Viktor Orbán and the European Union: A forced change of strategy?

I sense a change in the Orbán government’s strategy as far as its attitude toward cooperation with the European Union is concerned. Although Orbán still talks about sticking to his government’s total rejection of a common EU policy, the ground is being prepared for a strategy shift. I suspect Viktor Orbán got the distinct impression in Brussels or perhaps even earlier that the strategy he had worked out hand in hand with his colleagues in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic has either already been rejected or will be repudiated by a large majority of the member states. Therefore, they sent István Mikola, nowadays undersecretary in the ministry of foreign affairs and earlier Fidesz deputy-prime minister candidate, to give a long interview to Népszava, of all places. What Mikola had to say to Marianna Biró almost blew the reporter’s mind.

A telling picture of Orbán's mood at the closing ceremony of the summit

A telling picture of Orbán’s mood at the closing ceremony of the summit

What did we learn from this interview? Exactly the opposite of what we have heard until now about Hungary’s attitude toward a common EU policy concerning the refugee crisis. But let’s go step by step because there is a lot here to discuss.

First of all, Mikola made a liar out of Viktor Orbán when he said that “there was no secret pact” between Germany and Turkey. Not only was it not secret, but “the accord was between the European Union and Turkey,” not between Germany and Turkey.

Second, as far as the introduction of the quota system is concerned, the Hungarian attitude is no longer as belligerent as it was even a few weeks ago. Hungary now has only “misgivings” about it. It seems that if the European Court of Justice finds it legal, Hungary will oblige. Mind you, a verdict on the issue cannot be expected before the end of the year, and I doubt that the European Commission will let the policy remain in limbo for that long.

Third, we have heard over and over from Orbán and members of his government that the European Union is on its last legs. It will collapse under the weight of the refugee crisis. In this connection the reporter called Mikola’s attention to János Lázár’s assertion that the Hungarian government doesn’t want to have closer European integration. In response to this Mikola said:

Membership in the European Union is of great importance for us. The Hungarian people live in a diaspora and it is through the existence of the European Union that the borders have become virtual and permeable…. Because of our membership in the European Union the world has opened for us. We could break out from our isolation. Not only have Hungarians gotten closer to each other, but now everybody can learn foreign languages and can take jobs abroad…. For Hungarians being part of Europe is of inestimable value…. From the mixing of different people a variegated, vibrant Europe will emerge.  This is something unique that must be preserved. It is our task to make sure that it will be protected. That’s why I’m not pessimistic. I believe that we will suffer for a while with the migrant crisis but at the end Europe will survive.

As I said, I don’t know what happened in the last few days or so, but Mikola’s message indicates to me a staggering about-face. I wonder whether this is in any way linked to the findings of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the largest German non-profit foundation, which indicate that the overwhelming majority of people in the European Union want more integration and consider the quota system equitable and fair. Moreover, they want to punish those countries that refuse to abide by the common will. Until now we had no reliable data on public opinion across the continent concerning the refugees. On the right newspapers gleefully reported atrocities and anti-refugee demonstrations while the left sang the praises of the integration efforts of Germans, Swedes, and others.

I suspect that the findings of the Bertelsmann study have been known for some time by the EU decision makers, which must have given a boost to those politicians who share Angela Merkel’s vision for solving the crisis. The title of the 20-page study is “Border Protection and Freedom of Movement: What People Expect of European Asylum and Migration Policies.” I’m sure that you’ll be surprised, as I was, to read that

  • 79 percent of European citizens believe that the European Union should have a common European policy on migration. 52 percent believe that the EU should be primarily responsible for this issue. 27 percent say that the responsibility should be shared by the EU and the member states. 79 percent of Europeans also consider the freedom of movement to be of great importance, and believe that it should be defended at all costs.
  • 87 percent believe that the EU has a common duty to protect its external borders.
  • 79 percent of European interviewees believe that asylum-seekers should be distributed fairly among the member states of the European Union.
  • 69 percent of the interviewees believe that EU financial support should be reduced if member states refuse to accept their fair share of refugees.

A closer look at the data reveals a divide between public opinion in the old and the new member states (2004 Eastern Enlargement of the EU).

  • Only 54 percent of the citizens in the new member states think that asylum-seekers should be fairly distributed (versus 85 percent in the old member states).
  • And only 41 percent of the interviewees in the new member states think that countries which do not want to take in their fair share of asylum-seekers should have to pay a financial penalty (versus 77 percent in the old member states).

The study’s summary points out that “Europe’s politicians are once again confronted with political realities which they can no longer ignore…. Data shows that the electorate is a long way ahead of the politicians.”

Armed with that information, the European Union will feel free to take a more aggressive stance against the ideas of the eastern states that joined the Union twelve years ago. And this is not good news for Viktor Orbán and people like Fico.

Speaking of Fico. His popularity, just like Orbán’s, swelled as a result of his anti-refugee policies. A few months ago his party’s popularity reached 40%, and thus it could easily win the forthcoming elections with an absolute majority. However, since then fewer and fewer people have been concerned about the migrants. Instead, they are preoccupied with problems of education and healthcare at home. Does it sound familiar? Elections will be held on March 5 and Smer, Fico’s party, is losing voters. Fico is trying to keep the migrant issue in the forefront and now threatens to build a fence along the Slovak-Austrian-Hungarian border. Similarly, of course, Orbán is attempting to keep his people focused on the refugee issue instead of the troublesome topics of education and healthcare. I don’t know how often I read or heard that the Hungarian government is ready to build the fence at any time along the Romanian-Hungarian border. Yet no fence has emerged so far. A couple of days ago Sándor Pintér, minister of interior, announced an extension of the closed border between Croatia and Hungary. Surely, to emphasize the fear of migrants overrunning the country. Or, there is the heavy arming of the Hungarian National Bank, allegedly because of the threat of terrorism, which even Reuters called a paranoid measure. At the same time, Fidesz is collecting signatures protesting Hungary’s participation in a common solution to the fate of those refugees who either are already in western countries or are waiting in Greece to move on.

And while these measures are being undertaken domestically, Orbán is making preparations for an about-face. This will not be an easy sell, especially after the teachers’ revolt, which has already made the government retreat somewhat. However, the leaders of the movement are determined to dismantle the whole system and to restore their autonomy. Fidesz’s popularity, which stagnated between November and December, has now dropped a bit, and I suspect that polls taken after the teachers’ demonstration will show a further erosion of Fidesz’s popularity. And the realization that the “migrants” are coming will be a terrible blow to the party faithful.

February 21, 2016
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Member

Haha, hilarious. I wonder what those types who comment things like “Orbán always wins, Orbán always defeats the weak, ineffectual West” on here from time to time have to say now. I’m sure they’re eating crow right now!

webber
Guest

Strangely, they have gone silent!

csák
Guest

Sorry, but you are wrong. Orban is changing course, he will be much more pro-EU than he used to be in his politics. He is able to adopt if circumstances so require. This is no defeat, but smart politics. Since he has the media, everything will be clear and consistent to the people.

The global economic crisis is upon us again and the West is in danger.

The migrants keep coming. Orban will be vindicated soon.

Orban is able to read Hungarian voters like nobody else which is why he is so popular and strong. His competitors are unpopular and weak.

webber
Guest

What did I say that was wrong? For two days, you govt. trolls were silent.
I hope you are right and Orban is changing course.
I doubt it, given all the news about his meeting with Putyin. But I hope you are right.

Member

Well, at least you are admitting that it is the EU who has leverage over Orbán and not the other way around, as government-run media always seems to insist.

PS. “Adopt” means “örökbe fogad.” Are you trying to say that Orbán might have more children?

petofi
Guest

Sorry, Csak. Have you not noticed that a little side-trip to the boss KGB-er, Vlad P. and everything changes on his return?

Here’s my reading: Mr. P. has, in no uncertain terms, directed the Viktor that plans to extricate Hungary from
the EU (and join it at the hip to Russia) will be put on hold.
No monia in Russiaaa. Only enough, to do Paks and tie Hungary to Russia for the next 30 years. For development money, Viktor will have to stay at the EU pumps, at least until 2018. (Bitter looks on the Viktor’s face in the Moscow picture…)

Oh well, back-tracking is the order of the day…in every sphere. Some migrants from afar will soon be here.

Hajra Magyarok!

Member

You see, Orban doesn’t have to “read” the Hungarian voters, he simply just controls what they hear, how they hear it and when. He is oh so adaptable of course, when he knows that Hungary NEEDS money from the EU and knows that it can withheld if he continues on the same course. Hungary is broke without the EU, it is no secret except to Fideszniks.

petofi
Guest

@csak

Thanks for providing us with the picture of a perfectly pedantic, picayune, pre-pubescent peasant proliferating in the pre-civilized Hungary of today.

Hajra Magyarok!

Ron
Guest

I always say with regard to Hungary just follow the money.

Friday, the Italian PM is “blackmailing” the four Visegrad countries with withholding the structural funds, the Dutch government (holding currently the half year presidency), has raised the possibility of partially diverting structural funds to covering expenses brought on by the migrant crisis.

So basically they are hurting them in their pockets.

http://hungarytoday.hu/news/government-italian-pm-blackmailed-hungary-mandatory-migrant-quota-eu-summit-96790

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-europe-migrants-italy-idUKKCN0VS01D

Guest

London Calling!

“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?”

Regards

Charlie

Guest

If this is posted by the real charliecharlieh gloating over the troubles Orbán currently embroiled in, it is kind of borderline decent sarcasm. If however it is posted by the pretend charliecharlieh as genuinely meant, it is irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial garbage.

Guest

Éva, this guy is a Fidesz snoop, can’t his comments be removed?

He is a silly little sausage isn’t he?

webber
Guest

I think he’s just making fun of the triumphalists by quoting them, though it is getting boring (this is the second time he’s put up the same quote).

Guest

A farce.

But from this point forward the EU knows that they got the Hungarians by the balls, and all they got to do is squeeze gently to get Orbán and his boys to comply like good little Puli dogs hearing the master’s whistle.

And there goes down the gurgler Orbán’s vaunted “international stature” and his supposed “leadership” of the V4 too, all in tatters, no matter all the protestations in the world that “we wuz raped in Brussels by Renzi.”

The question is how will Orbán be able to wriggle out of this mess of his own making, and if not, how soon will he get it in the neck from his own side.

I am beginning to agree with Éva that the ground might well be shifting in Hungary

Guest

Mert addig jár a korsó a kútra, amíg el nem törik. :-)))

(English: “Because a pitcher will keep on going to the well where it will be sure to get smashed eventually” – a Hungarian saying)

Guest

Or better: “a pitcher will keep going to the well until it gets smashed there.”

:-))

Guest

Comedy by GermanHeinrich von Kleist (year 1802!):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Broken_Jug

Guest

Good stuff…wasn’t familiar with it…will take a read

Guest

Start with von Kleist’s novel “Michael Kohlhaas”.

Guest

Thanks. And note OT.

And I’ll probably have another read as well which is Kleist’s play ‘Die Hermansschlacht’. The battle has a somewhat interesting relationship to Magyarorszag’s disaster at Mohacs.

In AD 9 German tribes led by Arminius destroyed three Roman legions in the Teutoberg which affected the political, social and cultural development of Germany and the Europe to come. Since that time the battle has been used to back up German pride in historical phases of nationalistic fervor.

And now it is fascinating to see a Hungary arguably never forgetting its ‘Mohacs’ and using its defeat to turn it into somehow into a variation of a Magyar Teutoberg centuries on. And the Germans? The Teutoberg was 2000+ years ago. A great victory but there are now other hills to climb in the 21st. After centuries of experience perhaps they’ve understood some lessons of nationalism.

And Kalkriese awaits our visit since the museum of the battle is there. Not easy defeating 3 legions when they are out after you.

webber
Guest

Eva is always worth listening to!

Guest

“For Hungarians being part of Europe is of inestimable value….”

What Mikola means, ofcourse, is that for he and Orbán and the the Mafia gang, EU moneys are, literally, of inestimable value. So of course Orbán is now doing a U-turn and, as usual, will do and say anything it takes to make sure the money keeps rolling into his pockets.

I just hope the EU sticks to its guns, and is not appeased by such empty rhetoric as Mikola’s, and stops sending funds.

webber
Guest

Mikola, I recall, was the one who spilled the beans before the referendum on dual citizenship in a speech in which he said that if Hungarians in Transylvania get citizenship, and if they also get the vote, Fidesz will win elections for decades. The referendum failed, Fidesz lost a few elections, and Fidesz had to wait until 2010 to give citizenship and the vote to ethnic Hungarians abroad.
So, I have no doubt that what Mikola says is generally honest, I’m just not sure whether everything he says is approved of by the Party.

Guest

If Mikola is the undersecretary of foreign affairs, then you can be sure that everything he says comes straight from the top horse’s mouth -Orbán.

Orbán will find any number of his minions to say things to appease the EU, so that he himself does not need to lose face.

Then when challenged, he can just say that his minions are only expressing their personal opinions, and it has nothing to do with him….

Such a mature statesman-like style, n’est-ce pas?

Guest

London Calling!

I think some of us are getting carried away.

Orban played his usual nasty little games and has calculated that the EU will, as usual, be distracted by other issues.

Ok so his gaming failed – only a little – but his reputation at home was not dented one bit. His ‘exposure’ at the conference was tiny – but he got enough photoshoot pictures with Cameron that his faithful media will give ’em the large back home.

His fence issues are looming on the horizon with migrants breaching the razor wire by the score – the failed ones are doing a loop through Hungary to retry their luck.

The focus on the Romanian border is maturing nicely for Orban to start using it as ‘saviour’ propaganda – and the people of Hungary will be regarded as unpatriotic (un- nationalistic?) if they start moaning about teachers, schools, nurses and hospitals.

So it’s all quiet again on the home front.

Time to go to a few football matches, chew tökmag and see how my little cho choo train is getting on.

webber
Guest

“his reputation at home was not dented one bit.”
Those words alone show you are nowhere near Hungary.
Can I ask why you comment (negatively) on a book you have not yet read, and on the state of the public mood in a country you do not live in?

webber
Guest

P.S. Charlie, you wrote: “he got enough photoshoot pictures with Cameron that his faithful media will give ’em the large back home.”
Your crystal ball is cracked.
There is such confusion and dismay in the govt. media that over the past 24 hours it has been showing re-runs (on the news!) of Orban’s meeting with Putin. They aren’t even talking about what happened in Brussels. I know, because I’ve been watching state t.v. with fascination (normally I can’t stomach it). There hasn’t been a single shot of Cameron with the Great O in the time I have been watching (not that much time, admittedly: there’s only so much I can take). It’s just Orban sitting with Putin; Orban standing with Putin; Orban shaking hands with Putin – again and again and again.

Bowen
Guest

@ Webber. Yes.

It’s useful to check Orban’s Facebook page (if you can bear it). There’s absolutely nothing about Orban’s trip to Brussels. You can bet that if there were some self-aggrandising video or photo of Orban shaking hands with anyone of note, it would be up there.

Guest

But my partner’s mother has – don’t claimto be so omniscient. There are plenty of pictures – just search. Hungary Today inter alia – an MTI regurgutator – proudly shows him at Cameron’s shoulder.

But you know this of course from your Budapest- centric view.

Why do you only see what you want to see? (Or not see depending on your prejudice?) Why do you only respond when it suits your vituperation?

For the size and influence of Hungary – Orban will be very pleased with the coverage – just open your eyes.

Re the book – and for the last time – it has been reviewed by EVA comprehensively and I stand by my view – supported by examples – that Hungary is not a Mafia state. – and nothing like.

So understand webber and understand well- that sometimes people disagree with you and you just have to attenuate your pompousness and aggression and treat people as equals. Geddit?

Events in Hungary are moving on. Just wait and see.

webber
Guest

You’re the one making predictions here.

webber
Guest

You have called me pompous, aggressive, and several other things here (earlier) just for disagreeing with you, and it’s getting a bit tiring.
I have strictly reflected on what you have written – some of which I find misguided and uninformed. I have never said anything about your character. You might, for all I know, be a kind, caring human being who donates most of his salary to the poor. I wouldn’t know. I just think you are wrong about certain things in Hungary.

webber
Guest

You have called me pompous, aggressive, and several other things here (earlier) just for disagreeing with you, and it’s getting a bit tiring.
I have strictly reflected on what you have written – some of which I find misguided and uninformed. I have never said anything about your character. You might in person be a kind, caring human being who donates most of his salary to the poor. I wouldn’t know. I just think you are wrong about certain things in Hungary.

webber
Guest

apologies for posting that twice – computer glitch.
Eva – if you are willing – please remove one of the above.
Thanks ahead of time.

Guest

And I’d like to ask why you can’t tolerate different views?

webber
Guest

If someone doesn’t like a book that I like after they’ve read it – fair enough.
If they don’t like it based solely on a review and the book’s title — well…
What would you say about such a person?
If, moreover, they do not speak Hungarian but insinuate they know what is going on in Hungary better than the author of the book who is Hungarian and who is a political insider, I find them very silly indeed.

When did I ever claim to be omniscient?

Guest

See again – and for the last time – arrogance. ‘Based on the book’s title’ – just so insulting – and you know it.

webber
Guest

You said some time ago you don’t read Hungarian. The book has hitherto been available only in Hungarian. You also admitted you haven’t read the book in English, only Eva’s brief piece on it.
Your objection – the part I engaged with – was to Magyar’s use of the term “mafia state” for Hungary. That is part of the title. It doesn’t play a large part of Eva’s review.
Therefore, your objection could only be based on the title.
In the book, Magyar gives his reasoning for using the term mafia state. If you disagree with that reasoning after you read his argument, fair enough.
I suggest you read the book. It’s worthwhile. There has been a lot of discussion of it in Hungarian – much of it fruitful. And like reviews of all books, not all reactions are positive. But all engaged with Magyar’s ideas only after reading the book.

Where have I insulted you personally? Show one instance. Just one.

Guest

“…..but insinuate they know what is going on in Hungary better than the author of the book who is Hungarian and who is a political insider, I find them very silly indeed.”

Not arrogant? Not insulting?

Explain this bollocks then?

webber
Guest

I should have said “I find that very silly,” not “them very silly.”
I apologize. I find your argument silly, not you.
We all are wrong and make silly arguments from time to time.

Guest
‘Nowhere near Hungary’ – my partner is on the phone every evening to her ailing mother and gets the ‘Gyor’ propoganda perspective – the telephone is a wonderful communication device you know – still better than Facebook. Calls to Hungary are free from our phone and sometimes the calls are endless. Together with other friends in Abda and relatives in Budapest. Hungary may be isolated but not that much. “In a country you do not live in” – It’s like being there. Only your pompous arrogance prevents you from understanding that you don’t have to live there to catch the mood. I repeat Orban’s reputation has not been dented – concentration on Russia may be a diversionary tactic but he has not received any negative press ‘on the home front’. So – our man on the ground – prove me wrong. I want decent proof webber – that which would satisfy you if the roles were reversed. Oh omniscient, omnipotent erudite commentator. Oh and btw – try and keep you irrelevant ‘monoblocs’ short eh? In years when my partner is not studying for her degree we spend months at a time in Hungary. We spent a very happy Christmas there… Read more »
webber
Guest

Now “pompous arrogance”… and “monoblocs.” (you generally write more than I do – and why shouldn’t you? And why shouldn’t I write as much as I like?)
Great. You talk with someone in Győr and visit Hungary regularly. Wonderful.
You want “decent proof” of what I have written. I can only represent what I myself experience here and there every day. It that’s not enough for you, fine. You know better.
I wouldn’t begin to presume to represent my mother-in-law’s opinion.

webber
Guest

This is beginning to feel like abuse, Charlie.

webber
Guest

“he has not received any negative press ‘on the home front’. ”
Again wrong, Charlie (unless by “home front” you mean your contact in Győr).
There is a storm of negative press in Hungarian about what happened in Brussels, and it’s not just the left any longer. Jobbik is squealing bloody murder.

webber
Guest

Evidence of above – the title of the leading story on the cover page of Népszava today is:
“Quotas: Orban did not veto them” (Kvóták: Orbán nem vétózott)

Népszabadság, story:
“Whatever happens, Hungary has lost” (Akármi történik, Magyarország veszített)

Jobbik’s homepage: “Fidesz is lying about the quota”
(A Fidesz hazudik a kvótával kapcsolatban)

tappanch
Guest

Orban has one real target and continuously changing slogans, cover stories. For him, rejection of the refugees or migrants is just a slogan he can jettison at any time.

His chief aim is to steal or skim (for his own hand-picked nomenklatura) as much money as possible from the enormous amount of money the European Union pays to Hungary in the two periods of 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 (the payments will arrive until December 2022).

If he is threatened with turning off the money tap, he falls in line.

The problem is Merkel or Renzi never threatened him with that for destroying democracy in Hungary. Hungarian democracy is less important for them than Hungary’s taking in a few thousand migrants or refugees.

There will be much less money earmarked to Hungary after 2020. Orban will be happy to leave the Union after 2020, and only then, to get rid of the minor constraints on his absolute power by the European courts.

Guest

My thoughts too.

tappanch
Guest

The violet caps show the schools where the parents will protest the education policies of the Orban regime by not sending their children to school on leap day Monday

comment image

http://24.hu/belfold/2016/02/22/nem-leszek-suliban-terkep-keszult-a-tiltakozo-iskolakrol/

Guest

Of course – you are all mistaken. Orban signed nothing of the sort.

Catch super-liar Zoltán Kovács:

http://bbj.hu/politics/spokesperson-hungary-did-not-sign-on-to-quota-deal_111858

Nothing to worry about – all quiet on the home front

webber
Guest

Not all quiet.
Népszava:
“Hungary will have to take in 1,294 refugees, according to the final document accepted in Brussels on Friday night. And that is the case even if government spokesman Zoltán Kovács opined that the left and right-wing opposition that claims this is so either didn’t understand or intentionally misconstrued what happened at the EU summit”
(Magyarországnak 1294 menekültet be kell fogadnia a péntek éjjel elfogadott brüsszeli záródokumentum szerint. Ez akkor is így van, ha Kovács Zoltán kormányszóvivő az ezt állító bal- és jobboldali ellenzékről úgy vélekedett, nem értik vagy tudatosan félremagyarázzák az EU-csúcson történteket.)

Jobbik: Obán’s signing of the document was “stupendous treason.” (elképesztő árulás)

There is a storm raging in the public now. Quiet it ain’t, though the govt. press – via its Western mouthpieces – may try to portray everything as peachy.

Guest

Nice photo op with Schultz………

http://hungarytoday.hu/news/martin-schulz-confirms-hungary-involved-eus-refugee-quota-system-57528

All quiet on the home front.

webber
Guest

yeah, right. Quiet.
If Jobbik calls a rally (God, I hope they won’t!), I just wonder how many tens of thousands will come out.

Guest

Silly opposition parties! Hear from the horse’s mouth ……. Storm in a teacup (Raging? Hardly! In Budapest maybe but not Gyor) …. Fuss about nothing.

All quiet on the home front.

webber
Guest

Lord Haw-Haw of Győr?

Member

Scroll to the end of the article, and read:

“via sputniknews.com and mandiner.hu”

Know that sputniknews.com is wholly owned and operated by the Russian government, and you need go no further.

It is called propaganda.

And yes, the public masses, in any country, are susceptible to it.

Guest

People who quarrel voluminously and at length on this page could in stead meet and, according to tradition, let the pistols prove who is right.

Guest

The pen is mightier than the sword, Jean!

Guest
@Jean P Today 7:00 am It is regrettable that few people are willing and able to see both sides of the coin, and many are irascible. They get easily angry about nothing much, get hung up on words rather than considering the ideas behind them, have a tendency to take things out of context, inclined to keep hugging fixed ideas well past their used-by date, grab onto this or that detail rather than focus on the big picture, or take a high and mighty stance as self-appointed authorities and guardians of rectitude and correctitude in thinking. And not just on this forum, but everywhere that opinions are expressed. I suppose there is nothing much one can do about this as that is the way we humans tend to be. My response to such situations is one or a mix of three possible scenarios: (1) back off on the assumption that it is pointless to argue with an angry person or one in the grip of fixed ideas; (2) respond with doses of exaggerated sarcasm and other forms of humour that would hopefully bring down to earth a self-appointed guardian of rectitude and correctitude from their high and mighty bully pulpit;… Read more »
Guest

Two corrections in the second para:

1.
“if I find that my interlocutor is right” instead of “if I find my that interlocutor is right;”

2.
“when warranted in such situations” instead of “when warranted by such situations.”

Guest

Re: ‘When the facts change I change my mind’

Can be tough in here! I kind of subscribe to the Will Roger’s notion:

‘We’re all ignorant…. just on different things’. So it would be nice when looking at politics if Orban and co would just be a little say a bit more ‘humble’ in its preachiness.
Sometimes you can only take enough of ‘nagysagos emberek’…;-)…

Guest

Thank you Prof Balogh for crystallizing how Hungarian political strategy usually more than not shifts with the winds.

And perhaps I have been jumping the gun on my deep concern for those far right parties and ‘others’ that begin with an ‘F’ and correspondingly get an ‘F’ when being marked in the political classroom that is the EU and Hungary. Apparently their thoughts aren’t exactly top of mind on the continent ‘s populations.

Good to see Orban et al now paying attention to the EU even though they’re pouting behind its back. Like a recalcitrant child that thought it would try to get its way all the time.

Guest

Its interesting to see the V4 upping the ante over the fences after their disappointing failure to stop the British renegotiations.

That ‘paranoid style’ of Hungary and Poland – that other ‘post-communist Mafia State’ – is flexing its muscle for fences to stop the migrants.

With Merkel making noises that she wants child benefit payments reduced the Poles are getting anxious – which will affect Hungary.

But it’s all going as planned – focus on migrants and fences and Orban can do his ‘saviour’ act.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/europe-deprived-murray-1.3455814

weknow
Guest

You think you are that hard to locate?

tappanch
Guest

Some brave Fidesz MPs, without permitting their names to be printed :-), criticize V. Orban with respect to his policies in health care and education.

“Our hospitals are very close to becoming death factories. … We can soon say that if someone cannot afford private health care, s/he is a dead person.”

http://24.hu/belfold/2016/02/22/magyar-korhazba-meghalni-megy-az-ember-fideszesek-buktak-ki-orbanra/

webber
Guest

And Szíjjártó has a new haircut! Hooray!!!! (seriously).

Guest

We just talked with our neighbours which bitterly complained that all the regular doctors (Hausärzte aka házi orvos) are in their 60s or even 70s now and totally useless – the younger docs are either in a private practice (money, money …) or abroad!

webber
Guest

apparently in Győr, though, everything is just great… Nobody is complaining. Everyone is satisfied.
I guess we should all consider moving there.

Member
I fully agree with Eva@ Lately something went wrong with the agit-prop machinery of the great leader. For example, the way he bet on Iran will surely alienate the Saudis (and most of the Gulf-states). The great Hungarian pivot now looks more like a closing rather than Eastern Opening (not to speak about the South). This misstep was followed by a statement in Moscow, among others, about building a Hungarian hospital in Syria just days after confirmation of destruction of 3-4 hospitals by Russia. What a disgraceful or neglectful stance. Preparing for the EU-summit, the machinery built its anti-immigration thesis on the analysis from Politico (EU) that foresaw an uphill battle between Angela the Savior and the Felchootian. All the reports from the Hungarian media referred to this article from Politico. Since that was far from the first time Politico (EU) published something “unhelpful” and actually misleading about Hungary (or Poland, etc.) I have a growing suspicion that somebody is being paid by somebody other than Politico for that job. I am wondering about this eventuality because it was clear from the very outset that this was going to be an uphill “Brexit-summit,” not a migration one. (That would be… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

January debt news.

Debt of the central government as measured by Treasury (AKK) is up by 3.14% or 480.6 billion forints in one month,

International reserves of the National Bank (MNB) are up by 1.95% or 297.1 billion forints.

webber
Guest

Tappanch – reading between the lines, who beside the National Bank gave a temporary loan to the govt. to make end-of-year debt figures look better? Do you know?

Guest

That picture with O in the back is worth a thousand words …
And it’s already being turned into a meme:
comment image
From http://paul-whites-official.tumblr.com/post/139686842892 and
http://prolidepp.tumblr.com/

Guest

This is an old picture. The lady top left is Helle Thorning-Smith who was the the Danish prime minister until June 2015. It’s a good joke anyway.

Guest

Funnily enough O’s face looks exactly the same in those two pics …

spectator
Guest

— And he is yet to hear about Mikola’s statements..!
(By the way, the truth-serum working better than expected, thank you!)

Otherwise no wonder he feels totally alone, the poor soul, surrounded by foreigners! Just look at them, they insolently having a relaxed conversation while completely ignoring “Viktor the Victorious”..!
Scandalous, won’t you say?

Tyrker
Guest

It looks like Merkel’s plan (which involved a deal with Turkey and NATO) may not work because of Turkey’s unwilingness to take back migrants intercepted at sea:
http://web.de/magazine/politik/fluechtlingskrise-tuerkei-offenbar-ruecknahme-bootsfluechtlingen-31368010
Which means that Europe badly needs a second line of defence along Greece’s northern frontiers.

Guest

So are you saying that the refugees (don’t call them migrants, please …) should stay in Greece maybe until they rot?
Tyrker, you are a really strange creature!

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