New York Times
„Unlike Greece, Hungary has a history of fascist groups, including the Hungarian National Front, an anti-Semitic, anti-Roma group that established an annual international neo-Nazi event and regularly holds paramilitary training exercises on a former Soviet military base (»an incubator for the Breivik-type people,« says Mr. Domina, referring to the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik). Since Hungary’s economic crisis began, new extremist groups have emerged and the Hungarian National Front has gained national prominence.
In 2009, Jobbik, a self-described »radically patriotic Christian party« with an affiliated militia, entered Hungary’s Parliament. To rally its base, the party often relies on hate marches and intimidation campaigns that stoke racist fervor. While Jobbik has traditionally tried to distance itself from more extreme groups, its true colors were on display at an August rally in the village of Devecser, where a Jobbik member of Parliament delivered the opening address. Subsequent speeches from other groups grew increasingly violent, climaxing in a tirade about »how the Roma people have to die and you have to kill them and we have to clean out the country,« as one witness recalled. The crowd eventually began throwing stones at Roma houses, chanting »you will die« and vowing to return.
Hungary’s ruling center-right party, Fidesz, is eager to win back some far-right voters it lost to Jobbik, so it won’t push back. Since being elected in 2010, Fidesz has pursued its own campaign of democratic rollback. Gerrymandered election districts, centralized control over the courts and the press and a new Constitution that dismantles checks and balances have caused discomfort in Brussels. In February, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes threatened to initiate proceedings that could strip Hungary of its European Union voting rights due to its controversial media laws. But that hasn’t happened yet — most likely because Brussels lacks enforcement mechanisms short of this »nuclear option.«
European leaders must not cede the battleground in the war of ideas. They should publicly denounce parties that espouse racist doctrines and spew hate-filled rhetoric and clearly define and defend the shared values of an increasingly integrated Europe.”