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Mar 15, 2017

No plans to ban Heineken or San Pellegrino under new totalitarian symbol bill

The bill would ban the use of symbols such as the swastika, the arrow cross, the sickle and hammer and the red star for commercial purposes

A bill submitted by lawmakers of the governing Fidesz-KDNP alliance would ban the use of totalitarian symbols for commercial purposes.

The bill would ban the use of symbols such as the swastika, the arrow cross, the sickle and hammer and the red star for commercial purposes 30 days after the bill’s approval although their use would not become a criminal offense until the start of next year.

Allowing the use of the symbols gives them “a kind of legitimacy”, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén and government office chief János Lázár said in the bill’s justification.

János Halász, deputy spokesman for Fidesz’s parliamentary group said the bill aimed to “eliminate [those symbols’] pollution of the visual environment”.

Halász confirmed that the bill targets Heineken’s use of a red star, among other companies and symbols, but added that the ruling parties had no intention of banning the beer. He noted that mineral water bottler San Pellegrino also features a red star on its products.