The new Hungarian aristocracy: Wedding at the National Museum of Fine Arts

For well over a week the Hungarian media has been full of stories about some highly irregular activities of László Baán, director of the Hungarian Museum of Fine Arts. They are not calling into question his managerial skills. By all accounts Baán has been an outstanding director of the institution. He transformed the exhibition policies of the museum, resulting in a most successful series of exhibits year after year.

Baán’s background is unusual for a museum director. He has a degree in economics and philosophy and for a while worked as an economist for one of the research institutes attached to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. For a brief period he dabbled in politics on the local level: for four years, between 1990 and 1994, he was a member of the Budapest City Council. His career really took off during the first Orbán government when he became assistant undersecretary in the ministry of national cultural heritage, a new, short-lived ministry created by Viktor Orbán. He remained assistant undersecretary after the fall of the Orbán government until he was named director of the museum.

László Baán’s name has been in the newspapers for a number of years now because after 2010 Baán, who—as we will see later—has excellent connections with the Fidesz leadership, convinced Viktor Orbán to create a “museum quarters,” to which most of the important museums would be moved. Unfortunately, the cluster of buildings is planned to be built in Városliget, one of the very few green places in Pest. Arguments go back and forth about the ecological impact of the project, but Viktor Orbán seems determined to proceed with the plan. He did have a few objections, though. There were two buildings he didn’t like, so Baán, who in the interim became government commissioner of the project, dutifully scrapped them. Apparently Orbán’s enthusiasm for the project stems from his desire to relocate the Hungarian National Gallery from the former Royal Palace so he can move his office there.

Although Baán has been praised for his work at the Museum of Fine Arts, lately his reputation has been tarnished. It seems that Baán viewed the museum as if it belonged exclusively to him and his Fidesz chums. The man who is especially implicated in the affair is Árpád Habony, Viktor Orbán’s mystery man. No matter how hard reporters try to pin down high-ranking politicians about the exact nature of their relationship to Habony, they refuse to utter a word. They would rather act stupid, just as  Lajos Kósa, leader of the Fidesz parliamentary caucus, and István Tarlós, lord mayor of Budapest, did in the last few hours. And they don’t dare to say anything about the man’s relationship to Viktor Orbán since about a year ago the prime minister said that he has no adviser named Árpád Habony.

Viktor Orbán may not want to admit Habony’s importance to him, but László Baán is happy to tell the world that Habony is a very old and close friend. Their friendship goes back at least to 2000 when Baán was still assistant undersecretary in the ministry of national cultural heritage. During that period Habony’s firm, which specialized in “cultural communicational counseling,” received job after job from the ministry. Their working relationship developed into true friendship, and in 2004 Habony’s firm helped Baán put together his application for the directorship of the museum. Three years later, in 2007, when Habony got married, Baán let Habony use one of the grand chambers of the museum free of charge. Baán was Habony’s best man. Today DK is suing Baán for breach of fiduciary responsibility. Another person who rented the same chamber for private use had to pay 1.5 million forints. And when MSZP wanted to rent the same room when the president of the European Parliament, the Swedish prime minister, and several EU commissioners were having a gathering in Budapest, Baán refused to rent the place for any amount of money.

The chamber sits 1,500

The chamber seats 1,500

All this came to light about two weeks ago when Átlátszó, an investigative NGO, took legal action to force the Museum of Fine Arts to reveal where ten late baroque paintings of Dutch and Italian masters were stored when they were out on loan to two filmmakers who needed them for props. It turned out that the paintings were kept in the apartment of Habony’s former mother-in-law in downtown Budapest. The value of these ten paintings was 265 million forints or $952,000. Baán is right when he claims that lending pictures of lesser value is commonplace and that currently about 3,000 works of art can be found in government offices and institutions. But individuals normally pay a premium to borrow works of art, and they must have adequate insurance coverage. In this case the ten pictures were on loan for three months. Per picture the museum was paid only 15,000 forints for the duration.

How could that have happened? Easily. Before 2011 the museum could lend works of art only to government and private institutions, but in 2011 two Fidesz MPs–László L. Simon and Endre Gyimes–introduced an amendment that now allows pictures to be lent to private individuals as well. It seems that Fidesz politicians want to have well-known paintings in their houses to impress their visitors. Moreover, earlier the minister in charge of cultural matters had to approve the loan. Today he doesn’t.

But that’s not all. In 2008 the museum decided to entrust a company with the job of renting the halls and running the museum’s online store as well as the store situated in the museum. And what a coincidence, the man who heads Kultúra 2008 Nkft., which handles the business side of the museum, is Zoltán Rostás, earlier Árpád Habony’s business partner.

What did all this remind János Lázár of? The good old socialist days. “If the leaders of institutions think that similarly to the socialist times they can develop their institutions with the help of connections and familiarity [with important people] they are mistaken,” Lázár claimed. Of course, he is wrong, and he himself must know that. Things are worse now than they were in socialist times. Much worse. This whole corrupt bunch runs the country as their private fiefdom.

February 22, 2016
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Member

No surprises here. Orban and his chums have been using Hungary’s estates as their own for a long time. If they cannot borrow it, they take it, if they cannot take it they nationalize it. If it’s nationalized already, they privatize it.
Nationalizing = indirectly filtering the benefits toward their own gain
Privatizing = directly filtering the benefits toward their own gain
Borrowing = directly filtering the benefits toward their own gain

tappanch
Guest

this is what I named
“fideszization” := forced nationalization, and a subsequent privatization to friends and family.

Guest
Of those hanging works to simply impress it could be assumed that there would be no attempt to understand the art that is reflected back onto the viewer. But considering the state of Fideszian oversight of the country and its institutions, their ‘love’ of art only suggests indeed how truly narrow their tastes are placing their needs above the entire community’s. Even culture isn’t immune from that grasping fiefdom. And a peek behind the facade would show the extent of moral rot coursing through the country’s canvas “All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray On another note in the world of art and artifacts, I am not sure if Russia has returned one of the Elgin Marbles. They were the beneficiaries of a British loan for a while to the Hermitage of those ancient artifacts from Athens in its ‘golden age’. An age responsible for the birth of democracy. Ironic Putin got a hold of it . He that erstwhile purveyor of modern autocracy. Wouldn’t be surprised if Baan wants to get into ‘sculpture’ later on namely to get one… Read more »
JGrant
Guest

Dear Éva! The project is planned for Városliget, not Népliget. Otherwise excellent post, as always!

tappanch
Guest

Fidesz deploys skinheads, again.

The Socialists try to file a referendum request at the National Election Bureau about the forced Sunday store closures, but a score of skinheads prevent the filing.

(According to the farcical Fidesz referendum laws, only the first person at the gate can file a referendum request about a topic for half a year to a year. (Even a joke “first” filing is evaluated by the Fidesz-appointed election apparatus, then the courts. Until all appeals are finished, nobody else can file another referendum request )

http://444.hu/2016/02/23/balhe-van-a-nemzeti-valasztasi-bizottsagnal

Observer
Guest

The goons are out. Moving from “fascist light” another step closer to the classical fascist state.

webber
Guest

They’ve done this repeatedly before in less visible situations – at a student meeting in Debrecen, for instance, and one at ELTE I recall, also at a club in Budapest. One of the gangsters in Debrecen turned out to be a Fidesz member who had been on the party lists in one election. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the goons turned out to be off-duty policemen. Others may be Loki or Fradi club people (Kubatov makes a call, they show up).

robot
Guest

Let’s not forget that these gangsters are handled by state security people (just like in 2006 during the burning down of the state TV HQs). The state security is totally aligned with Fidesz.

tappanch
Guest
tappanch
Guest

The skinheads are members of the “Fradi Security”. Fradi is a soccer club headed by Fidesz “party director” Kubatov.

http://nol.hu/belfold/igy-lett-nehany-kigyurt-figura-par-orara-a-politikai-The skinheads are members of the “Fradi Security”. Fradi is a soccer club headed by Fidesz “party director” Kubatov.

http://nol.hu/belfold/igy-lett-nehany-kigyurt-figura-par-orara-a-politikai-elet-foszereploje-1602967

tappanch
Guest

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee protests that the Fidesz skinheads prevented the filing of the referendum request against the Sunday store closure and that the police did not intervene.

http://444.hu/2016/02/23/helsinki-bizottsag-felveti-a-buncselekmeny-gyanujat-hogy-megakadalyoztak-a-nepszavazasi-kerdes-beadasat

tappanch
Guest

In the evening, 500 people demonstrated for the right to hold referendums.

http://nol.hu/belfold/szazak-tuntetnek-a-kopaszok-ellen-1603013

Guest
It is great that Hungary has an investigative NGO like Átlátszó. To me, their work and revelations seem an indication that significant limits do exist on the power of the governing Fidesz mafia, even if only in the sense of that mafia’s inability to keep their dirty secrets secret. However, if that is actually not so, then Átlátszó will be unlikely to enjoy any kind of longevity, and my expectation is that the gang in power will shut it down on one pretext or another sooner rather than later. It is also possible of course that the Mafia State is so sure of itself and its own longevity that revelations by Átlátszó are just so much water off the duck’s back as far as the shameless coterie of cronies around Orbán is concerned. Now some more general comments. A genuine Balkan state of affairs prevails today in a country with a very superficial “Européer” veneer, and except for a tiny minority, thoroughly hollow pretensions to being culturally a part of mainstream Europe. What happened under Fidesz/KDNP rule over the past few years was just an inevitable reverting to type by Hungarians, who on the whole simply cannot handle freedom and… Read more »
Observer
Guest

Hear, hear.
Democracy? My foot.

Guest
@Observer Today 4:04 am If you mean LIBERAL democracy, I completely agree. Its signal attributes are the respect, protection and as need be, the government funding of minority interests and opinions under a rule of law ethos within the overall framework of the protections of constitutional checks and balances. This definition of democracy does not exist in Hungary today, and given the mentality and inclinations of the vast majority of the country’s population, it is unlikely to ever really exist there, because it does not fit well at all with the political comfort zones of Hungarians. In that respect, the period between 1990 and 2010 was the exception that proves the rule, if taken within the broad context of Hungarian history. On the other hand, if by democracy we mean a system of popularly elected government, and never mind all the rigging and gerrymanders that might go with it, then Hungary is most definitely a democracy, albeit an illiberal one. In an ILLIBERAL democracy, a perfectly freely elected dominant parliamentary majority rules without any legal restraints, constraints or consequences, in effect as a dictatorship of the majority. Minority interests and opinions are ignored, the rule of law is perverted and… Read more »
Observer
Guest
@ambalint All agreed, but for this part: “an ILLIBERAL democracy, a perfectly freely elected dominant parliamentary majority rules …Hungary is most definitely a democracy, albeit an illiberal one” You can’t say “never mind all the rigging and gerrymanders”. The free and fair elections is a condicio sine qua non in the democracy test and the 2014 elections fail it. In 2010-14 legislation and government action crippled the democratic system and skewed the election process: In addition to the gerrymandering, one round elections, etc. the embezzlement orgy on one hand and the economic repression against all potential adversaries on the other hand crated unprecedented dis balance between the war chests. Ditto to for the media. No effective modern election campaigns can be run without money and media. The absurd rules for the election campaign advertising, the short duration, etc. put the final nail in the coffin of fair elections. The 2014 elections were not completely free either. It has become Orban’s routine to accuse in the media, criminally charge and arrest opposition figures just before elections (usually on trumped up corruption charges). The newly created “public work” (instead of social benefits) system is a powerful tool to control the smaller country… Read more »
Guest
@Observer Today 7:29 am I fully agree with all the points you make, and I have been fully aware of all these points while writing the above posts. My aside that “and never mind all the rigging and gerrymanders that might go with it” was merely to indicate that awareness, and not any kind of attempt to dismiss its disgusting criminality. However, the fact remains that Hungarians freely choose to elect vast parliamentary majorities of Christian Nationalist (Fidesz/KDNP) political representatives, which get even vaster if we take into account the National Socialist ones (Jobbik). Yes, I know full well that if the elections were not thoroughly rigged and gerrymandered, the numbers of Christian Nationalists and National Socialists might have been somewhat reduced in parliament after the 2014 elections. But I also know that Christian Nationalism and National Socialism are the traditional political comfort zones of the vast majority of Hungarians, and that therefore it is probably fairly safe to assume that the Christian Nationalists would have still got a significant parliamentary majority even if they did not resort to rigging the voting system and to a whole raft of low and underhand tactics. The 2014 elections were free but not… Read more »
Guest

Democracy is a system of government by the whole population through elected representatives.

Being ‘illiberal’ is a restriction of thought and freedom.

‘Illiberal democracy’ is an oxymoron as axiomatic as ‘True Lies’

Hungary is nowhere close to a democracy.

It is a Commocracy – not a Mafia State as previously articulated.

A ‘Yanukovych State maybe..
A Ceaucescu State possibly
A Honecker State arguably..

Just as Poland is becoming an Orban State

A ‘so-called’ democracy if you must.

Guest
@charliecharlieh Today 9:06 am According to your definitions: 1. Democracy = a system of government by the whole population through elected representatives. 2. Illiberal = a restriction of thought and freedom. Therefore, in your own words, Illiberal democracy = a system of government by the whole population through elected representatives, where thought and freedom are restricted. I might be thick, but I don’t for the life of me see how this statement qualifies as an oxymoron, like “true lies” does. A lie is an untruth, while “true” denotes a truth, thus what “true lies” in effect states is “truth untruth” or “true untruth,” which is certainly an oxymoron, because both terms of the statement refer to the same conceptual category. But your own statements about “democracy” and “illiberal” refer to two completely different conceptual categories. By “democracy” you refer to a particular type of political representation, while by “illiberal” you refer to thought and freedom restrictions. In my book, putting together two such incompatible conceptual categories does not an oxymoron make. Anyway, you are barging in on open doors with me, with your perfectly justified outrage about the perversion of democratic processes in Hungary. I am in complete agreement with… Read more »
Guest

One more point:

When I say ILLIBERAL, charliecharlieh, I don’t mean restrictions on thought and freedom, like you do.

What I do mean by ILLIBERAL is a system of parliamentary governance that (1) systematically ignores the interests and opinions of minorities, thus denying minorities any possibility of meaningful participation in the exercise of political power; (2) systematically perverts the rule of law, with a dominant parliamentary majority ramming through arbitrary self-serving legislation as and when it pleases; and (3) abolishes the protections of constitutional checks and balances by fiat or proclamation of that dominant parliamentary majority.

So we are talking about two entirely different things, charliecharlieh, which can lead to talking at each other, rather than with each other.

Guest

Correction: point (3) above should be:

“systematically abolishes the protections of constitutional checks and balances by fiat or proclamation by that dominant parliamentary majority.”

Gabor Toka
Guest
Yes, this is a great story to show how Fidesz bigheads distinguish between public and private assets (i.e., only as long as the public can see what happens). But it is slightly more complex how the regime works. First, the press reports say that following the legislative change you mention, the minister still has to approve the lending of paintings to private individuals and firms, but was not asked by Baan in this case, and Baan already got a written reprimand from Balogh (his minister) for this “error” long before the current revelation. Personally I think that the legislative change was defensible, and Baan goes on to defend it. But last week he said that given how much fuss the press makes about this lending to Habony – and he denies that this was wrong in any way – he will refuse to lend to any private individual in the future. Which is just a confirmation that (1) he never had a principled reason to support the legislative change but did only to be able to please his friends; and (2) he considers it his own right to decide if and when he wishes to lend museum property, and thinks… Read more »
Observer
Guest

He is not the first and won’t be the last well qualified political whore.
Still better than the other barbarians pillaging the country.

Guest

Re: ‘barbarians pillaging the country’

And and what is absolutely incredible is that apparently all the corruption is done in the complete light of day. It’s almost as if the ‘discounts’ for being in government service are taken knowing that ‘lines’ bending truth of the situation can be used to flip them aside like water off a slimy duck’s back.

And it goes on arrogantly even with EU eyes watching. What a bunch. What a junta seemingly turning a country into a squalid quagmire and cesspool showing waste of human and community potential. How could it not turn one into wanting to throw the bums out?

Guest

Yes, those tobacco shops being the most obvious example. But almost everybody seems to accept this as “the way things are done” …
PS and not too much OT:
If a civil servant in Germany accepts a present worth 50€ (let’s say for Xmas) he risks being prosecuted for corruption and losing his job …

Observer
Guest

@wlfi7777
While the venerable Kohl was forced to bow out over DM 5 million NON DECLARED, not stolen, in Hungary the parties don’t have to disclose who’s financing them.
Trains were hired to haul Fidesz supporters to Budapest rallies, but we never new who footed the bill.
We don’t even know who wrote the constitution/basic law.
So much for transparency, open government, etc. liberal democratic BS.

robot
Guest

Baan has always been a die-hard fidesznik trooper just like Navracsics, Szájer, Martonyi etc. were.

You, like most other people on the left (just like the Socialist Istvan Hiller who actually hired Baan to score points with Fidesz) as well as foreign observers who for some reasons desperately wanted to believe in Orban swallowed this story, that they are the “liberal” “urban” wing of Fidesz, they are people we can talk to, they are actually respected, cosmopolitan etc. WRONG.

Baan is a disgusting, corrupt, petty criminal and has always been that. Try to finally wake up. It’s 2016.

There is NO difference between Baan and Balogh and Szajer and Lazar and Rogan and never were. You wanted to believe in the difference because maintaining this fantasy postponed your facing the cold reality.

They are equally corrupt and incompetent and out of touch and the Fidesz regime is a corrupt autocracy. Like it or not, it is they who rule you and other Hungarians.

petofi
Guest

Yesterday–or was it this morning?–I happened on the parliamentary channel when Orban was in the midst of the most tasteless ad hominem attack of an opposition member. As the camera panned over the seated parliamentarians, who should I spy but that jack of all trades, Kover, sitting amongst the Fideszers. Now, shouldn’t someone
tell this schmuck that a speaker of the house should be party-neutral?

Truly, what Fideszers have done to government procedure reminds one of 8-year olds mockingly playing at adults…

Guest

Rather OT but just to show what awaits Hungary if O follows Putin further.:

Nadja Tolokonnikowa, one of the members of “Pussy Riot” has just published a book describing her experiences in “jail” – as bad as in Stalin times!
It’s available in German as “Anleitung für eine Revolution” (Hanser Berlin)

webber
Guest

No changes needed: “the conditions of the six petitioners’ incarceration violated article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The six convicts, who served their sentences in different facilities in Baracska, Szolnok, Budapest, Sopronkőhid, Pálhalma, Debrecen and Szeged, brought suit three years ago.”
http://budapestbeacon.com/public-policy/european-court-of-human-rights-condemns-prison-overcrowding-in-hungary/20647

Guest

Sorry for the double post – here’s some info on that courageous woman:

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

webber
Guest

OT – Orbán, the loser, or rather his government lost yet another case in the European Courts. I’ve lost track of how many they’ve lost now.
http://index.hu/gazdasag/2016/02/23/elbukott_szep_kartya_es_az_erzsebet_utalvany/

They can’t seem to win anything at the level of the courts outside Hungary. So why would anyone think they are going to win with Paks?

tappanch
Guest

The Orban regime does not have spare money for education or health care, but it surely has for a mansion in NW Washington DC:

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2016/02/d-c-mansion-once-home-to-alexander-graham-bell-and.html

Guest

Matolcsy?

tappanch
Guest

The skinheads are members of the “Fradi Security”. Fradi is a soccer club headed by Fidesz “party director” Kubatov.

http://nol.hu/belfold/igy-lett-nehany-kigyurt-figura-par-orara-a-politikai-elet-foszereploje-1602967

Guest

Re: Fradi

In a futbol reverie perhaps in an alternate universe maybe a Magyar team could excel and say play in the elite Champions League. Incredible yes but even more incredible would be the difficulty in controlling and managing their public relations. Without it the embarrassment to Magyarorszag would be incalculable on the European and global stage.

webber
Guest

I’m sure I’ll be alone in this opinion, but if they sell the old embassy and use this building instead, it will be a good investment. The old one is horrible, and is a long way from everything. This building is in the center of everything.
The only redeeming feature of the old building are the grounds, which are very large – parklike.

Guest

London Calling!

O/T more dodgy figures from Gabriella’s KSH:

http://bbj.hu/economy/ksh-hungarys-population-on-a-decline-in-2015_111930

“The estimated population calculated on the basis of the 2011 census and taking into account international migration was 9,823,000 at the end of 2015, KSH said.”

So how many migrants – those who work abroad permanently – are counted? The say based on the 2011 census which they published ‘provisionally’. Have they collected emigrant stats available at their borders? Estimations?

There are many other stats available from surrounding countries, for example, Austria. And transparency is a casualty with Orban’s KSH.

Has any ‘independent’ study been done to assess KSH figures? The ONS (The UK stats authority) often commissions academics to analyse its output. Have any independent ‘health’ checks been done on the KSH figures? (Apart from Tappanch!)

Or their data cross-checked from other sources? I’m asking because I can’t find any – but then again I don’t speak Hungarian – and nor has my partner.

These figures are very politcal for Orban and I remain deeply sceptical.

Yes “Hungary is performing better” but only abroad.

Regards

Charlie

tappanch
Guest

@Charlie

This is what I can gather from the official data

Oct 1, 2011 (census): 9,937,628 (source A)

natural decline (Oct 1, 2011 through Dec 31, 2015)
10262+39211+38089+34798+39900 = 162,260 (Source B)

Population without migration on Dec 31, 2015: 9937628-162260 = 9,775,368

Population reported by KSH on Feb 23, 2016: 9,823,000 (source C)

Net immigration to Hungary (Oct 1, 2011 through Dec 31, 2015): 47,632

This looks nonsense.

Accepted refugees in Hungary number less than 1,500 in the 2011-2015 period !
(Source D)

The number of Romanian, Ukrainian and Serbia citizens who received Hungarian passport in the last few years had reached 700,000 by July 2015. (Source E)

But most Hungarians from Transylvania or Serbia (who move at all) now go straight to the West with their new Hungarian passport.

There was also a substantial emigration from Hungary to England, Germany, Austria, elsewhere.

KSH most likely counts a big chunk of the new Hungarian passport holders, including those who still live in Romania, Serbia and the Ukraine as resident population of Hungary.

Sources:
A. http://www.ksh.hu/nepszamlalas/docs/tablak/teruleti/00/00_1_1_1_1.xls
B. http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xstadat/xstadat_evkozi/e_wdsd001.html
C. http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xftp/gyor/nep/nep1512.html
D. http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xstadat/xstadat_eves/i_wnvn003.html
E. http://4024.hu/2015/07/15/2018-ra-egymillioval-nohet-a-magyar-allampolgarok-szama/

tappanch
Guest

Number of foreign citizens residing in Hungary:

January 1, 2011: 206,909
January 1, 2012: 143,361
January 1, 2015: 145,968

So about 60,000 foreign citizens who were already living in Hungary received citizenship in 2011 , but zero later.

http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xstadat/xstadat_eves/i_wnvn001b.html

tappanch
Guest

Expected population without migration [vs reported population] on January 1 , —> therefore net immigration in the previous year

2012: 9927366 [9931925] —> 4,559 (last quarter of 2011)
2013: 9892714 [9908798] —> 16,084 (2012)
2014: 9870709 [9877365] —-> 6,656 (2013)
2015: 9842567 [9855571] —-> 13,004 (2014)
2016: 9815671 [9823000] —> 7,329 (2015)

Source:
http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xstadat/xstadat_eves/i_wnt001b.html

At least the data is consistent here [this does not happen very often with the official statistical data these days), the total net immigration in the [Oct 1, 2011 through Dec 31, 2015] period is

4559+16084+6656+13004+7329 = 47632

tappanch
Guest

So we can suspect that

either the hundreds of thousands of new Hungarian guest workers in Western Europe are counted as residents of Hungary (but they can vote only if they stand in line in a few towns – in the UK it is London only. They cannot vote in mail)

and/or so are hundreds of thousands of ethnic Hungarians living in Romania and Serbia (they can vote in mail collected by Fidesz-affilated organizations or the post office)

Guest

Thank you, Tappanch – no doubt a lot of hard work – really appreciated.

I find it difficult to understand that, what I call the ‘Trianon’ voters – those who don’t reside in Hungary and never have – and don’t intend to, could muddy the waters – unless the KSH are manipulating the figures? Surely they didn’t allow these ‘Trianon’ voters to get their hands on Census returns?

Ditto all the Hungarians, for example in London? And those passport holders in Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

Surely without transparency, independence and review then the KSH can fiddle the figures to their hearts content?

I think Eurostat compile their figures from those fed to them by each state – and these are used to calculate the various funds that a country receives.

So a big incentive to overstate them – and I know, for example, that the UK ONS treat them as a joke.

Hungary’s worker base (productive workers) is unbelievably low (about 3m?) with the highest number working in second jobs.

These figures are a hotch potch of unbelievability.

How can anyone believe them – let alone use them as a base for dishing out grants?

I’m sure the gangsters are massaging them for maximum spondooliks.

tappanch
Guest

I suspect the actual population of Hungary is below 9.5 million.

Officially, the number of people between 15 and 74 is 7.53 million

their distribution
3.0 million inactives
2.6 million employees inside Hungary
1.4 million “self-employed” or “employed in enterprises with less than 5 employees”
0.3 million officially unemployed
0.2 million fostered workers (who get half of the minimum wage or less than 200 euros a month)

http://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xstadat/xstadat_evkozi/e_qlf033.html

Guest

OT. I just got a copy of Post-communist State at the Libri in Mammut for 4000 HUF. I think they have one or two copies left.

tappanch
Guest

Workers of the state railroads MAV will not go on strike, as usual.

Their trade union accepted a 3% pay raise offer today.

The top management of MAV received a 150% pay raise from the government on January 1st.

http://www.blikk.hu/aktualis/penz/ezert-nott-ket-es-felszeresere-a-mav-vezetoinek-beralapja/nnm7pjw

webber
Guest

So few qualified people are willing to work at MAV for the wages offered that the company will have serious troubles in the near future. You cannot run a train company with uneducated, unskilled people.

Guest

London Calling!

More O/T ‘Europe: Strangers On My Doorstep’ – a perceptive BBC radio programme on the refugee events in Hungary – some isolated, seige mentality views in locations outside BP.

An amazingly perspicacious analysis of Hungarians attitude to refugees and migrants (in my view! What else?). Older people attacking people – foreigners, and other experiences. ‘Cattle Pens’ at the borders.

You may not be able to access it here because it’s on domestic radio for UK consumption only. However very often they are broadcast on the World Service of the BBC – so will repost then. Let me know please.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07143dx

Regards

Charlie

Guest

“As more European countries follow Hungary’s lead and fence their borders against irregular migration, Maria Margaronis explores Hungarians’ responses to the refugee and migration crisis. She visits the prison factory that makes most of the razor wire used on Europe’s borders, and hears how the crisis is affecting Hungary’s Muslim minority. She travels to the Serbian frontier with solidarity activists who support the border guards, and meets the Two-Tailed Dog Party, an opposition group with a biting analysis. What’s behind Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s hardline response to migration? And is Hungary the cutting edge of a new, illiberal Europe?”

tappanch
Guest

Tomorrow, a sculpture of György Donáth, a well-known anti-Semitic politician of the Horthy era will be dedicated by the vice president of Fidesz.

The sculpture will stand a few steps from the Holocaust Documentation Center on Pava street.

The Jewish community (MaZsiHiSz) protests this new step by the Orban regime.

http://www.mazsihisz.hu/2016/02/23/szelsojobboldali,-antiszemita-politikusnak-ne-legyen-szobra-magyarorszagon-8520.html

tappanch
Guest
engelbert
Guest

A very strange circumstance in today’s most important story.

http://dendre.tumblr.com/post/139859737262/k%C3%A9t-dolgot-nem-%C3%A9rtek

spectator
Guest
I have some difficulties to interpret the word “aristocracy” regarding the rulers and their adjacent underlings in Hungary, I really do! Isn’t “aristocrat” supposed to be a hereditary title? I mean, it supposed to come down through the ancestral line, so there is no car mechanic and/or peasant boy belong to the “aristocracy” — as it supposed to be defined, only by the true blue-blood nobles entitled to be called so? Come now, people! Either we are (for some funny reason, but never mind) accept the old fashioned — say Horthy era — titles with all the necessary and mandatory requirements met with, or we just treat these bunch of parvenues, redneck wannabes on their place, as they really are. Did anyone noticed, that none of the members of the “true” aristocracy belong to the Orbanian ruler “elite”? That only the newly enriched plumbers, peasants and car-mechanics have place, but none of the descendants of the historically important families, even if the official mantra keep on repeating “keeping the historical traditions of the (once) great Hungary”..? Are we witnessing as another “Great National Bullshit” being established..? Do we agree that it is what’s supposed to mark the establishment of new… Read more »
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