In a blog posted on his official website, Minister of State for International Communication Zoltán Kovács published the reply he sent to The Washington Post in response to an article critical of Hungary which the US daily was, however, not prepared to publish.

Mr Kovács recalled that the author of the WP article published to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall penned a sentimental column fretting that the euphoria of that day was naïve because “the politics of the 1930s are still playing out in eastern Europe”. The author accused Hungary of anti-Semitism, irredentism, the rehabilitation of Governor Miklós Horthy, creeping authoritarianism and illiberalism.

In his rejected reply, the Minister of State wrote that unfair criticisms are often levelled at Hungary, despite the fact that the country has overcome the hard years of transition following the collapse of communism, bounced back after the nearly catastrophic misfortune of the 2008 global financial crisis and reduced unemployment.

“Prime Minister Orbán set out to get Hungary off of welfare and into an economy where everyone who wants to work can find a job, a job that pays a fair wage,” Mr Kovács stressed. Listing the results achieved, he highlighted that the number of marriages has increased and the number of divorces and abortions has decreased which, in his view, are not the signs of a people living under creeping authoritarianism. They are expressions of optimism and confidence.

In response to accusations of anti-Semitism, Mr Kovács wrote that in Hungary the Jewish community enjoys a level of security that their brothers and sisters in Berlin and Paris could only dream of.

He wrote in conclusion that Hungary and countries across the region have many good reasons to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall.