Civil Unity Forum (CÖF), a pro-government civil organization that spent hundreds of millions on billboards across Hungary ridiculing left-wing opposition candidates in the run-up to April’s general elections, has reacted to press reports that it was ordered by the government not to organize a counter-demonstration to Sunday’s protest against plans to introduce a special tax on internet providers.
CÖF leader László Csizmadia, who also happens to be the government official responsible for deciding which NGOs receive government funding, said his organization wants to know “which top Fidesz official might have falsely informed journalists about the government ordering us not to organize a mass-rally”. He also wrote in a statement that the idea of a new rally “was formulated by one of our leaders and emblematic faces, András Bencsik”, while emphasizing that “we have never received any directives whatsoever from Fidesz or Christian Democrats to organize or postpone any of our marches”. Csizmadia added that were his organization to receive such a request, it would “consider it just like any other request we receive”.
CÖF resists with all its might those who are inciting a civil war as well as the covert conspiracy the opposition in the European Parliament is engaging in as these activities border on treason of the motherland. […] if a Peace March is needed we will organize one yet we do not want to fall for the political slacking-up (fellazitás) that is well-known from Communist times. […] interference into our domestic issues by American “Democrats” cannot push our country back into the darkness of neo-liberalism following an unfolding new dawn of the nation after so much destitution.
The term “slacking-up” CÖF uses was previously used exclusively by pre-1989 Communist party-state and secret service official sources in reference to Western espionage and political interference during the Cold War years.
Nevertheless, so-called “Peace March” (Békemenet) organizers postponed the organization of a new pro-government rally on the grounds that “the country now needs calm more than ever” in the wake of Sunday’s and Tuesday’s demonstrations. They also cite All Hallows Day (1 November) and All Saints Day (2 November) as “days of silent atonement” not to be disturbed with a political manifestation.
Previously, CÖF had announced a new pro-government rally to stand against what they called the “American Empire”. The civil organization reportedly received a vast amount of support in recent years from businessmen close to Fidesz as well as the government itself. Recently, HVG Online reported that their services “would send the wrong” message in the US-Hungarian diplomatic discussions during a deepening political crisis.
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