Viktor Orbán’s dangerous games

Foreign press coverage was uniformly negative following Vladimir Putin’s visit to Budapest. The Hungarian prime minister’s role in giving the Russian aggressor a platform was widely condemned, and not just in the media. Yesterday I described the Polish reaction to Viktor Orbán’s friendship with Putin and his admiration of the “illiberal democracy” of Russia. Orbán’s answer to these criticisms is always the same: he is a pragmatic politician whose only concern is Hungary’s national interests. Moreover, national interests for him means purely economic interests. Hence the complete reorganization of the foreign ministry, which was transformed into a ministry of foreign trade. He steadfastly maintains that his dalliance with Putin’s Russia has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Or at least this is what he wants the western world to believe.

Pragmatism for Orbán also means the total disregard of any principles of morality. One can lie through one’s teeth about small matters or weighty issues in the pursuit of desired ends–power being the overarching end. He has no qualms.

What are his plans? On two different occasions he talked about his relations with the European Union and Russia. First, right after the Putin visit, the “background conversations” with Hungarian journalists who are responsible for covering foreign affairs and, second, an interview that appeared today in the Russian newspaper Kommersant. Both belie Orbán’s contention that his interests in Russia are purely economic.

For me it is not at all clear why Orbán decided to share his thoughts on his foreign policy agenda with about fifteen journalists, including those from opposition papers. Whatever the reason, he was expansive and covered a variety of issues, starting with the European Union. He pointed to the chasm that exists between Poland and the Baltic states on the one side and the rest of Europe on the other when it comes to their policies toward Russia and the United States. He made no secret of his disapproval of any attempt to exclude Russia from “European cooperation.” He accused these countries of using the notion of a “value-based foreign policy” to achieve this goal.

What does Orbán mean by a “value-based foreign policy”? To put it in the simplest terms, for Orbán it means a foreign policy that is based on democratic values. The United States, for example, allegedly conducts such a foreign policy but, as Orbán put it at this meeting, the veneer of democracy covers up the true beneficiaries of such American efforts– businessmen.

Orbán seems to be convinced that “there are no Russian interests that would threaten the Hungarian ones.” Reading this sentence today, when I see the headline that Vladimir Putin just announced that “no one should have the illusion that [other countries] can gain military superiority over Russia, put any kind of pressure on it,” I shudder at the shortsightedness of Hungary’s prime minister. The British Defense Secretary, Michael Fallon, rang the alarm bell: Russia is “a real and present danger” to the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all of which are NATO members. But I guess if the prime minister of Hungary looks upon his country as an island in the middle of Europe and not part of the European Union, then he can sit back and have no worries about possible Russian military expansion. First Ukraine and perhaps the Baltic states. What comes next? Poland, Slovakia, Romania, with the exception of Hungary? I don’t want to exaggerate the danger, but I think that Russian aggression is real and can be stopped only by an absolutely united European Union backed, at least in principle, by the military might of the United States.

Viktor Orbán, in an interview in Kommersant, which was recorded before his visit to Warsaw, was effusive about Russia. We have to keep in mind that a chat with Hungarian journalists behind closed doors is a different cup of tea from an interview with a Russian newspaper. The article summarized Orbán’s position as “fundamentally different from the common European position.”

Orban

Orbán’s position on sanctions is no secret. He is against them. But he revealed in this interview that his policy toward Germany has also changed. While before Angela Merkel’s visit to Budapest we heard over and over that Germany is Hungary’s closest ally, benefactor, and example, we find out now that Angela Merkel is the greatest obstacle to better understanding between Russia and Europe. As he said in this interview, “as long as the Germans want to keep sanctions against Russia, the situation is unlikely to change. Whether Hungary agrees or not.”

We know from Orbán’s conversations with the journalists that Poland and the Baltic states are the bad boys. If it depended on the rest of the countries of the EU, there would be some kind of understanding with Russia. In this interview he went even further. There is not only a split in Europe over the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, but “there are those who believe that Russia should be isolated economically. They claim that there must be a clear choice between Russia and European unity.” Keep in mind that Orbán is talking to a Russian audience against his allies on behalf of Russia. And continuing down this path, he said that when the European Union “decides on the issue of cooperation with Russia … we will not be deciding the fate of Russia but the future of Europe itself.” Well, that can mean only one thing. Orbán predicts that Russia will be the winner of this dangerous game. If the EU does not agree to cooperate with Russia, Europe’s fate will be sealed. Moreover, he said, he does not want to live “in a Europe that conducts a new Cold War with Russia.” Any thoughts about the best place for him to emigrate?

In his opinion Europeans should take advantage of the “fantastic economic opportunities” Russia offers. Such a partnership would be mutually beneficial; then “we will have a fantastic future.” What practical steps does Orbán suggest the leaders of the European Union take to achieve such a bright future? They “should support the Russian initiative that offers economic cooperation and free trade between the EU and the Eurasian Union.” In brief, he would suggest a total turnabout in the Russia policy of the United States and the European Union.

There were many more topics covered for which I have neither time nor space here. I’ll limit myself to his gripe about the West and his fondness for the East. He complained about the EU’s attitude toward Hungary, which he characterized as “pressure mixed with antipathy.” By contrast, he hailed “the respect with which President Putin treats us.” And he expressed his admiration of the Russian leader. When he was prime minister between 1998 and 2002 he “watched the situation in Russia with great sympathy…. [he] saw the changes that occurred in 2000 when President Putin came to power. A leader who could restore faith in the future of his people.”

So, tell me, are we talking only about economic relations between Putin’s Russia and Orbán’s Hungary, as he and his spokesmen try to convince the world? Certainly not. Eduard Hellvig, who was just appointed head of the Romanian foreign intelligence service, published an article a few days ago in which he warned of “the threat to the EU” because of the rapprochement between Russia and Hungary. Let me quote a couple of sentences from this article:

The Russian-Hungarian partnership not only threatens the Romanian-Hungarian strategic partnership, which becomes increasingly vacuous due to the nationalist hostility of Budapest, but also NATO and EU interests in the area. Therefore, I believe that Romania, caught in the vise of this poisoned Russian-Hungarian Entente, should take the leading role in defending democratic values and allied interests in the region.

Hellwig points out that Russia has an offensive military doctrine which threatens Eastern Europe, including his own country.

Lately, Orbán has been seen as a Trojan horse, “increasingly under the influence of Moscow.” I heard rumors that western diplomats were warned by their ministries to be careful around their Hungarian colleagues. Almost sixty years ago Hungarians fought to rid themselves of the influence of Moscow. Now the country freely accepts its influence, guided by a prime minister who values power over principles.

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Member

CHALLENGES TO THE RULE OF LAW IN THE EUROPEAN UNION:
THE CASE OF HUNGARY

March 3rd 2015
5:30pm
Concordia University 767 Hall Bldg, 1455 Maisonneuve
Montreal, Canada

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
Professor Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University, USA
Professor Andras Bozoki, Central European University, Hungary
Professor Andras Gollner, Concordia University, Canada
http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Temp/HungarianRoundtable.pdf

Robert
Guest

There is only one explanation why anyone would quote approvingly the rabidly Hungarian- hating ” foreign intelligence service” people from Romania.

This can only be because the person doing the quoting have hatred for Hungarians themselves.

According to studies in Romania 51% of the population has open (!) hatred for Hungarians, which means they are not even trying to hide it. If you consider that Romania is a multiethnic country with many minorities and that some Romanians in fact do hate Hungarians but try to hide it you realize: these numbers can’t be far off from Nazi-era German numbers regarding the Jews. Romanian intelligence services are notorious for their Hungarian hatred and its their job anyway to infiltrate, destabilize and harass ethnic minority groups like the Hungarians.

So quoting such a person approvingly, reveals the blog writer to be a rabid Hungarian hater radical.

Honestly I can’t find any other explanation for this, but I hope I am wrong.

seinean sabisan
Guest

Robert,

You take results from stupid polls where a cohort of people are asked to pick from a bunch of country names which they like most and which less and you extrapolate this into ” 51% of the population has open (!) hatred for Hungarians”. You throw on top a pseudo-similarity with anti-Semitism in Hitler’s Germany and there you go : you get a typical xenophobe manipulation.

Webber
Guest

Right-wing and left-wing British media, American media, and Polish media have all condemned Orban’s turn to Russia. I don’t know, but would guess that French and German media are similarly critical.
What Romanian media has to say is irrelevant to all these – though it is interesting in and of itself. Bucharest does not influence policies in London, Warsaw, or Washington. That given, there is no reason not to quote Romanian, Lithuanian, Estonian, etc. viewpoints – because all are NATO members.
I have yet to read media from a NATO country that was uncritical of Orban on this turn to Russia.

adrianmb
Guest

It’s rather hard to consider Romania a multiethnic country, given the fact that 90% of the population is made of romanians. (the rest of 10% are hungarians, gypsies, saxons, a.s.o)
I highly doubt that figure (51% of the population). I’d find 5.1% way closer to the reality. 51% might be the percent of romanians who never met a hungarian during their whole life.
The mai concern of the the romanians regarding Hungary is Hungary’s pro russian politics. (Russia is considered the traditional enemy by the bulk of the romanians, and it seems they have good reasons to think so.
The so called “hatred” towards hungarians would be better described as irritation. This is due the unrealistic demands of this minority and is very common, but at a much higher scale, in all the countries with a hungarian minority. (check Serbia and Slovakia)
This days the Romanian Intelligence Services are heavily involved in anti corruption operations and, anyway, Russia and it’s movements are their main subjects of interest.
It would be rather absurd to focus on Hungary, a country less than 50% the size of Romania, meanwhile Romania has Russia “at the gates”.

Awgart Rawetrwetr
Guest

@adrianmb “This is due the unrealistic demands of this minority and is very common, but at a much higher scale, in all the countries with a hungarian minority. (check Serbia and Slovakia)”

You forget that most western European aboriginal minorities have autonomy, However Romania Slovakia so not support any form of autonomy.

adrianmb
Guest

I have no knowledge of autonomy in France or the UK.
But that’s not the point.
Every country has it’s own form of organisation, which is a consequence of it’s own history, culture, social, economic and educational realities.
I don’t believe that there is an universal algoritm which everybody can apply.
And I consider that it is hilarious to compare the case of Belgium whith that of Romania and Slovakia. (because of the huge differences of the minority proportions).
In Romania there are only two counties (out of 41) with the hungarians (5% of the total population) making the majority (80% of the inhabitants of these two counties).
If these two counties would become autonomous (as the hungarian government wishes), this situation will create a new minority of 20% of the local population (the romanian ethnics living there), who strongly oppose such an idea.

spectator
Guest
In my opinion your comment represents a rather narrow minded approach. Let me explain: What you call “rabidly Hungarian hating” in reality nothing else but hating chauvinism – what represented by the Orbanist and neofascist – but never by the ones cares about Hungary. You see, Hungary is far more than Orbán’s little playground, Hungarians are far more than a handfull of revisionist morons, far more than flag-waiving provocateurs. Anyway, would you embrace lovingly a Romanian in Hungary who insist that the Eastern part of the country basically belong to the Draco-Romanian ‘empire’, hence you’d better accept their autonomy..? Hungary and the Hungarians are basically civilised people, who temporarily fell for a conman – but it isin’t their normal status, far from it. Not to mention those ethnic Hungarians who happened to live on the other side of the border. They are far from being generally stupid Orbanists, no! There are quite a number of decent people too, in spite they are really Hungarians, probably more than you and me combined! I know a guy, a businessman from over there. He is an ethnic Hungarian in Romania, – the Sekler part – and a quite successful one. Last year he… Read more »
LwiiH
Guest

“the respect with which President Putin treats us.” seriously!!!! I guess Putin respect OV so much that he made sure that he was on time.. that he didn’t engage in admiring the symbols of Soviet aggression. Really respectful! The whole meeting is unbelievably distasteful when you put into the context of the Ukrainian army having to retreat from Debaltseve. You should listen to Carol Offs’ interview of Andrew Crammer (NY Time) describing the retreat (http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-wednesday-february-18-2015-1.2961892). So much for this new peace agreement!

Guest

OT, kind of.

I think that when Jobbik comes into power, either in coalition with Fidesz or in its own right, younger Hungarians of Jewish background will most likely scramble to relocate to overseas countries of immigration. The US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel come readily into mind, but Berlin and London are also possibilities.

The time to make arrangements for this is now. Learn English to superlative levels of fluency and literacy, have a highly portable profession and make sure your immigration papers are in order and ready to be activated.

Thank goodness it is not July 1938 of Evian Conference fame, when all the gates got firmly shut to keep out Jews attempting to flee Europe, so no need to remain in a place where (mildly put) you are not wanted.

Hecabeus
Guest

Robert,

I seriously think you need to calm down and take your meds because you have been off of them for too long.

You guys finally need to understand the genuine difference between “being worried about” and “hating”. It’s kinda important because that would allow the country to finally grow up after 1100 or so years. It would also allow it to avoid the disasters it suffered in the past millennium.

I believe the blogger’s point was that the current regime does not make it particularly difficult for the rest of the world to side with the Romanian position, whatever that might be. And I probability have to agree, Romanians are shrewd. They have shown it on numerous occasions during the course of the previous century (and prior). Right or wrong, they once marched on the streets of Budapest. How many times have Hungarian troops marched on the streets of Bucharest?

Do I or the blogger want them to march again? No. Do you? Now, if your answer is no, then get off your ass and get rid of that clown you worship.

And take those meds for god’s sake.

Guest

@Mike Balint
February 20, 2015 at 8:19 pm

And yes, if Berlin were to be your favoured destination, then you better get your German quickly up to scratch too, at superlative levels of fluency and literacy.

Member

OT: Please let us know if you are still experiencing the comments not showing problems. We will turning some functions back on as soon WP will confirm that they corrected the cache issue, and when we do not have further problems reported by you.

Guest

I have no problems. I use Chrome on my laptop, and Safari on the iPad.

Ron
Guest

I have no (more) problem with comments. It said 10 comments and I saw 10 comments. I use a desktop and Chrome

Member

It seems to be working correctly for me now…

Guest

@Hecabeus
February 20, 2015 at 8:19 pm

You are not wrong.

Historically, the Romanian political leadership has been a hell of a lot more geo-politically savvy than its Hungarian counterpart, which always tended to be geo-politically delusional.

Over the centuries, Hungarian became a minority language in Transylvania, spoken only in the smallish Sekler (Székely) enclave and in and around the larger population centres.

Meantime the countryside was allowed to become flooded with millions of Romanian immigrants, primarily because they provided cheap labour for the landholding Hungarian nobility.

By the time Hungarians woke up to the situation, it was too late, and the Romanians wanted out.

Thay wished nothing to do with Hungary or Hungarians, in fact to rip Transylvania out from Hungarian overlordship and make it part of a Greater Romania.

And they did. Sad but true.

And that’s about all there is to it.

LwiiH
Guest

“Over the centuries, Hungarian became a minority language in Transylvania, spoken only in the smallish Sekler (Székely) enclave and in and around the larger population centres.”

If you review Austrian census data (yes it is online) from the 1850 to the turn of the century you’ll se that Hungarian population was in a minority at that point in time. They were mixed with all kinds of other ethnic groups. “Ethnic cleansing” would appear to be an artifact of “nation building”.

Guest

Precisely. I have no argument with you at all on the point you make in the first two sentences of your comment.

After 1867, the Hungarians counted their 5% emancipated Jews as “Hungarians” to achieve a manufactured “Hungarian” majority in the Kingdom of Hungary overall. However, inside of just the then Hungarian province of Transylvania, it was not possible at all to cook the books like this, because Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Gypsies, Serbs, etc. together came to a lot less than the Romanians.

You are right that, sadly, ethnic cleansing does tend to be an artifact of nation building – though not of supra-national empire building – particularly in areas that form mosaics of large numbers of ethnic and tribal groups, as for instance the Balkans or the Middle East.

But I don’t understand what this has to do with the thrust of the first two sentences of your comment.

seinean sabisan
Guest

@Mike Balint

“…the countryside was allowed to become flooded with millions of Romanian immigrants…”

Can you provide some historical proof for this statement ? What historical period you are referring to ? Obviously , the immigration of MILLIONS of Romanians into Hungary must have been noticed by somebody at that time…

Guest

You will find the history of Romanian immigration into Transylvania over the centuries neatly detailed and summarised in the following link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Transylvania#Demographics_and_historical_research

seinean sabisan
Guest

Mike,

I’ll pass over your RTFM approach. The wiki article where you routed me shows various estimations made by different persons at different moments of time. It basically states that – at least since 1600 – the Romanians were the absolute majority in the land.

The article does not provide any proof for a massive immigration of Romanians within Transylvania. It is not only that article. There are NO proofs of such immigration flows. The Romanians just pop out-of-the-blue in numbers in Hungary according to the available documents. No proofs means that we actually have no knowledge about what happened.

The increase of the Romanian population can be very well explained without taking an immigration factor into account. Yet you prefer to state that the country was flooded “with millions of Romanian immigrants”. They “must” be foreigners. Well , so be it – if that helps you get over Trianon…

seinean sabisan
Guest

Mike,

One more thing:

“By the time Hungarians woke up to the situation, it was too late, and the Romanians wanted out.”

I wander what do you consider that the Hungarians should have done had they waked up “to the situation” earlier ? What would have been the right approach in your view ?

Guest

You are right, and I withdraw my comment about massive immigration of Romanians to Transylvania over the centuries.

Yes, the stats appear to strongly confirm your point that the massive majorities of Romanians in Transylvania were native born rather than brought about through immigration.

My error.

At the same time there is no need to be uncivil, and you can stick your RTFM comment where it belongs.

Guest

And I believe I am just about the last person you could accuse of not getting over Trianon.

Trianon was perfectly just and the Hungarians had it coming to them except in those cases where homogeneously Hungarian speaking areas closely adjacent to the borders of post-Trianon Hungary were also incorporated in the newly formed Little Entente states essentially as war booty given to them by the Great Powers victorious in WW1.

So you can stick your comment about Trianon the same place as your RTFM comment.

Guest

@seinean sabisan
February 21, 2015 at 8:27 am

“I wander what do you consider that the Hungarians should have done had they waked up “to the situation” earlier ? What would have been the right approach in your view ?”

Given that I withdrew my comment about supposed Romanian immigration to Transylvania, this question of yours is no longer material.

Obviously, the Hungarians neither should nor could do anything at all about the situation (though they tried pretty hard during the Dual Monarchy period), and it was just about preordained that in the age of rising language-based nation states they would inevitably loose Transylvania to the Romanians.

Guest

@Hecabeus
February 20, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Continued from: Mike Balint
February 20, 2015 at 11:17 pm

“Historically, the Romanian political leadership has been a hell of a lot more geo-politically savvy than its Hungarian counterpart, which always tended to be geo-politically delusional.”

Perhaps Kádár excepted.

LwiiH
Guest

“Perhaps Kádár excepted”

And how well did that turn out?

Guest

I think not bad at all, after 1956, when Kádár was appointed by the Soviets as their colonial “governor” of Hungary during the second, longer part of the Russian colonial rule in Hungary

Kádár proved adept at keeping Moscow at bay, at least as far as internal Hungarian affairs were concerned, was able to relax somewhat the controls of the political police over everyday life, and by borrowing heavily from Western Banks (on the never-never), was able to gradually build Hungary into the merriest barracks in the Gulag.

His geo-political nouse was undoubtedly the equal of Ceaușescu during the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Actually perhaps even better, or even a lot better than Ceaușescu, because in contrast to the latter, Kádár did not leave Hungary in an utter political and economical mess (except for the small matter of the unsustainable level of populist borrowings from Western Banks), and the leadership(s) that came after him could readily build on his political and economic legacy during the era of peaceful regime change in Hungary in the late 80s.

In sum, given the circumstances in which he had to operate like it or not, my view is that Kádár did not do too badly at all.

Kormos
Guest

@Mr. Balint re:”I think not bad at all, after 1956, when Kádár was appointed by the Soviets as their colonial “governor” of Hungary during the second, longer part of the Russian colonial rule in Hungary”

Ms Balogh gave me hell, when I mentioned that Hungary was a colonized country.

Kormos
Guest

“Hell” may be too strong. You just wrote: I was wrong when I said that Hungary was somewhat colonized and you stated Hungary was never a colony.I still feel Hungary was treated by the Austrians and the Russians as a colony. But that is OK, I do not mind to be “wrong”.

Brit in Hungary
Guest

I am curious what is behind Orban’s infatuatation with Putin. I appreciate Orban thrives on being contrary and confrontational, he likes a fight and seems to seek it, always on Hungary’s behalf of course. But really, what is getting from Putin? (And I do not believe its gas) Is he being blackmailed or bribed? Has he been promised a slice of the Ukraine? Is this a path to the ‘reunification’ of the ‘greater’ Hungary? Given the state of European poltics at the moment (nationalism, rise of the far right, austerity, economic stagnation), he may be right and Putin may be at least a short term winner.

seinean sabisan
Guest

“I am curious what is behind Orban’s infatuation with Putin”

My opinion would be that it is Orban’s mistrust and dislike for democracy. Putin is the only one who can enable him (ideologically and financially) on his quest for “illiberal democracy”.

Along that, it is also Orban’s belief that the World order is to be drastically changed and that the vector of change – in Europe – is Putin’s reasserting Russia. Orban sincerely believes that it is in Hungary’s best interest to align with the future dominant power in this part of the World. The fact that – for the first time in the last 70 years or so – the borders of European countries ( Georgia and Ukraine ) were changed by means of power is definitely appealing to him.

seinean sabisan
Guest

For the sake of accuracy : Yugoslavia and – later-on – Serbia did change borders through war and violence before that.

buddy
Guest
@Brit in Hungary I think Putin feeds our Prime Minister’s deep-seated need to feel important, validated, respected. As has been pointed out on this blog before many times, Putin doesn’t hassle him about things like the treatment of NGOs or media freedom or independence of the judiciary, things which Western leaders are constantly pestering him about and fret about in their own media. I guess we could say that this validation and respect is more important to Orbán than the promotion of Western values. What is really sad is that here in Hungary we allow him to pursue his personal agenda ahead of the country’s interests. A friend of mine once said, “The problem isn’t with Orbán. Every country has nutjobs like him. The problem is that Hungarian society isn’t strong enough to throw him out.” This is contrary to what happened with Slovakia and Mečiar – after putting up with him for a while, the Slovaks decided they had had enough of Mečiar and got rid of him (politically). Since then, the country has been a success story. We know for a fact that there are dissatisfied persons within the Fidesz power structure who are dismayed at the turn… Read more »
Webber
Guest

The “Eurasian” comment from Orban deserves deeper analysis. Putin’s long-standing goal has been to have EU countries join a Russian, “Eurasian” trade group. The idea that Russia might at some point in the distant future join the EU is a pipedream (Russia’s leadership would have to give up much sovereignty – and for what?). Putin’s idea is similarly silly (what could France, for example, gain? Nothing), but is unfortunately backed by brute military force and a willingness to use it.
Apparently, Orban is attracted by the idea of Eurasian union and hopes to place Hungary in both camps. Shutting Hungary out of NATO and the EU would be logical if the Great O continues his trip eastwards.

doggydog
Guest
Let’s state again the obvious conclusions. Putin is clearly winning over the West in this current war, and Orban wants to be with winners. He wants to lough at losers. Orban is personally financed by Putin’s people via energy deals. Moreover, everybody he listens to are also in the deals too. Orban deeply admires the underlying Putinian Russian ideology about the weak, hypocritical, decadent West, incapable of defending itself, while Russia is the force of the future, the survivor of the ongoing war of the civilizations, the conservative, Christian, nationalistic Power. Putin is waging a war not just to conquer land, to be a new tzar, he wants to show the world (including to people in what used to be called the Third World) that “the West” is a goner, that it’s divided, preoccupied with marginal issues and hopeless. This ideologic war is perhaps even more important to him than simple land grabbing. Orban himself is full of contempt towards the West (EU, NATO) which is so inconsistent and neutered in his eyes that it keeps financing Hungary despite the fact that, he, Orban couldn’t possibly do more to undermine the EU and NATO from within, even if he wanted… Read more »
Webber
Guest
The only problem with what you say is that it is certainly not the obvious conclusion: “Putin is clearly winning over the West in this current war” If you mean that is Orban’s conclusion – then I misunderstood you, and happen to agree that may be what Orban thinks. Putin is currently winning over Ukraine in this war, not “the West,” which has no troops in the war. “The West” (actually, Washington and NATO headquarters) said repeatedly that NATO would not go to war for a non-NATO member. They said it before and during Russian intervention in Georgia, and they have said it about Ukraine. They will say it again if Russia acts in a similar way in Belorussia or Kazakhstan (for example). If, however, Russia tries it with a NATO member, we will have real war (God forbid!) As to Putin’s “victory” – he has now run through about half Russia’s foreign currency reserves. According to analysts in Russia and abroad, if the price of oil does not dramatically increase, Russia will run out of funds within about a year (let’s not predict the price of oil – who knows?). All that may be a price Putin is more… Read more »
doggydogg
Guest
I think there is an error being made here. The confusion of perception and “reality”. In politics perception (projection) of power is power itself since such perception actually influences the behavior of adversaries. So, while your arguments are rationally true (NATO never said that it will defend a non-NATO member etc.) the fact is that Putin looks like a decider who executes his plan, no matter what, leading a nation that doesn’t care about economic hardship and is ready to make sacrifices for its national goals and principles, the European leaders look desperate, look like worried spiders traveling around Europe, repeatedly falling for canny Russians and ultimately revealing themselves irrelevant, neutered. By entering the discourse of Russia and by trying to help they imply that they have a (moral) obligation to act. But they are apparently unable to meet the challenge. This picture is the very goal of Putin. While there is no legal obligation for the West to act, the West is revealed to be uncommitted, hypocritical. While it is big on words and smiles when it comes to defending a nation which after a long and difficult struggle finally chooses the West over East, it turns out it… Read more »
buddy
Guest

These things you’re saying are simply untrue:

1. “the fact is that Putin looks like a decider who executes his plan, no matter what”

Uh, what about South Stream? There goes your whole argument right there.

2. “While it is big on words and smiles when it comes to defending a nation which after a long and difficult struggle finally chooses the West over East, it turns out it just doesn’t care.”

Actually the US and EU and other countries and organizations took decisive action against Russia through three rounds of sanctions. These come with serious financial consequences for EU nations in particular, so I’m afraid you are quite wrong in your assessment of the behavior of Western countries.

buddy
Guest
“They are converts to the Russian cause and Russians are extremely good at turning people around, much better than the Westerners.” Sorry but that’s not true. If you’re right, then why were so many countries so eager to get away from them in 1989 as fast as possible? How many of those former socialist countries have left NATO and/or the EU to return to the Russian orbit? How many other non-FSU countries has Russia seduced lately? Also, if Russia is “winning” this “war” you claim, why does every country in the EU keep voting for sanctions against Russia? That includes Hungary. Why can’t Putin get Orbán to vote against sanctions? It’s hard to see how Putin is “winning” when he can’t even get a single EU country to vote against sanctions on Russia. The truth is, Russia holds zero appeal for anybody anywhere other than a handful of thug leaders running kleptocracies in countries like Belarus or in Central Asia. Nobody outside of the FSU wants to emulate Russia’s economy, or society, or learn their language, watch their movies, listen to their music, etc, or at least not in anything resembling large numbers. I’m not being ideological, these are just… Read more »
Guest

Re Russians in Hungary:
There are a lot of signs in and around Hévíz in Russian language because of the tourists and people who have bought or want to buy houses but I can tell you:
No Hungarian here likes the Russians! Many of them (as usual, not all, maybe not even a majority – but enough of them) behave so atrociously as customers/guests that there are hundreds of stories being told about their unreliability and crude behaviour!
I even know restaurants that have made the decision not to have menus in Russian as a sign: You are not welcome!
And hotels have already been declared as “Only Russians” – don’t book any other nationalities there! Btw the same happened in Turkey …

doggydogg
Guest

Hungarians don’t like foreigners, don’t like serving them as employees in hotels etc and especially don’t like rich (richer than them) foreigners. I attribute this hatred of Russians you observed to the general hatred of foreigners, because all my fidesz-lolyal relatives now support Russia and have been mocking the EU and the US for long. It’s no use to argue with them, it’s almost crazy, but they follow the official line. Magyar Nemzet with its anti-US/EU and pro-Russia columns is a perfect reflection of the mindset of the committed fideszniks, sure MN influences that thinking too, it’s also a reflection.

Guest

At least around Hévíz I see no hate against foreigners in general – as my remarks implied the negative feelings against Russians come from those who have to deal with Russians too and those people can compare them with other guests.

buddy
Guest

“Hungarians don’t like foreigners”

I think you’re confusing the beliefs of your relatives with Hungarians in general. I can assure you this is not true of the population at large.

You must really hate Hungarians yourself to say such a horrible thing!

doggydogg
Guest

People emigrate to UK and hate “the Western people” (who they think are too weak to defend themselves against all those suspicious brown-skinned people), work at the EU Commission and hate the EU, naturalize as UK citizens and immediately vote Ukip. People are full of contradiction and are ambivalent, they are not directly rational as many imagine. Just because people don’t emigrate to Russia doesn’t mean that they can’t support it (like a football supporter) against the US and the EU. Unfortunately, I see these people supporting Russia, perhaps exactly because they have zero clue about Russia, all they see is a power that is a match to the mighty US and EU, against whom Hungary never dared to stand up, always just gave in.

Webber
Guest
I don’t know which people you mean. Since the first free elections in Hungary it has been clear that the vast majority of Hungarians want to be part of the West. Indeed, until the second Orban government, every Hungarian government always pointed out that culturally and historically Hungary belongs to the West – with Western Christianity and all the rest of the attributes of a Western nation – and that its historic place in the West was only rudely interrupted by Soviet occupation, which was in historical terms rather short. Hungarians were asked to vote on whether they wanted to join NATO and whether they wanted to join the EU. In each case, the answer was rather clear. The majority of Hungarians felt and feel that they want their country to be in the West. I, too, know people in Fidesz – which is now a minority in the Hungarian populace as a whole. The ones I know are very dismayed by the turn toward Russia. They dislike criticism from the US and EU, but they dislike even more the idea of joining Russia. Anyway, as I said, Fidesz supporters + Jobbik supporters are now a minority. The majority of… Read more »
doggydogg
Guest
I’m not a Jobbik supporter and I’m not Russian. Please allow me to say that I’m one of the most well-informed people I know, which doesn’t mean that my arguments are right of course, only that I read a lot and talk to a lot of different people. Just to clarify, you replied to a comment of mine which was a reply to buddy’s comment, but contrary to my intentions it did not appear below his comment. So there might have been some misunderstanding. I replied to his arguments which cited very intuitive arguments, i my reading something like there are 600k immigrants to the west, so they can’t support Russia, because they didn’t emigrate to Russia. A kind of related argument would have been that all these people are hiding pro-Western, opposition leaning voters, when in fact in my personal experience many such immigrants are jobbik and fidesz-leaning, strongly anti-leftists, conservative people. I think things are a bit more counterintuitive in reality and his line of argument was unpersuasive to me. Anyway, as I see you decided not to reply to my arguments (replying to yours) which are more or less what Edward Lucas, Ann Applebaum, John Schindler have… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Doggydog – “Please allow me to say that I’m one of the most well-informed people I know.” How delightful, how charming, and how unusual it is to “chat” with someone who agrees with himself.
As to other silly statements: I challenge you to show me a single shred of data from opinion polls showing a majority of Hungarians support Russia. Since you’re so well informed, you surely know – you can’t. There isn’t any.
Anne Applebaum and the rest – big names you’re playing with, but what you’ve said is utter nonsense. They did not make the arguments you have made. Quote them by all means. Don’t hide behind them, since you are so well informed, as you say.

doggydogg
Guest
@webber at 2:02pm I’ve never said that the majority of Hungarian would prefer Russia over the West, where did you get the idea that I said that? What I said, please look the above comments, is that there is a vast pool of Hungarian people who admire Russia, support Russia (drukkol nekik) and/or ambivalent, uncertain about or actually dislike the West. How these feelings would play out if there was a referendum with two choices: west vs. Russia, I don’t know. But the West, as a concept, the EU, the US are much less popular these days as they were in 1990 and it is a huge mistake to underestimate that discontent. This unpopularity manifested itself among others in the continued successes of Fidesz and Jobbik. Anti-West sentiments are in the very political DNA of both parties, only Fidesz could fool Western politicians for quite a long time and some fideszniks are apparently still successful at that. As to Applebaum and the rest they wrote dozens of articles, posts about how Russia is winning over the West. Applebaum’s Prospect article “How Vladimir Putin is waging war on the West – and winning” was even linked here, but she wrote several… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Good!
We can disagree.

googly
Guest
Webber, You wrote: “Since the first free elections in Hungary it has been clear that the vast majority of Hungarians want to be part of the West.” I see you have decided to do what you falsely accused me of doing: claiming to know what the “vast majority” of Hungarians think. Where is your proof of this knowledge? I know you have told me that polls don’t mean anything, since they don’t show “unanimity”, so it must not be a poll you’re referring to. Maybe you have developed mind-reading powers? If the “vast majority of Hungarians want to be part of the West”, then why do Fidesz and Jobbik keep winning the elections? They both have clearly shown that they prefer to be neutral, at best, or even part of the “East”, and Orbán himself has said that he admires the Turkish and Russian presidents, but has not said the same of the “Western” ones. If you’re right, then Hungarians should be giving all the pro-western parties huge majorities. You’re a clueless hypocrite. I see you’ve decided to attack someone else besides me. I’m here to defend doggydog from your Fidesz-style trolling, not that she/he needs it. By the way,… Read more »
googly
Guest

Webber,

You wrote: “I challenge you to show me a single shred of data from opinion polls showing a majority of Hungarians support Russia.”

Here is what you wrote to me about polls, when all I did was mention that maybe you should take a look at a few of them:

“Ask 100 Hungarians and you might get 100 different answers. A sociological study based on 1,000 responses would only tell you which percentage thinks this or that, and even a sociologist would say this is just an estimate (such as, how many prefer coke, how many pepsi, and how many traubi), and would certainly tell you that there is no unanimity.”

Here is what you wrote after accusing me of claiming that I know what the majority of Hungarians think:

“By claiming to know what must Hungarians think, you were either naive (to put it politely), or you still believe you know, in which case…”

So now you are doing exactly what you accused me of doing, which I didn’t actually do (if I did, quote me – I dare you). Your words speak for themselves. I would prefer to be naive rather than an obnoxious hypocrite.

googly
Guest

Webber,

You wrote: “I, too, know people in Fidesz – which is now a minority in the Hungarian populace as a whole.”

They still have far more supporters than any other party, according to all the latest polls (but of course you are far more knowledgeable than some professional pollsters, whom you hold in contempt).

You also wrote: “Anyway, as I said, Fidesz supporters + Jobbik supporters are now a minority.”

I guess you are saying that all the polls that show that a huge majority of decided voters in Hungary support either Fidesz or Jobbik are wrong, or are you saying that they are lying? I think that you are actually saying that you are unable to read polls or understand logic, but I don’t have magic mind-reading powers like you seem to think you do.

Here’s a couple of links in English:

http://www.politics.hu/20150211/jobbik-at-all-time-high-as-new-poll-finds-support-for-fidesz-continuing-to-slide/

http://www.xpatloop.com/news/poll_hungarys_fidesz_near_twothirds_majority

Webber
Guest
Googly, you are being absolutely ridiculous. You seem to accuse people of hypocrisy every day. In case you didn’t notice, I cited examples of the majority of Hungarians actively deciding to be part of the West, namely the NATO and EU referenda. I might have cited other polls, but thought those two were sufficient. Unlike the situations for which you claimed to “know” what “Hungarians” think, in this case people have actively made a choice.. I disagree with doggydog – Putin is not “winning” a war against the West, in my view. In his view, Putin is. I can live with that disagreement. In my view, if Putin “wins” it will at best be in the sense that Lenin “won.” Great victory. Congratulations. (and I’m sorry for the Russian people, against whom I have no negative feelings, and who will suffer even more in the long term, in my view). I’ll ask, again, what more could be done? NATO should not, in my view, go to war for Ukraine, because Ukraine is not a NATO member. What more, than sanctions and isolation can be done? Sanctions are ideal. The issue of where Hungary stands is crucial. If the Hungarian government… Read more »
googly
Guest
Webber, You wrote: “Unlike the situations for which you claimed to “know” what “Hungarians” think, in this case people have actively made a choice..” Again, you accuse me of something I didn’t do, despite my evidence to the contrary, without providing a quote. I’m going to keep bringing it up until you either admit I never made such a claim, or you quote me making that claim. You wrote: “I cited examples of the majority of Hungarians actively deciding to be part of the West, namely the NATO and EU referenda.” Congratulations, you know exactly what happened a decade ago or longer! Apparently you don’t know anything about Hungary since then. The evidence I gave, the recent elections, are much more relevant, since things have changed since your examples. If you can’t see this, you’re obviously unable to tie your own shoes. You wrote: “I’ll ask, again, what more could be done?” You ignore my questions, I’ll ignore yours. This is a sad state of affairs, since most of the things that you write I am generally in agreement with, but since you write them, I have to reconsider my opinion. You have no ability to debate rationally, logically and… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Googly, this, too, is laughable: I wrote “I, too, know people in Fidesz – which is now a minority in the Hungarian populace as a whole.”
and you replied
“They still have far more supporters than any other party, according to all the latest polls (but of course you are far more knowledgeable than some professional pollsters, whom you hold in contempt).”
For God’s sake, man – do you really not understand the difference between having more supporters than any other party, and being in the majority?
I happen to hold professional pollsters in very high esteem. I based my statements on their work.

googly
Guest
Webber, You wrote: “do you really not understand the difference between having more supporters than any other party, and being in the majority?” Yes, of course, probably better than you. You just missed my point entirely. I was saying that your point was irrelevant, and what matters is who can win elections. By the way, Fidesz supporters have been “a minority in the Hungarian populace as a whole” for years now, where have you been? They didn’t even win a majority in the last parliamentary elections, yet they got the 2/3 majority in parliament. You wrote: “I happen to hold professional pollsters in very high esteem. I based my statements on their work.” So no mention of the quote of your words that I provided, showing the opposite. Typical of a Fidesz troll and a bully. I wouldn’t have bothered to put these comments here if you hadn’t attacked doggydog. If you want me to stop pointing out your inconsistencies, mistakes and outright lies, stop attacking people. Finally, why no mention of my challenges to you to provide a quote of any time I have ever claimed to know what the majority of Hungarians think or what the US State… Read more »
spectator
Guest

You just said it: “like football supporter”!

Not like a civilised citizen with clear values, principles and reasoning, but like a bunch of howling fan driven purely by emotions and flock instinct – just like a football supporter!

One of the gretest invention of Orbán exactly the same: turn the populace into mindless soccer-fan like creatures – you know, someone either with us or against us, there is no other way – and from here on there is no need for reason: the whole setup goes on pure emotion, no gray matter ever get involved.

Congratulations!
I hope you’ll get shares in the “National Sunflower-seed Supply” – or some equivalent of it, at least…

István
Guest
PM Orban seems incapable of self restraint when it comes to pontificating on international affairs and he proved this once again in this interview session with Putin’s propagandists impersonating as journalists. To make the comments he did about the foreign policy objectives of the Baltic states, Poland, and Germany as they relate to the Russian Federation is clearly intended to increase tensions inside NATO. I have repeatedly stated on this blog that I believe Hungary should be suspended from NATO and this interview session convinces me that such harsh measures are necessary. I hope Ambassador Bell does not avoid responding to these statements, because PM Orban is continually testing the NATO alliance. I believe that the current stance of the US Department of State in relationship to Hungary will change significantly once President Obama leaves office. Part of that change will be based on our Defense review that I believe will see Russia as a significant threat to my country and significantly increase our military expenditures on both the strategic and conventional levels. Part of the costs will have to be a total and complete rebuilding of what remains of the Ukrainian military, which under Petro Poroshenko has proven itself… Read more »
Guest

@Istvan:
Thanks for those unambigious words!
I have before linked to a blog that also has very clear words on Putin and his aggression, here’s the latest article:
http://cicerossongs.blogspot.hu/2015/02/are-we-in-prelude-to-global-war.html
” A thief, a liar, a murderer, a warmonger. It is already an infamous record. Yet worse seems certain to come.

Famously Vladimir Putin was assessed by his KGB handlers as having a reduced sense of danger. This sense of recklessness is allied to a ruthless perception of his own interests. He has not hesitated to use murder to achieve his goals.”
And there is more – it’s not a nice read …
“I believe the evidence is now quite clear that Putin intends to expand his war against the West and its values. He will not back down, and he will not stop, unless he is stopped.”

Member

OT: If you visit the blog just now, Please let us know if you can access the comments w/o a problem by replying on this thread (thanks to all who already did).

Guest

Everything looks ok now! I have just one point but that is not essential:
With the nested comment feature obviously the order in which the comments appear when you scroll down is not identical with the order in that listing of the last 10 comments.

Member

I think the sideline 10 last comments are chronological. First come first serve. There is not too much we can do about that. There are certain “tools” we can install and turn them on. Some of those tools become “widgets”. The widgets are the extra features you see on the side bar, but how those widgets behave, we have no control over. The tools sometimes can be configured, or can only be configure by rewriting the code that could cause a “fatal error”. Yesterday’s comment problem were caused by a Cache feature that WP turns on. I think when they transferred the site and we turned on some features different caches collided, so we had to go back, and turn off many things to filter out the problem. It seems WP cleaned out the Super Cache, but we will wait for a feedbacks, so we know all going well before start to turn back some of the features.

Guest

These “nested comments” are a bit of a nuisance – if you want to see them you sometimes obviously have to scroll up a lot …
So I think they should be avoided unless really necessary though I have to confess I also used this facility.

Webber
Guest

I like the nested comments. It was harder to follow responses before – it took more scrolling. Now you can find responses directly under comments. I think it’s much more readable this way.

George
Guest
I am a recent reader so I should perhaps stay out of the discussion. But I find it truly depressing that even on such a blog some people are so easily derailed by the mere mentioning of Ro-Hu relations. I thought it was the trademark of commentators in the Ro press (I am Romanian) to produce monuments of empty grandiosity. Unfortunately, I see that they have counterparts. Being innately shrewd, I’ve been marching between Bucharest and Budapest for a few years now – but if I were you I’d be more worried about the kind of ‘marching’ I’ve seen this week during Putin’s visit. Or the kind of marching I’ve seen too often in the last years in Hősök tere. And especially about the dangerous liaisons between the two. Whatever Mr. Orbán’s dreams of grandeur – and whatever their perhaps explainable resonances with the grievances of Hungarians within and outside Hungary – I think reasonable people in the region, especially Hungarians, have an interest in stopping him. Hungary is visibly getting worse. As a mini Putinland, it will hurt further – and first of all – Hungarian nationals and Hungarian minorities in the region. I assume that it won’t make… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Here’s what the Detroit Free Press did with Putin’s Budapest visit – funny and worth a look – but bejaysus! The Detroit Free Press! if they’ve run a story about Putin in Budapest, which American paper hasn’t??
http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/readers/2015/02/21/vladimir-putin/23769991/

Guest

Even crazier – on that report that concluded Putin might have Asperger’s syndrome:
comment image

spectator
Guest

Somehow the thread of the comments should be more clear, – or obvious – as I see it.
Perhaps a double indent?

Member

I will see if I can alter the code for the indent.

spectator
Guest

You can, I’m sure!
Thanks anyway!

s
Guest
Regarding the subject: – I particularly ‘like’ the bloodshot eyes: Hungarian, are you? Was it some moonshine, or something more sophisticated..? Anyway: I happened to listen/watch the second part of the Putin/Orbán press conference (started somewhere in medias res in the ‘gas’ project), but I heard loud and clear what president Putin had to say about the Ukraine. Just about the same, what Orbán said in Poland..! As is: the Ukrainians ‘must’ make a change in their constitution in order to adapt the requirements of the “minorities” – exclusively the Russians, mind you – and the ‘present state’ of affairs, borders and such I guess. Why? Why the Hungarian PM would feel that he must deliver a message from his master and sire all around in the vicinity? Are we really so indebted by all means that we must act as vassals from now on..? Even if he wasn’t entirely convinced during the whole ‘performance’ that he is in the right place. Looked quite distraught – to me – kept fidgeting all the time, somehow couldn’t find his fitting pose. Particularly, when Putin himself mentioned – while answering to a question regarding the gas-business – that an agreement what perhaps… Read more »
spectator
Guest

A few more things:
– It’s my comment above,even if The main part of the alias omitted. (Well, there is no way to take me to someone else. Is there?)
– Now the ‘Donate’ button appears on the mobile version, but there is no way to ‘Comment’, as is in individual comment, while it goes well to ‘Answer’, that’s why i’m doing it.
– To those who read Hungarian I recommend this blog, The presenlypublished article just about sums it what’s wrong over there.

http://orditok.blog.hu/2015/02/20/hirtelen_felindulasbol_803

fractalized.bitstream
Guest
fractalized.bitstream

“Well, being Hungarian feels less and less comfortable, by the day…” – this has been going on for years. The self declared Nostradamuses predicted everything imaginable bad to happen very soon to Hungary. And what happened? Nothing… Actually the economy started to grow at a rate that hasn’t been there for more than 10 years, and it is well sustainable as international analysits said recently. What else can we expect? Well, we hope that MSZP-SZDSZ and spawns will never get back to power.

As far the Romanian secrect service guy said about Hungary… what can I say, Romania has never been fond of Hungary, so I did not expect anything good from him. But basically most of the critics are just envy, because Orban is actively seeking for solutions to put Hungary’s economy on a multiple footed foundation, that allows to reduce risks, and being first is always most beneficial.

googly
Guest

Part of the reason for what seems to be higher levels of growth and spending is the weakness of the forint against the euro (which boosts exports, and we Hungarians have a trade surplus), and the lower oil prices. Oil prices probably won’t go much lower, though I don’t have an opinion about the forint. The real question also is where does that extra national income go? Will much of it end up in poorer people’s pockets, especially after factoring in the higher prices of most things other than gasoline. I would bet that most of it will go to the wealthy, and not enough will trickle down to the rest to improve their lives.

After the Sunday closing kicks in, there will be lower economic activity and fewer people with jobs. The effect might be negligible overall, but it is just one of many things that will drag down the growth rate, in my opinion. The biggest factor will be the poor economic outlook in the rest of the EU, if that prognosis turns out to be true.

spectator
Guest

So, according to you, if the GDP grows everything just fine an peachy?
Now let alone for the moment that ‘growing three percent’ alone could also mean that now you jave no minus 15, but minus 12 of something – the growth factor by itself doesn’t mean that aunt Bessy could live any better, does it?

You see, I am one of those very few with moral principles coupled whit some kind of patriotic sense, who certainly unhappy to see that his former homeland lead by a traitor who’s selling out to the Russian Empire for no other benefit but his own.

In my opinion Hungary should have normal contact with Russia – just like most of the European countries do – but tying Hungary again to the kind like Putin is plain wrong.

The end does not always justify the means, in this case it certainly doesn’t.

In my opinion, that is.

fractalized.bitstream
Guest
fractalized.bitstream

@spectator: you pretty much bore me with trivialities regarding the GDP. The extent of a comment does not allow to discuss the detailed state of the Hungarian economy, but let us agree on that, that a nice annual GDP growth is not bad and also other indicators point towards a recovering economy. OK?

As for your aunty: the fact that she does not live better than before is sad, so you hopefully help her. Coming from a reformed christian family – I believe that man is responsible to forge his own luck by looking for Jesus first. Havinig done this, one will always have enough:

Matthew Chapter 6:
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Member

Maybe you can help the others who are living worst and worst, as discussed before with factual data. I do not think that those who line up for food really have money for Internet access. You can go to the “Blaha”, and while you are handing out your worldly possessions like Francis of Assisi, a true Christina did, you ca also explain t the masses why should the be happy for the wonderful economical data you are suggesting is not manipulated in any way. I hope you will be try to your word and follow Jesus’ teaching.

Matthew 19:20
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

spectator
Guest

Well, obviously you’ve got bored enough not to answer to my ‘trivialities’ at all, say, instead of your Sunday-school memories something substantial, maybe?

Otherwise aunt Bessy isn’t my aunt, if you’d take another look perhaps
you’ll find the obvious clue.

However, talking about economical growth while the government just cutting back even the most elementary social expenses, a bit bold.
So much, that it outright shameless.

But then again, even the true believers have to hang on to something.

fractalized.bitstream
Guest
fractalized.bitstream
@spectator: Why would I discuss economy, as a physiscist I lack both the education and the time to significantly go into details. But let’s say my PhD and my carrier in research has proven that at least in most of the cases I understand what I read. Thus I am content with material that is released by the German chamber of commerce in Hungary. I think they have no reason to lie to anyone, especially to their clients and they are probably also smart people – but maybe you or your aunt are smarter. At the bottom line a GDP growth benefits everyone sooner or later, and that is far better than having no growth or recession (like when the MSZP-SZDSZ was in charge). @Some1: It is a common misconception to believe that the good christians are ought to give away all their possessions to the poor. Living a christian life does not mean to try to solve the problem of poverty. Not even Jesus helped the poor since he himself was also poor and he didn’t consider it as a problem, he only demanded to show compassion with those who are in need. In that particluar section that you… Read more »
seinean sabisan
Guest
fractalized: “But basically most of the critics are just envy, because Orban is actively seeking for solutions to put Hungary’s economy on a multiple footed foundation” At this level one does not speak out of envy. Such a declaration, given before the formal nomination as the head of a secret service, is carefully designed to send messages. Those messages are for : the Romanian political establishment, the Romanian press, the Romanian people, the main ally within NATO which is the USA, the other NATO and EU members (one of them being Hungary) , the Ukraine and – last but not least – Russia. Hellvig basically answered the growing anxiety in Romania in connection with the war in the Ukraine. One has to remember that Romania’s neighbors are: 1. Ukraine – the very subject of this “hidden” Russian aggression but also a country with whom Romania had a rather bumpy relationship since its independence 2. Hungary – leaning now rather to Russia than the West, another country with a “complex” relationship with Romania 3. Serbia – traditionally a friend but now clearly leaning with the Russians and with a strong anti-NATO approach. 4. Bulgaria – with a traditionally pro-Russian population and… Read more »
seinean sabisan
Guest

Mike

I appreciate a sincere and reasoned answer. I would appreciate it even more if provided from the very beginning and I you would have not initially sent me to the rightabout.

For some reason the “reply” button is missing from your post.

seinean sabisan
Guest

*if

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