Another strange Orbán speech at the 25th anniversary of the Pan-European Picnic

Another day, another speech. Earlier I briefly mentioned that the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pan-European Picnic has been one of the important topics in the German press lately. The interest is understandable. It was the very beginning of the German unification process.

During the summer of 1989 Otto von Habsburg, who at the time was a member of the European Parliament, gave a lecture in Debrecen extolling the benefits of a Europe without borders. A couple of MDF activists came up with the idea of organizing a picnic right at the border between Austria and Hungary, symbolizing the artificial nature of borders. The organizers convinced Otto von Habsburg and Imre Pozsgay, a member of the Németh government and high-ranking party functionary, to attend the gathering to be held on August 19.

It turned out to be more than a simple picnic. Some East Germans who happened to be in Hungary heard about the event and decided to crash it in more than one way. They ran to the gate between Austria and Hungary and broke through. The Hungarian border guards were instructed to let them go. In fact, some children who were left behind were taken by Hungarian border guards across the border to join their parents. What followed we all know. On September 11 the Hungarian government opened the borders for all East Germans who were camping out in Hungary waiting for an opportunity to leave.

Hungarian border guards open the gate to freedom

Hungarian border guards open the gate to freedom

Yesterday Germans, Hungarians, Austrians, and some of the few hundred people who broke through the gate gathered to remember that  momentous day. Naturally, Viktor Orbán was also present. But instead of giving a formal speech he had a fairly lengthy “conversation” with Philip Rákay, a long time Fidesz activist and nowadays the superintendent of MTV, the state television station.

It was a strange conversation in which Orbán combined praise of the Hungarian nation with an explanation of his use of the word “liberal.” His speech back in July does need some explanation, especially since a couple of days ago he received some harsh words from the German Foreign Ministry. Undersecretary Michael Roth indicated that in the opinion of the German government “Hungary is going in the wrong direction.” According to Roth, Germany is grateful to the Hungarians for their courage in standing up for freedom in 1989, but today Germany must ask about the state of freedom in Hungary. “The developments taking place in Hungary raise concern,” he said, because “they affect our common European foundation.” This admonition came not from The Washington Post or The New York Times but from the government of the strongest and most influential country in the European Union.

This morning Péter Szijjártó responded by calling Roth’s “allegations” so general as to be meaningless, and he declared that no one should worry about the state of democracy in Hungary. Hungarians demand “respect” because they are freedom-loving people. “We are not the ones who threaten democracy.” Orbán at the commemoration ceremony also stressed the freedom-loving nature of Hungarians, adding that they are also chivalrous and magnanimous. Magnanimous because they did not take the money offered to them by Germany in exchange for the Hungarian courage and generosity shown in allowing thousands of Germans to cross over to Austria.

Soon enough, however, Orbán left history behind and began talking about matters that were in one way or another connected to his infamous speech. For example, he pointed out that Hungary cannot copy the Chinese, Russian, Japanese, or South Korean models because “we are Hungarians who come from a fundamentally Christian culture, motivated by freedom and [therefore] we must build a different economic and political system.” I have the feeling that this reassurance will not be enough for the politicians of the Trans-Atlantic alliance.

As for his description of the events of 1989, “the year of miracles,” it focused on Fidesz’s and his own role, with the usual emphasis on forcing the Russians to withdraw and getting rid of the communists. The Fidesz youngsters decided to be as radical as possible while there was such a revolutionary mood. It is almost as if Viktor Orbán and his youth organization were the only players in the drama of the regime change. Most of those present don’t remember the minute details of those months and don’t realize that Viktor Orbán and his friend László Kövér were only minor characters who until the last minute were not even admitted as negotiating partners in the Round Table Discussions. They don’t remember that the Russian troop withdrawals were negotiated by the Németh government, the “communists” who figured so large in Orbán’s discussion yesterday at the celebration.

According to Népszabadság the word “communist” was the most frequent one to leave his lips. Orbán’s critics keep repeating that they don’t understand where Orbán finds his communists because according to practically all independent observers there are mighty few of them, and they certainly cannot be found in public life. These critics, however, are most likely not familiar with the works of Gyula Tellér, who is convinced that the power structure that developed in 1954-55 is still with us. At the top were the hard-core Rákosists and the communists around Imre Nagy. These two power groups fought for supremacy. Under them were the middle classes and the petite bourgeoisie. This structure, according to Tellér, has remained surprisingly stable over more than fifty years.

Since Orbán is an attentive student of Tellér, according to whom these two top communist groups still exist, he continues to talk about communists in a country where the communist party is practically nonexistent. The real enemy, however, is not this group of ineffectual self-proclaimed communists; it is the opposition, whom Orbán views as communists who hide beneath the mask of Western-style socialism and liberalism. These covert communists must be obliterated, destroyed. The fight cannot end.

In fact, that fight has been intensified since 2010 when there was a revolution thanks to the electoral victory that produced a two-thirds majority in parliament.  Orbán recalled that József Antall sarcastically said to his critics who complained that his government did not stamp out the whole communist hierarchy, “Tetszettek volna forradalmat csinálni,” a very difficult phrase to translate because “You should have staged a revolution” doesn’t do it justice. Well, Orbán continued, in 2010 “tetszettünk forradalmat csinálni”  (We did stage a revolution). The fight against the “communists” will continue.

And the fight will continue on another front as well. János Lázár in his speech today told the Hungarians that they “are only half way into the reorganization of the Hungarian state.” Yes, they created new civil and criminal codes and a new administrative structure. What is still missing is a “new state structure.” I’m afraid that means a move toward a presidential system, with Viktor Orbán as president with far-reaching powers.

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Istvan
Guest

Thanks Eva for pulling down PM Orban’s discussion with Rakay. The passage where Orban references the Russian system and indicates Hungarians can’t just copy it because we Hungarians are after all a Christian people might give some of Putin’s Orthodox fanatical supporters pause for consideration. What Orban doesn’t think we are Christians?

tappanch
Guest

“revolution” means right-wing dictatorship in Orban’s (and probably Antall’s) parlance.

Rev. Albert W. Kovacs - UCC
Guest
Rev. Albert W. Kovacs - UCC

Orban knows what he’s talking about when he rails against the Communists. They are hiding under the Socialist cover. After all, where did all the oppressive Communists go, the ready collaborators with the Russians for 40 years, including the ones in power in 1989? They didn’t disappear. They had the money when the land and businesses went on the block, and hungry Hungarians sold them cheap to the “former” Communist vultures. … No one wants them back, which is why Fidesz has such a great majority of the votes. … All the Communists and the Socialists hate Christianity, so they are opposed to Hungary’s appreciation of its faith heritage.
They want an atheist Hungary, like the atheist nations of Europe that have traded their inheritance for a bowl of porridge. Now they want to kill the spirit of freedom in Hungary!

latefor
Guest

Eva @ “On September 11 the Hungarian government opened the borders for all East Germans who were camping out in Hungary waiting for an opportunity to leave.”

I love this part of Hungarian history! As per my book: The Gresham Symphony, Part Four
Available on: Amazon.com/kindle

gdfxx
Guest

Rev. Albert W. Kovacs – UCC : “After all, where did all the oppressive Communists go, the ready collaborators with the Russians for 40 years, including the ones in power in 1989? They didn’t disappear.”

25 years passed since 1989. Those in power in 89 were in their 50s or 60s. So now, if they are alive, they are in their 70s or 80s. They are retired or dead. That is where they “did go”. The younger ones, like Viktor Orban are running the country now.

Rev. Albert W. Kovacs - UCC
Guest
Rev. Albert W. Kovacs - UCC

There were a lot of younger ones who hooked up with the old ones, and they’re still around. The Socialists, etc. did not come out of the clear blue sky, but were weaned by the old guard – as the offspring of the Andrassy U. bullies. Their posterity make up the leftists – like the extremist Jobbiks on the other end, descendants of the Nazi collaborators. A free Hungary doesn’t need either of them.

Member
Rev. Albert W. Kovacs – UCC August 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm Orban knows what he’s talking about when he rails against the Communists. They are hiding under the Socialist cover. After all, where did all the oppressive Communists go, the ready collaborators with the Russians for 40 years, including the ones in power in 1989? They didn’t disappear. I agree. Look at Orban, the ex-Young Communist Secretary, Kover who worked at the ministry under the communists. Most ex-party members are in Fidesz. You go Rev. Kovacs tell those impostors where their place is, because they are taking over Hungary again! By the way Orban also made the following comment in his speech: http://index.hu/belfold/2014/08/19/orban_a_wc-bol_kilepve_is_tapsot_kapott/ “26 évesen a forradalmárokhoz, szabadságharcosokhoz hasonlóan a jövőre gondoltunk. A kommunisták is a jövőre gondoltak, csak ők arra, hogyan tudják átmenteni a hatalmukat, ami emberileg egy logikus döntés volt.” “At the age of 26 just like the revolutionaries, freedom fighters, we had the future in mind. The Communists thought of the future too, but they were thinking of, how they can salvage their power, which was a humanly logical decision.” And how can we forget Orban’s other famous statement from 2012: http://mandiner.hu/cikk/20121105_nem_a_diktatura_ellen_harcolt_anno_orban “Tudja, én a nyolcvanas… Read more »
Rev. Albert W. Kovacs - UCC
Guest
Rev. Albert W. Kovacs - UCC

When the Communists was the only show in town, many interested in a better Hungary (e.g Gulyas Communism) worked inside the system. But when the Commies were out, they left the machine and struck out on a new track for a Hungary free of state control of their lives. … That is, except those who tried to continue in the Communists way, i.e.
Socialists, other fellow travelers.

chandlerozconsultants
Guest

Reblogged this on hungarywolf.

LwiiH
Guest

@Rev, You are confusing a great majority of seats in parliament with a great majority of votes. You are confusing support with a rigged election system, with a press that has been coerced into following the party line and it’s affect on public opinion. You are ignoring the bullying that is happening now to silence other organizations, the theft of property…. This is a country where the people like to believe that they are greater than that they actually are (not that they are less than others) and this system is feeding into and off of that belief. Sounds like something akin to communism if you ask me.

Chris Szabó
Guest
I do have a question: I’m a Hungarian from South Africa.In our “regime change”, we had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission where people learned the realities of both the Apartheid regime and the Communist-backed (but not Communist) opposition. My question to this author, who feels there was apparently no problem in the Hungarian “change”, is why does he not advocate a Truth Commission. Hungary’s biggest problem is not this imaginary “loss of democracy” under Orban. It is the fact that thousands of people are living in houses, flats and farms that were stolen from those murdered, deported or chased away. No-one has been able to sort that out. I spoke to the form head of the Constitutional Court, Laszlo Solyom back when they had those ridiculous tickets instead of justice. I asked him about the one of the three most basic human rights, the right to property. He literally failed to comprehend my question. So Hungary lacks one word: JUSTICE. No justice for Communist Criminals against Humanity (they’re mostly dead). Same for War Criminals. But why not try give back properties to those who had them taken away? Without justice, Hungary will never be a real democracy, that’s a fact.… Read more »
Guest

Ah, Chris Szabo is here too – he (a great fan of Horthy btw …) wrote similar things on politics.hu. But he doesn’t mention that it’s Fidesz which even today hasn’t agreed to opening the archives of the communist secret police etc.

And he (like the reverend) fights against “the children of the communists” – now isn’t Orbán one of them? And didn’t Orbán’s family get rich after 1989?

Anyway these people are so full of hate – they can’t see clearly what’s going on!

Guest

London Calling!

Kovacs picks and chooses his communists.

They want an atheist Hungary, like the atheist nations of Europe that have traded their inheritance for a bowl of porridge. Now they want to kill the spirit of freedom in Hungary!

Hungary traded democracy for an energy reduction!

Christianity in Hungary? Don’t make me laugh.

An example of a compassionate fair society?

Even the Rev Kovacs must see that Hungarian society is moving away very fast from so-called Christian values.

There’s none so blind who cannot see.

Regards

Charlie

D7 Democrat
Guest

“My question to this author, who feels there was apparently no problem in the Hungarian “change”, is why does he not advocate a Truth Commission.”

It is the Fidesz regime’s hierarchy each and everytime which has blocked the opening up of files from the Communist files, why?

Guest

Should have put bold in quotes….. Bold is Kovacs….

cserebogar
Guest
The “presidential system” is an euphemism. This term will be hijacked (Fidesz is great at that) and applied to the new Hungarian, quasi-dictatorial system. While presidential systems in a democracy contain checks and balances, divisions of powers, rule of law and so on, the dictatorial systems although almost always contain a president (somtimes a junta) have none of these in actuality (on paper maybe, even the communist systems had parliaments, elections, judiciary etc.). The main feature is that there is just one person who decides in all matters — but this does not make it a “presidential system”. So the Hungarian system will obviously have nothing to do with the US or even the French systems (which is under attack for being ineffectual), but much more with Russia, the new Turkish system, the old Horthy system or with Latin American/African dictatorships/ dictatorial “presidential system”. Let”s refrain from the use of “presidential system” without quotation marks because otherwise we will just reinforce Fidesz’ PR efforts. “Hey, this is only a presidential system, the US has one and it is a democracy too. What’s your problem with Hungary? We only copied the US system. Sure, we made some changes, we cannot blindly… Read more »
Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Rev. Albert W. Kovacs – UCC: They want an atheist Hungary, like the atheist nations of Europe that have traded their inheritance for a bowl of porridge

Is hunting the homeless in downtown areas ‘christian’? Is forbidding same-sex marriage in the Constitution ‘christian’? Etc. What if Hungary needed less proclamations of its Christian heritage and ‘values’, and more… actions?

Rev. Albert W. Kovacs – UCC: Their posterity make up the leftists – like the extremist Jobbiks on the other end, descendants of the Nazi collaborators. A free Hungary doesn’t need either of them.

While I certainly agree that Hungary doesn’t need significant communist nor neo-nazi parties, I was under the impression that it was not man’s prerogative to punish the children for the sins of their fathers. Now, where did I get this funny idea, I can’t remember …

googly
Guest
Rev. Albert W. Kovacs – UCC, You wrote: “They want an atheist Hungary, like the atheist nations of Europe that have traded their inheritance for a bowl of porridge. Now they want to kill the spirit of freedom in Hungary!” I know of not one single “atheist” nation in Europe, so please state which nations you are speaking of. If you are thinking of France, you are completely wrong, since it is secular, not atheist. Secular means that the state does not interfere with religion, and is not influenced unduly by one particular religion. Without such an approach, you might have a resumption of the religious wars that tore Europe apart for centuries, leading to massacres of people for believing in the “wrong” kind of Christianity, for example. This is similar to what is happening right now in the Moslem world, between Sunnis and Shias (and related sects). Do you yearn for a religious war in Europe that would establish your particular brand of Christianity as supreme, or are you just unaware of history? As for the “bowl of porridge”, as far as I can tell, beyond keeping the wolves of sectarianism at bay, secularism has done quite a lot… Read more »
Ottó Kristó
Guest

The neo-liberal dogmas are the same as the old colonizer ideology of the 16-19th century:

This is a short but exelent cartoon about it:

http://indavideo.hu/video/Hogyan_gyarmatositottak_a_feherek_Amerikat_2

petofi
Guest

@Rev. Kovacs

“….wanting to restore democracy…”

You’re joshing, right? (By the way, good reverend, what’s your waist size?)
Anyway, utter nonsense on at least two grounds: one, if what Orban/Fidesz are building is ‘democracy’ then your consulting some secret texts I don’t know about; and two, a Hungarian
wouldn’t know what Democracy is if it hit him in the face. Sorry, but even before 2010, Hungary
only had the palest imitation of democratic principles and practices. But then, Hungary
majors in appearances; in another word—verisimilitudes.

Then again, what would Hungary do with Democracy? Or the Rule of Law? What would all those useless 23 district bureaucrats (not to mention the multitude of judges in the country) do to survive if ‘payoff’ wasn’t the happiest word in the Hungarian business and legal lexicon?

Melange989
Guest

Re Kristo Otto above (not sure if this is a real name). Apparently he has contacts to Identitás Szövetség on his facebook page, which organization in Hungary seems to be a radical, Tellér Gyula-Bogár László/Dugin-inspired, anti-68’er, extreme right-wing, fascist organization. Its sibling organizations in Germany and Austria are called Identitare Bewegung, perhaps our German/Austrian readers know about them, I’ve never heard of them. Compared to the usual kuruc.info and other Hungarian extreme-right wing home pages which almost invariably reflect the usual kitchy, tasteless, amateurish extreme-right wing visual look and design (reflecting the fact that poorer, working class people predominate their ranks), Identitás’ home page looks rather professional, clean. The home page (a wordpress blog) somehow reminds me of the visual design of 4K (the leftist quasi-party operating in the “uncanny valley”). The texts are very strongly worded and radical, deranged even, but somehow sound more professional? educated? (even in their crazyness) than the ‘usual’ Hungarian fascist organization. Something tells me this is again a KGB and/or Hungarian secret service backed (controlled) organization, and not a ‘real’ one.

Member

@ Chris Szabo: You need to do some more research before you post. Hungary in fact did pay out (relatively) huge sums, and offered back properties to those who were “chased away” by the nazis or communists. I know both for a fact. I have an older lady friend who in fact went back to Hungary to “settle” her family estate that was taken away after wwii. Someone from my in-law’s family also married a Hungarian Minister in the 50s, and he had his estate settled in Hungary before he passed away. Now, if you are talking about war criminals, think Hungary owes them 0.

Guest

@Melange:

Thanks for that info on the ” Identitäre Bewegung” – never heard of this variation of Nazism before. But it seems they’re a well known small group of mainly young people
:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identit%C3%A4re_Bewegung

The whole thing seems to have started in France as an anti-Muslim (and anti-gay and anti you name it …) movement:
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouvance_identitaire

Ottó Kristó
Guest

Melange, it can not change the fact, that the short cartoon reveals that the modern neo-liberal dogmas based on the same ideology as the ideology of the old colonization.

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Ottó KristóThe neo-liberal dogmas are the same as the old colonizer ideology of the 16-19th century:

This is a short but exelent cartoon about it:

Is there a video game as well?

I don’t know about the others, but as far as I’m concerned I would appreciate if you could refrain from posting links to White supremacist garbage.

Károly
Guest

Funniest gif about Orbán, it’s kind of an homage to Total Recall an 1990 sci-fi movie with A. Schwarzenegger based on a Philip K. Dick novel.

http://sailorripley.tumblr.com/post/95027991001

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

@wolfi

Identitarianism is a rebranding of ‘cultural differentialism’, a successor to racism. In Western Europe the young generation can’t use the old pseudo-scientific ‘race’ bullshit any more (or at least as often and loud as they’d like to). So they use what they call ‘culture’ instead, in a ‘my culture is bigger than yours’ mode. Same anguish of disappearing as the old blood-obsessed guys.

And yes, I’m afraid some of my compatriots have been pretty active in the conceptual domain (the Nouvelle droite think-tank in the ’70s) as well as in the activist field. After all, Joseph Arthur de Gobineau was French, too.

Guest

London Calling!

Completely OT..

Hungarians are giving up smoking!!

Alleluya!

You can’t move around Gyor – or anywhere – without having fag smoke blown in your face. Going to an open air market is most unpleasant from this aspect – and anyway you’ll be shafted 650ft for a single lithium battery! (You can get 48 lithium batteries for 385ft here!) I don’t go anymore.

“In January-June this year 3.6 billion cigarettes were sold through legal outlets, compared to 6.2 billion in the same period in 2012”

So well done Orban on getting that WHO award for the anti-smoking policy in Hungary.

Oh! Wait!

Oh hell! …consumption has gone up? What?

Oh hell! All those black market fags coming from Russia, Austria etc.

Well that’s one policy the rest of the EU won’t be copying – except maybe the corrupt ones who give the concessions to their mates.

Think of all that tax revenue that has to be replaced?

Regards

Charlie

Here’s the link if you trust the NAV:
http://www.politics.hu/20140821/cigarettes-market-shrinks/

Ottó Kristó
Guest

@Marcel Dé

All cultures and civilization are automatically equal. The French and pigmy cultures are equal! Aren’t they? My egalitarianist friend :))

tappanch
Guest

From September 2014, the Statistical Office (KSH) will change the way it calculates the GDP.

If this statistical trick increases the GDP by 2% [5%, 8%], then the reported debt/GDP is lowered
by 1.7% [4%, 6.3%] automatically.

http://www.ksh.hu/esa2010

wpDiscuz