The truth about Gyöngyöspata and ethnic violence in Hungary

Recent weeks have seen a growing number of articles, lengthy reports and analyses of the international media concerned about ethnic violence in Hungary, particularly regarding the situation concerning the Gipsy minority. The growing interest of the international media was triggered by recent events in Gyöngyöspata, a village in North-Eastern Hungary. Márton Gyöngyösi MP, leader of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary responds to the most frequent lies surfacing in the international press regarding ethnic violence.

While some articles “only” painted a misleading overall picture that in Hungary the Gipsy minority has to live in fear due to the aggressive attitude of the majority population, other newspapers already issued the warning that in Hungary Gipsies are “being killed in masses by the majority Hungarian population”, of course mainly by supporters of the „racist” Jobbik Party, which party “takes it’s ideology directly from Hitler”.

Contrary to these statements the truth is that Gypsies enjoy an increased and disproportionate level of protection and care in Hungary, i.e. fall under positive discrimination. While this minority to a large extent and in the best case scenario considers social benefits and contributions as the most important source of regular income (the worse scenario being criminal activity), it is – for reasons unknown – also protected against criminal prosecution with administrative measures by the state authorities.

The Hungarian authorities – contrary, for example, to their French or Italian counterparts – do not consider deportation or forcing into ghettos and camps of gipsy criminals, but they pass legislation against those desiring public security, order and lower rate of criminality in their neighbourhoods. While we see no efforts from the side of the government to solve problems of social coexistence, Jobbik is the only political force interested in resolving criminality related tensions between the Hungarian majority and the Gipsy minority. In this regard we never considered, nor consider any act of terror as a right and justifiable measure.

The same can unfortunately not be said about our fellow Gipsy countrymen, who just recently attacked and beat four persons to near death, partially with samurai swords. Members of the Gipsy minority are becoming more and more frequently responsible for killing innocent, lonely elderly people in the countryside, brutally murdered for a minimal amount of money or – as it was the case recently – for a bottle of wine. All recent demonstrations were triggered by such brutal events, and it is simply outrageous that some news agencies consider the fearful survivors, or the neighbours of the victims – who took part in such demonstrations – as simple terrorists. Contrary to such opinions, the demonstrating crowds do not consist of "some hundreds of Ku-Klux Klan lookalike people", but of several thousands of Hungarian citizens demanding order and peace in their neighbourhoods.

The Hungarian Guard (in Hungarian Magyar Gárda), which was established as a protective force – with the objective of bringing about public security in the countryside, something that the state and police could no longer guarantee – by concerned citizens, carries no weapons, i.e. it is not a paramilitary organization – a frequent accusation and lie of the international press. It is neither responsible for any attack against Gypsies.

Contrary to several allegations it has also seen evidence in recent Court hearings that the recent directed killings against Gypsies – which interestingly reached its apex during last year’s election campaign – could by no means be linked with the Jobbik Party, as suggested often by opponents, but rather with the Hungarian state secret services. There is by now clear evidence that at least one of the suspected murderers had direct links to the secret service as an earlier employee. This of course questions the role of the Hungarian state in the execution of the Gypsy victims, with the possible objective of intensifying inter-community and inter-racial tensions within Hungary for the sake of discrediting and blackening a strengthening Jobbik.

Jobbik would also like to reject any accusations that any atrocities against Gypsies were committed by Jobbik-party members, neither on any "order" nor with hidden support of the party's leadership. Our party does not encourage nor support any violence, should it come from anybody and in any way or form. However, we do not and will not tolerate the humiliation, threatening, robbing, and killing of innocent people trying to live a humble but honest life.

Statements like that of Mr Ferenc Gyurcsány former socialist prime minister about 'Nazi-situation' only deepen ethnic tension in Hungary, since they stigmatize exactly those, mainly old and alone-living Hungarians, who are in any way unable to protect themselves or their belongings against their aggressive Gipsy neighbours. On the other hand, those who commit crimes against old people, feel encouraged to act further so, since they get political support by the likes of Mr. Gyurcsány. This is unacceptable, and Jobbik - as a party of the people - will always stand up against such tendencies.

Budapest – May 28, 2011