Monday, 2 April 2012

The farce of the Hungarian President

Going,gone. Hungarian President, Pál Schmitt on his way somewhere.

Some things begin famously as tragedy and end, even more famously, as farce. The case of Pál Schmitt, the President of Hungary, misses out the first stage. You can have it from the Sierra Vista Herald, from the Belfast Telegraph, or from The Financial Times and you don't need me to tell the story. Plagiarism - especially on the scale Schmitt practiced it - is cheating. He offered to rewrite his thesis, or write a new one, a process that would take him four years here. Maybe he could still try it and reapply for the post in four years' time.

President Schmitt was a tame creature of the Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, who has pulled every string to keep him in position. But there he was, gone, toppling, toppling over a day or two, but toppling all the same.

Orbán has been playing the patriotic hero with some gusto recently. It is hard to look heroic when you're in a comedy.

A friend in Italy says the Italian equivalent wouldn't have resigned. So even Hungary is a notch above Italy in at least one respect. Farce without the bunga-bunga.

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