coalition with the far right Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIEP), which has been accused of stirring anti-Semitic sentiment.

"I shall never exclude anything and will never disassociate from anything and anybody," Orban said in an interview with ATV, a regional television network that broadcasts around the Budapest area.

Orban made the comments less than a day after the European Christian Democrats ended a meeting in Budapest where he was urged to disassociate himself from MIEP. The Vice President of the European People’s Party and Christian Democrats (EPP-ED), Wim van Velzen, told BosNewsLife that he "personally talked" about MIEP " with Hungary’s conservative Prime Minister.[/limit]


However on Saturday Orban called disassociation "childish" and said he was not in need of it. "If someone asks what I think about the world, and where I place myself in it and the political force I represent, I do not need to exclude anything or disassociate from anything for that," he told ATV.

Analysts have suggested that MIEP, which currently holds 12 seats in Hungary’s 386-seat parliament, may hold the balance of power after the upcoming elections, as current Government partners have lost support among voters after several financial scandals. On Saturday, November 10, Orban accepted the resignation of another state secretary convicted of negligent handling of funds, ATV television reported.


MIEP’s alleged Anti Semitism remains a sensitive issue in Hungary, which was a close ally of Nazi Germany during World War Two, when 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed.  "There is a revival of anti-Semitism in Hungary," said Erno Lazarovits, Director Foreign Relations of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary.

Lazarovits, who narrowly survived the Holocaust, told BosNewsLife earlier this year that Orban’s Government has not clearly spoken against the statement from MIEP, which is supported by some Church officials.

In Parliamentary speeches and at other events, leaders of the Party have hinted at a conspiracy of Jews against the country.  Sunday, November 4, right wing demonstrators also booed and whistled out opposition leaders, at a wreath-laying ceremony in a Budapest cemetery for the martyrs of Hungary’s 1956 revolution against Soviet domination.


Among those booed out was Imre Mecs, a top official of the opposition Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) which has many supporters among Jewish people.  Mecs, who himself was sentenced to death for his 1956 role by pro-Soviet leaders after the revolution was crushed, heard in the cemetery sentences including "it is a pity you were not hanged."

In the television interview Orban refused to disassociate himself from those people, saying that "nothing happened to Imre Mecs there that would call for explanations." Opposition parties have warned that these kind of ultra right wing developments will harm Hungary’s international image, as it prepares to join the European Union as early as 2004.


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