journalist Zsolt Bayer, a friend of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has been criticized in the past for making anti-Semitic remarks.
BUDAPEST/BRUSSELS (AFP-EJP)---Hungary's opposition struck back at a disputed media law Wednesday, by filing a complaint against a friend of Premier Viktor Orban for what it claims were hateful comments in a recent article.
The president of the Green party (ZB), Szilard Kalmar, "filed a complaint before the media authority against journalist Zsolt Bayer," the party said on its website.
In an article published Tuesday in the daily Magyar Hirlap, Bayer had described a 1919 massacre by the extreme right in the Orgovany forest south of Budapest as a positive incident.
The victims of the massacre were sympathisers of the short-lived communist Hungarian Soviet Republic.
"If the aim of the new media law is truly to stop incitement to hatred, then we can hope that Zsolt Bayer will be the first journalist to be punished under the law," the party noted.
"Otherwise, it means the law has a completely different goal," it said.
In his article, Bayer, who has been criticized in the past for making anti-Semitic remarks, compared the sympathizers of the Hungarian Soviet Republic to current critics of Hungary's controversial media law.
Among other things, he regretted that "not all (communist sympathizers) were buried in the forest of Orgovany."
In a clear anti-Semitic jibe, he also singled out "Cohen, Cohn-Bendit and Schiff" -- names that have a Jewish origin in Hungary -- among the dozens of foreign critics of the media law.
Bayer was referring to Nick Cohen, a columnist for the British daily The Guardian, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, co-leader of the Greens in the European Parliament, and Hungarian-born pianist Andras Schiff.
Bayer also described Cohen as "stinking excrement."
Under the new law, which came into force on January 1, just as Hungary took over the presidency of the European Union, the regulatory authority NMHH can impose fines for material that is considered offensive and force journalists to reveal sources in issues related to national security.
Media watchdogs and several EU governments, as well the European Commission, have voiced fears that the law breaks rules supporting freedom of the press.
On Wednesday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says he will confront Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday over the law.
During a press conference in Brussels, he said he will seek "clarification of the situation and, if possible, a lifting of the doubts" that have hung over the media law.
The EU has not yet taken any legal action against the law.
The whole European Commission will meet with the government in Budapest on Friday as part of the start of Hungary's six-month EU presidency.