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Lionel Messi and the Olympics as campaign themes in Hungary

August 12th, 2021

Events which appear to have no connection whatsoever to Hungary, or on which a national consensus seems to exist, are used by politically committed commentators to discredit their opponents.

In Népszava, Attila Vincze is outraged by Barcelona’s decision to get rid of its iconic and faithful player, the best footballer in the world. Meanwhile, he admits that the Catalan club had no other option than to refuse to renew its contract with Lionel Messi. In fact, on account of vast overspending by the previous management, it is deep in debt and its expenses still exceed its income. Vincze congratulates the Spanish government for not even thinking of intervening to rescue Barcelona. Luckily enough, he sarcastically concludes, the soccer team from Felcsút (the PM’s birthplace, which plays in the National League) doesn’t have to fear any such cold indifference on the part of the government.

Meanwhile in his daily short pungent Magyar Hírlap piece on Wednesday, Dániel Galsai vituperates against opposition parties who, in his words, are at a loss in the face of Hungary’s successful Olympians. While their leaders, he explains, go out of their way to welcome the medal winners at Tokyo, some of their activists don’t recoil from denigrating the country’s efforts to support its champions. Galsai thinks the leaders know that the bulk of the population are enthusiastic about the 20 Hungarian medals in Tokyo, they also play for the invidious and frustrated people filling the pubs. This is why, he thinks, Géza Homonnay, an opposition activist and supporter of the Democratic Coalition, condemns the government for overspending on professional sports while research-and-development is underfinanced.

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