I. A demonstration with all parliamentary parties except for far-right Jobbik.
Participation 20-30 thousand - not bad but nowhere from Fidesz' well organized 'peace marches' in support of the government with several hundred thousand participants.
Quite a novelty that Fidesz sent a representative in the person of Antal Rogán, head of Fidesz' parliamentary group. Media consensus is that he gave a fairly good speech - certainly clearer than what the public has come to expect from Fidesz in such matters. Some irony though lies in the fact that Mr. Rogán won his seat as mayor of a Budapest district with the Support of Jobbik.
II. In parliament, Viktor Orbán touched upon the issue, whereby the most cited sentence was this: 'We, Hungarians protect our Jewish fellow countrymen'. This has again caused slight irritation as some understood this as implying that Hungarian Jews aren't, in fact, Hungarians.
III. In the more detailed parliamentary debate on the issue, Fidesz assigned the task of articulating the party's position to its only prominent MP with admitted Jewish origins. He said inter alia:
'My mother is Jewish and my father is Jewish - I was born into this. I did not have a choice. But you <i.e. Jobbik MPs> do have a choice.'
IV. Jobbik-MP Márton Gyöngyösi was called on to resign as deputy head of the Hungarian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, which of course he refused (backed by his party).
V. However, he was disallowed to participate in that Committee's next official visit to Rome. The decision was taken by László Kövér, Chairman of the Hungarian Parliament and a vastly powerful and influential figure in Fidesz. The background of his decision was explained by Mr. Kövér as follows:
From a Hungarian national interest perspective, it would not be worth sacrificing the Committee's visit to Rome by having to explain Márton Gyöngyösi's completely unacceptable and inexplicable statement, be it by Mr. Gyöngyösi himself or by any other member of the Committee. Seeing the European press, and within it, the Italian press, which provided a lot of coverage to this - to put it mildly, unfortunate - statement, this danger looked real to me'.