Bálint Magyar’s latest book: Post-Communist Mafia State: The Case of Hungary

At last Bálint Magyar’s groundbreaking book, A magyar maffiaállam anatómiája, published last year by Noran Libro, has been translated into English with the title Post-Communist Mafia State: The Case of Hungary. The publisher is the Central European University Press, and the book is available for pre-order through Amazon. The official release date is March 31. (Clicking on the thumbnail image of the book cover to the left will take you directly to Amazon.)

Bálint Magyar developed the concept of the post-communist mafia state 15 years ago when in an article he first called attention to the “organized over-world” as opposed to the “underworld” we are familiar with. The article appeared on February 22, 2001, during the last year of the first Orbán government, in Magyar Hírlap, then still a liberal daily. It elicited considerable interest, and Magyar followed it up with several lectures that further elucidated his theory.

Memories often fade with the passage of time, and many Hungarians who are interested in politics are convinced that the 1998-2002 period “wasn’t really all that bad,” especially in comparison to the situation today. But the sad truth is that the contours of the mafia state were already visible then, except very few people noticed it at the time. Admittedly, there was a fantastic HVG cover from December 1999 that portrayed the top Fidesz leaders in fedoras (sometimes called gangster hats) with the caption “team spirit.”

Meanwhile a lot has happened. Among other things, Magyar served as minister of education between 2002 and 2006 and was a member of parliament from 1990 until 2010. Since then he has had plenty of time to further develop his theory of the post-communist mafia state.

Magyar Balint2In the past I devoted several posts to Magyar’s theory. The first occasion was the appearance of a volume of essays edited by Bálint Magyar and Júlia Vásárhelyi titled Magyar Polip: A posztkommunista állam (Budapest: Noran Libro, 2013). The book became an instant bestseller. It had to be reprinted shortly after its appearance. Professor Charles Gati wrote in his review of the first volume that “after reading this book the West no longer can look at East-Central Europe the same as before.”

The following year a second edited volume appeared with new authors. Finally, last year a third volume was published. All books deal with the same general theme but analyze the impact of the mafia state on different aspects of society: the law, the economy, social policy, culture, banking, etc.

Bálint Magyar’s latest volume, Post-Communist Mafia State, of which he is the sole author, encapsulates his latest thoughts on the subject. The foreword to the book was written by Kim Lane Scheppele, who is well known to the readers of Hungarian Spectrum. She called Magyar’s volume “a very brave book” which is “an outreach to the audience beyond the borders and thus beyond the immediate control of the Orbán government. … The failure of a democratic state should be a cause for concern in the international community, especially when anti-liberalism is spreading and new autocrats are looking for models.”

Although the English edition has not yet reached bookstores, it looks as if in places where it counts the book has already created quite a stir. Bálint Magyar and Tamás Lattmann, a constitutional legal scholar, gave a summary of the book in Brussels. From an interview with Jozef Weidenholzer, deputy president of the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, it seems that the book’s last chapter titled “Pyramid Schemes—the limits of the mafia state” made the greatest impact. In this chapter Magyar argues that the whole pyramid scheme can work only because the European Union is financing it. Weidenholzer, who being an Austrian most likely knows the Hungarian situation better than most of the other MEPs, was surprised after hearing the details of the Orbán system. He found Magyar’s theory of the mafia state convincing. He added that “it is time to say goodbye to emotional debates and instead we should look at the whole problem with a clear head…. We can’t accept the existence of a mafia state in Europe.”

The European Commission and Parliament have concentrated until now on the Charter of Basic Laws and the Copenhagen criteria. But this is the wrong approach, Weidenholzer said. One ought to concentrate on the economic side of the problem. States aspiring for membership promised the introduction of full-fledged capitalism, “but this corrupt system has nothing to do with the market economy.”

We will see whether Magyar’s compelling book will enlighten minds in Brussels and Washington. We can only hope so.

February 19, 2016
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Guest

Bálint Magyar is a giant of liberal socio-political thinking in Hungary. A mutual friend, himself a leading left-liberal intellectual in Budapest, is always full of praise and admiration for him on both personal and professional grounds.

The fact that he is able to freely publish in Hungary is a demonstration of the current limits on the power of autocratic illiberalism there, which is a hopeful sign. The fact that (so far) his work does not seem to have made the slightest impact on majority political opinion in Hungary is unfortunately not.

However, this English language book will hopefully make a significant impact in Brussels and in the power centers of the core countries of the EU, which might eventually lead to a refusal on their part to continue to finance the thoroughly corrupt Mafia State in Hungary in the name of European convergence.

And that might then lead to a radical change for the better in Hungary.

Well, let us hope so, anyway.

Guest
I’ll’be adding it alongside another, ‘Putin’s Kleptocracy’. Light needs to be shed in why two people ‘own’ their countries. Henry Hill…. A real ‘Goodfella… He speaks in nostalgia : ‘As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States. Even before I first wandered into the cabstand for an after-school job, I knew I wanted to be a part of them. It was there that I knew that I belonged. To me, it meant being somebody in a neighborhood that was full of nobodies. They weren’t like anybody else. I mean, they did whatever they wanted. They double-parked in front of a hydrant and nobody ever gave them a ticket. In the summer when they played cards all night, nobody ever called the cops’. Sounds as if this could be a future bio of VP and VO , master and student ‘goodfellas’ arguably in the art of practicing robbery under law. And to think these statesmen stand on the podium one in the Duma the other in the Orszaggyules of their countries. And it is there that while communism has technically flown… Read more »
spectator
Guest

Let us hope that you’re right and at least the English version will have some effect.

In my opinion it wasn’t/isn’t the lack of information what keep these mobsters still in power, but ignorance, stupidity and fear from the Hungarian side, power play and misplaced party-loyalty from the so called ‘West’.
If there was a will, there was plenty of opportunities and ample reason to act upon, and nothing happened.

And nothing will, I’m afraid.

My deepest respect to Magyar, nevertheless.

Member

Actually the book is already available in bookstores in Hungary. I have a copy right in front of me at this moment.

Guest
London Calling! KLS refers to the “failure of a democratic state..” – whereas BM refers to a Mafia state – which is nearer the truth. How can it be a failure when it was never a democratic state in the first place? In England the BBC has been lambasted for referring to IS as the Islamic State – which presupposes that the state already exists with the tacit implication that the caliphate has been in existence – which is what IS want the world to believe. ( In the US it’s referred to, confusingly to us Brits, as ISIL, or DAESH.) The BBC has compromised and now refers to it as the ‘so-called Islamic State’ which seems to have placated those who have an objection – and it appears now that this is the way it is mostly referred to by them. Everybody seems to refer to Hungary as a democracy. I would like them to consider the same etymological mechanism when referring to Hungary – ‘the so-called democracy’ in the EU. Or if preferred ‘democracy’ in inverted commas to denote irony. So the ‘so-called democratic Hungary’ – or ‘democratic Hungary’, or ‘democratic’ Hungary are the suggested preferred ways of… Read more »
Guest

@charliecharlieh
Today 7:03 pm

I think that Mafia State is indeed the most appropriate descriptor of the political system in Hungary, because Hungary is after all formally democratic, where however what cunningly rigged elections produce time and again is majority dictatorship run by a strongman, in an eerie “illiberally democratic” echo of Mussolini’s Italy, Franco’s Spain or Salazar’s Portugal, or for that matter eerie echoes of illiberal democracies in some Latin American countries which traditionally alternated with strongman dictatorships.

Guest

Up to a point Lord Copper!

You say ‘formally democratic’ I say no!

Democracy is not just a political system with political mechanisms such as voting and elections – it is also a state of mind.

So-called democracy in Hungary has never achieved this state of mind – because it is still- thanks to Orban – frozen in a transitional state from communism – a commocracy. Hungary has never had democracy.

You have to achieve democracy before you can understand fully your responsibilities in it.

I’d be very happy to give you my definition of a commocracy – but for the moment I’m happy that the so-called democracy in Hungary is best described as a Mafia State.

Guest
@charliecharlieh Today 4:56 am We agree re the Mafia State. But I don’t think you read my second sentence past its second clause, after which I qualify the assertion in that clause. The word “democracy” comes from Greek dēmokratia, from dēmos ‘the people’ + -kratia ‘power, rule’. Thus its original meaning was verysimply “people power.” That is however a very broad and inexact concept. In Ancient Greece the citizens of a “democratic” city state (i.e. those residents who were not slaves) would decide on political issues and choose political representatives in the Agora or public space where they held their political gatherings. This led almost always to pure and simple majority rule, which was really dictatorship by the majority, because it was not generally the custom in Ancient Greece to respect and protect minority rights and opinions, and even less to fund them. In contrast, what you and I call democracy today is LIBERAL democracy, the emphasis being on “liberal.” The signal attribute of a modern liberal democracy is its respect for, protection, and even central funding of minority rights and opinions, thus in a very real sense it involves the political majority sharing political power with political minority or… Read more »
Guest

Second para above, re democracy in Ancient Greece.

It was of course not only slaves that were excluded from political decision-making, but women too, even in Athens of Pericles, the most democratic of all Ancient Greek city states. Only adult male freemen had the right to participate in the political life of Greek city states maintaining democratic political systems..

Guest
Yes – I understand that you almost say that ‘liberal’ is implied in the noun – and I concur – hoping that I have not simplified it too narrowly. It also strengthens my contention that an ‘illiberal democracy’ is an oxymoron – just as axiomatic as ‘true lies’. But Orban – and Lazar are too thick to see this – and I have to include the population because they have stood idly by while Orban proudly declares he runs an illiberal administration – to the world! It’s like a foreigner who proudly stands up and says “I am a tosser” believing his statement to be mild and amusing, where he laughs at his command of the language and all the photographers laugh at him unawares. I hope you get this far!…… My main point when I say Hungary has never had a democracy – I should have made clear – is that the older generation AND the new generation have never had democracy. It is a transition still in progress from communism. I would add further that the older generation still don’t understand that it was wrong to inform on their fellow citizens, for example – as long as they… Read more »
Member

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Guest

@Stevan Harnad
Today 7:48 pm

What a nice antisemitic illustration, Your Highness. Would fit perfectly into Der Stürmer. You must be very proud of yourself.

Guest

I think you have misunderstood! You don’t do subtle, clearly. My ‘troll’ Statements are always in quotes so as to pre-empt the real trolls – and it works. The troll statement is a compilation of some of the real trolls on here and I will add to it as they contribute – stealing their thunder.

Or not – as you seem to think. Either that or You don’t understand the meaning of the word.

Member

@charliehcharlieh our Triumphalist Turul Troll is back again (see above, and below, and below…)

Guest

…and hypocritically you are happy to portray a homo sapien as above – but would regard it as cruelty to an animal. I think – even for all your supposed credentials – you are a little unintelligent.

Guest

@charliecharlieh
Today 2:14 pm

Sorry, but it seems that you have totally misunderstood my screed above.

Liberal is not implied by democracy at all; it is democracy that is implied by liberal.

And illiberal democracy is not an oxymoron at all if it is voted in time after time and totally supported by the (vast) majority of an electorate, as for instance in Hungary, Russia or Turkey.

Guest

Yes… But I do think so – as I said – as axiomatic as true lies.

Guest

“Weidenholze …….was surprised after hearing the details of the Orbán system.”

What surprises me is that anyone is at all surprised by Magyar’s revelations.

Haven’t many of us been saying, for years, how outrageous it is that the EU continues to fund Orbán’s mafia state? And the fruits of which are becoming apparent, with our little tin-pot dictator biting the hand that feeds, and stirring up dissent within the EU, and encouraging other like-minded thugs from Easter Europe to do the same. The EU is funding its own demise.

What will truly surprise me though is if the EU actually does something about the new “revelations”. Or will it continue to turn a blind eye, as before, and maintain Orbán and his cronies in the life-style to which they have become accustomed.

Jon Van Til
Guest

Congratulations to Balint Magyar and the CEU Press for writing and publishing this timely and invaluable book.

Guest

“Clicking on the thumbnail image of the book cover to the left will take you directly to Amazon.”

Caution! This is a dangerous path.

webber
Guest

Dangerous and futile. The book is not even available for pre-order on Amazon yet. It can, however, be ordered directly from the press (I trust this is a secure link):
http://www.ceupress.com/books/html/Post-Communist_Mafia_State.htm

Guest

What I meant:
The road to hell is paved with ads.

Guest

Re: ‘Dangerou and futile’

Another book was ‘Putin’s Kleptocracy’. Cambridge University Press did not publish the book because its lawyers thought it might open the press to ‘legal action’. But another, Simon and Schuster, did print it. Under the circumstances there’s much to be said for Balint Magyar to be a who he is when it comes to what corruption is doing to Hungary and its people. It’s a killer and will continue to be if not stopped or ameliorated.

webber
Guest

I meant the link to Amazon was dangerous and futile, not the book. Futile, because you cannot even order the book on Amazon yet.
That is why I provided the press’s link – you can order the book directly from them now. So, clearly I don’t think the book is futile.

Guest

Do you mean – in Hungary at least – that they are monitoring the Internet to see who buys it?

I know some funny things happened to my phone/internet connection in Hungary – which I initially put down to my own paranoia – but Orban has complete access from his government offices to every comms company’s systems – and they are unaware of his access events – it’s illegal to know them. It’s based on the English RIPA legislation and whilst it is controlled here – Orban has free covert reign there.

Yes! Orban and his TEK thugs are watching!

webber
Guest

Just that clicking the link might not be secure.
I doubt they can monitor everyone who looks for the book at amazon through a different path.

webber
Guest

P.S. some of the links trolls give are similar.

Guest

It is very easy to monitor – and filter – traffic with Amazon requests – and specific requests – down to individual packets – with very little impact on the internet.

Guest

My third attempt:
I consider the link to Amazon an ad. At least it looks like an ad, and if HS carries ads it does so at the expense of credibility.

Guest

I take your point – but not if it’s open and transparent and any comission declared – and done as a service to help reader’s – all if which I believe to be the case with Eva.

Member

@charliecharlieh
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Guest

@Stevan Harnad
Today 7:49 pm

What a nice antisemitic illustration, Your Highness. Would fit perfectly into Der Stürmer. You must be very proud of yourself.

Guest

Please explain?

Guest

Der Stürmer was a Nazi antisemitic rag that regularly featured vicious caricatures of the “eternal Jew,” that canker on humanity, that generally looked much like Harnad’s troll.

I was merely “congratulating” him on his “good taste” in choosing this particular illustration of a troll.

No reflection on yourself in any way, shape or form.

Guest

Re: ‘Yes! Orban and his TEK thugs are watching!’

On the Net eh? Can’t prove anything right now but something has always been up when I go in over there. As the packets go through I kind of wonder on that ‘rotten in Denmark’ quip as it has been noted here. And really if we think about it privacy and the Net is an oxymoron. Orwell wouldn’t bat an eye after his ‘telescreen’.

Member

Good morning, EU!

Member
Dear Eva@ Though it may seem to be understandable across the pound, I think the translation of Mr. Weidenholzer’s words as “full-fledged capitalism” could be a bit misleading, especially regarding the understanding of the EU powers. What Copenhagen criteria actually prescribe the aspiring state is the “functioning” market economy (next to democracy and rule of law). http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/international/enlargement/criteria/index_en.htm However, let me start here with my conclusion. As I am saying time and again the window of opportunity for the EU to influence the government is closing, at least in two ways. a.) For sure, there will be less structural and other EU funds available after 2020 (so they are desperate to get paksII). With that, the bargaining/ blackmailing power of the EU will inevitably decrease. b.) There is a consolidation process going on, at least the signs are there. By 2022 Hungary would look like a country of “nice” consolidated oligarchs whereas anyone having business in a way would be on the payroll of the felchootian king. Starting from Garancsi to the owner of the last coffee shop! (I would refer to the recent Wallis’ Graboplast deal awarded by 3 bn government support/ taxpayers money without the company or the owner… Read more »
Guest

Thank you, Zorro, for this info! Very thought-provoking.

Re companies’ involvement in Hungary and the importance of the Hungarian business in general I often use this example:

When I opened a package of Friskies cat food (made by Purina) today for our little white tomcat I looked at the description – it was in 18 different languages …
So the Hungarian business is probably around one or two percent of Purina’s business Europe-wide (which actually is a part of industry giant Nestle, I just found out!) – and Purina is a big player here in Hungary, several times a week a small lorry cruises through our village selling food for chicken and other animals.
But in the end Hungary is just a minor nuisance for these companies …

BritinBudapest
Guest

An account putting Hungary into a Central/Eastern European context: http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/features/rolling-back-freedom

Guest

Thank you, Brit!
Another scathing analysis, a list of all the undemocratic things Fidesz has done …
Will it help?
I’m still hoping that the EU and its core members will react – some day …

Guest

Good article on the East a bit ‘asleep’

Paraphrasing Havel , the thing about modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.

Somnolescence in the people can come back and bite them in the a@@. Their leaders are the big bad ‘sandmen’ sprinkling the dust in their eyes.

webber
Guest

It appears the “winner” just signed something he promised he wouldn’t sign – the Great O has agreed to a quota of refugees for Hungary. Details don’t seem very clear yet, but Jobbik is already calling the “winner” a loser and a traitor. The left is just calling him a liar (seems fair – he did promise he wouldn’t sign). So, what happened to the “winner” in Brussels?
http://mno.hu/belfold/elkepeszto-arulasnak-nevezte-orban-tettet-a-jobbik-1329711

Guest

“Whatever happens, Orban is winning. Orban will win again. He is much smarter than his opponents. He is just a winner type, not a loser type. If you are a winnner you vote for Fidesz, simple as that. And if you are a fidesznik you are happy because you feel yourself a winner. It’s good to be a winner. And Fidesz is a party of winners.
Who would vote for a party of the losers, right?”

Member

@chariecharlieh
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Guest

@Stevan Harnad
Today 7:50 pm

What a nice antisemitic illustration, Your Highness. Would fit perfectly into Der Stürmer. You must be very proud of yourself.

Guest

Harnad – you’re losing it.

Member

@charliecharlieh you’re right. I apologize. I saw the typical Turul Triumphalist Troll text and assumed that someone else was imitating the London Charlie. Partly because all of the name changes after the change in software. (And I added the other troll caricatures without re-reading all the texts.) Anyway, I’m sorry. I know the London Charlie’s posts and perhaps if it were the old login I would have noticed it was a spoof.

(But antisemitic?? It’s just a bog-standard troll cartoon from Google images? What on earth is Mike thinking?)

Guest

@Stevan Harnad
Today 11:55 am

Der Stürmer was a Nazi antisemitic rag that regularly featured vicious caricatures of the “eternal Jew,” that canker on humanity, looking very much like the above troll.

This lowly serf was was merely congratulating Your Highness on his good taste in choosing this particular illustration of a troll.

Guest
London Calling! I have waited for the tail end of the thread just to add my two-penneth – because as wicked and corrupt as the Hungarian government is – it is not a Mafia State. While the author makes a good comparison with some of the attributes of a Mafia state – and there has only been one true Mafia State in Italy – there is more to argue that it doesn’t compare. By arguing the rather extreme case I don’t think it serves the people of Hungary to overstate the case – nor does it truly analyse what Orban is about. Organised crime – insinuated into a society for generations – is what occurred in Italy and today is still pulling the strings. Not Hungary. Not even close. The protection rackets and the demolition of businesses – This might occur in an oblique way but nothing close to the way it was organised in Italy. Murder on murder on murder as established families fought for territory and power and put out contracts. Hungary? No – not even close. The involvement of the Roman Catholics Unchristian Church and concomitant omerta? Whatever you say about the RC Church – and I… Read more »
webber
Guest

Says you.
Could it be that Magyar knows a bit more than you do about what’s happening in Hungary?
Incidentally, the phrase mafia state has been used by others to describe Russia, some Balkan states, and Transnistria. I think it’s fair to apply it to Hungary.

webber
Guest

Charlie…. you said “whatever you say about Orban’s Hungary – it just doesn’t have the organisation; the hooks into all aspects of culture”

You couldn’t be more wrong.

Guest

I didn’t say ‘no’ hooks – just those that are not as deep, organised and evolved into a society as the true Mafia.

And I am not so ignorant of what’s happening in Hungary as you claim.

webber
Guest

I didn’t say you were ignorant of what is happening. My point is that if you’re not living in Hungary, and haven’t been living here throughout the Fidesz years, you can’t possibly be as knowledgeable about what is happening as Magyar. Indeed, even most Hungarians don’t have the inside connections Magyar has.

webber
Guest

also, I seem to recall you saying that your Hungarian wasn’t of the best. How, then, could you possibly know half of what Magyar knows about what is happening in Hungary?

spectator
Guest

Yes, it is charliecharlieh…
In a way it’s even worse than the ‘true Mafia’ – because then you know clearly what/who are you dealing with, no pretention or disguise, just the old trustworthy lupara to make the rules, and you’d obey the don – or else.
In case of Hungary and Orbán even if the whole setup works just the same, from the outside it still looks like any “normal” society, while in reality if you aren’t member of the “family”, you are a pariah, and you’d be treated accordingly.

As soon as you look for the pattern you’d be certainly recognise it, for sure.

Guest
@charliecharlieh Today 10:44 am I think you misunderstand the point made by Bálint Magyar. There are numerous business models operated by the Sicilian Mafia, the Calabrian ‘Ngranghet and the Neapolitans Camorra. One of these is corruptly skimming off profits from legitimate businesses and government enterprises through intimidation and violence. Intimidation and violence is however always only a means to an end, the end being the profits skimmed off. In Hungary however, little intimidation is required, and even less violence, since in contrast to the Italian crime organizations, the Hungarian Mafia operates in terms of a legitimate political organization, rather than an illegal criminal one. The Hungarian Mafia, otherwise known as Fidesz/KDNP, had got itself a 2/3 (or near 2/3) parliamentary majority, and as a result it can legislate to its heart’s content any laws whatsoever to make creaming off from the national budget and EU convergence funds totally legit and part of the system. It’s like the Italian parliament was the headquarters of all Italian crime organizations, and Renzi the capo di capos. This is a genuine Hungarian innovation that actually runs circles around the brutish Italian mobsters, if you think about it. Not for the Hungarians any messy Italian… Read more »
Guest

I won’t prolong this discussion – I simply say that Hungary is nowhere near the Mafia State and it doesn’t serve to exaggerate.

This doesn’t lessen the corrupt state that Hungary undoubtedly is – it’s just that it is a different corruption model.

A different ‘business’ model.

And a different political model.

You at least recognise a scintilla of my argument because you have pointed out some of the differences and gradations that occur.

And I have been to Scicily too and have Italian relatives. Orban’s ‘organisation’ does not have the control and dark organisation of the Institutionalised Mafia – many would regard it as an insult to their organisation – and note the lack of ironic qoutes.

Since you disagree, that’s fine – but I contend that the world would better understand Orban’s catastrophe if it had a better analysis of its true nature of corruption.

I rest my case.

Guest

But not quite – the one glaring difference that I failed to mention is that the Mafia wasn’t (isn’t) THE government. I know you will contest thus but it had corrupt MPs and civil servants but by an large they were not THE government – that’s why many were caught and imprisoned by the courts.

Orban and his thugs ARE the government.

webber
Guest

Read the book. Live in Hungary. Magyar is right.

Guest

Charlie, one might say that this is the next step in the evolution of the mafia concept – and you see it in Russia too!
Or as Bertolt Brecht wrote around 80 years ago in the Dreigroschenroman (Three penny novel):
What is robbing a bank compared to founding and owning a bank?

Guest

The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper)

Guest

Jean, no!
The Threepenny novel is a separate later work – appeared in 1934 when Brecht had already emigrated to Denmark. It is a book about the criminal economy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threepenny_Novel

It is a novel that has been the focus of much critical attention and that is often described as both a continuation and a variation of the themes and motifs of Brecht’s other work that focuses on alienation and on the communication of a social message.

webber
Guest

Sure there are differences. And? No two states are alike. .

In Hungary the gangsters run the state. In Hungary, a gangster is runs the interior ministry and through it the police.

If you object to Hungary being called a mafia state, I suppose you’d object to Russia being called a mafia state.

Fine. You object. Have you read the book?

Observer
Guest
@charliech It’s a mafia-STATE which, unlike the crime gangs, rules over everything, it has all the big tools: from legislature to administration, to prosecution office and police to serve their interests. . The gang gets everything they want – public offices , all government contracts with guaranteed extra profits, cornered market niches, exclusive licenses, farm land, commercial and residential properties at heavy discounts, some coveted businesses, direct cash by way of bogus research and advise contracts, etc. The top boss/es grant these on the bases of political or family alliances, sometimes via rigged or bogus tenders . Displease him/them and you are out to Brussels, out of favor or out of business, eventually into prison (usually preliminary detention on trumped up charges of corruption). The gang and its client circle can do and get away with practically anything (but murder, so far) Laws and regulations are often changed to accommodate the latest robbery scheme. Crimes and blatant violations are overlooked or papered over when become very public, post factum as well. Qualifications, professionalism, arguments, figures and proofs don’t matter. Lies, deceit and cover up are pillars of the system. There is NO NEED for harsher measures or open violence at… Read more »
webber
Guest

there are also rumours of murder recently – certain car crashes, for instance – but nothing anyone can prove. Pinter personally was at the scene of a murder under very strange circumstances many years ago, as I am sure many here will recall – but that was long before this admin.

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