Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A final addition promised at the end of the diary: on the way the government appears to use the far-right to scare the democratic opposition. On 1 February, there was an anti-fascist protest against the takeover of a theatre by a Jobbik-supporting former actor, and a counter-protest organised by the extremists right of Jobbik (but also attended by squads of the Jobbik-close paramilitaries). Although the latter wasn't declared to police, nothing was done about it. Police only closed off the protest area with metal fences – but that didn't achieve much in terms of protection, as those wanting in at the main entrance had to pass the extremists, and police didn't keep provocators from entering. The latter were led outside only once verbal scuffles turned into physical scuffles.

Here is the protest (with my back to the entrance of the theatre); the main contingent of the extremists was shouting on block away along the street in front.

Here is one of the provocators when police came to lead him outside. Previously, he and his three companions kept clasping when no one did (and not clasping when everyone else did) and shouted towards police to detain anyone who came up to him; police only acted when there was a little pushing-around, and there was no detainment.

In a leaked speech in 2008, Orbán told political science students that, once in government, he will follow the example of between-world-wars head of state József Horthy and send the far-right home from the streets after giving them two slaps on the face. Well we are still waiting for that. (And back during WWII, Horthy released the local fascist Arrowcrossers from prison after a year, then, after the Nazis got wind of his intention to change sides, he saw his country come under Nazi occupation, and when he tried to change sides in the war again, the Nazis chose to blackmail Horthy to hand power to the Arrowcrossers by kidnapping his son. Not the historical example a wannabe strongman should cite...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 05:52:13 AM EST
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