Defending “the social order” by force of arms?

Most Hungarian journalists and even opposition politicians find what’s going on in Budapest at the moment highly amusing. The City of Budapest dismantles a dozen advertising kiosks, which workmen hired by Mahir Cityposter, a firm owned in part by Lajos Simicska, then replace with brand new ones. This is not, however, something that one ought to find funny or entertaining. What’s going on is further proof that Hungary is no longer a country of law. The Orbán government can do whatever it wants to those who are in its way. And Lajos Simicska is very much in Viktor Orbán’s way. He must be destroyed.

In 2006 Mahir signed a 25-year contract with the City of Budapest which gave it the right to set up 780 cylinder-shaped kiosks in the busiest parts of the city. Because the investment was substantial, Mahir negotiated a contract that couldn’t be broken before the date of its expiration. I cannot decide whether the contract was disadvantageous from the city’s point of view, but for ten years the city fathers found no fault with it. Last fall, however, they decided that the contract was so shamefully drafted in favor of Mahir that decency and good conscience (jóerkölcs) might be issues here. Sometime in September the city council, with a huge Fidesz majority, voted overwhelmingly to break the contract with Mahir as of October 31. They gave Mahir 60 days to remove all kiosks. If it fails to do so, they said, the city itself will do the job, starting in January 2016.

The inspiration for this late discovery of the foul nature of the contract undoubtedly came from the prime minister, who ever since March has been trying to ruin his old friend Lajos Simicska because Simicska humiliated him, called him all sorts of names, and, above all, was no longer willing to use his media empire in the service of the government. Simicska’s company, Közgép, which previously had received fantastic government contracts financed primarily by the European Union, was put on the government’s black list and, in fact, some of its projects that were under construction have been suspended. The latest chapter in this struggle is “kiosk gate.” We can be pretty sure that István Tarlós, mayor of Budapest, received a telephone call one day and was instructed to get rid of Simicska’s Mahir. Tarlós and 19 Fidesz members of the city council obliged.

Hard at work

Hard at work

It always surprises me how inept opposition politicians can be when it comes to realizing the significance of some of Viktor Orbán’s moves. For example, Csaba Horváth (MSZP) said: “they should conduct this Fidesz in-fighting among themselves and, if it is at all possible, they shouldn’t entertain either the public or the city council with them.” I must say that an unnamed journalist of stop.hu is much more sophisticated politically than Horváth because he captured the essence of this so-called “in-fighting” when he wrote: “Now Lajos Simicska can really see what kind of a country he and his former friend built. If necessary, the government will get even with those who are in the prime minister’s way even if it means disregarding the law. The only difference between Simicska and the average Joe is that the CEO of Közgép became a billionnaire from government investments. While Simicska fights his prestige battles with loose change, Everyman is fighting for his life.”

Mahir Cityposter’s legal defense is in good hands. Simicska hired György Magyar, an able lawyer. As far as he is concerned, the case is clear-cut. Immediately after the city council voted to break the contract, he filed suit against the city of Budapest. As far as he knows, the case will be heard on January 11. Until then, every action taken in this case is illegal. However, a new pro-government website, factor.hu, claims that Mahir’s request for a postponement of the removal of the kiosks was denied on December 12. The only problem is that Mahir’s lawyer knows nothing about this. Perhaps these discrepancies will be cleared up in the next few days. At this point it is useless delving into the details of the case. The immediate reaction of Orbán’s minions is much more interesting and telling.

The very fact that Mahir didn’t take what it is considered to be an illegal action lying down angered those who feel compelled to defend their master. Máté Kocsis, the mayor of District VIII who has been mentioned as the possible next lord mayor of Budapest, suggested police action to ensure the removal of the kiosks. He also threatened the company Mahir hired to guard the kiosks with the withdrawal of its operating license. György Bakondi, chief adviser to Viktor Orbán who made himself ridiculous during the refugee crisis, happily agreed that “public security and social order” might be maintained by armed forces. The word he actually used was “karhatalom,” which has a horrible connotation in Hungarian. After the failed Hungarian Revolution in 1956 the newly installed Kádár regime recruited civilians who were ready to support the new government to patrol the streets, arms in hand. These people were called “karhatalmisták.” Their task was to defend the “social order.” As one newspaper rightly pointed out, Bakondi slept through 27 years. He still thinks he is in the People’s Democracy of Hungary.

What is really frightening is the talk about “public security” and the defense of “social order.” At the moment Orbán and Company want to save the social order from Simicska and they have gone to war against him but, as László Seres pointed out in HVG today, “Who is interested in Simicska? This is a declaration of war. Against all of us, just for your information.” Indeed, whatever one thinks of Simicska, let’s not forget that what is happening to him can happen to any Hungarian.

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Member

“Indeed, whatever one thinks of Simicska, let’s not forget that what is happening to him can happen to any Hungarian.”
EXACTLY!
Dictator and dictatorship above the law and they can kill you with impunity, but perhaps on a good day, years later, they would apologize to the surviving relatives for a minor misunderstanding.
HUNGARY HAS NEVER BEEN A COUNTRY OF LAW, BUT IT IS NOW A PRIMITIVE, DICTATORSHIP, CRUDE, RUDE AN UTTERLY WORTHLESS!
THE FIDESS IS LIKE THE ARROWCROSS WAS AND ORBÁN IS BECOMING VERY SIMILAR TO SZALASI, LEADER OF THE ARROWCROSS PARTY IN 1944-45.

webber
Guest
webber
Guest

P.S. Since 2010, Orban and crew have recruited many young people into “karhatalom” (I know one- he’s proud of it!)

http://index.hu/gazdasag/magyar/2010/01/17/iparorseg/

tappanch
Guest

Let me remind everyone that the promotion or demotion of judges depend on Orban’s personal friend, and this seriously endangers the independence of judges.

The younger the judges, the more probable they quickly rule whatever the government or one of its agencies want, even if it contradicts common sense [personal experience]

In the US, a judge would have given an injunction (a temporary restraining order) against the government (the Fidesz-ruled municipality in this case).

Without such order, Orban preempts the pending legal case between his effectively one-party state and its current opponent.

Istvan
Guest

Tappanch in the US legal system you are correct that more often than not most State level judges who would enforce contracts between government entities and contractors would have issued a preliminary injunction to at least hear the facts of the case. But the one situation similar to the kiosks situation where a judge would rule similarly to the Hungarian judge would be where there was no evidence of irreparable damage due to the actions of the government entity. Meaning either money damages could be paid, or the advertising kiosks simply could be put back in place at the expense of the government entity.

In the USA most non-federal judges are elected and often have political allegiances too. Our system is not perfect either, and in similar cases lower level judges have ruled similarly to what Eva has described. Also in our legal system government entities are shown great deference due to what is called “Sovereign immunity” which applies in certain situations dependent on State law ( http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Governmental+Tort+Immunity ) although less and less so.

Szörényi
Guest
Could it be that Csaba Horvath’s comments were subdued not just because he and MSZP are totally inept (I agree) but because he was actively involved in the corrupt deal??? “In 2006 Mahir signed a 25-year contract with the City of Budapest.” In 2006 the government was Socialist/SZDSZ and although in the 2006 municipal elections the Budapest council was quite divided the mandates were the following: Fidesz 30, MSZP 24, SZDSZ 9 and MDF 3, with Gabor Demszky as the mayor. No Fidesz majority. Why oh why did the council/government/ mayor acquiesced to this deal when everybody knew that Simicska was a Fidesznik archoligarch and that he and Fidesz would thereby control a strategic media for 25 years. Lo and behold in 2014 Fidesz and Jobbik indeed made great use of these kiosks, while MSZP and the leftist opposition did/could not. This deal was a combination of the proverbial Socialist stupidity coupled with the proverbial Socialist corruption. And MSZP is supposed to be the great hope of the opposition. LOL. Most likely Csaba Horvath was part of the corrupt deal (both in the financial sense and both in the sense that it was highly disadvantageous to his party) just as… Read more »
Guest

How do you get the impression that “MSZP is supposed to be the great hope of the opposition.”?
At least on this site no one is a fan of MSZP and that’s true for most Hungarians too – actually I think almost everybody hates MSZP.
It will have to be a combination of LMP, DK and who knows what that might try some day (in the distant future …) to break Fidesz – unless something happens.
MSZP reminds me of the German “Left” which also contains a lot of old Communists who sometimes claim “GDR wasn’t so bad” …

Guest

On those kiosks…

Hard to think they won’t go back up. I see ad spending which is a barometer of where people go to get their ‘information’ shows that the ‘reading’ mediums namely newspaper and magazines show a real downward falloff from say 2008. Digital of course has increased greatly. But outdoor of which kiosks are part show a relative constancy of getting about 11% of total advertising dollars through the years. Not sure if kiosk spending is broken out but its ‘strategic’ use sure can’t be denied by a certain party. Like knocking down physical advertising mediums kiosks reflect a form of ad delivery that could be termed as ‘in your face’… and take that!

I wish I could think that Fidesz and the ‘op’ have some savvy so-called ‘media buyers’ who are responsible for putting client money into mediums. But in Hungary when it comes to the practice and use of business skill and professional excellence we have to say ‘other’ things always apply in the pursuit of Hungarian commerce.

Observer
Guest

FYI Schiffer=LMP and he hates F.Gyurcsàny. Schiffer practically helped Fidesz on several occasions, their start up financial sources are still unclear.
I bet u 100 € against any direct LMPDK cooperation.

tappanch
Guest

High school teachers protest the destruction of their autonomy, the engulfing bureaucracy [“administrative burden”], the slow pace of pay raise, the increased number of hours they have to teach and the [Mussolini-invented] Corporation of Teachers, where the government negotiates with itself without listening to the teachers themselves.

They want “freedom from politics and pseudo reforms”

http://www.boon.hu/nyilt-level-a-herman-otto-gimnaziumbol/2982948

Guest

I think that in English these cylinder-shaped street advertising things are best called advertising stands, rather than kiosks.

That is because at least in Australian English a kiosk normally means an open-fronted little shack or cubicle from which newspapers, tickets and refreshments are sold (in Britain, public telephone booths also used to be called kiosks).

Guest

They’re called advertising column.

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

Guest

Yup, that’s it, you are right. Advertising column it is.

Guest

We have the word kiosk from Turkish and Turkish has it from Persian.
Istanbul is the world capital of kiosks. A Turkish kiosk is a relatively small free standing building, often polygonal, originally a garden pavillion. Imitations of polygonal Turkish kiosks exist in most European cities as bandstands or small shops mainly selling newspapars. A cylindrical street furniture without an inside function does not deserve to be called a kiosk.

Dalma
Guest

“Martin Wolf (FT)

Will Angela Merkel still be German chancellor at the end of the year?

No. Although 2015 ended with Ms Merkel receiving a standing ovation at the conference of her ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDU), 2016 is likely to see the end of her long reign as chancellor. That ovation looked like conclusive proof that her job is safe – despite the pressures caused by the arrival of about 1m refugees in Germany in 2015. But Ms Merkel has now promised to reduce refugee flows next year. This is likely to prove undeliverable as desperate migrants, aided by people smugglers, continue to flow in.

Admiration for the chancellor’s courage and moral leadership will give way to uncertainty and discontent. The cracking point could be a revolt from local governments, who pronounce themselves unable to cope with the numbers. That, in turn, would finally provoke a challenge to the chancellor from within the CDU, making her position untenable.”

Orban and Kaczinsky would be really satisfied.

Guest

Another Fidesz troll in disguise?
You people are really strange!

Istvan
Guest

Well Wolfi after the stories coming out of Cologne about gang rapes and sexual assaults during New Year’s Eve celebrations on German women by gangs of Arab or North African men and how it is being used by opponents to Germany’s acceptance of so many immigrants Merkel is in an increasingly difficult situation. See http://www.dw.com/en/a-new-dimension-of-sexual-assault-in-cologne/a-18959299

Guest

I don’t want to play down what happened in Cologne – it is inexcusable and the police will have to answer for their inactivity – but “gang rapes” did not happen, more like groping …
And pickpockets using the situation too …
Probably some one in that group had the idea:
Let’s go there in an overwhelming number – the police won’t be able to handle us!
I’m quite sure that won’t happen again, there’ll probably be a zero tolerance policy soon.

PS:
We’ll have to see how this influences our German government – up to now many cities had a laissez-faire policy re begging, busking etc. That might change now – to the detriment of many people, also some Hungarians and Romanians!

Guest

Yeah, it was just groping. I wish you were one of the girls in the crowd in Cologne to experience this kind of groping you didn’t want to play down. The same happens during Ramadan too btw., and happened on Tahrir square: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGMSO1M0W00 . Typical of Germans isn’t it. Don’t by blind because of being PC.

Tyrker
Guest

I’m actually surprised the mainstream German media would report the story at all (albeit with considerable delay). The level of [self-]censorship in that country is downright frightening.

Guest

Do you believe in all the nonsense you’re posting?
You shouldn’t forget that Jan 1st was a holiday and it took people some time to react – but they did.
Compared that to say what’s going on in Hungary …

Observer
Guest

@Tyrker
A fidesznik returning from Germany telling how terrible the self censorships is “None of these events are reported by any media”.
Question to you: how do u know if nothing is ever reported?

Istvan
Guest
Since its raining here in Arizona, a relatively rare occurrence by the way, I am going off topic to discuss a Hungarian attempt today to try to explain the “gun control” debate in the USA to Hungarians. In this article http://nol.hu/kulfold/usa-ossztuz-a-legkisebb-szigoritasra-is-1583127 some executive actions relating to gun sales to be implemented by President Obama are reasonably depicted. But then the story goes crazy when it states that the USA is divided over this issue of gun control in general with an amazing description of the divide in the USA. The article states that opponents of gun control are the “rural white population, especially the relatively less educated layers willing to go to the very end, just to keep their pistols and rifles.” The supporters of gun control are “liberal voters, women, blacks and Hispanics, the metropolitan citizens and ( more educated college )graduates.” Needless to say as an NRA member here in the USA I just don’t agree with this presentation of American reality. All military officers (active and retired ) are college graduates and all polling data indicates as a group we are opposed to more extensive gun control measures. Seventeen percent of Americans — roughly one in six… Read more »
Guest

Where’s the problem?comment image

Istvan
Guest

The problem Wolfi is that Europeans, as was typical with the article, have no concept how many of us here believe freedoms bestowed upon Americans are directly related to the extensive right to privately own arms. Moreover many of us view gun related deaths In our country to be part of the cost of that freedom and others here believe that idea is insane.

Col Dunlap explains the idea of the 2nd Amendment I relationship to maintaining freedom in this law journal article http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5203&context=faculty_scholarship

Guest
I think that the gun control debate in the US is an entirely academic exercise, because bureaucratic attempts to restrict access to guns over there is like trying to close the barn door after the horse has bolted. For the past two and a half centuries, the Second Amendment enabled the accumulation of all kinds of guns in private hands, so today there are literally hundreds of millions of guns floating about in private American hands, ranging from pistols and revolvers to rifles, submachine guns and heavy machine guns. Under the circumstances, I don’t see how any bureaucratic attempts to control access to gun ownership could possibly reduce the annual toll of tens of thousands of lives taken by the disaffected, the mentally unbalanced and the criminals and gangsters among Americans. Apart from anything else, restricting access to privately owned guns in America would leave unrestricted access to guns solely to within the realm of the criminal underworld, leaving the normal, ordinary citizen totally vulnerable to the depredations of criminals and gangsters. Given that random acts of murder and mass murder by the disaffected and the insane are totally unpredictable, bureaucratic controls on access to gun ownership in the US… Read more »
Guest

And may I add that the gun control debate has echoes in the debate about reducing the road toll.

In that context, no amount of bureaucratic restrictions on the issue of drivers licenses can ever reduce the US road toll of tens of thousands of lives randomly taken each year by inattentive and irresponsible drivers (or pedestrians), by drunk drivers and by drivers under the influence of mind altering drugs.

Paul
Guest

The really noticeable comparison on that list is between the US (10,728) and Canada (52 – less than half a percent of the US figure).

What is it that changes in people and society as you cross that border from one part of North America to the bit immediately next door?

If you look at a satellite image of North Eastern USA/South Eastern Canada (i.e. where you can see the cities, but not the border), it’s impossible to imagine that, just by driving a few miles from one of those cities to another, your chances of being killed by a gun increase by over 200 times.

Guest

USA and Canadian mentalities, values, social consensus and socialization processes are dramatically different. That is also the reason for the vast differences in their respective gun cultures.

petofi
Guest

I think the gorilla in the closet is population numbers: 350 million versus 40 million. People get antsy when crowded…and it shows in their respective histories, too. When the voyageurs wanted to get into a good scrap they had to canoe down the Mississippi to get into it. In the Canadian West, you were so isolated you were damn happy to find a living soul..

petofi
Guest

Add to that, that without the press of numbers there wasn’t the wipeout of the buffalo population, and the pressure to move westward for a good hamburger.
In fact, it wasn’t until a young man without
a ‘children’s room’ (as Hungarians are wont to say) by the name of John A. who got to building his own railway, that anyone was convinced to move west at all. So, with rare
competition for land, and all the buffalo you could corral, who needed a gun, anyway?

Guest

“This depiction of the reality of a complex discussion taking place in the USA is not uncommon in other European nations.”

The gun lobby says: “Guns don’t kill people; People kill people.” I am not an expert on formal logic but I feel that the premises can lead to contradictory conclusions. Is this an example of the complex discussion taking place in the USA?

Istvan
Guest

No the complexity goes to the idea that gun ownership is linked in the perspectives of many gun owners to the idea that it part of what maintains democracy. The United States has a bloody heritage, including the so called Wild West and so called Indian Wars, not to mention the Civil War where local governments formed military units in both the south and north. So the murder totals are only shocking to a degree, even in Chicago where our numbers are high on a daily basis.

But it is true that it is the human that pulls the trigger or slits the throat for that matter.

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