Editorial: When democracy becomes collateral damage

The current unprecedented crisis constitutes a major temptation for authoritarian rulers everywhere to usurp more power.

Aspiring tyrants have always exploited emergency situations in order to expand their power at the expense of popular sovereignty.

History teaches us that ever since antiquity there have been hundreds of such examples.

The current unprecedented crisis constitutes a major temptation for authoritarian rulers everywhere to usurp more power.

The emergency is the perfect pretext to violate democratic rights and fundamental freedoms, thus undermining the rule of law.

The resulting emergency measures may prove permanent. Nothing is more permanent than the temporary as a Greek saying goes.

This is what Viktor Orban is attempting to do in Hungary as will others with a shady record as regards fundamental rights and freedoms.

The European Commission issued a lukewarm and platitudinous statement that made no reference to Hungary.

Such appeasement leads the opposite of the desired results. Instead of calling the country to order it makes the aspiring tyrant even more audacious as he simply could not care less about urgings and admonitions.

The battle against the coronavirus sooner or later will end.

The cost will be enormous but humankind will once again emerge victorious.

We all have a responsibility and duty to make sure that fundamental human rights will not be part of the collateral damage of this war.

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