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Hungary at odds with EU mainstream

October 21st, 2015

A left-wing commentator thinks pro-government critics of European leaders are simply impolite and un-European. A conservative columnist, on the other hand, feels that Hungary has been singled out for unfair treatment in western Europe. The two articles reflect a hundred year old divide that splits “progressives” and “conservatives”, those looking for models in the west versus others accusing it of bias against Hungary.

In Népszava, Péter Somfai thinks a statement by a former leading Secret Service operative who called on Chancellor Merkel of Germany to resign because “women are unfit to lead a war effort” reflects the disrespectful attitude of the governing circles towards the European Union. The Prime Minister himself, he recalls, spoke for years in acid terms about former Brussels Commissioner Viviane Reding. MEP Tamás Deutsch used vulgar language in connection with a top US State Department official (See BudaPost, August 2, 2011), while the Foreign Minister lectures leaders of friendly countries “in a style better suited to indoor football tournaments”. Somfai concludes sarcastically by admitting that he was wrong in 2004 when he thought “we will finally become Europeans.”

On Mandiner, Bence Pintér wonders how EU leaders would have reacted if a migrant had been shot dead in Hungary, given their harsh condemnation of the fence built along Hungary’s southern border and of the episode in which Hungarian police repelled an attempt by hundreds of migrants to storm through the sealed border. His remark comes in response to the case of an Afghan migrant who was accidentally shot dead by Bulgarian police after climbing through the border fence along Bulgaria’s border with Turkey. That fence was never subject to any public criticism, Pintér notes in an aside. When asked about the incident, EU commission chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said he was not informed about the details, but “we are with Bulgaria.”



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