The farewell speech of the Hungarian prime minister

Yesterday, on the last session of parliament, Gordon Bajnai made his final speech lasting about 40 minutes. I was unable to listen to it live given the six-hour difference, and yesterday's session is still not available on video. However, people whose opinion I value called it a "statesmanlike speech." But Bajnai's speech, which emphasized the necessity of cooperation between Fidesz and MSZP, didn't make an impression on Fidesz whose chairman didn't even bother to attend. Tibor Navracsics, head of the party's parliamentary delegation, wasn't impressed by the prime minister's somber words as this picture shows.

Navracsics

The chief spokesman of the party, Péter Szijjártó, most likely expressed the sentiments of Viktor Orbán and his party's position when he said that the best instrument against Jobbik is a good government and "not cooperation with an extremist party." The extremist party of course is MSZP, not Jobbik.

Bajnai outlined three goals that the next Hungarian government should try to achieve. First, Hungary should as soon as possible fulfill all the requirements for the introduction of the euro as the country's currency. The second very important task is raising the employment level. And third, the next government should continue the necessarily prudent and careful economic policy that was started ten months ago. The introduction of the euro would give Hungary financial stability instead of the current unstable situation with a national currency. As for raising the level of employment, everything depends on it: balancing the budget, the security of the pension fund, and, of course, steady economic growth. If the future Hungarian government follows the present course of action, between 2011 and 2014 it will be possible to have a 4 percent yearly economic growth. As he said in Hungarian with a play on words: "nem elosztogatni, hanem beosztani kellene" (one mustn't give away but spend sparingly). He suggested further tax cuts.

Bajnai claimed that he managed to fulfill 90 percent of the promises he made ten months ago and as a result of his policies the 1.7 million families who took out loans in euros instead of forints now pay 40 Ft less for a euro than about half a year go. The government spent 30 billion forints to save 100,000 jobs. The national debt even in 2010 will be less than the average within the euro zone. Investors have trust in Hungary and the ten-year government bonds that are on sale in the United States at the moment are three times oversubscribed. The structural reforms introduced laid down the foundations of lasting economic growth.

Bajnai It was after these words that he made his reference to the frightening growth of extremism. Bajnai emphasized that there must be common ground on at least one issue between MSZP and Fidesz: trying to stop the growth of Jobbik. As he said, "Viktor Orbán is a democrat and a patriot. Attila Mesterházy is a democrat and a patriot. Perhaps that's the only common denominator between them, but that is enough to conquer the danger of the extreme right." In his opinion "from the fanatical antagonism between the two big parties a monster was born. The hatred and division fed this monster day in and day out. This monster is standing right in front of our door and will come into the room and break the furniture into bits and will smash in our faces if he doesn't like the look of them."

Well, all that didn't impress Tibor Navracsics, who called Bajnai's speech bittersweet. If the country is in such big trouble why is Bajnai leaving, why is he running away? Why doesn't he stay and do his job? What Bajnai is doing, he claimed, is running away from responsibility; he is responsible for what MSZP did, which was nothing less than leading the country into bankruptcy.

I especially enjoyed Navracsics's change of heart. Until now every second day either he or someone from his party, including Viktor Orbán, demanded Bajnai's resignation and early elections. I'm almost sure that eventually the Fidesz politicians realized that Bajnai was doing a very good job and were pleased to hear that he had no intention of continuing in politics. As Vándorló said, some of his Fidesz friends confided that if Bajnai had decided to continue they might have actually voted for the party that put him up as a candidate.

Yesterday János Avar said on Újságíró Klub (ATV) that it would be really funny if Gordon Bajnai took Navracsics's words to heart and said: "Oh, if you think that I should actually continue and take responsibility, I'm following your advice. I've decided to stay." Of course, nothing of the sort could happen, but I would like to see Navracsics's face after such a hypothetical announcement. I bet he wouldn't be laughing so heartily as on the picture that accompanies this blog.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Thrasymachus
Guest

Was Jobbik born out of the MSZP and Fidesz? Yes. But was it formed out of their “fanatical antagonism” or their insitutional corruption and their respective commission of and response to the violence of 23/10/06?
Which is more plausible?
“Bajnai emphasized that there must be common ground on at least one issue between MSZP and Fidesz: trying to stop the growth of Jobbik.”
Is this true? Yes. Because Jobbik is “extremist”? No.
Because turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.
Dr Balogh here tried for three long blog posts to disect the Jobbik manifesto, and despite her efforts could make her extremist allegations stick to Jobbik about as convincingly as a magnet to a pane of glass.
As I said before, when the Prime Minister of the MSZP (yeah “independent,” pull the other one), rails against a party being anti-democratic and opposed to freedom on the EXACT SAME DAY he secures the passing through parliament of thought-crime legislation.
Well.
Then if you believe a single word he says?
You’re a schmuck.

Peter Koroly
Guest

Even if @Thrasymachus@ tries to play it down, Jobbik can be considered a national-socialist or if you prefer a neo-Arrowcross party using explicit anti-gypsy racism, Antisemitism and revisionism. Even in their program Jobbik mentions occasional segregation of gypsies.
So to say Jobbik is exremist is in my opinion an understatement.

Thrasymachus
Guest
I’m not playing anything down. I urge you to play your disgusting politically motivated allegations up. Only the small matter of evidence, proof, substantiation that kind of thing. That’s all I ask. Or feel free to just carry on thinking that rhetoric means the same thing as substantiation. You know, that calling someone a Nazi means they are one. Because that kind of thing is what really characterizes healthy debate in a healthy democracy, isn’t it? Your entire substantive reason for the calling of Jobbik Neo-Arrow Cross is “occasional segregation” on the one and only page that deals with Gypsies of a near 90 page manifesto. You are clearly the kind of well-meaning liberal, who like Bajnai thinks that the situation of Magyar and Gypsy in rural Hungary would stop being a “time bomb” if the Hungarian Guard just vanished into thin air. Simply, you are obviously the kind of person who believes that Gypsy youths would stop beating 92 year old Hungarian women to death, if only these bigotted Hungarians would call them Romák, instead of Cigányok… Now I know this is the kind of thinking, that counts as standard practise for the author and commenters of this blog.… Read more »
Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Peter Koroly: “Jobbik can be considered a national-socialist or if you prefer a neo-Arrowcross party using explicit anti-gypsy racism, Antisemitism and revisionism. Even in their program Jobbik mentions occasional segregation of gypsies. So to say Jobbik is exremist is in my opinion an understatement.”
Exactly. Perhaps some of the people who will vote for them don’t know it because they are politically not sophisticated enough but that Vona, Szigeti, Balczó, Morvai, and the others operate with nazi ideas in their heads is for sure.

Thrasymachus
Guest

“that Vona, Szigeti, Balczó, Morvai, and the others operate with nazi ideas in their heads is for sure.”

Vándorló
Guest
@Thrasymachus: “The double-think at play here is simply astonishing. I marvel at it, I truly do.” Well exactly, here we have Jobbik bemoaning loss of free speech when Vona has repeatedly talked about direct plans to close down media and TV that he deems undemocratic. This is media that has broken no laws, just he doesn’t like them. And they have a right to talk about ‘freedom of speech’ now? What’s the phrase again: veréb, bagoly, nagyfejű? That aside, this law is not a solution. The political and social climate has to drastically change, with real attempts at social cohesion and integration. Jobbik are clearly not interested in this, their policy is intimidate, punish and suppress. That aside though on paper they have the most coherent policies on the Roma (yes I use the endonym/andonym rather than the exonym), though they derisively entitle this section of their manifesto with the pun on ‘cigányút’ = meaning literally ‘Gypsy route’ though in standard meaning used in phrases to mean ‘going down the wrong path’. As Jobbik state they want to put an end to topic work places for the Roma. Contrast with with the MSZP policy of creating 200 places for university… Read more »
Vándorló
Guest

Just to clarify one of those paragraphs, I should have more clearly stated:
“As Jobbik state they want to put an end to nominal work placements for the Roma, but allowing full integration with the workforce, starting with better education. Contrast with with the MSZP policy of creating a mere 200 places for university graduates etc… piecemeal nonsense again from MSZP.
Jobbik continue to support the idea of segregation in education on ethnic grounds, also. Whilst MSZP effectively do, by not enforcing or overseeing the laws that should be in effect. Were I Roma I would have little to choose between either. They remain between a rock and a hard place and MSZP/Fidesz are the cause. Can they be the solution? I seriously doubt it in their current form.”

Peter Koroly
Guest

@Thrasymachus@ interesting is your use of language. You use the word “liberal” in order to condemn those Hungarians, who take a different view of Jobbik than you.
I am astonished by Krisztina Morvai, a “lady” who suggested to a Jewish Hungarian “to play with your little circumcised p….” not very ladylike.
Enough to visit a Jobbik national rock concert to know, that this party is neo-arrow cross. Jobbik’s incitement against “gypsy-criminality” shows them to be racist.
István Bibó wrote a book about German Hysteria, Hungary needs somebody with the intellectual capability of Bibó, who could write a book about Hungarian Hysteria.

Thrasymachus
Guest

“Well exactly, here we have Jobbik bemoaning loss of free speech when Vona has repeatedly talked about direct plans to close down media and TV that he deems undemocratic. This is media that has broken no laws, just he doesn’t like them.”

Thrasymachus
Guest

@Peter Koroly
“I am astonished by Krisztina Morvai, a “lady” who suggested to a Jewish Hungarian “to play with your little circumcised p….” not very ladylike.”

Vándorló
Guest
@Thrasymachus: So Jobbik have a perfect right to determine the form of opinions that are to be expressed in the media, over and above the existing guidelines? And HírTV and EchoTV would MSZP have a right to suppress them in your books? And what is ‘liberal’ when it is at home? Anything that says that Vona is a ****? What are Jobbik’s policies and guidelines so we can all see what is heading our way? Are they going to make this up, cause it’s not in the manifesto, but it seems awfully important to you people to shut everyone else up. Yours is a completely dishonest response, because Jobbik do not believe in freedom of speech. Not one bit. Listen and look at all their supporters comments and websites. They hate to hear anything that they don’t agree with, so they don’t allow it and neither will Vona. You have to go out of your way too, because these aren’t even state TV stations, they merely won a station broadcasting license. How about the legal separation of media and government? Do you think Jobbik would support this? [Hint: No!] This just shows that Jobbik want to rule people’s lives. Every… Read more »
Thrasymachus
Guest

@Vándorló
What on earth are you talking about? You are being positively unhinged?
So Jobbik have a perfect right to determine the form of opinions that are to be expressed in the media, over and above the existing guidelines?

Thrasymachus
Guest

And now the piece de resistance, we’ll leave out the lovely anti-Morvai ad hominem at the end shall we and use the source you use to substantiate it?
“On the Morvai letter to the American Embassy (not a blog) it’s been denounced by her own Dean of ELTE, Dr. Hudecz Ferenc, along with pretty much everyone else outside Jobbik: http://www.nol.hu/belfold/morvai_obszcen_levele_az_amerikai_zsidoknak

Öcsi
Guest

There are no facts, only interpretations.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

Thrasymachus
Guest

Spoken like a true neo-Marxist.

Öcsi
Guest

Where is your evidence? Or do you just prefer to put labels on those you disagree with? And what comes after the labels?

Vándorló
Guest
@Thrasymachus: Morvai nor anyone in Jobbik has ever distanced themselves from the statement and specifically Morvai stated when asked that only “from now on” she was making it a policy not to comment on her communications (“…én mostantól kezdve a magánlevelezéseimről beszámolok…”). Great timing. Convenient. Jobbik’s accounts speak for themselves, they are laughable. Even if it did take them 6 years to compile. On the Jobbik Media policy, page 54, section V.2.5. ‘Creation of a Nation building media’ (“Nemzetépítő média megteremtése”), there is nothing with any meaning, aside from they hate people who make profits (a common these for these Marxists and echoing or echoed by Orbán’s ridiculous ‘money capitalism’) and they wish to ‘strengthen national awareness’ (“nemzettudat megerősítése”). There are no details on shutting down TV stations, licensing etc… That’s why I asked about it. Can I ask a question? It is a leading one, so don’t get upset. I ask questions and you can clarify my knowledge and understanding without referring to ‘winning and losing’ like this is a game of csapd le csacsi. Are the media laws envisioned and the strengthening similar to those in place in Turkey? Morvai has specifically stated in the past that she… Read more »
John T
Guest

“Freedom of speech means the freedom to express an opinion publicly, it does not go hand in hand with the “right” somehow to broadcast it to millions. Abolishing the RTL Klub franchise does not affect Mónika Erdélyi’s freedom of speech. She will be perfectly free to continue spouting her sensationalist drivel and no one will lock her up for it… it’s just that we won’t all be obliged to watch.”
And there was me thinking that one exercised their choice by using the on/off button on the TV.

Thrasymachus
Guest
@Vándorló Oh so now they are to be condemend for “not distancing themselves.” MSZP is not required to distance itself from the demonstrated use of the state’s apparatus to violently repress citizens. Oh no. Fidesz is not supposed to distance itself from its increasingly evident rampant corruption at the local level. Heaven forbid. But Jobbik is supposed to distance itself from every crackpot statement made by anyone who just happens to say they are doing it in Jobbik’s name. I wonder why therefore, Morvai considers it sound judgement not to make the prescedent of answering questions about correspondence? And now I see you are a memeber of the “speak for themselves” brigade? Look. If you lack the eloquence to speak for – yourself – and convincingly make your case, I would stop drawing attention to it if I were you. Quit while you’re behind. ———- @John T You are conflating freedom of choice and freedom of speech. Who do you think you fool by doing so? You make Jobbik’s point for them, namely that if you have neither cable or satelite, as a Hungarian TV watcher you have either the choice of watching Liberal Left television or of watching no… Read more »
Peter Koroly
Guest

@Thrasymachus@ You defend Jobbik’s candidate to be president of Hungary Krisztina Morvai. Now her remark about playing with your circumcised p….. has been published by Jobbik. She is a racist and an anti-Semite. To speak about “our sort of people and your sort of people” is clearly implicit Antisemitism. To incite people against Gypsies by claiming a “gypsy-criminality” is racism. And when the Hungarian Guard is demonstrating before the German embassy denying Holocaust that speaks louder than all your long postings. Jobbik is a national-socialist party, if you are not satisfied as a good Hungarian you pretend to be, then let me say Jobbik is a party in the tradition of Szálasi and Arrow-Cross, inclusive the Arpadflag and the silly demand to abolish the Trianon peace treaty signed by the foreign minister of the Horthyregime.

Vándorló
Guest

@Thrasymachus: I thought I had made it really clear that I believe Jobbik are dishonest, mendacious and duplicitious. More so than even the MSZP, SZDSZ and Fidesz – which is saying a lot – who I have also condemned here as elsewhere. More than that though, they feed off and only exist through conflict. They will do everything in their power to maintain their raison d’etre.
Anyway, since there is but one hour left of it here (Budapest) Happy Estonian Independence Day!! (Head Eesti Vabariigi aastapäeva!) A country lead by a man who was a refugee in Sweden, educated in the US and then returned to play a great part in leading his state: Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Now there is the difference between a politician and a statesman. Something Hungary will be sadly lacking come the elections.
And tomorrow is the anniversary of Khrushchev’s speech denouncing Stalin, too.

John T
Guest

“You make Jobbik’s point for them, namely that if you have neither cable or satelite, as a Hungarian TV watcher you have either the choice of watching Liberal Left television or of watching no television at all.”
To be honest, there are far better things to do than watch television. And media isn’t confined to television. Personally, I find Hungarian television remarkably boring. But then I have the BBC to entertain me – sure some of it is dross, but it still produces some of the finest programming in the world.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

T: “You make Jobbik’s point for them, namely that if you have neither cable or satelite, as a Hungarian TV watcher you have either the choice of watching Liberal Left television”
That is total nonsense.

Thrasymachus
Guest

@Peter Koroly
You are talking nonsense, and I don’t know whether to think that you know you are and are being cynical, or that you actually don’t know you are… and what that implies about you. You plainly live in a world of Szálasis and Arrow Crossers that is as divorced from the real world as can be.
Morvai has gone to great lengths to explain what the term “our kind of people” means.



But of course the facts count for nothing.
Any statement by a Jobbik person would be deemed as anti-Semitic by you, wouldn’t it? Even so, if you had any interest in grappling with the actual facts of the issue at hand there would be a point to engaging with you further, but you’re not, so there isn’t.
I wish you luck with your life in the 1930s. Those of us in Hungary in 2010 have actual and real issues to deal with.
———- ———-
@Vándorló
“I thought I had made it really clear that I believe Jobbik are dishonest, mendacious and duplicitious. More so than even the MSZP, SZDSZ and Fidesz – which is saying a lot – who I have also condemned here as elsewhere.”

Vándorló
Guest

@Thrasymachus: “Only a few moths ago you were stressing over again how the Jobbik vote was and would be stagnated at 10%.” I made no such claim and never would. I merely reported and corrected you on your misuse of statistical analysis. That data still stands and was relevant *at that time*. Strangely opinions and public support changes over time. You made a prediction for the future, I didn’t. Now you are happy to use the same sources you once pooh-pooed, without question. Duplicitous nonsense.
On Morvai and extremism, how do you explain away Morvai giving the finger to police outside the Parliament building? In circumstances where she is clearly not being provoked, but is encouraging others to follow her lead – clearly enjoying all the attention she draws to herself. The video of this has been removed from YouTube but I downloaded it ages ago anyway, so please don’t tell me she never did, I’d be happy to re-upload it for the world to be reminded what Jobbik send to represent them in the EU.

Peter Koroly
Guest

@Thrasymachus@You accuse me to live in the thirties just because I was polite and wrote, that since you pretend to be a good Hungarian, you may not agree with me when I say that Jobbik is national-socialist. So as a good Hungarian you may qualify your friends from Jobbik as a party in the tradition of Szálasi and Arrowcross.
After all the mythological Lebensraum ideology is the very same.
Now lets see the facts. One does not need to know Hungarian to see how much Jobbik is living in that past, click on one or more Jobbik Websites (they have plenty, and the question is, where does Jobbik get the money for that) and one can find the picture of the Admiral without a navy, the ruler of a kingdom without a King, Horthy, (ruled 1919-1944 october 15) Than often you find the map of Hungary before Trianon (peace treaty signed by Horthy’s foreign minister on June 4,1920)
So much for living in the past!
Am I cynical? Not at all, I am a Non-Hungarian who understands your language, and you cannot make me believe, that Jobbik is a normal right wing party.

Thrasymachus
Guest

@Vándorló
“You made a prediction for the future, I didn’t. Now you are happy to use the same sources you once pooh-pooed, without question. Duplicitous nonsense.”

John T
Guest
@Thrasymachus – @ John T That the standard practise on this blog, when people lose an argument, is to return, change the subject, and act as if they have done nothing of the kind: is something I have got used to. I hope you appreciate the freedom of choice you have in watching the BBC, but spare a thought for those great many Hungarians whose only choice is between this Link to Monika clips: And how producers of such material wrap themselves up in the nobility of free speech; in a country whose parliament is systematically denying it to others.” I’m not particularly bothered about winning or losing an argument here – I was making a comment. If some Hungarians choose to watch crap like Monika, pity them. But it’s not for me to dictate their viewing habits. At the end of the day, its easy enough to change channels. And if my relatives are reflective of society, then most Hungarians, including pensioners sign up to at least a basic UPC channel. So they can watch Hir TV or Duna TV or whatever. My favourite is Paprika TV – at least it’s useful. I also said that there were other… Read more »
wpDiscuz