Hungarian Lawmaker Takes Jab at Soros With Dead-Pig Photo

(Bloomberg) -- A lawmaker from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling party posted a photo of a dead pig on Facebook with a partially veiled reference to billionaire George Soros, who said the government was using Nazi-era propaganda tools to spew hate.

The photo, which Fidesz lawmaker Janos Pocs said was sent to him by someone from his electoral district, shows people standing over a slain and charred pig, with “O VOLT A SOROS!!!” inscribed on the animal. The phrase could translate either as “It was his turn” or as “This was Soros.”

“One pig less over there,” Pocs commented on Facebook Friday. “Bon appetit!” He later told Budapest-based news website that the inscription has nothing to do with the billionaire, saying that he’s offended by the suggestion as the text merely refers to the pig being selected for slaughter.

The Open Society Foundation, Soros’s main conduit for aid to Hungarian non-government organizations, said that the post was a “shocking attack” against the financier. The photo fits into “a long and dark tradition of anti-Semitic imagery dating back to the Middle Ages,” it said in an emailed statement.

Orban, who’s spurned the European Union’s model of liberal democracy, is focusing his 2018 election campaign on the Hungarian-born billionaire, whom he’s accused of undermining his anti-immigrant policies by backing non-governmental organizations. The administration has launched a billboard campaign against the 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, who in turn has accused Orban of dismantling the ex-communist nation’s democracy. Orban has a wide lead in polls as he seeks a third consecutive term.

In an article published in the Nepszava newspaper on Friday, Soros said the government’s billboards, depicting him as a sneering puppet master, were similar to propaganda from the Nazi era.

“The government would like you to believe that I’m the enemy of the Hungarian people, but nothing is further from this false statement,” Soros wrote. He noted that through the years he’s donated more than $400 million to his native country, including to help underprivileged children.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.