Activists of the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) and radical nationalists got into a scuffle by a village statue of interwar leader Miklos Horthy, police said on Wednesday.
Six DK activists and four members of the Hungarian Guard, a self-styled paramilitary movement which is banned in Hungary, exchanged verbal abuse and jostled at the statue in the village of Csokako, 80 km west of Budapest, on Tuesday afternoon. Others joined the fracas later on, police told MTI.
Police carried out identity checks and established that the statue was undamaged, spokesperson Agnes R Szabo said.
DK told MTI in a statement on Wednesday that its activists had visited the statue, unveiled last weekend, with intent to cover it with copies of paragraphs of the anti-Jewish laws enacted in Horthy’s time.
After their action, “patrols” identifying themselves as members of the banned Hungarian Guard appeared at the scene and verbally attacked them.
Both the guardsmen and the demonstrators reported each another to the police, DK deputy leader Csaba Molnar said.
A month ago a protester poured red paint on a Horthy memorial in another western Hungarian village. Shortly afterwards, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg’s memorial and a Holocaust memorial were vandalised in Budapest.