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Reding accused of plotting against Hungary

June 20th, 2013

A left-wing commentator dismisses a report in the leading pro-government daily about an alleged EU-scheme to question the legitimacy of the 2014 election, as a classical conspiracy theory. A conservative pundit, on the other hand, suggests that whatever was actually discussed, meetings of top European politicians and the business elite behind closed doors weaken the democratic image of Europe.

On Monday June 18, EU Human Rights Commissioner Viviane Reding was reported by Magyar Nemzet as saying that she would do her best to contest the legitimacy of the next parliamentary elections in Hungary, scheduled for May 2014. Quoting an anonymous Italian official of the European Commission, Magyar Nemzet’s Brussels correspondent István Lovas wrote that Ms Reding, an ardent, long-standing critic of the Orbán government (see BudaPost) told the exclusive Bilderberg Club meeting in Hertfordshire earlier this month that she had already reached an agreement with US-financed Hungarian NGOs, who would claim to have discovered secret cameras in voting booths. The leading pro-government daily added that Reding had assured the distinguished audience, which included several European prime ministers, Finance Ministers, EC chairman José Manuel Barroso, IMF chief Christine Lagarde and several business leaders, that the international press would launch a media campaign claiming that the Orbán government weakens democratic institutions. The alleged campaign would be aimed at strengthening Gordon Bajnai, leader of the Together 2014 left-liberal party. On Wednesday, the Commissioner flatly denied having ever said anything similar to what has been attributed to her by Magyar Nemzet’s anonymous source.

In Népszabadság, Gábor Horváth contends that the Magyar Nemzet report amounts to a “full-fledged conspiracy theory” reminiscent of the classic anti-Semitic themes on alleged secret cabals of shadow world-leaders and their plots. The left-wing commentator believes that what he considers a fabrication of Magyar Nemzet shows just how much Fidesz is afraid of independent election monitors. According to his reading, the story is meant to pre-empt criticism by independent observers about the lack of transparency at the 2014 election.

The Magyar Nemzet report is relevant even if there is no way to verify its main statements, Ferenc Hörcher comments in Mos Maiorum. Although one should not take statements made by unnamed sources for granted, the simple fact that European politicians meet influential business leaders behind closed doors is itself problematic, the conservative pundit believes. Hörcher points out that transparency is one of the core principles of the EU, and thus the exclusive meeting of politicians and the business elite can weaken the democratic image of the European Union.

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