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Australian Hungary report criticised

March 17th, 2014

An independent conservative blogger is outraged by an Australian news report depicting Hungary as a country swarming with Nazi-like far-right militias who enjoy the obvious connivance of the Prime Minister.

On Mandiner, deputy editor Gellért Rajcsányi says he has grown accustomed to western reports being mistaken in their facts and judgements about Hungary, but the latest finally blew his fuse. The lead of an article posted on the homepage of the ABC Australian public broadcasting company, describes the situation in Hungary in terms of “Ultra-nationalism, anti-Semitism, censorship and violent intimidation”. The picture illustrating the article shows a group of Hungarian Guardsmen during an anti-Gypsy march in Budapest. The images were shot in 2007, under the previous (left-wing) government while the Hungarian Guard was disbanded under the incumbent one. What Rajcsányi finds most revolting, however, are the allegations of anti-Semitism addressed to the conservative government. According to the author “Hungary has displayed the sort of public anti-Semitism not witnessed on the continent since the end of the Second World War.” Rajcsányi remarks that while anti-Semitism unfortunately does exist, such statements seem “a bit exaggerated in the light of what happened in another European country (France) where a rabbi was assassinated and a synagogue set on fire. He particularly deplores a statement by Kim Lane Scheppele, a Princeton Law professor who has published many articles criticising the constitutional changes introduced by the right-wing government over the past four years (See BudaPost, 17 June 2013 and 5 March 2014). Dr Scheppele told the Australian reporter that when PM Orbán blames the banks, in reality he is sending an anti-Semitic message. “He does with this coded ‘and you all know who the bankers are, they are the Jews.’ He doesn’t say it but it’s all this rhetoric, that everyone knows exactly what this means.” Rajcsányi thinks those allegations are too absurd for him to rebuke them. He only remarks that in comparison with Dr Scheppele, Rui Tavares, author of a famous critical European Parliament report about Hungary sounded “quite sober” in his answers to the Australian reporter.

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