Row over anti-Soros campaign

Posters have gone up all over Hungary depicting Jewish US billionaire George Soros in a way that many find reminiscent of anti-Semitic Nazi posters. Soros, who has Hungarian roots, is a key financier of NGOs and educational institutions in Eastern Europe and across the globe. Why do Orbán and other politicians see him as an enemy?

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Mérce (HU) /

Orbán and his government sowing hatred

The government-funded poster campaign will have disastrous consequences for the entire country, blogger András Jámbor writes on Kettös Mérce:

“I fear that this action targeting George Soros is just the start of a gigantic hate campaign. All self-respecting Hungarians must reject it, even if they endorse other government decisions. Because sowing such hatred harms the country, poisons hearts, impedes normal public discourse and blinds us to the country's true problems. ... What the government is doing is a crime against humanity. It's madness to publicly declare someone an enemy and to brand those who don't share the government's opinions traitors.”

Der Standard (AT) /

A pre-democratic mentality

Viktor Orbán's campaign against Soros is just one example of how he deals with the entire country from a pre-democratic perspective, Der Standard comments:

“A little anti-Semitism always produces results. Hungary has still not faced up to its participation in the Holocaust under Hitler's ally Miklós Horthy. Orbán's omnipresent new poster campaign against his favourite enemy George Soros plays with the ciphers and codes of anti-Semitism. At the same time, Orbán is no democrat. ... In his view critical media and critical voices from academic or other institutions besmirch the 'Hungarian nation' and must be banished. Like Auróra Cafe, run by a not particularly well-adjusted Jewish youth organisation, or the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, founded by George Soros.”

Magyar Idők (HU) /

Soros has the EU on a leash

In the eyes of the pro-government daily Magyar Idők George Soros is the root of all evil coming from the EU:

“No one today should harbour any more doubts about what is so obvious: George Soros is the true president of the European Commission. Soros has swallowed up the entire Union - lock, stock and barrel. Jean-Claude Juncker is nothing but a puppet of this evil string puller. The European Union and all its institutions do nothing but make decisions that please this infinitely aggressive, immensely wealthy, malicious old man. It would be too tedious to list all the examples, starting with the filthy lies surrounding the treaty infringement proceedings against Hungary, right through to the anti-Hungarian rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.”

Adevărul (RO) /

Eastern Europe's scapegoat

In Romania too, people are quick to use Soros as a scapegoat, Adevărul points out:

“Soros plays the same role for Hungary, Poland and Romania. [The head of the Romanian governing party] Liviu Dragnea has described him as a bringer of bad luck who invests huge sums of money in forces opposed to Eastern European governments in an effort to topple them. A publicly financed psychosis against Soros has been sparked in Hungary, demonising him as a potential destabilising influence. It's just strange that no prosecutor, no court and no national or international investigative authority has taken action against Soros. He merely serves as a bogeyman for regimes that can neither explain nor justify their own mistakes and arbitrary measures against their own people.”