THE FIDESZ CRIME SYNDICATE: INTERVIEW WITH ÁKOS HADHÁZY

This is a translation of an interview with Ákos Hadházy (LMP) that originally appeared in Magyar Narancs  (February 4, 2016) under the headline “Who betrays Fidesz helps the country” (Aki a Fideszt elárulja az az országot segíti). The interview was translated by the staff of The Budapest Sentinel.

Hadházy began his political career as a Fidesz representative on the Szekszárd city council, where he soon discovered the large-scale corruption committed by Fidesz politicians. He quit the party and his position on the city council and went public with his revelations. Naturally, there was no follow-up investigation in Szekszárd. Since then, however, Hadházy has made some headway, especially in the scandalous Flórián Farkas embezzlement case. At least in this instance the police are investigating. I’m grateful to be able to make this translation available to the readers of Hungarian Spectrum.

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Anti-corruption crusader, former Fidesz city assemblyman Ákos Hadházy (LMP)

“A well-constructed criminal syndicate is stealing EU funds in Hungary. The rules were systematically changed by the Fidesz government over the past few years. They dismantled the system of checks and balances and created a state system for their corrupt matters. Not for a long time has it been the case that some 2 percent of EU funds end up in “the wrong hands” but a large multiple of that. The Fidesz government knows perfectly well that it can do this boldly, because there is no state apparatus that could control the expenditure of billions. (When the next tranche of EU funds runs out) there will be little point to controlling the government, as there will hardly be anything with which to finance the country. Destroying Hungarian education so that somebody could make a little money on the pointless use of EU funds was an enormous sin on the part of the political elite.”

Magyar Narancs: You launched your action at the end of January. Your plans are to make public matters of corruption every week. At your first press conference you said that criminal organizations were stealing EU money in Hungary, moreover, with the participation of the ministries. These are strong accusations. What is the proof of this?

Ákos Hadházy: Over the past few years LMP has discovered a number of shocking matters indicative of the theft and abuse of EU funds on which the current system is built. It’s enough to think only of the “traffikmutyi” [scandal involving the granting of lucrative tobacco retailing franchises to Fidesz friends and supporters] for which there were no consequences. And then there is the Öveges program in which around 50 schools received grants to produce ceramic goods. Only a fraction of the HUF 14 billion (USD 50 million) budgetary framework was spent on achieving the original goals, while billions wandered off to companies of questionable background. But I might mention the scandals surrounding the National Roma Local Government as well since there, too, EU funds were stolen in a manner that must have been apparent to the relevant ministry. And there is the Elios matter involving the prime minister’s son-in-law, István Tiborcz, and his successful LED lighting business which depends almost entirely on orders from local governments, which we also reported to the authorities. I have examined a number of public procurement procedures over the past few years, on the basis of which it is possible to conclude that a well-constructed criminal syndicate is stealing EU funds in Hungary. The rules were systematically changed by the Fidesz government over the past few years. They dismantled the system of checks and balances and created a state system for their corrupt matters. Not for a long time has it been the case that some 2 percent of EU funds end up in “the wrong hands” but a large multiple of that. The Fidesz government knows perfectly well that it can do this boldly, because there is no state apparatus that could control the expenditure of billions. If, by some miracle, prosecutors were to get all the criminally suspicious cases, they could only investigate a small fraction of them, because they do not have sufficient capacity.

MN: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in the middle of last December that he does not tolerate any kind of corruption. It is as though the head of government does not live in the same Hungary as you do.

ÁH: Or the majority of Hungarians. He doesn’t tolerate corruption? He should talk to his son-in-law! Imre Steindl prevented a mass catastrophe by designing parliament so carefully, because if they made even a small mistake, the roof would certainly collapse on the prime minister after making such statements.

MN: The “Korrupcióinfo” (Corruption information) has begun organizing press conferences on Thursdays. With this are you trying to hack János Lázár’s Thursday government information sessions?

ÁH: That’s a part of it, except they don’t broadcast me live on state televisions. By the way, János Lázár did partly give me the idea because, if I am not mistaken, the subtitle of the press material sent out before each session is “What is the government doing and why?” We could add to this subtitle almost without exaggeration that it is an attempt to provide an alibi for the fact that they are trying to pocket a substantial amount of EU money.

Anti-corruption crusader, former Fidesz city assemblyman Ákos Hadházy

MN: At the first corruption information session you played a sound recording from the time when you worked as a Fidesz city assemblyman.

ÁH: At first this might appear to be a petty matter. A Szekszárd kindergarten was expanded at a cost of HUF 130 million (USD 450,000) which realistically should have only cost HUF 60-70 million (USD 210,000-245,000). This is not going to completely scandalize public opinion. However, the recording features Fidesz city leaders discussing at a fraction meeting how they envision the corrupt division of EU money. The point was that a company shows up and says there is an overpriced project, they will organize everything, it is not even necessary for the local government to invest the 15 percent co-funding requirement, in exchange for which they will be the contractor. If the city leaders don’t like this, they can be assured that they will go one or two counties over, because they have a quota centrally assigned to them that guarantees them the necessary number of projects. Rezső Ács, the current city mayor, said at that time that this is the way the system works in Hungary.

MN: Were you at this meeting?

ÁK: Yes.

MN: Did you prepare this recording?

ÁK: Journalists do not reveal their sources, so figure it out. But I will say that a traitor prepared it.

MN: You are a rather large traitor in the eyes of Fidesz.

ÁH: I won’t say that it was me but that it was a traitor, that’s for sure. Here I would just like to note that, in my opinion, whoever belongs to Fidesz today, and sees something of such matters, and is not totally stupid, can do three things. One: be a traitor, but unfortunately there are rather few of these, even though whoever betrays Fidesz helps the country. The next category is the panderer. Quite a few choose this solution: they are the ones who say nothing about the corruption they see. And then there are the co-perpetrators who enjoy the advantages of the corrupt system.

MN: Why didn’t you stand up at the fraction meeting and say that this procedure is not clean, and that they shouldn’t agree to it?

ÁH: That is an important question but I was totally astonished. This incident also contributed to my decision to leave the fraction and the party. Later, I continuously followed the matter. For a long time, nothing happened. The expanded kindergarten was only delivered last year. In the meantime, I also discovered how they managed to turn the HUF 60 million planned budget into nearly double that.

MN: How?

ÁH: Among other things, the technical description given to the local government contained incorrect information with regard to material quantities. It contained far more than was warranted, for example when they calculated the cost of insulation. But it was strange that they planned to excavate the foundation by hand, when that was much more expensive than using a machine. It mentions five-meter scaffolds, when the height of the building was around 3 meters. And in a number of similar matters they pushed the prices higher than was necessary. After the delivery, I filed a formal complaint, but I do not know whether an investigation has been initiated for the time being.

MN: The Office of the Prime Minister also looked into this thoroughly.

ÁH: Yes, János Lázár’s office responded to this in a statement issued on Thursday, in which among other things they wrote that I myself might have committed a crime by not reporting this, and in this way violated my public oath of office. That didn’t work this time. By the way, when they talk about my being an “accessory to a crime” they acknowledge that a crime took place. If Orbán does not tolerate corruption, then the mayor of Szekszárd needs to go.

MN: You have been speaking of systematic corruption since the Szekszárd case and earlier cases. Can you briefly outline this system?

ÁH: Many believe, including local politicians, that the EU gives money for the development of, for example, the Szekszárd kindergarten, when this is not the case. The EU provides a framework amount and defines a general purpose within which each state organ can define the important projects. In this way, the Fidesz government men are the first tentacle in the system. The second tentacle is the body of companies that benefit from the manually controlled, corrupt, procurement mechanism. The third tentacle is the execution: there are a number of Fidesz local governments or state organs receiving EU sources which do not use them well. It is all about stealing a substantial part of the HUF 7 trillion (USD 24 billion) made available through 2015 and the HUF 12 trillion (USD 42 billion) that can be spent through 2020. But if the HUF 12 trillion package comes to an end, then from that time a state of bankruptcy will loom, because the sources have not been used to improve the economy. After that, it can be said almost without exaggeration that there will be little point to controlling the government, as there will hardly be anything with which to finance the country.

MN: András Lánczi, the president of the Fidesz-linked Századvég Foundation, said last December that strengthening domestic companies is important to the Orbán government, and what others call corruption is practically Fidesz’s main policy.

ÁH: That is a lie. When I was a naive little Fidesz member I also succumbed to this. At that time I could imagine that if, for example, a public tender results in two correct proposals, and it is possible to know that one of them is close to government circles, and the two offers are for the most part the same, then the Fidesz one will win. But it didn’t stop there. This has been taken too far today, as there is no control and no checks. I say with all seriousness that in such a world even Simicska should be respected.

MN: Why should he be respected?

ÁK: Because he has solid principles. Do you really believe that Lajos Simicska is so stupid as to allow Fidesz to create new construction giants, for example István Garancsi or Lőrinc Mészáros, without agreeing with them on some form of cooperation? When he joined Fidesz, he also had serious ideas about the direction in which the country should go, and when he saw that the country was again moving in the direction of Russia, and that the Orbán system does not differ that much from the Kádár one, then he upset the table. I believe him.

MN: Despite a series of corruption scandals, and the ever more frequent OLAF investigations or the increasingly depressing results of corruption research, it is as though they do not exceed the tolerance threshold of the majority.

ÁH: Everybody raises and complains about this issue. I even hear it from opposition politicians. We could ponder for hours whether this is actually the case, and if so, why this is the case. If the tolerance threshold is high, then a number of themes need to be included in the public discussion. This is also why we started the weekly corruption information sessions. There is plenty of water in the tap. The question is only how large the glass is, and at what point it overflows. Anger over corruption is slowly accumulating in the citizenry. And it is not only theft that will be the source of trouble and not merely because they are stealing the country before our eyes, but also because in the meantime people are being humiliated. Just look at the public work program, or what is happening in health care, or in education. Of course teachers are getting more money today, but at the same time they humiliated them with a control mechanism which monitors whether they taught the lesson well to the children. And then there is the writing of the portfolios, and the educational overseers, even as they have to teach stupidity to the children. I look at the textbooks of my children and am astonished by how they abound with cretinism. Moreover, the new educational system is full of corrupt abuses.

MN: For example?

ÁH: At this Thursday’s press conference I will present a number of cases illustrating how billions were spent on the scandalous reorganization of certain organizations belonging to the Ministry for Human Resources (EMMI), for example the Education Authority, the Education Research and Development Institution, or the Education Social Service Nonprofit Kft. Destroying education so that somebody could make a little money on the pointless use of EU funds is an enormous sin on the part of the political elite. Incredible amounts went to various programs from which money could be channeled in an uncontrolled manner. The programs included: Comprehensive quality development in public education, on which HUF 3.5 billion (USD 12.3 million) was spent; Teacher Training support on which more than HUF 11 billion (USD 28.5 million) was spent; the so-called XXI. century public education program on which HUF 6.8 billion (USD 24 million) was spent.

When inspecting these programs I found things that would make your hair stand on end. For example, when I saw that the Education Authority had paid a company HUF 564 million (USD 2 million) for so-called expert days, while Merkel Konzulent Zrt. helped the authority for the same amount. The problem is that the company has all of one employee, and it received the HUF 564 million order last September when there was only a few months remaining in which to provide the service, and it is practically impossible to control whether or not the work was actually performed. It is also incomprehensible how one of the ministry’s organizations used a company to prepare the high school leaving exams. But there were also public procurements in which the estimated price agreed with the amount bid by the winning company to perform the task.

I found very strange rental agreements as well: the Education Authority rented offices for 9 months in 2013 and 2014 from a company called Lokalfixer Kft. for HUF 25 million (USD 88,000). According to to the company information system, this company only has its own real estate, and its headquarters can be found just a few meters from the Ministry for Human Resources (EMMI), also in the Akadémia Street. Another rental agreement for HUF 60 million (USD 212,000) was signed with another company, which is strange because the company’s real estate appears to be completely unsuitable for the kind of on-site training provided for by the contract. Furthermore, the company has no other sources of revenue. Having seen these and a number of other similar suspicious contracts, I ask “Is this why it was necessary to destroy public education?” Outrageous!

MN: Do you put these together by sitting in front of the Public Procurement Bulletin and starting to surf contracts? Is there no expert group, investigative journalists, or staff members helping you?

ÁH: I do most of it on my own. I get help primarily when it comes to communications. You won’t believe it, but I started investigating the National Roma Local Government’s scandalous matters by writing “Roma” into the query field of the online bulletin. It did not take me long to see the overpriced car rental contracts, the pointless studies. The consequences of these are taking place before our eyes even to this day.

MN: With only a few exceptions, why aren’t other opposition representatives as active in this field?

ÁH: Because the government holds a number of opposition politicians in the palm of its hand: the parade is such that they jump up and down as much as they have to, and if they don’t exceed a certain limit, they are left in peace. The customary method of the current system is blackmail. I also had a role in it. And when the time comes, I will prove it, too.

MN: How much can the degree of corruption be decreased without the necessary opposition control?

ÁH: It does not primarily depend on that, because laws are needed that restore the checks and balances to their appropriate level. We cannot expect this from Fidesz. But it is also certain that this cannot continue indefinitely. Whether they can postpone their collapse for half a year or five years, I cannot say, but the end will come. No matter what, society will take care of it.

MN: Does Hungarian society want this?

ÁH: Of course. Sooner or later they will get rid of Fidesz. Would you have thought three months ago that the teachers of a Miskolc Academic High School would uncover all the dirt on the scandalous public education system for all to see, and that hundreds of institutions would join them?

February 12, 2016
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tappanch
Guest

The demonstration against the ruling party is tomorrow at 11 AM. I do not know the place though (Parliament?)

Weather is not an ally of the opposition. It will be raining heavily tomorrow, with an 80% probability. On Sunday, the same number is just 30%.

tappanch
Guest
Guest

Tappanch
The demo tomorrow starts at 11am, at Parliament square, as far as I know.
Wear wellies and take your umbrella!

dos929
Guest
Even for those that have no special interest in Hungarian matters it is worthwhile to read through this interview, which very accurately describes the Mafia-State created by Orban & Co. I am all for the European Union, but I am 100% against their morally corrupt leaders who knew long before anybody (certainly long before the average Hungarian citizen knew…) about the practices of the Orban Mafia. In front of their very eyes Orban turned back the wheels of history, and turned Hungary into ‘banana republic’. The best of Hungary’s intellectuals, professional people, doctors, nurses, teachers, etc…, some 500-600 thousand, left the country for good, because couldn’t stomach this governance by this criminal gang of FIDESZ apparatchiks… Besides of the economic hardship that at least half of the remaining population suffers, the mental anguish imposed by Orban and his cronies on the majority of the population can never be forgotten or forgiven. This is one of the reasons why so many people have turned against the EU, as they feel completely abandoned by this ‘union of European nations’. Perhaps we all have to wait for the day, when the citizens of the ‘real western democracies’ will say: ‘enough is enough, we… Read more »
Guest

Ákos Hadházy is really courageous – let’s hope that nothing happens to him!
Re the EU’s “tolerance” of corruption:
Corruption has always been a facet of politics and life in general – but Hungarians seem to have mastered it. Obviously something went very wrong in the transition from Communism to Capitalism. We had problems too in Germany but not on that scale.
The poor EU politicians maybe just didn’t believe that their nice, well educated Hungarian counterparts could be that bad – I mean, they claim to belong to Central Europe, don’t they?
Hungary is not part of the Balkan – or is it?

Guest

Re:n natiPerhaps we all have to wait for the day, when the citizens of the ‘real western democracies’ will say: ‘enough is enough, we protest that our tax to be used to support and prop up the Orban regime.’. But by this time it may be too late to snatch back Hungary from these criminals…

Well said. Mr. Hadhazy\’s could be the first of many antibodies coalescing to attack the robbery gong on in the country. Indeed as he notes the anger of the country is a great ally in producing change. That glass of water looks as if it will be under great pressure.

And yes Mr. Hadhazy\’s is courageous. But you know I find if we have to worry about him then Hungary has gone on to another plane when it comes to free speech and free eexpression if opinion within the country. It is there then we can see whether or not Hungary drops to such seedy depths as a country to its east has gone.

Guest

@wolfi7777
Today 3:59 pm

Hungary is most definitely a part of the Balkans, the Northernmost Balkan state. The Western borders of the Balkans clearly start along the line from Hegyeshalom down to Szombathely and Szent Gotthárd.

Just look at the comparison between Austria and Hungary.

Metternich used to say that Asia (what he actually meant by Asia was of course “non-Europe”) starts in the mud on the Hungarian border, and that was almost two centuries ago.

In that respect not much seems to have changed since the time of Metternich.

I am not as sure of Slovakia’s Balkan status, but having been a part of the Kingdom of Hungary for hundreds of years, it would be surprising if it did not fully share in all the nasty Balkan habits of its Southern neighbor.

Member
The magnitude of the theft is absolutely mindblowing. Transparency International’s recent report (http://transparency.hu/uploads/docs/TheCorruptionRisksofEUfunds.pdf) points out, “Every element of the fraud triangle [opportunity-financial incentive-rationalization] can be found on a systemic level in the implementation of EU developments in Hungary.” One of the main problems is that “corruption” legally means only a witnessed criminal act: you saw somebody giving actual cash money to somebody else. So there is very little corruption in this country… Here is an interactive Google map showing how in 2013 4.9 billion Forints from EU-funds were spent by 179 municipalities: 150 of them had rigged tenders where only buddies competed against each other: https://bitly.com/14rYoWC+ (only in Hungarian). Stealing EU funds is a national sport. It includes private enterprises and NGOs not just state institutions.If you are interested in details, I researched a bit how a business can prosper in this system, getting involved in hundreds of shenanigans with billions of Forints : https://chienenchaine.wordpress.com (in Hungarian) One can also suspect that Lázár overhauling the distribution system, and centralizing government bodies even more is guided by the need to have better control on who benefits from the fraudulent use of EU funds. Hungary has been one of the top recipients… Read more »
Guest

All credit to Ákos Hadházy, a profoundly decent and truly brave Hungarian citizen.

Let us fervently hope that no sudden “misfortune” will befall on him “accidentally” over the coming months or years.

My heartfelt respects go out to him ,and I wish him the best of best luck in his forthcoming anti-corruption drive.

petofi
Guest

I join ambalint in celebrating Akos Hadhazy–may there be 20,000 more like him.

Guest

Petofi
And may the 39% of undecided voters in Hungary sit up and take note of what a former Fideszer, who knows the machinations of Orbán and co. inside out, support democracy by voting against Orbán , rather than for him.

webber
Guest

If they don’t vote, it won’t matter if they are against Fidesz.
Vote!

petofi
Guest

Sorry , but if they DO vote…it won’t matter either.

What gives you to think that after all the lying and thieving, that the elections would be on the level?

Now THAT…is optimism…

webber
Guest

oddly…. on bad days that’s what I think, too.
And yet, in a certain district in Pest I know very well – one to which Fidesz bused voters from E. Hungary – the opposition won the local and national elections very handily.*
I recall what happened to Milosevic: He called an election he expected to win. It was arranged ahead of time. He could not lose. Yet he lost, because he was sabotaged inside his own party. Instead of pre-arranged results, the real results of the election were announced.
There is an interview with a political scientist called Andreas Schedler in this week’s Magyar Narancs. Schedler argues that only people within Fidesz will be able to overthrow the regime. They can only do that if they see that people truly hate the regime.
(*this is a district snobs from Buda and the inner city call “proli”. Give me the proletariat of Pest any time. Pseudo-intellectual snobs will be ruled by Fidesz to the end.)

petofi
Guest

They vote for Nationalism, and the pleasures of anti-semitism.
A leopard ain’t changing its stripes.

webber
Guest

If you mean the pseudo-intellectuals from the Mittelstand, you might be right.
The area I am thinking of, and nearby districts, voted for the left in every election except 2010. They voted for the left under Horthy as well, and had heavy gendarme presence – the army was even brought out on occasion to put down strikes.
I find pseudo-intellectual hatred of Pest’s working-classes disgusting. They may not be pretty up close; they may not be able to express themselves poetically; but they have guts, and show it in election after election. These are people who will literally starve if they are fired . Fidesz calls them “panel-proli” and doesn’t even try to win them over.
I find it idiotic that so many “thinkers” on the Hungarian left assume the urban working-classes are the enemy, that they are “fascists”, when the only districts the left won in 2014 were working-class districts.
The districts the leftist elite lives in were solidly pro-Fidesz – every one of them.

Guest

@webber
Today 4:28 am

Now that is very interesting – and very ironic.

Guest

…and a tiger ain’t changing its spots.

Guest

Re: ‘Metternich used to say that Asia (what he actually meant by Asia was of course “non-Europe”) starts in the mud on the Hungarian border, and that was almost two centuries ago.

You know perhaps Metternich’s view has continued to be constantly in awareness in the Magyar quest for identity. The fashion and styles of the ‘east’ look as if they’re in vogue.

With the demonstrations and sharper look into corruption , autocracy, not caring , etc etc etc maybe the country will see a Fideszian ‘haircut’ as they’re in the hot seat. Mr. Hadhazy could be in the midst of being a great barber and starting a school in ‘how to change style’.

Guest

It looks like Mr. Hadhazy is sent by God. He denudes the criminal gang made up of declared Christian politicians.

His revelations suggest that the Fidesz crime syndicate ows its existence to the naively uncontrolled handing out of EU megasubsidies.

I fear that something similar has taken place in many other EU countries, that the up for grabs EU subsidies are breeding corruption all over Europe. The ckickens are coming home to roost.

Guest
@Jean P Today 4:02 am I fully concur. The spending of the convergence funds doled out to the retarded ones on European periphery is for all practical intents and purposes completely uncontrolled and unaudited by Brussels, thus forming a veritable culturing medium for rampant corruption of all kinds. This has an inevitable corrosive effect not just on the social fabric of the retarded ones, but on the entire EU project, albeit it is obvious that the scandal of it is just like so much water off the back of a duck as far as the economically powerful core countries, that fund it all, are concerned. In my ‘umble opinion however, this is a big, big, BIG mistake on their part; they are in fact doing no one any favours with it except the Balkan thieves whose private bank accounts they wittingly or unwittingly fund. The core countries will never be able to advance the cause of EU convergence this way in any real sense, only to bring about the thorough ruin of the fragile and vulnerable social fabric of the retarded ones on the European periphery, by turning a permissive and indulgent blind eye to a bunch of Balkan thieves… Read more »
Observer
Guest

Guys,

The Orban mafia are stealing all sorts of funds, not only the EU cohesion. The key word is “government contract” incl. local government.
From Grippen to the housing project at Ócsa, where extremely basic houses in the middle of nowhere were built at USD 1700-sqm cost equal to top location residential in Budapest.

Again, there is no gov. project without corruption. Kickbacks are 20-25% up to 40-45%.
In many cases of contracts for “studies” there is no meaningful performance, the product is cut and paste compilation and often completely useless. The amount stolen in this area can be 200-500% achieved by overpricing.

See Jozsef Debreceni’s book Fidesz rabló gazdasága where certain examples of grand theft are laid out.

webber
Guest

Results of a fast poll: 76% of Hungarians nationwide agree that the teachers’ demands should be met. Of the remainder, 10% say they have no opinion, and just 14% say they disagree with the teachers’ demands.
http://index.hu/belfold/2016/02/12/a_parlament_elott_tuntetnek_a_tanarok/publicus_az_emberek_haromnegyede_egyetert_a_tanarok_tuntetesevel/

Tappanch
Guest

I am eating a hot soup after the demo in the cold rain. The speeches of the teachers were better than average.

Guest

I was there too tappanch and wore my wellies and had an umbrealla, and am home eating soup….
I found it very heartening, as this was not just a political demo, with opposition parties rubbishing the government. It was a huge mass of people, including former Fidesz voters, involved in all aspects of Hungary’s infrastructure, saying we have had enough. At last, Hungarians are waking up.

Guest

Is this from Budapest?
comment image

Totally OT:
I just learned that wellies are Wellingtons aka gumi csiszma …

Istvan
Guest
Origo had a reasonably intelligent summary about the teachers demands and more generalized concerns with primary and secondary education in Hungary. The 25 demands were also listed in full and debated in hundreds of posts, very few of the posts were simply F- you, no F-you, but rather detailed discussions by teachers, parents, and community members across the ideological spectrum. Contrary to our host’s position that the thrust of the demands were not economic in nature, most of the commentary was about unpaid time teachers were being required to put in due to regulations. The old adage applies, time is money. http://www.origo.hu/gazdasag/20160212-pedagogusok-fizetes-tobbletterhek-portfolio-tuntetes.html This article summarizes the on-going discussions between the unions and the government http://nol.hu/belfold/az-orban-kormany-lemondott-a-tanarokrol-a-tuntetes-elott-1601313 There was no national strike called by any union at the rally today and discussions over the 25 points continue, apparently some of the points have been agreed to but nothing has been put in writing by the government on that as yet. Galló’s speech is reported in numerous places and she did not call for a national strike. One humorous aspect of her speech for me given that I am an alumni of the University of North Dakota was the use of what was… Read more »
webber
Guest
Istvan, You still don’t get it. The GOVERNMENT is painting these demonstrators as enemies, as funded by secret foreign powers (Soros!), and as anti-Hungarian. Can you get your head around that? The Hungarian GOVERNMENT is saying it. A demonstration in Hungary in opposition to any govt. policy is incredible – impossible, and wonderful. Please stop commenting on this until you understand, because your comments are awfully irrelevant and wrong. Dakota proverb – it’s a JOKE in Hungarian. Allow me not to go into the background. It would take too long. It was a GOOD joke – you’d have to have a pile of cultural references from post-1989 Hungary to get it. Just knowing the language isn’t enough Lakota and Dakota – drop that too, please. The L and the D are interchangeable, depending on dialect of that nearly dead language. Many Americans still say Dakota for the people, and that is not incorrect in English either. Look up the “Dakota War of 1862” for instance – never “Lakota War”, always “Dakota War.” Final correction: Red Cloud was the greatest Lakota war chief. Look up what he achieved against the US Army (unparalleled in his time). He won not a battle… Read more »
webber
Guest

For István – as a little taste – “Dakota sayings” according to Orbán: HE’S the one who kept using the term. Galló was just firing one of them back at him. Look at saying no. 2 on this page.
http://szeka.blog.hu/2015/03/28/negy_dakota_kozmondas_melyeket_ma_mar_nem_vallalna_be_orban_viktor

Now look up Orbán + dakota mondások. You’ll get a lot of stuff. If nothing else, you’ll understand that what Galló said was something all Hungarians who have lived under Orbán would immediately understand as a joke.

Istvan
Guest

The Lakota speaking students at Univ North Dakota considered Crazy Horse the greatest warrior, maybe in part because he was from their sub tribe, which is why I used the qualifier “possibly.” I was aware that Orban had used the saying and the incorrect attribution too.

Red Cloud he did not take part in the Lakota war of 1876-1877, which was led by Tȟašúŋke Witkó (Crazy Horse) and Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Sitting Bull). Oliver Red Cloud, a descendant was leader of the Oglala Lakota when I went to UND and spoke at our college. Some of the Lakota were upset because there was actually a story that indicated Red Cloud betrayed Crazy Horse to US Indian agents and led to his murder when he was stabbed with a bayonet by one of the members of the US Army guard holding him. Another factor that led to Red Cloud’s legacy being disliked by some Lakota was the fact that n 1884, he and his family, along with five other leaders, converted and were baptized as Catholics. Crazy Horse remained true to the traditional beliefs of the Lakota speaking people.

The world is complex is it not.

webber
Guest

It is indeed complex. What I heard was that Red Cloud “lost his heart” for the fight during his trip to Washington. He saw how many White people there actually were, and realized the Sioux could not possibly win in the long term.
The Sioux I met still seemed to hate Crow Indians more than anyone else, though the AIM was working on doing away with that.
On modern-day Sioux, this film is great:

webber
Guest

P.S. Many years ago the Supreme Court ruled that the treaty Red Cloud signed at the end of his war, the Treaty of Fort Laramie, had not been invalidated and therefore the US Government had violated the treaty (an international treaty) by expropriating the Black Hills. The government was ordered to pay compensation with interest accrued over a century. Most of the Sioux refused the payment, and demanded the land back. The case (complicated by acceptance of payments by some groups) is wending its way through the courts now.
IF the court rules the Black Hills have to be returned, that would nail down Red Cloud’s place as the greatest leader the Sioux ever had.

webber
Guest

I’ll give you this, though, István. You keep your head under fire. Lesser people would have sent some choice words my way after what I wrote you. I would definitely want you backing me up if I were in a bad situation.

spectator
Guest

Oh, well..!
In my opinion you’ll get better off with the “real” Crazy Horses!
(Better believe me, been there—they’re just great! Have no idea, if they speak Lakota, but still..!)

Here:
http://www.lecrazyhorseparis.com/

Observer
Guest

Absolutely mate.
I loved these shows in the pre web times. Also saw a Moulin Rouge one.

webber
Guest

Also, for István, a small correction on the meaning of Hokahey:
http://www.native-languages.org/iaq21.htm
That said, I think it’s nice that some US Army people use the term “let’s go” in Lakota/Dakota.
On whom: “The Dakota are one of the three major linguistic groups of Siouan-speaking people (the others being the Lakota (Thítȟuŋwaŋ or Teton) and Nakota (Assiniboine), and one of the two major ethnic groups still speaking a relatively mutually-intelligible common language – D/Lakota. “

Istvan
Guest
Yes Hoka-hey is part what Crazy Horse supposedly said to his warriors as they cut off the 7th Calvary in the Battle of the Little Bighorn as this white boy calls it or as my wife who is one quarter Seneca Iroquois calls it the “Battle of Greasy Grass” or more often “Custer’s last stand.” The full statement was apparently – Let us go for today is a good day to die. A short version was good for cadence, besides we white boys could never pronounce the whole thing I am sure. My college was an ideological battle ground itself in relationship to native issues and only about four years ago we dropped the nickname “the fighting Sioux.” Our Alumni Association voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the name, I voted in favor of dropping it in part due to extreme spousal pressure. I liked it as did some of the Lakota, particularly the Spirit Lake Lakota who voted 2 to 1 to keep it, other bands voted no overwhelmingly thinking it was degrading as does my wife. My wife was a native studies minor in college in Wisconsin who I met while she was attending a conference at UND.… Read more »
Jon Van Til
Guest

“ÁH: Because the government holds a number of opposition politicians in the palm of its hand: the parade is such that they jump up and down as much as they have to, and if they don’t exceed a certain limit, they are left in peace.”

What is actually known about the extent of this subversion? Which, if any, of the “oppositional” parties may at this time essentially be considered to be Fidesz fronts?

webber
Guest

I think it’s more unpleasant than that. I think there are Fidesz moles scattered about in all parties.

petofi
Guest

@webber

The word ‘moles’ suggest that they were always a part of Fidesz.
I suggest that most Hungarian politicians are mole-wannabees,
and prepared to sell themselves when approached.

Guest

I just read an article on “inofficial members” aka IMs of the East German secret police aka Stasi – there were millions of them!
As you know there was lustration in Germany even though the Stasi tried to destroy all documents.
In Hungary there was no lustration so probably there are still (hundreds of) thousands of these people around, undetected/undiscovered, but known to their former officers – perfect candidates for moles …

Jon Van Til
Guest

As a foreigner in this strange and often wonderful place, I sometimes flatter myself by thinking that some of the things I say or write about democracy and civil society might be helpful to the understandings of the regime’s leadership and influence its thinking just a bit. So I use my real name in posts and articles and books and try to speak and write as clearly as I can. If there’s someone assigned to me, be they a mole or whatever, I’d like to make their job as easy as possible and would be happy to schedule a coffee and a chat…

webber
Guest

As long as you don’t join a Hungarian party, and don’t publish anything negative about Orbán and crew in a leading journal or paper, I doubt you’ll get a “friend” from government.

Observer
Guest

Jon,

Foreigners are relatively safe, but if you are too inquisitive or visibly critical, you may receive a very very officious tax audit, your employees may be audited too or a Hungarian friend of yours may be tipped to give you a good advice to stay out of trouble. Hardly anything beyond this.
Unless you try to compete in some big business project.

If you don’t have much experience with dictatorships/ world countries you will have to learn a lot in order to grasp how things work in such systems. E.g. I had hard time to explain to American partners that the Hungarian authorities were not “stupid”, they were delaying the project in order to set the “pumping system” in place through tailor made conditions for preferred subcontractors etc.

spectator
Guest

“…most Hungarian politicians are mole-wannabees..”
Totally agree!
With the sole exception of Gyurcsány and a few mor from DK, of course, but they are remains to be “damned” in the eyes of the populace, even if tehy are the most straightforward politicians at present.

But hey, we are talking about Hungarians, and there is no such thing as ”’reason” involved in politically related decisions, so there is no way that somebody will recognise this feature..!

At the main time: good riddance!
Or whatever you deserve!

spectator
Guest

It was “more”— as you may guessed…!

spectator
Guest

Keep wondering when—if ever— the so called opposition will take the trouble and start to talk to the people in a way they’ll understand?
Yes, today were quite a few speeches which just nailed it, but hey, where is the parties (whoever, really) who want/will make a difference?

Is everyone sleeping still?

There will be no time to change the present power-structure, if nobody takes responsibility and start organising resistance right now!

Remember, last time the hesitation killed the spirit for the change, don’t let it happen again!

In case, if you want something other than the national-socialist Orbanist rule to keep on for some decades more, of course.

Otherwise the course just right: nothing will change in the foreseeable future, if things proceeding further as they just do right now, so rest assured, Orbanistan will prevail for a couple of decades – as things advancing…

tappanch
Guest

Buda, February 13, 2016:
Hungarian Nazis parade in Nyilas uniform.

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John
Guest

Tappanch,

Can you find the Russian moles among the marchers?

My guess is that all of them are paid moles.

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