The French President and the German Chancellor have already made it clear that, if necessary, the EU-South American trade agreement would be blocked if the Brazilian leadership, instead of protecting the rain forests that are the lungs of our planet, continued to support the eradication of the Amazonian jungles.
As a Member of the European Parliament, two days ago, I called on my fellow MEPs for similar resistance in a statement when I made it clear that the above mentioned FTA will soon be before the EP, but no MEP can wholeheartedly support it until Brazil gives real guarantees to put an end to the outrageous and inhumane deforestation. Enough of tender measures, state leaders representing political idiocy must be put under pressure!
Let's face it: by now, barely seven percent of our planet is covered by rainforests, which absorb one third of the greenhouse gases we emit. Even though right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro obliged his government to reduce illegal logging to zero under the Paris Climate Convention, instead he openly supports deforestation (dozens of football field-sized areas are wasted daily, just so that only Orbán gets it, too) stating that climate change is a hoax, and Brazil's economic growth cannot be hindered by some sort of environmental awareness issue.
The same right-wing politician also said that one solution to environmental sustainability would be for people to go to the toilet only every two days. Seriously. He was not kidding. And these illiberal political idiots do not even realize they are destroying everything. And for the sake of historical facts, one more thing: there were only a dozen countries represented at the inauguration of the Brazilian head of state, Jair Bolsonaro, who has made homophobic statements, talked about "purging" among his political opponents, hassles NGOs and legitimizes police violence. One of the few was the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with whom he patted each other's illiberal shoulders as dear friends, emphasizing how much, how very much, they agreed on migration. It was also an “important point of identical values,” as they later stated, that Brazil also withdrew from the UN migration package.
In the spring, government news reported that Brazilian President Bolsonaro would return the gesture and visit his great friend Viktor Orbán in person this year. If this is indeed the case, in the interest of our Planet Earth, we expect the Hungarian Prime Minister to condemn deforestation in the strongest possible terms and urge his Brazilian friend to comply with the climate agreement and make it clear that Hungary will not support a free trade agreement until there are real guarantees from the Brazilian side for the restoration of environmental consciousness. If all they can do again is business, mindless migration-bashing and manly shoulder rubbing, he better not come at all.
After the Hungarian PM’s landmark speech in Tusványos in 2014, in which he proclaimed his desire to turn Hungary into an illiberal state, I pledged to draw the public’s attention to the transgressions of this regime in an open letter every week. This is the 258th time I ring the bells of alarm, as it still seems necessary. And also, because as a radical European Democrat, it is my duty to do so.
dr. István Ujhelyi
Member of the European Parliament
25 August, 2019