Tit for tat: The Orbán government retaliates against Magyar Telekom

László Kövér’s “unenlightened” remarks at the Fidesz congress the other day caused quite an uproar, as I reported earlier. Here, to refresh everyone’s memory, is what the president of the Hungarian parliament had to say:

We don’t want to make Hungary a futureless society full of man-hating women and feminine men terrified of women who see in children and in families only obstacles to self-fulfillment. We would like it if our sons not only learn but also understand Petőfi’s poem “If you are a man, be a man” and if our daughters would consider it the culmination of self-fulfillment to bear grandchildren for us.

This is not the first time that a member of the Hungarian legislation contends that the defining role of a woman is to give birth, in large part because it is her duty to keep the nation alive. In 2012 István Varga (Fidesz) said the following:

The most important calling for women and ladies, especially for young ladies, is to give birth. It is obvious that if everybody gave birth to two, three or four children, a gift to the fatherland, everybody would be happy. After that task is over, every woman can fulfill herself and may work at different jobs.

Kövér was still making his rounds to explain away his remarks when an aging rock star, Ákos Kovács, known simply as Ákos, in an interview on the far-right Echo TV said:

A: It is not the task of women to make as much as men do. That’s how I feel.

Q: Not their task?

A: No, not their task.

Q: What is their task?

A: Well, let’s say, it is the fulfilment of their primary function, no? Let’s say to belong to someone. To give a child to someone.

These are the most often quoted sentences from a fairly long exchange, but it is worth taking a look at the video of at least the first part of the interview.

During the interview Ákos alluded to the fact that he comes from upper-middle class families who were “ruined” by the communists. He made sure that the audience learned about his ancestors’ distinguished legal careers, going back to 1785. He talked about his father’s Biedermeier desk and his grandfather’s silver cigarette case. His parents were poor, he said, although later we learned that both his parents worked in the Central Statistical Office. It is possible that his problem with women’s salaries stems, at least in part, from the fact that his mother achieved a higher rank in the office hierarchy than his father and consequently made more money. He himself had no difficulty getting into Karl Marx University (today Corvinus) where he specialized in foreign trade. He speaks English and Italian.

In any case, Ákos no longer has to worry about poverty. In 2014 444.hu reported that Ákos’s company, the Fehér Sólyom (White Falcon), which is involved in music publishing, had made 107 million forints the previous year. This is over and above what he earns as an entertainer.

Ákos is on very good terms with the present government. He is an ardent supporter of Fidesz, and in turn he is a favorite of the Orbán government. His services to the government have been greatly appreciated over the years, and in 2012 he was awarded the much-coveted Kossuth Prize for his alleged artistic accomplishments.

He is married with four children, but he and his wife got married only after the third child was born. His wife doesn’t have a career of her own although “all through university she had straight A’s and everybody in and outside the family thought that she would have a very successful career” as an economist. From an interview that took place in 2011 we learned that she plays an active role in the financial side of Fehér Sólyom. As for their personal relationship, Ákos told Echo TV that in 2012 the Hungarian left called him a Nazi and for five days he seriously contemplated leaving Hungary. The reporter at that point interrupted: “So you and your wife decided ….” Ákos made it crystal clear that it was up to him to decide. What was his wife’s reaction? “Don’t be hysterical.”

After two days of silence following his Echo TV interview, Magyar Telekom, which was paying Ákos to be a face of the company, decided to break its contract with him. The press release read:

Today the Magyar Telekom Group broke its contract with Ákos, about which we informed him in writing this morning. We think highly of Ákos’s musical accomplishments, his successes as a performer, and we think of our years of cooperation and common work with appreciation. At the same time our firm does not think that the attitude the performer exhibited during a television interview is compatible with the beliefs and values of our Group.

At this point all hell broke loose. If I wanted to summarize it in the most succinct way, I would have to say that the Hungarian government lost its mind. Or, perhaps more accurately, Viktor Orbán lost his mind. The Hungarian government called on ministries and other government institutions to cancel their telephone subscriptions with Magyar Telekom.

The first sign of Viktor Orbán’s ire was János Lázár’s reaction to the case yesterday. “I find what Telekom did shocking,” he said, adding that “a German firm should know only too well what dictatorship is.” He asked if, for example, the government didn’t like the opinion of Telekom, could it then break its contract with the company? Obviously, by the next day the government decided that yes, it could.

Ákos Kovács as spokesman of Magyar Telekom

Ákos Kovács as a spokesman of Magyar Telekom

The volume was turned up even higher when Zoltán Kovács, a government spokesman, held a press conference this morning right after the cabinet meeting to announce the government’s breach of contract with Magyar Telekom. According to him, the government was shocked when it heard the news of Telekom’s decision, which in their opinion is contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Hungarian constitution. “Perhaps such a move is acceptable in Germany, but we find it unacceptable that someone can be discriminated against on the basis of his opinion and point of view.”

I don’t think one has to be a legal expert to realize that the Hungarian government’s argument is nonsensical. There was a private agreement between Magyar Telekom and Ákos, according to which the performer would spread the good name of the company. Surely, there must be a clause in that contract specifying that if Ákos’s behavior is in any way damaging to the image of the company, the agreement is null and void. Talking about discrimination is ridiculous. Voiding a private contract has nothing to do with discrimination.

The government also invoked the freedom of expression. But this argument is specious as well. Magyar Telekom in no way bans Ákos from expounding his sexist beliefs, it simply doesn’t want its name associated with someone who espouses such ideas.

This decision to retaliate against Magyar Telekom shows the Orbán government in the worst possible light. I simply don’t understand why the government keeps tempting fate. As if they wanted to show that they can do anything they want. Punish anyone who stands in their way. They no longer care what the world thinks of them. And they are ready to go against one of the most important companies in Europe (since Magyar Telekom is majority owned by Deutsche Telekom) because Magyar Telekom dared to break a contract with a man who espoused the same ideas as László Kövér and some of the other Fidesz bigwigs. To their minds such impertinence cannot be tolerated, even if an international scandal ensues.

I firmly believe that as Orbán displays how petty and vindictive he can be and as he expands his targets from local political adversaries to international opponents, he moves ever closer to his downfall. I know that right now no one can imagine such an event, but fortune can turn on a dime, especially when a politician believes that he is invincible. And it won’t be his international opponents who bring him down, but “the nation.”

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Ron
Guest

Eva: I simply don’t understand why the government keeps tempting fate. As if they wanted to show that they can do anything they want.

This is exactly what they believe. They believe that they are great and everybody will follow suit eventually. And the sad thing is, that they may be right.

http://hungarytoday.hu/news/european-parliament-reluctant-invoke-article-7-procedure-hungary-49175

And things will be back to “normal”.

Member

1989 Pepsi dumps Madonna for Like A Prayer
1991 Pepsi, Converse dumps Magic Johnson
1997 Verizon breaks contract with Akon because a simulated sex act on stage.
2002 Pepsi dumps Ludacris for his lyrics that glorified drinking, drugs, violence, and disrespect towards women
2003 McDonalds, Nutella, Coca Cola dropp contract with Koby Bryant as he was accused of sexual assault. The charges have been dropped later.
Slimmest ended its contract with Whoop Goldberg for her sexual puns on based President Bush’s name

“Contracts can be terminated where the star has behaved in a way which contradicts the image which is usually presented and the image which the company has bought into.”

Guest

Some good points, Some1, except in the Fidesz government a contract means absolutely nothing.

Guest

You really can’t make this stuff up. This is what happens when all checks and balances are removed. Insanity prevails.

Guest

…”but we find it unacceptable that someone can be discriminated against on the basis of his opinion and point of view.”

What an ironic statement, in view of the fact that the Fidesz government has made a profession of discriminating against anyone who expresses a contrary opinion and point of view, to Orbán and his gang of criminals.

Really, these “men” (in quotes because they are more like little boys pretending to be masterful leaders) are getting more and more ridiculous and downright stupid, from one day to the next.

Guest

As the famed and very wise Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot penned in one of his stellar songs:

‘Taking dead aim on fortune and fame you might say
Playing guitar doesn’t make you a star anyway’

Sometimes ‘stars’ just need to stay say in a particular orbit and not venture about into sticky territory. Akos could arguably have used GL’s hard won experience.

Member

I believe that Akos Kovacs openly promotes ideas that are totally contrary to Hungary’s Constitution (Basic Law).

Hungary’s Basic Law
XV.
(3) Man and women are equal.
(4) With specific measures Hungary helps the implementation of equal opportunities and social inclusion.

(3) A nők és a férfiak egyenjogúak.
(4) Magyarország az esélyegyenlőség és a társadalmi felzárkózás megvalósulását külön intézkedésekkel segíti.

http://www.kormany.hu/download/a/21/00000/Magyarország%20Alaptörvénye.pdf

So what is the Hungarian Government planning to do with Akos?

ebitda
Guest

The entire notion that Akos or Magyar Telekom could’ve done something contrary to the constitution (the Basic Law) is totally false and at least extremely misleading.

A constitution regulates the state and is applicable only to the state-citizen relationship, but not to relationships between two private parties, as in this case.

That latter is the domain of private law and parties have great freedom to contract. [Let’s not raise Drittwirkung which any self-respecting Fidesznik would reject out of hand.]

Parties can absolutely terminate sponsorship agreements due to the (otherwise legal) views if it is contrary to the interest of the sponsoring party or due to the unwholesome but not illegal behavior of the sponsored personality. This is standard. What Magyar Telekom did is totally normal.

Of course Orban’s step raises – yet again – the question whether it is worth to get cozy with autocrats as Magyar Telekom did (e.g. firing the editors of Origo at Janos Lazar’s behest, now selling Origo to a reliably Fidesz-related entity), but in this respect Orban did what anyway could’e been expected. All in all I think it was worth for Magyar Telekom so I’m not sure they are to worried.

Member

I think the irony is lost on you.

Member
The Akos Anomaly Much to my surprise, based on watching the whole video, I found him szimpatikus, intelligent, thoughtful and sincere. I completely disagree with him about that one sentence that everyone is rightfully troubled by, but I do not think he deserved to be so vilified for it. He did not say it in such a way that he wanted to force it down everybody’s throat. There were many other anomalous things he said too — for example, about his antipathy for the fans who want to take selfies with him for their facebook pages when he is trying to be with his children for a soccer match or when they want to share their belief in UFOs with him: That did not sound arrogant at all. Rather, one felt sympathy for him. There was sense and sincerity in what he said, and I don’t think he was play-acting that he does not have an inflated opinion of himself, despite his popularity and success. The whole conversation sounded competely sincere. The way he stated his personal feeling that “traditional values” are “normal” — and his feeling that their rejection is not — was that he knows he is in… Read more »
Member

…have no business…
…if his realism…

Observer
Guest

Off course.
Ákos is not the issue – it’s the Fidesz sexism, disregard for the law and their dictatorial practices.

Member

Stevan, I disagree. There were/are many wonderful, thoughtful, educated people through history with love for music, acceptance for art, curiosity for progress, great contribution to society with minor deficiencies, such as their hate for coloured people, and/or their hate for jews. I for one would not like anyone to support such people, as any kind of endorsement sends the message for society that if you excel in one thing it is completely OK to be openly chauvinistic. Also, please do not forget the context as far as current events go. Akos’ “speech” takes on a very new meaning when he say what he says because where and when he said it.

Member

Some1, I agree with you about hatred and preaching hatred. And maybe Akos does that too, elsewhere: I don’t know, because I have seen nothing but this video, plus the doggerel Eva posted. You are right that his poetastry preaches hatred. But in the video he seems — or makes it seem — that he is just expressing his personal feelings, not inciting or condemning anything. Maybe it’s all method acting. I don’t know. But, as I keep saying, personal chummery with Orban would clinch the interpretation.

(No artistic comparability intended, below, between the Pannonian pop puppet and the Bayreuth beau.)

Richard Wagner

The Poet
is but an Oracle.

His ventriloquist Muse
channels through him,
via his Oeuvre,
not his Life
or his obloquy.

If a man chance
to be born taller than all others,
yea, let us have him
throw our Hoops.

But let us save our hoopla
for his opera omnia,
or his DNA,
not his Character.

Except he chance
to have one.

comment image

Guest

I like that alliteration there… ‘Pannonian pop puppet’…Sure has that ‘pop’ alright!

I went through the lines Prof Balogh posted from Akos.
Thank you. For me (and I must say my ‘magyar’ is not 100% when it comes to complete understanding!) I picked up a feeling from Akos as if he’s trying to make a stand to all this ‘liberality’ he sees around him. That ‘lazado’ apparently in him wants to get out together with his music. He certainly harbors images of a ‘clash’ in his poetic world.

No doubt Fidesz certainly loves Akos. Not only can he be that ‘Pannonian pop puppet’ but maybe we can also note him additionally as that very useful ‘Pied Piper’ among ‘Pop Puppets’ in Pannonia. Rock stars are probably the greatest public opinion influencers in a society. When they sing, blab or even write lyrics people listen and change their minds wonderfully. Fidesz’ll back up their ‘horses’ for sure. Akos is a rock music jewel in their crown.

Member

Different times… I am not sure if Wagner would of signed “sponsorship” wit anyone at the time, but certainly was loved by the Nazi party… Still as much as Akos is entitled go his own opinion, as personal as it is, so does the companies. If a company does not want Akos to represent the, because of his personal opinion, they have every right not to sponsor him.
There are many examples for artists who’s personal opinion I not agree with, even though I enjoy their art. If a company would choose that person to represent them I may would turn away from the company.
Imagine Pal Schmitt getting a contract for promoting a university. “I’ve got my p.h.d. here! Quality!” he would say. Oh, actual;;y he is promoting the Hungarian Government! My wrong!

Guest

On ‘artists’ that one can have a personal issue with…

No doubt it can occur with another public group and that’s with professional sports people as well.

I was amazed recently to hear from one of our finest and talented women soccer players that Jurgen Klinsmann , the current coach, wasn’t doing right to the US men’s team because he was bringing in so-called ‘foreign’ players. Uh oh. Looks like xenophobia is the disease of the 21st all around the world. If a certain fellow gets to be POTUS next year well ‘foreign’ will be the most loaded and suspect word of our future age.

webber
Guest

Akos is not Wagner.
Akos was not even equal to the least talented member of Depeche Mode.
Akos made a career copying the styles of successful British artists, that is all. Sometimes making very, very close copies indeed, without acknowledging the source. Sometimes, more decently, making covers..
Akos is exactly as (un)talented as Hobo is/was.
Akos has already gotten more attention than he deserves (thanks to the Hun. govt.)

Member

…and a Kossuth prize — the one the Fidik rabble wanted to take back from the other Akos (Kertesz), when he held up a mirror to them (and was eventually persecuted into seeking asylum in Canada)…

spectator
Guest

Stevan, being honest and sincere doesn’t makes you right, does it?
At the same time being backward and narrow minded won’t exactly score you right into the limelight of the enlightened and civilised people, would it?

The guy obviously qualifies for all of the above mentioned features, while as a musician appears to be one of the dozen of mediocre wannabes with nothing original to say,. Repeating the standard ‘cloudy’ standard panels obviously enough in Hungary to be special.

To the ignorant orbanist populace, that is.
(As usual, this is my opinion, nothing but.)

Member
In the comment chain to this piece of news in “Der Standard” (http://derstandard.at/2000027707427/Sexismus-Streit-um-Saenger-Ungarn-kuendigt-Vertraege-mit-Magyar-Telekom ) somebody presented an interesting piece of information: from January, a new state-owned firm, MVM Net, will be operational in telecommunication business. “I’m sure that the bard of the Party will find himself a new sponsor.” And thanks to Ákos, the government can put the blame on Magyar Telekom. As for your comment: “I simply don’t understand why the government keeps tempting fate. As if they wanted to show that they can do anything they want.” That’s exactly what they are doing. The government defends “the family values” and “protects the Hungarian nation from dying out” – an absurd fear with which Hungarians have been obsessed since Herder made this unlucky little remark about how the Hungarian nation might one day cease to exist. Fidesz voters, the people who gave their spontaneous applause to Kövér’s speech about “daughters giving us grandchildren”, do not see Orbán as “petty and vindictive”, in their eyes he is the hero who “dares to say it out loud” even to the Big Bad International Enterprises. And the opponents, perhaps, get a little insecure seeing that this government really can do anything it… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

Telekom just sold the website “origo” to Matolcsy’s cousin.

http://nol.hu/belfold/matolcsy-unokatestvere-42-milliardert-vitte-az-origot-1580539

State owned banks just gave Andy Vajna at least 6.7 billion forints to buy the second most popular television channel. Andy is the guy who received duopoly from Orban to operate casinos in Hungary with special tax breaks.

http://bbj.hu/business/civil-organization-requests-withdrawal-of-eximbanks-loan-to-vajna_108881

ebitda
Guest

The better question is who finances Matolcsy’s cousin?

Ron
Guest

The better questions, 1st under ebitda and additionally where is the money coming from, and 2nd What is he going to do with it, Will it be independent or ultra-right. 3rd Who’s his (great) grandfather?

Ron
Guest

Slightly OT; I did some research by reading some previous articles of Eva, and noticed an interesting article regarding the interpellation by Agnes Vadai,

http://hungarianspectrum.org/2012/06/10/agnes-vadais-interpellation-in-the-hungarian-parliament-may-29-2012/?cid=24907

and the comments, especially by Eva

Eva S. BaloghJune 10, 2012 5:34 pm
Ferenc Gyerek :

Quite a few Hungarians are tortured by the pain of the fathers and grandfathers from the Communist era.

The Horthy memories are a like a medicine for these people.

That is the source of their embracement of Horthy.

Stupid but true

Don’t let yourself to be fooled. Most of these fierce anti-communists didn’t suffer a bit during the Rákosi and Kádár regimes. Kövér’s family would be a good example. I bet that 99% of the people who were screaming in parliament during the interpellation suffered no ill treatment whatsoever. Perhaps even the opposite. Their families were beneficiaries of the regime.

Actually it would be an interesting exercise to conduct family research on the current members of parliament.

I believe this last question is still valid.

Observer
Guest

DOMINI LATIFUNDIE can do anything they want. The hapless serfs have little say, but given a bowl of soup they applaud.
Hajra.

Observer
Guest
FIRST PRIZE FOR ARROGANCE, CYNICISM AND AGGRESSION in these series goes the government spokesman Z.Kovács for his interview on Klub Radio. The government spokesman Z. Kovács, brimming with indignation, expressed outrage by the Hungarian Telekom’s terror against the freedom of expression, by its breach of the spirit and letter of the Hungarian Basic Law. Repeating constantly the new buzz word “opinion terror”, the spokesman went into assault on all fronts, the host, Mr. György Bolgár was branded an opinion terror protagonist , the “liberal” word was widely used as an invective, as usual. The wording, the arguments, the spin were absolutely identical with those of Rétvári in his ATV interview, presumably learned from the same script distributed by the central agitprop department. For NON HUNGARIAN SPEAKERS here are some excerpts to give them a taste, a feeling of the Orban regime’s narrative and ambiance. GB. ..this is so [re. everyone’s freedom of expression] , but not everyone is entitled to sponsorship money. ZK. Yes, but let’s consider what actually happened, a popular musical artist ..spoke about his perceptions on these issues and because of this such act took place …where a sponsor support was withdrawn because of an opinion ..… Read more »
Member

“Opinion Terrorism”

Trouble is that all that opiners have to “terrorize” others’ opinions with is opinions, whereas the Orban regime can terrorize them with police, “laws,” and financial punishment (not to mention with the fists, clubs and worse of their Yobbick “bad cops”) and worse (to come).

petofi
Guest

Ladies and Gentlemen,

what’s all the fuss about?

It’s just one, maladjusted, gypsy boy of abused upbringing ‘acting out’…

petofi
Guest

Eva,

I don’t see an ‘edit’ button. How do I change my submission?
And, what’s all this childish voting about?

Guest

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

Bowen
Guest

The single worst thing about all of this is that the reproductive rights of Hungarian women are being decided by a bunch of middle-aged men who hold all the power, and ‘speak on the behalf’ of women. And anyone who thinks that these middle-aged men shouldn’t say this stuff are accused of being ‘discriminatory’.

It’s incredibly damaging and backward. Where are the Hungarian women protesting, speaking up for their society, their own rights to determine what happens to their own bodies?

Member

Some Hungarian women are protesting. (For instance, there is this campaign of jamming Kövér’s mail box with negative pregnancy tests.) But most of them, I suppose, are too busy working to support themselves and their families, too afraid to speak up, too frustrated to believe that anything could come out of their protest – or already “washing dishes in London”, as the saying goes nowadays.

Guest

There’s an interesting parallel to a case in Germany. Pop singer Xavier Naidoo ((in)famous for his Christian antisemitic and homophobic songtexts …) appeared with right leaning anti-refugee PEGIDA after he had been nominated (as sole contender even!) for the Eurovision contest-
This decision was revoked after a shitstorm on him …
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xavier_Naidoo
PS:
He also seems to be a fan of the German “Reichsbürger” which claim that the pre-war German Empire still exists and therefore the Federal Republic of Germany is illegal – so they print their own passports, driver’s licences etc …
A really crazy bunch!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichsbürgerbewegung
They even have several competing “governments” …

tappanch
Guest

Another of Orban’s numerous anti-Semitic [my opinion] aides and friends, undersecretary L Simon of the Homan sculpture [see yesterday] was appointed today to be the plenipotentiary to move several ministries to the Royal Castle District.

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20151218_Lazar_megtalalta_a_megfelelo_embert_a_tar

morris
Guest

It seems that the Hóman statute will not stand (for the time being). I’m also sure that it’s actually ready so query as to what will happen to it?

But during the last few months, since the end of the refugee issue, the government has been on the defensive. The old winning streak has come to an end it seems to me, in fact even the refugee issue was a godsent and only prolonged the impression that Orban was till strong.

The Norwegian Fund case – at this moment – seems to be a win for the NGOs. Merkel’s position is strong (even her popularity rating improved again) and Orban very much hoped that she will be sacked (and zwar sooner rather than later). Vajna still hasn’t taken over TV2, so all preperations for the new spring season are way behind schedule. And so on.

Not that the opposition could benefit from these, but I seriously think Orban’s magic touch has been lost. Happy 2016!

tappanch
Guest

The Hungarian prosecutors today came out with a story with respect to the American charge about Hungarian corrupt officials…

Their story is the following.

A private person, a certain V. T. asked two billion forints from the US firm Bunge in return for asking his partners at the Fidesz think tank “Szazadveg” to lower the VAT for cooking oil from 27% to 5%. The prosecutors claim that that V.T. did not know anyone at Szazadveg or its chairman, Mr Heim, but he asked Bunge nonetheless to deposit the money in the account of Szazadveg !

http://444.hu/2015/12/18/eloszor-lelt-a-magyar-bunuldozes-valami-gyanusra-a-kitiltasi-ugyben

Guest

Bunge makes the “Venus” sunflower oil – which is the best on the market (says my wife …), but also a bit more expensive. It’s the only one my wife wants me to buy …

tappanch
Guest

V.T. = Viktor Tabor, is one of the owners of the grocery chain CBA.

CBA has been one of the big financially supporters of the Fidesz party and the anti-Semitic “Goy motorists”.

In return, they got special laws favoring the chain against their competitors.

http://hvg.hu/gazdasag/20151218_kitiltasi_botrany_vadlott

tappanch
Guest

The VAT on cooking oil stayed at 27%. But the VAT on wholesale (!) pork will go down from 27% to 5% on January 1, 2016.

Who are the winners? Orban’s former plumber and current façade-nik Meszaros, for instance.

Who are the losers? The producers of beef and poultry.

http://magyarnarancs.hu/kismagyarorszag/csakvar-mellett-epit-uj-sertestelepet-meszaros-lorinc-93618

Istvan
Guest
What we call in the USA a “hatchet article” appeared today in Népszabadság that supposedly tells readers “what really happened” in relationship to the USA government’s claim that Hungarian officials were involved in extorting money from US agriculture firm Bunge. As we all recall the United States government declared six unnamed Hungarian public officials suspected of corruption ineligible for visas, one of whom later turned out to be NAV chairwoman Ildikó Vida, along with one of her deputies and another leading official. None of these NAV officials are ever mentioned in this article and the article claims effectively the US firm solicited a lobbyist to get a VAT reduction on cooking oil from 27% down to 5%. Then Bunge backed out of the supposed deal. So the article insinuates that even though there were corrupt Hungarians involved in this, so therefore Bunge was too corrupt. The possibility was apparently never contemplated by the great minds at the Hungarian National Bureau of Investigation or the author of the article that the US government with the possible support of the FBI set up a sting operation to prove that corruption was taking place at the highest levels of the NAV and then… Read more »
Istvan
Guest

Just for the record, several major grain Companies here in Chicago worked with the FBI to set up a sting operation to trap corrupt commodity traders in 1989. In 1988 and 1989 five FBI agents went undercover at the Chicago Board Trade, in what they called Operation Sour Mash, and at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in Operation Hedge Clipper. See http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1989/08/04/page/1/article/customers-are-ticked-off-by-trading-pit-case Numerous commodities traders were convicted of corruption in these cases. Bunge was a major firm in the Chicago commodities markets during the time of these sting operations and likely applied the lessons learned in Chicago in 1989 to the corrupt NAV officials many years later. We do know the US Department of Justice worked with the US Embassy on the case in Hungary that led to Ildikó Vida and others being bared and DOJ uses the FBI’s expertise in setting up sting operations.

tappanch
Guest

I just heard on radio that Fidesz in Vac renamed part of Kodaly street to Homan street in 2001. This was reversed in 2005, but they again renamed it in 2007.

tappanch
Guest
tappanch
Guest

the link above ends in “utca”

petofi
Guest

Re: Telekom and the Orban interpretation of law

So, let me understand our Viktor: if a Hungarian male gives his opinion–any opinion, perhaps even espousing the benefits to Hungary of ridding it of jews–than any company that pays the said individual to represent it…is bound to keep that person as the face of the company, yes?

Lovely.

Orban has just opened the door to virulent anti-semitism throughout the country; and it’s every Hungarians right to give voice to it.

That’s progress, Hungarian style.

Hajra Magyarok!

(Oh, yes. One other thing. I had a dream of the future. Extra-terrestials arrived on our burned-out, dead planet. They dug up various bodies. Over a short period of time, they discovered that
people from this region had a physical abnormality–their tongue was a foot long!)

NWO
Guest

This reminds me a little of the recent controversy in Turkey where a prominent doctor was arrested for posting an image of Erdogan looking like Gollum. This notion that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, get re-proven every day.

Tyrker
Guest
petofi
Guest

Orban is not anti-semitic. People who think it totally miss the point: Orban is a master manipulator and opportunist. He knows what the Hungarian mainstream wants and gives it to them. Of course, it’s angel dust in their eyes because, all the while, he’s robbing the country of whatever wealth it possesses, and happily goes about his real purpose–to bankrupt the country.

webber
Guest
Petofi – on what, precisely, do you base your comment “Orban is not anti-semitic”? Have you looked at the company he keeps? You might be implying (and I guess you are) that the anti-semitic “wing” of Fidesz merely exists to win votes. I think it is much more simple than that. It is sincere. Hungarians and others from this region (I include you) often have a hard time believing sincerity. They tend to assume that EVERYTHING done by politicians is manipulative. I think Orban and crew are sincere in this, and some other things. Yes, they will do whatever it takes to win elections or support from some foreign people they think are important. For example, they will even back down on the Homan statue, though they would dearly love to see it elected, and some of them would even like to see a statue to Szálasi. THAT is the insincerity: not the anti-semitism, but the pose that Orban isn’t really an anti-semite (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Of course he’s willing, indeed happy, to use “clever” Jews to achieve his ends – including fooling the Jews of the world, whom he and his fellow party members believe all think alike… Read more »
webber
Guest

erected, not elected (above)

gedeon
Guest

Not only that but Orban, Kövér, Navracsics, Pröhle, Szájer all believe that there is a vast jewish-liberal conspiracy out there and that they are a victim of that.

They really do, I know it for a fact. They know that they have to be diplomatic, can’t always appear anti-jewish, that the Jews themsleves are divided (so they can be friendly with Israel and right-wing orthodox etc.) but they do believe that liberal jews (as oppsoed to god fearing “non-political” othodox jews) are out to destroy Hungary.

Guest

Not only Hungarian politicians believe in the threat of a “New World Order” – I commented on that a few weeks ago when I read something about “Jews owning all the Central Banks” in a forum of British expats in Hungary!
And I always thought Brits were no-nonsense people …
This is almost like the “New Stormer” – people believe that “The Jews” have started this refugee wave to flood Europe with Muslim immigrants and destroy the Christian European culture …
need I go on?

This is the ultimate version of the (not only …) Hungarian maxim:
It’s always someone else’s fault!
Inside Hungary it used to be Gyurcsany of course, so here something from the lighter side:comment image

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