Fidesz heavyweights against Viktor Orbán

Who would have thought that Viktor Orbán’s decision to repeal the law on Sunday store closings would create such turmoil in government circles? Deep divisions surfaced not only between Fidesz and the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) but also within Fidesz itself. To my great surprise some very important political leaders–like János Lázár, Zoltán Balog, and László Kövér–turned out to be such staunch supporters of this unpopular measure that they opted to stay away to avoid voting for the bill. Lázár and Balog made clear that their absence must be interpreted as a “no” vote. All three have been fined 100,000 ft. for not following the compulsory voting procedure for members of the Fidesz delegation.

We have to keep in mind is that the present Hungarian government is not a coalition. It is a “pártszövetség” (party alliance), which gives the Christian Democrats very little room for political maneuvering. The actual political strength of the party is minuscule. The party is nothing more than a political club whose largest “victory” was in 1994 when it received 5.7% of the votes. Four years later, with 2.59%, it ceased to be represented in parliament. Then, after eight years of inactivity, it resurfaced as part of Fidesz in 2006. The revival of the party and the fact that Fidesz essentially sponsored it was the result of Zsolt Semjén’s clever politicking. Once the party alliance was in place, he managed to get a fair number of government positions for KDNP members who, by the way, are often also members of Fidesz. One such person was Rózsa Hoffmann, who failed miserably as undersecretary of education. Bence Rétvári is another Christian Democrat who is now rather unsuccessfully battling with the teachers’ unions.

In addition to the failed “education reform,” KDNP had a couple of other issues they felt strongly about. One of these was the formulation of a new law on the churches. But after they put a lot of work into drafting a bill, Fidesz took over the project and completely rewrote it. The party also felt strongly about a so-called family bankruptcy law, which turned out to be so poorly formulated that after the government set aside half a billion dollars for it, only 100 families signed up. And, of course, the crown jewel of KDNP’s political agenda was the Sunday closing of retail stores. That turned out to be a failure too. Once Viktor Orbán was faced with a likely referendum on the issue, he quickly decided to repeal the legislation and reopen stores on Sunday.

In the last few weeks the Orbán government has been faced with two huge headaches: the revolt of the teachers and the upheaval surrounding István Nyakó’s referendum question. One wonders whether Viktor Orbán might not be re-weighing the benefit of having KDNP as an “ally.” At the moment it is only a pain in the neck.

I assume that Viktor Orbán is clever enough to make KDNP even more marginal in the “alliance” than it is now. The problem is that there is a cleavage even within Fidesz itself when it comes to the Sunday closing issue. As far as I can see, the Fidesz bigwigs’ opposition is not ideological as KDNP’s is. For many Christian Democratic politicians Sunday is a holy day when good Catholics are supposed to go to church. So, they look on the legislation as, at least in part, a religious issue. The Fidesz rebels apparently disagree with Orbán’s pandering to the voters. As a populist his main concern is the government/party’s popularity. If public opinion polls provided by the party’s own think tank, Századvég, indicate that Sunday store closing is not popular and that the opposition will rally the dissatisfied, it must be abolished. Apparently, it is this totally pragmatic approach that bothers László Kövér, János Lázár, and Zoltán Balog.

Viktor Orbán and János Lázar at the plenary session on Monday / MTI Photo Tibor Illyés

Viktor Orbán and János Lázar at the plenary session on Monday.  MTI / Photo Tibor Illyés

According to 444.hu, over the weekend the highest officeholders of Fidesz got together. Both Kövér and Balog expressed their strong opposition to a retreat on the issue. Their argument was based on principles. Fidesz, according to them, is a conservative Christian party which made the decision out of conviction, and it should stick with it even at the cost of a loss of popularity. On Monday, during the cabinet meeting, the debate continued. At that meeting Lázár supported Balog and posed the theoretical question: “If the people don’t want stadiums, will we start demolishing them?” A few hours later, at the meeting of the Fidesz caucus, Kövér expressed his disgust at the decision.

At the moment it is difficult to know how serious a rift we are witnessing and where it may lead. I wonder, for example, how long Orbán will put up with Lázár’s less than loyal comments and his open disagreements with the prime minister. Perhaps Lázár thinks that he is irreplaceable, but we know that nobody is. I find it interesting that on his way to the Voivodina (Serbia) last night Viktor Orbán stopped in Hódmezővásárhely to have dinner at the Lázár house. In fact, he spent the night there. I suspect this was not a social call but a heated discussion of their disagreement over fundamental issues.

Many commentators consider the repeal of the law on Sunday store closings a huge defeat for MSZP and the other opposition parties, which have been deprived of at least three months of anti-government campaigning and possible victory at the polls. This is not how László Kövér sees the retreat. He considers Orbán’s decision “a huge mistake which cannot be left without comment.” He believes that Fidesz “ceded the unattended field to the left opposition, which can now wage a bait campaign against [them].” Fidesz was unable to convince the people of the correctness of their original decision, and if they don’t do better in the future they will be in trouble at the 2018 election.

And just one more word about our inimitable László Kövér. He was outraged that women were disproportionately against the Sunday closing. He said that they should show more solidarity toward those who must work on Sundays. This interview, which originally appeared in Magyar Idők, was summarized in HVG where, unlike in Magyar Idők, people can comment. Most of the comments were negative, many expressing their dislike of Kövér. Not surprisingly many women commented. One woman wrote: “I would love to be the wife of Kövér for a short while.” To which another wrote: “Me too! Lucrezia Borgia …. :-)”

April 13, 2016
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tappanch
Guest

Orban is enlarging his new university, which is tasked to train apparatchiks for his regime. The university has a huge budget, separate from other universities.

The builders have/will cut several hundreds trees in the Orczy garden (one of the main locations of Ferenc Molnar’s “Pál utcai fiúk” = The Paul Street Boys).

http://444.hu/2016/04/13/kisebb-erdot-akarnak-kivagni-az-orczy-kertben

There is really something pathological in the way the Fidesz leaders, who hail from outside Budapest, enjoy destroying the few trees the capital has.

tappanch
Guest

Partial list of places where Fidesz projects have cut numerous trees in Budapest:

square around Parliament,
City Park (Varosliget),
Dagaly spa,
Orczy garden,
Romai (planned)

Member
tappanch
Guest

Orban declared in Parliament yesterday:
I have never been, I am not and I will not become a wealthy man”

http://index.hu/belfold/2016/04/11/orban_sosem_voltam_vagyonos_ember_nem_is_vagyok_nem_is_leszek/

Today, journalists found another, hitherto unknown piece of real estate connected to him.

http://magyarnarancs.hu/belpol/megtalaltuk-orbanek-felcsut-kornyeki-titkos-nyaralojat-az-ingatlan-elozo-tulajdonosa-meszaros-lorinc-volt-98965

petofi
Guest

For some, the in-your-face, spit-in-your-eye…lie,
is as great a pleasure as stealing your money–

Guest

Of course, if he compares his wealth to Putin’s. he really is not that rich!
But maybe the percentage of the country’s GDP that they are stealing is comparable …

tappanch
Guest
Was there a change in the calculation method of the official labor estimates? Number of employed (without the fostered workers in each category) January 2016 [December 2015] enterprises : 1949.3 [1920.2], up 1.5% non-profits : 107.9 [96.2], up 12.2% in a single month ! government: 693.1 [693.0] fostered workers 197.0 [201.5] The other piece of published official statistics about fostered workers gives a higher number in a 3-month moving average. The number of workers employed abroad that were counted in the Hungarian labor statistics was published once in a quarter through the end of 2014, and was kept secret in the first half of 2015. Abroad + Fostered + Domestic 2015-12 through 2016-02: 114.8+218.5+3908.1 2015-11 through 2016-01: 112.7+225.3+3901.5 2015-10 through 2015-12: 117.1+232.3+3909.9 2015-09 through 2015-11: 112.7+236.7+3923.3 2015-08 through 2015-10: 114.0+231.9+3919.9 2015-07 through 2015-09: 114.2+226.6+3924.0 2015-06 through 2015-08: 113.2+226.5+3911.3 2015-05 through 2015-07: 111.0+222.1+3890.7 2015-04 through 2015-06: no breakdown published 2015-03 through 2015-05: no breakdown published 2015-02 through 2015-04: no breakdown published 2015-01 through 2015-03: no breakdown published 2014-12 through 2015-02: no breakdown published 2014-11 through 2015-01: no breakdown published 2014-10 through 2014-12: 111.1+178.2+3852.4 2014-09 through 2014-11: no breakdown published 2014-08 through 2014-10: no breakdown published 2014-07 through 2014-09: 101.4+166.6+3913.8 Source: analysis… Read more »
Gyula2
Guest

Orban and his posse will win again in 2018. They are way more clever than the leftists. Yes, they will continue cutting the trees in the liberal Budapest. Sorry guys, you should’ve staged a revolution. Instead Orban did it and now Hungary has to live with that. No future government can or will dare to overturn his decisions. Orbans politics will live on for long. The leftists have lost for good. Seriously, will Tobias or Gyula Molnar lead Hungary after defeating Orban? C’mon, it’s totally ridiculous. They are totally lightweight (and more). Orban, Lazar and the rest of the bunch are here to stay. Get used to it.

Guest

Troll! And rather idiotic too!

If anybody would have said that Fidesz might reschind the Sunday law a few months ago people might have laughed at him and ridiculed him. Now all of a sudden …

Guest

Gyula2: “No future government can or will dare to overturn his decisions. ”

This is the big ballooning Fidesz illusion. There will come a man with a needle.

Observer
Guest

The Orban BS balloon is already leeking and unless he can find some other source of hot air (can’t milk migrant issue forever) he may hit the dirt.

Guest
Re: ‘Orban’s politics will live on for long’ You know at this point there is a little disturbance in the ‘system’. And revaluations appear to be going on in the electorate and among the current stewards of Magyarorszag. Can it be said the latter absolutely best represent the Magyar people and their principles? Have they been the best the country has to offer? To bring in a basketball motif, one day many will look back on how they ‘played the game’. They seem to win but it’s winning ugly. And considering how their seasons have gone, it can’t be expected that they will shoot in 60 points in their last game as Bryant just did to send off his illustrious career. Bryant at the least tried to get his act together and realized he had to take the high road to elevate ‘his game’. Fidesz apparently doesn’t understand that or just doesn’t wish to. So at bottom such poor examples of ‘winners’. Teams like this just don’t last. The arrogance of thinking every shot will go in will take them down. I don’t think they’re good enough. They throw up too many ‘bricks’. Hear the sound. Clunk clunk clunk. And… Read more »
Observer
Guest

Fidesz & principles ?! Please, give me a break.
They are getting mired in their endless lies, incompetence and arrogant politics and exposed by their monumental corruption.
Organ is growing fatter and richer and running out of lies.
What a sorry sight this emaciated Hungary straggling in the mud with some happless fools and mercenaries trying to cheer up the serfs.

tappanch
Guest

In the six years since Orban’s takeover in 2010, the nominal GDP grew by 8.8% cumulatively. But if we take out the support from European Union, the growth has been less than 2%

http://www.portfolio.hu/gazdasag/igy_festenenk_az_eu-tamogatasok_nelkul.12.230247.html

tappanch
Guest

Another scandal.

The Fine Arts Museum lent 10 paintings to Orban’s chief advisor Habony for private use for almost free in 2013.

Gabriella Halko, who participated in the transaction, was appointed to be the financial director of newly fideszized television channel TV2 at the end of January.

It turns out that the paintings, with a total value of 1 million euros, were NOT insured. The museum says the paintings are back but it is not willing to show them.

http://blog.atlatszo.hu/2016/04/nem-voltak-biztositva-a-szerb-utcaba-kikolcsonzott-festmenyek/

comment image

Guest

London Calling!

I can’t believe that János Lázár, and the other old ‘commies’, would do anything out of principle.

I believe there is a hidden agenda here – Lázár and co have promised something to their CBA mates – and so have had to take a 100,000ft ‘hit’ to show it wasn’t them that sabotaged the cosy CBA arrangement.

100,000 forints? £256 or $362 ……………peanuts.

Those CBA shops are truly dreadful. Out-of-date stock – redated. Substandard food – and unbelievable authoritarian staff! So rude!

Our friends won’t let me tell CBA how bad their stores are with a little bit of robust ‘English’ feedback – because they themselves will have to bear the almost guaranteed reprisals.

Such is the state of the ‘service industry’ in Hungary.

So the patriarchal men want to maintain the Sunday ban?

Of course it’s their ‘little women’ who have to do the shopping.

“Just cook the dinner, woman” as they come home from their ‘hard day’ and put on their warmed slippers and bang the table with knife and fork in hand.

Bastards.

fogas
Guest

Yes, I understand that one of CBA’s main line of business is to redate products. That is CBA the wholesaler which is directly managed and owned by Fideszniks (the individual stores are owned by various franchise holders, though some are owned by the “founders).

CBA buys expired/close to expiration date products from major brand producers/importers and then repackages them with a new sell by date.

The major international corporations are complicit in this exercise, they know full well what will happen with such products, just as they know full well that their sugar or toilet paper is a result of a tax fraud operation.

Similarly if the local branch of a major multinational FMCG company would not fulfill the quarterly budget CBA is happy to purchase the missing amount at a discount to be sold abroad (which is against the policies of the multinational which normally want to prevent parallel import).

tappanch
Guest

Changes in democracy score by “Freedom House” in Central Europe between 2004 and 2016. Watch the blue line !

comment image&w=1484

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/04/13/islamophobia-threatens-democracy-in-europe-report-says/

tappanch
Guest

comment image&w=1484

Observer
Guest

Tnx. Great simple chart.
Pls advise link to employment stats you used.

tappanch
Guest

I used or calculated data from KSH, the Official Statistical Office.

I also noticed that they retroactively change their data if needed.
You have to save all of the publications from KSH, MNB, AKK, etc,
because they tend to disappear and are sometimes retouched.

For instance, you can calculate that their last word is
abroad+fostered workers + normal (self+)employees =
2014-07 through 2014-09: 99.4+174.3+3874.9 thousand.

It looks nice to compare this with the latest numbers of
2015-12 through 2016-02: 114.8+218.5+3908.1;

But earlier, their number was:
2014-07 through 2014-09: 101.4+166.6+3913.8;

which would show that the number of (self+)employees has gone DOWN and not UP in the last one and a half years.

tappanch
Guest

Starting point for this research was:

http://www.ksh.hu/gyorstajekoztatok/#/hu/document/fog1602

Guest
Now this is surely a new low point for them, though we all know the old saying: Lies, damned lies and statistics! Aren’t they afraid that someone (like the EU or UN stats guys) will find them out – or do they already have a reason(rather more an excuse) like : we changed the way we measure these things? From talking with relatives and neighbours I get the impression that job insecurity is mounting among them heavily – a special problem seem to be older people which make “too much money” so they are in danger being exchanged for younger guys who obviously don’t have the experience and whose work quality is often substandard because of this. I regularly hear complaints now concerning this – while the people we ask for repairs in the house are usually older and real pros, we’re really lucky there! PS and totally OT: Just realised that “Lies, damned lies and statistics!” is attributed to Mark Twain, one of my favourite authors. We just had a discussion on his works on another site – besides Huckleberry Finn the description of his travels to Europe and of course his Science Fiction novel “A Yankee at the… Read more »
Istvan
Guest
Education reform movement developments. MTI had a report this morning on additional strategies by Fidesz via Emmi to contain any strike by teachers on April 20th ( it did not discuss any reaction to Friday’s 2 hour civil disobedience or warning strike actions supported by the PDSZ). To a degree it sort of responds to the issue Eva raised yesterday about what could the government do if teachers walked out even in defiance of a Labor Court ruling against the unions. Clearly Eva and Orban may have oddly some similar thoughts because the government appears to assume it can’t fully stop the SEH strike set for the 20th and will not try to formally, but rather threatens various consequences. One strategy appears to be the possibility of individual wage reductions that could go beyond just one day’s wages for striking teachers and could include vague costs for lost subject learning time by students. Teacher’s union President Galló also informed MTI that the strike committee had agreed to the Emmi demand that all schools during the strike would be staffed sufficiently to provide supervision, and meals for all students who would normally attend the school. Galló also indicate that members of… Read more »
Guest
Guest
@charliecharlieh Today 9:49 am It is of course very good and important, Charlie, that Ilan Mor has written this protest letter, but really, in the end, this sort of protest in Hungary is just pissing in the wind, because the messages of Bayer issue from one corner of Orban’s mouth, while the messages of unctuous Fideszniks appointed to butter up the Hungarian Jews issue from the other. As you well know, Orban has absolutely no problems with conveying totally contradictory messages from the two corners of his mouth, where one of those messages must of course be by definition a barefaced lie. That said, a pro-Israel Fidesznik Hungary is useful for Israel in an era when Europe, and the worldwide left in general, have decisively turned on Israel for being unwilling to commit national suicide. Europe in particular is profoundly anti-colonialist these days, and as such, it sees Israel as the world’s last colonial state, and as far as the European (and American) left is concerned, this is an intolerable state of affairs. It has to be conceded of course, that the left makes this claim with some justice, though in doing so it totally disregards the reasons for, and… Read more »
bendegúz
Guest

Orban will spend on the teachers and the health care workers. They will be happy and vote for Fidesz again. Nobody will prefer Gyula Molnár or Tibor Szanyi over Orban and Lazar who at least get things done. It’s quite easy. The protesting state employees will be tamed in no time. Orban needs to wait a bit and then spend some money just in time for 2018. That’s all it takes to carry 2018. There is no capable alternative and the voters are acutely aware of that. Nobody wants narcissistic leftists who can’t top infighting and can’t stop arguing about annoying intellectual shit. Orban will smooth sail into reelection.

http://index.hu/gazdasag/2016/04/14/100_milliardot_szan_a_kormany_beremelesre_az_egeszsegugyben/

Guest

yader yader yader…….codswallop.

Guest

“annoying intellectual shit”

Wenn ich Kultur höre entsichere ich meinen Browning. (Hanns Johst)

Member

Can you come up with any new ways trying to assault others than “leftist”? I must say that I take “leftist” as a compliment under Orban. There is no such term as rightist, and Orban is not really conservative, so what is him, and who would be their followers, like you benedguz? These uninformed, without any logic, any substance, any proper information or facts crowd, like you bendeguz, who somehow clearly benefit from Orban and his gang robbing Hungarians blind, what should we call you? Opportunists is not the right word to cover the damage you guys are doing. I love to be in the crowd of the”leftist” when you are part of the other group, so please use it more often, because we never know under what name you are publishing from over and over again benedeguz, fogas, Gyula, Gyula2..

willi foggg
Guest

fogas wasn’t a fidesz troll just to clarify

Guest

I think I’ve remarked on this before:

Everybody is a “leftist” if you’re a real right wing extremist with the motto:
To the right of us is only the wall!

Gregor
Guest
Zoltan Lakner has an interview in Magyar Narancs and he is not too optimistic about the situation of the opposition. Mind you Lakner is much closer to the opposition than Gabor Torok is (who has been a not-so-crypto-fidesznik, but started to move away). The government can be as corrupt and incompetent as it wants to as long as there is no unified and effective opposition. This is so simple. There is no limit to stealing and arrogance. You only saw the beginning. Fidesz designed the system and knows that – even if Fidesz didn’t own the various other power centres such as the prosecution, the courts, the constitutional court – the election system would still prefer Fidesz (and this does not even counts the close to a million Transsylvanian, Voivodinian and Ukrainian ethnic Hungarian votes). A – totally unified and disciplined – opposition would have to prevail over Fidesz by 7-8% points on the party lists just to be able to get even with Fidesz (which is not enough to actually govern given the various 2/3s rules in place). As a result, people who discount Fidesz should be very modest. Fidesz has a dozen lines of defenses (ie. even if… Read more »
spectator
Guest

It’s clear that there is no chance ever if the “opposition” can’t get away from the established boundaries of the present day party-politics.

Either there will be total unison regardless of the colors or/and the persons — whoever they are — of the parties, or better to boycott the whole charade, go home and be ashamed.

Again.

There is NOTHING in between, just think about it!
Or better believe me, if you will spare some brain power…

Guest

@spectator
Today 2:47 pm

It is plain as day that without a united front, the democratic opposition has Buckley’s chance of getting anywhere in Hungarian parliamentary elections.

And in case such a united front ever emerged, Orban would instantly counter with wall to wall a Fidesz-Jobbik coalition.

No need for long-winded cogitations about this.

Liberal democracy in Hungary was irretrievably lost the moment the Hungarian electorate opted to vote into power with a 2/3 majority a bunch of cunning constitutional putschists.

By today, it is well and truly game, set and match, as they say in tennis: under the circumstances Orban and his ilk could well remain in power for generations.

And for the record, I am not a Fidesz troll, just an ordinary Joe with little capacity for wishful thinking.

Member

“Orban isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”
Hmmm… seen the shape of him recently? He thinks he is invincible, no attention paid to the ever-increasing waist-line and the normal health considerations that a 50+ male should be looking out for.

That man is a walking heart attack.

Member

Pathetic Orbanist troll.

spectator
Guest

Eva, he is László Kövér (instead of János Kövér) in the first paragraph.
Wouldn’t make any difference to him, though…

spectator
Guest

As I see it the whole incompetent bunch of the KDNP was needed only as a smokescreen, mostly for the sake of the recently domesticated Transylvanian voters.
Many of them have strong bonds, even related to ‘over the border’ families, not to mention that the image of the ‘religious national hero’ still sells over there much better than in the home turfs.

However, the effect starts to wear out.
Not a big surprise that the fearless leader starting to work over the folks of Vojvodina, they’re supposed to be the next reinforcements from abroad.

I’m really curious, just how they manage to allow the Polish and even the Azeri ‘supporters’ to participate in an “open and democratic election” in Hungary, in order to ensure Orbán’s badly needed overwhelming victory…

Member

“I’m really curious, just how they manage to allow the Polish and even the Azeri ‘supporters’ to participate in an “open and democratic election” in Hungary, in order to ensure Orbán’s badly needed overwhelming victory…
I am sure Victor, together with his fan club will find a “democratic” way, if there will be an election… Maybe he will skip that small step before he moves up to his castle to look down on his kingdom, straight after his coronation. He indirectly already owns the largest lands in Hungary.

steve
Guest

I used to buy cigarettes from the CBA. Can’t help thinking that the whole Sunday trading was agreed with Baldauf as compensation.