Hungarian MEP scandal: why him, why now?

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The scandal involving Hungarian MEP József Szájer raises a series of troubling questions that go well beyond his transgression, András Pulai, CEO of Hungarian liberal think-tank Publicus Institute points out in a recent Facebook post. Other sources, such as the liberal HVG , have even pointed to the possible involvement of secret services.
In the Szájer case, it cannot be completely ruled out that the Friday night police raid was part of an intelligence operation András Dezső, Szájer (59), an MEP for Hungary’s ruling conservative Fidesz party unexpectedly announced his resignation on November 29, citing personal reasons, saying that the daily political struggle put too much strain on him.
“Those who are on the battlefield must be in a state of combat readiness,” Szájer wrote in his resignation letter published on Sunday.
On Tuesday, two days after his resignation, a Dutch-language newspaper based in Antwerp was surprisingly the first to publish the story that two days prior to the resignation, on Friday, November 27, Brussels police raided an illegal party with over 20 attendees, in violation of current coronavirus restrictions, which include a social bubble of one and a curfew between 22:00 and 06:00 hours. Several Hungarian and Belgian outlets rapidly picked up the story.
The Belgian Public Prosecutor said in a statement that “A passer-by reported to the police that he had seen a man fleeing along the gutter; he was able to identify the man. The man’s hands were bloody. It is possible that he may have been injured while fleeing. Narcotics were found in his backpack. The man was unable to produce any identity documents. He was escorted to his place of residence, where he identified himself as S. J. (1961) by means of a diplomatic passport.”
The same day, Szájer admitted in a statement that he had attended the party, but categorically denied any drug use. He called his actions irresponsible and apologized.
Pulai points out several difficult questions regarding the case. “Thinking aloud,” he writes, “this is probably not the first such party in Brussels.”
Secondly, he continues, “over the years, dozens, if not hundreds, of MEPs, diplomats, Brusselites and Bruxellois have taken part.” Thirdly, special services and other relevant bodies that are already particularly active in Brussels must have known about these for a long time.”
“But still, the question arises: Why did it transpire right now? If there were many important people there, why has only Fidesz’s most important EU politician been named (so far)?” Pulai asks.
“At exactly the moment when this politician’s boss is trying to block a package of thousands of billions of euros that is important for the entire EU, the next budget and the introduction of a system of rule of law criteria [and] when he softly raised the possibility of his country leaving the EU, right on the back of Brexit [and] when the EU cannot afford any more disintegration, in its own interest?”
“Could it be that what we see today is part of a political battle that has another, bigger and more important arena? Millions of torturous questions,” according to Pulai.
Title image: Rue des Pierres, Brussels, where the gathering allegedly took place (Source: Google Street View).

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