The EU is playing hardball with Hungary over subsidies

Critics of the European Union, including many active participants on Hungarian Spectrum, argue that it is the Union’s generous subsidies that keep Viktor Orbán’s “illiberal democracy” alive. Economists repeatedly point out that the yearly amounts distributed as part of the convergence program constitute about 6% of the country’s GDP. Almost every investment sponsored by the Hungarian government is financed by the billions of euros Budapest receives from Brussels. And yet the results are meager. Currently, Hungarian economic growth is under 3%. Without the subsidies the Hungarian economy would be in recession. Not just this past year but most likely ever since 2010.

Of course, we all know on an intellectual level why the Union finds itself in the unenviable position of actively keeping an undemocratic, autocratic regime alive. Yet we find it difficult on an emotional level to accept this ugly reality. While supporters of Viktor Orbán, following their leader’s constant battle cries, accuse the European Union of wielding too much power and attacking national sovereignty, critics of the current Hungarian government would like to see more power given to the European Commission and the European Parliament–power that might more effectively curb the excesses of EU rogue states like Hungary and, lately, Poland.

Recently the EU administration has been flexing its (admittedly undersized) muscles. There is a growing concern in Brussels about the subsidies that keep the Hungarian economy alive, and this concern is being translated into withholding sizable amounts of money from the corrupt Budapest government. Naturally, we rarely hear about these cases because the Orbán government makes sure that they don’t become public knowledge. If they do become known, János Lázár and his “deputy,” the honey-tongued Nándor Csepreghy, explain everything away. They have no compunctions about resorting to outright lies when reporters dare ask them about the large sums of money being withheld by Brussels.

Here I would like to call attention to a few instances where the European Council withheld payment. János Lázár’s office, inside the prime minister’s office, is the central clearing house for all EU subsidies, a relatively new development. Earlier a separate office existed for this purpose but, as Lázár claimed, the prime minister’s office is the only guarantee of corruption-free transactions. Anyone who is familiar with Viktor Orbán’s self-enrichment can only laugh at the suggestion that his office is best qualified to be the guardian of EU subsidies. Of course, earlier the Orbán government tried to shift the blame for corrupt practices in the distribution of the subsidies to the previous government, but it turned out that all of the cases the EU found suspicious occurred after 2010.

The suspension of payment might not be as effective as a total rejection of claims, but it still hurts because, even when the Hungarian government doesn’t receive money from Brussels, it still has to pay for work completed. This “missing money” must be made up from somewhere, and it looks as if this “somewhere” is loans. And loans negatively affect the deficit.

How much money are we talking about? Apparently a lot. According to estimates, about 10% of allocated funds have been withheld, which is €2.5 billion or 775 billion forints. In 2015, in order to fulfill its obligations, the government had to borrow 560 billion forints. That is a tremendous amount of money, the cost of the very expensive M4 line of the Budapest metro.

Sometimes the Hungarian government bargains with the European Commission over what percentage of the total will be taken away. The government also has the option to fight the EU decision. In that case the dispute ends up at the European Court of Justice, which could mean a total loss if the court rules against Hungary.

forints3

One of the “problematic” cases is the business venture of Viktor Orbán’s son-in-law, which involves replacing lighting fixtures with more energy efficient ones. There have been so many irregularities in connection with this case that OLAF, the anti-corruption office of the European Commission, launched an investigation. At that point Orbán’s son-in-law immediately “sold” his business to one of Orbán’s favored oligarchs and, according to 444.hu, Hungary no longer submits bills for any public lighting projects.

Another investigation and suspension of payment occurred when it was discovered that for certain projects the government demanded “studies” that were useless or actually plagiarized but cost an inordinate amount of money. Here too, the Hungarian government decided not to press the issue. No bills are sent to Brussels for the worthless “studies.”

Ákos Hadházy, the “corruption sleuth,” discovered incredible overcharging for the modernization of high school chemistry labs. The overcharging must have been really egregious because even the Hungarian government decided to go to the police and ask for an investigation.

What the latest case is all about I have no idea because programs subsidized by the European Union usually have bureaucratic names that give us no clue as to what they actually do. This particular program is called “social infrastructure operative program” (in Hungarian the abbreviation is TIOP). Whatever it is, something must be very wrong with it because a few days ago one could read on the official website of the European Commission that the decision was made not to pay 120 million euros or 37.5 billion forints. This project was a leftover from the 2007-2013 budget, and apparently no money to fund it has reached Budapest for some time. This time we are not talking about a “suspension.” As 444.hu said, “the amount was frozen.” This may mean an outright refusal to subsidize the program.

The reason for the EU’s decision is simple. The Hungarian government was supposed to explain what it had done to correct the problems in the project by February 23. But it looks as if Viktor Orbán’s government, with all its problems with terrorism, forgot about the deadline. Of course, I’m just being sarcastic. Since no answer arrived by the deadline, it is likely that the European Commission will turn to the European Court of Justice where the Hungarian government loses practically all of its cases that end up there.

The latest loss stems from the complaint of former owners of casinos whose livelihood was taken away from them in three days back in 2012. It was announced today that these businessmen had won their case and thus the door is open for demands of compensation, which may be as high as 100 billion forints. The war with Brussels could turn out to be very expensive.

March 29, 2016
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Observer
Guest

“the prime minister’s office is the only guarantee of corruption-free transactions”
Yes, absolutely guarantees that everything goes to the good fellas. A purpose and policy (according to András Lánczi) of the Orban mafia state.

Observer
Guest
While on average every week a new case of significant corruption is revealed, but the long Easter weekend produced a bumper crop: 1. The EU suspension of payments worth HUF 40 billion here discussed. 2. Former casino operators win a lawsuit against the Hungarian government. Orban swiped the table clean and handed it over to his crony A.Vajna). The European Court find illegal both the abrupt revocation of their licenses and the lack of compensatory arrangements. Mentioned here. 3. News reinforce the earlier findings that the purchase of new subway cars, either from Alstom or Siemens, for Line #3 would have been a superior option to the refurbishment of the 30+ y.o. Soviet made ones contracted to a Russian company. (Perhaps because Alstom and Siemens wouldn’t accept, i.e. load their prices with the demanded kickbacks.) 4. The bussing of passengers for the time of the Line #3 renovation was supposed to be performed by the financially hard pressed BKV (Budapest Transport Co.). Rumours say this significant contract will be “tendered” to private companies. (it is easier for private companies to pay kcik backs). 5. L.Meszaros, chief front man for Orban, wins another contract, this time for a HUF billion construction… Read more »
Ndy -- Aghast again
Guest

Excellent editorial by Ms Balogh.

The current financial situation produced and protected by Orban and Co. is counter to all REASONABLE sense in a capital and success based system.

We are treading on Pirated Property. On laws that are built on top of soft sand-dunes that drift according to the winds and whims of the current political-economic establishment.

All reasonable rules have been eliminated and local political powers prevail.

If the EU financial clout and politic is insufficient to defend EU interests, it would be tantamount to EU throwing in the towel vis-a-vis this country Hungary that is just a fly on the skin of Europa, a Giant of sorts.

So, finally, Merkel and Europe might be saying enough is enough!

Europa. Learn from the TV shows of the World. If someone “don’t perform”, let the reins loose !

Guest

Re: ‘On laws that are built on top of soft sand-dunes that drift according to the winds and whims of the current political-economic establishment’

And arguably resulting in a producing a democracy of inveterate and deep-rooted desolation within the country. Such a Magyar Sahara.

And regarding democracy in Magyarorszag it must be remembered the electorate indeed gave consent to be governed by their installed government. What have they got? Apparently political charlatans that are addicts to the ‘riches’ of corruption. The pirates swashbuckle on their galleons and just love their plunder. Life is good.

If some in the electorate want the EU to rein in Magyarorszag on ‘excesses’ perhaps another way which could be more important in the long run is to think deeply about their ‘power of consent’ when it comes to rulers and the ruled. Perhaps uttering ‘heave-ho’ is a start.

Member

@Eva

Árpád Hadházi = Ákos Hadházi

John Sabo
Guest

So funny, how Hungarians are bashing Hungarians in English. Desperate for some global attention.
My liberal friends, you lost the election. Wait for your turn. You blew it, last time you had it.

John3
Guest

Other angles:

Perhaps, we do not like thieves in any colors.

Perhaps, the orbans rigged the election.

We certainly, have a good laugh at the john of sabos.

Observer
Guest

@John3

“Nationalism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”, but even this draping with the flag trick starts to wane and more people see through it.
Of course there is a hard core blind faithful who will cheer or explain away even cannibalism. From significant personal experience I found there’s no point in wasting time on such.

petofi
Guest

@John S.

You idiot: it’s your country and your people who are being driven into the ground. But if you get yours….it’s alright, yeah?

Member

They are not all Hungarians. Many are in fact foreigners who live in Hungary and see, and report on the mismanagement of the country. You are right, it is truly unfortunate that Hungarians in Hungary speaking Hungarian cannot get any result by democratic process. Unfortunate that the lies what comes out from the government subsidized (taxpayer subsidized) media is so vicious that even Fidesz supporters are quitting the media by the dozen.

spectator
Guest

“Dear John”, while we may “blew it, last time”, now is obviously your job to blow…
Be good at it, and you may advance in your career as many other has.
Good luck!

Member

@Eva

Nihil humani a me alienum puto. ☺

Guest

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the EU is playing hardball with Hungary over subsidies. Just a few slaps on the wrist, that’s all.

Hardball would look dramatically different. Hungarians would be squealing to high heavens while sinking up to their corrupt gullets into ‘oonortodox’ cesspools of their own making.

Hungary is a Balkan country through and through, just like Greece and all the rest in between, and to my mind it has been an enormous blunder on the part of the EU to invite such countries into the club.

Instead of adding value, the membership of such countries not merely degrades the club, but makes it largely unworkable.

Latefor
Guest

As the saying goes: “man is the architect of his own fate” but do not ever forget that the law of NATURE determines that he has to operate within certain guidelines.
You shouldn’t mess with nature’s Divine Law.
Also, please keep in mind what human nature wants, needs and dictates. Today, it’ s Orban’s time. Give him a chance and let the Hungarian people (living in Hungary) decide their own fate.
Let him and his government combat violent crime, teach respect towards parents, educate couples to stop divorces, introduce discipline and stop the exploitation of women (pornography, prostitution etc.) I keep my fingers crossed in a hope that he will succeed.

webber
Guest

Orban has had six years to do all that. Pornography is booming in Hungary. Divorce rates are unchanged. Violent crime rates are the same, and more children are disappearing now in Hungary than ever before.

Anyway, if you think it’s the government’s job to “teach respect towards parents” – that is, to interfere with private family life – I suggest you move to N. Korea. You would be happy there.

Guest

Actually he’s had 10 years …
Strange (or not?) that the first four years of O’s reign are so often forgotten …

If latefor really thinks that O’s politics are meant to combat “crime, divorce and pornography” (what a nice combination) and teach instead “respect and discipline” then she’s even crazier than I thought …

Btw “respect and discipline” are typical things you’d expect from slaves – and here latefor is right:
O is turning or at least trying to turn Hungary into a country of slaves – like in the good old times (of the emperors and later Horthy and his minions) when everybody knew their place!

piccolino
Guest

Or move to anywhere in East Asia. Filial piety is a fundamental concept where Confucianism had any influence.

Latefor
Guest

@Webber-
Why do you think people elect governments? To do nothing? Just to sit back and ‘let the market take care of everything’?
Why do you think the Hungarians elected a right-wing government?
Obviously, because the left didn’t look after their interests!
Because excessive ‘freedom’ was/is biting in the butt of the average Hungarian citizen. KHAOS was/is their greatest enemy!

Somebody has to put a break on the madness!
Orban has another two years to make appropriate changes before the next election.
For now, I would let him govern in peace.
YOU will have your chance (you are working very hard at it) at the next election.

webber
Guest

Latefor – When you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME.
Neither I nor any member of my extended family is a member of any political party. I personally have never been a member of any political party. And in case that is not clear enough – I have never been, am not, and will never be running for office in any election.

webber
Guest

P.S. Latefor – I just you told you, Orban has done NOTHING about the things you listed as your personal priorities for Hungary.
Just look up “pornography” + “Hungary” online. Look up human trafficking + Hungary. It’s thriving in Orban’s Hungary.
Why do YOU think people elect governments?

spectator
Guest

“Because excessive ‘freedom’ was/is biting in the butt of the average Hungarian citizen. KHAOS was/is their greatest enemy!”

You are so right!
As is in ‘wings’.

You know, to get somewhere with those wings you’d need at least two of them, a ‘pair’’, working in synchrony.
Both ‘left’ and ‘right’ needed, otherwise you’ll end up like Hungary, plunged deep in the mud.

But it’s OK, since there is no excessive freedom worth to mention, hardly the remains of the ordinarie or ‘everyday’ version of freedom visible anymore.
Just take a look at the recent “developments” regarding the rights of the public to decide over even the way how they will communicate, spend their money, use they car or learn the identity of Orbán’s ‘silent partners’ in crime!

Never mind, the KHAOS going to be eliminated pretty soon!
The same schoolbooks, same religion, same ethnicity, same color — no problem here at all!

Waiting for the introduction of the mandatory uniform too, in order to fight the “greatest enemy”, KHAOS, be assured, everything just going to be fine!
“Uniformly” fine!

Guest

“Give him a chance and let the Hungarian people (living in Hungary) decide their own fate.”

I know what you mean and I can express it more clearly:
Give Viktor Orban von Hatvanpuszta und Ofen a chance to decide the fate of the Hungarian people.

I assume that the parenthesis (living in Hungary) is a slip of the typing digit. You cannot possibly mean that the tax-free votes from outside Hungary should not be collected.

petofi
Guest

Orban and the reform of democratic process: representation without taxation. Oh what the Brits could’ve done with Orban
back in the 18th century! He probably could’ve reclaimed the tea from Boston harbour, too.

Hajra for the simple simplicities of Hungarians!
(Latefor to the rescue!)

petofi
Guest

@Latefor

You belong in the club of John Sabo–you have no idea of the damage
that has been done to the country and the society. Yet, you carry Orban’s flag ever and anon while he screws your relatives in Hungary from morning till night.

It’s a good thing that Australia is such a large country so that your nonsense can seep into the tundra of the hinterland.

Latefor
Guest

Is that so, Petofi? YOU made me laugh!

spectator
Guest

“You shouldn’t mess with nature’s Divine Law.
Also, please keep in mind what human nature wants, needs and dictates. Today, it’ s Orban’s time. Give him a chance and let the Hungarian people (living in Hungary) decide their own fate.”

Hmm…
Either we believe in the Divine Law and accept that everything happens accordingly, or the people decide their own fate, then it has nothing to do with the aforementioned — only one of them supposed to work at any given time.

Third option and my personal preference is that leave nature take it’s course, and allow to such human waste as Orbán to go where he belongs and become fertiliser of some new and fresh.

He’s working on it, so have faith, it will happen.

Member

Putin: The Rule of the Family – Masha Geshen, New York Review of Books (March 2016): “The term “mafia state” was pioneered by Bálint Magyar, a sociologist in Hungary, Russia’s closest ally in Europe. Magyar and his colleagues have elaborated on the concept in the last decade, as Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán has amassed power, eliminated political and economic rivals, and turned the institutions of his state into instruments of personal power. So important is this concept to Hungarian intellectuals’ understanding of what has happened to their society that an edited collection of twenty sociological articles on the topic sold 15,000 copies there—an almost unheard-of figure for an academic volume anywhere, especially in a country of 9.8 million people. The concept is little-known outside of Hungary, though Magyar believes it describes the regimes in three other post-Communist states: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia. (Magyar’s own book, Post-Communist Mafia State: The Case of Hungary, has just been translated into English.)http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/03/14/putin-mafia-state-lesin-killing/
comment image

webber
Guest

There has been no lustration in any of the “mafia states,” as defined by Magyar.
I do not believe that is a coincidence.

Viki
Guest

It is most certainly not a coincidence. There never will be any lustration.

Guest

Considering what was discovered in Germany eg (where lustration happened really quickly) I have to agree – too many skeletons in the archives.

webber
Guest

and the boys – the famiglia – have a common “professional” background.

Guest

Thanks for the book ref. Will probably go alongside one of the greatest films ever made which is ‘Goodfellas’.

The ‘mafia’ and ‘mafia states’ are all tribes and ‘closed’ societies’ with their own rigid rules and ‘regulations’. Break them and one must pay.

I’ll suggest little do some of the electorate in Magyarorszag know how much they mimic Henry Hill that mafia acolyte who looked agog at all the ‘goodfellas’ in his midst. Boy, did he get taken for a ride by the ‘tribe’. Payback’s a b****.

Istvan
Guest
Update on today’s education reform actions: As with many things in life one can look at events differently, so it no doubt will be with today’s one hour action around education. Népszabadság I believe gave very favorable coverage to the actions by covering the actions at several schools, in Budapest including Teleki Blanka Gimnázium where Stephen Pukli is director, there are actually three schools located close to each other. The combined presence of supporters of the action was according to this article about 1,000 people. There was no overall estimate given of the number of actions nationally nor did Stephen Pukli in his media presentation provide any such numbers. ( see http://nol.hu/belfold/visszakezbol-lesoportek-az-orban-kormany-vadjat-a-diakok-csak-normalisan-akarnak-tanulni-1608635 ) In the same newspaper there was an article describing the action at Radnóti Miklós Training school where 300 people gathered in front of the school, these people were described as follows parents, supporters, old-alumni, and “plaid-shirted students” ( the effective uniform of the tanitanek movement ). There is zero mention of teachers in this article ( see http://nol.hu/belfold/kockas-lett-a-ter-a-tuntetok-felett-dron-repkedett-1608627 ). The third Népszabadság article covered the action at Miskolc Otto Herman Secondary School where one of the founders of the movement, Oliver Pilz gave interviews. He admitted that… Read more »
webber
Guest
Istvan, you wrote “I simply do not see the level of mass support…” Again, you misunderstood something significant. I can tell you, parents were not told to take part in these demonstrations. Students were not asked. We were just told that the teachers would be protesting IF they wanted to. Nobody was required to. But what happened? People just showed up. I honestly had no idea what would happen this morning when I took the kids to school and was quite surprised by it all. They didn’t tell anyone to come. People just went. And this is a workday. People can’t just spend time standing around in front of schools in the morning – but that is what they did. (I am writing from a small district in Bp. where the opposition won the last elections) In addition to the teachers, there must have been 100 people there – not organized. Not asked to appear. Just spontaneously there. It is all incredible. Incidentally – we all had our pictures taken by some stranger standing across the street. So we posed! You make the best out of a bad situation. (Damn them!) May I suggest, again, that you LISTEN a bit… Read more »
Istvan
Guest

Webber I have noted exactly what you have said about Fidesz intimaditon tactics in several posts including the one today. I even posted on the quandary of the parent of a child who supports the movement whose husband has links directly to Fidesz and is to put it simply scared to death of what could happen. As I said there are different ways to look at any event, the fact that people were willing to show up at all can be looked at as a crack in Fidesz hegemony, or the limited scope of the actions as evidence of the current staying power of the government.

I also expect some of the reforms that will be agreed to by Fidesz will have a positive impact on the public education of particulary disabled children in Hungary that I have a deep concern about. Those things may only happened because of the dissatification publicly expressed by the movement for reform. But at this point it’s not representing a vast expansion of the democratic opposition to Fidesz rule. Needless to say Webber you don’t agree with me.

Tyrker
Guest

“we all had our pictures taken by some stranger standing across the street”

Otherwise known as a photojournalist?

webber
Guest

Doubt it. It’s not the only school in the country. Nobody famous was there.
Do you think there was a photojournalist outside every school in the country?

Observer
Guest

I started with a list of corruption related news, but the next wave caught up with me and here we go again:

The Kuria (Supreme Court) could not do otherwise, but shot down the nonsensical attempt by the regime to obscure the handling of the monies the HNBank transferred to its foundations and ruled that the latter are still public monies the foundations have to publicly account for.

The rubber stamp body, i.e. formerly parliament, submissively surrendered to the Hungarian leader one its fundamental functions – the budget. An amendment now allows the PM/government (not quite clear) to “provide funding to any project” it sees fit, without even agreement by the respective minister. Spending transparency and control is now possible only after the fact at the end of the year, the oszt jó napot principle.

Friends in the democratic world, don’t try this at home!

tappanch
Guest

Rating agency analysts, attention!

The following is NOT a joke:

From now on, the Orban regime does not have to modify the budget in Parliament. They can issue a decree (secretly or in the open) to spend any amount of money on anything during the year.

http://444.hu/2016/03/30/atment-a-parlamenten-a-rendeleti-koltsegvetes

Guest

“They can issue a decree (secretly or in the open) to spend any amount of money on anything during the year.”

An overwhelming majority of Hungarian voters want it that way – the trolls have told us.

Observer
Guest

I also thought about the ratings of such a governance, the almost total lack of control by parliament or and other institution for that matter. Perversely such regimes are good for the sovereign debt (for a time) as they can skin the populace in order to be able to keep borrowing.

SMOKE & MIRRORS The GKI econ research institute estimared the unemployment at 9% rather than gov’s figure of 6%.
My bet is 11-12%, and only thanks to the large numbers of those working abroad.

petofi
Guest

Ratings? You mean, to hire one of those great American firms with vast experience from 200 7/8?

petofi
Guest

Preparing for the last, great, grab before it’s ‘exit, stage right’…?

Member

Just saw the devil himself … Orban is here in Washington. He’s visiting the Nuclear Safety Summit. He was with Ambassador Szemerkenyi in a restaurant across the new embassy building on the Scott Circle. He was munching on fries … No wonder he’s fat. Ewww. No detail, whatsoever. Totally alone. Important guy … hehe.

Observer
Guest

You serious? The Great Leader visiting Washington like a tourist? No red carpets, adoring expats waving, elderly ladies in tears and mass or two served to him? Where is Obama, how can Hilary and Donald miss this opportunity to learn about the unorthodox ways that would make America great again, at least as great as Hungary? Nobody wants to meet Bástya elvárs?

Member

Nada. Just a fat guy eating cheese fries.

Observer
Guest

Good he didn’t shell and spit sunflower seeds.

Ron
Guest

Are you sure that he is there as a tourist, I thought that he was one of the persons, like Ildiko Vida, who are barred from entering the USA. So may be he is there on a diplomatic passport.

Observer
Guest

I meant tourist level reception and media, i.e. none.
I don’t think Orban is on the ban list, he’s just given the cold shoulder.

Latefor
Guest

@ spectator
The “left” and the “right” wing is attached to the same bird. At least in Australia.
Our government and the opposition parties understand this. (Please see the issue of immigration) But NOT in Hungary, The Hungarian opposition parties NEVER agree with anything what the elected government proposes. They oppose everything, just for the pure hell of it. It’s a miracle that the Hungarian people haven’t lost their minds yet. And on the top of all this, there is international pressure to confuse the average person even more. Unbelievable.
My heart goes out to the Hungarian people.

Observer
Guest
Latefor .. the opposition oppose for the pure hell of it…. international pressure to confuse the average person .. Please desist with this nonsense. For everyone’s info: Fidesz NEVER really consulted any opposition party or civil org on any issue, except for a few shows, where the present were told not consulted. In parliament approx 1/3 of the 650+ !!! bills were private bills – an abuse of the institution in order to avoid the studies and consultations required by law. Even in the Paks case. E.g. three prominent Fidesz appointees to the Liget Project board resigned in protest as the boards recommendations were completely ignored. E.g. now 300 school principles were called for “consultation” which ended in a couple of hours after the 300 were told what the gov wants. E.g. the round table on education finished its first round in full agreement ! (As duly expected from supporters and paid clients) LMP tabled a Fidesz bill of 8 years ago, for the hell of it. Guess what happened – paper basket. BTW While the international tension is rising (a nemzetközi helyzet fókozodik) the avr person in Hungary 1. doesn’t hear or see anything but gov propaganda outlets, 2.… Read more »
Latefor
Guest

@ Obsever
“The Orban regime is (all together) the most incompetent, the most corrupt and outrageously crooked regime in Europe for the last 40 years.”

I remember, this is exactly what was said about Gyurcsany and he also had some good intentions to change Hungary for the better, just prior to the financial crises.
Orban became the PM during the financial crises. He was/is determined to save Hungary from future financial nightmare, hence the experimentation with the so-called “un-orthodox method”, which as I understand means government intervention in the economy, when needed. Most of the commentators on this blog oppose any form of government intervention in the markets.
“Everybody knows, everybody knows . . . that’s how it goes . . . everybody knows”. – Leonard Cohen –

petofi
Guest

(Latefor: you have to be a Canadian to quote Leonard.)

“Government intervention in the economy”? YOu mean, like Matolcsy privatizing 1 billion euros; and opening restaurants and hotels?

(Latefor: forget the hot tub; you better get some pure oxygen to help the brain cells…)

Latefor
Guest

@Petofi – I asked you specifically to stop playing with your you -know- what, as it can cause serious blindness. 🙂
And where do you think he should invest the money?
Maybe he should’ve asked ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ for an advice. He could’ve blown it by now. 🙁
Maybe he’s not into high stake gambling, he likes the conservative investment strategy, he likes to play it safe.

Guest

Safe as in the nuclear reactor in Paks?

webber
Guest

Latefor – name one other National Bank director who has used the state bank’s money for such purposes? You can’t. There isn’t one, because this is illegal in normal countries.

And Latefor, why did Matolcsy not use the money to reduce the Hungarian state debt? Hmmm? Any idea?
(I won’t tell you – I’ll just leave you flopping around on that one)

Latefor
Guest

@webber-“And Latefor, why did Matolcsy not use the money to reduce the Hungarian state debt? Hmmm? Any idea?”

Because he’s NOT stupid. That’s why.

webber
Guest

Viktor Orbán called reducing the national debt one of his top priorities a few years ago. He didn’t succeed, unfortunately.
Apparently you think he would have been stupid if he had actually reduced the national debt
So, please tell us, what is stupid about reducing the national debt?
Do let me know. I’m waiting for enlightenment on this. It seems, to me, that getting out of debt is a good thing – but I’m always happy to learn new things.

Observer
Guest

No, Matolcsy is not stupid, he’s an idiot.

Observer
Guest
@Latefor Fidesz toads can’t put a sentence together without at least one lie, you managed five: 1. “what was said about Gyurcsany” was said by Fidesz, i.e. was a fat lie, since the economic indicators were much better, except for the budget deficit. 2. “Orban became the PM during the financial crisis” AFTER the crisis, when the economy was stabilized, as he admitted in an interview abroad, while lying at home. 3. “He was/is determined to save Hungary from future financial nightmare” I doubt such intentions, but staying with the facts: “enemy #1” i.e. the foreign debt grew from 22 000 billion to 25 000 + the 2000 billion of the private pension funds, together 82-83% GDP. What Orban DID was to usurp all power and to become very rich. 4. “experimentation with “un-orthodox method” which as I understand means government intervention in the economy, when needed”. Nothing unorthodox here – the communists and fascists did it best, even the French like some “dirigisme “. Orban’s is the fascist model + corruption: his “rearrangement” are to endow himself and his cronies – not original and he can’t top the Middle Asian dictators. 5. “Most of the commentators on this blog… Read more »
Latefor
Guest

Observer,
If everything was so perfect in the Hungarian economy, how come Orban (right-wing government ) won the election with a 2/3 majority?
If the Hungarian people were so happy with the economy, why did they elect the Orban Government?
If you keep abusing me I will be asking this question every time you attack me.
Re: unorthodox method
Many notable (even a Noble Price winning economist) believe in government intervention in the economy. I can’t understand your reasoning, but I’m not exactly an intellectual heavyweight.

Bowen
Guest

The “Orban government” didn’t win the 2010 and 2014 elections with a 2/3 majority.

He managed to attain a 2/3 majority in parliament. Completely different. In 2014, he did so in a manner which was judged ‘free but not fair’ by independent observers. The “Orban government” has subsequently lost that majority.

Guest

If you were able and willing to read – Fidesz didn’t even get 50% of the votes …
Your continued and repeated ranting “Most Hungarians adore Orbán and two thirds voted for him” is such an obvious and stupid lie that one wonders about your sanity …
You should really look for another platform to spread your idiocies- and advertise your books (which are probably as idiotic …)!
Got it now?

Observer
Guest

@Latefor Wrong again:

Nobody said anything like “the economy was perfect”, actually Fidesz kept denying there was a crisis, but rather of Gyurcsány’s doing.

Bowen answered the 2/3 thing.

Winning elections require money and media, as some of the top factors. Brazen populism and lies carried the day in 2010 and works very well in Hungary. Orban’s support is highest in the villages, OK?

If you say that confronting you with otherwise well known figures is abuse and attack then you’re just singing the Fidesz line, Hungary/the antion/the Hung people (not the dictator) are under attack in every such case.

Finally we agree on the “intellectual heavyweight” think. But take heart, your not alone – most fideszniks aren’t.

Latefor
Guest

@Observer “Finally we agree on the “intellectual heavyweight” think. But take heart, your not alone – most fideszniks aren’t.”

Re: economic decline/financial crises

I have no way of checking the figures you so kindly presenting in here. (I’m not into this kind of research.) However, please note, that it was YOU, the intellectuals, who are constantly cooking up new dogmas, you got the world into this chaotic mess! It wasn’t my kind who invented Globalization or caused the Stock-market crash etc. etc.
People want and need responsible governments to bring them out of this so called demoralized stage.
They need someone to give them re-assurance that they will be OK.
They don’t want ongoing conflicts, they don’t want history to repeat itself.
You have the intellect to make it good for us. Why don’t you convince us that you can do better than some of the leaders you take a dislike to? Here is your big chance. Use it!

petofi
Guest

@Latefor

“…ongoing conflicts…” is what Orban manufactures repeatedly and simple simplicimusses like yourself, swallow repeatedly.

As for political discourse…you’re a consumer. Forget about ‘deciding’ who’s right and wrong–like most Hungarians, you don’t have the capacity for it.

Latefor
Guest

@petofi

“@Latefor
…ongoing conflicts…” is what Orban manufactures repeatedly and simple simplicimusses like yourself, swallow repeatedly.
As for political discourse…you’re a consumer. Forget about ‘deciding’ who’s right and wrong–like most Hungarians, you don’t have the capacity for it.”

I guess, I don’t. How could I? According to you, I (and all Hungarians) belong to the “genetically inferior” category. You have your “right and wrong” and I have mine. Let’s just leave it that.

webber
Guest

No, it’s just you, Latefor. This is just about you. Leave other Hungarians out of it, please.

Latefor
Guest

@webber – “No, it’s just you, Latefor. This is just about you. Leave other Hungarians out of it, please.”

You are WRONG! About three years ago, I printed out that famous post from “petofi”, where he said the following:
“The Hungarian people are “genetically inferior morons, indeed.”

Most of you on this blog have no idea how to communicate effectively without abusing your opponent. How about take some time off to learn some finesse?

petofi
Guest

No, there’s no variety of ‘right and wrongs’. That issues from
Putin’s brain wave: “You have your democracy and we have ours.”

Not so.

Go read the ancient Greeks on the matter, and parts of the bible…

Observer
Guest

@Latefor 8.03 am
Again we agree in only one thing: creation is the domain of those with intellect and there the other kind, yours, who don’t think.

The rest is a hopeless mess. But don’t despair, a lot of reading and thinking can work miracles, your kind need those.

In the (very long) mean time I’ll be hard at the top priority task: cleaning away the brown filth poured by Orban over this already not so clean country.

Latefor
Guest

@Observer –
Every good thing usually comes to an end. The law of social cycle will take care of that.
I’ll take your advice re: reading more.
But, how about you training yourselves to start PRAYING and FEELING more? “Your kind needs those”.
Good luck with your cleaning. 🙂

Guest

To which gods do you recommend praying?
There are so many of them …

Latefor
Guest

Wolfi, – to the one, which kicks you in the backside when you’re behaving badly.

webber
Guest

Which one is that???

Latefor
Guest

Webber -“Those who seek will find”

dos929
Guest

Were the EU withheld the subsidies from the regime, then it would have collapsed a long time ago, since the subsidies made it possible that the regime could demonstrate a growth vs. a loss that couldn’t be carried on from year to year. So basically the EU subsidies are keeping the Orban regime in power….

petofi
Guest

Probably true, but let’s not presume to know what the real reasons might be for keeping Hungary going for the moment.
I, for one, do not think the EU leaders incompetent or uncaring.

Guest

Rather OT but very interesting and even disturbing for some:

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21695887-centre-left-sharp-decline-across-europe-rose-thou-art-sick

An article showing the reasons for the decline of the “left” social democrat/socialist parties in Europe in the last 10 years.
Luckily for us Germans this was compensated by the rise of the Greens – in other countries (Hungary is an example) those votes went at least partially to the extreme right wing.

wpDiscuz