Demands for Viktor Orbán’s resignation

Today is one of those days that I have no idea what will happen between beginning to write this post and uploading it. One thing, however, I can be pretty sure of: I don’t have to worry that by tomorrow morning Viktor Orbán will not be the prime minister of Hungary. Although that is what the opposition would like to see.

This morning’s editorial in Népszabadság demanded Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó’s resignation. And, indeed, Szijjártó’s situation was deemed so grave that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán himself came to his rescue. At a press conference in Sopron he said that he was the one who decided that all government money invested in bonds issued by private financial institutions must be withdrawn immediately. He announced his decision at the Thursday, March 4th cabinet meeting. The Hungarian National Trading House subsequently withdrew 3.8 billion forints from Quaestor on Monday, March 9th. That very evening Csaba Tarsoly, CEO of Quaestor, announced his firm’s bankruptcy.

The problem with this story is that it doesn’t jibe with earlier statements of the ministry of foreign affairs and trade that praised the Trading House officials who “acted conscientiously when, observing the market developments,” they opted to withdraw Trading House’s money from Quaestor. Because, according to the letter the ministry sent to cink.hu, there was real panic in the first days of March “when the majority of Quaestor’s clients began withdrawing their assets.” The problem with this explanation is that it is not true. There was no outward sign of trouble at Quaestor at the time. Once Orbán decided to bear the odium of what appeared to be insider trading on the part of government agencies, the ministry discovered that its earlier explanation did not accurately reflect the situation and that in fact the prime minister’s version was the correct one.

Many political reporters were stunned when they heard that Orbán had decided to be the fall guy in this scandal. “In the first moment I didn’t understand how [Orbán] could do something like that,” László Szily of cink.hu saidM. Kasnyk of 444.hu at first couldn’t believe that the story was true. After all, with this admission Orbán threw himself into a quagmire of monumental proportions with a possibly serious political fallout. But it seems that Viktor Orbán is confident about his invincibility. He thinks that his position is secure and that he has nothing to fear. Given the Hungarian parliamentary rules he is probably right, although the opposition parties appear to be united in demanding his resignation.

As we learn more about the events leading up to the collapse of Quaestor, it seems that the Fidesz political leadership had been aware that Csaba Tarsoly’s financial empire was in serious trouble for some time. A high-ranking member of the Fidesz parliamentary caucus told an Index reporter that it was likely after Buda-Cash’s collapse that there would be other bankruptcies. He specifically mentioned Hungaria Értékpapír and Quaestor, both of which subsequently failed.

But let’s return to why Viktor Orbán decided to speak up. Most likely because he realized that Péter Szijjártó was in big trouble. He had illegally invested government assets in a shaky private business venture and then, presumably equally illegally, had withdrawn 3.8 billion forints just before Quaestor’s collapse. Orbán gave this young man a critically important position, one that he was not prepared for. But Orbán is not the kind of man who would ever admit that he made a wrong decision, and therefore it would never occur to him to remove Szijjártó from his position. Also, Szijjártó served him with undivided loyalty for such a long time that perhaps Orbán feels obliged to defend him.

Viktor Orbán announcing that it was him who ordered the withdrawal of government assets from Quaestor

Viktor Orbán announcing his decision to withdraw government assets from Quaestor

Let’s take a quick look at the opposition parties’ reaction to Viktor Orbán’s announcement. Párbeszéd Magyarországért/Dialogue for Hungary (PM) was the first to announce their decision to press charges against government officials who, they believe, are guilty of insider trading. Tímea Szabó, co-chair of the party, naively said that they will demand the audiotape of the March 4th cabinet meeting. Good luck! As far as I know, no records of Orbán’s cabinet meetings are kept in any shape or form. Orbán made that decision already in 1998 when he first became prime minister. He didn’t want to become a second Nixon.

Együtt/Together decided that, while they were at it, they might as well send Péter Polt, the chief prosecutor, into retirement alongside his old friend, the prime minister. DK is also pressing charges, and they “would like it if the prime minister would assume financial responsibility with his own assets” for the losses at Quaestor. LMP’s spokesman, a practicing lawyer, talked about insider trading, which is a serious crime and for which long jail terms are normally handed down. He even offered an explanation of what might have happened. In his opinion, it was through the close relationship between Szijjártó and Tarsoly that the information leaked out and spread within the Orbán administration. He also raised the possibility that with the ministry withdrawing about 20 billion forints, Szijjártó may have been partially responsible for the collapse of Quaestor. Gábor Fodor of the Liberális Párt (LP) wrote a letter to the prime minister which Orbán will have to answer at the latest in three weeks’ time. Fodor wants to know exactly how Orbán ordered the ministers to withdraw government assets from private firms. Was it in a letter and, if yes, who were the addressees?

Modern Magyarország Mozgalom (MoMa), the party of Lajos Bokros, called the Hungarian state under Victor Orbán a “den of criminals.” He called attention to the seriousness of insider trading for which “in the United States and in Great Britain people receive very long jail sentences.” In Hungary, he claimed, important government officials are involved in such practices. Bokros also wanted to know “how the ministry of foreign affairs and trade has extra money to invest.”

Several MSZP politicians talked about the case and they all called for Viktor Orbán’s resignation. Jobbik’s János Volner, chairman of the parliamentary committee on promoting entrepreneurial activities, plans to convene a meeting where he expects Péter Szijjártó and the leading official of the Hungarian National Bank to answer the committee’s questions. If they don’t get satisfactory answers, they are ready to go as far as the European Union.

Fidesz is stonewalling. The party “doesn’t fall for the socialists’ provocations because after all it was the left that in the socialist broker scandal [i.e., the Buda-Cash collapse] abandoned the Hungarian people.” And in any case, “it is MSZP, Gyurcsány and Bajnai who are involved in the network of brokerages.” I have no idea what the Fidesz spokesman is talking about here.

The last piece of news I read before sitting down to write this post said that MSZP is inviting all other opposition parties to a meeting tomorrow. We will see what the reaction to this call is. If they manage to form a common front, it will be a first.

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petofi
Guest

If the opposition parties wanted to act together to remove Orban, they need do only one thing–all martial behind Angyan to lead a new union of all parties. There is to be no negotiating: Angyan would have a free hand to set up his own government if Orban is removed.

Albrecht Neumerker
Guest

If? When!!!

Member

The viktor has no authority to instruct anyone to do anything with the tax money held by ministries. handling those moneys are described in the law books. There are a series of crimes all of the members of the Fidesz/KDNP/Jobbik Mafia thieves committed, every one of them MUST receive punishments and if deemed to meet the requirements of the law, their illegal gained wealth should be confiscated. The Government treated Hungary as a piggy bank, to enrich themselves and now they broke the piggy to take out the last pennies.
What goes on in Hungary is a circus, a tragicomedy, we lucky ones, who don’t live there can only laugh sadly. Yet most of the people there don’t seem to care.

Albrecht Neumerker
Guest

You are right, but I can’t laugh anymore.

Webber
Guest

Other than those who adore the leadership (or perhaps I should say the Führerprinzip), I think people do care, but are in despair. I think a lot of people just try to ignore the sordidness and get on with their lives. A lot of people are, in any case, quite used to “bosses” (főnökök) doing whatever the bosses want to them.

Dr. Kotasz
Guest

B.S.

MagyarArany
Guest

Ditto.
The crimes were committed in front of the public.
Each ordinary citizen who voted or demonstrated for these monsters needs a long rehabilitation.

Member

Meanwhile, in Brobdingnag…

The misfits who have just convened from worldwide in Petersburg are a tiny minority of neo-nazi monsters and maniacs — torturing puppies is the signature of their sordid souls — but in numbers and public appeal, they are inching closer toward mainstream. Bad worldwide economics always brings out the worst from the tall ends of both the genetic and the “cultural” bell curves. Their deranged, scattershot notions are not mutually consistent (as this Bloomberg article points out), but then neither are those of Sunni and Shiiite zealots, yet those too are managing to increase both their numbers and their impact ever more steeply, despite — and perhaps even because of — clashing with one another. (Hungary’s Jobbik, working on projecting a more electable image, did not attend — except in spirit… MacroPutin, like Pannonia’s liliputin, stays serenely aloof, ready to enjoy the spoils of the pseudo-contrast…)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-23/is-russia-against-fascism-or-isn-t-it-

Max
Guest

Stevan: But for some mysterious reason Jobbik did not attend the St Petersburg forum. This might be due to the party’s latest charm-campaign (‘Cukiság-kampány’). They have started to move to the political centre, sensing that Fidesz implodes under its Mafia deals.

http://privatbankar.hu/makro/moszkva-a-kereszteny-civilizacio-utolso-bastyaja-279317

MagyarArany
Guest

I am an anti-fascist, and can not count on the current leadership of the US Democrats.

If a fidesz or jobbik can terrorize Europe, and no help is forthcoming, America’s leaders have failed us.

Member

Surely the ones to blame for having voted in Fidesz and Jobbik are not the US Democrats but the Hungarian voters (plus Orban’s dirty tricks) — but Hungarian buck-passing, scapegoating and unwillingness to accept responsibility seems to know no bounds (or was this comment yet again from a Fidik shill?)

István
Guest

The politics of Central Europe are a great mystery to the U.S. Republican Party and the Democrats. There is a real lack of understanding of the evolution of the post communist states in general among American politicians, among specialists yes, but among the elected leadership of my nation no. In part this why Putin unfortunately made Obama at times look so indecisive and why Orban plays mind games with US foreign policy objectives on occasion with the exception of Goodfriend who figured out the game and played it well.

It is like the US was ecstatic at the collapse of communism and bathing in triumph ignoring the evolution towards authoritian state capitalism in numerous nations. We wake up and look around post the seizures in Ukraine and collectively say what just happened?

steve397
Guest

I don’t understand. Reading about the Qaestor scandal and the many people involved, both in Orbán’s Government like Orbán and Szijjártó, etc. and Csaba Tarsoly and the new Managing Director freshly out of prison, what I cannot understand is how comes that the Jews were not as yet mentioned. Surely in present day Hungary there are no prügelknabe better suited than either a Jew or two or better still the whole of the CIA led Israel.

LwiiH
Guest

The evidence of insider trading in Hungary is every where. As far as I can tell there is no one enforcing any insider trading activities against anyone no matter what end of the political spectrum they are in.

Morningstar
Guest

I don’t think this tactic by the opposition is a good one. The accusation that Orban advised a withdrawal which benefited the state and saved public money will only be strong in the circle of questor investors who believe they will be harmed by this.

But a non-investor (99.9%) might easily agree with that decision, saying the public interest was served by pulling out public money from questor after it became clear from the Buda-Cash scandal that these types of brokerages were unsafe.

And now there are now signs that questor investors who bought over the quota bonds will be compensated, so the argument that they were hurt by the pulling of public money will be a weak one. Will the opposition seriously argue that the better choice was to leave the public money inside Questor? When they do argue this way, the voters will only see that they are way too careless with public money, which is the voters’ money. In the end if they continue down this path it will only shoot themselves in the foot.

Tron
Guest

The issue is did fideszniks and their families take out money too before the news became public?

I agree that many voters think this was prudent action on the part of Orban/Szijjarto, but the question which might still nag a lot of voters is why didn’t they inform the public for days?

In any case this was a desperate attempt to stop the issue because we know that Orban is above laws, and it’s inconceivable that he would be a target of any legal investigations in Hungary. Ultimately, president Janos Áder, Orban’s friend since their college days will give him a pardon. Don’t count on resignation.

Orban and the people he chose, like Szijjarto will stay. Only weaklings resign who give in to pressure. Orban resists pressure and wins.

Guest

“Will the opposition seriously argue that the better choice was to leave the public money inside Questor?”

This happens to be the only legal choice. Only in a lawless country are there other choices. I am not impressed by your apology for inside trading.

Webber
Guest

“now there are now signs that questor investors who bought over the quota bonds will be compensated,”
Well, this afternoon the news was that perhaps they won’t be compensated. Even if they are, the shame of taking part in a Ponzi scheme and winning from it will be hard for the government to scrape off. The opposition should call for a criminal investigation into the Foreign Min.
If the opposition doesn’t ride this, they are bigger fools than I thought they were (and that’s plenty big). Opposition MPs should also now ask for the identity of all investors who withdrew funds from Quaestor over the week before it collapsed. I’d be willing to bet that some government people had private funds in Quaestor and got them out in time.

Gigaton
Guest

The opposition is full of dumb people who don’t get the legal background (it’s too complicated for them) and they were also financed by Questor, I have to assume.

Tarsoly, just like all oligarchs of even minimal intelligence, fed the opposition too, just in case.

So dumbness plus corruption equal remaining silent.

Don’t expect anything from the current left wing opposition.

By the same time in the Tocsik case, back in 1998, Tamas Deutsch was all over the media about the corrupt communists, lo and behold Fidesz won that year.

petofi
Guest

“If the opposition doesn’t ride this…”

I think, sir, you’ve forgotten why MSZP turned their knives in Gyurcsany’s back–to whit, the threat of ‘going straight’ was enough to help Orban and Fidesz to power. In other words, the lovely politicos know where their sugar comes from, and their’s a lot more with a corrupt government than a with the other (even so when in opposition.)

So, if I were a cartoonist, I would show the name politicos of all stripes aboard a bucking bronco named ‘Fidesz/Orban’ and holding on for dear life…

Member

You are missing the real issue, first of all, it is not about public money being pulled out of Questor just in time to save the day. It shouldn’t have been invested there in fake bonds in the first place. The second issue is how is it possible for Orban to receive a letter with insider information that the money should be pulled out of the bonds? This is a crime called insider trading. Did the average Hungarian also receive a letter informing they might want to pull their money out too? This proves there is corruption and illegal deals taking place in Hungary amongst politicians and bankers. Does all of this sound normal to you?

toplon
Guest

OT – Paks 2. It turns out Lazar indeed lied. Simple as that.

Lazar two days ago proudly spread the news that he settled the outstanding issues about the fuel rod supply (where the Russians have legal and practical monopoly for the planned model), the Finnish example is the template and he had an agreement with the EU, case closed.

Now it seems only the negotiations started.

Why did he lie? Is he – among others – crazy? Did he want to impress Orban and his colleagues about his negotiations prowess? I dunno, but whatever Lazar says must be most thoroughly fact-checked.

http://444.hu/2015/03/26/sokkolo-lazar-kamuzhatott-a-paksi-megallapodasrol/

Webber
Guest

It was obvious, wasn’t it? I am quite sure Orban knew Lazar was lying when Lazar did it. I suppose he lied because he knew the state media would report the lie as truth, but would not report the truth after it became clear that he had lied. Fideszniks can believe that their leadership again “won.”
Anyway, according to the Paks contract published by the Russian Duma, any change in that contract by Hungary will evoke fines from Russia.
You won’t hear about that on Hungarian t.v. or radio, either.
So, again, the Hungarian government has lost in the EU, but paints it as a victory and simply does not allow the state-run media to report the truth.

Béni
Guest

Laszlo Szily’s today’s post at cink.hu referring to a Figyelő article.

Conclusion:

Questor is being systematically and deliberately looted (ie. out of its remaining assets, rights, money, claims etc. — prior to any formal bankruptcy/liquidation) and the documents, data etc. are being destroyed with the knowledge and assistance of the Hungarian authorities, the National Bank (as financial supervisor), the police, the prosecution, the tax authority.

This is insanity and corruption on a scale seen only in Africa.

Even in a corrupt country like Romania I can’t imagine the seamless cooperation of several authorities in and the unanimous political support to loot a corrupt company linked to politics and then eliminate any evidence.

http://cink.hu/tarsoly-csaba-szijjartoval-kuldott-levelet-orbannak-1693781733

puli
Guest

According to the law government entities if it they temporarily have some liquid funds may only invests in government debt securities. However the Foreign Ministry knew that the money given to Questor was to be invested in other securities (to hold state bonds the Ministry did not need Questor), even if on paper the money was formally, in the client agreement for GDSs which may or may not be the case. (However in the last few days they probably created the necessary paperwork). To do otherwise is hűtlen kezelés (fraudulent handling of funds, misuse of funds) in which case Szijjarto (and perhaps others) would be the instigator (felbújtó), who is punishable just like the actual perpetrator. The low-level foreign ministry official Andras Szilagyi who knew about this (probably he signed the docs) committed suicide (or was “liquidated” as they say it in the parlance of professionals). This is criminal matter in several ways, Szijjarto might have committed 3-4 separate offenses.

Webber
Guest

It has just gotten worse. The government has now admitted that all the funds it withdrew from Quaestor were in cash. There were no bonds. The government claims it was “shocked” by this. Shocked, my a…

Guest

Moved this comment to the Quaestor thread where it belongs – connections between Quaestor, the handling of visas for Russian mafiosi and the mayor of Felcsút, Orbán’s buddy …

petofi
Guest

I’ll tell you who’s really pissed: the Russkies…

Dr. Kotasz
Guest

It’s funny. Mr. Orban is way the most popular prime minister in Hungary’s modern history. This impotent group of so called opposition parties have no chance to remove him from power.

If the economy continues to grow, the Orban Government will slowly but surely regain the trust of those around 800k Hungarians who got disappointed in the recent act of his regime. That would easily mean that the PM of Hungary will be called Viktor Orban until 2020.

Dieter
Guest

Most popular?? What are you talking about?

The economy is not adding jobs and some 600k Hungarian people left the pool of job seekers. That’s an issue elsewhere too (growth without much job growth). If you take away the public work scheme which is a disciplinary measure and not an economic activity and the massaging of the numbers of the foreign-living Hungarians counted as holders of jobs, in four years the net addition (from a low point in the economic cycle) was some 40k in a country of 10m. Do you seriously believe that the economy will add hundreds of thousands of jobs any day now? When the EU subsidies will level off? When the investment (capital expenditure) figures have been for many years the worst in Hungary in the entire region? It’s much more likely that Romania will surpass as than we have a job boom any time soon. At least check the figures and don’t rely on government propaganda.

Dr. Kotasz
Guest

I am talking about Mr. Orban.

Public work – it is NOT to give jobs to people for living, it is bringing them back to work instead of sitting home and waiting for the unemployment aid each month.

Economic growth can bring jobs as well, but don’t expect Governments to create jobs. It is the private sector who does that. Governments’ role is to support the sector with easening beurocracy and lowering taxes. GDP growth can provide additional resources for the government to do that.

I am fairly optimistic about the next two years in this area.

csabaH
Guest

Do you live in a parallel universe?

You seem to mention standard Western, liberal clichés:_ “Governments’ role is to support the sector with easening bureaucracy and lowering taxes.” “but don’t expect Governments to create jobs. It is the private sector who does that.”

Every government promised this a hundred times and actually made life more complicated. Orban too has made administration for a small enterprise (like mine) even more complicated and cumbersome.

Yes, that’s right. Whether its taxation, payroll, corporate law etc. I have more to do and more to talk to accountants, lawyers. But most of all trust is what lack completely, that’s not gonna change.

I would love to see an economic growth but there is no basis for that and especially not for a significant growth. If there’s a efficiency gain of 1-2-3% in the economy overall then it means even if the GDP grows, employment will only grow minimally. I’m not optimistic about the economy and 1-2-3% growth rates will not get us closer to Western Europe at all in any sense. I think you “misunderstimate” economic factors, even if Fidesz cut certain corporate tax rates and made administration easier, these wouldn’t mean people suddenly would become entrepreneurs.

Dr. Kotasz
Guest

We’ve been listening to the “there is no base for that” for two years now. In fact more than that.

Do I live in a parallel world?! That tells everything about how much you don’t have a clue about how approx 2 million Hungarians think. Oh yes we all live in a parallel universe. Time will tell

googly
Guest
Dr. Kotasz, You wrote: “Public work – it is NOT to give jobs to people for living, it is bringing them back to work instead of sitting home and waiting for the unemployment aid each month.” Theoretically, perhaps, but at least some of those people were looking for work, not waiting for unemployment aid, and now they won’t have time to do that. Also, at least some of them were probably working off the books while also getting the check. Yes, that’s illegal and immoral, but at least it added to the economy. This busy work they are doing now, sometimes far from where they live, will not help most of them get work, so it really just makes people like you feel better. Some of the workers claim that they are happy to do the work, so for that reason it should be voluntary, in my opinion. Instead of having the government “bring them back to work” as you put it (though that doesn’t really make sense to me – do you mean reminding them what work is like?), government should do a better job of creating incentives for private employers to hire them, and giving them the training… Read more »
Gyuszi-the-cabdriver
Guest
Dear dr. Kotasz, let’s approach the situation differently. Could Orban do anything MORE to become less popular??? Internet-tax, Sunday-closing of shops, US visa case (and stonewalling about the corruption), RTL-Klub tax, Antal Rogan’s real estate deals with mafiosi and fidesznik pals, Arpad Habony’s opulent life style, the falling out with Lakos Simicska, pictures about Peter Szijarto’s humble abode, now the Questor-case in which besides the various crimes the well-informed fideszniks could access their funds while the average joes were left without money (so fideszniks could get their money from the money of the average joes), the failure in South Stream, the failure of the Russian-friendship now that Russia is clearly fighting Hungary’s alliances and on and on and on. This is what came to mind in a few seconds. What else did Orban accomplish in the last year since his reelection??? It sure seems as if Orban has been working day after day to look ever more corrupt, more foolish, more like an idiot, more like a madman. Well, yes, that’s what he’s been doing, with MET, Paks 2, the pig farms, the land deals, the acquisition of Market Zrt., all Orban’s deals to get richer. Not much time left… Read more »
Dr. Kotasz
Guest

Looking like an idiot or a madman?! Haha. Not sure what value a debate with you would bring to this forum after this. Believe in what you want, your choice. Believe in all the BS you can hear/read about Orban which are in most cases parts of the discreditating campaign against the PM of Hungary and his Government. Again, your choice

googly
Guest

Dr. Kotasz,

You wrote: “Believe in all the BS you can hear/read about Orban which are in most cases parts of the discreditating campaign against the PM of Hungary and his Government”

Even if you read only the pro-government newspapers (who I think you’ll agree are not part of any campaign to discredit Orbán), you’ll see that most of what Gyuszi-the-cabdriver says can be found there. How can you not address any of that, and instead just dismiss most of it as “BS”? It’s becoming clearer and clearer that you are interested in debating anything, only in saying anything you can think of to defend the indefensible policies and actions of this government. Don’t waste your time, nobody here cares what you have to say unless you engage in honest, legitimate debate. I take that back – we care enough to point out your propaganda for what it is, and refute and ridicule it.

Member

I thought you were leaving this blog? The only thing worse than a defensiveness for the indefensible is not wanting accept reality because it would mean that you would have to see your government for what they really are. On the upside, it is the choice of the people to elect the ones they want to represent them. If you do not take the opportunity to fix the existing problems, you deserve everything you get. Right now Hungarians are reaping what they sow, but it isn’t over yet. The country hasn’t taken all it can from the EU, after they have taken that to the end of the road, then maybe the Hungarian electorate will finally see with this maffia government has done to them.

Hentai
Guest

You are perfectly free to still trust Fidesz, no problem with that.

But – besides Fidesz being incredibly corrupt and incompetent – the hoped for economic growth just won’t come. I would love to see high growth too, believe me.

But a realistic 1-2% growth won’t change anything. It may still be better than the Italian growth rate, but people won’t be happier with this in Hungary.

Dr. Kotasz
Guest

Incredibly corrupt because you and Index.hu say so?! It was 3.6% growth last year and 2015 is planned to bring over 3%.

googly
Guest
Dr. Kotasz, I don’t know where you get your numbers, but according to the EU, growth was 3.3% in 2014, and is forecast to only be 2.4% this year and 1.9% in 2016. http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/eu/countries/hungary_en.htm Those numbers are based on figures provided by the Hungarian Government, which apparently isn’t interested in keeping honest figures or following its own laws (see the Quaestor affair, where Orbán claims to have ordered the government to take money out of Quaestor right before its collapse even though it was not supposed to have given Quaestor the money in the first place). Speaking of Quaestor, will the government revise its GDP figures to reflect the fictitious books of this and other financial institutions that have gone bankrupt recently? I would say that since Hungary has a lot of potential for growth, the disappointing figures either show that the government has done a poor job of creating the conditions for growth, or its massive corruption has caused so much inefficiency and thwarted so much legitimate entrepreneurship that it is single-handedly dragging growth down. You can’t really blame the opposition, since it is powerless and ineffective, despite your claims that it somehow has the power to mount a… Read more »
Bitstream Fractalized
Guest

Let’s agree on that, that the GDP growth numbers depend on when, by whom, and how the evaluation is being carried out – every agency has slightly different methods. Anyways, the 3.3 or 3.4 or 3.6 % are all well above EU-average and also above regional average (Slovakia: 2.4, Poland (strong US ally, thus everything must be good there ): 0.6, Romania: ~1). So what’s your point? Either you want to claim that Hungarians have extraordinary skills, and are still able to deliver an above average GDP growth in spite of the stiffening corruption, or you want implicitly say that the corruption in Slovakia and Poland is unbearably intense.

Bitstream Fractalized
Guest

Correction: Poland had 3.1 – 3.3 GDP YoY growth. That means in your terms, they have a little more corruption than Hungary.

spectator
Guest
Would it mean that in absolute terms the result isn’t that deep under the bottom of the proverbial frog, at that a few inches nearer to the surface? Its so great! However, I think you may interested to look at some independent figures too, in case you would compare the facts to your delusions. Of course, purely on volontaire basis – I don’t ever want to hurt your feelings toward the Greatest Leader, oh no! So, if you think from now on you may close your eyes, forget about this and no harm done! Otherwise: GDP Growth (Constant Prices, National Currency) Statistics for Hungary , Year 2014 – In Detail GDP Growth (Constant Prices, National Currency) for Hungary in year 2014 is 2.8 %. Annual percentages of constant price GDP are year-on-year changes; the base year is country-specific. This makes Hungary No. 107 in world rankings according to GDP Growth (Constant Prices, National Currency) in year 2014. The world’s average GDP Growth (Constant Prices, National Currency) value is 3.11 %; Hungary is 0.31 less than the average. In the previous year, 2013, GDP Growth (Constant Prices, National Currency) for Hungary was 1.10 % GDP Growth (Constant Prices, National Currency) for… Read more »
Bitstream Fractalized
Guest

The 2.8% is still regional top three. So I can hardly accept it as a sign of the beginning of the end.

googly
Guest
Bitstream Fractalized, Ah, so your knowledge of economics is even more woeful than your pitiful math and research skills! Neither is anywhere near as good as your ability to boast about achievements that can’t be verified, though. Cheap mockery aside, I’ll explain to you a little about how economics works. When a country has suffered low or negative growth for non-structural reasons such as poor cash flow or worldwide financial crises, growth tends to rebound. In Hungary’s case, Fidesz stopped the rebound that was occurring in 2010 with their inane policies, and has had intermittent success in keeping growth from shrinking ever since. Meanwhile, Poland, which you chose to compare in one particular year to Hungary, never went into negative growth, during or after the worldwide financial crisis. The fact that they kept up the growth means that they never had that recovery bump, so that fact that they still have almost identical growth as Hungary shows how much better the centre-right government there has been running the economy. Part of what they have done right is to decrease corruption, rather than the Hungarian approach (increasing it drastically). There are many other factors involved, but this example shows how you… Read more »
Bitstream Fractalized
Guest
What’s the point of going on a rant against me saying “…your pitiful math.. skills”? Do you really think, that it has any impact on what I have done before, and what I will be doing in the future? Yeah anyways. Why would you expect a higher growth than this? Since most of the countries that Hungary is doing business with have no or very low growth, the export can not be the major force. The increasing domestic consumption has been contributing a lot, but it also can not do wonders. The Hungarian GDP is approximately as high as that of Poland, thus it makes a lot of sense to compare these two countries. The real GDP growth is the same, CPI, unemployment rate is the same (well ours is better, but I know your reply on this, so spare me, please). Why should Hungary have larger GDP growth than this? It is not possible under the current circumstances. Your point is to stress the heavy corruption in Hungary being the major factor for this. OK, I accept it, so please, go and report it! Talk to journalists at index.hu or others, they will be glad to hear more infos.… Read more »
googly
Guest
You’re really bad at this! You wrote: “Why would you expect a higher growth than this?” As I already said, after a period of low or negative growth, there is typically a rebound recovery period, when businesses decide the worst is over and they start revving up. It’s difficult to maintain this, which is why growth is forecast to slow down markedly in the next two years, a point you ignored. You wrote: “Since most of the countries that Hungary is doing business with have no or very low growth, the export can not be the major force.” Wow, you are so bad at economics! It doesn’t matter much how well Hungary’s customers are doing (unless their economies are in deep recession), what matters most is how well Hungary’s competitors are doing. Hungary might be doing slightly better than Slovakia and Romania right now, but they are also undergoing political upheaval and an increase in corruption. Poland, meanwhile is drinking our milkshake, since they have decided to play by the rules and foster a healthy democracy and business climate. They can achieve a similar growth rate as we can, even though they are not bouncing back from a long period… Read more »
Bitstream Fractalized
Guest
So we are getting back to the initial topic, you expect every day the beginning of the end, and I see the emergence of good tendencies (of course you say that I believe all the lies). During the left-liberals – as the numbers show – many things went downhill (especially government debt in foreign currency) – Poland luckily avoided this with having a right wing government (this you fail to observe). Now that the numbers show a positive trend, you say, it is typical and it could be better if it wouldn’t be Fidesz-KDNP who is in power. The only problem is that the left-liberals you advocate were those who first slowed down then stopped the economic growth due to their inability to reduce the vulnerability of our economy (Hungary was expected to go bankrupt alongside with Greece if you remember… whose responsibility is this?). Bajnai’s economic rebound was financed by the IMF, which we all know what is it good for. As for the stadiums, Hungary has participated in two World Chapionship Finals. Due to Puskás we are still treated as masters of soccer. Even though I like basketball, I don’t mind the building of stadiums, since it is… Read more »
Webber
Guest

“Due to Puskás we are still treated as masters of soccer.”
Because of one player??? Oh, puh-lease. This is a myth only someone who lives in Hungary could believe. Even Transylvanian Hungarians would laugh at that. Please take a trip abroad and visit football matches. ANYWHERE. Bucharest. Belgrade. Zagreb. Manchester. Anywhere.
WHERE are Hungarians treated as masters of soccer?! Please do let me know. I’ve lived in several European countries, including England, and nobody gives a damn about Hungarian soccer these days. Those who have watched Hungarians play soccer over the past two decades or so have have watched in amazement and amusement. What were those scores? Serbia-Hungary, 8-0? IMPRESSIVE! Not surprising given the fact that Hungarian soccer players these days all move like they’re playing water polo, only with less energy (now water polo is a sport in which the Hungarian team does get some respect – unlike soccer).

Bitstream Fractalized
Guest

@Webber, March 30, 2015 at 10:41 am: I have been living in England, Canada and now in Germany for more than a decade. Those who like soccer know him. Most German soccer fans do remember the finals in 1954, and you should show me a Spaniard, who hasn’t heard of Puskás. Even an Indian exchange research fellow asked me recently about the current state of Hungarian soccer, because he knew Puskas.

googly
Guest
You had me going for a minute there! I thought you might have decided to be reasonable, and was greatly relieved, then you wrote: “I don’t mind the building of stadiums, since it is what the heritage obligates us.” I think you have “drunk the kool-aid”, as the saying goes. What heritage, exactly, obligates us to build over-priced stadiums to enrich cronies when they are under-utilised and we desperately need the money elsewhere? We haven’t had a competitive team in over half a century, and we had one world-class player and no World Cup wins. This is the same mentality that causes a local government to build a bicycle racing facility, whereas I don’t see us winning any Tour de Frances. At the very least, we should be building water polo facilities instead of football academies and stadiums, but our self-appointed king likes football, so that’s what we get. Welcome to Orbánistan! Meanwhile, we have a long list of achievements in the arts and sciences, but there’s not only no investment from this government in improving our facilities for such things (no, art museums don’t count, they don’t produce great artists), there is actually an assault on education quality and… Read more »
Webber
Guest

In a bizarre way, it is comforting to know that many Fideszniks actually believe Orban is still popular. May you remain eternally clueless about changes in public opinion, and the reasons underlying them!

Guest

A bit OT:

Here’s an almost funny report on the meeting last weekend of the “International Russian Conservative Forum” described as:

Fringe political characters from Germany, Italy, Britain, the U.S., and other countries spoke of their devotion to Putin and Europe’s Christian traditions, while expressing contempt for the European Union and denouncing the American way of life, which meant homosexuality, multiculturalism, globalization, and “feminized men.”

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/a-hateful-sort-of-love

I could not find any info on Hungarian participants, but Jobbik might have been there.
Does anybody know more?
PS:
Many Fideszniks might have felt at home there …

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