AP NEWS

Slovenia dismisses Hungary embassy protest of Orban cartoon

April 5, 2019
A woman holds the latest edition of Slovenian weekly "Mladina" in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Friday, April 5, 2019. Slovenia's Foreign Ministry has dismissed a Hungarian embassy protest over a magazine cover cartoon that showed Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban giving a Nazi salute in the previous edition. (AP Photo/Joze Suhadolnik)

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday dismissed a Hungarian embassy protest over a magazine cover cartoon that showed Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban giving a Nazi salute.

The ministry said it “consistently respects the principle of freedom of the press and expression in its policies and activities and neither encroaches upon editorial policy of the Slovenian media, nor assesses it.”

The cartoon published in the Slovenian liberal political weekly Mladina on March 22 also shows Slovenian right-wing politicians pressing against a towering Orban and hugging him.

Hungary’s embassy protested the cartoon in a letter to Mladina’s editors and in a March 25 note to the Slovenian Foreign Ministry. Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs has described the cartoon as “yet another unfortunate example of the intolerance of today’s left.”

Anyone opposed to liberal ideology and multi-cultural “orthodoxy,” is denounced as extremist, Kovacs wrote in a blog earlier this week, referring to Orban’s strong anti-migration policies.

Slovenia has also seen a rise in right-wing sentiments recently. Right-wing politician Janez Jansa, who is also featured in the cartoon, has close ties to Orban.

Slovenia’s journalists’ association criticized Hungary’s note, saying it amounted to “unheard-of expression of a conception of complete control and disciplining of the media by the authorities.”