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Young people collect signatures against Budapest’s Olympic bid

February 1st, 2017

Left-liberal commentators resolutely oppose the government’s plans to host the 2024 Olympic Games, but are undecided about Momentum (Momo for short), the movement founded by Hungarian graduates of British universities who are promoting a referendum against the project.

On Kettős Mérce, András Jámbor  supports the initiative aimed at compelling the City Council via referendum to withdraw its candidacy. He argues that the gigantic Olympic project is s surrogate intended to hide the lack of a real project from the government on ways to offer welfare and progress to the population.

On HVG.hu, András Hont excoriates the editor of Demokrata, who called the opponents of the Olympic bid ‘traitors’ to their country. Hont prefers to argue with András Bencsik rather than handing down a moral sentence to him. and declares that the editor of Demokrata is not a traitor to Hungary. However, in his closing sentence he uses a vulgar term to characterise him. (“He is only a d.ck”.)

Meanwhile, Momo leaders have been severely criticised by a veteran left-liberal opinion leader for rejecting advances by Socialist leaders, whom they consider responsible for the degradation of the public sphere in Hungary. On ATV, satirical writer Tivadar Farkasházy compares them to Fidesz founders who during the years of the régime change refused to take sides in the feud between the left and nationalist conservatives, accusing the former of having “stolen anything they could lay their hands on”. He accuses those one time ‘third-roaders’ of having since created the most corrupt regime in the world.

In Magyar Nemzet, Albert Gazda is not convinced by Momo’s rhetoric, but does not exclude the possibility that they prove attractive to future generations. Their target group are the youth of Hungary, and it will be up to them to side with Momo or reject them – just as he recognised the promise of the future in Fidesz in his own youth, when his father’s generation was unimpressed by Fidesz.