Destinations Magazine

Point Taken, Mr Orban

By Stizzard
Point taken, Mr Orban

WAITING patiently inside Vienna’s Hauptbahnhof station for the train that will carry her to Munich, Delima Ibrahim, a friendly Syrian who looks younger than her 19 years, describes her family’s arduous journey to Europe. One month ago, along with the brother dozing peacefully beside her and an uncle, Ms Ibrahim fled a surge in fighting in northern Syria to reach the Turkish port of Izmir. After sailing to Greece the trio trekked up through the Balkans, only to be bused around from country to country, victims of the beggar-thy-neighbour border policies imposed by several European governments this month after Germany imposed controls on its frontier with Austria. Things are calmer now. Yet Ms Ibrahim will not linger in Germany; having heard about its recent policy reversals she fears a clampdown on refugees is coming. Her final destination is Sweden.

The chaos of the Ibrahims’ journey plays neatly into the hands of Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister and Europe’s chief pantomime villain. Mr Orban loves poking the bien-pensants of Brussels with his celebration of “illiberal” values and his vows to protect Europe from criminal…

The Economist: Europe

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