Komarno/Komarom –A convergence is haunting the Euro-Atlantic – the convergence of illiberalism.

In recent days this convergence has been on stark display in the sister Danubian towns of Komárno, on the Slovak left-bank – and Komárom on the Hungarian right-bank. For it is here that Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico and Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban have hosted 2-day ceremonies announcing the new pact of unity between the Central European neighbors, both of them members of the EU and NATO.

Though the once united city was divided in 1920 along the Danube by the Treaty of Trianon (which many Hungarians prefer to call the “Dictate of Trianon”), today the towns are joined by three bridges. And thus it was via the Elizabeth Bridge that the leaders of Slovakia and Hungary passed between the two grand old citadels overlooking the river – the right-bank Csillag Fortress, and the left-bank Komárno Fortress.

Here the documents were signed for what is being described as Europe’s new “confederation”.

Below, the transcript of my exclusive interview with the two leaders, conducted in Komárom at the newly opened Szálloda Trump (Trump Hotel).

Filip hrabia Stalski (Warsaw) – Prime Minister Orban, Prime Minister Fico – thank you, gentlemen, for this opportunity to ask: what is it you have agreed to create? Many people wonder if we are witnessing the realisation of dreams of Greater Hungary, though somehow Slovak leaders seem not to be among them.

Viktor Orban – As simply as I can put it, this is an act of free nations to unite, carried out in their sovereign self-interest. It has involved neither coercion – nor desperation, for that matter.

FhS – A Velvet Anschluss, shall we say?

Robert Fico – That’s also inappropriate. Slovakia and Hungary are initiating a union of equals. So this is nothing like what Vlad and Olek – eeh, presidents Putin and Lukashenko are negotiating. You’re alluding to Czechoslovakia, I know – but that entity was similarly lopsided.

FhS – With Slovakia getting lopped?

Fico – On the contrary! Czechia is derivative of Slovakia. It was our 9th-century Slovak king Svatopluk I who gave rise to Central Europe’s many political dynasties. Christianity itself arrived in Bohemia from Slovakia, though then called Great Moravia. So, the Czechs have long nursed a deep inferiority complex toward us. And this persists to the present, as we saw a couple weeks ago when Prague froze government-level relations with Bratislava.

FhS – A couple weeks ago also saw you, Mr Orban, in Washington DC, though you met with no-one at all from the Biden White House. You were, however, a guest of Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

Orban – Look, one hardly needs prophetic powers to know that my friend Donald is, to draw on Arthurian lore, the ‘once and future King’ of the United States of North America. That said, I must give credit to Tucker Carlson. It was Tuck, during his “apology tour” in Budapest last summer, who convinced me that a powerful international bloc of illiberal countries can rise and take charge.

If only we here in the “Sinemarium”, as Bob and I sometimes call it – lend our weight.

FhS – That brings us back to the name of your indeed landlocked confederation. There were leaks, Mr Orban, indicating that you’re calling this the Union of Komárom – in Slovak, the Union of Komárna.

Orban – That has a nice ring, don’t you think? You’re Polish, and so I’m sure you hear an echo with the Union of Krewo, the Union of Horodło, the Union of Lublin. In fact, we’re toying with the idea of adapting the name ‘Visegrad Group’. You know, perhaps the ‘Pozson Group’.

Fico – Eee… rather the ‘Bratislava Group’, Vic. For now we’ve agreed to settle on the working name V-2. Remaining open, of course, to Serbia and Macedonia. We four all save on naval expenditures.

FhS – My final question is to you, Mr Fico. Besides illiberalism, proximity, the spoiling of ties with Prague, and that incorrigible liberal Donald Tusk taking power in Warsaw, what is it that justifies Slovakia’s soyuz with Orban’s Hungary?

Fico – Well, we both have a history of rebellion against Austria, extending all the way from Janosik, the 18thcentury Slovak Robin Hood, to the Hungarian uprising of 1848. Above all, we alone in both the EU and NATO heed the wisdom of His Holiness Pope Francis, and wish to see Russia achieve its justified aims in Ukraine asap. And with Trump’s return we’ll reap greater reward for that policy if we begin working as a tandem now.

Orban – You see? It’s like the old nursery rhyme, Slovak and Magyar, brothers be. I can add only that – as the case of Sweden’s NATO membership and EU financial assistance to Ukraine showed – alone, you can take passive aggression only so far. No longer.

By Filip hrabia Stalski

A Warsaw-based historian, Filip is also a Polish monarchist associated with the scholarly journal Krytyka Neutralna.

Reminder: all the events, quotes and situations mentioned in this article are fictitious. Check out our Parody section for more.

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