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Saint Stephen's Day musings

August 20th, 2013

Commentators across the political spectrum use St Stephen’s Day to put current political developments and debates into an historical perspective. Right-wing pundits praise the government for reinstating St. Stephen’s heritage, while a left-wing columnist accuses it of completely ignoring its critics.

The new Basic Law enacted by the Fidesz government restored the heritage of St. Stephen, writes Attila Kristóf in Magyar Nemzet. The pro-government columnist stresses that King Stephen, the founder of the Hungarian state, realized that his country should be part of Christian Europe, and with the help of the Western churches, “Hungary has become part of the Jewish-Christian ethical world”. In an aside, Kristóf asserts that since its foundation 75 years ago, Magyar Nemzet has tried to live up to the intellectual heritage of St. Stephen, by preserving the traditions and independence of Hungary – values which are fundamentally linked to the heritage of both Europe and Christianity.

In contrast to their Russian, Polish, Czech and Cuban comrades, , editor-in-chief István Stefka contends in Magyar Hírlap. In order to overcome the current difficulties, the country needs to continue the government’s efforts to strengthen national pride and thus help the country get out of the current economic and moral abyss.

In Népszava, editor-in-chief Péter Németh suggests that the government ignores or even excludes those who do not agree with its politics. Németh remarks that the Orbán government has not bothered to place a single advertisement on the St. Stephen Day official commemorations in Népszava. This, Németh speculates, shows that the current government which claims to strengthen unity wants to punish dissenters and does not even bother to address left-leaning Hungarians.

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