Viktor Orbán’s interpretation of the current refugee crisis

Viktor Orbán’s xenophobic anti-immigration rhetoric grows louder every day. His regular Friday interview on Magyar Rádió today was perhaps his harshest attack on outsiders. He spreads fear of those millions of Africans who will invade the European continent and destroy its civilization. This morning he stressed that although some prime ministers in the European Council think that “immigration is a good development and that it is useful for the European Union,” he is not one of them.

But the fact is that, according to a survey published a few years ago by HSBC titled “World in 2050,” Europe’s shrinking population due to its low birthrate portends “a grim future” for continental Europe. The low reproduction rate of countries like Germany (1.3), Italy (1.4), Poland (1.3), Hungary (1.3), and Spain (1.4) “doom these countries to aging crises and population decline unless they open the floodgates to immigration.” The final warning of the study is that “not since the Black Death stalked Europe in the Middle Ages have we seen populations collapse like this.”

To this, Orbán’s answer is that his outstanding leadership will turn around the Hungarian demographic trend that has been with us for about thirty years. This is yet another of his pipe dreams.

Alessandra Venturini, deputy director of the Migration Policy Center and professor of economic policy at the University of Turin, shares the opinion of the authors of the HSBC study. A couple of days ago she reiterated that Europe “cannot do without immigration” although there is a “worrying myopia” in certain circles. She had a few strong words about the lack of solidarity within the Union and predicted that the failure to recognize the need for immigration will “cost everyone dearly.” She charged some of the politicians with “a total lack of political vision.”

In the European Union few countries have fertility rates that are considered acceptable. France and Ireland lead the way with 2.1, followed by the United Kingdom with 1.9 and Sweden with 1.91. Compare that with Hungary’s 1.34, Slovakia’s 1.34, Poland’s 1.3, or the Czech Republic’s 1.4. Interestingly, these are the very countries that are most adamant about rejecting any immigration.

Viktor Orbán, in his interview this morning, alluded to the fact that at the last summit, which he described as one of his toughest, there were prime ministers who, like the economists and demographers, urged joint action on a carefully planned immigration policy that would ensure a healthy economic development for the European Union. With Viktor Orbán in the lead, the former socialist countries torpedoed any action in this direction.

Orbán indicated that there were a few critical  remarks and some bantering, but “we mustn’t be bothered by them.” Surely, no one would accuse Viktor Orbán of being sensitive to the fact that his xenophobia and barely veiled racism is not exactly comme il faut. He seems to be absolutely oblivious to the possibility that some of his fellow prime ministers might look down on him and consider his behavior unbecoming, boorish, or much worse. I also wonder whether during these meetings he can successfully hide his disdain of most of his colleagues. Because Orbán doesn’t think much of people who think that “foreign is beautiful, not problematic, not dangerous” when clearly the opposite is true. He sees the danger while others do not.

Orbán used an interesting phrase during this morning’s interview. In discussing the quota system the European Commission wanted to “foist” on the member states, he remarked that there were prime ministers who were willing “to let Brussels decide” because there is something wrong with their “vital instincts.” Perhaps their instincts are not as keen as his. Perhaps these prime ministers don’t defend the rights of their own people as vigorously as he does. His vital instincts work when he takes a firm stand. No mincing of words here: “It is I who decides whom I let into my house, into my country. I am the one who decides with whom I want to live. It will be decided here and not in the imperial center. We insist that we Hungarians will decide our own fate.”

By taking such firm stand, Hungarians are defending not only themselves and their country but the European Union as well. “Not for the first time,” he added. The reference is to the ungrateful Europe that made Hungary fight the Turkish invaders alone. And when the Turks triumphed, it heartlessly left Hungary to bleed to death and suffer under the Ottoman yoke for 150 years. Of course, this “fairy tale” has little to do with reality, but it sounds good and it fits well with the self-pitying tendencies of the Hungarian psyche.

A group of American teachers who help refugees in the Debrecen and Bicske refugee centers

How does Orbán see the refugee crisis? Although on occasion he makes fleeting remarks about “real” refugees, Orbán views the present situation as the beginning of a mass migration of long duration. Moreover, he downplays the number of refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria and overstates the magnitude of the African migration. His description of the situation in Africa is simplified to the point of gross distortion. “Africans, once they learn that in the European Union one can attain a reasonable standard of living without any skills, start going. Not 100,000 but a hundred million.” The European Union’s generosity is like “sending an invitation to them.” We have to tell them straight: “This is our home, you go back home.”

This is Viktor Orbán’s interpretation of one of the most serious refugee crises in the history of Europe. Shame on him.

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petofi
Guest

Orban allows…neigh, gives, the gift of Hate. For an impoverished, inferiority-laden people, there is no more empowering essence than the allowance, the encouragement…to hate. Hating elevates the hater. This has been tried and found effective by the nazis of Germany. (One didn’t need the blandishments of the basement Pavlovians to undertake this.)

Voyageur
Guest

This is shameful and I have been very frustrated as an expat living in Hungary. I have educated Hungarian friends buying into this garbage. Of course, they will never say anything openly racist and at times have denied that Hungarian society does have a strong racist streak. However, there are others who are influenced by the great leader’s words. Just this morning we were rushing to catch the train and witnessed an incident. We passed two young well-dressed black men (likely tourists) on the way to Blaha. We also passed by one of the resident drunks of the square. As the young men approached, the drunk started screaming at them in Hungarian to go away and even smashed a bottle in their vicinity. No one was injured but it is an example of how the regime’s rhetoric may incite some elements of Hungarian society,

LwiiH
Guest

Certainly political leadership has a role in setting the tone of the conversation and “I decide on who I let into my house” speak volumes.

Member

Die Hexe von – als ob “Hungarian” – Spectrum, hat wieder mächtig gegen die elemtaren nationalen Interessen Ungarns zugeschlagen. Wenn dabei noch andere Troller ihr mit dem Namen “Petőfi” assistiren, beweise nur es handelt sich um ein antiungarische Gruppe innerhalb der NSA oder CIA die aus unerfindlichen Gründen Ungarn sowohl Schaden als auch pejorativ der Öffentlichkeit in der USA erniedrigen wollen.

Das nicht nur heute mit Siedlungspolitik, Kolonisation und Migranten militärisch Territorien erobert werden, das zeigt nicht nur die Entstehungsgeschichte der USA durch Ausrottung der indigenen Bevölkerung Nordamerikas, sondern auch das Diktat von Trianon. Es geht um Vernichtung oder um Sein des Einen und Untergang des Anderen. In Trianon hat man 2/3 des historischen Ungarns 8 Eindringlingen u.a. Von der USA verschenkt, die seit 1918 per fait accomply Genozid und Enthnozyd gegen Ungarn betreiben.

Der Hungarian Spectrum betreibe Volksverhetzung zwischen der USA und dem ungarischen Reservat von Trianon.

Guest

Makaroni, your German is as bad as your English – and btw you’re a crazy fascist xenophobic looney, a really bad example of what’s wrong in Hungary.
Of course you would like a return to the glory of “Greater Hungary” when the minority of Hungarians ruled over a majority of other ethnities – but under the watchful eyes of their Austrian emperor …

Re witches, I just found an interesting article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_G%C3%B6ldi

PS:
Didn’t Hungarians invest a lot of energy in Magyarization of the other inhabitants before WW1?

Member

Fruitcake, hamerhead.

Maros Csaba
Guest

Endlich ein wares Wort!

Guest

Those words by Albrecht were meant for your alter ego, Maros aka Makaroni!
And as I wrote before, your German is even more atrocious than your English – so why don’t you stick to your native language?
Or at least use a spell checker …

clive75mercer
Guest

For Orban, bring back the Guilliotine !!

Live long and prosper
Guest

Great post, Eva. I am very frustrated by what is going on in Hungary and, having made it my home and business location for 20 years, I am now beginning to seriously contemplate (i.e. planning on) leaving. I have three young sons and I would like them to have the benefit of a more openly and obviously liberal way of life. My in-laws are conservative Hungarians, and although my wife professes concern sometimes about Orban’s extremes, like many seemingly intelligent Hungarians, I have noticed that she is also susceptible to his rhetoric; which I find astonishing. To my eyes and way of thinking he is a gargoyle-like, tin-pot dictator, and if his ‘unorthodox methods’ weren’t dangerous and harmful for Hungary, I would find his political ideas ridiculous and his strutting arrogance absurd, albeit faintly amusing. The only thing which is truly remarkable about him is his own self-belief. Like many that follow this blog, I yearn for the emergence of an opposition contender, and yet there is and remains none of any obvious merit.

Jon Van Til
Guest
A thought for July 4: Like many followers of Hungarian Spectrum, I think from time to time about the kind of opposition that might someday present a genuine challenge to the Orban regime. One of my favorite fantasies involves the emergence of a new “rainbow coalition” party led by a vigorous threesome: a “familiar face” (maybe from one of the currently hapless parties of the “left”, but probably better from the world of “new entrepreneurial” business), a skilled civil sector leader, and a strong and fearless Roma leader. At least one of the three would be a woman, and all would be able to appeal to a full range of Hungarian voters. Things might get quite interesting in such a situation, as Sir Walter Scott predicted nearly 200 years ago in one of his greatest novels. I quote at length, beginning with his observation on the benign aspects of one-party rule: “Let a monarch be as indolent, as selfish, as much disposed to arbitrary power as he will, still, in a free country, his own interests are so clearly connected with those of the public at large, and the evil consequences to his own authority are so obvious and imminent… Read more »
Guest

Orbán and his ilk remind me of those “repugs” in the USA that right now had “answers” to the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage, crazies like Trump, Palin, Santorum etc …
They exist everywhere (in other European countries too) but to have them in (almost absolute) power like in Hungary right now?

mbloftusM
Guest

They may all take their political strategies from the same set of advisers.

bimbi
Guest
Yes, those who comment on this blog have said repeatedly that Mr. Orban and his regime are authoritarian, nationalistic, dishonest and so on but for the present extreme need of the immigrants arriving in Hungary, that makes no difference at all. So perhaps something else should be tried. I should like to pose a question to any out there capable of giving me a constructive answer. I live in Hungary and I ask, ”Were I to guarantee $10,000 for a year to sponsor, support and assist a refugee family who wanted to stay in Hungary, would this be even possible and how should I go about it? Such a task would require cooperation from many people for it to be a success – local council, government child and support services, schools, health care, housing assistance and of course, day-to-day counselling on dealing with the everyday problems of Hungarian life. It would not be easy but I believe it could be done with goodwill and outreach on a personal level. Perhaps on this 4th July it is timely to remember Emma Lazarus’ sonnet on the Statue of Liberty: …Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…… Read more »
petofi
Guest

Pardon me, Bimbi, but are you looking for a ‘humane response’ from a people and a society that had sent 350,000 more jews to Auschwitz than even the nazis themselves had asked for?

Try to see Hungarians for what they are…a mongrel people without ethics or morals, who attack the weak and prostrate themselves before the powerful.

spectator
Guest

“Does not a situation of human desperation require a human and humane response?”

Yes, it does!
That’s why I surprised, how dare Orbán to speak up at all!
Apparently he is in dire need of those qualities what you just mentioned!
Every word he speaks is a clear verification of his total lack of human compassion!

I hope, his God is watching right now, and will give him just as much mercy and compassion as he deserves.

Amen!

Live long and prosper
Guest

Amen to that!

Member
A Plea I am extremely opposed to saying anything personal in a public blog. But something has to be said about the recurrent excesses of Petofi. And perhaps since he is anonymous, this is less of a violation of the ad-hominem rule: One often agrees with the direction of Petofi’s postings, but their exaggeration and vituperativeness (and often their downright crudity) not only undermines their credibility but also harms both the credibility and the respectability of the very serious cause to which most of us are committed: democracy, justice and human rights in Hungary. Petofi has been asked to exercise self-control before, and as a result he temporarily becomes more temperate, but then he reverts to his offensive and damaging style. We all feel frustration about the current sinister goings-on in Hungary. But Petofi’s constant harping on the fact that that’s the way all Hungrians are, and always were, even if it were true (which it is not, and cannot be) would not be of any use at all. It would imply that we should just retire the Hungarian Spectrum and resign to the inevitable in Hungary. I urge Petofi this time to exercise long-term self-control: Don’t post at once:… Read more »
Maros Csaba
Guest

Ein haufen idióta Ungarn Haser Lügner! Gegen Euch wechst die Unsimpatie in ganz Europa! Merkt ir das nicht? Wie wer etwas selbstkritik?

Guest

Please refrain from posting gibberish – this is not German what you’re writing!
Why don’t you use your native language – say on a site like kuruc or HungarianAmbience or “politics in Hungary”?
The readers there might enjoy your rantings!

exTor
Guest

https://www.facebook.com/maros.csaba.9

I dont know why you let these people get to you, wolfi? I checked out this guy, who now lives in Germany. I read some of his Facebook postings and he’s on the right, however he doesn’t seem to be a raver, at least not that I can tell. Perhaps a native speaker of Hungarian can give Maros Csaba’s Facebook website a looksee and report back. He might be relatively okay.

MAGYARKOZÓ

petofi
Guest
Oh no! The professor’s sensibilities have been tweezered! Have you considered how the families of the 400,000 have felt since 1944? Have you considered how the mother felt who saw her baby’s head pulverized on a stone by a nazi guard felt? Have you considered how the mother of a 14 years old girl, naked and with starved German shepherds biting her naked body as she was herded to the monstrous burning pit behind the crematoria, felt? I think not. Why don’t you save your sensabilities and ask your self why no Hungarian political or religious leader ever felt the need to apologize to the remaining Hungarian post-war jews to this very day? Would such an act have cracked the faux pride and nationalism of modern Hungarians? Let’s not even get into Csatary and how he could re-enter Hungary so easily; and how, during all the time before his death, never was mentioned a word about how he got his passport, or where his wealth came from to maintain atleast two homes in the Buda hills. No, let’s look at the shame of the politicians and the educators in this country who sit quietly, and idly by, while a society… Read more »
Member

Petofi wrote: “Try to see Hungarians for what they are…a mongrel people without ethics or morals, who attack the weak and prostrate themselves before the powerful.”

This is not tweezered professorial sensibilities. It is out and out racism. And you should be ashamed of yourself. No one is helped by this sort of crude public acting out. I am a Hungarian Jew, and an in-utero Shoah survivor, and 27 members of my family were sent to their deaths by (some) Hungarians, aided and abetted by (many) Hungarians. And I know that there are (many) Hungarians today who would be happy to see it done again. But I would never say what you said above. And what you said above can only do harm. You clearly have a recurrent self-control problem. I implore you not to post until a level-headed person has first vetted your postings.

Please don’t reply with further taunting of me, or with further irrelevant exaggerations. I am not your enemy; your enemy is your own lack of self-control.

Live long and prosper
Guest

Sorry, I k

Member
Garry Burke
Guest

Eva, the refugee crisis is a very complex, multi-faceted matter. Make your criticism constructive. Tell us what you think Hungary should do.

Guest

Hungary should just cooperate with its EU partners and Orbán should refrain from populist idiocies like those billboards. What do you think about them and the money that was spent on them and on that “consultation”?
Btw my Hungarian wife threw that letter from Orbán directly into the paper bin but I fetched it, had a look at it (with Orbán’s picture) and a good laugh …

petofi
Guest

The Greeks have voted ‘No’: 61-39 %.
The first referendum in 40 years.
A disgraceful act by the young Greek prime minister who had been elected to lead the country and solve the problem. Instead, he put it to the Greek people who were treated like 10 year olds: “Do you wish to be punished? Do you want to give up your candy?”

Disgusting.

Greek actions worthy of Hungary.

Is this the ‘new Democracy’?

(The Russian basement folk are rolling in the aisles.)

Webber
Guest

Surely voting “no” was not (necessarily) disgusting – two Nobel Prize winning economists, Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, wrote before the referendum that if they were Greek, they would vote “no.” Both have also said that, in their view, Greece should leave the Euro. They are neither fascists nor communists.
Now, after the vote, some European statesmen also are coming out with interesting statements. I quote from The Telegraph:
‘the French economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, … said the EMU creditors are equally to blame for the crisis and must resist the temptation to “crush” the Greek people. “It is our responsibility to avoid a Versailles Treaty within the eurozone,” he said.
Italy’s Matteo Renzi said the sight of pensioners weeping in front of banks was a black mark on the conscience of Europe. “We must start to speak to each other again, and nobody knows this than better than Angela Merkel,” he said.’

bimbi
Guest

Gosh! Sometimes Petofi’s posts are too complex for me. However, congratulations to the Greeks for having spoken loudly and firmly against the EU’s cul-de-sac policy of austerity and more austerity, a policy that has failed for the last seven years but is still forced on the peoples of Europe, principally through the ministrations of Frau Merkel.

For a good view of the post-referendum situation, I recommend the following:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-kuttner/just-say-no_4_b_7732522.html

Power to the people!

MusicLover
Guest

The Greeks have taken a democratic decision that they want someone else to pick up the tab for their own chronic mismanagement of the country. Admittedly, the EU is to blame for the mismanagement of the situation, and also for letting the Greeks into the Euro in the first place, but I can’t say I see anything very admirable about this vote. If I was a German tax payer, I’d be livid. And why should Slovak taxpayers be penalised for the profligacy of a country over which they have no control or influence?

petofi
Guest

Some 10 years ago, I travelled quite a bit in northern Greece. The place was awash in wealth–all the towns where white-washed; many highways were rebuilt or completely new. In the tourist areas, the wives worked their little B & Bs while the husband washed his spanking new SUV and complained about the ‘Greek’s lot’. Quite ridiculous, really.

Today’s Greece and its people have zero resemblance to the virtues of Ancient Greece…

Webber
Guest

It’s worse than you think. If you read authors such as Thucydides, you’ll find that the virtues of ancient Greece have zero resemblance to the realities of ancient Greece.
I’m no great fan of modern Greece, but don’t like to see people who are down being kicked. They, too, are human. If you can’t sympathize with these people in misery simply because of their ethnicity, you might at least leave them alone:
http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/09/02/business-insider-greece-is-the-third-most-miserable-place-in-the-world/

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