“We cannot give up on our ability to show any humanity. But we can only practice it if we are in a position to practice it. And we have never [conflated] the refugee issue with illegal immigration. These issues are [conflated] in Brussels,” Fidesz parliamentarian and party vice-president Szilárd Németh said with a straight face at a press conference Sunday.
According to Németh, the Őcsény fiasco never happened. Or if it did, it was the result of a provocation.
“Regarding the incident in Őcsény, my opinion is known. I think it was a provocation – both the organizing of the holiday and what happened afterward. I don’t believe that the people ran around slashing tires and everything. This was a simple provocation,” Németh said.
(Németh made a strikingly similar statement over the summer when Fidesz supporters attacked a lone protester at the party’s annual Tusványos jamboree. He denied the attack had happened, but then said a provocation had occurred.)
“Similarly, we practice humanity on a very high level,” he continued. “Just look at how Hungary protects refugees. Those who successfully complete the refugee procedures in Hungary – be they children, families, those arriving alone, be they women, be they men – we fulfill our responsibilities to them on a very high level. Beyond what is prescribed in the Geneva convention and other treaties, we do everything for them.
“If they want to send on holiday children, women, or others who have fled war zones,” Németh said of the NGO that organized a holiday for refugee children, “then Hungary has programs for that. It’s the Erzsébet program (a government-sponsored program for sending kids on holiday). They can show up there and I think we’ll resolve this issue for them.”
But first, Németh said, the locals must be consulted with “because the people are not suspicious for no reason.”
“They see what’s happening in Paris. They see what’s happening in London. If there is an automobile accident in London, everyone flinches because they have experienced very serious terrorist attacks. This is what we are talking about.”
While Németh outright denied that any atrocity had been committed against the owner of the guesthouse in Őcsény (for offering to host refugee families), Prime Minister Viktor Orbán earlier openly condoned the threats and violence against the business owner.
“I cannot find anything wrong in this,” Orbán said. “People do not want to accept migrants. They do not want to accept them into their country and they do not want to accept them into their village. They have been lied to so many times about migrants that they do not believe that only children would come.”
While the prime minister and Fidesz politicians openly condone what transpired at Őcsény, opposition politicians agree that the Őcsény fiasco is the result of intensive government propaganda seeking to demonize refugees and keep Hungarian citizens in a constant state of fear.
For a more comprehensive look at what happened in Őcsény, check out our video on how state propaganda set the stage for the outbreak of violence in a Hungarian village.