Viktor Orbán’s meeting with Jarosław Kaczyński

Yesterday afternoon vs.hu learned from several sources that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will travel to Poland at the invitation of PiS, the country’s governing party. In terms of protocol it will be a private visit. At this point the word was that he will meet several “very important politicians.” From the scant information that has reached us since, however, it looks as if Orbán met only Jarosław Kaczyński, the party chairman. The meeting took place in Niedzica at the Polish-Slovak border, a town that belonged to Hungary prior to 1918. The meeting was long–six hours, including a lunch of the famous Polish delicacy zurek soup and trout.

Unfortunately, we know practically nothing about what transpired between the two men. The Polish opposition media’s guess is that Orbán was giving Kaczyński tips on how to make the constitutional court and the media serve the government’s interest. I, however, doubt that much time was spent on Polish domestic affairs since there are far too many international issues that demand the attention of the Polish and the Hungarian leadership.

Jarosław Kaczynski and Viktor Orbán in 2010

Jarosław Kaczyski and Viktor Orbán in 201

First and foremost, the two probably formulated a common policy response to David Cameron’s “new curbs on welfare payments for migrant workers.” Cameron is currently on the campaign trail to win support for his plan to limit in-work benefits for migrants. In his quest he seems to have the support of Germany, whose interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, thinks that Cameron’s “suggestions are not a matter of regulating migration but a matter of regulating welfare legislation.” Poland and Hungary, however, have an entirely different view of the matter. First of all, Hungarian officials greatly object to the word “migrant” in connection with their own nationals, who should be called either EU citizens or guest workers. “To consider Hungarians in Britain as migrants is painful to our ears,” Orbán complained in Brussels on December 18, 2015. I suspect that these two East European countries will eventually have to swallow Cameron’s bitter pill.

In addition to hammering out a common policy regarding Polish and Hungarian immigrants in Great Britain, which Viktor Orbán can relate to David Cameron, who will arrive in Budapest for a short visit tomorrow, there might have been a second item: Hungary’s relations with Putin’s Russia. You may recall my post of February 19, 2015 titled “Polak, węgier—dwa bratanki / lengyel, magyar–két jó barát—not at the moment” in which I described how Hungarian diplomats tried to convince Kaczyński to meet Orbán, who visited Poland shortly after Putin’s visit to Budapest, but the chairman of PiS refused. The answer was that such a meeting was out of the question after Hungary’s flirtation with Russia, Poland’s archenemy. Kaczyński, who hasn’t met Orbán since, most likely wanted to clear the air and to hear directly from Orbán himself about his relationship with Putin.

The third topic may well have been Poland’s unexpected decision to honor the promise of the former government and take 4,500 refugees as part of the quota system. That decision seriously weakens the position of the other three Visegrád4 countries. Viktor Orbán looks upon the joint action of these four countries, standing together against Brussels, as one of his major achievements of late. Surely, he was counting on the new PiS government to abrogate the former government’s offer, especially since in November Beata Szydło, Poland’s new prime minister, made it clear that her government was not prepared to accept the quota system because of the changed circumstances that followed the Paris terrorist attacks. Well, it seems that the situation changed again. Yesterday it was announced that, after all, Poland will take the promised number of refugees. Mind you, only during the next two years and allowing only 150 of them at a time at certain intervals. However cautiously, Poland abandoned Viktor Orbán’s rigid stance on the issue of quotas. The change of heart most likely follows the harsh criticism coming from Brussels on the arch-conservative PiS government’s moves concerning the Constitutional Court and the media.

What moves of the Polish government do EU politicians find unacceptable? I’m relying here on the assessment of Dalibor Rohac of the American Enterprise Institute, not exactly a liberal stronghold in the United States. According to Rohac, “the law changes the status of Poland’s public broadcasters to ‘national cultural institutions’—like the National  Museum or the National Ballet—placing them under direct control of the government.” As for the Constitutional Court, shortly before the October election the Sejm elected five new constitutional court judges, but after the election PiS and President Andrzej Duda sought to reverse these appointments, notwithstanding a ruling by the Constitutional Court that confirmed that the election of the new judges was valid. Both the European Commission and the European Parliament reacted, calling these moves a clear violation of the EU constitution.

Vice-President Frans Timmermans sent two letters to the Polish government asking for clarification of the bill. At the same time Günther Oettinger, EU commissioner for digital economy, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that “many reasons exist for us to activate the ‘Rule of Law mechanism’ and to place Warsaw under monitoring.” Although Witold Waszczykowski, the new foreign minister, immediately summoned EU ambassadors to demand an explanation, perhaps cooler heads prevailed and the decision was made to retreat, at least partially.

Waszczykowsk’s introduction to the German media hasn’t been exactly a success. In an interview with Bild he accused the former right-of-center Polish government of following a Marxist model, which is “a new mix of cultures and races, introducing a world of cyclists and vegetarians who focus only on renewable energies and fight against any form of religion. This has nothing to do with traditional Polish values, which are awareness of history, patriotism, faith in God, and a normal family life between husband and wife.”

I should add that only yesterday Waszczykowski announced an entirely new Polish foreign policy, which sounds as if it will be built on confrontation with Brussels. “Our foreign policy cannot be part of the mainstream, we cannot simply abide by Brussels’ decisions,” he announced on Polish public radio. Polish foreign policy seems to be in flux. As long as Waszczykowski’s ideas prevail, one cannot be sure that Poland will be a cooperating member state of the European Union.

Commentators are trying to find an explanation for the drastically different reaction of the European Commission and Parliament to the Polish government’s attempts to imitate Orbán’s illiberal state. How fast the EU reacted in the Polish case and how sluggish it was when Orbán was dismantling Hungarian democracy bit by bit. Professor Kim Scheppele pointed out a fundamental difference between the two cases just yesterday. The two-thirds parliamentary majority enabled Fidesz to change the constitution, so it never violated its own fundamental law. Therefore “the EU was totally at a loss in figuring out how to handle a perfectly legal coup,” she told The Financial Times. The Polish case is different. The PiS government, not having a two-thirds majority, cannot attain the kind of absolute power Orbán managed to acquire. The combination of constitutional limitations as well as internal and external pressures will most likely have a restraining effect on the Szydło-Kaczyński government.

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Paul
Guest

Can I just start the discussion by apologising for our Prime Minister?

Despite the impression given in the media, he does not represent the majority of British opinion, and this entire renegotiation/referendum farce is purely an attempt to save his political and electoral bacon, nothing to do with any real benefit for the UK – or on any real threat.

He is doing all this purely for internal political reasons – his party (the Tories) has been badly split for decades over the EU, and he also fears the impact on Tory voters of the vehemently anti-EU UKIP. He is quite happy to risk any damage to the reputation and internal political coherence of the UK, just to ensure his (and his party’s) survival.

spectator
Guest

”…and this entire renegotiation/referendum farce is purely an attempt to save his political and electoral bacon…”

Hmmm….
I wondering just where last time I’ve experienced similar practices lately…
Can anyone help me out here?

Ndy
Guest

Good to get clarification that the new Polish right wing majority does not have the 2/3 power which Orban had used here to set up and implement his monolithic strategy.

Minuso
Guest

Cameron has this fateful penchant for painting himself into a corner on any issue he touches. There were lots of British PMs I didn’t always agree with. But he is the most stupid. What on earth makes him go to Budapest? Just to better learn how to antagonise the EU (and its biggest players in the process)? He will have a lot of flak from British industry and commerce. And his idea of re-negotiating British EU membership is just a childish pipe dream.

Probably the explanation of the different EU reactions to Hungary’s and Poland’s policies is correct. Orbán just wrecked his country more legally and completely than Poland has managed to do so far. And then, in Poland there seems to be a real sizeable opposition. In Hungary you can basically count them on a bridge.

Why do we have those political personnel problems? I think generally the interest in politics of younger generations who don’t know about the war has waned. Less and less people know why the EU – a peace project – is there. They are not well informed about how cheap the EU is and how much good its funds do.

Guest
While I will always be a Labour voter in the UK, having now lived in Hungary for many years, a distant view allows for a more objective take , I think, on British policies, and just because someone is not a labour politician, with all the politically correct phrases, does not mean he or she does not have a valid point. So I agree with Cameron about cutting benefits to “migrants” from Hungary, and he should continue to call them just that, and ignore the huffy, indignant and calculated response from Orbán, who has been told by Arthur Finkelstein, his communications advisor, to act “affronted”, by any hint of criticism coming from abroad. East European migrants take every advantage (and why not?) of Britain’s generous benefits scheme and higher wages. In the UK, not only is there excellent free medical treatment, but after only a few months of residing there, tax payers fund the living costs for a Hungarian, and pay their rent as well as food bills. Why should ordinary British workers, as well as the outrageously rich, pay for a Hungarian, when the government here tries its best to close down multi-national corporations through illegal and unfair taxes,… Read more »
Paul
Guest
Cameron’s motivation is entirely party political. He has no real interest in leaving the EU or even changing the UK’s status or relationship with it. Left to his own devices, he would vote to stay in without a second’s thought. But he happens to be the leader of a party that is permanently (and vehemently) split right down the middle on the EU, and he has to try to stop too many Tory voters going over to UKIP. So he has to be seen as ‘standing up to’ the EU and ‘defending’ the UK. He got himself into this mess whilst the PM of a dysfunctional coalition (probably thinking he would never have to deliver on his promise), and now he finds himself once again PM, he does have to deliver – or all hell will break lose in the Tory party. (He is also haunted by the fate of the last Tory PM, John Major, who was destroyed by the anti-EU “bastards” in his own party.) So, given all that, he has to try to come up with some ‘reasons’ to ‘justify’ what he is doing. There really aren’t any (except the above), so he is forced to fall… Read more »
cheshire cat
Guest
While I agree with Paul on Cameron’s farce of EU membership “renegotiation”, can I remind you that Eastern Europeans have to work to stay in Britain, and as such, pay taxes and national insurance contributions. The NHS is falling apart, but it has more to do with the aging population, shortage of staff and lack of funding. Eastern Europeans are usually younger, fitter, and often fly home to get their problems treated, or pay for private medical treatment in the UK (and not use the NHS). Also, for every EU citizen in Britain, there is a Brit living in the EU, so that is not the reason for any increasing burden. What CAN be problematic, is that unqualified, low skilled Eastern Europeans usually concentrate in London and certain big cities, but then it’s a logistical problem rather than financial – the healthcare authorities could increase funding in the areas where the Eastern European taxpayers are. Where I live is a mainly white British area, and one of the GPs in our surgery retired a year ago. They haven’t been able to recruit anyone since, struggling off and on with locums and 3 week waiting lists. I’m probably the only Eastern… Read more »
Guest

1.
The East Block is full of fruitcakes with like minds. One wonders what the heck they are doing in the EU in the first place. But then one wonders perhaps even more why the West Block of the EU puts up with their lunacy and effrontery for even one minute.
2.
Pretending to prepare the way for Brexit is a purely academic exercise, unless the actual aim of those who desire it is to loose Scotland and a large slice of the British financial sector.
3.
Cameron is not that bad at all compared to the rest of British politicos, and there is no need whatsoever to get our knickers in a knot about his occasional missteps.

Guest

And as my fourth point here, I would like to just point out that regardless of the many sharp differences between British and Hungarian political positions, currently both countries are strongly resisting the EU diktats on the resettlement of the over one million Third World refugees and economic migrants who arrived in the Schengen zone just in the course of 2015, and also the constant pressures emanating from Brussels for implementing an ever closer union.

Nonetheless, during the upcoming talks in Budapest between Cameron and Orbán, I would think that Orbán will push very hard for Britain to desist from treating migrants from the East Block exactly the same way as those from the Third World, but on this score I think that Orbán will be whistling in the dark, and rightly so.

Member

Remember that one of Kaczynski’s ministers was caught on tape stating that Kaczynski “dreams about” creating the kind of internal political situation in Poland that already exists in Hungary (so he can fix trials and the like):
http://nol.hu/gazdasag/ujabb-botranyos-hangfelvetel-1469927

Maybe Kaczynski was also trying to probe Orbán’s mind to find out how to make this happen despite his limitations.

Lovas Boldizsar
Guest

Orban is winning and so will be Kaczynski. They are long-term players who will never give up. They are conservative revolutionaries with vision while their opponents are clueless divided weaklings. The mainstream European politicians are inhibited and lack ideas. Not these people, they are revolutionaries.

The EU is the perfect villain, itself very divided, lacks real power and overly procedural. No match to tough guys like Orban and Kaczynski.

Their real power however comes from the fact that they just don’t give a shit about polite, European, gentlemanly behavior. These are for losers.

They know that their voters are at home and not in Western Europe most of whom are country bumpkins exactly like them. The EU should not have admitted the CEE countries, should have waited another 20 years. It’s a textbook case of moral hazard, once in there’s no incentive to behave.

So the Western Europeans can suck it up. Orban and Kaczynski will win and get reach and powerful. They will have the last lough when Merkel et al will be sacked.

Member

I don’t buy it.

The EU can turn off the financial spigot at any time to Hungary and Poland, then those guys are screwed.

Whether they do it or not is the question, but make no mistake, it is the EU who holds power over Orbán and Kaczynski, not the other way around.

sumér
Guest

You’re mistaken. The EU has no leverage whatsoever. Orban and Kaczynski know it and they don’t have to pretend. The EU knows it too. There just isn’t a credible deterrent. The money will keep flowing because it’s legally and practically impossible to turn it off. Sorry, this round was won by Orban and Kaczyinski.

Member

Obviously you didn’t read the post above:
“Poland’s unexpected decision to honor the promise of the former government and take 4,500 refugees as part of the quota system. That decision seriously weakens the position of the other three Visegrád4 countries.”

Poland is siding with the EU, not with Orbán. Eventually Orbán too will have to accept the quota system.

Anyway, you are very short-sighted if you call this type of foreign policy “winning.” Hungary basically has no friends in Europe outside of PiS in Poland and the CSU in Bavaria. None. If you think that this is a sign of a successful foreign policy then you are very much mistaken.

sumér
Guest
shoopy: Orban and the Western Europeans play the same game, let’s say football but on different fields. Just because they meet with each other and interact it doesn’t mean they have the same fans (constituencies). Long-termism is a fundamentally Western concept, rich people and intellectuals can think long-term. Long-term we’re all dead, so why would he care? As every politician knows the long-term is made up of infinite number of short-term games, most of which he needs to win. He will cross the bridge when he gets there. Orban doesn’t care about friends, he’s not very social. Orban doesn’t need to have friends. A leader like him anyway doesn’t have “friends”. He is a loner and he is OK with that. Orban knows that even if he is being dispized, he can always have supporters in the People’s Party etc. Other than that he cares about domestic voters and about his money. He is popular and has no real opposition so he just doesn’t care about the West. The EU will not cut funding off, no matter how much Orban and his family syphons off or no matter how dictatorial he will be. The EU monies are part of the… Read more »
Member
sigh First of all, I never mentioned anything about ORBÁN not having friends. I wrote that HUNGARY has no friends. They are NOT the same thing, despite what Fidesz propaganda might have you think. And of course, when we talk about a country’s “friend” that is simply shorthand for “strategic ally.” It’s got nothing to do with being a “loner” or not being “very social.” And at the moment Hungary does not have any strategic allies of importance. Second: “Long-termism is a fundamentally Western concept.” Um, no. Third: “The EU will not cut funding off.” Well, that’s not the only issue at stake here. The EU is certainly able of exercising its will on Orbán sooner or later, in one form or another if it so wishes. For example, what if Hungary finds itself excluded from the Schengen zone unless it accepts the migrants? I can tell you that in this scenario Orbán will not be doing much “winning.” I don’t know if the EU will ever take such a step, but the fact remains that the EU can force its will on Hungary if it really wants to, but the reverse certainly isn’t true. Orbán can’t even get Cameron… Read more »
peanut
Guest

Juncker says the EU will not punish Poland. Poland can do whatever the f**k it wants to and will do so. The EU can suck it up. Meanwhile, silently, the Romanians are coming up.

http://24.hu/kulfold/2016/01/07/juncker-szerint-nem-valoszinu-hogy-az-europai-bizottsag-megbunteti-lengyelorszagot/

Member

Kaczynski doesn’t have much time left, actually. Once he pops his clogs, and I hope that happens soon, the entire party will implode.
The opposition is also much stronger in Poland. If they could get forty thousand people to protest in Warsaw, and that doesn’t include the supporters of the new social-democratic party Razem (because Razem are acting like a bunch of spoiled princesses), and have private media and big business behind them, they’re far from losing this fight.

spectator
Guest

Not to forget the fact, that the Polish people still possess that thing what the Hungarians managed to lose along the way: spine!

Backbone, if you like!

Tehy will certainly stand up and change for good their ‘Orbanist fate’ at the moment they feel it over the limit!
Be assured of that!

At the main time Hungary will go back willingly into the homely and well known hug of the ‘Russian Bear’, while Orbán will collect those ‘silver coins’ – for the work well done.

The really spectacular thing is that everyone aware of this, except the Hungarian people !

— Or I’m wrong again, because this is the whole idea, and everyone agree with it!
Oh, well…

spectator
Guest

”…they just don’t give a shit about polite, European, gentlemanly behaviour…”

Do you really mean, that our leaders nothing more but a bunch of jerks and country bumpkins, (one of them goes under the name ‘Orbán’ – in case you have trouble to identify the “one and only”) who has no even idea, what ‘gentleman’ means, let alone behave like one?

So the leaders of these countries in reality on the intellectual levels of some tribal chieftain from the middle ages..?

Now I understand the boorish behaviour and the ignorant and totally arrogant way to handle each and every situation which otherwise would require a somewhat (more) civilised approach.

Like a European, for example!

After all, the place called just that: “EUROPE”! — if I remember well, that is, —since the recent events hinting that I may be fundamentally wrong regarding my geography, among other things.

Observer
Guest

Orbàn is clearly winning the title of the most brazen liar ever in the Hung PM office and the most corrupt by a mile.
What a feeling it must be from the row-end mud house to billionaire, all paid-up by the hapless dupes aka zemberek.
The trolls get paid some peanuts, but their balance in this banana republic will be very negative. Poor fools.

Guest

In looking at Orban and Kaczynski I believe they are blood brothers in a political sense when it comes to the illiberalism we now see in their countries. Orban now has a fellow on the same wavelength which incorporates a thinking that the state with its approach of controlled unanimity in almost all of its affairs must be very assertive now in pressing their countries initiatives against many perceived threats both internal and abroad.

And they’ll have no compunction in dumping ‘rights’ to get it. Even more they would appear out to prove something and that’s destroying the Islamic threat with their ‘way’ of governmental organization. Nothing like ‘illiberalists’ coming out on top and winning the war. Think then of the allegiance to the ‘saviors’ of Europe. And democracy? The new ‘O-K’ corral looks to be veering toward putting the fork in it. They want it out and ‘done’.

Guest

On a sidenote – not too much OT:
“Günther Oettinger, EU commissioner for digital economy” was the Schwab prime minister a long time ago.
He’s a really conservative member of Mrs Merkel’s CDU – so if even he uses those strong words against the Polish government, that says a lot about the EU’s position!

tappanch
Guest

European democracies finance the Fidesz dictatorship.

Net EU payment to Hungary WITHOUT agricultural subsidies.

2014: 1845/308.566810 = 5.98 billion euros
2015: 2329/309.855974= 7.52 billion euros
comment image

http://www.portfolio.hu/unios_forrasok/gazdasagfejlesztes/itt_a_vege_elkepeszto_eredmenyt_ert_el_magyarorszag.6.224922.html

tappanch
Guest

In the meantime, the net salary of the growing number of “fostered” workers, aka Fidesz serfs will be unchanged in 2016:

165 euros (51 847 forints) a month, for 40 hours/week work.

Their net salary is about 0.4 [= 0.216512] billion euros a year.

tappanch
Guest
tappanch
Guest

Breakdown of the growth of employment, September-November 2015 vs 2014, in the official statistical data:

Fostered workers: 52%
Included employees working abroad: 5%
Domestic employment: 43%
comment image

Istvan
Guest
Actually Tappanch as I pointed out in a post it’s the bond holders who are benefiting from the EU cohesion funding of Hungary. The EU is borrowing money ( through European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund ) to provide it to Hungary for targeted projects and Hungary is borrowing money to pay their matching share of these funds. So let’s be clear it’s not European Democracies that are providing these funds it’s the wealthiest people and corporations in the world ( see http://www.eib.org/attachments/fi/investor-distribution-of-eib-bonds.pdf ) providing these funds and they are making interest on these loans too ( current maturing bonds are paying 5.45%). All of the EU pays off these bonds through taxes, fees etc . The EU’s sources of income include contributions from member countries, import duties on products from outside the EU and fines imposed when businesses fail to comply with EU rules. The total EU budget is smaller than the Austrian or Belgian budgets and cohesion funds ( excluding agriculture about 30% of EU budget on average ) are part of that in terms of bond payments. The EU as as a whole will ultimately make money by providing cohesion funds to Hungary. There is… Read more »
An
Guest

Istvan, there is no magic free money so somebody is going to pay the price of investments into EE countries where most of this money goes to unproductive projects serving nothing else than the enrichment of the corrupt political elite (remember Greece, anyone?). If the money is indeed coming from loans (bonds) as you describe, then it is either the European taxpayer who is going to pay (as the creditors need to be paid) or the creditors will need to take a loss.
Till then, the party is on.
Of course, in theory extra government spending financed by loans could boost an economy and help pay back the loans .. if that money is spent on long-term investments that create workplaces and lay the foundations of long-term growth… but this is not what’s happening in Hungary with that money. It goes into the building a parasitic local capitalist class of Orban buddies who are only profitable living off of the state… not a strategy for long term development.

tappanch
Guest

Orban’s son-in-law has purchased 299 hectares of state agricultural land for

3500 euros/hectare

on the big land privatization for the chosen few.
(only 1% to 1.5% of the Hungarian population has the right to bid for the parcels)

http://hirtv.hu/ahirtvhirei/a-miniszterelnok-vejenek-csaladja-is-bevasarolt-1322456

In 2013, 0.9% of the Hungarian beneficiaries received 38.5% of the European CAP direct payments.

p.32
“Extent of Farmland Grabbing in the EU ” , May 2015.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2015/540369/IPOL_STU(2015)540369_EN.pdf

spectator
Guest

From now on they will grow their own vegetables, so they won’t depend on the local shops, farmers, whatever.
István will spread the seed and Rachel will weed and tend the plants — what’s wrong with it..?

OK, it will be rather plentiful, but hey, they have a rather sizeable appetite, as it seems.

csicskalángos
Guest

TV2 is now owned by Vajna. His lawyers were better. Simicska is losing it, Orban is winning.

Of course it’s a question whether Yvonne Dederick and SImon Zsolt were entitled to sell the shares but that question will be entertained only at the end of a long litigation.

Yvonne and Zsolti made some 5bn forints from which they had to pay some people off, but I think they kept most of the dough.

Till then (for the next 3-5 years at least) TV2 will be operated by Vajna and Fidesz and the billions from the state budget will flow to TV2.

tappanch
Guest

Vajna filed the documents 2 days ago with his American name “Andrew G. Vajna”, stating that they “obtained” (not purchased) TV2 at 5 PM on December 31.

The judge approved the transaction (?) very, very, very quickly. He can hope good promotion from Orban’s personal friend, the appointed head of the judiciary.

I still do not understand.
If A gives money to B to obtain C,
but B does not own C,
how can A own C?

This sounds like an INjustice system.

http://hvg.hu/kkv/20160107_Szelsebes_Vajnagyozelem_TV2ugyben__nez

Amarillo
Guest
The cégbíróság (court of registry) is not a real court. It is a fundamentally administrative organization where ‘judges’ (essentially administrators with the the title judge) backdate (forge) official resolutions all the time or request additional documents in clear breach of the letter of the law. It’s normal practice and nobody cares. You are mixing things up with A’s and B’s. On paper, by law, the management (Yvonne and Zsolt) could conclude agreements about the assets of the company they were managing (and for a while owning on paper). That’s normal. What is not normal is to sell the most important asset of the company and then pocket most of that money and do so when you are not the owner any more (Simicska/Fonyó told them that they take formal ownership as per the fronting agreement). Simicska – it seems to me – probably did not conclude good enough agreements with Yvonne and Zsolt, who were acting as Strohmen for Simicska until the two double-crossed Simicska. In a normal set up (the kind Yvonne’s husband would recommend) the Strohmen or the management are constrained and legally prevented from double-crossing the principal. The emptying out of a company is an old trick… Read more »
spectator
Guest

It means, that even if there is an ongoing legal procedure regarding the ownership of TV2, the authorities already acted based on the future verdict?

Interesting, to say the least.

Another, rather peculiar information, that according to some information (allegedly it was sparse regarding the fact) that the mother of Yvonne Dederick, who used to be a well known dancer, committed suicide a few months back on the way of jumping from the third floor of the shopping mall ‘Mammut’ (or something like this) in Budapest, Hungary, because she couldn’t get along living on her monthly 47.000 HUF, about 150 EUR pension.
She certainly had no idea of the coming wealth, or there was no love lost between mother and child. A pity, she loved her daughter and grandchild.
Their relation isn’t my business, of course, even if I knew her back in time, but somehow clouding my perception of the personalities of persons involved.

Anyone who reads Hungarian:
https://plus.google.com/115225922134786164615

http://fullank.com/index.php/napiparaszt-2/1670-kiderult-a-tv2-tulajanak-edesanyja-lett-ongyilkos-a-mammutban

bebe
Guest

I find this hard to believe. Didn’t Yvonne grow up in Brazil? At least that’s what I read about her. She and her husband (the US lawyer who assisted her wife and had been assisting Vajna for years) must have been millionaires in USD several times over. Kinda strange story. But the whole affair is worthy of a Hollywood movie. To doublecross Simicska to the tune of several tens of millions of USD, incredible. By the way Yvonne was very much defending the US intel agencies when the Snowden story came out, she was pretty hawkish. One wonders why.

spectator
Guest

“I find this hard to believe.”
So did I.
But then came the hush-hush regarding the event, then the ‘very private’ funeral – so much, that even today I have no idea, but neither of her closer friends – just where the grave located. May she rest in peace.
If you recall, quite awhile she was mentioned in the news without name, even if some of the sources mentioned that once she was a well known dancer, but nothing more.

“Keeping up appearances” was the title came in mind, albeit for entirely different reasons as the original intended.
For any price, I may add.

Member

Kaczynski pretty much disregarded the fact that he doesn’t have the constitutional majority, and rules by decree now. With the Constitutional Court all but completely paralyzed, he and his lackeys jokingly called the president and the prime minister come up with new, potentially unconstitutional acts that the PiS-dominated parliament then votes into existence.
I’m assuming they’ll turn the state media into a steaming turd like Orban did it in Hungary, and will be very surprised that everyone prefers watching the private TV stations so hated by the right-wingers.

Helmut
Guest
Guest

The last sentences in this article by Keno Verseck (who is an outspoken critic of Fidesz) says it clearly what O wants:

“Europa sei verloren, wenn es weiter an so nebensächliche Dinge wie Menschenrechte, Offenheit, neuartige Familienmodelle und Toleranz glaube. Es müsse endlich wieder an das Christentum, an nüchternen Verstand, militärische Tugend und Nationalstolz glauben.”
Europe is lost if it believes in irrelevant things like human rights, openness new family models and tolerance. It has to believe again in Christianity … … and national pride.
Yeah, vay to go, Mr O!
Back to the Middle Ages (or at least to Horthy times)!

petofi
Guest

The troll infestation of this site continues anon. All these bozos declaring Orban ‘victories’ sounds like a chorus under direction.
Of course, the fact is that the only thing Orban is ‘winning’ is the continual, un-ending, piecemeal, destruction of the country…all the while looting it for his own beggars (what he doesn’t take for himself through a variety of fronts).

It is disgusting on every possible civilized level. The Hungarians have the backbone of a caterpillar. But then, when you have sent your neighbours to the crematoria, and then happily looted their goods…
what level of decency remains for them?

I see Hungarians in that level of Hell so ably depicted by Hieronymus.

Hungaricum.

Hajra Magyarok.

spectator
Guest

”..what level of decency remains for them?”

You seriously mean, that anyone will miss that particular feature there..?

(Actually – and personally – I think that Bosch was still rather kind..! He certainly didn’t know any Fidesnik, not to mention the head of that particular fish..! )

Máté
Guest

Was there any real reason for Cameron to visit Hungary other than to boost Orban (a fellow anti-EU politician)?

Really, I just don’t think there was much to discuss which couldn’t have been discussed at any other EU gathering or otherwise.

Cameron is cosy with the head-chopping Saudis etc. so why wouldn’t be be with an corrupt tyrant like Orban?

This entire EU referendum of Cameron’s is real gumicsont (the rubber bone for the dogs so that they would be preoccupied with chewing the big nothing) if ever there was one.

Guest

Cameron met the CSU people in Bavaria the day before. Maybe he thinks they might appease Mrs Merkel – or even overthrow her in favour of some hardliner?
The Guardian has several interesting articles regarding Cameron’s visits.

tappanch
Guest

Juncker:
“Let’s not overdramatize … We have to have friendly and good relations with Poland so our approach is very constructive. We are not bashing Poland.”

Mr Juncker,
The plague of dictatorship is eating away the body of your organization live !
First Hungary, now Poland ….
What you hear in your ivory tower padded with fat salaries is
UNDERdramatization.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-eu-commission-idUSKBN0UL1OY20160107

tappanch
Guest

New year, higher salaries.
Orban more doubled the salaries of his apparatchiks ruling state-owned companies from January 1.

postal worker: GROSS 4876 euros a year, about 1% raise
head of the postal office: 190476 euros, a 150% raise by Orban’s order

They will pay the same 15% in income tax, the same % for health care and social security.

http://444.hu/2016/01/07/150-szazalekkal-megugrott-a-magyar-posta-vezerigazgatojanak-fizetese

Mein Führer, didn’t you call such salaries in the public sphere “pofátlan” (unashamedly insolent) in 2010 ?

Member

Dear Eva@, I have great respect for Kim Lane’s analyses, but I am afraid Prof. Scheppele this time is wrong about Poland. FT quoted her saying: “Poland . . . actually has responsible political parties attracting public support that could pull the country out of this mess without external intervention.” For the time being, the answer is maybe. However, we should not mix up Warsaw with a full-fledged democracy elsewhere. Poland is as fragile and vulnerable as any other Central-European state. Soon it may be too late. I agree with Tappanch@. Unfortunately, EU institutions have a bad habit of “latency” with problems that by themselves are not going away.

tappanch
Guest

The last vestiges of artistic independence has been eliminated.

In the new committee, which will decide about any financial support to arts,
the government and the government-created “Arts Academy” will have a 2/3 majority.

Artists mounted a weak protest last year, their courage ended at that,

http://nol.hu/kultura/orbanek-vegleg-bedaraltak-a-magyar-muveszeti-eletet-1583395

tappanch
Guest

… have been …

Observer
Guest

ORBANISTAN. What do you expect?

Guest

@tappanch and observer:
Why don’t you register? Then you can correct any mistakes – I do it too …
Is there a special reason or a problem, do you need help there?

Guest

Tough to hear tappanch tough to hear. I’d guess ‘artists’ are now apparently working with restrictions even around their wheelchairs. The act of creativity be it in music, writing or painting is one measure of a vibrant, engaged and curious society. Next up perhaps one day? Muffs over ears, blindfolds over eyes and/or tape over mouth.

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