A monster was created: Hungarian student unions

It is hard to describe my state of mind when I read about student unions as they exist in Hungary. My feelings are a mixture of outrage, disgust, and contempt. Contempt for university administrators who not only tolerate but are cowed by these so-called student leaders who, in some cases, are common criminals. Outrage that none of the governments between 1990 and 2016 was willing and able to do anything to put an end to student unions in their present form. I understand that any attempt to disband these student unions would have been met with fierce opposition from the right because by the second half of the 1990s most of these unions were in the hands of Fidesz and, later, Jobbik. If there is a change in the political system of the country one of the early tasks of any new democratic government should be the removal of these thoroughly corrupt bodies, instead allowing each university to devise its own independent student union/student government that truly represents the student body and that has drastically reduced power.

Structe of the Szeged HÖK Not a small organization

Structure of the Szeged HÖK. Not a small organization

What brought this topic to the fore again? Naturally, another scandal at the University of Szeged, where HÖK (the Hungarian acronym for the student union system) over the last ten years has created conditions that would not be tolerated at any western university. At least not at those I’m familiar with.

One can only feel disgust for such cowards as the members of the Szeged administration who sank so low as to sue an honest investigative journalist of atlatszo.hu because he exposed fraud in one of the HÖK elections and, after being pressured by HÖK, demanded 340,000 forints from the journalist because the university’s good name suffered as a result of his revelations. The necessary money was collected within a few days on the internet. Shame on the University of Szeged, although I’m happy to report that the journalist, after going all the way to the Kúria, won last month. The University of Szeged will have to reimburse him, and he in turn will hand the money over to atlatszo.hu.

I wrote twice about HÖK in connection with the University of Szeged, in which I described this particular student union as “the most notorious.” Hungarian student union leaders have power that would be unimaginable elsewhere. The first problem is the amount of money these student organizations handle. In the case of Szeged, it is 3.5 billion forints. The student leaders spend this money practically without any supervision. They have power over such things as granting scholarships and allocating coveted dormitory places. That’s bad enough, but without the approval of the leadership of the Szeged HÖK no student can be removed from the university for academic or disciplinary reasons. Because student leaders have been allocated one third of the seats in the university’s senate, they can actually blackmail the members of the faculty in the body where promotions and/or appointments are being decided. If a professor gives them trouble, with their votes and some clever finagling they can ruin the person’s university career. Students shouldn’t have such far-reaching power when it comes to academic matters. And they certainly shouldn’t be in charge of scholarships.

HÖKs at other universities might not be as corrupt as the one in Szeged, but all of them are considered to be corrupt to a greater or lesser degree. And this corruption has ramifications that extend far beyond the university walls. The younger Fidesz leadership, and these people by now are probably in their early forties, often come from these student unions, where for years they were masters of manipulation and where they enjoyed unquestioned, concentrated power. Perfect grooming for later political life in Fidesz. And if we think about it, Viktor Orbán and his buddies come from a very similar background. When they were at university they spent more time politicking than studying, and they managed to achieve self-government in their small dormitory with practically no supervision. But at least they didn’t get paid, as today’s HÖK leaders do. Now in power, they’re making up for it.

So, why do I return again to the Szeged HÖK? Because, if the university and the ministry of human resources are lucky, the president of HÖK, Márk Török, might be removed from his position after a staggering twelve years. But don’t hold your breath. He is suing the university and, because of sloppy wording of the relevant law, he may even win. One could ask how anyone could be the head of a student union for over twelve years. Easily. Török got his first degree in history, then moved over as a candidate for a teaching certificate, after which he began law school. And he used this time to advance his own interests. I don’t have space here to tell the story of Török’s Ponzi scheme or to elaborate on the fact that the Szeged HÖK runs two pubs in town. True horror stories. And yet there is a university with 30,000 students that is entirely powerless.

Admittedly, last year the ministry of human resources did make one small change to the law governing student unions. They stipulated that no person can be an “officeholder” of HÖK for more than four years. That would have meant in Török’s case that he was already ineligible to run and to be elected to office last September. Somehow, however, Török’s case fell through the cracks due to the sloppiness of the ministry of human resources. The ministry gave two different interpretations of what they meant by the “previous four years.”

But that is not the end of the ineptitude of Zoltán Balog’s ministry. The law on higher education talks only about an “officeholder of HÖK” and doesn’t stipulate whether this means only a high officeholder or everyone who has a HÖK title (such as press secretary). The question is whether the university can get rid of only Márk Török or whether it can also oust the rest of the organization that has overstayed its welcome. Or is the law so vague that it will be struck down, letting the whole crew remain at Szeged? When atlatszo.hu inquired, different universities gave different answers to the question of who is an officeholder. According to Corvinus University, “officeholder” means only the president, but other universities consider “officeholder” to cover all officials of the student union. According to the legal think tank Eötvös Károly Intézet (EKINT), the latter interpretation is the correct one, but that unfortunately doesn’t solve all of the problems of the university in trying to get rid of Márk Török and his entourage. EKINT says that the university administration will have to take the university’s by-laws into consideration in ascertaining how they can enforce the new four-year limit as applied to HÖK officers. So now they can argue legal niceties when they should have removed Török from HÖK ages ago because of his criminal activities.

As of today, the president of the university was in an upbeat mood. He made the decision to annul Török’s election of last September. I have no idea why they waited so long because already last September the police were investigating the suspicious circumstances of the elections. But, of course, HÖK in turn will sue the university. Total madness.

The Hungarian government back in 1990 created a monster. But for that monster to thrive over the years it needed the active help of corrupt Fidesz and Jobbik politicians and cowardly university officials. And that it got in spades. What failed to thrive, unfortunately, was Hungarian higher education itself.

June 23, 2016
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Paul
Guest

Just after 2am British ‘Summer’ Time here in the UK and it looks very like the idiots have swallowed the Leave Campaign nonsense and have voted to leave the EU.

God alone knows what the consequences of this will be, but I can’t see any of them being good – for us or for Europe.

For a start, less money for Hungary…

Guest

Looks as if the functions of universities is to make the SU’s the proving and training grounds in executing power for future government caretakers of the country. The special caste learns well.

Re: Brexit

As of 11:15pm here in US those who want to ‘take a hike’ lead by over 600,000+. Looks like Waterloo where it just might be one of those ‘close-run’ things.

petofi
Guest

Hungaricoes salivate at the earliest opportunity to prove their aptitude at kissing ass; and show themselves ever ready to garner ‘gain without pain’ —

petofi
Guest

That’s a ‘good’…

Guest

Less money to Hungary might not be a bad thing.

The EU has kept Orbán and gang in power and lined their pockets, while he ranted and raved against the hand that fed.

His harangues against the EU have fed Eurosceptics, as he knew it would and as he intended, and now he will see the result of his mischief-making.

In a classroom, one rotten apple can spoil it for all, and within the EU, he is the rotten apple, down to his damaged core.
The EU should have thrown him out ages ago, along with Hungary, to sink or swim, since he is so against the EU, at least when he shouts his drivel at home.

Cameron should never have agreed to have meetings with Orbán, which gave the message that he sided with Eurosceptics.

Whatever the problems within the huge systems within the EU, it was above all a safeguard of democratic principles. Without England, this role is diminished and the likes of Putin, and similar East European thugs such as Orbán, will flourish, I fear.

webber
Guest

Farewell UK.
Scotland will leave you soon. The country may have to get a new name.

Jean P.
Guest

“If there is a change in the political system of the country one of the early tasks of any new democratic government should be the removal of these thoroughly corrupt bodies, instead allowing each university to devise its own independent student union/student government that truly represents the student body and that has drastically reduced power.”

Nobody should be allowed to devise student unions except the students. In a democratic country anybody can make all the unions he wants without interference from any authority. Hungary is infested with official unions. They don’t serve the interest of their members. Get rid of them all. Get rid of all laws about unions.

petofi
Guest

Brexit is on: the Russians win a big one.

Orban, who’s got as much as he’ll ever need, is ok; his minions will be scrambling. The joy ride of easy eu money for the Hungaricoes will come to an end. Prepare to see Orban ‘abdicate’…and leave the rats to fend for themselves.

Big blow to Hillary and Obama, and a push for the Trumpet. The Dems better have Sanders as VP or they’re going down. No way the Yanks will vote in 2 women now.

Never a dull moment.

All this and global warming, too. What could be more fun???

webber
Guest

Petofi,
You’re in Canada, aren’t you? You should have a better understanding of US politics by now. Most Americans don’t even know what the EU is.
WHY would Brexit have any effect whatsoever on the US vote.

Look at Trump’s numbers and stop salivating. He is going to be beaten so soundly in November – the Republicans won’t have enough support left to mop up after him.

Incidentally, officially Trump is still not the Republicans’ candidate.

petofi
Guest

Webber,

(Just lately ‘of Canada’–I spent a horrendous 6 years in the Pest of Buda.)

As for American knowledge of European politics…What Yanks know and care about is who wins and who loses: Brits leaving
the EU is a loss for Obama-hence Hillary–ergo, Dems. Add to that the ready-to-explode-bombshell or Hillary’s misdoings (not to mention, her lesbianism) and the wild, Jerry-Springer-like-Americans will back the Trumpet (and I haven’t even come to the Silent Majority)…Anyway, Hillary is generally despised and a tell-all book on her by a secret service agent who served the Clintons during their stay in power is due to hit the shelves.
Hillary is toast. Anyone but Trump and it would be a landslide for the Repubs. As it is, the Repub media geniuses and the powers that be in that camp will fall in line once they smell a whiff of Dem weakness and chance to grab power for the next 8 years.

This is all I know about American politics. (And I’ve now written almost as much as Istvan usually does!)

webber
Guest
“What Yanks know and care about is who wins and who loses…” Wrong. The majority of them don’t even know that Obama and Clinton campaigned against Brexit, and those who do know couldn’t care less. A shrug. A “meh.” A “why did they bother” is all you will get from Americans. The majority of Americans care about internal American politics. That is all. They don’t care one whit about the rest of the world. You know nothing about American politics, that’s all I will say. Wait and watch for a few years in Canada. Trump is going to be pounded, mark my words. Look at the poll data. Look at the funding. Listen to what the pundits are saying. Incidentally, now that you are in Canada you might want to moderate your language. You’ve been in Europe for a long time, where anti–Americanism is de rigeur, and American tourists have to take it. You aren’t in Budapest now. Americans in Canada are a lot less likely to take it. So I am warning you: if you call an American Southerner a “Yank” to his face, you are likely to be punched in yours (I mean that – I’m not a… Read more »
webber
Guest

P.S. The lesbian accusation against Clinton isn’t even an accusation. It’s nonsense on so many levels. Americans don’t care about that. Witness the results of referenda on same-sex marriage in the US. You aren’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. America has changed A LOT since 1950.
The accusations by the former Secret Service guy have been widely published in the press, and what happened? Trump’s numbers just keep falling. Watch and learn.
The United States is not Hungary. It’s not even Europe. It’s a new world to you, clearly.

webber
Guest

Petofi – poll data here. Trump will lose according to every poll taken by every polling organization in the US. Watch this site – it summarizes all results, and now the results are clear:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton-5491.html
If that changes, I will concede that you are right, but I would bet quite a lot right now that Trump will be thoroughly beaten (IF the Republicans actually nominate him – trouble brewing for him at the convention, too, you know).

Guest

Hope you’re right, webber – one disappointment was enough for me!

Btw I’ve been reading the debunking site snopes.com for many years (and of course The Onion and others) and it’s really crazy what (some) Americans tend to believe.

Rozsi
Guest

webber – I hope to God you are right about Trump’s chances of becoming President and you are certainly right about Americans not caring about Brexit .

I think Hillary’s lesbian accusations are about as important as the rape charges against the Idiot , although marital rape charges are on the record by Ivana Trump. Do his cowboy and religious fanatic supporters care? I think not

Right or wrong, Brexit is connected to Angele Merkel and the decision is tragic for the EU.

btw- petofi is simply the flip side of Drumpf – same day , different ….

Guest
Re: ‘You should have a better understanding of US politics by now. Most Americans don’t even know what the EU is’ Hehe… Here I feel to Americans what petofi feels to Magyars. I hate to say it but there are people here who can’t even spell ‘cat’ if you give them the ‘c’ and the ‘t’. Europe is so far away and is something you read about in books and arguably that is a dying activity here. One thing I have to say is that it seems to have taken Britain over 200+ years to ‘get’ the ‘religion’ of independence. I guess there was something in what the rebellious colonials did. There apparently was ‘method’ to the madness that got the Brits into a tizzy. And now they will try an ‘experiment’. It will be interesting what will be unleashed. At this point we are in different times where economies are weak, people are on the run and a power which was on the skids down is now flexing its power. And as in the French Revolution, the refugees who fled the violence during the Terror to England have indelibly influenced public opinion now on Brexit in Britain and throughout… Read more »
Guest

Funny you mention that North-South stuff webber. My wife and I very soon will be going to live in ‘Southern’ climes after living all our lives here in the Northeast. Time for a change and we look forward to it. For ourselves we’ve always got along with our Southern brethren. We’ve traveled there for many years and are pretty familiar with Southern mores and customs. The region is a treasure trove of American history. Personally, , we’ve never ever had to fight a ‘Civil War’….👍But I would suggest one must have ‘manners’ when there. It is not very nice if a ‘guest’ brings up ‘lost causes’. Some Yankees of that ilk really then are better off staying home in a ballpark…😎

Reality Check
Guest

According to veteran agents, the “tell-all” book was written by an agent who did not have access to her. In other words it is total BS. Fact checking can do wonders for the quality of one’s comments.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/hillary-bill-clinton-secret-service-224578

PALIKA
Guest

I believe you are right about HC being toast. 10 years ago when the idea was floated she would run I asked my American cousin about her chances. He said she would never be elected. She was not then.

In January I asked my cousin if he may have changed his mind. He said, no she will never be elected.

I am not usually fussed about gender or orientation, although the accommodation may from time be a little over done. However I have a real problem to understand how one could vote for HC. However we shall see.

Please spare me the response to “gender” and to “accommodation”. I doubt if there is anything new anyone can say I have not heard before.

Guest

Thank you Éva for another informative article.
This explains why university students in Hungary are so apathetic and pathetic, when it comes to protesting about Orbán’s corrupt regime – they themselves are in fact partof the corruption.
More shame on them, and more shame on those who do nothing about it.

The ramifications are far and wide and mean that any degrees from Hungarian colleges and universities lose credibility, world-wide.

petofi
Guest

Hard work; ingenuity; and intense effort….is not for Hungarians.
There is nothing as sure as the fixed game–Hungarians will take that anytime.

Baksis
Guest

“Hard work; ingenuity; and intense effort….is not for Hungarians.
There is nothing as sure as the fixed game–Hungarians will take that anytime.”

PLEASE. Petőfi, Stop your racist bias and stupid generalization, it will discredit you.

Observer
Guest

No bakshish here,
I second @Petőfi, fixed things are the game in Budapest town. Trying hard and honest in business without resortjng game fixing is almost laughed at.

petofi
Guest

Oh, and by the way, good news for the Soros conspiracy crowd: the bloody little jew made three tons of cash betting on gold.

(Will these jews never stop making money? Jesus H. Christ!!)

webber
Guest

He’s a genius. At that age, he still has the touch. A genius.
He cashed out before the 2008 crash, and I thought “well, that’s it, he’s stopped speculating now, and will retire.” Was I ever wrong!

Member

“Oh, and by the way, good news for the Soros conspiracy crowd: the bloody little jew made three tons of cash betting on gold.

(Will these jews never stop making money? Jesus H. Christ!!)”

You’re disgusting.

You do nothing but post vile anti-Hungarian and anti-Semitic rants here that debase this site and pollute the discourse we have here.

I hope Eva tosses your sorry ass off here for good, the sooner the better.

webber
Guest

shoopy – Petofi’s irony is not clear to a lot of people, and therefore seems awful.
Petofi is Jewish, and has said that of himself repeatedly here. So, you’ve misunderstood his comment (read it again).
Petofi is also Hungarian. He has pointed out repeatedly that when he says things about Hungarians, he is including himself. Though his comments are too rough for me, too, it’s become clear that he actually cares about Hungary. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t bother.
As I said to him once, self-hatred is certainly not a rare psychological disorder (first identified among self-hating Jews in Europe many, many decades ago). It is, however, difficult to cure.

webber
Guest

P.S. Shoopy – whether Soros made money on gold is a matter of fact, not speculation. I don’t know that he did, but will take Petofi’s word for it. It’s the sort of thing a financial wizard would do. Brilliant, if he did.

petofi
Guest

Soros, who knows how money bends with politics, expected the Brits to vote out, and made a big bet
on gold.

Member

I call BS on this.

petofi’s comment is gross and would not be out of place on kuruc.info (read it again).

petofi is a cancer on this site and his bile is not worthy of the value that Prof. Balogh brings to us everyday.

Also, he needs therapy.

petofi
Guest

“…he needs therapy.”

Thanks for the concern.
I’ve received ‘help’: it’s called, going back to Canada.

I’ll leave you the shit-hole called Hungary to revel in.

petofi
Guest

Not quite, Webber: not so much ‘self-hate’. How about ‘fear and loathing’ for what Hungarians are as revealed
by their willingness to follow the anti-intellectualism
of a real Hungarian hater. I daresay, the last six years in Hungary has brought about everything but the book burning.

Let me put my view in a nutshell: 67 years young and I have always bought in to the Judaeo-Christian notion of progress, hence self-improvement by continuous striving. Since 2010, Hungarians have gone whole hog
for Orban’s reactionary notions. My chief beef is how
the Hungarians have fallen in line–and I mean university students and professors who, long time ago, would’ve led the way into the streets. Hungarians have, in the main, shown themselves to have no backbone, no decency, and narry a sniff of decency. People of self-respect would never have tolerated what Orban has wrought in Hungary in the last 6 years.

That’s the source of my angst–not self-hatred. (Though I, too, enjoy psycho-babble…)

Clear now?

petofi
Guest

Ok, Webber, I too have seen “The Man In The Glass Booth”.

webber
Guest

Petofi – you obviously noticed I have a bit of sympathy.
I’ll tell you something personal. My own son was bullied in school for not being fully Hungarian. He cried a lot. Fortunately he had a good teacher, who took necessary steps. All I could tell him was that it is best to know your enemies, and that makes life easier. He’s okay now. What doesn’t kill you…
Still, hey, be a little easier on the Hungarians, please! A lot of them – enough of them – are very nice people. I love some of them. So, maybe fewer blanket statements about Hungarians would make your own life a bit easier.

petofi
Guest

Shoopy,

You’re late to the party. I’m a jew. My parents met in Bergen Belsen.

(Try to develop a nuance for the English language, will ya, Bud?)

Member

I don’t care who or what you are. Practically every single day, your comments here are childish, despicable, and generally unworthy of this excellent site, and that’s all I have to say on this topic.

Also, you need therapy.

Guest

You don’t understand gallows humour, shoopy?

Member

wolfi: “You don’t understand gallows humour, shoopy?”

I guess you’re right. Jokes about Jews are hilarious!

Here’s a real knee-slapper:
“What do you call 1000 Jews on a train?

Anything you want, they are never coming back.”

Hahahahaha! That one always cracks me up.

Or the funniest one of all:
“Die Personifikation des Teufels als das Symbol des Bösen nimmt die Lebensform des Juden”

What a howler! That Hitler could really have made it big as a comedian, amirite?

Now I see why you Germans are so renowned for your sense of humor.

webber
Guest

Now, now. Anti-German comments don’t make things a bit better.

petofi
Guest

Actually, Shooop, my scribblings are a writing exercise.

Rozsi
Guest

shoopy – I totally agree with you – his comments are awful and divisive for Jewish people in general and disgusting for ALL Hungarians as I don’t divide Hungarians according to religion any more than eye colour.

Guest
Re: ‘Let me put my view in a nutshell: 67 years young and I have always bought in to the Judaeo-Christian notion of progress, hence self-improvement by continuous striving. Since 2010, Hungarians have gone whole hogfor Orban’s reactionary notions. My chief beef is how the Hungarians have fallen in line–and I mean university students and professors who, long time ago, would’ve led the way into the streets. Hungarians have, in the main, shown themselves to have no backbone, no decency, and narry a sniff of decency. People of self-respect would never have tolerated what Orban has wrought in Hungary in the last 6 years. When I read this I was drawn immediately to when I took my very first steps to go back and visit my history during those insipid and dull Kadar years. In my ‘nutshell’ I had a very difficult time understanding how people could live and exist in the kind of society I was experiencing. That was an alien world. A world of dessication. And a world that people apparently agreed to live in. Well a calm ruthlessness or even mention of the the idea would do it. Very convincingly it seemed. To the detriment of a… Read more »
petofi
Guest

What next for the British economy? New soccer stadiums…?

webber
Guest

No telling, but I guess less than a year of instability, and then the British economy stands solid again.
This summer should be a nice time to visit London. It’s $1.33 to the pound, and falling.

petofi
Guest

All Brexit needed to get over the top was to have Orban visit and come out on the other side.

Viktor the O–statesman extraordinaire!

Guest

Could be crying in his beer that Britain didn’t listen to him if he really meant what he said.
Buddy trying to let him know how it can sometimes go…

https://youtu.be/Kq_MBXE7pPk

Guest

wrfree?

A much needed laugh! Thanks

Some may have concluded that I am Mr Angry.

What ever gave you that idea?

I’m sorry Eva – and any readers who might have read me – for any bad behaviour – I’ve found it hard to stay my normal, calm, level-headed self.

Sorry.

webber
Guest

Orban lost the Brexit election, too.
😉

pappp
Guest

Orban is happy as a clam. He won again. He will have a toast when he meets Putin next time.

The goal has always been to shred the EU and the NATO down because they represent too much power close to Russia. Russia can individually deal with any country in Europe, but if they unite Russia looks weak.

First the UK, then the Netherlands, France (Marie Le Pen said France will be next), then the EU zone falling apart. Soon it will be only Germany which is of course pretty cozy with Russia (aka “szalámitaktika”).

Divide et impera worked, its working in Asia (with China being the regional master) and now in Europe too.

At a private ceremony Orban will be awarded the Lenin-order (or the hero of the Russian Federation?) which will of course taken back immediately.

webber
Guest

Dear Pappp, again the Turul triumphalism (Stevan Harnad’s term).
The sign of a Fidesznik is a reaction whenever someone points out that Orban lost. This is something a Fidesznik troll cannot stand. Keep it up.

Orban campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU. He lost.
comment image

Orban paid good hard money to put up posters like that in Britain, and to take out ads in British papers. Hungarian money. Money he might have spent in Hungary.

Orban lost. Hungary lost. Hungarians lost money and are about to lose even more.

Story here, in case you missed it.
http://hvg.hu/itthon/20160620_Brexitkampany_Orban_nem_akarja_befolyasolni_a_briteket_Csak_onkifejez

You see, Hungary will lose in real terms, not just because of the money wasted on the campaign. EU payments to Hungary must be reduced. The UK paid in a LOT more than it got out of the budget, you see. There will be less for Orban’s people to take now. How much less is not yet clear, but it is crystal clear that there will be less.

pappp
Guest
You totally misunderstand me. Your method of evaluating Orban is also fundamentally wrong. A tyrant values only one thing: remaining in power. Orban doesn’t , can’t possibly lose just because he paid for stupid advertisements. The money is irrelevant, the state budget is his (he pays for whatever the f*** he wants to) and the ads are irrelevant. They seem relevant only to internet-addicted intellectuals. Orban is Putin’s vassal and agent. As long as Orban remains in power, continues to get rich and continues to serve Russia how can he possibly lose? Orban doesn’t care that Hungary lost, he totally doesn’t care about Hungary or the Hungarians. No tyrant ever ever does, they care about power and money. Look at the Ukrainian situation, Orban is perfectly happy to preside over a similar oligarchy (without the EU funds). The EU funds are great, they must be appropriated, no question about that (also because otherwise the money would go to his potential adversaries and he can’t let that happen), but he can get rich from Russian money too just as Ukrainian or Belorussian politicians do. Orban wants to remain in power and he is in power and his adversaries are weak and… Read more »
webber
Guest

NOW I believe you are not a Fidesznik!
I apologize for repeatedly calling you one. We will continue to disagree, very strongly, on economic issues of course, and on many other things – but a Fidesznik you are not.

pappp
Guest

Thanks. Btw I just bumped into an old classmate from highschool (which in Hungary means a group of about 30 people unlike in the US where it means all people graduating in the same year), who is a now a trusted member of the top echelon of Fidesz.

He deals with energy issues. He says that Paks 2 is totally on, it will be built, no question.

It doesn’t matter that it will have to be subsidized, or what the EU thinks. These are totally irrelevant he says. The project is on and a lot of energy and money will be invested into the project in t he coming two years.

His mindset was that how can anybody criticize the project? And why would anybody think it is not on? One of the arguments was Paks 2 is necessary so that Putin won’t be able to turn off the tap – as if it wasn’t the Russians who would supply the fuel rods.

Just a tidbit.

webber
Guest

“He says that Paks 2 is totally on, it will be built, no question.”
Please talk a bit less with Fideszniks, because this is a classic Fidesznik line. You’ve repeated several such, which is why I kept saying you were a Fidesznik. There are trolls here who appear, say these idiotic things, and then disappear.
Just use your own mind and think – will the EU stop Paks? Because Brussels can, and might.
And would that be a good or a bad thing for Hungary. I think it would be a good thing. Borrowing Russian money is a bad idea, I think. Borrowing that much money from anyone is a bad idea.

pappp
Guest

I agree, Paks 2 is bad, especially from Russian money. But he is an old classmate and I trust the guy. The message to me – as if we needed any confirmation – was that within Fidesz there is total disregard for anything, any rational argument or concern. If the ukaz is to build then they will do so. He, as a top person, didn’t even had the feeling that the Russians would be half-hearted (financing). He has to push the project (and there are various smaller projects in the pipeline which are being done to advance Paks 2) and he does so. Slowing down did not occur to him. I hope Brussels will stop it because nothing, nobody else can or will (a few days ago an arbitration panel obligated Bulgaria to pay USD 600m to the Russian for aborting a similar project). The guy knows the project is insanely expensive, but money is not an issue if the ukaz is given.

petofi
Guest

Spot on, Pappp.

Guest

Now you’re talkin’!

Probably everyone here agrees with you – it’s so sad that Hungarians again chose the wrong side (at least a large number of them)!

webber
Guest

The rectors of state universities are now appointed by the Ministry. Or rather, the university still formally has the right to vote for a new rector, but if the university elects anyone other than the Fidesz candidate, the Ministry will still appoint the Fidesz candidate to be Rector (this is what happened at Debrecen Univ.).
Now Rectors have the right to name (“approve”) Institute chairs. Once Fidesz has those, department chairs will follow. Party approval will surely be needed for all university appointments in the end.

And how is this relevant to student unions? Very simple. Student unions have votes in the university senate. And student unions, with a few exceptions, are run by “young” Fidesz people (one big exception: ELTE’s student union which is controlled by Jobbik)

Paul
Guest

Apologies to Eva gor going OT again, but we’re having a political and national disaster here, and once again I find myself having to apologise to the world for my country’s behaviour.

Imagine you wake up and find Trump is president or Jobbik have won the election – that is what this feels like.

Istvan
Guest

I think Webber is right in relationship to the lack of understanding among most US citizens of the ramifications of the U.K. leaving the EU. I do share with many leave supporters a dislike of the EU buracracy and career politicians like Jean-Claude Juncker.

In general this morning here in the USA all the talk is about retirement fund investments taking a hit, about the value of Euro-bonds, and Europe Stock mutual funds. Right now Trump is really doing poorly and is losing support. I am not sure how the British vote will fix that, except it has the expel the Mexicans and Muslim crowd cheering.

Probably internally here a decision or really a non-decision by the US Supreme Court on the Obama Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals amnesty program ( popularly called the Dreamers program ) is a bigger psychological boost for Trump. Now all illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as a minor before 2010 will be eligible for amnesty. DACA recipients were to get work permits, Social Security numbers, and driver’s licenses has been struck down and all of these students who registered for the program potentially expelled.

Istvan
Guest

In addition the program was called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA was struck down. It is now estimated 5 million were just added to the expulsion list.

webber
Guest

Istvan
I think that DACA fumble is going to hurt the Republican candidate, and not the Democrats. Republicans have a hard enough time attracting Hispanic voters, even though the majority of Hispanics are, in my experience, conservatives by inclination, not liberals. Republicans cheering this mess will strengthen Hispanic votes for the Democrats.

The Democrats, on the other hand, can say “We tried, and failed. It’s not our fault. The Supreme Court threw it back at us.” Best of both worlds, really.
They have done something, and they haven’t done something.

Non-Hispanics who support Trump weren’t going to change because of DACA either way (other Trump issues might turn them off – for example, Trump is for gun control, that is now clear). Hispanics are more likely than ever now to rush into the Democrats arms.

Guest

I wrote about this already on a Forum for Germans travelling to the USA:

Should we let him in?
Trump landed today in Schottland but no big welcome for him:

Demonstrations including aerial banner and mariachi band planned at golf resort, while Scottish leaders refuse to meet presumptive Republican candidate

But this is the only international trip that Trump has made since launching his bid for the White House and it is for business purposes: to formally open his newly refurbished Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire and to pop into his other golf course resort, north of Aberdeen.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/24/donald-trumps-flies-in-for-scotland-visit-amid

webber
Guest

The Scots voted to stay in the EU, and Trump says he supported Brexit, so…
Also, he’s a big, rich, ugly American (literally), who has bought up Scottish property, and that does not go down well in Scotland. He is not a popular man there.

Istvan
Guest

Wolfi and Webber clearly Trump doesn’t grasp what the Sottish vote meant. If he did he would have not been cheering on the leave vote the minute he landed on Scottish soil. A very strange man in many ways, yet there is still a frightening chance he could win the US election. He is however doing his best to make his chances of being elected even worse on a daily basis.

Guest

London Calling!

It’s astonishing how the ‘officials’ of HÖK are so aged – having held their positions for years – and who often segway into a top Jobbik or Fidesz sinecure.

Often corrupted through loose auditing of their funds, subscriptions, and bar takings they have received good coaching and training for a corrupt political occupation. This ensuring a continuity of corruption.

When I accused Gy of not being practical enough – this is a situation where he should ignite the oxygen of publicity to clean it up – to break the chain – to ensure some integrity to fledgling political initiatives.

You’ve been covering this for years, Eva – enough time has elapsed to have presented an opportunity for a clean up.

No student representative post should be for longer than the time it takes to get a root degree. If it’s extended through poor performance – tough. If the person does another degree – tough. Just 6 semesters, or equivalent.

And only then through a fair, audited election process – another Gy focus. It’ll be difficult because the National elections are a farce, how can he insist on a clean up here? No doubt useful techniques are learnt for use in ‘Commocracy’ politics.

Member

HOK is the mirror of Fidesz. Let us not forget Fidesz’ own “basic law” that they also rewrote the same way as they do it with Hungary’s basic law. Originally the cut of age for Fidesz members at age 35. (“Javasoljuk a tagság alsó és felső korhatárát 16, ill. 35 évben megvonni.”) Orban Viktor is above 50 now. I guess HOK will soon employ some 70 something leaders. As long as they represent what Viktor wants term will be always means.

Guest
London Calling! (2) Severely O/T Well! Well! Well! As I said a North -South split with a Young- Old split. I just got the scale wrong that’s all. But Wrong Wrong Wrong nevertheless. London areas were 60-40 for ‘Remain’. As I’ve said above – Corbyn was the mouse that never squeaked. We’re in for a rough ride but I have to add that some lesser deeds added to a defeat for ‘Remain’. Junker’s unnecessary threat of “Exit means Exit” put people’s backs up. As did the German finance minister. The UK polarises against such interference – we know what you can do, Mr Juncker – just state the Bleedin’Obvious and it will backfire thank you very much. Ditto Orban’s sickeningly new-found-friendship love-poster. We know a gangster when we see one – Cameron only used you for political ends – you fool. Thick as shit as usual. Why didn’t you print it in Hungarian like the others? Tosser. The EU added to the defeat. Cameron had to fight too hard for miniscule concessions. The Brits didn’t like what he had to do to get change concessions – for what was obviously crying out for change. Have the EU never understood a… Read more »
webber
Guest

If I were a Scot, after reading your scree I would say “up yours” and vote to leave the UK.

Just think about what you’ve said about EU leaders misplaying their hand, and then look at what you’ve written about the Scots.

As to “subsidies” to Scotland – well, they wen through that in their own referendum on independence, didn’t they? I seem to recall from that debate that when you factor in the money that has been siphoned south from N. Sea oil, Scotland has given rather more to London than it has got in return.

Then there was the threat from Brussels to eject the Scots from the EU if they left the UK. Well, where is that now?

Strange days ahead – if the Scots leave the UK, the English can start looking in the mirror and recognizing their own nationalism for what it is, because that is also what this vote signalled.

Guest

Webber:

“………..Scotland has given rather more to London than it has got in return.”

You don’t often display ignorance.

Since the act of union of 1707 we were in a…….? Guess?

Yes a ‘Union’ .

Over the 300 or so years it’s been a beneficial union for each side.

For example the Royal Bank of Scotland has become a zombie bank after being recklessly puffed up to become the 3rd biggest bank in the?……………World.

Recklessly by?…………. (Sir)Fred Goodwin.

It required ENORMOUS support from English taxpayers …….

There are many many examples of share and share alike – not least the enormous tax subsidies going the other side of the border.

Focus on one swallow and it doth not a Summer make.

webber
Guest

Really, you sound like Serbs just before Slovenia seceded.
“We gave them more… without us they would have been nothing….”
Well, the Scots gave England something as well, didn’t they? They contributed, did they not? It wasn’t just England propping up Scotland, you know. That country really might have been independent, and I suppose it would have done alright, in the sense that Norway did alright after it got independence.
The union worked because England and Scotland both got something out of it. If English people start talking as if the Scots are bloodsucking traitors, then what do you think will happen? I have a good idea.

Looks like that’s the way you’re going.

Guest

I suggest you re-read what I said and consider whether this is appropriate?

webber
Guest

“Many of us wanted the traitor Scots to fuck off anyway.”
Hello English nationalism. As ugly as any other, I see.

Guest

What in heavens are you talking about?

Brits? Scots? Hungarians?

Telling them where to go as a country unit – is not Nationalism.

Have you ever heard how the Scots talk bout us? How Hungarians talk about the Brits?

It’s shorthand for a group of people and their political system.

One of the problems about discussing migrant numbers and the effect of such numbers were that people refused to discuss such issues because they would be accused of racism. So it was not conveyed to the political elites – who never tainted their conversation with “such talk” so they never understood ‘Northerners’ feelings (I suppose you think that’s racist too do you?). Hypersensitivity that negates fair judgement.

And you presumably support the notion that to call a poster ‘Hungarian’ is racist too?

Get real and look for real problems please.

webber
Guest

Not generalizing at all. That’s what you’ve done about “Scots” and “us.” (who are we? Don’t “we” include the Scots? If not, then…)
I’m reacting to a specific comment of yours. You called Scots (en bloc) “traitors.”
I see what I see. Don’t like it- try to smash the mirror. It’s there.

Guest

webber:

“The majority of Americans care about internal American politics. That is all. They don’t care one whit about the rest of the world.”

Explain?

webber
Guest

No explanation needed. It is so. All politics are local politics, said a US congressman once. He was right (about the US).
Why should Americans care about the EU? It’s new. The US isn’t in it. “Not our problem.”
It matters as much as China. No more, no less.
People care about their immediate surroundings in the US. The majority just are not interested in what is happening in Europe. Why should they be? It’s the place their ancestors A. escaped from, or B. never even visited.
Most Americans will never even visit Europe.
Now, a road trip across America – that they will do. A trip across the border to Mexico? Yes, if you are from Texas, Calif, Ariz, N.M.
But Europe? Unless you are from the E. Coast, it is very far away, and very expensive. Why bother.

Guest

I was highlighting your ‘apparent’ ‘Nationalism’ and your hypocrisy.

I’m not interested in your ‘content’ here – just some one calling the pot black.

webber
Guest

Who says I don’t’ think many Americans are nationalist?
Where did I defend anything at all about that?
Where is my hypocrisy? Do tell.

webber
Guest

P.S. My comment was rather personal, just for you. Not about all the English. Just about those who denigrate the Scots as “traitors” – traitors who wanted to stay in the UK….

Where has your sanity gone?

Istvan
Guest

Frankly Webber I think you were being very restrained in your characterization of my fellow Americans. I would characterize many Americans as on average not very worldly, even if they have traveled to Europe as a tourist. To be honest many would not take that as an insult either, its not too important to be cosmopolitan here in the USA.

A recent Gallup poll, showed that just 22% of English speaking U.S. adults speak a second language well enough to hold a conversation. Over half of people in the EU can speak at least two languages with 38% able to speak English. Because the US is so big it is indeed a self contained world.

I could give you all some really funny stories about trying to explain to young enlisted personnel where in the world they were being sent in relationship to the base we are at in the States. When they were deployed it was like Judy Garland said in the 1939 film Wizard of Oz to her dog: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Guest

Istvan, you made my day!

Though I must say that many Europeans too don’t realise how vast the USA are – driving from NYC to Miami and then to LA in two weeks looks like a sound ofor some …

On the other hand – when I talk to my family and friends, they’ve been all over the world, from the USA to Africa, India, Japan, the Orient and of course many European countries. Just this evening a friend told me his son wants to go back to Japan and my granddaughter and her partner aren’t thinking about leaving Australia (after having been in India and Nepal and Indonesia for several months) – now what are they thinking about all these idiotic Brexit, Hexit, you name it?

This kind of freedom hasn’t been enjoyed by the last generations – I’m still hoping that it’ll stay that way, no return to the bad old times for me!

Guest

Here’s an interesting poll (though I couldn’t find out who did it). Two thirds of young people were for remain, two thirds of people over 65 were for leave!
https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-8095c4bf07da2306aed5531fdb325cd9

Here’s the source:
https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/06/21/yougov-referendum-model/

Guest

Yes Wolfi

If you experienced the last five months here you didn’t’t need a poll to tell you that.

Guest

Now what’s better – the young ones in Britain who want to stay in the EU being screwed by the oldsters who wante to leave –
or the young ones in Hungary flocking to Jobbik and Fidesz (not much of a difference there …) en masse, not understanding at all what’s happening?

And now I’m of to my favourite kocsma (in the center of a nice Schwab university town …) to discuss this shite with my friends, doctors, professors, industrialists, simple people who can’t understand that Brits and Hungarians want a return to the “good old times” of a Europe divided into many warring nations …

Guest
The difference is that it occurred in a proper democracy. We all have one (equal) vote and a tongue. We have to persuade and talk – and vote with responsibility. We can’t yet factor in age with a ‘spectrum’ vote. No one screws anyone. Maybe the wisdom of the kocsma will enlighten you? But don’t bank on it.. I take exception to comparing us with ‘Hungarians’ here. And neither do we want war or warring nations! (From you a German!). But I allow you to say it. While the UK was/is in the EU we have always always interpreted the ‘directives’ fairly – with our inherent sense of fair play – whilst knowing that others were ‘screwing’ everyone around – to use your term. Yet still we played up played up and played the game. For years, knowing others were making a monkey out of us suckers. Just one example close to home – you can probably guess – your fabled VW were for years screwing all other motor manufacturers with their defeat software. They are only compensating the US. What about all the jobs that this created at the expense of other nations and other devalued cars? The German… Read more »
webber
Guest

Goodness gracious, how quickly you (this is a personal you, not a national one) resort to ethnic/national insults!!!

A day or two ago you said the UK would not leave, that Brexit would lose, and you seemed fine with that. Happy even.

Now, when others are not happy that Brexit is happening, you insult them.

What is your problem?

I know that plenty of Brits are unhappy about Brexit (some of my friends), while others are happy about it (others who are also friends).

So, why shouldn’t an individual German have and express a view of his own?

And WHAT, in God’s name, does Volkswagen Corp. have to do with poor Wolfi???

You’re being like those (few, nonetheless despicable) Americans who said nasty things about Brits after the oil spill off Texas, just because that was a British company.

Why can’t Wolfi say what he wants about Brexit without you throwing idiocies about Volkswagen at him?

Guest

I defend to the death Wolfi’s right to say what he says.

Guest

Please guys, calm down!

Anyway that Diesel problem isn’t VW alone – GM (Opel, Vauxhall) has done the same like many other manufacturers …

Greed knows no national boundaries!

Again:

I still believe that a European Union is the only long term way to keep Europe in prosperity and out of internal wars!

And of course the richer nations have to help the poorer ones – we’re all one family!

But I don’t like cheating like Fidesz (and many others) do/did!

Guest

And (webber) when I said:

(Don’t come back with any north-sea oil nonsense – the wells have dried up and become uneconmic),

which bit of:

don’t come back with any north-sea oil nonsense – the wells have dried up and become uneconmic,

didn’t you understand?

webber
Guest

And what happened to the money they siphoned out of those fields?
I was just saying that England also got something from the Union.

Anyhoo – who is the traitor now? You called Scots traitors – but the majority of them voted to stay in the UK. So, was that fair from you? Or do you mean they are traitors now for voting to stay in the EU?

Who is the traitor? Attitudes toward England can’t be the measure – the Scots aren’t English. We’re agreed on that, I am sure.

Were the Scots traitors when they voted to stay in the UK? Are they traitors for voting to stay in the EU?

In what sense are they traitors, Charlie? In the sense that they just voted differently from the English? Is that it?

Really, nationalism is an interesting thing.

Guest

Please see above re pot calling…….

webber
Guest

Please see my response to that, also above.
You’re wide off the mark.

petofi
Guest

Yes, I know this is not a blog on the US, but a wild idea has just come to me: Hillary will step down (and out, of the presidential race) and a movement at the convention will prepare to draft Biden. In order to avoid a split, Sanders will be prevailed upon to accept the VP position.
Thus, Biden/Sanders….That’s the ticket!

webber
Guest

Were elves dancing around your bed when that vision hit you? Angels singing?
Had you been drinking heavily?

petofi
Guest

I gave up drinking at 24 when I got stinking drunk in Budapest on a night out with my parents (wine mixed with alcohol).

Hillary is one dead bunny; and if elected, will be an absolute disaster (she with her ‘reset’ buttons…).

webber
Guest

Maybe. But still a lot better than Trump.

petofi
Guest

Hillary will be absolutely confused by the machinations of Putin not to mention the Chinese leader playing along side him. She’s just not tempermentally set up to combat them psychologically. She can’t even handle Trump.
Of course, if Bernie will be VP, then he can stand in when she will eventually declare herself ‘sick’.

Btw, ANYONE is better than Trump.

Istvan
Guest

Fortunately for myself most Hungarian-Canadians have not been granted the right to vote in the November election for President of the United States.

Member

No offense to petofi, but not all of us Canadian Hungarians are like minded.

tappanch
Guest

Holocaust revisionism and other delicacies by the chairman of Orban’s history institute “Veritas”.

http://hu.budapestbeacon.com/kiemelt-cikkek/numerus-clausust-nem-tartom-jogfoszto-torvenynek-interju-szakaly-sandorral/

Observer
Guest

Szakály is an apologet of the Horthy regime and the fascism. I guess this is why Orban created this propaganda outlet and appointed Szakaly as head.
Another proof that Orban’s is a fascist light regime by all accounts.

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