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George Soros confronts the charges

November 22nd, 2017

A left-wing columnist accepts Mr Soros’s claim that the charges levelled against him are untrue and complains about the success of lies in politics. Her pro-government counterpart rejects Mr Soros’s view that PM Orbán is running a mafia-state and calls him a mafioso.

On Monday, the Open Society Foundations, the Hungarian branch of an international network of foundations founded by Hungarian-American businessman George Soros released a statement confuting the seven statements contained in the government’s National Consultation questionnaire about illegal immigration. The Foundations find four of the statements distortions of reality, while the remaining three are described as ‘lies’. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Soros accused Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of building a mafia-state.

In Népszava, Judit N. Kósa agrees with the Open Society Foundation and finds the government guilty of lying to the public. She recalls that former (then Socialist) Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány lost his job after admitting that he and his government had lied to the public. (He made his famous Őszöd speech in 2006 and resigned in the wake of the financial crisis, in 2009.) Kósa believes that Mr Gyurcsány’s speech should not be regarded as the confession of a real lie, since he merely wanted to change the way the country had been run until then. By contrast, she finds the incumbent government lying on all seven points of the Soros-questionnaire. Kósa recalls the first period of democratic Hungary in the early nineties, and asserts that lies would have been punished at that time. Hungary has sunk this deep since then, she asserts.

In Magyar Idők, Zsolt Bayer suggests that the Open Society Foundations only found a single incorrect statement in the questionnaire – Mr Soros had changed his view since he first proposed in 2015 that Europe should host a million immigrants and reduced that number to 300,000 per year. ’Hurray!’ he adds in brackets. Otherwise, Bayer writes, the statements of the questionnaire stand. What he finds especially controversial, however, is Mr Soros’s accusation that Mr Orbán is building a mafia state. ‘Mr Soros is himself a mafioso’, he fumes, recalling the investor’s role as a 14-year-old assistant to an official confiscating Jewish property during Hungary’s Nazi occupation, as well as some of his currency manoeuvres for which he became persona non-grata in several countries.

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