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“Straight-Talkers”: Government Spokesman Hits Out At Politico Article Calling Hungarians “Pariahs Of Brussels”

Ferenc Sullivan 2016.05.18.

Hungarians are regularly praised in private despite being castigated in public, Hungary’s government spokesman has claimed in response to an article suggesting that Hungarians working in Brussels are the “pariahs” of Europe due to the political situation in their home country.

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“Pariahs of Brussels?” – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (L) and European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics (illustration by Lon Chan for Politico)

The criticised piece, published on the political journalism site Politico on Thursday, argued that opinions of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán are so poor in the European Union that several Hungarian working for the community’s organisation feel like “second-class citizens”. “The only way to survive in the Commission is to deny being Hungarian”, an unnamed Hungarian official claimed in the lengthy article.


“Straight-talker”: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (photo: Olivier Hoslet/MTI/EPA)

In an online response published on the site on Wednesday, Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács branded the article “incontrovertible tittle-tattle and rumor” and “a well-crafted, monumental edifice of anecdote and gossip”, citing a Brussels-based Hungarian journalist who goes under the pen-name “EUrologist,” who quotes a Belgian colleague’s incredulous reaction to Politico’s article: “I had no idea… I hope you’re okay.”

“Other — unnamed — Hungarian officials describe their country being routinely praised in private, then castigated in public. There are a lot of people in Brussels who secretly admire the way Hungarians and the Hungarian government go about things”, Mr. Kovács argues in his response, adding that “Hungarians — and the Hungarian prime minister — are known as straight-talkers. You can make enemies this way, but sooner or later you will gain admirers too — providing the talk makes sense. Perhaps this is the really shocking story waiting to be told”, he concludes.

via origo.hu and politico.eu
photo: Attila Polyák/origo.hu

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