Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom expressed outrage on Tuesday over plans by neo-Nazi groups to hold a commemoration marking the death anniversary of Adolf Hitler's former deputy, Rudolf Hess.
Solyom "learnt with indignation" of plans by foreign and Hungarian far-right and skinhead groups to convene in Budapest Saturday to mark the anniversary of the death of a "Nazi leader who was sentenced for war crimes", he said in a statement to state news agency MTI.
The governing Hungarian Socialist Party has asked police to ban the event, something that is difficult to do under the country's liberal constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and assembly.
Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai on Monday urged police to pursue all legal avenues to stop the event. Hungary must not be allowed to become a "paradise for neo-Nazis", he said.
Police said they would announce their position on Wednesday on the planned gathering.
Numerous civil rights organizations said they would hold an anti-fascist demonstration to coincide with the pro-Nazi commemoration.
Hess was sentenced to life imprisonment in the post-war Nuremburg trials. He died alone in Spandau prison in Berlin on August 17, 1987.