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Bernard-Henri Lévi meets PM Orbán

April 12th, 2019

After the famous French philosopher, a vocal critic of the Hungarian Prime Minister, spent two hours with Viktor Orbán, newspapers extensively quote his critical remarks and three outlets carry commentaries criticising Lévy.

Media outlets quote Mr. Lévy as saying that Mr. Orbán has killed his earlier self and that he is building a ‘neo-communist and autocratic regime’. Népszava quotes him as dismissing the claim that Mr Orbán is in control of an all-European populist movement. He thinks the Hungarian Prime Minister is the most charismatic of the ‘populist’ leaders, and that he is sincere in what he says about illiberalism or about the harm he says George Soros might cause to Hungary.

In an interview with RTL TV Mr Lévy said the Hungarian Prime Minister was ‘an autocrat but not a fascist’ and called Hungary ‘a free country but not a democracy’.

On Mérce, anti-government activist Márton Gulyás lambasts Lévy for peacefully meeting with the Prime Minister instead of vocally standing up for the cause of the Academy of Sciences, which he describes as being under attack by the government. He calls Lévy a pathetic celebrity who is only concerned about his own public image.

On Azonnali, Gábor Kardos calls Lévy’s performance ‘a piece of pornographic democracy’. The famous Frenchman came to the periphery of the Empire to tell Hungarians the truth, he writes, and finds it humiliating that the Hungarian opposition has welcomed him as if he was their saviour. In actual fact, Kardos writes, Lévy has played Mr Orbán’s game, for by receiving him, the Prime Minister could appear in the role of a highly tolerant statesman.

On  Pesti Srácok, Gergő Szabó asks why Bernard-Henri Lévy deserves the adulation of left-liberals in Hungary. The only reason he can fathom is that the French liberal philosopher harshly attacks Hungary’s Prime Minister, who has just received him and talked to him for two hours.

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