A prominent Hungarian commentator who has been widely accused of writing antisemitic articles has said that Gypsies are “animals” that “shouldn’t be allowed to exist”.
Zsolt Bayer is a close friend of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and a co-founder and former chief spokesman of the Fidesz party. While Bayer does not hold an official position within the party, he is known as someone who often accurately captures the mood of its followers.
His latest diatribe was prompted by a New Year’s Eve stabbing in Szigethalom, a town near Budapest, in which one Roma man was arrested. Writing in ultra-right-wing newspaper Magyar Hirlap, Bayer said:
“A significant part of the Roma are unfit for coexistence. They are not fit to live among people. These Roma are animals, and they behave like animals. When they meet with resistance, they commit murder. They are incapable of human communication. Inarticulate sounds pour out of their bestial skulls. At the same time, these Gypsies understand how to exploit the 'achievements' of the idiotic Western world. But one must retaliate rather than tolerate. These animals shouldn't be allowed to exist. In no way. That needs to be solved - immediately and regardless of the method.”
Bayer’s article prompted condemnation by some Fidesz politicians. Tibor Navracsics, who is both justice minister and deputy prime minister, joined with Roma and Jewish groups to call for Bayer’s removal from Fidesz. MEP Tamás Deutsch, also a Fidesz co-founder and friend of Bayer, called the writing “shameful”.
Bayer has allegedly referred to Jews as “stinking excrement” in one of his articles.