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Prominent poet criticises the critics of the government

February 10th, 2012

The President of the Writers’ Union condemns those Hungarian intellectuals who accuse the government of authoritarianism in foreign newspapers. In an interview in Heti Válasz, János Szentmártoni says it is unfair to question the government’s democratic credentials.

Heti Válasz publishes a collection of “the 20 most absurd allegations published in Western newspapers attacking the Hungarian government”. The authors include Francis Fukuyama (in The American Interest), Caroline Fourest (in Le Monde) and Will Hutton (in the Observer)who misquoted the new constitution on abortion, as well as French star philosopher, and Bernard-Henri Levy who alleged that the new election law has racist foundations. The moderate conservative weekly also features an interview with János Szentmártoni, as one of the signatories of a statement issued by the Writer’s Union, the Hungarian Academy of Arts and the Batthyány Society of Professors) protesting against what they felt was an international campaign against Hungary.

The President of the Hungarian Writers’ Union believes that condemning “the lies propagated all over the world” is his moral duty.

János Szentmártoni is particularly abhorred by the example of the writer György Konrád who, in several articles published among others in the United States, stigmatized the Hungarian government as basically fascist. The President of the Hungarian Writers’ Association believes Konrád is motivated by a psychological phobia.

“We are not standing by Fidesz, but we had to give a signal: we expect Western countries and intellectuals not to question Hungary’s democratic credentials” –János Szentmártoni tells Heti Válasz.

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