Viktor Orbán went but didn’t conquer: His trip to Brussels

Yesterday I expressed my belief that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán would arrive in Brussels with a proposal seeking the European Union’s blessing of his hermetically sealed Hungarian borders, in contravention of European values and the Geneva Convention, in return for accepting a few hundred refugees. I was not very far off. It seems, however, that Orbán’s strategy is not working. He might receive some money to ease the strain caused by the large number of refugees in Hungary, but the EU leaders don’t want to be partners in his scheme.

It is hard to tell whether the chaos in Budapest and elsewhere in Hungary is the result of the government’s total incompetence or whether it has been artificially created. The utter confusion everywhere is a source of anxiety, even panic for the refugees. It is hard to fathom that a government chock-full of officials in charge of trivial matters hasn’t figured out that there ought to be a commissioner of refugee affairs. Is it the case, as many commentators suspect, that the Orbán government wants to have as much confusion as possible to show the population the horrible fate that awaits them if they are stranded with these screaming strangers? Moreover, if it becomes obvious that Hungary’s resources are inadequate to handle the situation, more money will come, money to replace the 23 million euros the government has spent thus far on the useless barbed-wire fence.

The reputation of Hungary is in ruins when pictures like this can be found in all foreign newspapers

The reputation of Hungary is in ruins

It seems that Orbán will get money but not much more than that. His proposals were rejected by the three important EU leaders he met with today in Brussels: Jean-Claude Junker, Donald Tusk, and Martin Schulz.

Orbán went to Brussels full of wrath. I suspect that on the way he rehearsed his main talking points, trying to phrase his message in the sharpest possible terms. He succeeded. Perhaps too well. What struck me most listening to sound bites was the primitive language in which he chose to convey his equally primitive ideas on the refugee issue. “The moral, human thing is to make clear ‘please don’t come! Why you have to go from Turkey to Europe? Turkey is a safe country. Stay there, it’s risky to come! We can’t guarantee that you will be accepted here.'”

Prior to his arrival in Brussels, in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he described Europe’s response to the crisis as “madness.”  He reiterated his opposition to allowing Muslims into Europe. “Those arriving have been raised in another religion and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims…. This is an important question, because European identity is rooted in Christianity…. We have no option but to defend our borders.”

I’m sure that Orbán hoped that Donald Tusk at least, being a politician from Catholic Poland, would sympathize with him. He turned out to be mistaken. At a press conference in Brussels, Tusk had the following to say on the subject: “Finally let me make a personal comment with reference to PM Orbán’s article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. I want to underline that for me, Christianity in public and social life carries a duty to our brothers in need. Referring to Christianity in a public debate on migration must mean in the first place the readiness to show solidarity and sacrifice. For a Christian it shouldn’t matter what race, religion and nationality the person in need represents.”

Tusk was equally negative on Orbán’s “solution” of banning all refugees who reach the borders of Hungary. While he admitted that the borders of the Union must be more effectively defended, he added that “our attitude to refugees is in fact an expression of European solidarity.” He also said that “EU countries will not change their migratory policies overnight.” Translated into plain English, Orbán, if he wants to stay in the Union, will have to allow asylum-seekers across that fence.

Orbán’s meeting with Martin Schulz didn’t go any better. After the meeting, Schulz told reporters that “the Schengen treaty is under threat.” And he warned people that “a deeper split of the union is a risk we cannot exclude.” This indicates that during the meeting Orbán showed no willingness to compromise. Since in Orbán’s opinion the flood of refugees is not a European problem but a German one, since everybody wants to go to Germany, he believes that Hungary should not be obligated to adjust its policies to those demanded by the European Union. After the press conference Schulz appeared on ZDF, the German public television station, where he expressed himself more forcefully. According to HVG, Schulz announced that Viktor Orbán’s position on the refugee crisis is “totally unacceptable.”

We know relatively little about the meeting between Viktor Orbán and Jean-Claude Juncker since no press conference was scheduled, which usually means that the meeting was not exactly a roaring success. The spokesman of the European Commission called the talks “constructive,” which pro-government Hungarian papers heralded with great fanfare, as if “constructive” in this context means something positive. “Constructive” usually means that each man expressed his opinions and there was no meeting of the minds. Apparently, Orbán talked about his idea for a sealed border, which Juncker disapproved of, while Juncker lectured Orbán on the necessity of a common European solution. At least this is my interpretation of the very brief description I read of the meeting.

After this trip Orbán can reassess what he wants to do: face the threat of the abrogation of the Schengen Treaty, which means the end of free movement and labor within the Schengen borders, or give up the promised legislative package on the refugees, whose provisions would greatly restrict basic democratic rights.

Meanwhile German-Hungarian relations are on the rocks as well. Neither Martin Schulz nor Angela Merkel appreciated Orbán’s accusations. First, Orbán accused Germany of being responsible for Hungary’s current problems with the refugees, and then came the accusation that the refugee crisis in general is a German problem. Chancellor Merkel didn’t wait long to respond: “Germany is doing what is morally and legally required of us, no more and no less,” she said in Bern.

Meanwhile at home János Lázár used the strongest language against Germany’s behavior, which he found to be “beyond words.” It is Germany that is opening and closing the doors of Keleti (Eastern Station) with its irresponsible statements about accepting Syrian refugees.

It was only a couple of months ago that we heard that Hungary’s foreign policy is anchored in the excellent relationship between Hungary and Germany. Moreover, Hungary is heavily dependent economically on Germany. Is it worth attacking the strongest power in the European Union for the sake of playing the role of Defender of the Faith and Europe?

Viktor Orbán has managed to maneuver Hungary into an untenable position. The country’s reputation is in tatters. Finally the whole world can see what kind of a country Viktor Orbán and his fellow Fidesz politicians have created in the last five years. I’m sure that a lot of people thought that the opposition parties and commentators critical of Orbán’s regime were exaggerating. They kept saying: “But Hungary is still a democracy.” The democratic features of the Orbán regime, however, are only skin deep, beneath which one can find many features reminiscent of Mussolini’s Italy.

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Member

Test 7

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Guest
Paul
Guest

“European identity is rooted in Christianity”

Orbán’s hypocrisy is beaten only by his stupidity.

Paul
Guest

Still, as you say, Éva, at least now the rest of the world can see what we’ve known for so long.

Maybe in the long run this crisis will turn out to be the turning point for Hungary and Orbán’s regime.

It will be difficult for people to ignore Hungary and Orbán/Fidesz from now on – it is clearly revealed not as that eccentric little country that doesn’t really matter. but as a failed country, led by an ignorant and stupid megalomaniac. A cancer in the heart of Europe.

Istvan
Guest

Interesting comment Eva: “After this trip Orbán can reassess what he wants to do: face the threat of the abrogation of the Schengen Treaty, which means the end of free movement and labor within the Schengen borders, or give up the promised legislative package on the refugees, whose provisions would greatly restrict basic democratic rights.”

I would suggest that in terms of the proposed legislation the transit zones themselves will fail as will the rapid expulsions of the refugees back across the Serbian border. Why in the world would the Serbs take back the refugees they are hurrying through their country. The EU can simply do nothing and the entire Fidez plan will collapse of its own accord. Many refugees will suffer in the mean time.

I don’t know why the EU would even bother to declare a breach of the Schengen Treaty why mess up trade relations and cheap Hungarian labor in Germany. Just sit back and watch the fiasco, maybe eventually the Serbian Army will blow up the fence. Then will Hungary declare war on Serbia and the heroic Gábor Vona lead his militia in hand to hand combat with the Serbs? My bet would be no.

JGrant
Guest

“and the heroic Gábor Vona lead his militia in hand to hand combat with the Serbs” Good luck to them, that’s all I can say! If the current Serbian soldiers are half as fierce as the average WWII partisan was, they would not come back out alive, that’s for sure!

Guest

@JGrant
September 4, 2015 at 6:53 am

Yeah, too true.

And the Hungarians were ingloriously whipped by the Serbs in 1914/15 too, until a flu epidemic decimated the Serb army.

Paul
Guest

This refugee crisis isn’t doing my marriage any favours either.

Our most recent row was brought about by my wife repeating the latest ‘intelligence’ from Fidesz HQ – not just that America is to blame for this crisis, but that the US has deliberately created the refugee exodus in order to destabilise Europe.

Did she have any evidence for this? No. Did she have any explanation as to why the US would want to do this, or what they would gain from it? No. Could she explain how, exactly, the US were doing this? No.

But Fidesz say this is so, so the faithful believe it. And I don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m not Hungarian and I don’t live there.

Mind you, she also believes, for the same reason, that, despite the Russian military hardware and soldiers in Ukraine, and despite Russia annexing Crimea, the Ukrainian situation is all America’s fault. Why? How? I am unable to tell you, but apparently “it’s obvious”.

Life in the parallel universe that is Fidesz World.

Wondercat
Guest

Du hast Recht, ich hab’ meine Ruhe. — Try that, keeping the second clause to yourself.

Lumpy Lang
Guest

Even while reserving full contempt for Orban and his racist followers, it’s no secret that the U.S. wars/occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq and the relentless campaign to bring down the Assad regime in Syria have utterly destabilized the entire region, enabling the worst and most vicious sectarian elements to fill the void. The same dynamic has taken hold in Libya, creating a power vacuum/human catastrophe that stretches deep into the surrounding African states. Add to that the historical and current machinations of the other imperialist powers, particularly Britain and France – and you have a crisis created almost entirely by external (Western) interests.

With the same recklessness, Washington apparently wants to push NATO’s ‘defense’ perimeters right up to the suburbs of Moscow. Why would anyone be surprised that Russia might push back?

Is it really so difficult to understand?

Szása
Guest

@Lumpy

So what you’re saying is sovereign nations like Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Finland have no right to defend themselves.

According to you they have to accept that – according to Russia – they fall within the Russian sphere of interest so Russia has a right to decide over their fates.

I more or less agree with your assessment about the Middle-East (though ‘relentless campaign to bring down Assad’? C’mon), but you’re dead wrong on Russia.

Russia behaves like an empire which vindicates rights over the fate of sovereign nations.

This is unacceptable and conversely – especially after Ukraine – I can absolutely understand the Baltic countries that they want NATO and US support to defend themselves against the Russian bear.

Frankie
Guest

Orban and his racist followers? 2/3 of Hungarian voters…Think before you say something…

Webber
Guest

Sorry – 2/3 of Hungarian voters did NOT vote for Fidesz. Go look at the numbers.

Guest

@Webber
September 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Yeah, but enough did – twice! – to give them a two thirds majority in parliament, first enabling them to carry out a parliamentary putsch, then enabling them to change constitutional and other legal provisions as they please and whenever they please, to suit narrow party-political and party-based mafia needs.

Sackhoes Contributor
Guest

Frankie – where on earth are you getting this “2/3 of Hungarian voters” nonsense? Check your facts (on valasztas.hu) and you will find that 53% of of Hungarian voters voted for Fidesz. It’s the peculiarity of the Fidesz created voting laws that 53% of the popular vote results in 67% of the seats in Parlament. Read before you say something.

Webber
Guest

53% – that was just for the protest vote in 2010.
The percentage for 2014 was far, far less – especially if you use the figure for all voters, even those who did not vote.

spectator
Guest

Sorry, man, but you may want check your facts!
It was not 2/3d of the voters, but 2/3d of the parliamentary seats – with about 40 something percent of the votes, due to the changed rules.

But just as well, Viktor Orbásn is the king, and we all know that!

But thank you to mentioning, all the same..!

Member

HUNGARY IN THE GRIP OF A MADMAN

Guardian: “Hungary PM says Europe in grip of madness
comment image

Member

Orban’s atrocities continue unchecked — now pepper-spraying infants heaing shame upon shame
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/reporters-notebook/migrants/hungary-refugees-pepper-spray

Csaba K. Zoltani
Guest

Indeed, there are better ways to handle the refugee problem confronting the EU, that was partially created by the dereliction of its own members. Unfortunately those who level criticism have not advanced solutions that are within the EU norms and agreements and have not made available the financial means that may be required. Criticisms without specific alternate means of solutions may be politically useful to those who voice it, but it is only blowing in the wind.

ER1956
Guest

Treat the refugees humanely.
Hold the tyrants of Russia, Iran, Syria, Iraq accountable.
Quickly disqualify Orban. Unfit at any phase.

Member

This is demonstrating the gross incompetence, total lack democratic and equal rights values of Viktor Orban and his gang. There is a total lack of understanding, collective planning and consistent execution of anything by the Hungarian Government. This Mafia gang of thieves know only how to rob the people, hide the loot, lie and cheat and usurp power.
Their time will come, lucky if they will only be chased away and become refugees. The EU should close its borders for them, so they should be sent to one of the Muslim countries, like Iraq, Iran or Saudi-Arabia, etc.

Frankie
Guest

Hazaáruló!!!!

Sackhoes Contributor
Guest

Frankie! It’s hard to figure out whom you are addressing with your comment. Are you talking about yourself?

Member

I think he is talking about Orban. Rightly so!

Member

While Orban and his gang terrified from the damage the asylum seekers will do for Hungary, here is fresh news from Budapest.

Omg story short, Hungarian and Romanian soccer fans decided to beat up each other in the red centre of Budapest. Shooting, and whatever you can imagine was part of the activities. Soccer is the sport activity Orban loves to pump money into without running to the EU for more. Also these soccer hooligans are very much the same that Orban and Fidesz employs to keep order when older people and/or university students gather to express their disapproval on the Fidesz maffia!

“Nagy balhé volt a Deák tér környékén Budapesten, a Lánchídig szinte minden le lett zárva, több száz rendőr vonult oda. A hírek szerint néhány száz magyar fociultra talált magának román drukkereket az Erzsébet téren, akiknek neki is estek, és petárdákat dobtak járókelők közé és lövésnek hangzó durranások is eldördültek. Mások azt látták, hogy egy ksiebb csoport rendőrnek rohantak neki az ultrák a Madách térnél. ”
http://index.hu/belfold/2015/09/04/lovoldozes_a_deak_teren/

tappanch
Guest

The number of “captured migrants” reached a new peak, 3298, yesterday, September 3.
The average of the last 10 days was 2642.

source: http://police.hu/hirek-es-informaciok/hatarinfo/elfogott-migransok-szama

tappanch
Guest

The total for January 1 through September 3, 2015 (my counting based on official data) is

163,542

Ron
Guest

Tappanch you may have seen this already, some statistics on refugees and Europe. Looks at Hungary’acceptance rate.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/09/daily-chart

Than the statistics of the Dutch statistic office (CBS):

http://www.cbs.nl/nl-NL/menu/themas/veiligheid-recht/publicaties/artikelen/archief/2015/ruim-40-procent-meer-asielzoekers-in-eu.htm

Here they say Hungary has 41 refugees per 10,000 inhabitants. Unfortunately, most of these refugees do not stay. Surprisingly Sweden is high and Germany low.

tappanch
Guest

(refugee status granted + protected status granted)/asylum seekers

1st half: 233/ 5435 = 4.29%
2nd half: 243/37342 = 0.65%
1st half: 253/66741 = 0.38%
July 1- September 3: ??/83870 =

tappanch
Guest

1st half, 2014
2nd half, 2014
1st half, 2015

tappanch
Guest

The number from today’s news conference

162,980 (so I was pretty close)

submitted asylum request: 150,611

declared themselves Syrians: 50,413 ( 33.47%)

http://nepszava.hu/cikk/1068680-ha-kell-gyalog-is-elmegyunk—menekultek-indultak-utnak-a-keletibol-fotok

Guest

Our local newspaper (full of news about the crazy things happening in Hungary) reports:
“Harsche Kritik an Orbán – Merkel ist erbost”
Mrs Merkel is furious – Orbán lost a friend – even the Bavarian CSU is quiet.
Maybe this really is the turning point for Fidesz.

Bergmann
Guest

How many times do we have to repeat that appeasement never works. (Well, at least the Germans should know better and learn from their own history.)

Merkel – in charachteristic Merkelian nichtstun fashion – appeased Orban when she was here in Budapest, the general media view was that everything was jolly good after all, Merkel liked what she saw and she certainly did not openly criticize the thoroughly corrupt and mad Hungarian leader and the consensus was that Orban won again, besting the mighty Germans by smartly arranging that the Germans didn’t dare to criticize him in any material way.

And now this is what the Germans get in return, all the crazy attacks by Orban and Lazar (I wonder what those famous German ‘friends’ of Lazar say now?).

When do the German politicians finally understand that only raw power gets results in Hungary and that Orban will always bite that hand that feeds him (knowing full well that the Germans are maddeningly meek and can be provoked for ever)?

It’s time for Germany to get tough and stop acting like a castrated lamb.

Guest

What can Mrs Merkel do? What would you propose?
The Fidesz lawyers are balancing on a thin line and the EU rules don’t allow Germany to just cut off the flow of money …

Semana
Guest
wolfi, projection of a credible deterrent (even in economic sense) has a big literature. A powerful person doesn’t even have to do anything at all, by virtue of projecting the power (which it may or may not have in reality) the other party wouldn’t even try to misbehave. However, Germany doesn’t want to project power because I guess it is afraid that people will hate Germany or will compare it to Nazi Germany. The world’s 3-4th or fifth economic power which is one of the few countries which is technologically able to build a nuke within a few months if it ever chose to I propose should appear powerful and certainly could appear powerful if it really wanted to. But it’s a policy that Germany should appear weak in international politics, a kind of American client state (implying that without the US, Germany would be too weak to defend or assert itself). For German politicians is totally OK if countries like Hungary and leaders like Orban take advantage of Germany because the Germans don’t really care, they can afford that. They are the richest people, they don’t really care if some petty dictator wants to steal a few billion euros… Read more »
spectator
Guest

Significant part of the Hungarian BNP depends on German companies, resides either in Germany or in Hungary as we know.

There is an embargo in effect against Russia as precedent – so there is a way for Mrs Merkel too to twist Viktor’s balls a few times around, as I see it.

Frankie
Guest

Orban is not more corrupt leader than Merkel, Hollande, Cameron, Junker and others.

spectator
Guest

Glad to hear, Frankie!
I honestly hope that you can provide detailed proof too, in order to take you serious enough! I mean not only tas a paid Fidesz troll, what you seem to be!

Guest

OK, guys just to make the conversation more interesting and show how others in the US can think about the exact same issue let me quote a reader from The New York Times

“As someone who lost family members to the holocaust, I’m sensitive to the plight of those who flee war and oppression. But Orban is right. Allowing the migrants to stay in Germany will only encourage more to make a hazardous journey, resulting in more deaths.
The world must accommodate war refugees in UN camps across the border of the countries that are at war, and repatriate war refugees to these camps. And economic migrants must be returned home. Otherwise, the tragedies will continue, as more and more make the dangerous trip in an attempt to enjoy the economic opportunities of the European Union.”

More of the same from here: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/03/liberal-readers-revolt-over-nyts-pro-migrant-news/

Guest

“Breitbart”? Are you crazy?
Only right wing loonies read that sh*t – no, thanks.
And even the NYT is the victim of trolls like you nowadays …

Gardonista
Guest

NY Times readers were sounding a lot like Breitbart on this issue. I was shocked to see hundreds of NY Times readers expressing support for Hungary. Breitbart is disgusting, but it’s smart enough to take advantage of the issue.

Most people have no understanding of Hungarian politics, and the current coverage of Hungary is their best opportunity for Hungary/Breitbart to push their agenda.

Member

I lost family members in the holocaust, and I say Orban should let them go to the countries they welcome them. This includes Germany, and Canada just started to speed up the process to take immigrants in. I WON! And your point is?

Tyrker
Guest

“This includes Germany”

Are you sure?

Actually, the German position is so obscure that even the Austrians had to ask for clarification, even though they speak the same language, literally.

Look, it’s not like Germany is welcoming all refugees but evil Hungary is holding them captive.

Webber
Guest

Come on – you can do better than that! If you look at all you’ll find some really nasty stuff by American neo-Nazis and KKK people.
As to what you posted, you’ve missed something major: If you could trust Breitbart’s spin (and you can’t), the comments would still have been made by nobodies.

In Hungary’s case, much worse comments than those you’ve found are made regularly by the PM, by other members of government, and by members of and ideologues from the ruling party.

Guest

On our local evening news tonight the lead item was Hungary and the forced evacuation of refugees to Biscke. I wept. My heart broke at the utter inhumanity of how Hungarian authorities treated those poor, stressed, tired refugees, adults and children alike. I am ashamed to hold a Hungarian passport. NOT IN MY NAME!

I understand that this is a complex issue with no easy solutions. I don’t have any answers. But the cruel, arbitrary and completely incompetent manner in which Hungary is responding to this crisis is revealed for the entire world to see and reflects the tyrannical incompetence of Orbán and his government.

Sadly I suspect the majority of Hungarians agree with his stance, as do the majority of populations elsewhere in Europe. If you read the comments on The Guardian, surely a bastion of left-wing, liberal thought, the majority of commentators support Hungary’s stance.

My son told me that the Czech authorities are writing numbers on the arms of refugees. He said his Facebook is full of posts about this. Really, how far have we come since the dark days of the 1940’s?

Barberode
Guest

And what the czech authority have a right to do it, I am Czech and I do not want any muslims in my country, they breached the rules and illegaly entered my country/the EU,, they do not have any passports, no documents, my sister immigrated to Australia and had to passed English tests, proove financial stability and be skilled worker in one od the needed profession to be accepted by Australian authority for immigration to Sydney. No one has the right to enter foreign terittory without valid visas or documents. In Australia they will put you immediately in detention centre and will deport you ASAP out of the country. Nothing against the migrants, but under the law.

Webber
Guest

Some Czechs are like that, others aren’t. Some remember 1968, others don’t. Some are Christians, others proclaim they are.

Frankie
Guest

And if Orban tries to do the same…..

Webber
Guest

then Orban is one of those Hungarians who doesn’t remember 1956, and who loudly proclaims he is a Christian all the while violating Christ’s teachings.

spectator
Guest

It’s impossible!
It’s need some intelligence, you see…

Member

You are very uneducated on this issue. Your sister I assume did not seek for asylum, she was not tortured, her family was left alive. Look, you are alive and happy! If you want to come Canada, it is the same. You have to prove that you are needed, except if you are a refugee. Your sister was not a refugee, so put your hand together, and start a happy dance.

Grisa
Guest

Gaspar Orban, son of Viktor, who from his FB posts seems much more conservative and loonier that his dad sharing a post by orientalista.hu (note the title) which seems to be a pro-Russian, pro-Assad, anti-US, anti-migrant site operated by the KGB.

http://algebraicvarietyshow.tumblr.com/image/128276784984

Bowen
Guest

The Guardian have translated Orban’s radio speech this morning. He sounds like a dangerous lunatic.

“The reality is that Europe is threatened by a mass inflow of people, many tens of millions of people could come to Europe,” Reuters quoted in telling a public radio station.

He added: “Now we talk about hundreds of thousands but next year we will talk about millions and there is no end to this. All of a sudden we will see that we are in minority in our own continent.”

“Hungary cannot ignore Schengen rules in its procedures,” said Orban, referring to Europe’s zone of passport-free travel.

“Migrants must cooperate with Hungarian authorities, with the German authorities and if Germany wants to admit Syrians, it should issue permission for them to go into Germany.”

Orban said the new measures being debated by parliament would be implemented later this month.

“Everyone should be prepared for this: Serbia, Macedonia, the immigrants, the human traffickers. We ourselves will prepare for this, and a different era will start from 15 September.”

István
Guest
First of all Bowen thanks for the extracts from PM Orban’s radio speech. Orban is not completely mad, but he radically and purposely exaggerated the short term estimates of refugees to Europe. But on the other hand EU president, Donald Tusk, Martin Schulz, and Jean-Claude Juncker are much more than likely purposely playing down the long term potential nature of the refugee crisis. The U.N. has had to cut food supplies to 1.6 million Syrian refugees. John Owen reported on Voice of America that the monthly food allowance for refugees in Lebanon has been reduced from $27 last January to $13.50. One 22-year-old Syrian, Osama al-Raqa, who lost his chance to go to university because of the war, told Agence France-Presse, “I dream of leaving to Europe. Europeans eat and live in houses. We, on the other hand, are homeless and the whole world treats us like a burden.” The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Gutteres, declared last month that 4 million Syrians are now refugees in neighboring countries. Another 7.6 million Syrians, he says, have also lost their homes but remain destitute within Syria. Now the unknown factor is the number of potential refugees to Europe from… Read more »
Frankie
Guest

Saudi-Arabia, Dubai, Quatar etc. are far closer to the refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey than the W-European countries. Those MOSLIM countries are much richer than most of the EU member ones and accepted no one immigrants from Syria, Afghanistan etc. Could you please explain why?

Istvan
Guest
No doubt you read today’s Washington Post see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/09/04/the-arab-worlds-wealthiest-nations-are-doing-next-to-nothing-for-syrias-refugees/ Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the U.A.E. and Kuwait are not signatories to the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention, which defines what a refugee is and lays out their rights, as well as the obligations of states to safeguard them. I had the experience of being in Saudi Arabia, and foreigners are tightly controlled, even US military officers providing technical training to the Saudi Arabian Army. The royal family and the hierarchy had problems with Palestinian refugees after 1948 and ever since they have been fearful of potential problems with refugees. Saudi Arabia is now a police state, it has one of the worst records for human rights among all nations on the earth. Based both on adherence to the Saudi ultra-conservative interpretation of Wahhabi religious laws and fidelity to the royal family, the Saudi legal system has drawn international scorn for its treatment of religious and political minorities, women, critics of their Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, and homosexuals. Only one of the roughly 30 nations that still exact corporal punishment judicially — including the amputation of hands and feet for robbery and flogging for drunkenness — Saudi Arabia has defended its “legal… Read more »
Member

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/reporters-notebook/migrants/hungary-refugees-pepper-spray

“Once again, the group walked into the ditch before the barbed wire. A woman in a straw-colored bonnet and carrying an 18-month-old infant led the way.

She was only a few inches from one of the police officers when he sprayed something at the group. A fine mist glittered in the light above the woman’s head.

For a moment only the child’s cry could be heard before the scene devolved into chaos.

[…]

“My little love can’t open his eyes,” said the mother in the bonnet as she looked at her child, the pitch of her voice modulated by a mix of baby talk and rage.

“He gestured for me to come before he sprayed me and my baby, the low-life,” she continued.”

tappanch
Guest

The refugees in Budapest congregate around the Keleti station. They crowd, underground, between the railroad and metro station. It is awful.

Some of them are on the former Köztársaság square. Some families have tents,
others have not. There was some raining this morning, it is sunny now, but
the forecast is heavy rain for tomorrow.

The young single males look energetic, the children are playful, but I could see the suffering on the women.

I helped a family with lots of children and no tent. They did not speak English.

On television – some men started their long march to Vienna

tappanch
Guest

From covert to open dictatorship:

Within the last hour, with the votes of the ruling party (FiDeSz-KDNP) and the Jobbik, Parliament accepted the new term “emergency situation caused by mass migration”.

Government can issue a simple decree to that effect.

Police can enter private homes without search warrant.
New rules in the Penal code,

Requirement:
500 asylum seekers/day for a month, or
750 for two weeks, or
800 a day for one week.

(As I wrote earlier, the number in the last 10 days was 2600+ daily)

http://www.parlament.hu/irom40/05983/05983.pdf

tappanch
Guest

Kleptomaniacs and Nazis are united to introduce the police state.

Guest

I think you are the reporter of the so-called ‘canary in the mine’. Dictators have a few ways of knowing how to get and keep power. They use those that are the most efficient. I can only think that the chaos we now see may change chairs around the VO table and floors of the Fidesz palace. I see some chairs are being moved.

Guest

I’ve been in Germany now a few days and every day people ask me: What is wrong with Hungarians?
And with each report in the German media on the Hungarian crazyness it gets worse …

I have to tell them that not everybody is like Fidesz/Jobbik and even those who voted for them might be decent people – just as not all Germans which voted for Hitler were real Nazis.

It’s really embarrassing for me in a way but those who know my wife believe me that there still are “Good Hungarians” around …

Paul
Guest

Pretty much the same here, Wolfi. I’ve been trying to ‘explain’ Hungary/Orbán/Fidesz for years, but these latest twists and turns are beyond me.

Thank God for the volunteers and helpers, without them I would have lost all faith in Hungary.

Webber
Guest

All the opposition has to do on issue after issue, but especially on the migration issue, is say: “This government is responsible for all of this. This government had a 2/3s majority for years and years, and still has such a large majority in parliament that it can pass virtually any law it wants. And what does it do? What does Hungary look like now?”

Variations on that theme – of Fidesz’s power, and what it has done with it – can be played on issue after issue. The issue now is refugees. Football fans attacking each other in public (where is the public security we were promised?). In the winter it will be poor people freezing to death. The homeless are still here. Poverty is deep. There’s the national debt. The state of hospitals and health care in general.

Whenever Fidesz blames an opposition politician or “the left” for problems today, the response should just be “this is an odd argument coming from a government that has such complete control of things, and that has been in power for so long now.”

Total power means total responsibility. The major problems now are all Fidesz’s babies.

temer3
Guest

Yes, absolutely — but there is no opposition in Hungary. Jobbik is a frenemy, a creature of Fidesz with the exact same ideology.

The left-wing ‘opposition’ are a just a bunch of morally corrupt people without any ideas and vision or any goals beyond making back room deals with fideszniks.

It’s a pseudo-opposition existing solely in order to make the world believe that there is still (a semblance) of democracy in Hungary.

No, there’s no opposition, the leftists couldn’t use dozens of political opportunities to turn to their advantage and will continue to do so, they just don’t care and lazy and dumb beyond belief. My kindergarteners are savvier then these leftists. But more importantly they are not real politicians.

Lajos
Guest

All the leftists had to do was to read this blog regularly and come upon your comment. There is no copyright for political ideas.

But they are so lazy (and speak no English) that they don’t even follow HS.

One cannot underestimate the inaptitude of the leftists.

Or as some wise man once said one can’t build a castle out of shit.

Guest
Re: “Finally let me make a personal comment with reference to PM Orbán’s article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. I want to underline that for me, Christianity in public and social life carries a duty to our brothers in need. Referring to Christianity in a public debate on migration must mean in the first place the readiness to show solidarity and sacrifice. For a Christian it shouldn’t matter what race, religion and nationality the person in need represents.” Apt words from Mr. Tusk, for me an astute player and observer of European matters who understands what Orban represents and where his moves lie. You know VO is not a radical theologian but I have to say he more than other has changed the European face of historical Christianity today. For where it was once a harbor for the poor, the desperate and the homeless who were trying to escape the brutalities of ancient city life in the Greco-Roman world it has simply done nothing to foster new social relationships in our modern age which could ameliorate the suffering of the many. Indeed this new Constantius Orbanus has betrayed the humanity historically ensconced in the religion’s roots. Apparently one less institution now… Read more »
Guest

Re: ‘It’s really embarrassing for me in a way but those who know my wife believe me that there still are “Good Hungarians” around’

And there other opinions from onlookers. While my Ir wife says those Magyars run around with ‘jeg’ in their veins.

Bowen
Guest

I walked with the refugees from Keleti to somewhere near the beginning of the motorway. They were struggling with bags, pushchairs, little toddlers. I’m quite sure many people will get left behind, especially as there were lots who were injured or who couldn’t walk easily. For example, one woman with her children and bags whose husband had been sent somewhere by the police. She didn’t know where, but hoped it was Germany. There are rumours that they will be picked up and sent to Biscke. It’s extremely sad.

The police were quite helpful in blocking the traffic behind them.

I will not forget the meanness of the Hungarians. Either just standing, looking on with no expression in their eyes. Or, the shop owner who complained about immigrants who wanted to come into her shop to buy water, and making Hungary ‘dirty’.

Really, I wish nothing but for Hungary to get what it deserves from now on.

petofi
Guest

Hungary DOES have what it deserves: it has Orban, and the mayhem that will eventually come-

Tyrker
Guest

I’ll try to refrain from commenting on your racist comment on “the meanness of the Hungarians [as such].” Instead, I’ll just say that even the Slovaks, who are not exactly the best friends of Hungary, have declared their full support for the country:

“The countries of the Visegrad Group express profound sadness over the loss of lives of thousands of people in the context of the current migration situation in Europe. They underline that migration flows present a complex and serious challenge for the EU and its Member States. Hungary belongs among those most exposed to migratory pressures and affected by their impacts. The Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and the Slovak Republic therefore reiterate their full support to Hungary in tackling this challenge.”

Member

Tyrker: They support the country NOT its PM. Big difference!!!!

Bowen
Guest

Not a racist comment in any way. I witnessed meanness, indifference and outright hostility as the refugees walked through Budapest. There were signs of support, though from people on the top of those tourist buses!

Luckily people around Torokbalint have been giving water to those walking on the motorway. They really need help.

But, you know, I’m really small fry. If combatting racism is your mission, then you would do much better to focus on the Hungarian PM, who after all, has been purposefully stirring up xenophobia since at least January.

Member

The Hungarians are a race? Tell me more …

Guest

@Tyrker
September 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm

I’ll try to refrain from commenting on your racist comment on “the meanness of the Hungarians [as such].” –

Racist? Hungarians a race? :-))

Gimme a break.

Member

I love that you walked with them. I love that so often we hear from you as you are there when something happens. It is so surreal otherwise.

I am so saddened about these refugees marching through the street of Budapest, and reminds of the story my father told me when they marched him (as an 8 year old boy) with his sister, brothers, and parents to the tattersall. Hungarians lined the streets, and this true Hungarian woman grabbed the food from my father’s arm, some other true Hungarians spat on them.

Bowen
Guest

For those of you living outside Hungary, this short BBC video of the reality at Keleti may well shock you. But it is essential to see.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34155701

The reporter states that, although he has been in many refugee camps, war zones, etc., this is one of the most troubling things he has ever seen.

Guest
And now I see that great Russian vizier has piped in on where the fault lies and as usual it’s the U.S. So it’s Europe ‘blindly’ following US foreign policy ‘instructions’ that got us here. Funny thing it’s precisely the governments the refugees were under that have caused the constantly debased populations to say that’s it we can’t take it any longer. Vlad seems to ignore other loci of responsibility. If anything this refugee crises shows in high relief how interconnected the global world is. Guys who place blame from their window need to wake up and look at their own culpability as well. Putin and VO aren’t so pristine as they think they are. In those unstable countries their politics do not enable them to have the strong institutions to enable rational and democratic debate on the problems coursing through their societies. Rather than following ‘instructions’ it would appear everybody’s doing their own thing…..and of all things that fellow Assad is still in power. If chaos is going on there on the continent than Vlad isn’t exactly innocent as well. He’s laid out his share too. And I see Bayern , the footballers, gave some money towards the refugees.… Read more »
spectator
Guest

Looks like the Hungarian pandemic started to show effects: Orbán successfully passed his never-ending xenophobe hatred to the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and the Slovak Republic too…

Congratulations for the “great success!”

Guest

Re: ‘Looks like the Hungarian pandemic started to show effects: Orbán successfully passed his never-ending xenophobe hatred to the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland’

VO that football lover sure likes to spray the world with those great ‘korhaz labdas’ passes of his. He’s been doing that to the EU too. What a ‘team’ player.

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