THE PRESIDENT OF Hungary has been accused by the country’s leading economic newspaper of plagiarising more than 80 per cent of his doctoral thesis.
Pal Schmitt submitted his thesis on the modern Olympics in 1992, however HVG claims that large tracts of the work were directly copied from a similar thesis written during the 1980s by a Bulgarian sports expert, Nikolai Georgiev.
The newspaper published passages from both theses, with a translation between Georgiev’s thesis (written in French) and Schmitt’s. According to HVG, “using the French text of … Georgiev on 180 pages of the altogether 215 pages of Pal Schmitt’s doctoral thesis raises a suspicion of plagiarism”.
Georgiev passed away in 2005.
Schmitt, who has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1983, knew Georgiev personally. The two men had researched common subjects using identical works, AFP reports.
The office of the president says it “firmly rejects” the accusations of plagiarism.
Last year, Germany’s Defence Minister resigned after one of the country’s leading newspapers, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, accused him of plagiarising significant tracts of his doctoral thesis.
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg stripped of his PhD on Constitutional Law in the EU and the United States from Bayreuth university, and vowed to resign from all political offices following the scandal.