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Transborder Hungarian politician insulted by far-right protesters

May 9th, 2014

Right and left-wing commentators agree that there should be zero tolerance for far-right radicalism. They accuse Jobbik of fomenting hatred, after far-right protesters physically attacked a prominent Hungarian politician from Vojvodina.

As István Pásztor, chairman of the VMSZ, Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, the main party of the Hungarian minority in Serbia left the Parliament building on Tuesday, a group of far-right demonstrators insulted him verbally and spat in his face. The meeting was organised by former Jobbik MP Tamás Gaudi-Nagy, who through a loudspeaker, accused Mr Pásztor and other Hungarian politicians (both from the right and the left) of treason. Among others, Nagy-Gaudi harshly criticized Mr Pásztor for not demanding autonomy for Vojvodina and forming a coalition with the Serbian centre-right SNS. All parties in Parliament condemned Gaudi-Nagy, and even Jobbik distanced itself from its former MP. On Wednesday, in an interview on the main public TV channel MTV 1, Gaudi-Nagy said that “Mr Pásztor should be happy to get away this lightly, since traitors usually hang from lampposts”.

Népszabadság in a front page editorial contends that Jobbik has for long been flirting with the idea of embracing violence in politics. The leading left-wing daily recalls that Jobbik politicians before the election occasionally hinted that violence should be used to convince their opponents. In an aside, Népszabadság uses the opportunity to condemn Fidesz as well for not clearly distancing itself from harshly radical outbursts before the election.

In Magyar Nemzet, Zsuzsanna Körmendy suggests that Gaudi-Nagy should have no place in Hungarian politics after this incident. She accuses Gaudi-Nagy of trying to radicalize ethnic Hungarians living in the neighbouring countries without himself living in minority or suffering the consequences of such extreme nationalist rhetoric. The conservative columnist suspects that Gaudi-Nagy’s harsh criticism and the violent attack was motivated by his disappointment over the low support Jobbik got from transborder voters in the April election. Körmendy believes that the incident and Jobbik’s decision to delegate a former skinhead to become Deputy Speaker of Parliament (see BudaPost May 8) foreshadow increasingly radical symbolic stunts from the far-right.

Gaudi-Nagy and other radical “sickos” can be tolerated no longer, Zsolt Bayer fulminates in Magyar Hírlap. The pro-government commentator contends that Gaudi-Nagy’s rhetoric and violence “cannot be part of normal life or democracy”. Although Jobbik distanced itself from Gaudi-Nagy’s performance, Bayer believes that his rhetoric is fully in-line with Jobbik’s main messages and language. In conclusion, Bayer demands that the “potential murderer” Gaudi-Nagy be banned from Hungarian public television.

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