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Magyar Idők published as Magyar Nemzet

February 7th, 2019

Four years after its transformation into a government-critical daily, and nine month after it was closed down, Magyar Nemzet has been relaunched by the editors of Magyar Idők. It is practically Magyar Idők with just the title being changed. The new Magyar Nemzet claims that it will stand for national sovereignty. A left-wing critic believes it will function as a government mouthpiece.

Magyar Nemzet in its first editorial announces that the daily will return to its historical roots. In 1938, Magyar Nemzet was founded as a conservative daily advocating national sovereignty and opposing war, the editors write. They pledge that Magyar Nemzet will return to its mission of leading a “spiritual freedom fight” that was abandoned on February 6, 2015 when Lajos Simicska transformed the daily into a media outlet critical of the government.

Népszava’s Judit Kósa sees the relaunching of Magyar Nemzet as a symbolic victory for PM Orbán. The left-wing columnist likens the takeover of Magyar Nemzet to Hitler’s ceremonial re-enactment of the 1918 Compiègne armistice in 1940 after the invasion of France. Kósa suspects that by relaunching Magyar Nemzet on the fourth anniversary of Lajos Simicska’s theatrical lunge against PM Orbán, the government wants to send a clear message to all renegades.