Monthly Archives: November 2011

Viktor Orbán’s vision of the international financial world

There has been a lot of speculation in the last year or so about who really is in charge in Hungary when it comes to economic policy. Or, perhaps better put, who influences whom? Was it Economic Minister György Matolcsy’s vision that captivated Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who, as he himself admits, knows mighty little about economics and finance or is Matolcsy merely a willing tool in the hands of the “visionary,” Viktor Orbán? In either case, the situation is pretty bad.

I am inclined to believe that the prime … Read the rest

An eyewitness account: October 1956, Part II

It seems that we are back at 1956 as a result of our discussion about the Orbán government’s removal of Imre Nagy from the national pantheon. I wanted to answer some of the comments, but TypePad decided that the owner of the blog is not allowed to post any comments. I do hope that they will come up with some solution to the problem that has been persistent ever since yesterday.

In my last note on the subject I described the constant bombardment we were under for days on end–the … Read the rest

Now Imre Nagy is removed from the Hungarian national pantheon

While Viktor Orbán and György Matolcsy try to figure out what on earth to do before Hungary's finances collapse let's return to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Historians and political analysts have often explained that although those who took part in the regime change between 1988 and 1990 appealed to the traditions of 1956 and in fact the Third Republic was declared on October 23, 1989, the fact is that the influence of 1956 is practically nonexistent in today's Hungary. In 1956 the intellectual leaders of the revolution were dreaming of … Read the rest

Viktor Orbán and the eleven government-friendly economists: Someone is not telling the truth

In case anyone thought that Viktor Orbán and his right hand, György Matolcsy, minister of economy, consulted with eleven government-friendly economists because of the country’s dire financial situation he would be wrong. The time of the meeting was fixed weeks earlier and it was to be a routine affair.

At the beginning of September the same eleven trusted economists and financial experts met with the prime minister flanked by Matolcsy and the ever-present Péter Szijjártó. At that time Orbán took a lot of notes while the eleven said whatever they … Read the rest

The verdict: The new Hungarian electoral law is not democratic

I assume that most of you have heard of gerrymandering, which is a process of defining electoral districts to establish a political advantage for a particular party by manipulating geographic boundaries. The word goes back to the early nineteenth century when Elbridge Gerry, governor of Massachusetts, signed a bill that changed the Commonwealth’s electoral districts to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party. When mapped, one of the contorted districts in the Boston area was said to resemble the shape of a salamander.



If you want to do a little gerrymandering … Read the rest

Adventures in alternative reality: the Hungarian government’s reaction to Moody’s downgrade

The title is unfortunately not original. One of Hírszerző’s regular contributors who writes under the pseudonym “Nyüzsi” (an abbreviated form of nyüzsgő = swarmer) came up with it today. The Hungarian government tries to act as if nothing happened. And “Nyüzsi” gives examples. On the homepage of the Hungarian government there is a picture of politicians inside and outside of Hungary at a conference of representatives of Hungarians living in the neighboring countries. The headline reads “Above all the national interest.” When one visits the Ministry of National Economy … Read the rest

New Hungarian regime, new or not so new decorations

Even as Hungary's economy is on the brink, the luminaries of the non-existent Christian Democratic Party spend their time coming up with a list of new decorations to be awarded to important dignitaries at home and abroad. After all, if there was a revolution and a new regime there must be appropriate ornaments attached to it. Yes, if there is a "Planet Orbán" as The Economist called today's Hungary and an "oddball" prime minister, there ought to be new state decorations. The ones that have been given out since 1990 … Read the rest