Viktor Orbán’s latest attempt to introduce “martial law” under the pretext of terrorism

Let’s start with the Hungarian regime’s latest outrage. Viktor Orbán, under the pretext of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, is trying to push through his controversial amendments to the constitution that would create a new category of emergency called “state of terror threat” (terrorveszélyhelyzet).

I wrote twice about the proposed amendments, which were uniformly rejected by the opposition parties. Once right after István Simicskó, minister of defense, called for a “five-party” discussion on security measures that would involve amendments to the constitution. At that point only bits and pieces of information were available, but even from the little that was known it sounded truly frightening. The emergency measures would have been introduced for thirty days and could have been extended without limit. Moreover, only “a threat of terrorism” would have been necessary to declare such a state of emergency.

A few days later, when all the details of the proposed amendments became available, I wrote another piece in which I listed thirty restrictions, including eviction of people from their homes, prohibition of the entry of foreigners, limitation or prohibition of contact and communication with foreigners and foreign organizations, prohibition of demonstrations, control of the internet, etc. I could go on and on. All that without parliamentary approval. These draconian measures could be announced by the government without any parliamentary oversight. No opposition party could possibly have voted for these amendments, and I was happy to see that none of them did. Not even Jobbik. It was clear to everyone that the “state of terror threat” was not so much about terror as about domestic dissatisfaction with the government. The only thing that was needed to quell anti-government protest was a so-called “terror threat.”

The terrorist attacks in Brussels came in handy for Viktor Orbán’s diabolical plans. At the time of the explosions in the Belgian capital Hungary was already under a state of emergency #3. As soon as the news of the Brussels atrocities was received in Hungary, the terror alert was upgraded to state of emergency #2.

Anyone who’s unfamiliar with Hungarian regulations might well think that under the circumstances such a move was justifiable. Those of us who know the rules, however, became suspicious that Orbán was not worried about an actual terrorist attack on Budapest but was simply raising the ante. A #2 state of emergency can currently be declared only if a “verifiable terror threat exists against the country.” And, as it turns out, the Hungarian security services have not received any such information. After many attempts, Olga Kálmán of ATV finally managed to get the truth out of György Bakondi, the government commissioner who is supposed to be an expert on emergency matters: Hungarian authorities haven’t received any verifiable terror threat. The security forces are simply wondering whether the arrest of Salah Abdeslam might trigger an attack on Budapest because Abdeslam traveled to Hungary twice to get some of his comrades out of the country back in September 2015. A rather far-fetched hypothesis.

A few hours after Bakondi’s admission about the lack of evidence of a verifiable terror threat, the security services managed to convince even the opposition members of the parliamentary commission on national security that raising the level of the state of emergency was justified. Bernadett Szél of LMP announced that the information received from the security services “was convincing.” Knowing this government, I suspect that the officers of the national security forces are just about as truthful as the other members of the government, including Viktor Orbán. Therefore, I for one don’t believe that Hungary received a credible threat, but I understand that members of the opposition are reluctant to stick their necks out.

Even before the meeting of the committee, Viktor Orbán announced that the #2 state of emergency will remain in force, and it might even be changed to #1 at the borders. Yesterday Sándor Pintér, minister of interior, said at a press conference that the #2 state of emergency would remain in effect “until it becomes clear exactly what happened in Brussels and what is expected in other countries of Europe.”

Since then Viktor Orbán decided that Hungary needs more than these terror alert levels. He instructed Pintér to return to the amendments to the constitution, which fell by the wayside “because of political quarrels.” He will try to push through this unacceptable change in the constitution, justifying it by appealing to the tragic events in Brussels.

Viktor Orbán today posed as an ardent supporter of a united Europe when he said: “The target of the explosions was not Belgium but Europe, and therefore we have to look upon this attack as if it was also against Hungary.” I wonder what he will say in a few days when the ministers of interior are told about plans for closer cooperation on security, which may involve setting up a European border guard whose members could be sent even to those member countries that do not want their assistance. This way the European borders could be better secured. I doubt that Orbán would be thrilled if that plan was approved by a “qualified majority.” As for Hungary’s preparedness for a terrorist attack he said little, but he did admit that “Hungary must obtain certain technological equipment that will make the country’s secret service equal to the best equipped ones. We will buy the latest technology, we will introduce training programs,” he promised.

MSZP came to the conclusion that Orbán’s announcement was an admission that Hungarian security forces are not up to snuff. A few hours later both Fidesz and the government condemned MSZP because, as far as they are concerned, “the opposition party in the last few months has stood by the migrants and has tried to hinder the government’s measures.” They have no right to say anything about the government’s lack of preparedness.

24.hu published a picture of the meeting Orbán held with those officials most closely involved with national security, saying that “it shows everything about Hungarian national security.”

The picture had been posted on Viktor Orbán’s Facebook page. On the picture one can see:

torzs

  • 0 computers
  • 0 smart phones
  • 2 nonfunctioning live streams
  • 9 notebooks with notations
  • 1 TV on which M1 can be seen
  • 1 monitor on which a building can be seen

A rather good description of what’s going on in Hungary. Hungary may have a fence, but it’s ill-prepared for a real terror threat. The government has been battling the refugees and inciting the people against them but has done practically nothing to develop a decent counter-terrorism task force.

Conclusion. Most likely there is no terror threat against Hungary at the moment, which is a blessing because these guys are totally incompetent. And constitutional amendments that infringe on human rights won’t help that situation.

March 23, 2016
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Member

Orban sees in the Belgian tragedy the opportunity to invoke emergency powers (in order to distract from — and prepare to control — the growing citizen unrest), “Latefor” of course sees in it the opportunity to peddle her scribbling. (Hers is the lesser maleficence, of course, a flea or a louse, but they both have the unmistakable stench of amoral, self-interested opportunism.)
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Latefor
Guest

Stevan Harnad, have you ever been in bed with a flea?

Member

Knew we could always count on a rational (and refined, if not raffiniert) discussion of democracy in Orbanistan with Melanie…

Guest

@Stevan Harnad
Today 9:12 pm

Trolls come in many shapes and colours. Latefor is a troll, whose m.o. is shifting the discussion to something that is not merely OT, but totally fatuous, inane and utterly irrelevant . You hit the nail on the head few days ago when you wrote “Troll. To be ignored.”

Guest

Ignore the troll!

Latefor
Guest

Stevan & ambalint – I’m glad to see that I didn’t disappoint you.

Just for the record: how can I be a “troll” when you know who I am?
Besides, I’ve been commenting on this blog (on and off) for the last six years. As I’ve said many times before: we are all driven by burning personal interest to comment in here. The only difference between you and I is that I’m an open book but nobody really knows anything about the “real” you. Except for the Hungarian Secret Service, maybe.
Please be free to ignore me and address the more serious issues re: Eva’s post.

Have a Happy Easter/Passover/Holidays.

Latefor
Guest

“0 computers
0 smart phones
2 nonfunctioning live streams
9 notebooks with notations
1 TV on which M1 can be seen

1 monitor on which a building can be seen”

At least they don’t have to worry about cyber-security. The table covers the latest Hungarian invention: paper shredder with inbuilt fire device 🙂
Love Orban or hate him, these “boys” on the photo look pretty smart to me. They can obviously think outside the square.

dos929
Guest
….And the biggest terrorist is Orban himself. Terrorising ‘his’ own nation…. This is the simple truth, and no amount of propaganda, double talk, blame-shifting, lies and deceptions can legitimise his actions over the past 6 years. Instead of dealing with the refugee problem, he is creating Hungary’s own refugees, that by some account amount to over 600 thousand souls, the majority of whom will never return permanently to their ex-homeland because of him, because of the FIDESZ regime, and not because the grass is greener on the other side. The often quoted popular support of the Hungarian people towards this sick and disgusting governance is just as false as everything that is done by Orban & Co. The true feelings of the majority of Hungarians towards Orban is a mix of justifiable hatred and fear. Fear from their own government! And yet they are many who would argue that this is not ‘yet’ a dictatorship…. In my, and I hope for all decent human beings way of thinking, if the basics of democracy have been removed, and removed by the means and tactics that are used by Orban and the FIDESZ machinery, then it is a dictatorship. No external threat,… Read more »
Observer
Guest

Yes, it is a dictatorship – the “fascism light” kind so far.
Yes, this regime of half baked is incapable of proper government.
No, “Orban’s ‘peacock dance’ can” and in fact does fools 1.5 – 2 million fools who are waiting to be fooled.

Guest

Re: ‘fascism light’

Perhaps the illiberalists have found the best way to propound their post-modern philosophy. Use ‘ the unbearable lightness of autocratic being’ to lull the minions into thinking all is well. Nothing else is needed for the almost feather-touch that a certain autocracy can give. Pretty soon it’s bang the trap’s been shut. It is evident that the powers that be are having a bit of success in making some under their watch walking in somnolescence.

Observer
Guest

@wrfree
Don’t get me wrong, Orban is a great power technician, no guiding principles or ideology, but power and wealth grabbing. Since there is no great choice of dictatorship forms in Europe (no military juntas, or tribal chieftains) his regime just happens to resembles this model. Orban’s all-pervasive corruption, however, beats the corruption of Mussolini’s regime, but has still to catch up with the Middle Asian XX- stans – the “classical” post communist mafia states.
No point in superfluous semantics.

Member

@dos929

I agree with every single word.

Guest

Re: ‘Orban’s pervasive corruption’

You know it would fascinating to run the economic algorithms and equations through to provide insight on the extent of the massive corruption to all areas of the Magyar economy. No doubt it would be an eye opener on GDP when it comes to percentage points. That piece of information would perhaps present in high relief the extensive ‘data poisoning’ going on in the government presentation of mendacious statistics. So… Illiberalism…. just another vacuous ‘ism’ which provides cover to pilfer state coffers and line greedy pockets.

petofi
Guest

@ Latefor

Please keep paying the hot water bills…

Member

@petofi

My swimming pool is so chilli, please help me!

petofi
Guest

@A.N.

One of my chief beefs in private pools in Budapest was that the pools were only 26 degrees, which is uncomfortable to enter.
No amount of argumentation would get the owners to up the temp to 28 degrees.

Good news: Rudas’ swimming pools is at 28/29 degrees–go hither.

Latefor
Guest

@Petofi
. . . and why don’t you stop playing with your thingilingi?There is a huge possibility that doing it long enough, it may cause you blindness.

petofi
Guest

Back to serious matters…

It seems that Orban is getting desperate in trying to move EU to act against Hungary’s membership-

Member

@petofi

I do understand you. But don’t miss that these guys are greedy. They won’t leave the union before they squeezed out the last penny out of our pockets.

petofi
Guest

@A.N.

You must seperate the wants and aims of Orban from his henchmen: I’ve stated before that Orban’s thieving is on the upside of billions and that political aims are now paramount…
while the wolves rabidly attack and swallow whatever is left.

petofi
Guest

It is amazing to see what the pack of wolves will tolerate to keep looting the citizenry…

Guest
Orbán is a clown and a guttersnipe with his posturing on national security in a country where national security is a non-issue. And his proposed national security legislation is clearly an acutely dangerous Fidesz power grab by a Führer facing increasing popular unrest against his mafia-style autocratic rule by any and all kinds of legal and legislative chicanery. At the same time however one needs to concede that the terror attacks by unintegrated and unintegratable West European Arabs (and other Muslims) create a horrific dilemma for the nations of Western Europe. On the one hand, in order to effectively suppress and terminate what might well be termed the Arab revolt in Western Europe, the ways and means that would need to be employed would destroy the democratic fabric of which West Europeans are justly proud. That would be a one-nil win for the Arab revolt. On the other hand, West Europeans can try and just muddle through, with Arab atrocities eventually becoming a weekly or even daily occurrence. This is the way to death by a thousand cuts, that could lead only to ultimately lying down and giving in to the Arab revolutionaries of Western Europe. Which would be an… Read more »
Member

It’s no use denying that there ARE problems with immigrants in Western Europe. And it’s obvious that the governments have partly failed in their attempts at integrating Muslim immigrants. Yet, exaggerating and conflating the diversity of problems that have arisen with different and internally diverse immigrant communities (there is no single “Arab” or “Muslim” community) won’t help. And reducing the diversity of real everyday problems (unemployment, diverse practical problems of diverse education systems, racism, drugs and organized crime, prejudices and xenophobia on both sides, etc.) into a simplified narrative of a “clash of civilizations/religions/cultures” is downright dangerous.
This is precisely the narrative which Orbán and other Eastern European “nationalist time-warpers” as well as Western right-wing extremists are using to manipulate the frightened masses. And I can’t help wondering why so many intelligent Hungarian friends of mine have swallowed it, line, hook, and sinker and now tell me, as a simple and undeniable truth, that “the integration of immigrants in Western Europe has failed”.

Guest

Thank you for this concise statement!
Let’s allquiet down a bit …
I wouldn’t have thought that fear-mongering would spread to HS even.

petofi
Guest

Better the fear-mongering now then after the Eiffel Tower is blown up; or a suitcase-bomb is exploded in the heart of Paris…don’t you think?

e-1848
Guest

Concise reply to why most Hungarians accept the current propaganda, because too many of our intelligent fathers and grandfathers lied to us.

petofi
Guest

I’m afraid that to a certain class of human beings, lying is a great deal more efficacious than honesty…

e-1848
Guest

ditto. Petofi is great. The lies of humanity are numerous and often fatal.

Member

@petofi

Don’t you recognise the pattern. In the thirties the Jews were the devils. Now these poor people are the same.

petofi
Guest

Albrecht:

The ‘poor people’ being…?

If you’re referencing ‘muslims’, I have to disagree. Muslims are the A-side of 95% of the wars in the world today.

spectator
Guest

“… too many of our intelligent fathers and grandfathers lied to us.”

And we aren’t intelligent enough to distinguish between right and wrong, that’s what you mean?

Guest

@Sentrooppa-Santra
Today 3:33 am

I think that it is entirely unhelpful and self-defeating not to admit that successive governments in Western Europe totally failed to integrate Muslim immigrants into a rapidly evolving post-Christian order and value system.

Exceptions do of course exist, but those exceptions merely prove the rule that facts on the ground incontrovertibly prove to be the case. Pretending otherwise just makes it well nigh impossible to find ways to effectively remedy this situation.

Disingenuous appeals against generalizing over a supposedly impenetrable ‘complexity’ and ‘diversity’ does not change the bleak bottom line even one tiddly bit. And to read into my post a simplistic “clash of civilizations/religions/cultures” narrative is a downright silly misconstrual.

Contrary to whatever impressions you may have got, my attitude to Orbán and other Eastern European “nationalist time-warpers” as well as to Western right-wing extremists is identical to yours. How could it be otherwise for a Jew like myself?

What I fail to comprehend is how on earth can you deny the incontrovertible empirical fact that Western Europe has totally failed to integrate its Muslim immigrants over the past half a century into its rapidly evolving post-Christian order and value system.

That floors me.

Observer
Guest

@ambalint
I’m with you, but let’s not overdramatize. A lot of integration and assimilation of Turks and Arabs has been achieved; it is unrealistic to expect instant results, it always takes time and effort. The question actually is do we want to put the effort and bear the inconvenience until then.
Problems with “different” groups are permanent features of humanity, there had always been crime, terrorism and wars in every society (Europe’s latest: 200+ k were killed in the Yugoslav wars).
Again, the question is do we want to run the risk of having more of these as a side effect of the mass migration.

Guest
@Observer Today 2:10 pm Sure, let’s not overdramatize. But would you say that the majority of Turks/Kurds in Germany, North African Arabs and sub-Saharan black Muslims in France, and South Asian Muslims from the Indian subcontinent in Britain, or indeed the Arabs of Sweden are well integrated, well adjusted and well assimilated into their respective societies? Because if you do, the stats and facts on the ground do not seem to bear out your stance, though I might of course be quite wrong, and would happily welcome any correction on this. But if the stats and facts are indeed not (that) good, despite well over half a century of trying, and pointing to some happy exceptions is just somewhat hopeful boosterism, what grounds would there be to assume that this bleak situation would actually change for the better in the future? In Australia mainstream society is highly tolerant of differences and geared to absorbing and integrating newcomers from all over the world, just like in Canada. Europeans, Chinese and Jews fit in straight away, though Southern Italians and Balkan peoples, as well as Christian Arabs and Christian Africans tend to take a generation or so longer. Muslims on the other… Read more »
spectator
Guest

If I may butt in – or even if I’m not:
ambalint, this isn’t the real dlemma here, we all know that it didn’t worked.
The question – in my opinion – is, that what on earth can we do about it, which fit in our European, civilised and humanitarian norms as well as fulfill the requirements of the rational necessity?
The Orbanian way just inhuman, uncivilized and primitive, and there is no excuse good enough to rectify it whatsoever.
Is there any answer what we can call “right”?
If there is it keeps avoiding me, so far it did anyway…

Guest

@spectator
Today 6:08 pm

You are not alone, it keeps avoiding me too. All I can do is sort and evaluate facts, then dish them up for consideration, but sadly,. I can offer no solutions.

Just like unsolved or unsolvable problems in mathematics, some intractable social and political problems have no solutions either, and can only be attempted to be managed and steered with greater or lesser success.

European attempts at integrating its previous cohorts of Muslim immigrants, as well as its current cohort of Muslim refugees and economic immigrants is just one of these social and political intractables.

The Israel/Palestine issue is another, the India/Pakistan issue yet another.

e-1848
Guest

All problems are created by powerful crooks.

Ask yourself, where to send the bill for our sufferings?

petofi
Guest

@ambalint and spectator

The ‘solution’ may, sometime, be unpalatable. Judaeo-Christian civilization requires (nowdays) mild tonic and when this is unavailable, will just postpone a radical solution, or an attempt at one.

The West faces a radical, rabid, form of Islam. A solution must face up to the nature of the enemy. Remember: lasting solutions come from a position of strength, only.

spectator
Guest

“Remember: lasting solutions come from a position of strength, only.”

If it was true then there was peace in the Middle East since some 50 years or thereabout already..!

Sorry, I don’t believe in the “an eye for an eye” kind of solutions — never ever worked.
And anyway, what would make one side any better than the other, if only the name/religion/color/whatever would be different, but the method the same as “the nature of the enemy?”
— Or I misread you completely, then I apologise!

Guest

Re: ‘The West faces a radical, rabid, form of Islam. A solution must face up to the nature of the enemy. Remember: lasting solutions come from a position of strength, only’

Cannot deny the suppositions here. The fight here can be looked at destroying a cancer inhabiting Islam. The West and its democracies would seem to need to understand that in killing the bad cells they must be careful in not killing off the good and healthy ones which are desperately needed for the life in Europe and in the world.

It would apparently make no sense in directing massive doses of ‘chemotherapy’ to the entire Non-Western organism. The solution must reside in sharp and targeted doses against the ‘out of control’ cells.

It would appear Orban isn’t such a great practicing oncologist. His overdosing radiation is an indiscriminately and knee-jerk solution to Europe’s and Magyarorszag’s societal well-being. It kills everything significant in healing within Europe’s lifeblood. One can hear a great sucking sound.

spectator
Guest

”…destroying a cancer inhabiting Islam.”

Here is the keyword, ladies and gents.
Not the Islam per se, but ‘the cancer inhabiting Islam’ is the problem/enemy.

What about joining forces with the bright and clear minded Moslems to get rid of the carcinogens for good?

I’m not joking.
The Orbanian way nothing more than dead end, just as the Trump kind of phoney supremacy image, and all in between and some.
We — as the Western hemisphere — can not solve the problem, whatever the trigger happy militarist says.
There is no clearly military solution available, unless the whole area nuked and turned to wasteland obliterating millions in the process.

Nobody sane enough will never even consider the option, so we are back to square one.

We should put more effort to convince and help those who can and will stop the madness.
We alone can not, I’m quite sure about it.
Unfortunately.

Guest

Re: ‘joining forces with clear minded Moslems’

A solution. Though I’d think we need to remember the cheers going to ‘Awrence! ‘Awrence! ‘ of Arabia fame. He had success but eventually could not overcome the squabbling and contentiousness between the ‘tribes’.

No one can deny this is what we see. Again the West has been drawn and sucked in because of Muslim quarrels. With the fight against terrorism today, everyone seems to have myriad agendas. Thus the fight appears as more than a three ring circusz because states can’t get their acts together.

Member

@santa

I agree. The integration didn’t fail, but it can be better. I have worked with it for many years. What we got to do is that everyone feel welcomed here. People from the meddle East are decent people. Only a tiny part of them is behaving ill.

Guest
@Albrecht Neumerker Today 2:21 pm With respect Albrecht, social integration is a fairly straightforward matter, virtually a black or white issue. Either there is integration or there is no integration. To say that integration didn’t fail, but could be better, is a bit like talking about being half-pregnant. Sure, there are many very decent Muslim Arab people. As there are very many others who are not so nice at all. So how do you tell who is who? After all, the tiny part that behave not so nicely are just the tip of the iceberg that shelters and protects them. And tell me, how many Swedish families have local Muslim Arab family friends? What is the rate of intermarriage between Swedes and Muslim Arabs in Sweden? And how are Muslim Arabs doing in Swedish high schools, universities and in the liberal professions? How many Muslim Arabs have positions across the board in the Swedish civil service? And how are things in Malmö and in the Muslim Arab quarters of Stockholm? What we have in Australia is genuine absorption and integration of people from all over the world. What you have in Sweden seems to be some kind of a half-pregnant… Read more »
petofi
Guest

“Only a tiny part of them is behaving ill.”

Oh, the many times I’ve heard this!

Then why don’t the great majority of amiable muslims speak out and confront this tiny minority?

Observer
Guest

SenSan…
I am with ambalint on the general direction. I think closing Europe (which will only reduce, not stop immigration), selective admittance with expulsion option and much more work on integration while keeping these processes civilized, not the Orban ways.

ambalint’s is not “the narrative …which ..nationalist time-warpers and right-wing extremists are using”, but a close description of the situation with large insular immigrant communities which don’t integrate and suffer the consequential poor education-unemployment-poverty-crime vicious circle for generations. E.g. the Brussels terrorists had a typical criminal record from petty theft to car theft to armed robberies.
While I espouse the humanistic ideas being realistic is paramount for me – keep pushing the bounderies, but don’t try to ram it down – no PC BS for me. Overdoing it serves the abovementioned extremists ..

Member
I beg to disagree, to a certain extent. Speaking of “Eurabia” and “Arab revolt” is, IMHO, basically the same narrative which is being used by fear-mongers like Orbán. The danger is real, the problem is real, but it cannot be solved with sweeping generalizations nor by general restrictions. In particular, a stricter immigration policy now, answering the call of racists who call themselves “immigration critics”, will not help amend those problems which have already arisen in the course of a couple of poorly-integrated immigrant generations. On the contrary, anything that can be interpreted as inhumane and racist treatment in the current refugee policy will polarize the situation and ultimately fuel further radicalization. This is what the extremists AND the terrorists hope and expect. It is no PC BS to require humane and judicious treatment for everybody, and this is what “humanistic idealists” have been talking about – I don’t think there are many of those who want to completely abolish all immigration control and restrictions. I fully agree that “selective admittance with expulsion option” and “much more work on integration while keeping the processes civilized” are the only possible solution. Further details – how, concretely, all this could be done,… Read more »
Guest

In a way the Arab refugee/immigrant problem is similar to the Roma problem in Hungary – and what have Hungarian politicians done to solve that?

Guest

@wolfi7777
Today 9:00 am

Precisely my point. But I go further.

Politicians in Hungary and elsewhere in Eastern Europe cannot but represent the sentiments of their electorates. As such, they know full well that they would be peremptorily kicked out of office if they attempted to do anything real and effective about resolving the Roma issue. They would inevitably and unavoidably be labelled as liberals and rootless cosmopolitans, meaning Jews, Jew lovers and chained dogs of Jews out to destroy the purity and integrity of the ‘nation’ or ‘race.’

All attempts at Roma and Jewish assimilation over the past century and a half have failed without exception everywhere in Eastern Europe, including Hungary. The nation states of Eastern Europe, including Hungary, have neither the will or intention, nor the ability or capacity to integrate their Roma or Jews. Under the circumstances, it is utterly delusional to expect that they would succeed any better with the social and political integration of Muslim Arab or Afghan refugees and economic immigrants.

petofi
Guest

@Ambalint

It’s nonsense to group gypsy and jewish assimilation. For one thing, jews have wanted to assimilate; the gypsies do not.
The problems are vastly different.

Guest
@petofi Today 1:15 pm Thank you for correcting me. You are right about a historical and cultural unwillingness of the Roma to assimilate and dissolve into the mainstream societies of host countries, but only half right about the willingness of Jews to do so. The ultra-orthodox and orthodox two thirds of historic Hungarian Jewry, for instance, were just as unwilling to assimilate as the Roma. It is only the Neolog Jewry of Hungary, the Hungarian equivalent of the Conservative movement in America, that pinned assimilation on its flag. So let me rephrase and modify somewhat the point I was making in my post above. What I am really talking about is the total absence of willingness, intention, ability and capacity of the host societies in Eastern Europe, including Hungary, to digest and integrate minority groups with customs, beliefs and value systems alien to the mainstream in those host countries. Which is different from talking about the willingness, intention, ability or capacity to assimilate to the mainstream by these kinds of minority groups. So for comparison, the Gypsies or Travellers of England or Ireland, or the ultra-orthodox or orthodox Jews of Holland or Britain are not into assimilation either, yet their… Read more »
petofi
Guest

I’d rather have a half cake, and eat it, than none at all.

But I do agree–the orthodox do not wish to assimilate.

petofi
Guest

Roma problem

What has been done to solve this? Nothing. This reminds me of a truism from my African experience: in Senegal, problems–unwed young mothers; joblessness etc–is continually trotted out when a western potentate visits. From the African point of view, it would be disastrous to use
the funds sent to solve the problem because that would stop the continuous flow of aid. Quite logical, really…

Guest
@Sentrooppa-Santra Today 8:38 am I can well understand how difficult it might be to accept a series of interlocking facts revealing a bleak reality that is powerfully at odds with one’s preconceived notions about it. But facts and reality are funny things that are disregarded at one’s peril. Unfortunately, just because one finds it distasteful any talk of of ‘Arab revolt’ and ‘Eurabia’ does not thereby mean that these are not incontrovertible facts on the ground. Furthermore, on a closer and more attentive reading of my post, you might find it does not carry the slightest implication that I am against (mass) immigration in Europe or anywhere else in the world. What I am against is botched and inept implementation which leads only to social disintegration rather than social integration. That has been the case with mass immigration by Muslims to France, Germany, Britain and Scandinavia for well over half a century now, and I do not see any drastic and dramatic change on the horizon that would indicate better outcomes in the future. I also think that shooting the messenger is pointless and self-defeating. I myself have no skin in the game either in Hungary or the EU, and… Read more »
Member
Again, I beg to disagree. There are problems which should not be denied, but “Eurabia” and “Arab revolt” or “the integration has failed” are not “bleak reality revealed by interlocking facts” but sweeping and counterproductive generalizations. I have lived in Vienna for 15 years now, part of the time in districts with high percentages of immigrants. My kids went to a primary school in which a tiny minority of the pupils spoke German at home. There were some problems but no major conflicts, lots of veiled or scarf-wearing ladies on the streets but neither no-go zones nor burning ghettoes. For what I know from friends and colleagues living in Sweden, what happens in certain “problem zones” is often vastly exaggerated in foreign media. And what makes me furious is to see some Hungarian friends and colleagues, some of whom have no experiences of living in multiethnic Western cities, believe these exaggerations. Human history knows both more and less successful examples of cohabitation of different ethnic groups. We should be realistic, avoid generalizations and prejudice, look for flexible local solutions to cater for the diverse needs of diverse groups in different environments (there is certainly no simple answer for all these… Read more »
Guest
@Sentrooppa-Santra Today 3:16 pm Well, I suppose we shall just have to agree to disagree. I happen to live in a very nice leafy middle class suburb here in Melbourne. In our street and in nearby streets, our lovely neighbours come from China, Germany, a number of Arab lands, Serbia, Indonesia, Greece, India, Poland, Finland, Britain, Israel, Holland and Vietnam, and there are also some who are Anglo-Saxon Australians. So I have some vague idea about what it is like to live in a multi-ethnic and multicultural environment in complete peace and harmony with a raft of different kinds of people of different cultures, religions and ethnicities from around the world. Furthermore, having been an immigrant three times in my fairly long life, I also have some vague idea as to what is involved in fitting in and integrating into the mainstream of society in which i live. So no, looking at today’s Europe from the vantage point of distant Australia, I definitely do not consider “Eurabia” and “Arab revolt” or “the integration has failed” to be sweeping and counterproductive generalizations, but a “bleak reality revealed by interlocking facts.” I do consider however a deliberate non-recognition of this “bleak reality… Read more »
Member

@Santroopa-Santa

You got the hole right. I live in the midst of it. To see the mensch instead of terrorist in the people is the heart of the whole thing. I got a lot of friends from the middle east. They are good people.

Guest
@Albrecht Neumerker Today 2:44 pm No one is disputing that there are many good people among Muslim Arabs. I had many good Muslim Arab friends in Israel and have some really good and close Muslim Arab friends here in Australia too. However, the issue under discussion here is social integration into the mainstream or its potentially disastrous contrary. Social and political integration means two things accomplished simultaneously: on the one hand, the willingness, ability and capacity of the newcomers to integrate into the mainstream, and on the other hand, the willingness, ability and capacity of the mainstream to integrate the newcomers. Let me repeat here what I have already written in my response to your previous post. Social and political integration is a fairly straightforward matter, virtually a black or white issue. Either there is integration or there is no integration. To say that integration didn’t fail, but could be better, is a bit like talking about being half-pregnant. Sure, there are many very decent Muslim Arab people. As there are very many others who are not so nice at all. So how do you tell who is who and who is what? After all, the tiny minority that behave… Read more »
Observer
Guest

@SenSan

I would love to be able to feed everyone with one fish, or at least manna, but let’s not confuse the ethics/desiderata with the possible/politics.
I have spent years working/living in the Arab world – they have very different set of values, lifestyle, traditions. We can find a modus vivendi, work on it and hope for the integration of th efuture generations. But look at the Jews/Arabs, Spanish/Catalan, Hungarian/Romanian, the Irish religious, Serb/Croat, Hutu/Tutsi, ultraorthodox Jews, Gypsy, etc. etc. minorities conflicts. History demonstrates the dangers of co-habitation.
Re morals – let me turn the tables – why are we so arrogant to think we can or even have the right to change them (in their millions). Finally, immoral as it may seem, the “selfish” desire of the majority to preserve their lifestyle without (ethnic mix) changes is their democratic right, isn’t it?
Government policies, action must be realistic, for example otherwise a democratic government/party, e.g. Merkel, may loose to the extremists we don’t want. Which is the better way?

Guest

Re: the ‘democratic fabric’ of Europe’

Too bad it cannot be made completely impervious to subversion. I’d think it goes without saying organized democratic societies cannot go on with ignoring and waffling on the grave threats appearing now and on the horizon.

As noted, the asymmetrical warfare we are seeing now if it continues will be extremely malevolent for democracies. Not sure how others think but the strategy on all this must drive on in putting an absolute stop to it. For how could free societies exist properly under continual murder and mayhem? Simply put one blast has to be one too many in the way our societies are configured today.

If more and more mass murder occurs we can rest assured we will see military states morphing with and rising in conjunction with the illiberalist. Truly a dynamic duo perhaps sounding a death knell for democracies. Statesmen will be staring into this great problem for the foreseeable future. I think we must make sure they get it absolutely right. Mistakes will be very very costly.

Member

@ambalint

I do understand what you feel for us here in western Europe. I am a west European living in Sweden. I don’t think that the integration work was perfect here, but I know many people from the middle east. Mostly are they good people. It is quite embarrassing for them, what those so called “Muslims ” do. I still believe in that we can live together if we are good and welcoming. I see a lot of sweds taking care of lone refugee children. We have hearts here. We are trying to be human.

Guest

@Albrecht Neumerker
Today 2:05 pm

I understand.

And I also know that doing the right thing, the moral thing, decency, compassion and being very serious about ethical issues are at the very core of the Swedish value system.

I myself have immense respect and admiration for Sweden and the Swedish people.

But compassion without common sense can easily lead to disaster and I believe that Sweden’s massive intake of Muslim people could end in very big trouble unless the native people of Sweden manage to do incomparably better on the integration front.

Because otherwise, the rapidly growing Muslim minority in Sweden is likely to turn into a delayed action time bomb sure to explode sooner rather than later.

Guest

Ignore the troll!

Guest

Once again, Hungary has shown the world that it just cannot get things right.

While the rest of Europe is putting genuine and concerted effort into trying to solve the serious threat of IS terrorists, Orbán is callously and deviously using even such devastation for his own ends.

Rather than working with the EU, the “state of terror threat” is nothing more than Orbán’s personal paranoia becoming government legislation. A “legal” excuse to quash any opposition and to intimidate citizens.

Guest

Viz-a-viz Late for and her/his comments, I would like to suggest to all ethicalminded commentators that you simply do not read them, and just automatically click on the thumbs down.
Best way to stop that sort of nastiness is to ignore and condemn.

Guest

Picture legend:
Deliberation on a proposal to install pneumatic tube.

petofi
Guest

Actually, from the look on the faces of the uniformed fellas…it seems to say: “When do we get out bonus payments this month?”

spectator
Guest
“0 computers 0 smart phones 2 nonfunctioning live streams 9 notebooks with notations 1 TV on which M1 can be seen 1 monitor on which a building can be seen” Eva, this is the most sophisticated counter measure to date! Just think about i, how confused “the other side” gets, when they’ll try to intercept their communication even with the latest technology! The’ll get nothing! Orbán IS a genius, quite clear! I already figured this when he decided to put armoured vehicles to the airport against the terrorists. Simply ingenious! Nobody else — in their right mind, that is — would ever think of such swift and effective action! And its working, he ‘Saved the Nation’ again! Proving him right is simple, yes indeed, people! There wasn’t any successful terrorist attack in Hungary since the armoured vehicles ensuring our safety, while just look at those poor Belgians and Frenchmen: there was not a single tank or any armoured military vehicle in site — and look, what happened! They not even now can see their error, and still no artillery or tanks in sight, none of other antiterrorist forces figured yet out that this is the only foolproof method against those… Read more »
Latefor
Guest

“Orbán IS a genius, quite clear!” “Get Smart, agent 86” eat your heart out! 🙂

spectator
Guest

What an appetite!
But of course – as you certainly know – all depends on that just where would you start from to get there..;)

Guest

It’s pretty evident that the individuals at the table do not appear to be ‘hip’ with the 21st. If these are the top ‘execs’ of the country they must have the ‘younguns’ to help them with new technologies, social media etc etc. But as we know it takes a while to not trust people over 30. And like everybody under 30 they must think they are in a romantic, idealized Magyar age.
Right now they haven’t learned to ask ‘Hey what’s in your wallet?’…;-)…

nwo
Guest

This is Trump proposing to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. in aftermath of a terror incident in Europe, or Cruz proposing to preemptively “spy” on muslin neighborhoods in U.S. At least in U.S. there remain some checks on insanity (far less than one would hope). Here, however, obviously none exist. BTW, terror threat must have already subsided. Wednesday morning the TEK officers were all over the metro and on street near Kossuth Ter. This morning, they were nowhere.

fantastic five
Guest

These efforts of Orban to introduce martial law have nothing to do with “terrorists” and everything to do with the political opposition (however feeble).

Orban wants have legal ways to suppress/survaill/control his enemies (ie. anybody who is not a 100% loyal fidesznik) and he wants to get rid of the last checks and balances, however weak.

He is a lawyer and thinks in terms of laws and legal risks.

With martial law introduced, there would literally be no legal constraints applicable to him – whether was another stolen public procurement deal or just plain suppression of opposition politicians.

Orban wants and would under martial law enjoy total legal immunity (unless he would commit crimes against humanity, genocide etc.).

In the unlikely scenario that Orban would be out of power the liberals would go ballistic but the courts would have to throw out the case, saying sorry, Orban was legally entitled to do this or that. A good lawyer like Orban always thinks a few steps ahead.

petofi
Guest

This is nonsense, and rather troll-like.

Orban has zero fear of the opposition: he knows well that he can coopt–with very few exceptions–anyone when the situation requires it. There is no opposition. That’s just part of his sleight-of-hand distraction at work.

What’s more, Mr. ff, what makes you think that Orban is a good lawyer? He’s never worked a day in the practice of law…

emily365
Guest
Being a lawyer is a mindset. It’s a set of values. It’s a world view. It’s difficult to explain to a non-lawyer. This is not arrogance, it’s just the way I also experienced it. Every profession attracts certain people already susceptible to the value system of that profession but the profession itself also transforms the newcomers. Orban’s personality traits were great for a lawyer to begin with and the law school and the world of lawyers (lack of morality, zealous advocacy for those who pay you etc.) strengthened those traits too. The end result is what we see. (Mind you Putin is also a lawyer and Milosevioc was also a lawyer, though he was stupid to commit crimes against humanity without having the nukes.) Orban, as any paranoid lawyer would do, is preparing for unlikely outcomes. Sure, the opposition is feeble and at present and Orban can control them via coopting etc., but one never knows. A real opposition might emerge at any time, people who are trying themselves out with Tanitanek.com might become politicians and so on. And even if there is no opposition, a single person is capable of causing tangible problems to Orban. As Andy Grove stated… Read more »
Guest

”A law is a law and if it says Orban is immune, then no judge would ever say otherwise. ”
Nonsense. Judges interpret the laws. You bet your bippy that Orban’s laws will be reinterpreted much to his and his followers disadvantage as soon as his regime has collapsed. Their own laws will suffice to put the whole gang in jail as a preliminary measure.

evgeny4
Guest

Jean P: Unfortunately this isn’t how it works. Right after the regime change the judges may well ignore immunity and be ready to convict, ready to be creative.

But at that moment unfortunaately only the investigation starts. In a best case scenario by the time the new regime is about to be tested in an election the former leader would have his first instance trial or perhaps a first instance verdict. He would be at large (pretrial detention would not last 4 years).

But then there may be a change of government so courts realign again, the constitutional court (a fully fidesznik body) intervene etc.

By the time Orban would have a final binding verdict he will have been out of power for long and people would not remember his corruption. He would be the popular Robin Hood cutting gas prices, tormenting the mean foreign investors, our enemies.

Look at what happened with Sanader in Croatia, he is now free, and he may well be acquitted eventually.

No, Orban will keep his money and will be free eventually.

Politicians, however corrupt. never spend much time in jail and the courts can’t reach their hidden assets. Sorry to disappoint.

Guest

@ Евге́ний

You are assuming a lot.

I wonder how the ”smart lawyers” who have codified the Orbanian ”right by might” have convinced their employer that right created by might can outlive the might that created it. All the paragraphs they have made to ensure that the Orbanian laws and appointments survive the demise of Orbans might are in vain. When the might is gone the right is gone.

Don’t expect any niceties.

Observer
Guest

Jean P.

Hear, hear.

Many of these bandits are already goners if there were a proper court. Many of the Orban laws are pretty shabby and wouldn’t stand a proper constitutional or legal scrutiny, think the abuse of the member’s bill institution, the effective ban on strike, etc.

spectator
Guest

Pretty good analysis from a certain point of view, – even if there is more in the character – thank you!
I must admit that I never looked it from this angle, but it’s a worthy consideration. It completing the picture which wasn’t pretty to begin with.
Oh, well…

spectator
Guest

You absolutely right, if you think of the presently known – so called – opposition parties. But if you look at it a bit more generally, as is “opposition” an large, the picture i quite different.
The sheer number of the Orbán opposing people is quite a bit larger than the supporting believers, as you certainly know that yourself too.
In this respect Orbán has quite a lot to fear of, particularly if you count in the uncertainty factor too – there is no way to predict just how many of the disgruntled people actually bother to vote.

In my opinion there’s no viable party based alternative, so it will be ” all or nothing” – in case if every civilised people start to cooperate against the Orbanist sect, and only then.

petofi
Guest

My suspicion is that, in the background, we have the counter-attack of the industrialists against the continually-growing demands of the labour unions. In the US, this takes the form of jobs for Mexican border jumpers. In Europe, the importation of African labour into
Britain & France, has led to large groups ripe for rabid, Muslim radicalization by way of the many mosques. I’d even hazard the guess
that the Saudis have a lot to answer for in all this.

The problem seems to be that big industry does not want to give up on their cheap labour, yet this problem doesn’t seem to see the light of day because most of media is controlled by a few large firms, or one or two billionaires…

petofi
Guest

Moreover, the Saudis never seem to come in for criticism….and the documented, close alliance with the Bush family and their entourage, must be responsible for this-

Istvan
Guest
Eva’s post summarizes the MSZP line in her post. It seems as though Zsolt Molnar and Harangozó believe they can score points by arguing that Fidesz is unprepared for a terrorist attack on Budapest at a scale similar to what we have seen in Brussels. Their proposal is to upgrade surveillance technology as far as I can tell. Really that technology is highly unlikely to prevent an attack, but can play a critical role after an attack in breaking up existing cells of terrorists by tracing movements. The key to stopping attacks are human intelligence and informers. Since any similar threat to Hungary from jihadists comes externally that level of work is not possible. But to be truthful the EU open border system is the largest problem and MSZP will not take that on, its the political territory of Fidesz. The media here in the USA has repeatedly put forward our security experts since the Brussels attacks arguing the EU open border system is a security disaster, to be truthful it supports the Fidesz perspective. The truth is private security surveillance systems are often used too to trace these movements of people. Its very common here in the USA for… Read more »
Guest

Istvan, I’m not a security expert but one thing strikes me as strange:
If I’m not totally mistaken all of the terrorists in Paris and Brussels had been known to the police and had a long criminal record already!

Then how come that they could move so freely around Europe and in and out of the EU?
They even wee registered when moving through Austria and Bavaria.

And the biggest question for me:

How do these terrorists finance all their activities? Flying, renting cars,staying in hotels, owning computers and smartphones is not cheap …

Istvan
Guest

Wolfi this BBC story http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35872562 discusses funding given to some the jihadists attacking Europe. 50,000 euros each is pretty good funding from ISIL, especially for an under employed young pissed of Arab or North African living in Brussels or the suburbs of Paris. Really this is all so tragic, it provides just massive ideological ammunition for Orban within Hungary.

You know I take public transport every day to the center city of Chicago, and to be honest I think frequently about how easy it would be for a jihadist to take out all of us on a packed train car at 5:30 pm. I guess that is why it is called terrorism, because it does work on our heads.

spectator
Guest

“If I’m not totally mistaken all of the terrorists in Paris and Brussels had been known to the police and had a long criminal record already!”

Even ‘better’, many of them born and/or raised in Europe!
From here on the validity of the border control concerns seem pretty much the things of past – or the excuses for harder measures of the present – but not a bit more motivated than issuing such rutine between the states of the US.

You can’t win this way, you can’t win by force, and we all know it.

Maybe it’s time to change paradigm regarding the approach, don’t you think?

petofi
Guest

Let’s make it simple: the two men named above are in the pay. They’re arguing for more stringent measures, thereby buttressing
Orban’s call to change the consitution. (Pofon egyszeru.)

petofi
Guest

Here’s something interesting to look into: in Europe, what is the cost of a French labourer as opposed to a migrant labourer…in various industries?

Same research could be done with the local/foreign labourers in Birmingham, for instance.

Member

Similar Europe-wide reactions suggest that recommendation for increased threat level alert was issued by the EC in Brussels. http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/crisis-and-terrorism/index_en.htm
This is a government-to-government body so we wouldn’t necessarily know if they issued such a warning or not. One problem is legal: Hungary does not have a corresponding reference in the law for EU threat levels. For the rest I couldn’t agree more with @Eva.

Guest

You know I have always had great respect for writers and what they put on the printed page. It would appear to me that it is in the fiddling and tinkering of the verbiage in the Magyar ‘Constitution’ which will contribute to Magyarorszag’s consistent rolling and eventual falling off the democratic table. And in times like this the danger is palpable where the creation of ‘new’ sentences with their underlying meanings open the doors to potential repression.

From all the above it would look as if fairy tales have been shown more respect than the Consitution where it has been sacrosanct to adhere to the specific words of ‘Once upon a time’ through the centuries. The disrespect Magyar statesmen show to the ‘conscience of their nation’ with their continual word-tweaking is profound. One day the writing and statements shown in the document won’t be worth much. Simply letters on used pieces of paper devoid of having any relationship to expressing what a country is and what it stands for. The hypocrisy in the document will be telling.

Member

Eva, Can you please remove people from the board who are simply advertising their own business. People have been warned about his before but hey are keep coming back. There is clearly a tool built in (akismet) to filter out junk posts, but there is garbage that gets through. Can you please delete it, so it would discourage the troll to keep coming back.

Member

In the middle of the Level 2 state emergency level, a bank was robbed in the middle of Budapest, at 6:00pm daylight. The criminal acted alone, and used verbal threat. He also held a white CBA plastic bag. The police is looking for the robber who is still at large.
Minister and head of the Hungarian counter terrorism unit, Sandor Pinter said “It is a not a terrorist act, but a common crime”.

Makes you wonder if the members of the terrorist units see someone drowning in the Danube, would they take any action as it is not a terrorist act or simply they just would not know how to deal even with such a simple task?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfwB-el6vps&feature=youtu.be

http://police.hu/hirek-es-informaciok/legfrissebb-hireink/felhivasok/bankrablas-miatt-keressuk-videoval-frissitve

Guest

@Some1
Today 9:28 am

Keystone Kops, anyone? :-))

petofi
Guest

Reminds me of a time in Moscow when, after a real estate transaction of some millions of dollars (all such transactions are in cash in Russia), the temporarily happy seller exited the bank to jump into his window-shaded SUV…only to be followed by another with a hold-up gang. This only took minutes in broad daylight (I think it was 3pm.) Promptly, the thieves escaped.
The police claimed that they couldn’t follow because of the traffic.

Member

Experiment: Part I

I think I know why my posting disappeared. Éva did not delete it. And, no, it was not Orban’s media mafia either. It was Mammon: the cartoon’s publisher was policing the web, thinking there might still be more money to be squeezed out of this one. (No problem: not likely, but no harm in hoping…). If the cartoon (in the following posting) disappears, mystery solved. Cartoonstock.com has a take-down agreement with wordpress (note the ID.).

Member

Experiment: Part I

comment image

Member

Now I admit I have no idea what is going on: My original (March 23, 8:21 pm) posting has mysteriously re-appeared since I posted the above test!

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