Viktor Orbán’s work-based society and accelerated emigration

While Viktor Orbán is fighting tooth and nail against accepting any asylum seekers and potential immigrants into the country, demographers are painting a dire picture of the next decade or two if current trends continue.

A couple of months ago 444.hu came out with the following headline: “One thing we have learned since the regime change: One can leave.” This quip brought to mind my first few months in Ottawa when on March 15 the mostly 1945 Hungarian immigrants enthusiastically sang Hungary’s “second” national anthem, in which the poet declares “here you must live and die.” Of course, not in Canada but in Hungary. And if you think about it, our romantic poet, Mihály Vörösmarty, wrote his lines in 1836 when the borders throughout Europe were pretty open and a lot of Hungarian artisans picked up their tools and left. Some returned, others didn’t.

Lately several studies have appeared on the history of Hungarian emigration in the last 25 years. In April the Demographic Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences published a lengthy study by several authors. Irén Gödri wrote on “international migration”–that is, immigration into and emigration out of Hungary. From this study we learn that emigration in the 1990s was negligible despite harsh economic conditions and high unemployment early in the decade. Only 1.5% of the population contemplated working and living abroad. According to the author, one reason for the low emigration figures was the fairly generous social benefits package at the time.

After Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 emigration quickened, but it was only in 2007 that there was a real jump in the statistics. The Hungarian economic situation began to deteriorate even before the 2008 financial crisis, and by 2012 unemployment among those between the ages of 15 and 24 was 28%. By that time one-third of Hungarians between the ages of 18 and 40 contemplated leaving the country and trying their luck elsewhere. Ten years ago the favorite target countries were Austria and Germany. By now the United Kingdom and Ireland have been added to the list. Gödri estimates that there are at least 330,000 Hungarians who work abroad. In Germany, 124,000; in Great Britain, 74,000; in Austria, 46,000; even in the tiny Netherlands over 10,000. The total is based on adjusted figures from the 2011 census.

departures

The profile of Hungarian emigrants is quite similar to that of the asylum-seekers arriving in Europe today. There are relatively few women, and the men are young. They are what Mária Schmidt, adviser to Viktor Orbán and a vocal critic of Angela Merkel’s refugee policy, the other day called “muscled men with a high testosterone level.” In the target countries 53% of Hungarian immigrants are in their twenties and thirties, although in Hungary they constitute only 28% of the population. From this last figure we can begin to see the deleterious effect of this surge of emigration on Hungarian demographic trends.

Moreover, the educational attainment of Hungarians who have left the country is higher than that of the population as a whole. Apparently, that is also the case with the Syrian refugees. Among the target countries, it is in Great Britain that the educational attainment of Hungarian immigrants is the highest: 36% of them have post-secondary education. In Germany and Austria skilled workers are over-represented.

In April 2015 Tárki, the polling company that has been specializing in migratory trends, found that the desire to leave Hungary and head to Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom had grown considerably over the previous year. And the number of those who are planning to leave the country permanently went from 5% to 10%. About a month ago a poll was taken to measure the attitude of high school students toward emigration. One-third of them are ready to continue their education abroad while another third are thinking about such an opportunity. Only 15% said that they would never leave the country.

Just last year 31,500 people left the country, a 50% growth over the year before and six times higher than in 2009. So, by now the number of Hungarians working abroad has most likely reached or exceeded 400,000.

A few weeks ago the Központi Statisztikai Hivatal (KSH/Central Statistical Office) came out with a new figure that reveals a lot about the reasons for the accelerating emigration figures. In 2014 920 billion forints worth of foreign currency was transferred by Hungarians working abroad.  This figure surpasses the 2013 figures by 47 billion and the 2012 figures by 236 billion. If we estimate the number of Hungarians working abroad to be 300,000-400,000, each emigrant would be putting away 200-250,000 forints each month. This figure, however, seems too high, so the number of Hungarian emigrants is most likely greater than the estimated figures. I might add that this close to a trillion forints is 3% of the Hungarian GDP.

A couple of governmental decisions over the past five years probably stimulated emigration. One is the government’s decision to cut social benefits to a bare minimum. Someone who loses his job is entitled to only 90 days of unemployment benefits. Since Hungarian salaries are very low, few people are able to put any money aside for a rainy day. According to studies, finding a job under the best of circumstances may take months if not years. One possible solution? Pack up and leave in the hope of earning some income, even if it comes from menial work at the beginning.

As for the students, the introduction of steep tuition fees often makes foreign study more affordable than study at a Hungarian university. Moreover, students are increasingly aware of the fact that most Hungarian universities are inferior to those in western European or Great Britain. The combined effect: students enrolling in droves at German, Austrian, and British universities.

Naturally, low Hungarian salaries are a powerful incentive to seek jobs elsewhere. This is especially true about doctors and nurses who can easily find employment abroad. In fact, medical personnel are actively being recruited in Sweden and Great Britain. Every year at least 1,000 doctors leave the country. Currently there are 3,000 fewer doctors in Hungary than there were a few years ago. Some years the number of medical students who graduate is lower than the number of doctors who leave. Yet the government doesn’t seem to be making a serious effort to raise the salaries of state employees.

In brief, Viktor Orbán’s transformation of Hungary into a “work-based society” (which doesn’t even seem to value work) is largely responsible for this situation, which in the long run will have a disastrous effect on the Hungarian population mix. An aging population with a low birthrate and high emigration figures. And, of course, no immigration.

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Reality Check
Guest

OT: The EU’s interest in investigating Hungary’s government just expanded a little bit more.

“An investigation of Hungary’s central tobacco distributing company by the European Commission is taking more time than it was originally expected, but it is not by chance the EU executive is taking its time to look into the matter. The Commission is no longer interested merely in how the National Tobacco Supplier operates, but how the entire cigarette trading system works, including the scandals related to the national tobacco shops, Hungarian business daily Világgazdaság has learned on Modnay. ”

http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/eu_investigates_the_entire_hungarian_tobacco_retail_business_paper.30554.html

Paul
Guest
Whilst certainly not questioning the overall conclusions of this article, the figure quoted for the age range of emigrants strikes me as a bit low: “In the target countries 53% of Hungarian immigrants are in their twenties and thirties”. Assuming that few Hungarians under 20 emigrate, this means that almost half the emigrants are over 40. Furthermore, if we also assume that few Hungarians over 60 emigrate, that means that roughly half of the emigrants are in their 20s or 30s and roughly half are in their 40s or 50s – in other words, a pretty even spread over the whole ‘working age’ range. My personal experience from living in both countries is that it is overwhelmingly the younger people who are leaving Hungary (and working in the UK), so I am puzzled by this figure. I may just be living in the wrong places, but all the emigrants I know are under 40, and I can’t, offhand, remember ever meeting a Hungarian emigrant in the UK much over 40 (excluding the 56ers). And, while I’m querying figures, the comparison between the “53% (of emigrants)… in their twenties and thirties” with the “28% of the population” in Hungary troubles me… Read more »
Ron
Guest

From personal experience, most over 40 go to Austria and Germany, most under 40 go to the UK and Ireland.

In addition. well educated females seem to go to Spain and Italy.

webber
Guest

Paul
KSH has said that it can’t accurately measure numbers of Hungarians abroad because they just leave without registering the fact (naturally) and KSH can only make guesstimates. So, the age cohort percentages are just wild guesses.
I do know that there are some children among the immigrants. I personally know two families who have left Budapest: one, with three children, moved to Ireland; the other, with two children, is in Italy.

Paul
Guest
Again, from personal experience, my understanding is that Hungarian emigration to the UK increased noticeably only a few years ago (around 2010 or 2011). Before that it was very rare to meet Hungarians in our bit of the UK (Kent) and extremely rare to hear Hungarian spoken in the street. The only Hungarians we knew, apart from a few of my wife’s friends from her au pair days who had also married and stayed on, were a 56er couple. But after 2010 we started meeting Hungarians everywhere. Firstly in jobs like waiters and shop workers, but then in just about every day-to-day situation. And hearing Hungarian spoken in the street became such a normal experience that I sometimes didn’t even realise that I had understood what the ‘foreign speaking’ person passing me in the street or standing next to me in the shop had said until some minutes later. At first I (naturally!) took this to be a reaction to Orbán’s win in 2010, but later I realised that none of the Hungarians I had spoken to in the UK had expressed the slightest interest in politics back home, Indeed often they seemed to know very little about what was… Read more »
Ron
Guest

I believe that the main reason for people to emigrate is the future and education.

At home most of the ones I know who emigrate had foreign currency loans, and no job.

As Eva pointed out in her article the social pillars were torn down,

People had only one option to go abroad.

Also we know some people who emigrated, were “large’ families of 5 to 6 people. And as education is deteriorating very quickly they decided to emigrate to Germany, because of this.

webber
Guest
Paul Three things changed. First, when there is migration it always starts out slow, and then as the word gets back (through personal contacts) that so-and-so is doing well in East Puddlington, more people decide to move there. After a certain point, there is what appears to natives to be a sudden, massive flood of migrants, but it was generally preceded by a slow trickle. Second, real wages have been so eroded by inflation that a large proportion of the fully employed in Hungary cannot afford to purchase essentials at the end of the month, and have a very hard time paying their bills at any time (but esp. in the winter). I know a teacher who went to England to work in a bar. When asked when he would return and whether he liked the work, he said he didn’t like it but would never return because for the first time he was able to feed and clothe his kids, pay his bills, and save money. It used to be that wages and pensions were adjusted regularly upwards for inflation – there was always a lag, but they did go up. That has not been the case for some… Read more »
Istvan
Guest
Webber I think your third point is among the most important. At least here in the midwest USA, we get very few Hungarian immigrants from Hungary proper who are not University educated. The same can’t be said for Hungarian speaking holders of Romanian and Serbian passports who more frequently immigrate to the Chicago area. Vojvodinian Hungarians who manage to get to the Chicago area have a conduit into the skilled trades through contractors who also hire Poles. But the University educated Hungarians become what I call evolutionary immigrants to the USA. For example they are exceedingly intelligent students on a J-1 visa or F1 visa who also may be working as researchers here, this morphs into full time employment and a green card. Webber’s point 3 is particularly relevant to this group because I think there is a real demoralization over the prospects for entrepreneurial activity within Hungary even if they go to work for a foreign firm operating in Hungary. Its sort of a vise between the foreign owned firms and the corruption within Hungary itself. I had a number of discussions with these highly educated Hungarian immigrants over the illusions of Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement back in 2014… Read more »
Live long and prosper
Guest

It seems to me that OV must despise Hungary and Hungarians whilst being absolutely addicted to power. What other explanation is there for all the harm he has done and is doing? It cannot be that he doesn’t realise the damage he does. The already frightening demographic time bomb, which has been severely exacerbated by his tragic policies, will bring Hungary to its knees and impoverish vast numbers of Hungarians remaining in Hungary. Which way will taxes inevitably go? Higher and higher. What will a larger and larger segment of the remaining young do? Leave, unless they find themselves unable to. Extrapolating, Hungary will mainly comprise his strangely (I wanted to write idiotic, but this shouldn’t just be another rant) short-sighted supporters and poor pensioners. What a total mess. The EU needs to wake up to the financial threat and be rid of Hungary before it becomes another mill stone round it’s neck.

Ron
Guest

What other explanation is there for all the harm he has done and is doing? It cannot be that he doesn’t realise the damage he does..

He has a personality disorder, which one I do not know (I am not a specialist).

webber
Guest

Ron
Watch these:

If the condition is Tardive dyskenesia, behavioral problems are caused not by the condition, but by the drugs used to ameliorate the symptoms which are distressing, but not life-threatening. A politician must ameliorate the symptoms to win elections, because they include involuntary lip licking, grunting, and some involuntary hand movements (partially hidden by placing the hand over the mouth, or holding one’s hands together).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardive_dyskinesia

Observer
Guest

Yes, Orban despises Hungarians to some extent, e.g. called them a semi Asian derivative (félázsiai származék), mentioned that “the only thing Hungarians understand is power”, etc. But there is no indication or probable motive for any intention to destroy the country.

Orban’s goal, like most dictators’, is to be king of the heap, and it does not really matter if the heap turns all dung in the process, e.g. Hoxia’s Albania, Mobutu’s Zaire, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Cuba, N.Korea, etc.

So, yes again, there are dark prospects for Hungary, but these will not in any way induce any change of course, as long as there is no major outbreak of discontent, which is highly improbable in the near future.

Paul, I hope this may add to the picture for you too.

D7 Democrat (@D7Democrat)
Guest

A good check, in terms of the more professional people who are leaving in their droves, is the dramatic increase in the numbers taking the IELTS exam (required by most English speaking countries, especially for medical folk). Furthermore, it is much easier for those down the scale to move also, everyone knows someone working in London, Berlin, Vienna etc and emigration is not so much a jump in the dark as it was in the 1990s.

Orbán is delighted with the fact that anyone with a brain-cell is leaving. To vote Fidesz doesn’t need a brain- quite the opposite. A voter base of gullible, thick, hate-inspired bigots is fertile ground for Fidesz- it is what they have thrived on before and it will do them even better in the future.

petofi
Guest

@D7 Democrat

Personally, I don’t see a big problem: look at what Orban has done and the motive is clear–he’s out to destroy the country. Of course, first off, he wanted to fill his pockets but he’s well beyond that.

My explanation goes like this: Orban is no dummy. He could thieve all he wants, he could change major laws, without doing any of it in an “in-your-face-manner”. But he does. Why? An intelligent thieve would do what Orban does quietly and behind the scenes. He’s out front saying,”I’m gonna steal whatever I want; I’m gonna make a hash of the government and bureaucracy; and still, you will cry my name out in pleasure.”

Orban–the flute-player of dimwits known as Hungarians.

And where are the gate-keepers known as the Catholic hierarchy?
At home gorging themselves on ‘puspok falatt’….

Guest

Re: ‘And where are the gate-keepers known as the Catholic hierarchy?’

A valid and needed question. I think there are some clerics who follow the ‘way, the truth and the life’ down that yellow-brick road with the administration. But there are some who no doubt must have second thoughts or pangs of conscience as they witness the unfolding events in the country. I think those suffer. Thing is if they suffer they must do it then in a very mute silence as they walk through the statue-ridden vestibules of say St Matyas or Esztergom. And curiously one wonders who’s looking at who as they take their steps as the statues say, ‘What are you doing?’

Member

🙂

Member

As for the statistics: for Austria, the numbers of foreign citizens employed in Austria are shown on the website of the social security authorities (www.hauptverband.at); in October, there were more than 69.000 Hungarian citizens. Probably quite a few of them are commuting from Western Hungary, but, on the other hand, it is possible that there is a considerable number of Hungarians in Austria who, for diverse reasons, aren’t shown in the official employment statistics.

webber
Guest

As to Austria, numbers for the tourist season in the Summer are surely much higher.

Guest

Actually, Webber, it might be the other way round!

I know several people who work in the Balaton tourist business in summer and then in winter go to some Austrian or German ski resort in the Alps to make real money …

Not only waiters/waitresses, cooks and cleaners, but the whole spectrum including hair dressers, masseuses etc …
And often there are husband and wife teams or whole groups – if the work is god they return year after year.

Their numbers are probably not included in the emigrant stats.

PS:

Of course it’s hard work for them – a seven day working week from November to Easter and in July/August, but they often go on holiday in between the business seasons.

go
Guest

This is a misleading article.

By 2018 there will have been 1 million ethic Hungarians who received their Hungarian citizenship and who can easily vote at elections (ie. 99% for Fidesz as per the 2014 example). Emigrants living in the West are practically unable to vote.

So whatever the situation is with emigration is really irrelevant as long as loyal ethnic Hungarians vote for Orban.

Orban is happy and is winning. Orban prepared for the future as he had a vision. Now it’s too late. As long as Orban lives the opposition is in a hopeless situation. Case closed. Gyurcsány will never touch him.

Bowen
Guest

You make it sound like a game of soccer.

Well, good for Mr. Orban. Well done. Bravo. What about the future of Hungary and generations to come?

I doubt those living in Transylvania will care

Guest

Re: ‘You make it sound like a game of soccer’

Come to think about it the Orban administration is indubitably like FIFA hands down as they play on the rigged political pitch. ….. but before the dogs finally got smart onto the scent.

Guest

You’re off your trolley.

Orban winning?

It’s Hungarians losing.

Losing losing losing……… read on.

webber
Guest

go
You never know…
A few of the Transylvanian Hungarians I know have said they will be voting against Orban.
According to an inside source whom I will not name, private polls Fidesz recently completed also show an erosion of support for Orban in communities outside Hungary.

rigo
Guest

Well, since the pool will have increased by 100% or more, even if Fidesz loses a bit percentage-wise it will be OK.

Moreover only Jobbik will gain a lot (most definitely not any leftist parties) but Orban isn’t worried about Jobbik. Jobbik is full of friends. It’s all cool.

The point being the entire left field starts from -1 million votes. It can do whatever it wants there is just no way to overcome that disadvantage.

But hey it’s all legal so nobody can complain.

webber
Guest
rigo there ARE problems with polls within Hungary, you know. People are lying now. You can’t tell whom they will support. Fidesz has managed to scare people, and to demonize the left, so people won’t say they will vote for the left. They’ll tell you they will vote for Fidesz. They’ll say they’ll vote for Jobbik. But whom will they really vote for? You can’t know. When they go into ballot booths quite a lot of people ARE voting for the left – at least that’s how I interpret the results of the last mid-term elections held since the general elections of 2014. How would you interpret them? I mean the ones where the left won, despite all sorts of predictions to the contrary – how do you account for those results? I can only suppose that people are lying, or perhaps I should put it refusing to answer polls entirely honestly. There could be a surprise in 2018. Scare people enough, and they will say what you want to hear and then do what you don’t want them to do. But, dear little fidesznik, keep repeating the mantra that only the right can win in Hungary. That should be… Read more »
Guest
London Calling! I have grave reservations about the KSH’ figures for Hungarians in London – they can’t possibly know and they include (absorb) people working abroad in their employment figures. Over the years I have watched the KSH and with Tappanch’s observations treat any of their figures with a pinch of salt. Orban sacked the previous professional head and installed his own place(wo)man. The KSH is neither independent nor professional under Gabriella. The figures just don’t compute. The ONS here (which IS independent and who have had various integrity run-ins with governments) estimates there are 1,242,000 EU8 (Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia) citizens in the UK as at December 2014. With 8.3m in total of which 5.3m are from outside the EU and 3m (just over) from the EU. 74,000 in the UK is just too low with these figures. And from my experience of Hungarians in London it’s way way too low – with Hungarians to the left of us and Hungarians to the right of us – everywhere. So often my partner overhears conversations in Hungarian. The shortsighted xenophobia and fence building and downright cruelty to the refugees will, I am sure come… Read more »
Member

Even expert workers leave the country: Hungarian workforce is sentenced to death! (My comment first went to the wrong place)

Guest
buddy
Guest

Vs.hu is reporting that Merkel cancelled a meeting with Orbán at the last moment, and that relations between Germany and Hungary haven’t been this bad in a very long time:
http://vs.hu/kozelet/osszes/egyre-fagyosabb-az-orban-merkel-viszony-1201

Istvan
Guest

Buddy thanks for the link. I think there are a few different ways to interpret what the Vs.hu article discusses. One is that Merkel is using leverage against Orban to concede on the refugee allocation plan. Another way to interpret the article is that Merkel with the elections in Poland realizes there is simply no way to go ahead with trying to force the Central European nations that have expressed open opposition to quota system so why bother to have another useless discussion.

Another very interesting aspect to this article was the discussion of economic leverage that appears at the end of the story. The question of how German investment in Hungary will be impacted by all of this is of importance, but the article indicates that interest in German investment in Hungary was right now “minimális.” So if there is minimal interest in German investment in Hungary currently how much economic leverage does Germany really have?

webber
Guest

Istvan
If just one German manufacturer, Audi, were to close just one plant – the one in Győr -, the effect on the Hungarian economy would be awful, to put it mildly.
There are other major German investments in the country.

Finally, Germany is Hungary’s main export market and economic partner, by a large margin

Now, Frau Merkel can’t just turn off the spigot at will – we are not living in the 1930s, and German corporations don’t kowtow to the Chancellor – but a downturn in relations cannot be good for the Hungarian economy.

If Merkel were to set her sights on knocking Orban down a peg, I don’t think anyone in Europe would stop her. Her party has been one of Orban’s great defenders. If the relation has gone sour, a lot more can go bad for him (he has had a series of knocks from the EU lately).

Why would Merkel move against Orban? Well, Orban moved against her, didn’t he, in domestic German politics.

There is little way to interpret Merkel’s cancellation of the meeting as anything but a message of a sort to Orban, and the message cannot be positive (spin it as Fideszniks might).

Guest

Around 25% of Hungary’s exports go to Germany (but only around 2% of Germany’s exports go to Hungary …), so if German companies were to decide to get their “cheap products” elsewhere …

We’ve discussed this so often here:
Hungary of course can’t compete with Bangladesh or Vietnam – it’s more like Slovakia or Romania are the competitors. And of course German companies can choose – actually VW has a lot of production in Slovakia and Renault is strong in Romania – nobody really needs Hungary …
If Hungary’s image were totally destroyed, not only manufacturing would go somewhere else, also tourists could find other places to enjoy.

Latefor
Guest
wolfi said: “nobody really needs Hungary … If Hungary’s image were totally destroyed, not only manufacturing would go somewhere else, also tourists could find other places to enjoy.” You’d like that, wouldn’t you? You would like to see even the booming tourist trade destroyed! It’s not enough that the Hungarian Economy is badly effected by Globalization, for which no politician – present or past – should be blamed. It would bring tears in your eyes, tears of joy, to see this poor little country eliminated from the face of the earth. That’s what you’re working on so diligently for years! And you are doing all this, because you don’t like the center-right PM of the country where you live. And you are complaining that there is no democracy in Hungary? You live in Hungary. If you’d say something like this in any other country, you wouldn’t be commenting from your high horsie for too long, you would be locked up! There is no words in the English language that could describe my outrage with you comment. This is called vicious, malicious psychological manipulation, or could be even called ‘cyber crime’, against the Hungarian nation! It’s about time for Victor Orban… Read more »
Member

Latefor, it’s not too late for you. If you really care about the population of Hungary and its future, stop defending its corrupt dictator and his cronies no matter what they do and lend your support instead to decent, ethical people who are trying to bring honesty and law-abidingness and decency back to Hungary: The Orban regime is not “center-right”: it’s “self-centered wrong”! If you could stop blindly believing and repeating its false and superficial slogans, and scape-goating all critics as lib-left traitors and enemies, you might see your way to some hope for Hungary and begin to contribute to the solution instead of the problem… Deities won’t protect Hungary, only decent people can.

Latefor
Guest

You are not only attacking the Hungarian Government, some of you are also attacking/bullying/abusing and humiliating the Hungarian people on the world stage. There is no excuse for this!

Deffinition of a cyber crime: “Online attack, perpetrated by a use of creating fear by causing confusion and uncertainty in a population, with goal of influencing the government/population to CONFORM to a particular political, social or ideological agenda.”

webber
Guest
Latefor Who is “you” in the above comment? I do not believe that Stevan Harnad has ever attacked/bullied/abused or humiliated the Hungarian people on the world stage. Eva has never done it. I have never done it. Just look at my comments to see – criticism of the government, sure. An entire nation or people? Never. Criticizing the Hungarian government – certainly. That is not a nation (you know that, don’t you?) Now, if you are outraged by denigration of an entire group or nation, please be specific about who is doing the denigration. Accusing an entire group is no good. In my view, comments under a blog are hardly a big deal, but if they bother you may I direct you to Hungarian comments about other nations, minorities and groups under all sorts of stories? Wolfi can show you where to look. He keeps track of that sort of thing. I believe those comments should be protected as freedom of speech – much as I despise them – and I believe negative comments here also should also get such protection. What can one do? Denounce such comments. Call them what they are – racist, unjust, etc. I have done… Read more »
Latefor
Guest

Webber – I said: “some of you”. GOOD attempt to defend the undefendable! Bravo!

webber
Guest

Latefor
NAME THEM!!!!
Your reaction was to Stevan, and that is unjustified. (who is you? – we don’t all agree here, you know)
I have not defended anyone who has said negative things about any entire nation. Stevan hasn’t either. Indeed, I have on occasion expressed disgust with that sort of thing (as has Eva!)

NAME THEM, for God’s sake!

Don’t just hide behind a “some of you,” or “liberals” or whatever your imagined group is. You are making a non-existent group out of the people who comment here.

Ron
Guest
petofi
Guest

@Ron

AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR READERS & COMMENTERS OF HUNGARIAN SPECTRUM???

Guest

We shall see.

Latefor
Guest

Ron said: “Defamation of a politician can be prosecuted in Hungary”

How about “defamation” of a country?

webber
Guest

Latefor
Defamation of a country cannot be prosecuted in any democratic state in the world.

Why? Because countries are not humans. Because humans have freedom of speech in democracies.

In the US, one can spit on, burn, or even defecate on the American flag without fear of prosecution – though the act evokes strong emotions and outrage among most citizens. The Supreme Court decided on that issue when some states tried to criminalize burning the flag. It is a matter of free speech in the US – people have the right to express their hatred of their own country if they wish to.

Latefor
Guest

How about defamation of a ‘society ‘?

webber
Guest

Latefor –
A “society” is not an individual. One can say what one wants about a society in the US and in all democracies.

What one cannot do is incite others to violence against any individual or group.

Freedom of speech goes both ways.

If one wishes to say “Americans are all sh..”, one can. Then others can say what they think about you, personally, and what you have said.

If one wishes to say “Blacks are….” one can. Then others can say what they think about that.

When you are outraged by comments, your reaction is part of freedom of speech. You say what you think. Others say what they think. On it goes.

As long as nobody is inciting others to violence, it’s legal.

Latefor
Guest

Oh, the same as ‘company’. . . I understand.

webber
Guest
Latefor Don’t be silly. You can say what you want about any group you want. You can’t denigrate an individual (unless that individual is a politician or public figure, in which case they fall into another category: but we need not go into that here) Being a racist (or anti-American, or anti-Hungarian, or anti-Australian/Canadian/Brit) is not a crime. That is denigrating a group, but not an individual. But one cannot say whatever one wants about a private individual without proof One cannot accuse another person of being a child molester, for example, without providing evidence of that, because that person’s life can be ruined. Similarly, one cannot accuse an individual of being a racist without giving evidence of that. So I can say that, in my view, what Daniel Cohn Bendit said decades ago on television is an indication that he was a pedophile (I don’t say he abused children – I witnessed nothing but the tv conversation, which I have appended below). Similarly, in my view, what Zsolt Bayer wrote indicates that he is a racist and an anti-Semite. Which statement do you think is more serious? The first, of course. I stick by it. I stick by what… Read more »
Latefor
Guest

And this was the guy who attacked Victor Orban at the European Parliament. How can one forget? This was the guy who worked on humiliating the Hungarian PM, attacking his values. Unbelievable!

Member

Hungarian prosecutors of the government indicted the journalist who posed as an immigrant to report on the treatment of immigrants.
http://444.hu/2015/12/01/az-ugyeszseg-vadat-emelt-az-ev-legjobb-beepulos-riportja-miatt

At the same time according to the Romanian prosecutors a Hungarian man took some explosives to a Romanian celebration in Romania to use it. The Hungarian would be terrorist was arrested. I guess the wire fence can keep “terrorists” out of Hungary but it does not stop Hungarian terrorist to leave to country. This man was certainly high on the last few year’s Trianon propaganda, thanks to Jobbik, and Fidesz!
http://444.hu/2015/12/01/a-roman-ugyeszseg-szerint-bombat-akart-robbantani-szekelyfoldon-a-hatvannegy-varmegye-ifjusagi-mozgalom-egyik-tagja

Guest

Re: ‘He has a personality disorder, which one I do not know (I am not a specialist)’

Me either but I think we all know when a country goes off the rails. This train has to derail somewhere along the line.

I hate to say it but Mr. Orban will reap very bad things from what he is sowing. It is a fact that ‘poverty’ and ‘no hope’ are variables in contributing to so-called ‘failed states’. Perhaps Mr. Orban believes the ones who emigrate will come back and ‘give back’. But on that it is possible that if things go on the way they Hungary will be arguably be suffering the consequences of those who leave. Why come back? It just may be that Hungary could be prime and fertile ground one day for those who have agendas much much worse than Mr. Orban’s.

Guest

Re latefor:

I rest my case …
Is she really that stupid to think that a German company would retreat from Hungary because of my comment – not because of the racism and xenophobia in Hungary?

She’s really a (nut)case of “shoot the messenger” …

webber
Guest

Yes, Wolfi * it’s like a messenger before Mohacs “The Turks are coming, and we may be defeated if we don’t prepare.” Reaction: Don’t exaggerate. Don’t be silly, we always win. Don’t denigrate Hungary….

Your message is not even threatening. It is simply that if the Hungarian government continues on the course it is on, German companies may withdraw. Removing funding is not an attack on a country. It is just putting money into better investments.

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