2.6.2014, Newsweek – The Return of the Dictators

2.6.2014, Newsweek – The Return of the Dictators

It’s a bright spring afternoon in Freedom Square in downtown Budapest. Lampposts are covered with posters for the opposition parties which had contested the European elections last weekend. Protesters are gathering, loudly railing against Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister, accusing his right-wing government of lies, dishonesty and hypocrisy.

The object of their anger is a half-finished statue, covered with tarpaulins and protected by police and burly security guards. The square has for weeks been the focus of flash-mobs, demonstrations and occasional mild scuffles. The statue, which is due to be unveiled by May 31st, commemorates the invasion of Hungary by Nazi Germany in March 1944. The archangel Gabriel, representing an innocent and virtuous Hungary, is being savaged by a giant eagle, representing Nazi Germany. The monument commemorates all the victims of German occupation and so is “morally exact and immaculate” says Orbán.

Opposition, liberal and Jewish groups disagree. Hungary, they point out, was a willing ally of the Nazis and more than 500,000 Hungarian Jews perished in the Holocaust.

Hungary is under the spotlight, but endemic corruption, crony capitalism, a winner-takes-all political culture, fusion of ruling party and state, attacks on the free media, rising hatred against Jews and Roma are regional phenomena.

Source (English language): http://www.newsweek.com/return-dictators-252864

 

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