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Weeklies on extremist street violence in Budapest

February 20th, 2023

A conservative and a centrist columnist fear that the violence perpetrated by extremist groups could be followed by more turbulence and uncertainty in Hungary.

In Magyar Demokrata, Balázs Ágoston accuses left-wing ideological elites of being complicit in the radicalization of extremist anti-fascist groups, and, consequently, in their violent acts (see BudaPost February 14 and 15). The conservative commentator thinks that “the bored children of middle-class families” translate into practice the views of mainstream left-wing ideologues who stick the ‘fascist’ label on anyone who considers nation and national identity important. Ágoston also accuses the German secret services of responsibility for the violent acts in Budapest because, while they prevented far-right activists from leaving Germany, they failed to stop members of left-wing extremist groups traveling to Hungary. He concludes by suggesting that radical left-wing antifa groups should be considered terrorist organizations, and all Hungarians should denounce violence committed by foreigners on Hungarian individuals, regardless of their political views.

In Magyar Hang, Tamás Koncz finds all violence unacceptable, even if it targets far-right radicals. The moderate columnist sees no difference between the brutal and aggressive acts of far-left antifascists on far-right extremists and the attacks by the latter against the Roma and immigrants. Koncz finds it distressing and alarming that a bunch of violent extremists could revive the atmosphere of Berlin in the 1920s, which was marked by daily clashes between far-right and far-left extremist groups. Koncz fears that violence and hatred could easily get out of hand during a time of uncertainty, in which many fear the war on Hungary’s doorstep could turn into a Third World War.

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