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Dispute over Helmut Kohl’s legacy

July 4th, 2017

A left-wing and a pro-government columnist disagree over whether or not the Hungarian Prime Minister’s vision of a Europe of nation states is in line with Helmut Kohl’s legacy.

Népszava’s Róbert Friss accuses PM Orbán of offending Helmut Kohl’s memory by claiming that the former German chancellor wanted to create a European Union of nation states. The left-wing columnist finds it tasteless of Mr Orbán to use the opportunity of the former chancellor’s death to suggest that his vision of strong nation states resembles Kohl’s vision of a unified Europe marked by respect for human rights and democracy.

In Magyar Idők, László Petrin agrees with the Prime Minister that Chancellor Kohl  advocated a European Union that serves the interests of nation states rather than superseding them. The pro-government pundit finds it peculiar that left-wing politicians and intellectuals who often criticized Kohl’s Christian conservative views and accused him of nationalism during the reunification of Germany now want to appropriate his legacy. Petrin thinks that the true ideological heir of Helmut Kohl is PM Orbán.

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