Original article (in Bosnian) was published on 25/02/2022
Some media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina have published articles in which the headlines incorrectly claim that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is asking the country to leave the EU.
The article published on February 13, 2022, was equipped with the following headline:
ORBAN ASKES HUNGARY TO LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION: “EU is leading a holy war, jihad…”
The article states that the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, in his annual address on February 12, “hinted at the possibility” of leaving the European Union, and that this is the first time he has mentioned such an outcome.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán hinted at the possibility of his country leaving the European Union, which is the first time he mentioned such an outcome, RFE reports in English.
Speaking in his annual address this year, marking the start of his campaign for Hungary’s April 3rd parliamentary elections, Orbán said the EU was leading a “holy war, jihad” under the rule of law.
At the same time, Orbán told his supporters in Budapest on February 12 that the EU should show “tolerance” towards Hungary. Otherwise, he said, it would not be possible to continue on the same path.
Orbán has repeatedly attacked, as he calls them, “Brussels bureaucrats” in the past, but has refrained from threatening to leave.
The Hungarian prime minister’s statement is shared in the continuation of the article, but he does not ask Hungary to leave the European Union. Namely, Orbán spoke about the fact that Hungary wants to keep the EU together “despite the growing cultural alienation” and that it gave “offers of tolerance” to Brussels. It is also reported that Orbán said that there is no other solution than tolerance between Hungary and Western countries in the EU in order to find a common path.
The article also states that Orbán said that the EU is leading a holy war, i.e., jihad, “under the slogan of the rule of law”. In the title, however, the part mentioning the rule of law is omitted.
An article with the same title was published by the website Hayat on February 13, 2022.
Around 40 media in our speaking area shared an article about the Hungarian prime minister’s messages but used different headlines. Informer and Bizlife have equipped their articles with headlines stating that Orbán hinted at Hungary’s exit from the European Union.
SERBIA, THINK ABOUT THIS! ORBAN ANNOUNCES HUNGARY’S EXIT FROM THE EU! We must not allow the bureaucrats in Brussels to “terrorize the country”! (Informer)
Orbán hints at Hungary’s exit from the EU for the first time (Bizlife)
On the other hand, most of the media stated in their headlines that Orbán “announced the possibility of Hungary’s exit from the European Union” or that he “hinted at that possibility for the first time”.
Hungary’s exit from the European Union: Orbán hinted at that possibility for the first time (Nedeljnik)
In their articles, almost all of these media refer to Radio Free Europe in English.
Where did the story come from?
The annual address in which Orbán allegedly hinted at Hungary’s exit from the European Union was held on February 12, 2022, a few days before the European Court of Justice ruled that the European Union could deny funding to member states that do not support the rule of law. The verdict came after Hungary and Poland sued the EU, challenging the conditionality mechanism for the payment of funds from the pandemic recovery fund.
On February 13, 2022, Radio Free Europe in English, which was used as a source by the media in our speaking area, published an article containing messages from Orbán’s annual address. The original version of the text (archived on February 13, 2022, at 3:08 PM) contains statements identical to those published in our language.
The translation of the first version of the article for our speaking areas was soon published by Radio Free Europe, and then by other media.
RFE in English referred to the AP and DPA in the article. On February 12, the German news agency published a text stating that Orbán had hinted at leaving the EU.
Orban hints at the possibility of Hungary’s exit from the EU
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán hinted on Saturday at the possibility of his country leaving the EU, this is the first time he has raised such a possibility.
The European Union is leading a “holy war” jihad under the rule of law, a right-wing nationalist politician said in a speech to supporters in Budapest on Saturday.
At the same time, he called for “tolerance” of the EU towards Hungary. Otherwise, he said, it would not be possible to continue on the same path.
After reacting from the Hungarian government, RFE in English changed its text by altering the title and denying the claim that Orbán had hinted at leaving the European Union.
Hungary denies that Orbán mentioned a possible withdrawal from the EU
On February 13, the Hungarian government denied that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had mentioned the possibility of withdrawing from the European Union during a pre-election rally, held the previous day.
Orbán spokesman Zoltan Kovac announced on Twitter that the German news agency DPA “made a mistake”.
“Prime Minister Orbán did not hint at leaving the EU”, Kovac wrote.
“On the contrary, he said: ‘We, for our part, want to keep the EU together…The EU has a future only if we can stay together”.,
DPA’s article claiming that Orbán hinted at the possibility of leaving the European Union, to which Radio Free Europe referred, is still available.
Therefore, we rate the claim suggesting that Orbán wants Hungary’s exit from the EU, published in the headline on the website Slobodna Bosna, as fake news. The title of the article published on the website Hayat receives the rating for the distribution of fake news. These two titles also receive a clickbait rating.
The headlines on the websites Bizlife and Informer, in which it is claimed that Orbán hinted at Hungary’s exit from the EU, receive ratings of disinformation and clickbait.