Athena Institute


Referring to the Athena Institute, Tages-Anzeiger reports about the growing risk of street confrontations in Budapest

Switzerland’s German-language national daily reflected on the dynamics of past and future protests and counter-protests in Budapest while - referring to the Institute’s previous Incident and Early Warning Reports - it also raised concern about potential efforts by domestic extremist groups aiming to exploit the situation via confrontation.

The Zurich-based daily newspaper portrays recent anti- and pro-government demonstrations that took place in January as well as stated plans of government and opposition parties to continue to hold protests in the coming weeks. Demonstrations to be held on February 1 before a Budapest theater are highlighted as besides civil society organizations, a handful of domestic extremist groups are also planning to participate - the latter hitting a clearly confrontational tone amended by harsh anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The Athena Institute, in its latest Incident Report published early January, signaled a potential shift in the domestic threat environment after - first time - an organized domestic extremist group directly confronted a peaceful rally staged by opposition parties. Since then, we also reported about extremist efforts to confront another legitimate demonstration - this time the one organized in front of the mentioned theater on February 1. In the past days, several extremist organizations stated their participation - among them the New Hungarian Guard and the Outlaw’s Army whose members posed with handguns to French National TV and later triggered a national outcry past August when its leader declared that ‘we must reach a point when if one sees another skin color, he is able to pull the trigger of an automatic weapon’ and asked ‘are we going to be firm enough to shoot down a rotten, crappy Jew?’