Dutch migrant organizes anti-government protest in Hungary

Simon Wintermans, a Dutch Christian-Democrat who has been living in the Hungarian city of Pécs for decades, has had enough of corruption. He recently organized an anti-government protest in the city.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Dutch migrant organizes anti-government protest in Hungary - NewsMavens
Simon Wintermans. Youtube

Why this story matters:

Simon Wintermans is not a typical “economic migrant”. He grew up in The Hague in a Christian-Democrat family of five children. For the past 22 years he has been living in the southern Hungarian city of Pécs, where, among other things, he taught Dutch.

He is one of several intellectuals who were once supportive of the party and its members, but grew disillusioned with it. Lately, many of these academics have “come out of the closet” and voiced their opinion at public events such as anti-government protests.

These people are authentic figures not only in the eyes of long-time critics, but also in the eyes of those citizens who are still loyal to the government yet are having second thoughts.

Wintermans and those like him can also be a source of inspiration to would-be "deserters,” other prominent figures of the right who are disillusioned with the party but are hesitant to speak publicly.

Details from the story:

  • Simon Wintermans, an economic and art historian recently organized an anti-government protest in the city of Pécs. Approximately 1,000 people attended the demonstration.
  • Several guests took to the podium that day. They told people that they should not make peace with the result of April’s parliamentary election but fight for democracy and freedom.
  • Wintermans has not always been busy organising anti-government protests. In 2010, he supported Zsolt Pava, the current mayor of Pécs, who is a member of the ruling Fidesz party.
  • But, in the past 8 years he has tired of the rampant corruption and the government’s anti-democratic policies.
  • Wintermans is famous in Pécs for bringing 250,000 tulip bulbs to the city as a donation from the Dutch people. When Pécs, Essen and Istanbul were elected European Capitals of Culture in 2010, he cycled to the three cities. The distance was 6,600 kms. During the trip he gave speeches about Europe’s history, and the common challenges Europeans are facing.
  • He has been an outspoken critic of the government for the past few years.
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy
System.Threading.Tasks.Task`1[System.Threading.Tasks.VoidTaskResult];