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"Psychiatric case" becomes MEP

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"I would be glad if those who call themselves proud Hungarian Jews would go and play with their own little circumcised pricks instead of slurring me," says Hungarian Krisztina Morvai, a controversial newcomer to the European Parliament, who's party, Jobbik, has gained three seats in the European Parliament.
 

Ms Morvai, a pleasant-looking lawyer, made her comments on her Hungarian website just days before the European elections. She felt provoked by criticism from the Hungarian Jew Gábor Barát, managing director of a radiological institute in New York. Mr Barát referred to Ms Morvai, leader of the extreme right-wing party Jobbik, when expressing his concerns about xenophobic elements in his home country.

 

Monster
"Morvai is a psychiatric case, a monster," said Mr Barát. After which Ms Morvai put him in his place. In addition to the above quote, Ms Morvai had more in store. "We no longer tolerate your terror. We will take our country back."

 

Ms Morvai’s web contribution caused a scandal in Hungary which passed largely unnoticed in Europe. Understandably, as: who is Ms Morvai, and what is Jobbik anyway?

 

Jobbik, which has entered the European Parliament with three seats, stems from the youth movement of Hungary’s right-wing party Fidesz. Under the leadership of the charismatic historian Gábor Vona a new party was founded called Jobbik – “Movement for a better Hungary”.

 

Pramilitary guard
At the same time, Vona de Magyar Gárda founded a paramilitary guard of disgruntled Hungarians who wear uniforms similar those of the Hungarian Nazi party during the Second World War.

 

A year ago, when I was still a correspondent in Budapest, I phoned Mr Vona on his mobile. A little later we were sitting in a pavement café for an interview. However, since Sunday’s spectacular win in the European Parliament elections, Mr Vona’s mobile is impossible to reach. To get an interview you have to donate 1000 euros to the party. If your version of the interview is found to be “in order” the money is given back.

 

Noisy product of a rotten political climate
Jobbik wants to “take Hungary back from the Western capitalists who looted the country after the fall of the communist regime in 1989". Jobbik leaders regularly make anti-Semitic remarks, and they also promise to solve "the Roma problem".

 

Hungarian eurocrats and journalists in Brussels are assuming Jobbik will join the new extreme-right block in the European Parliament. With Jobbik MEP Krisztina Morvai possibly as leader. Her enemies describe her as a "monstrous, psychiatric case". Her comments are certainly repulsive. But is she really mad?

 

In Hungary, both the ruling socialists and the conservatives in the opposition have lost any credit they had. Ms Morvai is just a noisy product of a rotten political climate in a new EU member state. The European Union should do something about that as soon as possible, if it doesn’t little monsters like Ms Morvai may get big.

 

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This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011 Dutch government’s decided to cut funding and shift RNW in 2013 from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW’s current activities can be found at http://www.rnw.org/about-rnw