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PM Orbán faces critics in the EP

September 12th, 2018

Hours before the Hungarian Prime Minister was scheduled to confront MEPs in Strasbourg who support the Sargentini report, commentators expressed sharply contrasting views on the matter.

The 26 page report, drafted by Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini, concludes that ‘European values are in systematic jeopardy’ in Hungary. After Tuesday’s debate, it will go to a vote on Wednesday.

On HVG.hu Mátyás Eörsi, believes that Tuesday’s confrontation is but the beginning of ‘a huge struggle’. Mr Eörsi, a former liberal MP and state secretary of foreign affairs in left-liberal governments, who is now a supporter of Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition, interprets Mr Orbán’s strife with the EU mainstream as the start of a showdown between the supporters of humanitarianism and the rule of law on the one hand and nationalists on the other. The two sides, he writes, only agree on a single point – that the future of Europe is at stake. For exactly that reason he is convinced that the nationalists are doomed to fail.

In Magyar Hírlap, Dániel Kacsoh follows his fellow pro-government columnists in describing the Sargentini report as a collection of baseless claims but focuses this time on what he calls the totally unsubstantiated accusation of racism. The report, he writes, claims that anti-Semitism is rampant and there are repeated attacks on Jewish people and their property, which is a sheer lie, he writes. That simply does not happen, Kacsoh writes. Another proof of anti-Semitism according to Ms Sargentini, he continues, is the government’s anti-Soros campaign. Is the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu also an anti-Semite, since he is also at odds with Mr Soros? Kacsoh asks. The report also writes about murderous gang violence against Gypsies as well as paramilitary groups’ patrolling in areas inhabited by the Roma. Kacsoh retorts that such things happened over ten years ago, under the former left-liberal government, but never since the incumbent government has been in office.

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