers did during World War II, but the country now is experiencing a swing to the far right.
Orban wrote a letter on Sept. 14 to Golden Dawn Euro PM Lambros Fountulis thanking the group, all of whose 15 Members of Parliament are in the fourth year of a trial on charges of running a criminal gang and conducting violent assaults.
Orban thanked Golden Dawn for its support during a European Parliament vote backing sanctions against Hungary for rule of law violations, Euractiv reported.
“I would like to express my gratitude for your support during the vote,” Orban said in the letter, which Euractiv has posted on its website.
“I appreciate the support you have shown towards national sovereignty and solidarity during the vote. I can ensure you that regardless of the shameful attacks of pro-immigration forces, we will not give in to extortion,” Orban added.
That letter came the same day as a tense debate in which the European lawmakers voted to censure the Hungarian government for posing a “systemic threat” by eroding democracy and failing to uphold fundamental European Union values.