„The photo was taken at an informal program, in a supposed group of friends, and it’s no secret that I was in a drunken state, which I am embarrassed about,” the Jobbik deputy mayor of Ózd, Péter Barnabás Farkas, said on Facebook, in an attempt to save face after Telex also published a second, unquestionably Nazi photo.
After the first photo, Farkas called Neokohn’s coverage vile slander:
My handshake was not a Nazi salute, but a snapshot of me moving, and it is vile slander to say otherwise.
Telex recalls that when Farkas’ first photo emerged, it divided opposition parties in the final stages of the opposition pre-election: Momentum and LMP withdrew their support for Farkas, and Gergely Karácsony said Farkas could no longer be an opposition candidate, while Jobbik and DK held on. Farkas finally started in the pre-election and lost in a close competition to the MSZP and Dialogue candidate Sándor Kiss.
However, after the second photo, he changed his tune:
“I’ve never been a Holocaust denier, I’ve never been a member of a single extremist, racist organization, their ideals have always been far from me; those who know me personally, they know that about me. I sincerely regret and am sorry for what happened; I wouldn’t do it today. I apologize to all the communities I have offended, and I will pay my respects personally to them and to the sad memory of the shameful genocide of the war!”
—he conceded in his statement on Facebook.
Drunken state, false statements
“The photo was taken at an informal program, in a supposed group of friends, and it’s no secret that I was in a drunken state, which I am embarrassed about. (…) It was only later, after my erroneous statements, that it occurred to me to look for the conversation I had with my fellow deputy mayor at the time and the photos he had sent. It was a shock to realize that more photos that seemed much more direct were taken then. I am sorry I did not make this statement sooner!”
—the deputy mayor added.