Fra Polen til Balkan eksisterer det en fare for en radikal høyrenasjonalisme, med ekko av fortiden, der antisemittismen reiser sitt hode, advarer Ungarns statsminister.

Statsminister Ferenc Gyurcsány har en bitter kamp gående med leder av opposjonspartiet Fidesz, Viktor Orban, og kan ha sin egne motiver for svartmaling, men anklagene må tas alvorlig:

With rare passion, Ferenc Gyurcsány accused Viktor Orbán, the leader of the right-wing opposition Fidesz party, of exploiting antiSemitism in an attempt to derail his Government’s modernisation programme.

The political duel between the two men — Mr Gyurcsány a former Communist youth leader, his opponent a former student dissident — has become vitriolic and personal.

Fidesz politicians, Mr Gyurcsány said, were blurring the line between conservatism and right-wing extremism. «There is something horrible happening. There have never been so many antiSemitic remarks as now,» he says. Waving towards the square in front of his parliamentary office, he complained that protesters who gathered there last autumn baying for his blood had read out a list of supposedly Jewish politicians in an attempt to defame them. Fidesz politicians stood on the same platform afterwards and failed to distance themselves, Mr Gyurcsány said.

His wife, Klára, is a lecturer at a Budapest university. «Last week she was handed a leaflet, the likes of which have not been seen for the past 50 years. It was a very clear and unambiguous antiSemitic pamphlet. This does not only outrage me because my wife is of Jewish descent.»

Fidesz officials angrily deny accusations of antiSemitism and accuse the Government of using scare tactics to drive away their support.

Beware the Right, rising again in the East, Hungarian leader says