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July 1, 2022



Hungary faces harsh criticism for anti-democratic developments, including anti-Gypsyism and anti-Semitism

16.6.2015 0:09
The flag of Hungary.
The flag of Hungary.

On 9 June the Council of Europe’s expert group on racism and intolerance (ECRI) called for action to fight prejudice in Hungary as it released a report condemning the country. The report finds that “a radical right-wing populist party openly engages in anti-Roma, antisemitic, homophobic and xenophobic hate speech”.

Both anti-Gypsyism and anti-Semitism have been extensively documented in the speech of Jobbik, the far-right party that won 20.54 % of the vote in the 2014 parliamentary election and whom the authorities do not criticize. In 2012, for example, a Jobbik MP called for lists of people of Jewish ancestry to be drawn up, claiming that they represented a security risk.

The ECRI report includes more than 20 recommendations on how to improve the drastic situations of asylum-seekers, LGBT persons and the Roma in Hungary. A second blow to the country's reputation was then delivered on 10 June, when the European Parliament called on the European Commission to “immediately initiate an in-depth monitoring process on the situation of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary and to report back on this matter to the European Parliament and Council before September 2015”.

Euronews has reported that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban last month with the greeting "Hello, Dictator" - reportedly in jest. The ECRI report, however, talks about a climate of impunity for hate speech across the political spectrum in Hungary.

The Hungarian Government has been waging an official campaign against immigration, according to Euronews. Billboards there reportedly warn newcomers not to take jobs away from Hungarians and to show respect for the law.

Euronews quoted Orban as responding to the issue as follows:  "Hungary and the European Union have very good reasons to deal with the issue of economic migration. I am convinced that the European Commission proposal on the table is absurd, bordering on insanity.”

agw, Council of Europe, Euronews
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