74 Facts About Viktor Orban


Viktor Mihaly Orban is a Hungarian politician who has served as prime minister of Hungary since 2010, previously holding the office from 1998 to 2002.

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Viktor Orban has presided over Fidesz since 1993, with a brief break between 2000 and 2003.

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Viktor Orban's tenure has seen Hungary government shift towards what he has called "illiberal democracy" — citing countries such as China, Russia, India, Singapore, and Turkey as models of governance — while simultaneously promoting Euroscepticism and opposition to Western democracy.

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Viktor Orban headed the reformist student movement the Alliance of Young Democrats, the nascent Fidesz.

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Viktor Orban became nationally known after giving a speech in 1989 in which he openly demanded that Soviet troops leave the country.

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Viktor Orban served as leader of the opposition from 2002 to 2010.

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Viktor Orban has two younger brothers, both entrepreneurs, Gyozo, Jr.

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Viktor Orban spent his childhood in two nearby villages, Alcsutdoboz and Felcsut in Fejer County; he attended school there and in Vertesacsa.

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Viktor Orban graduated from Blanka Teleki High School in Szekesfehervar in 1981, where he studied English.

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In 1989, Viktor Orban received a scholarship from the Soros Foundation to study political science at Pembroke College, Oxford.

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Viktor Orban said in a later interview that his political views had radically changed during the military service: earlier he had considered himself a "naive and devoted supporter" of the Communist regime.

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On 30 March 1988, Viktor Orban was one of the founding members of Fidesz and served as its first spokesperson.

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The first members of the party, including Viktor Orban, were mostly students from the Bibo Istvan College for Advanced Studies who opposed the Communist regime.

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At the college, itself a part of Eotvos Lorand University, Viktor Orban co-founded the dissident social science journal Szazadveg.

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On 16 June 1989, Viktor Orban gave a speech in Heroes' Square, Budapest, on the occasion of the reburial of Imre Nagy and other national martyrs of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

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Viktor Orban was appointed leader of the Fidesz's parliamentary group, serving in this capacity until May 1993.

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On 18 April 1993, Viktor Orban became the first president of Fidesz, replacing the national board that had served as a collective leadership since its founding.

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Viktor Orban became MP from his party's Fejer County Regional List.

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Viktor Orban served as chairman of the Committee on European Integration Affairs between 1994 and 1998.

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Viktor Orban was a member of the Immunity, Incompatibility and Credentials Committee for a short time in 1995.

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From April 1996, Viktor Orban was chairman of the Hungarian National Committee of the New Atlantic Initiative.

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In September 1992, Viktor Orban was elected vice chairman of the Liberal International.

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In 1998, Viktor Orban formed a coalition with the Hungarian Democratic Forum and the Independent Smallholders' Party.

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Viktor Orban became the second youngest prime minister of Hungary at the age of 35 and the first post-Cold War head of government in both eastern and central Europe who had not previously been a member of a communist party during the Soviet-era.

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Viktor Orban received the Freedom Award of the American Enterprise Institute and the New Atlantic Initiative, the Polak Award, the Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit, the "Forderpreis Soziale Marktwirtschaft" and the Merite Europeen prize.

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Viktor Orban was the Fidesz candidate for the parliamentary election in 2006.

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However, after fighting with Socialist-Liberal coalition, Viktor Orban's position solidified again, and he was elected president of Fidesz yet again for another term in May 2007.

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The procedure for the referendum started on 23 October 2006, when Viktor Orban announced they would hand in seven questions to the National Electorate Office, three of which were officially approved on 17 December 2007 and called on 24 January 2008.

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In terms of domestic legislation, Viktor Orban's government implemented a flat tax on personal income.

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Viktor Orban has called his government "pragmatic", citing restrictions on early retirement in the police force and military, making welfare more transparent, and a central banking law that "gives Hungary more independence from the European Central Bank".

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Under Viktor Orban, Hungary took numerous actions to combat illegal immigration and reduce refugee levels.

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In May 2020, the European Court of Justice ruled against Hungary's policy of migrants transit zones, which Viktor Orban subsequently abolished while making the country's asylum rules stricter.

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Viktor Orban questioned Nord Stream II, a new Russia–Germany natural gas pipeline.

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Viktor Orban said he wants to hear a "reasonable argument why South Stream was bad and Nord Stream is not".

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In July 2018, Viktor Orban travelled to Turkey to attend the inauguration ceremony of re-elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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In June 2019, Viktor Orban met Myanmar's State Counsellor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

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In October 2021, Viktor Orban blamed a record-breaking surge in energy prices on the European Commission's Green Deal plans.

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However, Viktor Orban rejected sanctions on Russian energy, due to Hungary's excessive dependency on Russian fossil fuels.

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Viktor Orban declared victory on Sunday night, with partial results showing his Fidesz party leading the vote by a wide margin.

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In 2020, Viktor Orban's government ended legal recognition of transgender people, receiving widespread criticism both in Hungary and abroad.

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Viktor Orban announced a referendum regarding the status of LGBTQ in education for the spring of 2022, coinciding with the parliamentary election.

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In May 2022, Viktor Orban promoted the Great Replacement conspiracy theory in a speech.

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Viktor Orban has supported investments into the country's low birth rates.

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Viktor Orban has tapped into the "great replacement theory" which emulates a nativist approach to rejecting foreign immigration out of fear of replacement by immigrants.

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In 2021, Viktor Orban mentioned that the Hungarian and Turkic peoples share a historical and cultural heritage "reaching back many long centuries".

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Viktor Orban frequently emphasizes the importance of Christianity, although he and the overwhelming majority of Hungarians do not attend church regularly.

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Viktor Orban had a close relationship with the former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, having known him for decades.

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In February 2019, Netanyahu thanked Viktor Orban for "deciding to extend the embassy of Hungary in Israel to Jerusalem".

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Viktor Orban is seen as having laid out his political views most concretely in a widely cited 2014 public address at Baile Tusnad.

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In practice, Viktor Orban claimed, such a state should promote national self-sufficiency, national sovereignty, familialism, full employment and the preservation of cultural heritage, and cited countries such as Turkey, India, Singapore, Russia, and China as models.

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Viktor Orban often attacked the administrations of presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden, particularly for their supposed pro-immigration policies.

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Viktor Orban conducted a fifteen-minute interview with Orban, which was widely criticized for its fawning nature and lack of challenging questions.

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Viktor Orban's critics have included domestic and foreign leaders, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

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Viktor Orban has been accused of pursuing anti-democratic reforms; attacking the human rights of the LGBT community; reducing the independence of Hungary's press, judiciary and central bank; amending Hungary's constitution to prevent amendments to Fidesz-backed legislation; and of cronyism and nepotism.

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Viktor Orban was accused of pork barrel politics for building Pancho Arena, a 4,000-seat stadium in the village in which he grew up, Felcsut, at a distance of some 6 metres from his country house.

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Viktor Orban has been criticized for engineering the 2015 European migrant crisis for his own political gain.

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Viktor Orban government began to attack Soros and his NGOs in early 2017, particularly for his support for more open immigration.

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Viktor Orban's critics claimed it "evokes memories of the Nazi posters during the Second World War".

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Unlike many strongmen, Viktor Orban has not taken advantage of a crisis to amass power, nor used a coup to come to power, but made himself safe from the danger of losing an election slowly, methodically and legally; with his pro-democracy opposition being compared, to the proverbial frog that is slowly boiled in a pot and so never jumps.

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Domination of the public media by Viktor Orban prevents the public from hearing critics point of view.

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In 2022, Viktor Orban's opponent was given but five minutes on the national television "to make his case to the voters".

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Viktor Orban stresses out that the Orban regime can be characterised as plebiscitary leadership democracy instead.

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Viktor Orban has overseen the transfer of hundreds of millions of Hungarian taxpayer money for the preservation of Hungarian language, monuments and institutions of the Hungarian diaspora, particularly in Romania, irking the Romanian government.

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Two days latter, in Wien, Viktor Orban made it clear, he was talking about cultures and not genetics.

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Zsuzsa Hegedus later, in a letter to Viktor Orban expressed that she is proud of him, and he can count on her like he could in the past 20 years.

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Viktor Orban attacked billionaire George Soros, former United States President Barack Obama, "globalists, " and the United States' Democratic Party.

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Viktor Orban married jurist Aniko Levai in 1986; the couple has five children.

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Viktor Orban's son, Gaspar, is a retired footballer, who played for Ferenc Puskas Football Academy in 2014.

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Viktor Orban has three younger daughters and three granddaughters.

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Viktor Orban is a member of the Calvinist Hungarian Reformed Church, while his wife and their five children were raised Roman Catholic.

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Viktor Orban is very fond of sports, especially of football; he was a signed player of FC Felcsut, and as a result he appears in Football Manager 2006.

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Viktor Orban had a prominent role in the foundation of Puskas Akademia in Felcsut, creating one of the most modern training facilities for young Hungarian footballers.

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Viktor Orban played an important role in establishing the annually organised international youth cup, the Puskas Cup, at Pancho Arena, which he helped build, in his hometown of Felcsut.

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Viktor Orban played the minor role of a footballer in the Hungarian family film Szegeny Dzsoni es Arnika.

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