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9th October, 2019

Johansson denies praising Tarlós



US actress Scarlett Johansson has denied praising Budapest mayor István Tarlós.

In a statement sent to website 24, Johansson responded to a September article in which she was quoted as speaking highly of Budapest mayor István Tarlós.

Her statement said: “I would like to make it clear: despite various media reports I did not express my support for mayor István Tarlós for the upcoming local elections. In contrast, in one private conversation I shared my sincere recognition for Budapest’s hospitality, beauty and charm. Only the citizens of Budapest can elect the next mayor, and this is a very important choice. Voting is a heroic act wherever democracy is in danger. I encourage all citizens of Budapest to be courageous, act like a hero and vote according to your conscience.”

In response, deputy mayor Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky said they did not evaluate or use Johansson’s visit nor what she said as political support.

She said Tarlós and Johansson held a 30-minute meeting in a good atmosphere at the mayor’s office in the summer.

“At the same time, we were happy to hear the words of praise, Szalay-Bobrovniczky added. “We would like to assure her that we do not fear for democracy in Hungary, and we continue to encourage everybody to vote according to their conscience on October 13.”

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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