A mental trip into the Fidesz bubble. Interview with Tamás Deutsch, a co-founder of the Fidesz party helps to understand the mindset of Fidesz in key areas of the political game: assault on the free media, government-sponsored clientelism, the EU strategy of Hungary and the role of Viktor Orbán as well as Donald Tusk in European party politics.
- The Fidesz party left the European People’s Party parliamentary group in March 2021 after Tamás Deutsch was suspended for leading ferocious attacks on EPP leadership in the Hungarian media.
- Deutsch was the first politician in the history of the European Parliament (EP) to be suspended from a parliamentary group by his peers in December 2020. Previously a Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (1999-2002), he was also elected in 2010 as the president of the MTK Budapest Futball Club, where he used to play in the youth team.
- The Fidesz politician explains his political Manicheism by arguing that at least half of the media must be under government control and that Viktor Orbán’s power of commanding the right-wing businessmen to buy media at his request is the same as the power of independent media financed by readers.
- As a political zealot, Tamás Deutsch finds ways to harmonise contradictory statements regarding Hungarian isolationism in the EU and a commitment to remain part of the Union based solely on Viktor Orbán’s decision.
- Unsurprisingly, he fends off any suspicion of political corruption concerning men like Lőrinc Mészáros, a former mayor of the prime minister’s hometown, who became the richest man in the country by loyally serving his political sponsor.
Marianna Biró and Tamás Fábián: What position do you play in the Fidesz team?
Tamás Deutsch: I have always been a striker, on the pitch and in politics. We will see whether I can still score goals or whether I am starting to turn slower or whether I can still get into a scoring position because of a quick forward pass.
Can you still score?