The government imposes its national culture

Published on 20 December 2012 at 14:06

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“I won't keep my mouth shut or make deals with the enemy," says the Director of the National Theatre on the front page of Magyar Narancs, explaining that he will continue to fight his fight in the Kulturkampf raging through Hungary today. Róbert Alföldi, whose term runs out in 2013, will be replaced by Attila Vidnyánszky, close to the government of Viktor Orbán, which is accusing Alföldi of not doing enough to represent Hungary's national values. Also, for several months, the far right has been criticising Alföldi's lack of patriotism and denouncing his homosexuality. “But then, what was not 'national' about the theatre under Alföldi?” protests the liberal weekly. “And who are you to prescribe our national values? Who are you to doubt the national sentiments of anyone else?

“In Hungary, the notion of pluralism differs from that in western Europe” says the leftist daily Népszava:

We knew in advance Attila Vidnyánszky would become director of the National Theatre. Under normal conditions, Róbert Alföldi would likely have had the opportunity to continue his successful work. But the leaders put people close to themselves on the nine-member board that decides on director positions. That's the problem.

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However, for the right-wing daily Magyar Nemzet, the change of direction imposed by the government is a good thing.

The appointment of Vidnyánszky will help to get across the meaning of the word 'national' to those who, so far, do not seem to get it...'

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