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As CPAC prepares to welcome hardline Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, his policies at home are under new scrutiny.

He wears a similar dark suit, white shirt, and plain tie, though orange rather than Trump’s signature red. He gave the same thumbs up as Trump when they took the picture.

But Orban is no Trump populist disciple: He’s been in power before, he’s built fences to keep out migrants and refugees before, and more than a decade before he promulgate a new constitution defined marriage as merely between a man and a woman and life beginning at conception, as well as other practices that have been criticized as violations of human rights.

But whatever welcome he gets from the CPAC audience in Dallas, the situation at home is showing cracks.

One Orban’s racist speech last week lost a mentor who worked with him for 20 years. “This is why we always fight,” Orban declared of the Europeans. “We’re willing to mingle, but we don’t want to be mixed-race people.”

Orban has since said he is not racist or anti-Semitic but his talk on racial purity has raised alarm bells in his capital, Budapest, where Jews are persecuted and murdered. damage during World War II.

Rabbi Robert Frolich of the city’s historic Dohany Street Synagogue said Orban’s words were too close to home, especially to older members of his congregation.

“Most of them are Holocaust survivors,” he told CNN. “They’re worried. They’ve heard this before and it doesn’t end well.”

Hungarian leader Viktor Orban & # 39;  s & # 39;  mixed race & # 39;  speech condemned by former aide and victims of the Holocaust & # 39;  Coporation, group
Orban has consolidated power since he became prime minister in 2010, having previously held the post from 1998 to 2002. won a fourth consecutive term this April in a landslide but Freedom House, the US-based democracy research organization, country ratings are only “partially free.”

According to economist Zoltan Pogatsa, his economic policies have won his favor, but with rising inflation, that is starting to change.

“In the long run, yes, I think Orban is still popular but at this particular moment I think more people are doubting him than ever,” he said.

Data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that Hungary has a shrinking population and its GDP is forecast to shrink by 2.5%.
Hungary is also heavily dependent on Russian gas and any supplies cut off could plunge the country into a deep recessionInternational Monetary Fund said.

At Budapest’s central market, opinions differ.

“Honestly, Viktor Orban isn’t even popular in our country,” says David Horvath, a juice seller.

But Margaretta Krajnik, a butcher, asks differently. “Viktor Orban is doing everything for his people,” she said. “He loves his people.”

Here, it was a divisive decision. In Dallas, the welcome of American conservatives could have been more effective.

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