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Left-liberal week-end

June 26th, 2013

An independent conservative commentator condemns the organiser of an informal left-liberal meeting for expelling two critical journalists and suggests that the left-liberal élite represented there is doomed to failure. Népszabadság believes, however that such people are the only team who stand a chance of defeating the governing right wing at the next elections.

Veteran comedian author Tivadar Farkasházy invited several hundred intellectuals to meet with left-wing and liberal politicians, including MSZP Chairman Attila Mesterházy and Together-14 leader Gordon Bajnai to discuss the chances of voting PM Orbán out of office next year. The two pro-government TV stations were not allowed in and two Index reporters were expelled after publishing sarcastic remarks on the gathering.

On Mandiner, Dávid Lakner thinks the meeting in Farkasházy’s garden at Balatonszárszó, was an illustration of why Fidesz still leads the polls and is the red hot favourite to win the elections in 2014. Opposition parties are so weak they cannot resist being dictated to by people like (internationally renowned) writer György Konrád (who told Mesterházy to accept Bajnai as candidate for the post of prime minister) or Farkasházy himself. Bajnai’s claim to represent an “epochal change” sounds hollow, Lakner adds, when he casually mixes with all the representatives of the past he allegedly repudiates. On top of it all, the two journalists were expelled in full view of and without any objections by masses of intellectuals and politicians who are so proud of their fight for the freedom of information.

In Népszabadság, deputy editor Gábor Horváth disapproves of the wave of contempt sweeping through the internet after the meeting, with bloggers ridiculing the participants for different reasons, but typically because of the expulsion of the two reporters. The people gathering in that tent, he argues, may never be able to replace Viktor Orbán, but they are the only ones who stand a chance of doing so for the moment. Sarcastic comments about them amount to support for the current regime, Horváth contends. He admits that those formerly so influential people have made mistakes and may also have sinned, but not as much as the present leaders of the country – their main crime, he concludes,  was to allow Viktor Orbán to win such a sweeping majority.

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