The anti-George Soros campaign intensifies in Hungary

A full-fledged witch hunt is taking place in Hungary against a not-at-all favorite son, George Soros. Two weeks ago I already wrote a post on the Orbán government’s reaction to the less than flattering remarks of Bill Clinton about Poland and Hungary, two countries that decided that “democracy is too much trouble [and] they want Putin-like leadership.” It was in this context that George Soros’s name was associated in Hungarian propaganda with Bill Clinton’s statement as well as with Barack Obama’s earlier critical words about Hungary. In the last two weeks, however, the anti-Soros campaign has sunk to new depths of depravity.

For anyone who has followed the escalation of the anti-Soros rhetoric in the last week, it is obvious that the effort is well-coordinated, enlisting the full force of the government propaganda machine. Magyar Idők leads the way in the smear campaign. The government paper published two opinion pieces a day apart which tried to counter the opposition’s description of Soros as a man whose Open Society Foundation works “to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.” The stated goals of Soros’s philanthropy may be “to strengthen the rule of law, respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions, democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check,” but all this is humbug, according to one of the authors. Soros is a CIA agent whose real objective is the destabilization of East-Central Europe and the Middle East. Operating under the cover of humanitarianism, he faithfully serves the global interests of the United States.


The second article in Magyar Idők concentrated on the “unfounded and unsubstantiated” accusations against György Matolcsy and the Hungarian National Bank, accusations that are really targeting the Orbán government. According to the author, it is Soros who stands behind the U.S. plans to topple the current Hungarian government, this time through Matolcsy’s alleged corruption. Hungary is not the first country where the United States has used the charge of corruption to try to get rid of governments that are “not friendly enough toward the American government.” A prime example of such U.S. interference in the domestic affairs of a foreign country is Brazil, where President Dilma Rousseff has been suspended. “One of her sins could have been that she rejected U.S. interference” in Brazilian politics. She was removed because the U.S. found “Brazil’s change of foreign policy direction intolerable: good relations with Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and China.” Of course, this charge exists solely in the imagination of the journalist of this pro-government and fiercely anti-American newspaper. Continuing his tirade, he claimed that American capitalists, in cahoots with the U.S. government, have tried several times to topple the Orbán government but have never succeeded. The only hope of these foreign agents is that they will be able to remove György Matolcsy, which would serve the interests of the unscrupulous speculators but would ruin the thriving Hungarian economy, which is the result of the remarkable performance of Matolcsy.

A few days later János Lázár at one of his Thursday press conferences went so far as to claim that the Hungarian government has proof from secret service sources that George Soros is ready “to actively participate against his most dangerous opposition, the Orbán government.” However, when a journalist asked him whether the civic groups financed by Soros had done anything unlawful, Lázár had to admit that they hadn’t. Soros’s sin is that by financing some of the watchdog organizations he has become part of the opposition.

The government-financed internet site came out with a “list of pimps of the Soros network.” Members of this network, according to the site, belong to a loud, aggressive minority that has a much greater influence on the media than their numbers would warrant. The list includes 13 civic groups and think tanks and five or six media outlets. Despite’s claim, the fact is that most of these organizations receive only a very small portion of their budget from the Open Society Foundation.

Andy Vajna’s newly purchased TV2 joined the anti-Soros campaign. Its reconstructed formerly popular “Tények” (Facts) now has a five-minute segment called “Tények Extra” that tells the stories of “Billionaires in Hiding.” Needless to say, the first of these segments was devoted to George Soros. Viewers learned how Soros beat his wives and liked to suffocate his lovers.

All this still wasn’t enough for the Orbán government. Now MTI and other pro-government media outlets are gathering information about possible Soros involvement in opposition movements in other countries. Magyar Idők found an interview with Robert Fico, prime minister of Slovakia, who complained that in the March presidential campaign, which he lost, he had to battle not so much his political opponents but “those civic organizations that are often financed from abroad.” joined in with a Macedonian case. The internet site discovered that former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski recently charged that it was George Soros who financed the Macedonian civil groups’ anti-government activities. Just like Fico, Gruevski claimed that he has two oppositions: the Macedonian Social Democratic Association and “the paid opposition.” These groups, when “they are not fighting the government, organize all sorts of training sessions and political debates or show up in the media.” According to the former prime minister, Soros and others are especially active in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

The younger generation of journalists who were probably unfamiliar with George Soros’s activities in Hungary in the 1980s and early 1990s are especially fascinated by the sizable amount of money Fidesz and Fidesz politicians received from the American financier. They are the ones who keep asking uncomfortable questions about who, when, and for what purpose Soros gave money to those who now find him to be the devil incarnate. As a result of all those uncomfortable questions, Viktor Orbán apparently told János Lázár that he is ready to pay the billionaire back “if Soros needs the money.” That “generous offer” includes the three million forints Fidesz as an organization received from the Soros Foundation. I don’t know whether this amount includes the 400,000 forints received in 1987 to launch the periodical Századvég. Yes, the establishment of this by now notorious Fidesz think tank was made possible through George Soros’s generosity.

I wonder what the next step will be. Will Orbán’s propaganda machine continue its threatening propaganda against civic groups, especially against legal think tanks? Or, after a few weeks of contemptible attacks on Soros, will the government decide to stop this harassment? I think it all depends on whether the government is able to contain the scandal surrounding György Matolcsy’s corruption case. As long as the case remains a hot issue both at home and abroad, the anti-American, anti-Soros campaign will continue. This way the government can argue that antagonistic foreign sources, i.e. the United States, with the assistance of domestic paid agents, are responsible for blackening the good name of a financial genius. All because their real goal is the removal of Viktor Orbán from power.

May 27, 2016
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May 28, 2016 12:53 am

The tone of the Fidesz statements is abominable (undorító).

Goebbelsian and Brezhnevian – shrieking and petty.

May 28, 2016 12:58 am

Car industry in Hungary in 2015.

Cars assembled, in thousands:

Audi: 160 + 2022 engines
Mercedes: 180
Suzuki: 185
Opel: —

Million Euros Revenue; Labor cost / employees; Income (profit);

Audi: 8337; 331 / 14111; 426
Mercedes: 3400; 70 / 3715; 79
Suzuki: 1975; 51 / 3100; 59
Opel: 182; 27 / 1204; 43

In other words, 22,130 workers create 30% of the Hungarian industrial production or 21% of the Hungarian export.


May 28, 2016 1:05 am
May 28, 2016 1:18 am

Labor cost/ employee; Labor cost / Revenue; Profit / Revenue

Audi: 23,457 euros; 4.0%; 5.1%
Mercedes: 18,842; 2.1% 2.3%
Suzuki: 16,451; 2.6% 3.0%
Opel: 22,425; 14.8% 23.6%

May 28, 2016 1:34 am

I don’t what’s worse: FIDESZ’s rhetoric or the Hungarians buying it?

May 28, 2016 2:03 am

Hungarians don’t care…

Orban’s continujous attack on Soros risks the shutdown of the university, and hundreds of Hungarian jobs.

Orban doesn’t care.

Hungarians don’t care….or they’d be out marching to prevent the imminent
disaster for Hungarian professors….

Karl Pfeifer
Karl Pfeifer
May 28, 2016 2:26 am


May 28, 2016 2:59 am

Imho this shows Fidesz’ desperation – they know they’re losing it and grab at anything to divert from the real problems.

They must be really disappointed too that little fascist Hofer didn’t make it in Austria.

Re Tappanch’s numbers on car manufacturing:

Of course the German capitalists don’t care too much about what’s going on in Hungary – as long as the workers and engineers do their job (and don’t ask for too much money) – it’s a calculated risk which is spread all over the world …

May 28, 2016 3:10 am

I heard stories of people in heated debate, when really wanting to put their opponent down they said: ”you… you migrant!” Now that counted as the ultimate putdown recently. But now that the object of Fidesz propaganda is George Soros, we can expect that the next putdown will be: ”you… you George Soros!” Take that!

May 31, 2016 4:51 pm

Recently when my cousin was arguing with her ex husband, he called her a “migrans kurva”. I wanted to slap his teeth out of his mouth!

May 28, 2016 3:14 am

This is an interesting update on the propaganda campaign. But does it matter? It is a series of inconsequential rants which carry no truth or any message that has any credibility other than that OV feels insecure about the influence of a determined and wealthy political opponent who has it within his power and maybe amongst his plans to destabilise his regime. The supine Hungarian population will not, neither can the EU, so OV is rightly concerned about Soros who has demonstrated over the decades his support for the opponents of the likes of OV. And, of course, he is a Jew.

May 28, 2016 3:58 am

It occurs to me that Orban’s current campaign is modelled on Stalin’s anti-cosmopolitan campaign.

May 28, 2016 3:53 am

So Mr. Orban is ready to pay back Mr. Soros the financial help received in his youth? One wonders how VO can suddenly be so generous. It must be that he has stolen enough from the state and from the purses of the Hungarian population at large to cover the cost (and then some) – but then he shouldn’t forget the interest on the ‘loan’ at 11% for the last 25 years. Wonkynomics Matolcsy can work out the details and then have it paid out of MNB ‘profits’. Corruption, thy name is FIDESZ.

May 28, 2016 5:46 am

London Calling!

Using a smokescreen works – except when the ‘smoke’ is too dense.

We had a terrible case in our democratic free media where a civil servant wrote an email to her superiors suggesting that any bad – or negative – policies or information should be expedited during the twin towers plane suicides.

“It’s now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury. Councillors’ expenses?” She wrote.

The ‘M8tolcsy Scandal’ is being buried by the non-democratic media in concert – giving a very very powerful smoke -screen to the Hungarian electorate – who don’t appear to care much. The Quaestor scandal has all but left the media stage – leaving Tarsoly and his family ‘naughty-boy heroes’ in the Orban- Fidesz thuggery.

Expect to see more photos of Tarsoly all ‘hail fellow well met’ with Orban and Szijjártó at the next football match.

Dissing Soros will be a very good insurance policy for all nodes of the media tree – so many are benefactors of Soros’ largesse that they’d prefer buried:

The Soros six: Viktor Orban, Józef Szájer, Deutsch, Zsolt Nemeth, Maria Schmidt, Zoltan Kovach.

May 28, 2016 6:13 am

When Soros decided to pay traitors to help him annihilate Hungary his first choice was “The Soros six”. His talent never failed him.

May 28, 2016 8:15 am

Soros made an honest good investment in Hungary to end the Moscow oppression. FIDESZ was a progressive and defensive force. Until….. Moscow turned them back into a disinformation tool.
Now FIDESZ is their hostage, and a weaponized party against the EU and USA.

May 28, 2016 9:22 am

They are not “hostage”! They are willing participants for unspecified gains.

May 28, 2016 10:09 am

Wonder what George thinks of those early days where he dreamed of that truly ‘open society’ that he envisioned there. Well I guess he tried to get it going but at the last it backfired.

So far events in the country show that the ‘gangs’ in power eventually learned to use their notion of laissez faire capitalistic ideas and give it a nice Magyar illiberal twist where they freely and with no interference haul in the sacks of gold and don’t even spread the wealth among the minions. Soros surely must lament how the olis get their five and ten finger discounts greedily taking all those forints out of the till.

And arguably Soros’ ‘reflexivity’ theory seems to be operating in the country. ‘Fundamentals’ in seeking value doesn’t seem to be operating well. And participant bias and perception makes fundamentals untenable. Result: no open society and robbery under law.

May 28, 2016 10:44 am

Orban received 10,000 forints /month at the end of the eighties from the Soros Foundation. I am not sure about the length.

In 1989 the minimum wage was 3,700 forint. Today the minimum wage is 129,000 forint.
The support provide to Orban would be about 4,200,000 forint/year in today’s wages.
The 3,000,000 forint given to Fidesz is 105,000,000 forint.
Oxford college fee is £7,135 or 2,948,292 forint
Let say Kover, Deutsch, Szajer, Nemeth, Kovacs, Szajer, Németh, Schmidt, Orban all gave back one year of their support.

Audit in today’s forint:
Two year’s support x 9: 75,600,000 forint
extra year for Schmidt: 4,200,00 forint
Orban, Szajer, Nemeth, Kovacs one year college fee: 2,778,460 forint
One year courses about x 4: 23,140,000 forint
One time Fidesz support: 105,000,000 forint
Szazadveg support: 14,000,000 forint

Well, I am sure Soros does not need the money, but I would suggest Fidesz and their members to put at least 224,718,000 forint or about 715,000 EUR toward supporting the integration of Roma children in the Hungarian school system.

May 28, 2016 3:08 pm

Of course they could never pay back their debt to Soros. The money came at a time when no one else could provide the funds – so the timing was the key factor.

Whatever the amount was – it was priceless and can never be repaid.

Orban is so thick that he would regard the debt cleared if he simply repaid the principal. But philanthropist Soros would be greatly affronted if he did.

And the money would be embezzled from the state so it would be double jeopardy for Soros.

He just wants a democratic Hungary with a fair society and all he gets is a kick in the teeth.

And a thank you. But he won’t even get that.

(However your figures are illuminating! Thanks)

May 28, 2016 2:07 pm

And now back to reality in Hungary:
From our German SPIEGEL.
A scathing report on “justice” in Hungary for those refugees who get caught “illegally entering Hungary” from Serbia. In a fast track trial they are sentenced to jail and/or to be deported – but of course Serbia won’t take them back, so somehow they disappear into Western Europe …

Thank you, Keno Verseck!

HungarianTASZ, UNHCR, Amnesty International and other NGOs call this a kind of travesty and a useless show trial – just meant to disparage others!

May 29, 2016 6:17 am

Why doesn’t Soros sue the asses off the journalists, politicians, newspapers and other media outlets that libel and defame him in Hungary?

He should be running ruthless defamation cases against them in both Hungary and the States, and teach these unashamed bastards a lesson they will never forget.

May 29, 2016 8:37 am

Q: Why not sue?
A: Peter Polt

May 31, 2016 11:22 am
I am sorry for this delayed post, I have been busy with US Memorial Day events honoring our war dead. I posted a link a few weeks ago relating to George Soros’ actual position on EU immigration quotas imposed on Hungary and that position clearly opposed them, despite the propaganda from Fidesz. One of the biggest reasons, other than the fact Soros is a Hungarian Jew, for this attack on Soros by Fidesz is his anti-Putin stance. You can read this at Having said that I do want to make it clear that I believe that Soros has repeated opposed US military intervention when I believed it was appropriate and required as a cost of being a global power. His overall thinking on the use by the United States military force can be seen in this article I think it is pacifist none sense in totality, not because attempting to occupy both Iraq and Afghanistan were strategic not mistakes by the Bush administration in themselves, but because using massive force to crush opponents of the US is sometimes necessary and those interventions need to contain a defined and somewhat covert exit strategy. Else wise even a great military… Read more »
June 1, 2016 5:30 pm

GWB’s cock up is what is the principal cause of the threat to peace in our lives. He and Blair knew or should have known that they were going to make things from bad to catastrophe. This is not the best blog for this debate