It is becoming more and more obvious that far-right ideologies are spreading rapidly within the armed forces in general. There were signs earlier, but politicians chose to ignore the trouble that was brewing. It’s enough to think of the surprising news in May 2009 that one of the two trade unions that exist in the police force had a signed agreement of support with Jobbik. In exchange, the leader of the trade union, Tettrekész Magyar Rendőrség Szakszervezete (Trade Union of the Resolute Hungarian Police), was put on the party’s list of candidates for the European Parliament. Admittedly, this is the smaller of the two trade unions but it still represents 20% of all the policemen. There were a lot of threatening words uttered about the inappropriateness of such a political deal, but in the end there were no consequences. As usual, I must say.
The sloppy police work at the sites of the serial murders of Gypsies was suspected to be deliberate. The ordinary policemen sent out to investigate didn’t think that it was necessary to put too much energy into the deaths of some Gypsies at the end of the village. Neighbors and relatives called their attention to obvious clues, but they were ignored. That sloppy work on the spot made the discovery of the culprits very difficult.
Or, there are stories from Gyöngyöspata where eyewitnesses reported that the official policemen who were sent out seemed to be on the best of terms with members of the Véderő (Defense Force) and For a Better Future Civilian Guard, two of the illegal paramilitary organizations.
And finally here was the joint demonstration of policemen, firefighters, soldiers, and prison guards where members of the two paramilitary organizations active in Gyöngyöspata joined the demonstration organized by the trade unions. They joined with the blessing of Péter Kónya, who represented both trade unions of the police force. When he was asked in an interview whether he didn’t see anything wrong with demonstrating together with illegal paramilitary forces, he answered in the negative. They offered to support their demonstrations, and the trade unions of the armed forces welcome anyone who wants to join them.
As we can see on this photograph, the understanding between the leader of Defense Force, Tamás Eszes, a man with a criminal record, and the members of the Hungarian police was great.
Thus it is perhaps not terribly surprising that since 1990 this demonstration was the least peaceful one. The participants were noisy and threatening. Fidesz politicians were nowhere to be seen with the notable exception of Sándor Pintér, minister of the interior and former police chief, who dared to show up in front of the very belligerent crowd and promised negotiations come Monday. Since then the three-hour-long negotiations between Pintér and the leaders of the different unions achieved nothing. But at least they agreed to meet again.
Given the ideological make-up of this crowd, it is also not suprising that a home-made Israeli flag was set on fire. The alleged culprit is a fifty-eight-year-old retired fireman. He denies that he had anything to do with the burning of the flag, but one of his neighbors, when asked whether she can imagine him doing something like that, answered in the affirmative. Thus, he must have been known as an anti-semite who didn’t hide his feelings.
In brief, the Hungarian government has quite a mess on its hands. The police force visible on the streets is made up of extremely young men, many of whom are under the influence of a neo-Nazi ideology. When the chips are down, this police force might not even be loyal to the government. After all, earlier, in November 2008, the same Péter Kónya in a television interview outright threatened the Bajnai government with withdrawing loyalty from it if the members of the police force lose the extra thirteenth month pay. And anyone who thinks that Kónya and the other trade union leaders would be kinder to the Fidesz government would be wrong. At the demonstration there were plenty of anti-Fidesz signs, and the crowd was sending Viktor Orbán straight to hell just as they used to do to Ferenc Gyurcsány. Here is a telling picture:
The caption’s translation: “Until now I voted for Fidesz, I will never make that mistake again.” “Mr. Orbán, don’t increase your own wealth from our wages.”
That’s where Fidesz’s collusion with Jobbik and its propaganda within the police force against the socialist-liberal government led. Now, try to fix the situation. It won’t be easy.