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Coming out on Gyurcsány’s thesis

May 2nd, 2012

Following on the heels of left-wing criticism of former Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány,  for his very own plagiarism scandal, a centrist analyst tentatively suggests that Hungary might finally profit from the elimination of double standards. A columnist close to Gyurcsány suggests, however that the plagiarism case may be a fabrication, while a Népszabadság blogger argues that the burden of proof is on Gyurcsány now.

The new plagiarism scandal broke over the weekend when HírTV aired that Gyurcsány’s 1984 thesis could be a copy of his former brother-in-law’s paper (see BudaPost May 1st).

Political analyst Gábor Török asks in a short comment on his blog if such an obvious similarity between the two plagiarism cases can help Hungary overcome its long tradition of double standards. He notes how expressions used by the right in the Schmitt case (see BudaPost, January through April) are recycled by Gyurcsány when he claims he is victim of a political assassination campaign

Zsolt Gréczy, Gyurcsány’s informal PR chief warns in his blog that too many people are ready to jump to conclusions. He claims the very fact that the thesis is missing is an . „Who’s interest is it?,” he asks. „And even if it were to be found, who knows if it shall have received some touch-ups?” The story serves to avert attention from corruption charges against Orbán and his entourage, he concludes.

Péter Pető, a political blogger at Népszabadság says in view of the identical titles, Gyurcsány’s claim that he is persecuted is outrageous. The burden of proof is on Gyurcsány now; if he did plagiarize there must be consequences beyond a call for resignation from his parliamentary seat. If the charges are true, Gyurcsány is finished, once and for all, the left-wing commentator concludes.

Zsófia Mihancsik in a blogpost on Galamus.hu claims the two cases of plagiarism are not comparable, for Schmitt was fifty years old when he plagiarized his doctoral thesis, while Gyurcsány was in his early twenties when he graduated from the teachers’ college. The in-laws, she adds, follow the logic of vengeance which is Fidesz strategy in its purest form. Submitting the thesis of someone else is not the right thing to do, Mihancsik argues, but we should not judge Gyurcsány after his doings twenty years ago, just as we do not judge Orbán based on what he was and did decades back.

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