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Hungary’s expat Olympic fans

August 11th, 2012

Hungarian athletes are getting surprisingly strong backing from supporters at the Olympic Games in London. Népszabadság’s analyst believes most of them are Hungarians working in Great Britain.

At home, in London,” the title of a Népszabadság column reads, echoing  statements by scores of Hungarian sportsmen who said they almost felt at home during the Olympic events. Hungarian supporters have been especially strong in numbers (and in volume) during swimming, handball, water polo and canoeing events.

Népszabadság’s Miklós Hargitai thinks unfortunately we should not deduce from this that the Hungarian middle classes are faring so well, that they can afford lengthy stays in Europe’s most expensive capital, not to mention the high entrance fees. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of vacant seats on Budapest-London flights and the Hungarian Olympic Committee hasn’t managed to sell the tickets it was allotted by the organisers. Hargitai is therefore convinced that those enthusiastic supporters must represent the growing Hungarian community in Britain. Hungarians working in London alone must number from 80 to 150 thousand, which makes London “the number one Hungarian city west of the Danube”.

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