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Must-read stories for those who want to know what’s happening in Hungary after the elections
“Voters had a wide range of political options, but intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric, media bias, and opaque campaign financing constricted the space for genuine political debate,” said Douglas Wake, the head of the O.S.C.E. mission in Hungary.
The streets of the Hungarian capital have come to resemble a far-right Facebook page, crammed full of posters and billboards that use the crude visual language of internet memes to attack the enemies, real and imagined, of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
The daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet was shut down on Tuesday. It published its last issue on Wednesday. It was the last non-state-influenced daily newspaper left in the country.
Four and a half years to the day after its launch, The Budapest Beacon is publishing its final article today in the form of an exit interview with Budapest Beacon managing editor Richard Field.
The journalists recalled how the network would focus on negative stories about refugees and migrants, linking them to crime and terrorism. On the eve of polling M1 channel incorrectly reported a van driving into a crowd of people in Münster, Germany, as an Islamist terrorist attack.
Hungary isn’t really an anti-immigrant country. In 2016, the latest year for which official data are available, 23,803 foreigners moved there, and the numbers have been stable since before Prime Minister Viktor Orban came to power in 2010.
The protests, held in Budapest and several other cities, are unlikely to prompt the newly elected government to change course, but they reflect the deep divisions in this Central European country that has been at the forefront of a regional drift away from liberal Western values.