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Jobbik leader ready to apologize to Jews and Roma

August 17th, 2017

Both a pro-government commentator and a liberal analyst doubt if Jobbik leader Gábor Vona can convincingly distance himself and his party from Jobbik’s earlier extremist statements concerning Jews and Roma.

In an interview with ATV, Jobbik leader Gábor Vona said that Jobbik was never a racist, anti-Roma or anti-Semitic party. He would be willing, he added, to apologize to Jews and Roma for ‘wrong statements in Jobbik’s past. Mr Vona also acknowledged that his party has changed significantly and has become more moderate than it used to be.

Magyar Idők’s Zsolt Bayer thinks that Vona’s statement shows that the leader of Jobbik switches ideologies to suit his current political needs. Vona’s decision to move to the centre by moderating his party’s rhetoric is motivated by pragmatic reasons rather than conviction – and may prove as ephemeral as Vona’s previous ideologies, Bayer contends.

In Népszava, Ákos Zoltai cites liberal political analysts and opposition politicians on the same subject. Zoltai suspects that Vona’s pledge to apologize for his party’s anti-Semitic and anti-Roma statements is unlikely to convince the Roma and Jews that Jobbik has indeed rid itself of its racist ideology.

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