Budapest mayor defends appointment of extreme-right theater directors

István Tarlós, the mayor of Hungary’s capital Budapest, has rejected criticism of his decision to name the radical Hungarian nationalist György Dörner and the head of the anti-Semitic MIEP party, István Csurka, as joint directors of the city’s New Theater. The Hungarian Jewish community federation of Hungary Mazsihisz called the move “an advance for circles with Nazi ideology”.

Csurka (pictured addressing a rally of supporters of his party) has repeatedly voiced the opinion that  Hungarians were being exploited and oppressed by Jews, Bolsheviks and freemasons and he has claimed that Jews dominate the economy. He also spoke of a Jewish conspiracy whose perpetrators were sitting in New York and Tel Aviv. In the past, his party – which is not represented in parliament – has hosted controversial figures such as the British Holocaust denier and revisionist David Irving.

“It is the mayor’s right and responsibility to appoint someone to a post, and one will be able to see in a year’s time whether it was a good decision or not,” Tarlós – a member of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party – said.

A number of public figures have accused the mayor of using public funds to establish the Hungary’s first nationalist and fascist theater. Dörner and Csurka have already announced that the New Theater would be renamed and in future only show “Hungarian national drama” and not “foreign garbage”.

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