The great awakening: Hungary’s twenty-first century 1848

I consider this March 15th to be a true watershed in the history of the new democratic Hungary. Many of those who vividly remember 1989 and the dawn of a new political era believe that the promise of a second beginning has arrived. The end of the Viktor Orbán era is approaching. Those teachers and their supporters who spoke to about 50,000 people gathered in front of the parliament building in cold, rainy weather seem ready to follow through and, if necessary, go so far as eventually to declare a general strike.

As I have steadfastly maintained ever since the news of the teachers’ revolt against the Orbán government’s retrograde school system hit the media, this movement is defined by much more than the dissatisfaction of a handful of teachers. It is sowing the seeds of a general revolt against the system Viktor Orbán has methodically created in the last six years.

The beginnings are promising. At their first demonstration the teachers’ unions managed to get about 20,000 people to stand in the pouring rain, listening to inspiring speeches and ending their demonstration with five minutes of silence when one could hear only the rain drops falling on their umbrellas. It was uplifting. Even my most pessimistic friends had to admit that something very unusual was happening. The general apathy had been broken. The people had at last said, no more.

Of course, there were other earlier demonstrations that ended with a whimper. A few speeches, some very good, some not so good, after which the organizers asked the people to sing the national anthem and told the folks to go home. The crowd wanted more than that, and fewer and fewer of them went to these demonstrations. What’s the use? was the eventual reaction.

March 15

These organizers are different. István Pukli, Kata Törley, and Olivér Pilz are determined to see their protest movement play out to its logical conclusion. After the first demonstration they began organizing a new one which, they promised, would be even bigger than the first. It was this second demonstration that took place today and that impressed so many people. It was here that they announced their two demands of the government.

First, an apology from Viktor Orbán and János Áder by midnight on March 23 to “all those people they have humiliated in the last six years.” If there is no such apology, teachers nationwide will strike during one class and will ask parents and sympathizers to gather in front of the schools their children or grandchildren attend. If another week goes by without an apology, there will be a two-hour strike. The following week a three-hour one. All this, by the way, is illegal according to the new labor law enacted by the robot parliament of Viktor Orbán. This civil disobedience would spread until a general strike could be declared. According to Pukli, they have assurances from 950 organizations that they would join such a strike.

This demand for an apology will not be met. The organizers must know full well that Viktor Orbán will never publicly ask for forgiveness from the Hungarian people for his misdeeds.

The second demand is for the dismemberment of the round table headed by Undersecretary László Palkovics and his minister, Zoltán Balog. Future negotiations should be conducted by a member of the government who “has true competence to make decisions and who has control of the purse strings.” In the Orbán government there is only one person who can make decisions, Viktor Orbán himself, so this demand will not be met either. In addition, the negotiators on the teachers’ side demand that the official negotiations be conducted publicly, with the media present, which is a very wise move, knowing the government’s penchant for distorting the truth.

Since it is highly unlikely that either demand will be met, we can expect weekly strikes. As Pukli said after the demonstration, “it is only force that this government understands.”

And finally a few personal impressions. The speeches were only in small part about the teachers’ demands, although Olivér Pilz read their twelve points and asked the crowd to indicate whether they are ready to support them. That was their national consultation. The speeches were mostly about the freedom that was taken away from the Hungarian people and that must be taken back from this government. There was a great deal of emphasis on bravery, of not being afraid. They made the crowd repeat time and again: “they have no power over us.” Over and over one could hear that “we mustn’t accept” what the government forces on us. This was a massive demonstration against the regime of Viktor Orbán. It has taken a long time for the people to wake up, but I believe that we have finally arrived at a level of dissatisfaction that might soon enough become a tipping point.

Today’s national holiday was the perfect setting to launch an anti-government movement. March 15 is all about freedom, representative government, a parliamentary system. Everything that the Orbán system is not. So, not surprisingly, at this demonstration 1848 was the focal point. Mária Sándor, the nurse in black, performed brilliantly. She recited the first lines of Sándor Petőfi’s famous poem, “Rise Hungarians / Now or never,” and the crowd responded: “Now.” She also recited the lyrics of the Hungarian national anthem asking God to “extend His guarding arm above her,” and at the end she even sang  the very popular by now protest song; “If I were a rose” by János Bródy. This woman, just a nurse who takes care of sick babies, has guts. To stand there and sing alone in front of this enormous crowd. It was amazing and very moving.

Yes, these people are different from what came before them. I wish them the best.

March 15, 2016
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Member

I am with you Eva 100% on this one. This is a different crowd. These are teachers, to soccer hooligans, they have arrived to this conclusion based on years of experience with this (and previous governments). These are not old people only but a mixture of young and old, students, teachers, professionals. Thy were peaceful, not like Orban’s buddies when they were in opposition. Good luck to them.

Also, I would like thank Bowen, who regularly participates and reports on the various protests and developments from Budapest!

Observer
Guest

The weather could hardly be worse – 3-4 reg C, drizzle and a bit of wind.
In my estimate there were 30-35 k on the square, compared to 50-55 k last time.
The envisaged strike/s, however raise the stakes to a new level. To igbt on ATV Istvan Pukli, one of the teacher’s leaders now, disclosed that they had had consultations with other organizations regarding a strike.
This is the clinch – a real national strike incl. e.g. the Budapest transport workers, who are organizing a strike over their pay, paralyze Budapest and a couple of bigger cities, the Organ regime will loose its image. Since imagery and smoke is a pilar of this regime a successful strike would be the beginning of the end.
But these are big “Ifs” and there’s a lot of work to be done in organizkng. God bless this work.

Member

Thanks for reporting back. May I ask what “last time” are you referring to? Any numbers I came across estimated a substantially larger crowd than those of the last teacher’s “gathering”.

Observer
Guest

@Some1

Yes, I refer to the first teachers’ demo.
I went from one end of the square to the other on both occasions to see the density of the crowd. I calculated upon area and density details on the first occasion. Now the crowed was both thinner and covering less area, hence the numbers. In my opinion first time the reports underestimated the numbers and now they overestimated them (perhaps compensating for a mistake?).

webber
Guest

I also think a nationwide strike is possible – train workers, public transport workers, doctors and nurses, even the police and fire departments have serious grievances because of promises made but never kept.

Guest

At this point I’ve thought that in the this now on-going chess game with move and countermove it would behoove those who are fighting for change to play their ‘white’ pieces with advantage. They would seem to have initiative. Question is can they keep it? Trick is to make sure the fekete guys play the fekete pieces the way any game in chess is played… defensively.

When it comes to learning and education and its impact on future generations, it is incumbent for them to press all this on with advantage. I believe it is extremely consequential for the country both in rural and urban areas.

Guest

Interesting to see ‘Don Quixote’ poking up on through the crowd. It would appear perhaps a literature teacher senses and perceives a loss in stature of one of the country’s leaders. And that is going from the very popular and sagacious to now perhaps being a bit lunatic and ridiculous. And if they were to make other signs they’d no doubt have a bunch to fit Sancho Panza’s profile.

Lutra lutra
Guest

That fits in with Orbán’s football stadium folly in Felcsut, which my wife has referred to from the off as the Sancho Panza Arena

Guest

Certainly that ‘football folly’ showed the dissonance in what the leader wanted in contrast to the people. A failure to ‘communicate’.

And the sign holder could have been aware of Cervantes’ apparently relevant advice as the people stand in the rain demanding answers to their most important questions:

“Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.”

webber
Guest
Guest

Hehe we’re all on the ball!

And just have to say this place is like one big bag of surprise candy. I don’t have to go the cukrasda! Either in the stunning revelations , well for me because I sometimes wonder whether I am on the same planet with my ancestral country, inherent in Prof Balogh’s withering and perceptive essays or in cultural affairs. First time I heard about Don Quijote ( I like the original spelling) being in a pop song…;-)…

Member

I watched most of today’s actions and I agree with you 100% Éva! Thanks for this article and every one before this one.

Guest
London Calling! I really don’t understand the point of asking for an apology in the scheme of things. An apology that Balog or anyone else can’t make. What’s the point? Teacher’s need the housekeeping desperately – they can’t afford to strike. I doubt if they have the resilience even to get a response – a “sorry”- then what? There’s no way there can be large scale reform. The art of politics is the art of the possible – the attainable – not the impossible. Ok we get a sort of half-hearted apology – a sort of victory – then what? The resolve for further strikes will evaporate. We’ll continue to wear our Klinghammer check shirts – and er? What? Orban will face this one down easily, I’m afraid. The whole strategy lacks a punch that Orban needs to back down. He will get Balog to make a small concession to draw the sting – and there will be further equivocation from the teachers. He might even sacrifice Balog as a last resort but short-term chaos won’t dislodge him. The Nurse in Black, however, is a future leader and she needs to start her own political movement if one of the… Read more »
Guest

“Down with this sort of thing.”

webber
Guest

I agree about the apology – it’s not the sort of thing people would generally go on strike for.
Adqui, alea iacta est. We can wish them the best.

Guest

@webber
Today 3:12 am

The demands for an apology and for negotiating directly with Orbán are obviously just tactical ploys to trigger further action.

It is the nature and effectiveness of that further action that will determine the outcomes.

Observer
Guest

Note @ambalint 5.53 below for answer.
Reading you post above I wander what are you saying/suggesting: revolution and barricades? You are also saying that the teachers can’t afford to strike. These two don’t fit in the same picture.

Observer
Guest

Clarifying the apology demand issue.
In addition to @ambalint’s point re tactical purposes, pls note that this demand scuffs the image of the Orban regime – the winner, the invincible, the powerful, etc. Since half of Orban is smoke and mirrors this is a very sensitive point.

I invariably recommend and use sarcastic, disparaging, denigrating and sometimes offensively rude terms for everything related to Orban. Often the effects are amazing: the surprised or even shocked faithful gasp for air and remain quiet. The democrats need to change the public narrative by counter message – Orban the spoiler, the thief, the liar, the tyrant, the ignoramus, etc.

Guest

Everything is correct Eva, except that Maria actually sang Brody’s song “Ha en rozsa volnek” from the the part “Ha en zaszlo volnek…” https://youtu.be/Au59kdTqsXc . The song you mentioned was later probably closer to the end. I just hope that the title of your today’s essay will hold true.

Guest

Éva I completely agree with you. I was there yesterday, with my “Demo buddy”, friend and neighbour, and we both felt very heartened, for the first time in years.
Heartened that now some action is going to take place.

In the past, just telling Orbán that “we are unhappy” about his style of rule, meant nothing. A strike is brilliant, And I don’t aggree with Charlie and Webber that demanding an apology is pointless. Orbán will not apologise, his ego is much too inflated for that, and even if he does, then Pukli will simply say “that’s a good start,now we want our list of demands met”.

No doubt Orbán willl come up wit a sneaky and devious counterplan, but itwill not work. the crowd yesterday, repeating that they have no power over us, is a very important psychological tool. We, Éva’s commentators should also use positive mantras, and they will have a positive effect.

webber
Guest

You misunderstood my point (can’t talk for Charlie) – I did not say asking for or demanding an apology is pointless. I don’t think it is.
What I meant was that threatening to strike if an apology is not forthcoming is not, in my view, really inspiring. What’s “sorry” really worth? What can they do with it?(Megegyék?)
After all that has been done, it’s not enough. It’s not even a beginning.
Risk your job and go on strike just because the PM won’t say “sorry, we were wrong?” – doesn’t seem inspiring.
But I hope I’m wrong. Maybe the fact that Orbán won’t apologize (I agree- no chance he will), that he won’t make that simple little human gesture, will be enough to infuriate people.
That said, I think the demand to eliminate that farce of a negotiating “round table” and replace it with something actually representative is much more inspiring.

Guest

I actually think the teachers have seriously miscalculated – mainly explained in my earlier post – they should’ve planned to strike on something they can win.

It should definitely have been about pay – it’s something tangible that they can win. No surrender – more pay. Winning more pay – because it is right and is protecting the profession – will energise the next levels of putting the profession on a proper footing – striking for the more nebulous principles – like evidence-based best-practice teaching.

I know they probably think its a bit grubby to argue over money first – and they want to occupy the moral high ground. But it’s a mistake.

It’s the only ‘power’ leverage they have – and it would galvanise the profession.

It would strengthen their resolve and would make it worth the candle – and enable them to really confront the administration on a continuing basis.

Winning round one would energise round two – supporting the MAV workers for more pay, for example.

To go ‘nebulous’ first is a failure of strategy.

Guest

And besides….. They are seeking to reverse the enourmous changes over the past how many years?

Where do you begin?

Some might think things have gone too far……

Guest
@charliecharlieh Today 5:40 am Grasp all, loose all? (Aki sokat markol, keveset fog?) Maybe. But maybe not. Because maybe the aim of the current leadership is not necessarily to win on this or that concrete salary concession, but to keep on amplifying popular rage until it becomes general and overwhelming enough to destroy the Orbán regime. This however is an admittedly very high risk longer term strategy that would need the people of rage to patiently hold their breath for rather long periods of time, and I am not as yet convinced that Hungarians have in them to pull off such a for them very radical strategy successfully, because the Hungarian psyche has shown time and time again that its affinity is for short bursts of high enthusiasm that however tends to very quickly fizzle out. However, if this time the situation is truly different, and that is a very big if, then in my opinion this kind of psychological tactic might well be a crucially important component of an ultimately winning comprehensive strategy, particularly if the teachers can get on their side the ordinary folk of towns and villages in the Hungarian countryside. One significant justification of opting for… Read more »
Guest

Correction: ” . . . would also LEAD perforce to a significant betterment of conditions for the teachers.” at the end of para 6.

Guest

O/T

Presumably the three Fideszniks who have burnt €30k + hotels + travel have had an object lesson in failure now that Marco Rubio has pulled out of the nomination race?

He didn’t even get his home state – a wilting flower for some time.

Let’s hope they’ve learnt a few losing lessons – but so much money spent on a useless jolly.

On another matter?

Your picture, Eva shows a cardboard placard equating Oban with Don Quixote?

Has Cervantes been translated into Hungarian – and it’s spelt with the Hungarian aspirate ‘j’ – or is it a J? Or the aspirate ‘x’ has been replaced by the Hungarian aspirate ‘j’ in error?

Not very good if it’s the latter! A teacher alluding to one of the classics and getting it wrong gives enormous ammunition to their enemies – Klinghammer for example.

However I may be wrong and there is another explanation? – So no unnecessary examples from England please. There are so many examples of the ‘greengrocer’s apostrophe’ here – but they are not educators.

(Always get your retaliation in first – Ozzy Osbourne.)

webber
Guest
Assuming your questions are serious. All classics have been translated into Hungarian – most a long time ago. Don Quixote was translated with a “j” – Don Quijote. Online available here. http://mek.oszk.hu/09900/09901/09901.pdf So, the teacher’s spelling was impeccable. That is how it should be spelled in Hungarian. Changing spelling to match pronunciation was very common throughout Europe in the 19th century and before. Many of these odd spellings are now fixed. In Polish, for example, Shakespeare is spelled Szekspir (and yes, Poles know that’s not how it’s spelled in English – but still that’s the proper Polish spelling). Assuming an earlier question was serious: Győr is spelled with an ő. Ő is not the same as o, nor is it the same as ö or ó. The pronunciation of each is different, and the meaning can be very different. Examples ott=there öt=five őt=him/her ót=something old, in the accusative form (as in, I see something old), though this last isn’t really done much . I’ve just used it as an example. Gyor (pr. something like Djorr) means nothing. Győr (pr. something like Djerr) is the name of the town. But nobody expects foreigners to spell these things properly because everyone knows… Read more »
webber
Guest

(this is such basic stuff – were those questions real ones?)

webber
Guest

P.S. and what I’ve written above is mildly silly because the modern Spanish spelling can be Quijote (Cervantes wrote Quixote, of course), while in Hungarian the phonetic spelling would be Kihote.

Guest

@webber
Today 5:22 am

That was, one might say, a pointless non sequitur on the part of our dear, dear Charlie of the short fuse. :-)))

Guest

But Mike!

I had all exits covered! (Interesting answer – didactic even!)

Guest

@webber
Today 5:22 am

Touché. :-)))

Guest

Quijotic even! Plough your own furrow Hungary! Pronounce ‘The Beatles’ – The Beatlies and ‘Wimbledon’ – Wimblydon! It’s endearing!

webber
Guest

My favourite is “Lidli” for the shop Lidl. Hungarian “doesn’t like” that dl ending, so many native speakers add the i (needed for declension, anyway).
In England, I’ve often heard “Tescos” (perhaps the speaker is thinking apostrophe s?) – and I must admit it sounds better to say “I’m going to Tesco’s” than “I’m going to Tesco.”
Speakers of every language do this sort of thing.
Languages have their own logic.
Pronunciation in one language often has very little to do with the original.

Guest

Truly impressive. I too wish them the best.

Istvan
Guest
I did not see any video clips of any other speaker yesterday calling for an Orban apology than Steven Pukli as one of the conditions for calling off the one hour walk out, am I wrong about that? I did not see any video of a national representative of either the Teachers ‘Trade Union or the Teachers’ Democratic Trade Union adding the demand of an apology on top of the 12 points as a condition for calling off the walk out. In fact I am a little unclear whether they are retracting the original 21 demands in favor of the 12 read out yesterday. One of the 12 demands was very new, and good in my opinion, a demand for more services for disabled children in Hungarian schools. If one accepts that this article has any credibility at all, http://nol.hu/belfold/ok-mar-megbuktak-pukli-ugy-kiosztotta-az-orban-kormanyt-mint-senki-mas-1606485 , then there are serious questions whether there was in fact full agreement with the apology demand. In Hungarian ( I dare not translate it ) here is the relevant passage about the extent of union support for that demand: “Pukli szerint már nem a mozgalomnak kell beállni a szakszervezetek mögé, hanem fordítva, a szakszervezeteknek a mozgalom mögé. A héten… Read more »
webber
Guest

Népszabadság is now owned and controlled by a Fidesz front.
For a truly independent daily, may I recommend Népszava?

Istvan
Guest

I read Népszava as of today’s reports they have not commented at all on the issue of whether or not the trade unions are on board with Pukli. For example in this article, http://nepszava.hu/cikk/1088475-ultimatum-egy-ora-a-szabadsagert there is never a mention of any teachers union or other union supporting the Pukli apology position. That is one reason Webber I indicated there could be some truth in the articles I linked to and I was aware of Fidesz influence with both of the reporters and the paper itself.

webber
Guest

Most trade union leaders are also Fidesz people now. That they would raise “serious objections” to Pukli’s suggestions was to be expected.

The teacher’s movement is wildcat – that’s the way it has to be in Hungary today to get anything done. Traditional labour representatives have been co-opted (that goes for Student governments as well, BTW).

webber
Guest

P.S. I strenuously object to your idea that union MEMBERS are pro-Fidesz. I happen to be a union member (oddly still worthwhile).
However, the LEADERSHIP is not “pro-Fidesz,”- that would be an understatement. The leadership IS Fidesz – it is made up of party-appointees!

CarlHungus
Guest

Totally agree with Webber. The Hungarian union leaderships have been coopted a long time ago. Hungarian unions are not genuine trade unions but satellite organizations for Fidesz which had a smart strategy of building out a host of such pseudo-civilian organizations and satellite entities. And the strategy worked.

The left wing let the trade unions out of its orbit long-long time ago (why? don’t ask me).

Corruption at the top of the unions is rampant so Fidesz controls the top people individually too (who all got their little portions from the pie).

The strikes must be wildcat, there’s no other option, the trade unions actually tend to oppose any real action (even if it was legally possible).

I myself am not too so optimistic, the corruption in civil organizations (such as trade unions, professional association etc.) is unbelievable. Fidesz’ national power base is not to be underestimated. Fideszniks will resist until the last bullets and top people all over the Hungarian political power structure are all controlled with files on some corrupt dealings.

webber
Guest

Your last paragraph sums up my greatest worries – what happens if, despite cheating, despite stuffing ballot boxes, despite chain-voting, and despite all the chicanery imaginable and unimaginable, what happens if Fidesz loses elections?
Is that even possible, given all they have to lose?
I think about everything we all know – every dirty little detail – and all the things we don’t know, and wonder.
What will they do? Do they just quietly walk off stage? They will surely face prosecution.

Guest

@webber
Today 8:42 am

No Webber, I am sure that if Fidesz were to loose the general election in 2018, there are cunning contingency plans in place for wave after wave of civil disobedience that would make governing the country by the incoming people absolutely and totally impossible.

Orbán himself announced to all and sundry back in 2002 that ‘the nation cannot be in opposition’ and I am sure that since then the Fidesz backroom boys have worked out plenty of ways to disrupt, disable and paralyze the work of any incoming government that would replace them, ways and means that could be activated on a very short notice, so as to get the ‘nation’ back into power as quickly as possible.

Neutralizing this clear and present danger is, to my mind, the greatest challenge that an alternative incoming government would need to overcome without any ifs, buts or maybes, in the aftermath of success in the 2018 Hungarian general elections (except in the unlikely eventuality of an outright Jobbik win).

Because if they fail, their tenure would be very brief indeed.

Istvan
Guest

Webber you are arguing against someone else appaernently and not me, because here is what I just wrote: “But the existing union structure in Hungary is relatively conservative and they operates with many members who despite many complaints may also vote Fidesz.”

webber
Guest

Okay. I’ll go through exactly what you said:
“many members who despite many complaints may also vote Fidesz”
Not in my union. I know for a certainty that there isn’t, at present, a single Fidesz supporter in my local (and we generally avoid talking politics!). There were a few. They have changed.
“Union structure conservative….” What does that mean? If conservative means traditional, I’ll have to point out that a traditional union is not led by party hacks. Unions in Hungary are not conservative – they are corporate/government, in the sense of corporate from Mussolini’s Italy. That is not conservative in any sense.
If you mean conservative politically, I beg to disagree (see above).
If you mean that the Fidesz-appointed union leaders are conservative politically, then you misunderstand the nature of Fidesz. It’s not conservative.
If you mean conservative in the sense of “reluctant” to go on strike – again, you’ve missed something essential. There is no “reluctance” there is active obstacle making from Fidesznik union leadership. They will not go on strike. No way. Never. No matter what the union members’ grievances.

Istvan
Guest

One more thing Webber, I think to argue that the leadership of the Hungarian trade unions are appointed by Fidesz may be a comment that is let us say over reaching. But there is likely Fidesz influence among the leadership of many unions. I would agree with that more moderate formulation.

Eva seems to think for example Galló is capable of acting independently of Fidesz and from her post today apparently the leadership of other unions too. I see public sector unions as being inherently conservative and cautious throughout the world and only very rarely in the vanguard of struggles against existing governmental structures unless they are faced with being effectively banned and membership payments are cut off the the union structures themselves. At that point they fight for their lives.

I agree with you Webber that what may be evolving could be a sort of wildcat action on the part of more militant members of unions. But I don’t think Eva shares that perspective or at least her post did not.

webber
Guest

“I think to argue that the leadership of the Hungarian trade unions are appointed by Fidesz may be a comment that is let us say over reaching.”
On what, precisely, do you base this original, indeed revolutionary, conclusion?
Can you name a single official union leader in Hungary today who is not a Fidesz appointee?
(Let me stress – I don’t mean the non-official unions and movements – Nurses in Black, and the teachers’ wonderful organizers – I mean the official, “traditional” unions)

Apparently you did not notice that what is going on with the teachers is wildcat.

The “official” teachers’ union reps are sitting at the table with government officials, and teachers now demonstrating have made it clear that they do not accept those people as their representatives.

But perhaps we should drop this? You haven’t shown much understanding of the situation with teachers, though Eva kept trying to explain it (and quite eloquently).

Observer
Guest

@webber

Wrong. The PSZ/Mrs Gallo and the PDSZ/Laszlo Mendrei are not participating in the kangaroo round table (Mendrei attended the first meeting and his last).

True, their relations are .. say, complicated, but this is Hungary.

Mrs Gallo said a couple of weeks ago on ATV that the members’ support for strike had always been limited. They initiated an internal survey of such support she added, (by now they should know more).
But also : http://www.atv.hu/belfold/20160223-20-ezer-tanari-allas-a-tet

webber
Guest

Good!
Then perhaps Gallo isn’t a Fidesz person (any longer). Since she’s been attacked by the party, I guess she isn’t. But I’d watch her like a hawk.
Mendrei…. well,…

webber
Guest

Observer – I am bloody well right. Look more closely at PSZ’s webpage and you’ll see why I say that. It’s transparent.

webber
Guest

Well, look at PSZ’s homepage… watch the changing pictures – who is that sitting next to Mrs. Gallo… hmm?
Looks like she might just be a Fidesz person after all to me:
http://www.pedagogusok.hu/

You can fool people for some time….
Back to Pukli.

petofi
Guest

You’re a card, Istvan. You beg to differ about unions from you bar in Chicago against a union member here in Hungary! Hutzpah with cream added!!
I live in Hungary and although I’m no union member, my take on the Viktorious one is that he’s got union types in the bag. (Not to mention the top layers of the bureaucracy.)

* * * * *
Now, as for this apology nonsense…whatever merits of the teachers, this ‘say-you’re-sorry’ kidstuff has disqualified the whole action as juvenile obstructionism.

webber
Guest

OT – A note for those taking exchange students to Hungary: if and when your students are invited to meet with students from the host university’s student union (HÖK, HÖOK), you should know that the people they will meet are (mostly) members of Fidesz’s youth organization. It’s how they got into the student-union (these people are hand-picked to run in sham elections by their predecessors).
I suppose it can’t hurt to let your students know who these people are.

Herbert
Guest

Or in many cases they are Jobbik members.

Fidesz and Jobbik between them have monopolized university student organizations in Hungary. The most ambitious will be tested in various corrupt transactions and later tried in national politics.

Guest

Indeed. Really the future of Magyarorszag arguably resides in youth and how they course through the shady corridors of political moralities. I think that portion of any change possibly looming on the horizon will be a monumental challenge.
What character exists in upcoming youth I don’t know. But I hope some rise to the occasion. Truly the country needs it greatly.

webber
Guest

I understand the ELTE one, which used to be a Jobbik stronghold, is now going through Fideszization. Are there any others with Jobbik people?

picike
Guest

Orban isn’t apologizing and the teachers are just joking.

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20160316_orban_ultimatum_nem_bocsanatkeres_sztrajk

retekfalvi
Guest

Orban and Deutsch are mocking Pukli, while others like Németh Szilárd are the bad cops calling him a “bolshevist agent”. This is a many pronged strategy, it seems.

The goal is not to destroy Pukli so much as to unnerve his supporters, to make any association with Pukli (the “communist agent”) untenable in public. He is supposed to be the successor of aggressive – Jewish – communists Georg Lukacs and Tibor Szamuely (the “Jews who committed the Red Terror against god-fearing rural Christian Hungarians”).

Note however that he is not yet a “liberal”, which is actually a much worse charge than just being a communist.

Anyway, Pukli at al were totally correct, Orban did not apologize.

lepke
Guest
Istvan
Guest

It is now my understanding that the union organized strike committee will not be responsible any walkouts on March 30 if they occur. The responsible organization is now Tanitanék (I would teach) also called just the movement.

Istvan
Guest

Documents relating to Tanitanék can be seen at http://www.tanitanek.com/ also at https://www.facebook.com/Tan%C3%ADtan%C3%A9k-1487569941539650/ and also at several other places on the web. The strike committee of the 25 demands is a supporter of Tanitanék as are about 30 other organizations including several specific chapters of the Teachers Union. But not the two major parent unions for teachers in Hungary.

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