Tuesday

28th Feb 2017

Hungary awards top journalism prize to anti-Roma broadcaster

  • Europe's Roma minority face discrimination on a daily basis (Photo: Boryana Katsarova/cosmos/Agentur Focus)

An anti-Semitic and Roma-bashing TV broadcaster in Hungary has received the country’s top journalism prize.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government awarded Ferenc Szaniszlo the Tancsics Prize for journalism on Friday (15 March).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Szaniszlo works at the pro-government Echo TV channel.

He was fined €500 by the state media regulator in 2011 for calling Roma people "apes." He is also known for spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories during his TV shows.

Hungary’s minister of resources Zoltan Balog handed over the prize.

Balog claims he was unaware of Szaniszlo’s views, as 10 other Tancsics winners from other categories returned their prizes on Monday in protest, according to British daily The Independent.

An anti-Semetic archeologist, Kornel Bakay, who says Jews organided the slave trade in the Middle Ages, also received a Tancsics gong in a separate category.

Meanwhile, Janos Petras, of the rock band Karpatia, was awarded the Golden Cross of Merit.

Karpatia has a large following among the extreme-right Jobbik party and has marched alongside the military wing of the now-banned nationalist Hungarian Guard.

The guards, who parade around in military uniforms, have held torch-bearing rallies in Roma villages.

For its part, the Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) says Hungary’s Roma minority endures daily attacks and discrimination.

Ostracized and living on society’s margins, the minority has faced severe persecution throughout Hungary’s recent history.

The Roma were ordered by law to leave the country in 1940 and were heavily persecuted under the German occupation.

Today, walls are spray-painted with tag lines such as "gypsies you will burn" alongside swastikas in reference to an era that still haunts Europe.

And senior figures in Orban's Fidesz party have fanned the trend. Zsolt Bayer, a Fidesz co-founder, in January told Magyar Hírlap, a right-wing Hungarian daily, that “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."

A number of NGOs, including the ERRC, contacted 15 companies to stop placing adverts with Magyar Hírlap.

The five who responded - Erste Bank, CIB Bank, IKEA, FedEx, and GDF Suez - said they would pull their adverts from the paper in protest.

CIB Bank added that it will refrain from advertising in Magyar Hírlap and its portal “until the editorial staff categorically condemns Zsolt Bayer's writing and ensures that both publications are free from writings that include hate speech."

Feature

Roma exploitation: end of the dream

Roma who turn to prostitution, theft or badly-paid labour often do so because of financial pressure. Back home, someone is waiting for money: the 'king' who brought them to western Europe.

Opinion

Time to suspend Orban's EU voting rights

The time has come to react to Viktor Orban's trampling of EU values in Hungary by suspending his voting rights. His own group, the EPP, must get on board, writes Liberal group chief Guy Verhofstadt.

Dutch plan global fund for safe abortion

The Dutch want to lead efforts to make up the shortfall in aid for safe abortions around the world, after Donald Trump announced the US would not fund such projects.

Column / Health Matters

The yin and yang of Chinese medicine

Can traditional Chinese medicine help the modern European patient? Malta thinks so, in a new agreement with China.

Visual Data

EU farming policy: The damage done by 20 years of inertia

The EU Commission will ask the public later this week how the common agricultural policy should be overhauled. Data from the past two decades reveals a catalogue of missed chances and failed reforms.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsFreedom of Association and Expression Under Threat in Kazakhstan, Reports CIVICUS Monitor
  2. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Brussels on March 6th
  3. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  5. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  6. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  7. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  8. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  9. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  10. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  11. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  12. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps