Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orbán seems to have given his opponents a chance to hurt his political fortunes in the future over plans for a Chinese university campus in Budapest.
There has been an outrage over the proposal, according to a CNN report. The prime minister’s populist government had earlier announced a controversial plan for a Shanghai university to open its first overseas campus in 2024.
It was slated to come up at a derelict plot on the banks of the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary. And Hungarians would be apparently paying for it. It seems to have become a perfect recipe for disaster.
The protests against this proposal have united Hungary’s opposition in an attempt to topple Orbán’s ruling party at next year’s general election. They want to turn his nationalist rhetoric against him.
In Orbán’s 11-year-rule, several demonstrations have been organised in Budapest against his assault on democratic freedoms. But his right-wing Fidesz party has always enjoyed landslide election wins.
Now, the situation is different all due to the proposed Fudan University campus issue.
The use of Hungary’s taxpayer money in the building of the university seems to have been warned as serving the interests of China’s Communist Party.
The campus is due to come up on a land slated for affordable housing for around 10,000 Hungarian students.
Carrying placards emblasoned with the word ‘treason’ and slogans such as ‘Hungarian money for Hungarian universities’, thousands of protesters took to streets in Budapest last month to oppose the plan.