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Hungary shuts the border

March 19th, 2020

A pro-government columnist welcomes the government’s decision to shut down Hungary’s borders. His left-wing counterpart suggests that border closure is just another propaganda stunt and the government is not helping Hungarians cope with the coronavirus epidemic.

Magyar Nemzet’s Levente Sitkei welcomes the government’s decision to close Hungary’s borders as a reasonable decision that marks a ’return to normalcy’. The pro-government commentator believes that such measures are necessary to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  Sitkei takes the current emergency as proof that Europe is not a unified political entity and nation states alone are able to act in case of crisis. The coronavirus situation shows that ‘there are no European interests and values,’ Sitkei contends.

Népszava’s Zoltán Batka accuses the government of ignoring reality and leaving Hungarians in need behind. The government, the left-wing columnist suggests, has been waging wars against all kinds of imagined enemies over the past years while claiming in its propaganda to be defending Hungary from all kinds of putative threats. Under the pretext of defending sovereignty, he continues, the government has weakened education, persecuted the scientific community and bled the health care system dry. As a direct result, Hungary is defenseless against ‘this tiny virus’, he suggests. Batka contends that the government’s decision to close the border is just another propaganda stunt that does not stop the coronavirus epidemic. Hungarians have been abandoned by their government to do battle with the pandemic alone, he claims.

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