Saint Stephen’s messages and plans

Lately it is not only economists who are sending messages to the Hungarian government; even St. Stephen got into the act with Tibor Navracsics as his medium.

What message did Hungary’s first king send this time? He warned Viktor Orbán that Hungary had better not to look around for friends in the East. No good will come of it. His interpreter, Tibor Navracsics, deputy prime minister, delivered the saintly king’s message in Veszpém which in early Hungarian history was the city of the queen. According to Navracsics, Saint Stephen’s greatness was due not so much to his founding of a state but to “his brave decision to tie Hungary’s future to western Christendom and culture.”

“Many people told our first king that it would be better to turn toward the East because great opportunities await us there, but he knew that our future lies with western Christianity. King Stephen opted for Western Europe.”

Depiction of St. Stephen on the coronation robe (1031)

 

“Later in history there were several such moments when decisions concerning Hungary’s orientation had to be made. At the time of the Tatar invasion there may have been people who told Béla IV that the might of the East is irresistible. But he didn’t listen to them. During the Turkish occupation there were many people who felt that some kind of understanding with the Ottoman Empire was essential. The West is in decline, the future belongs to the East. Yet, all important Hungarian kings without any hesitation always opted for the western Christian world…. This is the heritage of St. Stephen.”

Well, I don’t know about St. Stephen’s messages in general but one thing is sure: it is Tibor Navracsics who is sending the message to Viktor Orbán, telling him through the not so saintly King Stephen that he is wrong when he buries the West and wants to set the sails of Hungary’s ship toward the East. This is a pretty clear message and indicates that there might be a few people within Fidesz and the government who don’t agree with the direction Viktor Orbán is leading the country.

Admittedly, there are very few signs of discontent, and even Navracsics’s complaints had to be hidden under the coronation mantle of King Stephen. Moreover, one doesn’t know whether the prime minister’s attention was even called to this particular news item. It is possible that his servile staff wouldn’t dare to mention it to him.

Some of my readers might think that I’m exaggerating when I suppose such fear in the prime minister’s office. But a few days ago an interesting and, I’m afraid, typical story came to light. The Pannon Philharmonic of Pécs was preparing a program that included a Kodály piece based on an Endre Ady poem entitled “The peacock flew onto the roof of the county hall.” The director of the Philharmonic forbade the performance of this particular piece because the mayor might get offended. After all, his family name is Páva, which means “peacock.” Zsolt Páva, the mayor, knew nothing about either the original or the changed program. It says a lot about the atmosphere of fear and servility that reign in Hungary in official circles.

St. Stephen is not satisfied with sending messages; he is now also in the credit card business. Csaba Böjte, a Franciscan monk from Déva, Romania, came up with a St. Stephen Plan which would involve issuing a Saint Stephen credit card. People who use the card would get 5% off the purchase price of items bought. Three percent would go into a St. Stephen Fund that would completely revamp the countryside as well as the cities of the Carpathian Basin–not just Hungary but the entire former Greater Hungary. Two percent would stay in the pocket of the cardholder. According to the good monk it would be a great deal all around. It would generate more sales for store owners who accept the St. Stephen card, it would save money for the cardholders, and it would make the Carpathian Basin a “fairyland” (tündérkert).

From the money collected the organizers would buy gardening equipment, and thousands and thousands of unemployed people would work to make a beautiful garden out of the country. There would be flowers not only in front of the houses but also along the highways. And naturally everything would be spic and span in the cities as well. Houses that are crumbling would be taken down while those that can be salvaged would be rebuilt. All this with the help of St. Stephen.

If this sounds utopian and unrealistic to you, it sure doesn’t to Csaba Hende, minister of defense. According to him “the St. Stephen Plan is an opportunity for the advancement of the country.” In fact, the Hungarians of today are continuing the work of St. Stephen. That is, according to Hende.

There are some people in Hungary who are sick and tired of all these messages from long dead rulers and politicians. As Péter Föld S. said in his blog, “Saint Stephen did not send any message to us. He died a long time ago and he doesn’t even know we exist. He was a man, a Hungarian king. He lived as well as he could. He ate, drank, and loved. And of course ruled. He enacted laws as is expected from a ruler. And what should be expected of us in the twenty-first century is that we shouldn’t say idiotic things on our national holidays.” Admittedly, politicians all over the world do this, but I don’t think that too many French politicians would come up with messages from Clovis the First. Or that the English would be expecting advice from King Egbert. Well, that is another world. Hungary got stuck on St. Stephen, especially once a right-wing government came into power.

* * *

By the way, if you don’t hear from me for awhile, it’s not that St. Stephen has stopped whispering into my ear. As a result of hurricane Irene, slowly making its way toward Connecticut, the power company is anticipating extensive outages, many lasting for several days. And as the company prioritizes the restoration of electricity, Hungarian Spectrum doesn’t quite rank up there with local hospitals and businesses.

 

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Ron
Guest

Good luck and stay safe.

GW
Guest

Stay safe!
As long as we’re talking about turning to the East and mysterious messages, if you have the time, could you please tell us what you can about the six treaties with China that are being kept secret by the government? On what basis can treaties be kept secret in Hungary? Is the Pester Lloyd’s idea plausible that this has something to do with the award of operations for the Debrecen Airport (for 75 years!) I understand that LMP are trying to have these made public, but what is their likelihood of success?

Paul
Guest

Debrecen Airport!
One of the longest runways in Europe (thanks to Uncle Joe), but almost unused. We can almost see it from our balcony (and we can certainly hear it!), but we’ve only ever flown from it once.
I dream of straight-through London to Debrecen flights. But it’s never going to happen. After all, why would anyone fly to Debrecen?
Kósa, pull your finger out and sort out a nice fat bribe to easyJet or Wizzair!

GW
Guest

Paul,
I understand perfectly why the Chinese might be interested in acquiring control (for 75! years) of a European Airport. I just don’t understand why the Hungarians would agree to such a deal in terms of both price and longevity.
Debrecen Airport, with that long runway, cheap (for the foreseeable future) local wages, a decent train connection and compliant toll offices might be a serious alternative for freight from China, offering much lower costs than Frankfurt, for example.

Member

I think we are truly in trouble when the “leaders ” of the Hungarian government start to channel kings who have died thousand years ago. By the way, lets put this in context, St Stephan used the help of the Germans to wipe out the “traditional” Hungarian life. hmmm He overstepped Agnatic seniority for the more favourable Christian Divine Right. THis was his only way to become king, or the crown would of gone to Koppany. SO for me is always very phony when the Real Hungarians start to lectures us about the traditional Hungarian values. They use Hungarian traditions, and everything else to do with Hungary as a buffet table, and pick and choose what they want.
To not dismiss the West should not come form some voodoo, from a fortune teller or from any Church. THe decision should come from well informed politicians who see the value of the membership in the European Union and who value what Western society can offer.

Member

Eva take care please! Try to keep us posted!

Odin's lost eye
Guest
Mediums, Sharman, dead kings, messages from ‘beyond’. The whole boiling load of loonies have ‘fallen out of their trees’! I suppose The Mighty One has a gang of astrologers (Ole ‘Itler did and look what happened to him.!) GW Debrecen airport only has 8600 feet of runway. The longest in Europere Zarragosa (Spain) about 12,000 and Fairford (UK) 12,000 feet. These two were ‘bolt holes’ for landing the ‘Space Shuttle’. Fairford is the westernmost and northernmost of the two, miss that and you have to go to Edwards AFB and then the Cape. There may be one in Australia but I do not know it. Why should China be so interested in Hungary? It is commercial. Many Chinese outfits are making products ‘under licence’ where they either pay a royalty or have exclusive contracts. Others are churning out ‘fake’ exclusive/copyright/patent good and even pharmaceuticals. If the Chinese can get these unlicensed goods into Europe with fake European origins, their profit margins would soar. They also would escape blame. A Jumbo with say a cargo of fake Rolex watches sold as genuine would have a worth like an international telephone number. Law suits would be brought against the ‘notional’ Hungarian companies.… Read more »
Sackhoes Contributor
Guest

Stay safe, Eva!

Member

Odin’s makes a good point about “fake” goods by the Chinese. Quick question, does anyone knows what the “made in” regulation is for Europe? I know that for Canada the “made in” is the last point where the good receive any manufacturing input. Example, some goods where the “ingredients” are from Korea, the sewing is done in China, but the sewing on the buttons and packing are done in Canada, would be considered “made in Canada”. (Of course it is not financially worth it, doing it that way.)

Member

Crazy! Why do we need the Chinese for this? Why don’t we make a Jumbo cargo-load of fake Rolexes and sell it. It’s illegal either way. These guys have no idea of the economy …

Paul
Guest

Much the same in the UK, Mutt, as long as the final part of the assembly is done in the UK, it’s “made in the UK”.
I think this even applies to food – you can import food from abroad and then process it in some way and call it ‘British’.
Although there’s been a lot of fuss about this recently, so the food rules may have been, or may be about to be, changed.
The ‘made in’ thing is not so easy though, as almost any manufactured item contains parts from a number of countries, so how do you determine the significance of the bit of the process that gets the name?
And does it really matter? I gave up looking for where things were made years ago.
Except light bulbs – it’s always nice to see “Made in Hungary” as you fit a new bulb!

Paul
Guest
I hope Éva forgives me if I take advantage of her struggle with Irene to ask for help from my fellow posters, but I need to know about Algopyrin. My daughter has been quite ill these last few days, often with a high temperature, and one of the biggest culture clash problems my wife and I have is the treatment of our children when they are ill. She favours the Hungarian ‘intervention’ approach – there must be something we can give the child or do to him/her to make them better – whereas I have grown up with the British attitude that the body will usually sort itself out – jokingly referred to in the UK as “take an aspirin and go to bed”. Our biggest clash is usually over temperature and what to do about it. The Hungarian approach seems to be that the temperature is all that matters, other symptoms are all but ignored, and if the temperature gets too high, doctors are called, cold baths are run and kids are taken to hospital to spend the night on a drip (I’m not exaggerating). Whereas in Britain, temperature is seen as just one symptom, and mostly not even… Read more »
Member

Banned or not, Algopyrin was the drug I had every time when I had headache or toothache. Other versions like Quarelin (with added caffeine) was taken by my friends with chronic headaches due to spine problems. We also gave it to our children. The youngest was 4 when we left Hungary. Then we switched to Tylenol.

GW
Guest

Paul,
It is metamizole sodium. The English Wikipedia article seems to be good on the subject and the controversy around it. I agree with you on temperature being one of several indicators to consider, but if temperature is a serious issue and you have doubts about metamizole, why not indicate to the doctor that you’ve read up on the risks (perhaps mention agranulocytosis) and ask if ibuprofen could not be a less problematic substitute?

Pete H.
Guest

The Contrarian is doing a great job keeping up with developments on the far right:
http://thecontrarianhungarian.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/only-we-are-the-chosen-people-hungarian-far-right-reviews-its-troops/
Vona gathering the Garda together. I fear that OV’s failures only feed this beast.

peter litvanyi
Guest

Dear Eva,
stay put/ take care and have a good time! Hurricans can be FUN!
Sincerely:
Peter Litvanyi

Odin's lost eye
Guest

Paul you wrote ** jokingly referred to in the UK as “take an aspirin and go to bed”. **
This is not as daft as it seems. The ‘Common Aspirin’ is a very good ‘febrifuge’ that is something which reduces the body’s temperature. It is also given as a ‘first treatment’ in event of a heart attack. Stuff like Ibuprofin etc are sledghammers to crack a peanut.
The body raises its temperature as part of its defence mechanism. By warming its self up the body weakens the invading bacterium/virus. The majority of viruses are very sensitive to the temperature.
Give the little lass aspirin, let her sleep and keep her well supplied with drink (not too sugary) to keep her electrolytic balance right. Fizzy drinks help settle the stomach. Drinks with real honey in them can be very useful as bees put all sorts of antibiotics in to honey to preserve the stuff.
Hope the little lass is running about tomorrow – they usually do – it is something to do with ‘keeping the parents amused’.

Member

UPDATE ON STORM DAMAGE AROUND CONNECTICUT:
More than 700,000 utility customers in Connecticut remain without power following yesterday’s tropical storm.
Connecticut Light & Power reported just over 595,000 outages Monday morning, or about 48 percent of the company’s customers.
Spokesman Mitch Gross says more than 800 crews are out removing trees from downed lines and restoring electricity.

Odin's lost eye
Guest

Mutt you may have missed one of the points. The Wun Hung Lo Company makes ‘Hum Gromits for the ‘Hum Gromit inc’ of Schenectady NY. But these are supplied at a set price. If the Wun Hung Lo Company could sell these directly to the trade and even at a discount they would keep more of the value for themselves. As to fake Rolex watches well old granny Nagy is the CEO of a ‘shadow company’ the watches (which are junk) are made in China for a few Euro Cents each. They are imported in the name of the shadow company and sold by parts of the ‘inner circle’ in the rest of Europe to which they are shipped as tinned ‘Yak Patties’. It may well be totally illegal. But during the rule of His Mightiness (OV) you will not be able to get any legal redress.
Old Granny Nagy is in a old folks home and is totally gaga. Neither she nor her shadow company have received a single aluminium Fila from any one.

Member

Some more news about China’s plans in Hungary: http://tinyurl.com/3nltglz

Paul
Guest

Interesting link, Some 1, thanks
Interesting too that MAV reckons it’s lost a quarter of its passengers in the last 6 years. I wonder why? Could it perhaps have something to do with the amount of motorway building during the same period?
For instance, now Debrecen is connected to the motorway network, it takes a little over 2 hours to drive to Budapest, whereas before it took 4 hours or more. By rail it is about 2 and a half hours. Which option are those with cars going to choose?
How come there’s so much money available for motorways and road improvement, but none for railways, when we’re constantly told that railways are the better form of transport?

Member

Until our blog Madame gets electrified again here is a gem for those who speak Hungarian. No French required.
http://orulunkvincent.blog.hu/2011/09/01/alape_toeurvaigne_a_rettenthetelen_dadaista_drama_ketharmad_reszben

Member

Update: Eva will likely be back with us on Sunday or Monday. They expecting the power to be restored by Sunday.

Paul
Guest

A week to restore power?
Some people not happy about this: http://online.wsj.com/article/AP9ec292a43cac49c49af0d8f8c534dbd2.html?KEYWORDS=irene
I’m sure if OV had been in charge, power would have been back in 7 hours, not seven days. He would have had teams of unemployed Roma sitting up National Grid poles, holding cables together.
The man who beat the Red Flood wouldn’t let a mere hurricane (correction – tropical storm) get the better of him.

Event on Hungary in Washington DC
Guest
Event on Hungary in Washington DC

The Center for Transatlantic Relations (CTR)
Invites you to a Washington Central Europe Initiative event:
Hungary’s New Law on Churches
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 from 10:30AM-11:30AM
Hungary’s new Law on Churches has spurred criticism from members of the religious community and civil society. Some advocates have called for the amendment, or outright repeal, of the law, alleging discrimination and limitations on freedom of religion. But defenders of the law argue it remedies previous abuses, creates a level playing field for religious associations and respects freedom of religion. Address your questions on the law directly to theological expert, László Gonda and Bence Rétvári, Minister of State for Public Administration and Justice.
http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=ecd50dd626cf374511464e688&id=48e97738da&e=b910168401

Event on Hungary in Washington DC
Guest
Event on Hungary in Washington DC

Thomas O. Melia and Nancy Brinker at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC
The Ambassador of the Republic of Hungary,
H.E. György Szapáry requests the pleasure of your company at a
Memorial Concert
by Hungarian pianist Péter Tóth, winner of the 2010 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition,
to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11 and
celebrate the courage of the U. S. Firefighters
on Sunday, September 11, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
at the Embassy of Hungary, 2950 Spring of Freedom Street, N.W., Washington, DC, 20008
Commemorating remarks by Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas O. Melia
and Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker
The concert is followed by a reception.
R.S.V.P. by September 6th
(202)-362-6730 /201
rsvp.was@kum.hu
Business Attire

Paul
Guest
In Éva’s continuing absence, another mini-blog post from me (in a desperate attempt to get some posts on here – are you all ASLEEP???) Sitting on the train today, I witnessed a typical Hungarian scene. A woman and her young son were sitting in the next group of seats, with their backs to us – I could see them, but my wife couldn’t, as they were behind her. At Szolnok a couple got on and discovered that the woman and her son were sitting in their seats. This is not unusual on Intercity trains – why sit in your single reserved seat, if two are apparently available? The woman agreed to move (without the usual sullen pointless argument, much to my surprise), and then checked her ticket to see which seat was actually hers – only to discover it was already occupied by a young woman on her way to start the new university term in Budapest. But now things reverted to normal Hungarian behaviour – the young woman at first refused to move, until the woman with the child showed her her ticket. But even then she still remonstrated and went through the usual routine of scrutinising both her’s… Read more »
Member

Paul, that reminds me when me and my kids went to Lake Balaton and at the public beach there were all this kids playing around on the play structures clearly avoiding these two gipsy kids. My two very white, very blond, very long hair girls speaking English attracted all the kids, and they all play, as kids do. My older one suddenly realizes that the two darker skinned kids are not in the loop, so there she goes, and invites them in. You should of seen the horror on the other kids faces. One of the kid actually run out of the playground to tell her parents, and never returned but watched from a “safe distance”.
I feel blessed that my kids have the chance to grow up in complete ignorance for race, colour, religion and ethnicity!

Ron
Guest

Paul, Some1 your comments remind me of a meeting which I had with a Hungarian lawyer a few years ago.
He was asking were I and my family came from. And I was asking the same back. He told me that he was very proud that he came from a well respected family, and he looked into his ancestry a few hundred years.
Then he was telling me that he was also surprised to find out that he had Jewish and Gypsy blood, and he was actually proud of it.
He also told me that he spoke with a professor about this, and this professor mentioned to him that more than 75% of the Hungarians have Jewish and Gypsy blood.
Since that time I am amazed about the treatment the Gypsies get in Hungary, as they are, in most cases, family.

Member

Ron, I bet you anything that most Hungarians have more genes in them then Jewish or gypsy blood. THe magyars were nomads, then they had to deal with Mongols, Chinese, Turks, Romans, and so forth. THis true Hungarian blood is as oxymoron as it gets, and it is only in the heads of people with very low self-esteem, that this s the only way that they can prove somethng.

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