The Hungarian border fence with Serbia on January 18, 2019 outside Szeged, Hungary. In 2015 thousands of migrants massed on the Hungarian border. The situation pushed Prime Minister Vicktor Orban’s government to build a fence along it’s borders with Serbia, the resulting thirteen-foot-tall electric razor-wire fence has virtually halted immigration to the country. Over the past three years the government has continued to take a hardline on immigration and has passed a series of laws targeting migration, one of which makes it a criminal offence for an individual or organization to provide assistance to refugees and migrants. Over the past months thousands of Hungarians have turned out in the streets to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Orban was reelected for a third term in April 2018, since taking office Orban, has rebranded his ruling party Fidesz, once a liberal youth party, as a right-wing Christian nationalist organization. After the party’s victory in 2010, Orban moved to remake Hungary as what he termed “an illiberal state.” Since then, Orban has introduced many changes and new laws to realize this vision: the court system has been stacked with government loyalists; Orban’s allies have taken control of most Hungarian media; a new labor law - dubbed the “slave law” by critics - has increased the limit on overtime from 250hrs to 400hrs per year; the “Stop Soros” bill targeted NGOs and individuals assisting refugees and migrants; accreditation laws for foreign universities were changed, forcing the renowned Central European University to move most operations to Vienna; and a new homeless law that criminalizes sleeping on the streets. Mr. Orban’s moves have created a template for his brand of illiberal democracy, which is providing inspiration to far-right and populist leaders in Poland, Italy, France, Netherlands and Brazil. (Footage by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
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