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May 23, 2022



Hungary: Hundreds protest governing party over anti-Romani commentary

Budapest, Hungary, 14.1.2013 16:42, (ROMEA - UPDATED)
The demonstration held in Budapest yesterday, 13 January 2013, against a member of the Fidesz party who authored a racist attack against Romani people. (Photo:  Facebook).
The demonstration held in Budapest yesterday, 13 January 2013, against a member of the Fidesz party who authored a racist attack against Romani people. (Photo: Facebook).

Several hundred supporters of the opposition in Hungary demonstrated yesterday against racist statements made about the Romani minority by a co-founder of the conservative governing party Fidesz in front of the party's headquarters in Budapest. The protest was organized by the Democratic Coalition group of former socialist PM Ferenc Gyurcsányi.

Last week there was some public outcry over a newspaper article authored by Zsolt Bayer, now a commentator, in which he compared Romani people to animals. Bayer was responding to news reports of a brawl in a village pub during Christmas during which several Romani people stabbed a group of athletes, one of whom lost his life.

"A significant part of the Romani population does not know how to adapt to society. They are not fit to live among people. These Roma are animals and behave like animals," Bayer wrote in the daily Magyar Hírlap.

Bayer's commentary also condemned the Western world for its "political correctness", which he claimed was excusing Romani people. He then added fuel to the fire with another column in which he wrote that he was "calling for order", saying orderly "Gypsies" could live in Hungary but that others should be "excluded from society".

Agence France-Presse reports that yesterday's demonstrators began their march in front of the headquarters of the governing party carrying the flags of the European Union and Hungary. Many were carrying banners reading "I am Romani too". They demanded that Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán make a statement on the issue and that Bayer be expelled from Fidesz.

"If the prime minister remains silent, he is betraying fundamental rights," declared Ágnes Vadai of the Democratic Coalition. Romani people represent 7 % of Hungary's 10 million inhabitants.

Several speakers requested that Orbán should take a stand on the comments of his confidant Bayer. Furthermore they demanded that Bayer should be excluded from the right-wing Fidesz party. The head of the government has remained mute about the comment of his friend. Hungary is in a deep economic crisis, and Orbán is seen as a controversial figure, both abroad and within the country. Demonstrations in support of Orbán, which in the past year was attended by more than 100,000 people, were initiated, among others, by Bayer.

It is not Bayer’s first verbal faux pas. Last year, a blonde policewoman had been raped and murdered. After the suspect, a Roma, had been arrested, Bayer wrote: “We have to say it: The bestial murderer was a gypsy. In Hungary millions of people are getting robbed, humiliated, beaten, and murdered by gypsies. If the Gypsy community is unable to eradicate this mentality of their race, it is clear: one cannot live with them together.”

Bayer is also known for racist remarks about Jews. In an article that was published in 2011, he described Jews as “stinking excrement”, 2008, he disparaged Jews because they “blow their noses in the pools of Hungary”.


Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert; Spiegel Online, translated by Corinna Wiedel
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Aktuality, Demonstrace, Evropa, Anticiganismus, Cigáni, Romové, Extremism, Hungary, news, Roma, world


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