Viktor Orbán’s refugee strategy

Non-Hungarian media outlets are covering the events in Hungary extensively. Everything that goes on in the country with regard to the refugee crisis is immediately reported, so I don’t think it makes sense to describe the current state of affairs here. I would just be repeating the same stories one can read in the pages of The New York Times, The Guardian, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,  or Libération. Instead, I would like to share my thoughts on the real motivation behind Viktor Orbán’s latest twists in his “handling” of the refugee crisis.

Most commentators are baffled by the Hungarian government’s shifting positions on the would-be immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. Why did the Orbán government change its position suddenly and inexplicably in the last month or so? Earlier the Hungarian police patrolling the border between Serbia and Hungary allowed anyone who registered to leave as soon as they were ready to undertake the trip. No one was rushing after them, no one dragged them off trains or stopped cars to find “illegal economic immigrants.” As a result, there were no more than 1,000-2,000 refugees in Hungary at any given time. That arrangement suited both parties: the refugees were happy to leave Hungary and the Orbán government was pleased that they didn’t have to take care of these people.

But then the number of refugees started growing by leaps and bounds. While in 2014 41,900 people crossed the Serb-Hungarian border, half of whom were Kossovars, so far in 2015 more than 160,000 migrants have arrived on Hungarian soil. With the swell in numbers the government decided it needed a long-term “solution” to the problem.

The Orbán government’s final aim is to make sure that no refugee would ever choose a route that takes him to Hungary. To achieve this goal the government started inciting the population against the immigrants. Not that they needed much urging since Hungarians seem to be a xenophobic lot, but most of the population had never encountered these people since after their arrival they departed as speedily as possible. So, the government had to call attention to the “problem.” Hence the questionnaires and Hungarian-language billboards.

The marching refugees just leaving the city limit of Budapest

The marching refugees leaving the city limits of Budapest

Once it became clear that more refugees were opting for the land route instead of the much more dangerous and expensive trip across the Mediterranean, the decision was made to slow the flow of refugees by building a fence. I’m almost certain that Viktor Orbán and his advisers on the refugee crisis knew all along that the fence would not stop the refugees from entering the country. They foolishly thought, however, that it would at least stem the tide. They were wrong. News about the construction of the fence galvanized the refugees to start off for Hungary as soon as possible. Before the construction of the fence began about 1,000 refugees arrived each day. By now three times as many are managing to get through.

It was at this point that the Hungarian government decided to keep the would-be immigrants in such miserable conditions that soon enough no refugee in his right mind would head toward Hungary. The chaos and cruelty one sees at the border, in the camps, and in and around the railway stations is not the result of incompetence or a lack of financial means. It is, I believe, a purposeful strategy devised by Hungary’s prime minister. The Hungarian government is doing practically nothing to alleviate the suffering of these people. If the volunteers didn’t provide food, clothing, and medical care for the refugees stranded at railway stations, those who have run out of money would starve. But as far as the Hungarian government is concerned, the worse the better.

For the time being one isn’t seeing a dramatic decrease in numbers despite the cruel treatment of the refugees. Yesterday, for example, according to the website of the Hungarian police, 3,313 people crossed the border. But as a result of the horror stories coming out of Hungary, I’m certain that eventually fewer people will try to cross into the country. News travels fast in the refugee community, and soon enough they, or smugglers, will figure out a different route that avoids Hungary.

In case word of mouth doesn’t work, there is a plan to set up transit camps that will be closed toward Hungary and open toward Serbia. Soon enough those who are already on their way will learn that the route through Hungary is blocked. This is “a solution” which, according to Jean-Claude Juncker, is incompatible with the European Union’s principle of “non-refoulement,” which forbids the expulsion of refugees where they can rightfully claim refugee status to a place where they may face persecution or other threats.

I’m sure all of you have heard about the 1,000-1,500 refugees who are marching along the highway toward Vienna, a trip of about 200 km. Six hundred Austrian civilians gathered on Facebook to travel either by car or to rent buses to pick up these people and take them to Austria. But Viktor Orbán today called attention to the fact that without valid visas these people cannot enter Austria. He said he is waiting to hear from the Austrian government about its stand on that issue. He also made it clear that he considers those civilians who are contemplating the rescue of the refugees to be human traffickers. Interestingly enough, a couple of months ago he wasn’t concerned about the legality of refugees going to Austria from Hungary with or without registration.

Today, in the late afternoon, Népszabadság‘s correspondent in Brussels learned from a very reliable source that the European Commission is planning to take over 50,000 registered asylum seekers from Hungary. Apparently, Orbán was hoping to get more money from Brussels, but it looks as if the EU decided that one cannot expect decent treatment of the asylum-seekers from the Orbán government and that it is much better if these people are moved out of Hungary as quickly as possible.

With his strategy Viktor Orbán might gain a domestic victory, but the international reputation of Orbán’s Hungary has been irreparably damaged.

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Webber
Guest

There are rumors that Orbán’s people have set up a system to milk EU support for refugees for all it is worth. One wheeze, allegedly set up by people close to the Interior Min. Pintér, is calculating ridiculous prices for the cost of a shower a day (five-star hotel costs, with nice little gourmet shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, etc.), but providing absolutely minimal services in reality (an open cold rank of showerheads on cement and a few bars of soap), and still billing the EU the outrageous sums for each refugee. However, the EU can’t be billed if the refugees aren’t actually in camps in Hungary, and they clearly don’t want to go to camps – hence (say the rumors) the forcing of refugees into camps (Bicske and elsewhere)

Member

So today the lovely Fidesz and Jobbik supporters started to share the footage that is behind the photo Eva posted yesterday. The man who covers his wife and children. He went against the police and started to hit how own head with a rock. Of course what they do not mention is that the refugees are forced by police to leave the train, that many refugees were forcefully separated from their families while in Hungary, that the refugees are worried that the water given contains sedatives, and that the refugees are screaming that they would rather die then moved to the refugee camps.
NO REFUGEES FROM THOSE TRAINS WANTS TO STAY IN HUNGARY!

I hope tat those stupid, uneducated and annoying commenters on this blog and on other blogs would understand the simple fact that it is ORBAN WHO TRIES TO KEEP THE REFUGEES IN HUNGARY! The refugees want to leave. So if one the very stupid commenters would like to post something against refugees, I advise to post it on Organs Facebook page. “Let the refugees go!” would do it.

Zolt Zavada
Guest

Have you ever heard about Dublin agreement ? And about this?:Verba volant, scripta manent.

Deakista
Guest

Where is the voluntary assistance by the Christian, Jewish, Muslim organizations in Hungary?

Charles Gray
Guest

Juncker talking nonsense as usual. “Non-refoulement” would not preclude refugees being sent back into Serbia (or indeed Turkey) where they would be perfectly safe. As soon as they express a preference for Germany, they have transformed themselves from refugees into economic migrants. Different arguments then apply.

Webber
Guest

Since when does being a refugee preclude expressing preferences for one’s final destination, or indeed expressing preferences about anything at all?

Member

Let me tell you what the Orban government’s refugee strategy was.

Mr Pinter, Minister of Interior left for vacation today and Viktor Orban was watching the Hungarian-Romanian soccer game.

This is NOT a joke.

Guest

A young Facebook friend has posted 2 anti-refugee videos: one of a green trash bin full of sandwiches purportedly thrown away by the refugees and another of police bringing water and sandwiches to a train full of refugees. The train says “Raaberbahn” on its side. The young male refugees shake their fists at the policemen bringing water, then (rather carefully) carry the packs of water, setting them down on another set of tracks. Female police wearing white hygiene masks bring sandwiches: these are refused by the people on the train, till finally two sandwiches are accepted–then the window is put up. The actions look rehearsed and have no real emotion behind them. Sorry, I don’t know how to post them here. But clearly my young friend believes these videos.

Member

Please check my post above at 7:13pm.

Webber
Guest

I can’t help wondering whether those were ham, or salami sandwiches? Or whether refugees thought they might be? Muslims are not supposed to eat pork.
Christians among the refugees can, of course.

Istvan
Guest

What happened to the threat of the abrogation of the Schengen Treaty that Eva wrote about yesterday? Apparently the European Commission isn’t even considering that, instead they will gladly take over 50,000 registered asylum seekers from Hungary. That too will be a problem because Orban seems to believe the only way to register the refugees is to intern them in camps, which they wisely don’t want to experience. Just as easily the Hungarian Fidesz bureaucracy could have set up a registration system at the train station. They also could have shook down the refugees for bribes to move up in the line which may of the bureaucrats would have though of as only being fair after all.

Really no matter how disturbing PM Orban has been throughout this experience, the EU Commission has been even more worthless. Orban can read Juncker like a book, If it weren’t so tragic it would be hilarious that Fidez could shake down the EU Commission for refugee related costs, most of which may be fictional as Webber points out. The EU is exactly what Mao Zedong meant when he used the phrase “paper tiger” in 1946.

JGrant
Guest

Those of you that read Hungarian can find out from this article that the latest version of this madness now is that Lazar announced that the Hungarian government will send all the migrants (from Keleti Station and those walking on the M1) to the Austrian border in 100 buses. Is this likely to happen, or is just another bit of madness we are getting too well used to this week?

http://index.hu/belfold/2015/09/04/lazar/

Paul
Guest

Slightly OT, but interesting background on the East-West divide within the EU (‘old’ members v ‘new’ members) which this refugee crisis is highlighting:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/03/europe-east-west-divide-refugee-eu-leaders

tappanch
Guest

“so far in 2015 more than 120,000 migrants have arrived on Hungarian soil.”

correctly:
so far in 2015 more than 160,000 migrants have been captured by Hungarian police

tappanch
Guest

More than 150,000 of them were registered in Hungary. So if other EU countries take in ONLY 50,000, that leaves Hungary with 100,000+ migrants that can be sent back here by Dublin III. Am I right?

Webber
Guest

You would be right if the refugees registered in Hungary all stayed in Hungary. Most of them leave after they are registered. They are not, after all, criminals. They have the right to leave their camps. There is nothing to stop them from going to their final goal, which is Germany.

m78
Guest

Hungary has plotted against the EU and humanity again.
It was a good job to damage the EU, and to please Putin.
The refugee lives do not count in Orban’s plots.
Which court will ever try the current Hungarian leaders?
One here on earth, or one in hell?

Gardonista
Guest

Arright, I don’t want Orban’s agenda to rule mine. I would like to find a way to help the refugees in Hungary. How can people our of the country do something concrete to help?

Nádas
Guest

One concrete way to help is by making a donation to Migration Aid:

http://www.migrationaid.net/english/

LwiiH
Guest

I now have close to 400,000HUF in donations so last night we went to Nyugati to see what is needed. I spoke to some of the aid workers there. They have about all the food they can store. They said lots of people are dropping food off. They suggested baby bottles with nipples and rain ponchos. We wiped out one shops supply of baby bottles, hygiene products, things like that. Today I’ll look for ponchos and decathlon has an end of season sale on tents and blankets.
Lots of police around on this trip but everything was fairly calm and orderly. Kids playing football, dancing to music being played on their cell phone and general milling about

Bowen
Guest

Below is today’s message from Migration Aid @ Nyugati. Basically, just because we’ve got a ‘happy ending’ with people taken to Austria on BKV buses (!), this may just be a temporary moment of calm.

“On Saturday early morning hours due to the recent announcement of the Austrian Chancellor, that they will let the refugess coming to the border into Austria, the Nyugati commitee decided to wake up the campers. They were guided to buses, which went to Hegyeshalom, and there they could cross the border by foot.
Currently on Saturday morning we have 20 campers left.
I received a ton of letters from foreigners wanting to help, so this is a general disclaimer, that currently due to the “vacancy” of the transit, we don’t need helping hands.
BUT! I believe firmly that this is only a few days wonder, so please be prepared…”

Peter Callaghan
Guest

The Hungarians have short memories as in 1956 they were on the march and some moved to Limerick city in Ireland
It was they that gave Limerick the Stab City reputation as they were accustomed to carrying and were not shy to use them
On another point maybe it was the Hungarian Foreign minister who borrowed the idea of the long wire fence from Israel
Who knows if they had extracted more Euros from Angela they may have built a wall

LwiiH
Guest

Just came back from Nyugati. Indeed the buses did clear out most, which is probably why so many police were there last night. Dropped off 180KHUF worth of things to wear (rain ponchos etc…) and sleeping bags. Good thing to because 2 hours after the buses cleared everyone out the next train in had ~1000 more. Current need is for someone to organize cleaning blankets and like items.

Al Ruwais
Guest
I don’t think that this chaos in Budapest, Keleti railway station was against the will of Mr. Orbán and his fellows. This was very cynically orchestrated by them. This is the real, most effective and cheapest way of communication and political campaign: three thousand refugees right in the middle of the capital of Hungary at the most busy traffic junction. Ten thousands of Hungarians travelling to and from work bump into those people fleeing exhaustedly from the war zones in every hour of the day. It is shown in the news on all television channels every evening thus curbing the sentiments of their followers – by now not only in Hungary but all around the world. And the blame is always on the EU, the Germans, the refugees and all those who help them. Mr. Orbán deliberately planted a powder keg right into the heart of Budapest and he is waiting for the outbreak of clashes between the more and more desperate Syrians and Afghans and the Hungarians, let it be police forces or soccer fans. Because at that moment he can step on the stage and show his voters what they are craving for: power and force. Just check… Read more »
Bowen
Guest

“Szeptember 15-étől új időszámítás kezdődik.”

I noticed it. His odd Facebook posts in the last few days are also very interesting:

Új idők – Magyar Idők.
Akit lerohannak, az senkit sem tud befogadni.
Ha nem védjük meg a határainkat, tízmilliók fognak jönni.
Hajrá, magyarok!

István
Guest

Sometimes we can see the future but we can’t stop it from happening. I and many others including members of the joints Chiefs of staff, here in the USA correctly predicted the pandoara’s box Bush was opening in the Middle East following 9/11 but it could not be stopped. Al Ruwis that was a powerful comment like many others on this blog predicting the master manipulations of PM Orban and his Fidesz followers.

ali-goom
Guest

Al Ruwais is the Petofi II.

I appreciate the clear profiling of the Hungarian regime by Al Ruwais. (Any connection to Abu Dhabi?)

This illegitimate regime is orchestrating every move with two goals is in its mind:

To create problems to the West.
To profit from the conflict.

The Hungarian regime obviously tries to rule against its own nation.

Gellért
Guest
“Hungarians seem to be a xenophobic lot” This is not what I experience. I moved from Western Europe 15 years ago, live in Budapest. Obviously Hungarians have treated me well, and so do I see them treat and help non-European immigrants. Fear, as in xenophobe, is not something I think is appropriate, neither have I seen hostility that would be remarkable different compared to other European countries. Surely the Hungarians are not exposed to foreigners on a level as in Western Europe, and they might not know so much about these people, but that will change if more foreigners arrive and imo not an intrinsic value of the Hungarians. The state is something different! Of course the Hungarian state treated me in explicit unfair manners, just like it does to its own Hungarians on occasions. Even at Keleti Station yesterday under attack by ‘Ultras’, no tensions between the refugees, volunteers, police forces, press, passing travelers and curious onlookers. Police was present, but not at all in a dominating fashion, and please don’t visualize this as if the refugees were isolated as a result of this situation, everybody mixed freely on this big square, except for the Ultra’s, as they stood… Read more »
János Keleti
Guest

Orban wants chaos. Every leader who is in political trouble wants chaos, war, there’s nothing new in this.

It’s a great opportunity to profiteer from complex situation for those in the know and voters are following the emergency rather than talk about lack of jobs, corruption, lack of public services and the like.

Orban, Pintér etc. will take advantage of the EU and EU countries for as long as possible (and believe me the EU will let them do that for ever), this is their way of getting revenge on the rich West (EU).

Almost the entire Fidesz leadership and top oligarchs hail from rural Hungary (and mostly not even from the biggest towns, which are anyway tiny compared to Budapest, but from small towns) without any middle class/burgher/civil tradition whatsoever, they most assuredly don’t behave like what educated middle-class Westerners would expect.

It’s an enormous joy, best fun to get EU funding paid mostly by Germans while you blame Germans and Brussels.

So, this game will continue. Yes, it’s just a game, which is so much fun for the Hungarian leadership.

Gellért
Guest

“Well, opinion polls tell it otherwise. Take a look at them.”

But Eva, that seems unsatisfactory for maybe these polls do not represent everyday xenophobic behavior of Hungarians. OK, lot of verbal ammunition, but as behavior it is almost non-present. The discrepancy needs an explanation, but I’d think behavior goes over polls in evaluating the xenophobic level of Hungarians, but that is not my area of expertise.

Bowen
Guest

From today’s Guardian (main news)

“In Hungary, at one point along the road, a group of stragglers waited in the drizzle for a bus after falling behind the main pack of people who had set off on foot. “Some of them were vomiting,” says Kolozs, a 39-year-old Hungarian engineer who tied a blanket between a tree and a car to shelter the refugees. “They are women and children – I’m amazed they got this far.”

Some people cruised past in cars shouting abuse, calling them “Saddam Hussein” and “scum”. The Syrians were restrained in response. “People are people,” said Manoli, a 19-year-old electrical engineering student. “You can’t convince some of them.” ”

Oh, and really, what happened in Keleti is the government’s fault, but the government is a reflection of the society.

Bowen
Guest

“But at the stragglers’ makeshift camp, the buses did not arrive until 4.45am, leaving its members shivering in the drizzle and darkness for more than six hours. Some of them only had shorts and T-shirts.

Despite the presence of volunteers, a less friendly sort of Hungarian regularly drives past. “I hope you die,” comes a familiar refrain from a passing car. “And your mother too.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/05/on-the-refugee-buses-finally-im-getting-out-of-hungary

I could go on.

Guest

I believe you have to differentiate between ” xenophobic behaviour” and ” xenophobic mindset” which is obviously there – just think about those polls re the “Piréz”.
No Hungarian has ever seen or be in contact with a Piresian but many know and told the Tarki interviewers that these people shouldn’t be allowed in Hungary …
Ain’t that crazy?

Tyrker
Guest

Not at all, wolfi. ‘Piresians’ were invented by the pollsters, but to respondents they are simply a group of people they have never heard about. I believe the responses are entirely normal. I mean why would anyone embrace people they know absolutely nothing about? It’s the run-of-the-mill interpretation that’s wrong, not the responses.

Webber
Guest

No, no – a high percentage of people rejecting respondents they have never heard about before is not “normal.”
But just ignore the pirez thing if you prefer.
Polls taken in multiple countries using identical questions show a relatively high level of xenophobia among Hungarians.
No population is fully free of xenophobia. All countries have levels of xenophobia. Hungary’s levels are higher than most, like it or not.

Guest

@Gellért
September 5, 2015 at 4:35 am

Opinion polls or no opinion polls, the average Hungarian is an antisemite, anti-Gypsy, xenophobe and a firm believer of elaborate conspiracy theories, and one only needs to keep one’s ears and eyes open in the Hungarian street to realize this at once.

This is real grass roots stuff, glaringly our in the open, and I am amazed that you never noticed it.

Maybe it is because you don’t understand Hungarian, thus not directly exposed to it.

Member

@Gellert, are you a white European? Or are you a foreigner that is visibly different? After all, Hungarians will not necessarily know that you are from the west. Also, being from the west is not the same as being from the Middle east or North Africa. Observe and listen to how people describe the refugees. It is disgusting and VERY xenophobic.

tappanch
Guest

This is what I commented here on Wednesday, at 9:12 AM:

“My guess [is] that the Middle Easterners will be allowed to leave tomorrow or on Friday for Germany when

[one] Orban got some extra money from Merkel.
[two] Hungarian Parliament voted for martial law measures ”

I have not heard about [one], but Orban got [two] and his government announced
its decision at 9 PM on Friday.

tappanch
Guest

There is a new group of migrants/refugees at Keleti. Their strength is about one thousand at this moment. They mainly came from the transit camp in Debrecen. Some of the migrants/refugees were allowed to board a train going to the Austrian border at Hegyeshalom.

Other groups from the transit camps at Vámosszabadi and Bicske started the trek on foot towards Austria.

According to Janos Lazar, 4 500 refugees/migrants were transported to Austria last night.

http://index.hu/belfold/2015/08/31/menekultek_bevandorlok_krizis_percrol_percre/

tappanch
Guest

Is there a secret clause in the Iranian agreement that Europe should take in lots of Sunni refugees from Syria and Iraq?

In the first half of 2015, there were less than 160,000 new asylum requests in Germany.

http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/resources/bamf_statistics_june_2015.pdf
http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/DE/Publikationen/Flyer/flyer-schluesselzahlen-asyl-halbjahr-2015.pdf

The Iranian agreement was announced on July 14.

On July 31, the counter stood at 195,723
http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Meldungen/DE/2015/20150819-asylgeschaeftsstatistik-juli.html

On August 19, the Germans suddenly announced that they expect 800,000 asylum requests in 2015.
http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Meldungen/DE/2015/20150819-BM-zur-Asylprognose.html

First-time applications, as of June 30, 2015 (any type of protection granted)

Syria: 32,472 (85.4%)
Kosovo: 28,672 ( 0.4%)
..
Iraq: 8,331 (89.3%)
Afghan: 7,932 (41.0%)

Eritrea: 3,582 (73.0%)

Total: 159,927 (36.1%)

tappanch
Guest

Using the January through July data, “plain vanilla” estimate would have been 400,000 through the end of the 2015.

Still, the relevant German office suddenly doubled the estimate for the 2015 asylum seekers on August 19, by adding 400,000 places to fill.

petofi
Guest

A friend of mine who speaks Arabic has reported that the so-called ‘Syrian-refugees’ are not Syrian at all…they are Sunni Moslems who are being provided with Syrian papers to help them get into West European countries.

Fifteen years ago, a friend, who studied all the religions and can read their texts in the original, predicted that Moslems would try to undermine the West by creating refugees who would be transplanted into western countries and undermine the systems from within.

His prediction seems to be coming about, doesn’t it…?

A number of questions relating to the refugees:

1) Why aren’t the rich Sunni nations absorbing more of the refugee population?

2) What is the makeup of the refugees?

3) Who is researching where the refugees really originate from?

4) Why doesn’t the UN set up refugee stations in neighbouring countries to process
the refugees?

5) Does it not seem odd that the flood of refugees are crossing/helped through…Turkey and Greece…two of the countries most at odds with the European Union?

And finally, a perception….Watching the refugees walking out of Keleti…they’re the youngest, lightest-travelling, refugees I’ve ever seen…Almost as if they were guaranteed financial support at point of final arrival..

Just wondering…

Bowen
Guest

Since you’ve got so many interesting questions, I implore you – for the sake of your own curiosity, and even to clarify your perceptions – to get off your backside, stop pontificating and go to Keleti (or Munich, if you prefer somewhere more soothing and with nicer leisure facilities) and interact with actual people.

I look forward to your findings.

Webber
Guest
The rest of your comment is speculation, so I won’t address that – except to say that the comment about “fake Syrians” sounds both possible and a little nutty. Prove it. My guess is that there are many, many, many genuine Syrians out there (why wouldn’t there be??? Conflict is awful there.) As to your final observation – refugees (all migrants, actually) farthest from the conflict tend to be younger. Younger people are simply more active, and more likely to be willing to leave their homelands, whereas older people tend to want to return to their old homes. For some reason, men also tend to be more mobile than women. If you look more closely at images, you will see a few middle-aged people and children too. As to how these refugees are traveling – light – that is completely normal. First, until last night it has been warm – even hot. There was no need for much clothing. They cross into Hungary on foot. You wouldn’t carry much. By the time they got to Hungary they had shed their heavy stuff – it’s a long way to Hungary from Syria, after all. These days to travel you really need… Read more »
Bowen
Guest

To clarify about the refugees travelling light … Yesterday, most people at the front were those who could walk quickest. i.e. they were younger, fitter, and for some reason, carrying little.

But behind them, and for the most part, families were carrying everything they had in whatever baggage they had. Camping mattresses, carrier bags with some biscuits in, perhaps a child’s favourite toy. You will also notice that they were dressed rather heavily, considering that it was 30C heat, and full sun. In other words, they were wearing all the clothes they had, instead of carrying them. And also, attempting to carry infants, toddlers and young children. Probably they had had to make a decision about what to leave behind in Budapest (if, indeed, they had anything to leave behind) and what was strictly necessary for a last-ditch desperate walk to another country.

Under those conditions, I would have travelled ‘light’, too.

Webber
Guest

Petofi – for the sake of your own sanity, please drop the line about the Sunni conspiracy to undermine “the West.” You’ve written about it repeatedly on this blog. It seems to be a manic obsession with you. There used to be a similar theory about a secret cabal of elderly Jews – the “Learned Elders of Zion.” I won’t go on. You know that lunacy for what it is. You know very well that people who have that particular manic obsession have murdered millions of Jews.
On traveling light, look at this:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/sep/04/syrian-refugees-pack-for-the-crossing-to-europe-crisis

István
Guest

To be honest Webber Petofi has shown great moderation as of late. He probably holds the record on this blog for accusations against posters he disagreed with of being trolls for Fidesz or in my case a Putin troll.

But his posts are of value because they often honestly reflect the deeply ingrained conspiratorial theories that proliferate in Hungary and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Sadly on occasion some of these conspiracy theories are proven partially to be correct and those occasions convince the practitioners of that dark art to proliferate and spread additional conspiracy theories.

Member

“Petofi” you have outdone yourself this time. I revise my mistaken estimate: Your heart is not in the right place and perhaps never was. Shame on you. You are a disgrace to this forum. Even when you express agreement with democratic points, your endorsement is tainted.

Member

Stockholm Syndrome?
What on earth brings such ugly ideas to mind when what one is witnessing is human suffering? Will we next hear from a friend who is citing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Is it Stockholm Syndrome? The reasoning, evidence and compassion are worthy of OV, BZ, KL, RA, KZ, GG, VG, BZs and the rest of the foul Fidik banda.

Sidonie
Guest
petofi
Guest

@Sidonie

Thank you for the reference. Although I’m still not aware what steps have been taken that the refugees, indeed, are Syrian and not other peoples from say Lebanon and Iraq, taking the opportunity to leave the Middle East.

I’m also not clear why all the pressure is on Europe to absorb the refugees while the rich Arab countries take none at all. Shouldn’t the UN exert pressure on wealthy Arab states?

(Anyone misconstruing my statements to be in support of Orban has not read
my submissions since 2010.)

clam8
Guest
@tappanch This secret agreement is ridiculous. Simply there are millions upon millions of young people who want to leave (what can safely be characterized as) their failed states. There’s no conspiracy in this. The demographic tree of any of the relevant countries is terrible (way too many idle young people) and there’s no economic or political system which can provide them with any meaningful jobs (income). It’s simply very logical that they leave to Europe which is relatively close by. The more successful the newly arrived immigrants are and the bigger the diasporas the quicker the inflow of new immigrants — this is what is happening. In the last year or two a critical mass of Iraqi, Syrian and Afghan immigrants arrived to Europe who can help their families and friends back home and act as examples of successful immigration, to be followed, copied. Moreover note that Iraq (which is also in a war-like situation as Syria is) lost half of its income as the price of crude halved, essentially Iraqs entire government budget comes from the sales of this finite resource. Since indeed the Iranians seem to be gaining the upper hand (though now Isis is getting stronger) in… Read more »
bimbi
Guest

Dear Tappanch,

I have done the arithmetic with the figures that you give for “first-time applications” and for the %ages of those granted “any type of protection” and I get the following:

Total 80,989 (not 159,927). Applying the %ages you give for any type of protection and adding up the total I get 40,579 or 50.1% of the applicants.

Where are my figures incorrect?

Webber
Guest

Although a solution has been found by several thousand refugees hitherto stuck in Budapest, the crisis in Hungary is far from over. People with large hearts and homes can host a refugee family for a night or two by contacting the organization mentioned in the article below:
http://index.hu/belfold/2015/09/04/igy_fogadhat_be_menekult_csaladokat_az_otthonaba/

ali-goom
Guest

Istvan of Chicago may be too gentle to think that the refugees can be sleeper cell activists.

Petofi’s warning must be taken seriously. The background of each refugee must be carefully checked.

In all cases, the bill for this refugee crisis must be sent to the President of Iran.

Member

OMG
Yeah those refugees look like members of sleeper cells. Maybe you should go on Orban’s Facebook page and post your support. He has finally proven that he does know everything. I never thought that does who could not stand Orban, suddenly turn and see him as the new Moses, but the day arrived. Orban will start wit the new refuges, than he will have a clear path paved to show how the Hungarian Jews are planted too. Do not worry he will likely provide bussing for them.

In no way I am saying that among those migrants there are no questionable elements or maybe even terrorists, but for goodness sake, what many of you are saying is that all refugees are members of some secret plan is totally in sane.

Webber
Guest

🙂
And – horrors! – a few of the refugees have CELL PHONES, and may even have BANK CARDS for BANK ACCOUNTS!!!
How revolting! How insincere of them!!! How dare they??! Proper refugees quietly starve to death in the woods. They don’t take pictures of police brutality with their phones!
Back during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl an American writer noted that it was the first great migration in which the destitute traveled by car. In the great exodus of Serbians from Slavonia as a result of Croatia’s Operation Storm, many traveled by tractor.
Times change. Each situation is different. Some of those refugees had tractors. Some of these refugees have mobile phones and bank cards.

Webber
Guest
Guest

@ali-goom
September 5, 2015 at 9:03 am

And how exactly would you propose to “carefully check” the background of each refugee???

Given the kinds of failed states that they hail from, this would be a tough call even in the case of a handful of refugees, but hundreds of thousands?

And if anyone is to be billed for this catastrophe, it is the past and present presidents of the US of A, and their armies of neocon, as well as so-called “realist” advisers.

I am very sorry to have to say this, because I love America very much, warts and all.

Guest

I had already posted on the last thread a link to an Austrian conspiracy site, really right wing lunatic that claims the things that petofi wrote:
http://www.hartgeld.com/Multikulti.html
Some of the crazier theories:
The refugees have got smart phones, given as presents to them by Austrian telco A1 which is owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim who also partially owns the NYT and so on and on …
The refugees are really from Chechenia and organised to start a war …
It is disturbing to have petofi repeating this kind of nonsense!

Member

Orban’s Cruelty

Orban’s cruelty to refugees will now be an eternal sequel to 1956, when the world welcomed the Hungarian refugees with kindness and generosity. How the Hungarian government reciprocated in 2015 should be included in the Ottawa “Memorial to the Victims of Communism” (on which so much money that could have been used to help current victims of oppression is being spent). Orban’s proposed contribution to the Ottawa Memorial is $100,000. The razor-wire fence intended to keep out refugees has already cost millions of dollars.
comment image
The Cruel Tricks Being Played on Refugees by Hungary
(Barbora Cernusakova, Newsweek, 9/4/15)

Member

Orban’s Generosity

Orban’s cruelty to refugees will now be an eternal sequel to 1956, when the world welcomed the Hungarian refugees with kindness and generosity. How the Hungarian government reciprocated in 2015 should be included in the Ottawa “Memorial to the Victims of Communism” (on which so much money that could have been used to help current victims of oppression is being spent). Orban’s proposed contribution to the Ottawa Memorial is $100,000. The razor-wire fence intended to keep out refugees has already cost millions of dollars.

Hungary’s Support for Ottawa Memorial of Communist Victims Presented” to Ludwik Klimkowskicomment image

Guest

I cannot agree more with Eva’s key sentence: “But as far as the Hungarian government is concerned, the worse the better.” add to it the usual incompetence and arrogance of the the government and this is what you have.

bimbi
Guest
I feel very much like a “Johnny-come-lately” to this discussion but can someone tell me how many of the 160,000 (Tappanch) arrivals in Hungary so far this year have actually been “processed? Further what does “processed” mean? Does this involve a determination of refugee vs economic migrant status (surely much too big a job for Hungary to tackle alone)? Why doesn’t the government tell us (or do they thrive on confusion – give us more money EU!) And after you have done that, you can look at the following… Angela Merkel announced Germany would take “Syrian refugees”. What about all the also-rans who have crowded on the bandwagon? No one is discussing the question of sorting the genuine refugees from the economic migrants who come from countries where there is no “war zone”. Who will dare to attempt to send them back where they came from? Or do they get to settle anywhere in the EU that they fancy? There does not seem much support in the EU for Ms. Merkel’s position. Certainly the UK will have nothing to do with it although even Mr. Cameron has been forced by public opinion to accept Syrian refugees (who will come from… Read more »
Guest
@bimbi September 5, 2015 at 11:50 am Just as the Greek debt crisis exposed fatal flaws in the Euro currency project and in the European banking system, so the Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Sub-Saharan African refugee crises exposed similarly fatal flaws in the liberal democratic vision of a borderless Europe and the project of an ever widening EU. Some things, a lot of things in fact, will now have to give, to avoid Europe self-immolating. Humanitarian principles, including refugee and migrant conventions designed in, and for, the world of mid-twentieth century are proving to be dysfunctional nonsense in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Obviously, a catastrophic end is looming ahead for all stakeholders in the European project, unless it is appropriately redesigned, renegotiated and overhauled, so as to be able to meet head on the conditions and circumstances it must face in the twenty-first century. Europe has experienced plenty of catastrophes before, and there is no guarantee that it might not end in one again, unless European leadership is able to get its act together, and soon. Incidentally, my view is that Europeans must look to themselves as responsible and accountable for the current mess, rather than… Read more »
bimbi
Guest

Dear Mike,

I guess neither of us knows “where we go from here?”. It is clear that in this mess there is more than enough blame to go round but please don’t forget the main man in charge Mr. Juncker is famous for his central work in turning Luxembourg into a tax haven for Big Business. Secondly, in the Greek financial crisis the EU stood solidly with the banks in enforcing idiotic austerity measures on Greece without further bad loan write-offs and still pretend that the money will be paid back in full. Even the IMF judged the situation to be impossible but went along anyway (because the IMF president was up for re-appointment).

As Junior Wells, Chicago blues harp man, put it so succinctly,

“He’p me baby. I cain’t he’p myself”

Guest
@bimbi September 5, 2015 at 1:46 pm I take your point. But, in the Luxembourg case, rather than blaming Big Business for taking advantage of an opportunity to increase profits (after all, creating profits is the fundamental business of all business), I would sheet home the responsibility to Mr Juncker for creating that opportunity, and above all the electorate that put Mr. Juncker in a position to do so, whilst enthusiastically applauding his “initiative.” Ditto in relation to the role of the Big Banks of Europe in the Greek debt crisis, where I would sheet home the responsibility for lack of effective banking regulation to an incompetent and delusional European political leadership intent on trying to square the circle, and the electorates that put them in positions of power to do precisely that. The Big Banks are simply big businesses whose job is to create as much profit as they can, which are then invested in other small or large ventures in the hope that they in turn will generate further profits to invest, and so on. That is the modus operandi of capitalism, the engine of innovation and of lifting multitudes upon multitudes of people out of dire poverty,… Read more »
tappanch
Guest
Conspiracy theory, Iranian agreement, reality. We know, as a fact, that there were secret clauses in the Iran agreement. Suppose the future of the millions of Syrian refugees (2.2 in Turkey, 1.4 in Jordan & 2.0 in Lebanon) & Afghani refugees (1.0 to 2.4 in Iran and 2.5 in Pakistan) was not even mentioned in them. 1. Say, I am an Afghani refugee in Iran. Iran started to exert extra pressure on the Afghani refugees recently to leave. US will be completely out of Afghanistan soon. Taliban, Da’esh-affiliates, corrupt Afghani government, is that a future? It is difficult, but I should try to reach Europe. 2. Say, I am a Syrian refugee in Turkey. I was waiting for the end of the civil war outside Syria. I expected an outcome in which my country becomes a little bit normal & democratic. Mr Obama has paid very little lip service towards this end since 2011, but I still hoped. But with the Iran “deal”, it is clear that US does not care and Syria is divided into two. The brutal Assad regime and the Da’esh head choppers. (I disregard the fragile Kurdish strip now). Assad can survive only as an Iranian-Hizbollah… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Pure speculation – like most conspiracy theories, sprinkled with factoids. Apparently Fekete György shares belief your theory. Do, please, read the Tsarist secret-police forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion (sadly, available for free online) starting with “Protocol no. 1” The so-called historical introduction you should skip, because does not fit our times. What follows is sickening, but with a few adjustments it can be made to fit with your theory. So, as you are reading it try replacing the words “Elders of Zion” with “Majlis,” and/or “Muslim leaders”, the word “Zion” for “Muslim”, “Solomon” should be changed into “Mohammed,” “Goyim” becomes “non-Muslims,” or “Christians” of you prefer, “Gold” can become “oil,” the word “Jewish” in the text should be replaced with “Sunni,” etc. I think you’ll find your ideas suddenly leap at you from the page.

Webber
Guest

A similar theory about a Catholic plot to place the US and eventually the world under the leadership of the Pope by flooding America with Catholics (Mexicans!) is popular among some wingnuts in the Ku Klux Klan, and oddly (I’ve found) has a few proponents in certain Eastern Orthodox countries.
All of these theories are absolutely insane, of course.
Are you sure you want to associate yourself with the one about refugees?
(n.b., of course there ARE a few terrorists among Muslims, just as there are neo-Nazis among people of White Christian background: so what?)

Wanton
Guest
@tappanch: This is pure BS. I thought you were wiser than this. I know you’re a steadfast Israel supporter (even though Israel has moved steadily to the right), so this may be part of the Israeli right-wing propaganda, I dunno. But this alleged conspiracy certainly makes no sense. There are tens of millions of refugees and migrants from this region (Middle-East and Central Asia) and only a tiny fraction attempts to travel to Europe. Do you seriously think that the people you see on the pictures go through these – imagined – arguments, debating global politics and conspiracies? You apparently have no idea how migrants and refugees think. We all know that for practical purposes there is no unified European foreign policy, Putin calls Merkel and Hollande if he has something to say to the EU. So was it Germany and France and the UK which signed this “secret protocol” or the EU itself (which certainly has no legal authority to assent to any such secret undertakings for a dozen of legal reasons)? You seriously believe that European leaders – given their domestic political situations and legal systems – sign such Molotov-Ribbentropp secret side letters? I could go on and… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

@Wanton
In my first comment, I put a question mark (?), since I am not privy to the secret annexes in the Iran “deal”. In my second comment on this topic, I said “suppose” there is NO such secret addendum.

The “deal” still strengthens the Iranian theocracy, annihilates the hopes for democracy in Iran and Syria.

That is all.

tappanch
Guest

“Ethnic” cleansing by low level warfare is the official doctrine of the Iranian “Supreme Leader”

“What he recommends [in his new book] is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.”

So after millions of Sunni Muslim refugees, the Ayatollah’s aim is to create millions of Jewish refugees.

http://nypost.com/2015/08/01/iran-publishes-book-on-how-to-outwit-us-and-destroy-israel/

Member

Dear tappanch, you know I think very highly of you and admire most of your extremely timely and informative postings. But this line of conspiratorial conjecture is not worthy of you, even as a “I’m not saying it’s so, but what if…?”

tappanch
Guest

Dear Stevan, without any conspiratorial theory, more and more Syrian refugees are losing hope to return to their home.

I noticed that the German Immigration Office, on August 19, suddenly doubled the estimates for the expected number of asylum applications in 2015. The previous numbers did not support the 800,000 number, only 400,000. This, and the highlighting of the fact that almost all Syrian [ans Iraqi] applications are granted, was indeed an invitation to come to Germany.

Dear Eva, when the negotiations started, the Iranian regime was in a desperate economic situation. The “deal” has already made and will make the economy better. They do not seem to give up building atomic bombs, on the contrary. Better economy usually strengthens dictatorships, extends their shelf life. Can the Iranian regime soften up like the Kadar regime did, when the economy is better? Can a theocracy be so flexible?
Dear Eva, I wish you were right.

Deakista
Guest

Who knows the history of the Palestinian refugee tragedy?

Many of those people were and remained the hostages of the Fatah/PLFP/PLO/Hamas/Iranian bosses.

All those people could be forced into terror acts.

The same is possible with these refugees. All of them should be greeted with love and assistance, but there must be reasonable controls to prevent any future terror acts.

Orban has shown what an immoral tyrant he is. The EU should try this regime as they have committed plenty of crimes against humanity.

I am still sympathizing with Petofi, and reject the comments of his opponents.

spectator
Guest

I hope, that you don’t mean that ill willing people can only come on foot as refugee, so there is no other option of entry, really..?

Consequently, we can rest assured that if we erect some more barbed wire fences, or we (somehow) manage to secure those in place, we are home and dry, no harm ever comes upon us?

Glad to hear!

Otherwise I may worrying, but now I am all relaxed..

Am I right?

Guest
@Deakista September 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm OT — Who knows the history of the Palestinian refugee tragedy? — The Palestinian refugee situation arose as a result of the UN partition of the British Mandated Territory of Palestine into Jewish and Arab sectors, followed by the Declaration of independence by the State of Israel in the territories allocated to it by the UN, which then instantly triggered the 1948/49 war between the newly established Jewish state and the armies of five neighbouring Arab states, a war that was long promised and then instantly unleashed from every direction by the Arabs. The subsequent emergence of a Palestinian Arab refugee situation was, in essence, one of those major population exchanges that took place after WW2, among them India/Pakistan and Germany/Eastern Europe. About 700,000 Arabs from the former British Mandated Territory of Palestine fled or were made to flee to neighbouring countries, whilst significantly larger number of Jewish refugees from Europe and the Arab world were in turn taken in by the newly formed State of Israel. Jewish refugees that were taken in by Israel were quickly integrated into Israeli society, even though they came speaking many languages, and from many ethnic backgrounds.… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Refugees who have come from Hungary:
“We have treated a two-day-old gunshot wound. We’ve seen eye injuries caused by stun grenades. We’ve seen children with severe bruises,” Red Cross spokesman Andreas Zenker said.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/05/refugee-crisis-warm-welcome-for-people-bussed-from-budapest

And the Hungarian government still will not let Amnesty International visit refugee camps. Wonder why?

spectator
Guest

It can not be true, you see!

The only person who arranged the shoot out of eyes was Gyurcsány, and now all he’s caring is the refugees.!

There must be some mistake, that’s for sure! Our Greatest Leader of All times – the name Orbán – would never allow such things to happen!

Member

@Webber: Do you by any chance have a citation for the refusal to allow Amnesty International to visit the refugee camps? — Many thanks, SH

Member

I am not Webber, but here you go:
“Amnesty International was denied permission to visit the reception centres, so we can only assume what those who were inside them tell us is true. What is the government hiding?”
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/09/trains-to-nowhere-hungary-harsh-welcome-for-refugees/

Webber
Guest

Thank you, Some1.
Steven Harnad – I missed your query. If you haven’t found it yet, in the link provided above by Some1 you will find this quote from AI about the camps (“reception centres”) in Hungary:
“Amnesty International was denied permission to visit the reception centres, so we can only assume what those who were inside them tell us is true. What is the government hiding?”

spectator
Guest

Today I’ve listened some Hungarian broadcast with the help of the internet, and our beloved ruler – the name “Viktor Orbán – in case of doubt -) declared, that they “must force” the refugees off from the highway and into the camps – clearly, as it was no any other option.
Like:

ASKING THEM</b., you moron!!!!

Here – again – comes the ‘low and personal’ aspect into the picture!
Sorry, folks, particularly sorry to hurt the feelings of our fellow Nazi and Arrowcross citizens (copyright: Para-Kovács) – the man is utterly incapable of Human compassion, hence he can not anticipate any kind of Human behaviour, let alone civilised European way to behave and communicate!!!

Do we really have to put up with such lowlife as our most prominent?

Is it true, that there is nobody else who are sober and sane???

Come on, Hungary!

Are we really this inadequate stupid morons, as it seems???

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