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Mar 28, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

Jobbik-LMP romance: European Green leader says it’s “crazy”

Remember all those times that international observers warned Prime Minister Orbán against any cooperation, let alone association, with the far-right, anti-Semitic Jobbik? Apparently, cooperation with the fringe isn’t a problem any longer. Because now it’s Hungary’s left-liberal Greens cozying up to the extreme right. And by their silence, many of the same people think that’s ok.

A few days ago in Strasbourg, journalists from Hungary’s HírTV channel posed a spot-on question to Ska Keller, co-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, the group comprising Hungary’s left-liberal, green LMP MEPs. 

The question was whether the European Greens will expel LMP from the party family over its cooperation with Jobbik in backing Róbert Puzsér for mayor of Budapest. The answer is shocking:

“I don’t support Jobbik, but this is a crazy situation,” Keller said.

Here’s the background: The May European Parliamentary election won’t be the only important ballot in Hungary this year. Hungarians will go to the polls this fall to elect mayors and representatives in local municipalities. The positioning is already well underway, and it has produced a disturbing alliance.

The left-liberal, green LMP, it seems, is joining far-right Jobbik in supporting the commentator Róbert Puzsér, a political outsider looking to challenge incumbent István Tarlós to become mayor of Budapest.

The response from the European Greens? Well, it’s “a crazy situation”. It’s acceptable for the Hungarian greens to team up with the anti-Semitic, far-right. We’ve seen unseemly dalliances like this recently among the Hungarian opposition (see here, here and here).

Keller may shrug her shoulders, but they and LMP should stay away from a party that ­– as revealed recently – removed one of its leading politicians in 2012 because it had turned out he hailed from Jewish ancestry. The party’s former president Gábor Vona said that “we cannot allow the gypsies to become a majority in our sacred homeland.” One of their MPs bragged online about spitting in the “Shoes on the Danube Bank,” a famous Holocaust memorial in Budapest. Photos from the Jobbik’s current president’s wedding went viral in Hungary because they showed his wife raising a Nazi salute. The current vice president made international headlines a few years ago when he suggested in parliament that a list should be drawn up of those people with Jewish ancestry who serve in the parliament or government and who pose a national security risk (watch video here).

In a world without double standards, any form of cooperation with them should come with the appropriate consequences.