One could continue with yesterday's topic because today Hungarian soccer fans spread the good name of Hungary in Romania! And this group is not associated with Fradi but with Újpest FC. Anyone with a burning desire to know more about Újpest can read about the club at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9Ajpest_FC About five hundred members of this illustrious fan club yelled their way to Bucharest where the team was playing against the Romanians. From the railways cars they threw beer cans at people standing at the stations, poured soft drinks on people trying to embark, showed Romanian-language posters that read "Transylvania is ours," and on the top of their lungs screamed "Gypsies, Gypsies" and "Romania is filth." Another group of fans who went by bus ended up in a Romanian hospital rather than at the soccer match. The bus driver fell asleep and had a serious accident.
But I'm moving on to Jobbik's debut in the European Parliament. While foreign papers were full of stories about the Ferencváros-Hertha match, I couldn't find anything in English-language, German, or French papers about the welcome mat laid out for the three Jobbik members of the new European Parliament. Last Saturday at the "reorganization of the Hungarian Guard" Gábor Vona, Krisztina Morvai, Csanád Szegedi and others, including a Protestant minister and a former minister of defense, donned the uniform of the Hungarian Guard to show that they belong to the organization. Szegedi vowed that he would appear in the Guard's uniform on the opening day of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. And he did. Krisztina Morvai and Zoltán Balczó were less daring. They put on a garb known as "bocskai" after István Bocskai (1557-1606), Prince of Transylvania, that became fashionable between the two world wars as a school uniform and in nationalistic middle-class circles. After the change of regime in right-wing circles the "bocskai" once again became a desirable item. Mind you, in the old days there was no female version of the "bocskai" but today there are several tailors specializing in making them. They are sold online at http://www.szabosag.com/pages/category.php?id=4
Szegedi's guardist uniform caused an outcry. First the Slovaks raised their voices. Juraj Horvath, chairman of the Slovak parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, called Szegedi's outfit "an international scandal." The Hungarian foreign minister, Péter Balázs, wasn't thrilled either. He feared that the very fact that "three representatives of the extreme right are there [in Brussels] is surely injurious to Hungary's reputation and image." Well, he wasn't joking. Krisztina Morvai will be a very active member. She spoke on the very first day. The topic was human rights violations in Iran that immediately reminded her of Hungary. She brought up the "atrocities" of the events surrounding the "celebrations" of the fiftieth anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. We know from past experience that Krisztina Morvai is not exactly a stickler for the truth. So in her speech she claimed that on October 23, 2006, hundreds were arrested and tortured while in jail. And if that weren't enough, she continued with other so-called atrocities. "In the last three years every time there were demonstrations against the government brutal police aggression occurred. Not in Iran, not in China, not in Honduras, but in a country within the European Union, in Hungary. On the last occasion, 216 peaceful demonstrators were arrested." Just to remind everybody, this was an illegal gathering of the Hungarian Guard that had been dissolved by court order earlier. She asked the help of her colleagues "to put an end to these violations of human rights." If some people thought that Morvai would change tactics in Brussels, they were certainly wrong. She will go on spreading all sorts of lies and misinformation.
After she finished the speech she passed out 100 DVDs to other parliamentary members containing videos of these atrocities. Before the films begin one can read: "The participants of the peaceful, spontaneous sit-in strike are the victims of brutal police attack." Well, we know all about these peaceful demonstrators! Morvai had to make her speech as an "independent" because even the EFD (Europe of Freedom and Democracy) caucus in which the European nationalists gather refused to admit the three Jobbik representatives. EFD is a new group consisting of representatives from Denmark (Dansk Folkeparti), Finland (True Finns), France (Mouvement pour La France), Greece (LAOS), Italy (Lega Nord), Lithuania (Order and Justice), Netherlands (Reformed Political Party), Slovakia (Slovak National Party) and United Kingdom (United Kingdom Independence Party). These parties indicated that they "don't wish to cooperate with fascists": the Hungarian Jobbik, the Greater Romania Paty of Corneliu Vadim Tudor, and the French Front National of Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Meanwhile Martin Schultz, head of the social democratic caucus, reminded the assembled members of a parliamentary rule forbidding wearing military or paramilitary uniforms in the chamber. Schultz said that as a German he was especially sensitive about clothing that reminds him of Nazism and the Holocaust. Csaba Tabajdi, an MSZP member of the European Parliament, also had a few things to say. He explained that the uniform belongs to an organization whose activities have been forbidden by the court. He called Szegedi's wearing of the uniform "an unequivocal and unacceptable provocation." He rightly pointed out that in the last five years all Hungarian members of the European parliament, independently of their party affiliations, have tried their best to be useful members of the EU parliament. "The actions of Jobbik are ruining the good name of our country. Unfortunately this isolated extremist party doesn't only discredit itself but brings shame to Hungary."
I know several people who have been trying to guess what Krisztina Morvai would do in Brussels. Some were sure that she would be quiet and well behaved because "she is smarter than that." Well, I think these people were wrong. And this is just the first day. I hate to think what else is in the offing.