Propaganda machine

Viktor Orban lied: the Hungarian government does not have a list of ‘Soros mercenaries’

The government of Hungary knows George Soros’s mercenaries by name – said Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban a little more than a week before the elections, on March 30 during his usual weekly Friday morning radio address. He suggested that the government has information on people paid by Soros who are working against his government. Now it is clear that it was a lie and that the source of this fake story is a heavily edited voice recording by the newspaper Magyar Idők.

The day after Orban made the above statement, Atlatszo filed a freedom of information request with the Prime Minister’s Office, asking for details of the list. We asked who was in charge of the list and what is the legal basis for compiling such a list.

We received an answer on April 18 in which the Prime Minister’s Office told us that they do not handle such data. They also told us that you cannot file a freedom of information request to ask which law allowed for the list of names to be compiled.

Benedek Jávor, Hungarian MEP from the Párbeszéd (Dialogue) party also filed two freedom of information requests. He asked both the Ministry of the Interior and the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister to give him the list of the 2000 Soros-mercenaries that was reported in the media.

Jávor published the answer he got on his Facebook page at the end of this week. The Ministry of the Interior said that they were not handling such data.

The answer from the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister (nicknamed Propaganda Ministry by Hungarians because it is responsible for communications, including all the anti-Soros and anti-immigration ads) is more revealing.

The Cabinet Office’s answer says that ‘according to press reports’ Tracie Ahern, the Chief Financial Officer at Soros Fund Management LLC said that approximately two thousand people work for ‘Soros’s foundations.’

The Cabinet Office continued, telling the MEP, ‘Ahern admitted that these foundations are used to influence politics. Considering that you yourself used to work for an organization financed by George Soros, we suggest that you turn to Tracie Ahern with your questions’.

This means that Orban’s words about the Hungarian government knowing Soros’s ‘mercenaries’ is fake. There is no list.

In the interview mentioned above, Tracie Ahern said that two thousand people worked for George Soros’s foundations globally – that is, not in Hungary alone.

The news report and the recording that the Cabinet Office is citing in its answer were published by newspaper Magyar Idők on March 23. Magyar Idők serves as the Orban government’s mouthpiece.   

The cited recording of Ahern was heavily edited by Magyar Idők and they did not include the word ‘globally’ in the captions they provided.

This was the version that the entire media empire that is loyal to Orban started to spread – and this edited voice recording was the source of the anti-Soros words of government members.

This means that their statements about the list of Soros ‘mercenaries’ were lies.

Written by Katalin Erdélyi
English version by Anita Kőműves, editing by Clare Humphreys.

You can read the original, Hungarian-language story here.

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