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Pröhle ‘will keep his seat’

August 16th, 2018

A conservative critic of the government believes political skirmishes are often petty personal showdowns. As an example, he quotes the attacks on the director of the Budapest Literary Museum who, to his knowledge was personally defended by PM Orbán.

In Magyar Hang, the weekly launched by former Magyar Nemzet journalists, István Dévényi warns that not all political attacks by pro-government individuals should be seen as expressions of government policy. In a series of articles, Magyar Idők commentators have criticised government-appointed managers of cultural institutions, including Szilveszter Ókovács the director of the State Opera and Gergely Pröhle, director of the Petőfi Literary Museum, for their alleged ‘lenience’ toward liberal authors. This was widely believed to herald government crackdown on those  named (see BudaPost, July 23). Dévényi quotes unnamed sources who say that Miklós Kásler, the new Minister of Human Resources was indeed about to sack Pröhle, before he was apparently reprimanded by PM Viktor Orbán in person. The Minister risked his job, Dévényi writes, because he mistook an article in Magyar Idők as a politically motivated ‘prompt’ from above.

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