Long-time advisor to Victor Urban He resigned in protest of a “pure Nazi speech” by the Hungarian prime minister that was “worthy of Goebbels”.
Zsuzsa Hegedos, one of Orban’s longest-serving advisers, has known the prime minister since 2002 and described her relations with him as cordial. However, in her resignation letter – published by the Hungarian News Agency hvg.hu On Tuesday – she said she has become increasingly uncomfortable with Orbán’s “illiberal turn” in recent years.
Orbán has made anti-immigration rhetoric a central part of his political platform since 2015, often using far-right language, but Saturday’s speech – where he spoke out against “racial promiscuity” – he was an extremist even by his standards.
In the speech, Orban said that mixing of Europeans was acceptable, but that mixing of Europeans with non-Europeans created people of “mixed races”.
“We are willing to mingle with each other, but we do not want to become people of mixed races,” Urban said. He added that the countries that considered this acceptable “are no longer countries.”
Hegedus said she has long defended the prime minister against accusations of anti-Semitism, but believes his latest rhetoric is untenable. “I am deeply sorry that such a disgraceful attitude has forced me to break up our relationship,” she wrote.
Orbán’s office published his response to Hegedüs in which he accepted her resignation, but denied that he was a racist.
“You can’t be serious about accusing me of racism after 20 years of working together. You know better than anyone at Hungary My government has a zero-tolerance policy for anti-Semitism and racism.”
Orbán’s speech, which he gave at an event in Beli ósnad, Romania, where he had traditionally given an annual keynote speech, elicited an immediate backlash within Hungary and abroad.
Such criticism is nothing new, and Orbán thrives on his portrayal as a fighter against so-called political correctness and European liberal elites. However, resignations on matters of principle from his inner circle are extremely rare, and they show that even among some parts of the Right there is concern about the development of his discourse on race.
Next week Urban is scheduled to travel to Dallas, where he will open CPAC Texas, a gathering of American conservatives. Urban counts former US President Donald Trump among his many admirers on the American right.
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