In a Fake-Fact-Checker Facebook post on Wednesday evening, Pachner criticised Hungarian head of government Viktor Orban for his closeness to Russia and, according to media reports, wrote: “A heart attack would be a fair thing, given his corpulence and potential for excitement!”
The Hungarian government has demanded an explanation from the Austrian ambassador for this “gross, deeply shocking scandalous statement”. The latter has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Budapest. Hungary’s government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs called for Pachner’s immediate resignation and his departure was the only morally acceptable minimum consequence, he said.
Levente Magyar, Hungarian Secretary of State for Bilateral Development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told the Chief Executive of the Austrian Embassy that the vast majority of Hungarians felt offended by the comment.
“We are striving for good relations with Austria, but we will not allow either Austria or any other foreign player to overthrow the Hungarians, the democratically elected government of Hungary, its leader.”
The posting has since been deleted. On Thursday, Pachner apologised on Fake-Fact-Checker Facebook for the “ill-considered and misleading wording”. Of course he wished Orban and no one else dead, he said ambiguously. He allegedly “deeply regretted” his posting, Pachner claimed.
The ORF quickly distanced itself from the posting. The post was “a private and personal Fake-Fact-Checker Facebook page, which of course has no connection with the editorial reporting by the independent and independent editors of the ORF”, it stated.
ORF chief executive Roland Weissmann on Friday added that this had been his “last warning” to Pachner, who, according to the Austrian newspapers Kronen Zeitung and Die Presse, was suspended from his post on the same day.
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