It will be a happy new year

My optimism is legendary, and when I read this afternoon that Viktor Orbán and his friends are building a barricade around the parliament building I felt certain that Viktor Orbán will not be the prime minister of Hungary for long.

Sometimes they destroy barricades, sometimes they build them. Now they are in the building phase. Because they are afraid. Afraid even of those peaceful demonstrators who have been out on the streets with growing frequency.

But barricades don’t help if the trust of the population and the world has been lost. Therefore the coming year will be an important one for the future of Hungary and the Hungarians.

Happy New Year to All of You

Demonstration on Kossuth Square, December 31, 2011

A new beginning

It will be an eventful year, I’m sure, and an exciting one. So, cheer up everybody!

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I love Hungary
Guest

Hopefully, this time, the Hungarians won’t swing back from the Facsists to the corrupt Communists.
Hopefully, the country will come to terms with its own past this time- so that it can move on to a conservative versus liberal, democratic, future…. protected by the rule of law.
‘Twould, indeed, be a wonderful year.

Member

@ I love Hungary, well if you do indeed live Hungary than you would stay away from such silly wishes as “move on to conservative”. If you have missed the last year also, Fidesz supposed to be a conservative government. Look how much good and honesty that brought in.

Member

Dear Hungary!
I wish you all the best for the new year! I wish you a government filled with people who do not only preach democracy but act by it, I wish that all positions will be filled with qualified people who’s goal is better the country for all its citizens. I wish forgiveness and professionalism and that Hungary would stop finally looking back to the past but starts to move forward the future.

Member

@Some1 How about a pony?
Happy New Year!

Member

@ Mutt Damon, ….and a pony. lol Happy New Year Mutt!

Paul
Guest

I take it that was the new constitution El Presidente was waving around?

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Thank you dear Eva. It is good to know that you are not resting on your laurels, that you are giving to those who do not know Hungarian the possibility to understand what is going on.
But your articles are also very instructive to those who know Hungarian. Your matter of fact style is appreciated and we all can learn from it.
Please keep up the good work
A healthy, successful and happy New Year to you and to the readers. BUÉK

Ron
Guest

Eva and to all the readers and commentators I wish you a healthy, prosperous and happy New Year. BUÉK.
The first news I was reading today, was that Jozsef Szajer resigned from all his party positions. However, he remain in Parliament.
Reason: potential conflict of interest, due to the fact that his wife becomes the Head Judge. And he does not want to give the impression that the judicial is influenced by politics.
Well this is too late. I already have this impression.
http://www.origo.hu/itthon/20120101-szajer-jozsef-lemondott-minden-fideszes-partfunkciojarol.html

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Ron: “The first news I was reading today, was that Jozsef Szajer resigned from all his party positions.”
My feeling is that it wouldn’t have helped even if he had resigned before his wife was nominated for the post. After all, Tünde Handó is a friend of the Orbáns quite independently from her husband’s position in the party.

An
Guest

Eva, I love the attitude! Happy New Year Everyone… 2012, here we come!

I love Hungary
Guest

@ some 1: Fidesz is Right Wing. It is NOT conservative.

I love Hungary
Guest
A “conservative” government would: – be for the privatisation of pensions – be pro-business – be free market oriented, preferring, to the extent possible, market compelled policies, as opposed to those imposed by the state. – be for the decentralisation of power to local government and individuals – seek absolute separation of Church and State ( some failure of my own Republican Party on this one) – mistrust any one individual to make decisions for an entire nation – and therefore, support a strong and independent judiciary to check power – for simliar reasons, support a vibrant and independent media – support an independent and apolitical central bank FIDESZ is Right Wing, in as much as it is Nationalist. Other than that it is a Socialist organisation. I’ll let you put 1 + 1 together on that. A more or less “conservative” party in Hungary was the MDF. People say that this can’t be because they partnered with the liberals….. but the fact is the liberals had a choice of cooperating with Communists on the Left, meanwhile, MDF resisted cooperating with the National Socialists on the Right. That the liberals teamed up with conservatives in such a circumstance is fully… Read more »
Guest

Very well said, I love Hungary!
And we have had these conservative/liberal coalitions in Germany for many years – and now (for the first time in I don’t know how many years) in the UK too …
Of course compromises are necessary, but that’s the spirit of democracy!
I remember with horror the first years of the federal republic of Germany when the conservative CDU had a kind of stranglehold – their politics was (not in spirit, but in facts) almost as right-wing as the Nazi’s …
When I was young we still had laws against homosexuals and these so called “Christian family values” that are praised by Fidesz …
There even was a law against unmarried couples staying together over night in an apartment or rented room – the proprietor would have gone to jail (in theory …) and the consequence was that as a student I could not let my girlfriend stay overnight …
Fidesz want a return to these 19th century type laws and rules, it seems.
PS: I wonder how long the EPP will allow Fidesz to stay.

Member

The Budapest paramedics were called twice the usual on New Year’s night. Most of the time they were called to intoxicated young people. The toxicology department in Peterfy Sandor St Hospital had a steady stream of “patients” from 7pm to 9am next day.
Does this mean anything?

Member

“Does this mean anything?”
Possibly in the words of the Scriptures (Isaiah 22 verse 13):
“And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.”

Paul
Guest

A litle OT – but did anyone see the New Year firework display in London? It was the first time I’ve watched it and it was stunning. I can’t believe they do this every year, so I assume the sheer scale of it was part of the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the Olympics (both happening in 2012).
It was a bit sobering to watch it shortly after we celebrated the Hungarian New Year, though. I have never seen such an amazing display of so many fireworks being let off at once. The cost must have been a meaningful fraction of Hungary’s GDP.

GDF
Guest

I love Hungary: FIDESZ is Right Wing, in as much as it is Nationalist.
Other than that it is a Socialist organisation.”
This sound familiar, national socialists, or nazis…

Wondercat
Guest
The KURIER, again: Yesterday and today. Yesterday here. The leading article / editorial yesterday is headed “A scandal”. But the scandal is not in Hungary; it is in Austria, where politicians fail to confront OV, and the comment is prompted by Fidesz’ unilateral measures to re-write contracts between Hungarian entities (Hungarian citizens, firms, banks, even municipalities) and Austrian firms and banks. Paragraph by paragraph, below. US-Außenministerin Clinton hat in einem Brief an Ungarns Premier Orbán schwere Bedenken über die Beseitigung verfassungsmäßiger Kontrollen und Schranken geäußert. Eine mutige Geste. (Mrs Clinton, US Secretary of State, has in a letter to Hungary’s premier OV expressed serious concerns regarding his clearing away of constitutional checks and barriers. A bold gesture.) Diese Courage fehlt europäischen Regierungschefs aller Couleur. Dass auch Bundeskanzler Faymann nichts sagt, ist unverständlich. Unerträglich ist das Schweigen der Politiker der Europäischen Volkspartei (EVP), zu der Ungarns regierende Fidesz gehört. Der Eindruck, die EVP stütze Orbán, ist nicht zu leugnen. Auch die EU-Kommission hat wohl vergessen, dass sie Hüterin der Verträge ist. Gegen den Demokratie-Abbau in Ungarn treten derzeit entschieden Künstler, Intellektuelle, Medien und viele Abgeordnete des Europäischen Parlaments auf. Dass Parteitreue innerhalb der EVP und der in der europäischen Familie wohl… Read more »
Wondercat
Guest
My apologies; the KURIER leading article below also is from yesterday. “The goulash dictator OV: Expropriation in direct opposition to the free internal market”. Stellen Sie sich vor, Sie zahlen in eine private Pensionskasse ein, um später ihre schmale Rente vom Staat aufzubessern zu können. Und schwupps, weg ist die Kohle. So geschehen in Ungarn. Ministerpräsident Viktor Orbán hat die privaten Pensionskassen kurzerhand verstaatlicht und das Geld teilweise dem Budget einverleibt. Eine kalte Enteignung, und das mitten in der Europäischen Union. (Imagine that you have been paying into a private-pension account to complement later the scanty pension that you will receive from the government. Whoops! Your money is gone! That is what has happened in Hungary. With a snap of his fingers Premier OV has nationalised private-pension funds and in part applied that money against the budget. Cold-blooded expropriation, and that in the centre of the European Union [EU].) Ähnliches droht nun auch ausländischen Unternehmen, unter ihnen viele österreichische, die sich in Ungarn engagiert haben. In etlichen Wirtschaftsbereichen ist plötzlich Geld, das aus dem Ausland kommt und früher mit offenen Armen empfangen wurde, unerwünscht. Im Herzen des EU-Binnenmarktes wird Nicht-Ungarisches plötzlich aus dem Markt gedrängt und von Aufträgen abgeschnitten. Es… Read more »
Odin's Lost Eye
Guest
Much of what the Viktator has done against individuals or companies may injure that individual or Company.. The Governments of the countries which are home to those individuals or companies may and probably have warned Hungary. Governments may warn, Companies may warn, individuals may warn, NGOs may warn, but until the offence is committed courts cannot act. It is now up to those individuals or companies who have been victimised to seek redress in the courts. Their Governments may (and will) give moral support and advice, but in the end it is up to the individuals or companies to decide what to do next. However since Midnight yesterday (1st Jan 2012) the Hungarians have run afoul of several European laws. Nothing could be done until the offences were actually committed. The law cannot anticipate an offence. Now they are being committed and the fun and games can start. It will take time but the longer it goes on the bigger the punishment will be. As an aside but still vaguely on topic I see the Hungarian Constitutional Court has overturned the laws on ‘skip diving’. This shows the total lack of understanding of the position in law by that court… Read more »
Leo
Guest

Wondercat/Kurier: “To value loyalty within the EPP and the principle of non-interference … more highly than non-partisan intervention for freedom of expression and for the rule of law holds democracy up to scorn.”
It is really time for the EVP to distance itself from Fidesz. There should be no place for an anti-democratic movement within the EVP. Fidesz must be excluded from its ranks.
A bit of (inside or outside) pressure may promote this difficult process. Any suggestions how we could help to make it happen? Maybe a standard letter to send to the EP caucus, the national EPP parties (and copies to the leading newspapers)?

Joseph Simon
Guest

Éva an optimist? There is nothing but pessimism and outright silliness written here ad nauseam. And who would replace Orbán? Gyurcsány or the Jobbik?

BestBudapestDentist.com
Guest

Dear Eva,
happy new year! Where can I find an email address to you?
Best regards,
Andrew

sackhoes contributor
Guest
My personal prediction is that Orban and Matolcsy will not survive 2012 in office. Long before the 2014 elections and preempting a possible uprising by the people, internal opposition in the Fidesz will force them out of office. It would not be the first time a Hungarian Prime Minister would be discarded mid-cycle. The MSzP got rid of Medgyessy and then later, Gyurcsany. Orban, I believe, will the next to be voted out on a constructive no confidence vote. The growing opposition against Orban does not seem to accrue growing support for Gyurcsany or Mesterhazy or the LMP. (Only Jobbik, sadly, is increasing in the polls.) But even if they had a groundswell of support behind them they could bot cash it in until the 2014 elections. Fidesz, however, is in the position to change its own course by getting rid of both its political leader and its economic guru. I believe – or at least I hope – that some of the Fidesz leadership, that for the last 20 years has been marching lockstep with the only leader they have known are beginning to wake up and panic at the prospect of following Orban/Matolcsy as they drive Hungary politically… Read more »
Vilmos
Guest

Sackhoes wrote “They also know that if they don’t do it, the voters will sweep them away in 2014.”
In a normal democracy, that would be the case, but the new system seems designed to ensure that nothing like that would/could happen.

Member

Oh Joseph Simon, what is exactly the silliness and ad nauseam here? Do you think the EU, the USA, Austria, Nobel Prize winning economists, well distinguished professors have time to engage in pity bickering about Hungary, just for the fun? I think Joseph you are missing the facts, and missing the points about a government that desperately decided to go on its way against all national treaties agreements, and is almost on the brink to declare war (maybe not literally) against the developed world. Can you kindly provide us with any other facts to the contrary? Can you provide us with any Fidesz supporting article form abroad from the last month also? As far as who should replace Orban.. it is theoretical question and you silly, childish answer serves no purpose, as it is very clear you truly believe that the direction Hungary is moving is the right one, and the perfect person to lead the country is Orban. What to discuss with you when after all, you still believe this?

sackhoes contributor
Guest

“In a normal democracy, that would be the case, but the new system seems designed to ensure that nothing like that would/could happen.”
Well, I’m not sure… Even with the new, larger election districts, a landslide vote (like the 53% who voted for Fidesz) would put the opposition in the majority in Parliament. Of course, they’d have to loose some of the deadweights, like Gyurcsany, who at this point is more like a boat anchor than a genoa sail.

Paul
Guest
The Hungarian crisis finally made the BBC radio news today – a 10 minute piece on The News at One. A Hungarian liberal ex-MP and a Fidesz MEP were interviewed (I didn’t get either name, I’m afraid). The presenter seemed quite well informed and had a couple of goes at questioning the MEP, but he didn’t really push him. The MEP was giving the usual bland government line of we’re not really doing anything dangerous, and anyway we have a democratic two-thirds majority. Nicely spoken, with good English, so he made a good impression, but never really answered the questions – as per. It reminded me of when the Israeli’s do something typically Israeli (i.e. illegal and nasty) and the same spokesman always pops up on the BBC and denies everything, making out that it’s the Israelis who are reasonable and everyone else who are wrong. He always gets the same BBC kid gloves ‘treatment’ as well. One point that is starting to annoy me – whenever anyone raises the limits on press freedom in Hungary, the Hungarian government spokesperson is always able to point to the amount of anti-government stuff in the press in Hungary, and therefore claim they… Read more »
littlelambfound
Guest
Member
@ Paul, I wish you would live out Israel from your comments. I very much agree with you on most subjects but we certainly have different opinion regarding Israel. Since Israel is not the subject of this blog (with the exception of discussing the various Hungarian parties or journalists anti-semite comments) I would like to leave it just like that. Thank you for considering. Yes, I think OV is bright enough to leave some of the press alone to make some points. I am not sure if any of you read the book, The Help or have seen the movie (which I hated), but I think how Orban behaves is like one of the main character, who simply cannot stand black people, but tries to sound liberal and caring in some way. She organizes this huge fundraising for African children, at the same time she does not allow her black nanny to use the same bathroom. Orban is smart (not intelligent), and the people who surround him are the ones who received very limited “smart pills” and they depend on ORban’s handouts. It is obvious by now that Orban does not employ anyone who can stand on his/her own.He is… Read more »
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