George Soros before the European Parliament and the Hungarian government’s reaction

Every time George Soros makes a public statement, which he does frequently, the Hungarian political right launches a frenzied attack against him. Interestingly, the Hungarian media didn’t spend much time on an article that appeared in The New York Review of Books (April 9, 2016). In it he explained that European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans had invited an open debate on the refugee crisis, to which he was responding in his article. The solution, according to Soros, is “at least €30 billion ($34 billion) a year [which] will be needed for the EU to carry out a comprehensive plan.” He suggested that “Europe has the financial and economic capacity to raise €30 billion a year, [which] is less than one-quarter of one percent of the EU’s combined annual GDP of €14.9 trillion, and less than one-half of one percent of total spending by its twenty-eight member governments.”

Soros, however, realized that some members would vehemently object, especially Germany. So, instead, he offered all sorts of financial arrangements that would yield the necessary money without triggering the opposition of Germany and others. The task is urgent because “the refugee crisis poses an existential threat to Europe.”

On June 30 Soros delivered a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels, which was a revised version of the ideas he had spelled out in his New York Review of Books article. The result of the British referendum had a shocking effect on Soros who, upon hearing of the calamitous vote for Brexit, was certain that the disintegration of the European Union was “practically inevitable.” And since, in his opinion, “the refugee crisis … played a crucial role” in the British decision, the EU must act in one way or the other to raise money to solve the crisis and at the same time save the European Union.

I believe he is wrong in thinking that the refugee crisis per se had a substantial influence on the outcome of the referendum. In fact, a quick poll conducted after June 23 showed that “the question of sovereignty was the determining factor for the majority that voted for exit from the European Union.” Unlimited immigration from EU countries was also an important consideration.

George Soros in the European Parliament. Left of him Péter Niedermüller, DK EP MP

George Soros in the European Parliament. To his left, Péter Niedermüller, DK EP MP / Photo: European Parliament

But Soros’s linkage of the refugee crisis and Brexit strengthened his argument that the refugee crisis must be solved as soon as possible. In his fairly lengthy speech he talked about the necessity of “profound restructuring” and “fundamental reform of the EU.” He lashed out at “the orthodoxy of the German policymakers,” specifically Angela Merkel, who “ignored the pull factor” created by her initial acceptance of the refugees. Soros also severely criticized her for “her ill-fated deal with Erdoğan” and for her “imposed quotas that many member states opposed and [that] required refugees to take up residence in countries where they were not welcome.”

One would think that Viktor Orbán would have been happy to find an ally in George Soros, but it seems that there is nothing Soros can say or do that would please the Hungarian governing coalition. In fact, they launched a new campaign against him after he addressed the European Parliament. The reason for the government outcry was three sentences he uttered in the course of outlining ways in which the EU could raise the requisite €30 billion yearly. He said,“Finally, I come to the legacy expenditures that have crippled the EU budget. Two items stand out: cohesion policy, with 32% of expenditures, and agriculture with 38%. These will need to be sharply reduced in the next budget cycle starting in 2021.”

The first Hungarian politician to respond to Soros’s suggestion was György Hölvényi, KDNP member of the European People’s Party, followed by György Schöpflin, Fidesz EP member, who accused Soros of trying to make money on his financial advice to the European Union. Magyar Hírlap announced the news of Soros’s speech with this headline: “There are already signs of Soros’s latest speculations.” Naturally, János Lázár also had a few words to say about Soros’s speech in Brussels. He described him as someone who “presents himself as the voluntary savior of Europe” and who “wants to implement wholesale immigration.” Soros has no mandate from the European voters to offer any kinds of proposals, and it is not at all clear who invited him to the European Parliament. An editorial in Magyar Idők portrayed Soros as an emissary of the Clintons: “the face of Washington shows a striking similarity to that of George Soros.” The author added that if Hillary Clinton wins the election, this unfortunate situation will remain in place. Soros’s disapproval of compulsory quotas was dismissed as nothing more than a queen’s gambit.

The spokesman of Fidesz-KDNP on the issue was István Hollik, a member of parliament who was practically unknown until recently. He expressed the governing party’s strong objections to all of Soros’s suggestions, especially cutting back the cohesion funds and the agricultural subsidies “in the interest of the immigrants.” Fidesz-KDNP “expressly calls on the European Union to reject the proposals of the financial Forex speculator.” Naturally, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó also commented on Soros’s “totally astonishing ideas.”

None of the Hungarian politicians, or for that matter commentators, spent any time on Soros’s other suggestions, some of which merit consideration. They were fixated on the two items–cohesion funds and agricultural subsidies–that would really hurt the Hungarian government and its coterie of oligarchs. Can you imagine the plight of those who are the beneficiaries of the money pouring in from the European Union? And what will happen to the new landed gentry who purchased agricultural property for the express purpose of getting free money for every hectare from Brussels? Indeed, that would be a calamity.

And then there was the reaction of László Csizmadia, president of Civil Összefogás Fórum (CÖF), a phony NGO most likely financed by the government. In his scenario Hillary Clinton sent her number one scout to the European Union to test her future policies and their reception. Behind global capitalism there is “the financial hidden power,” without which no one can overthrow a political system. Soros has been banned in many countries, and Csizmadia knows that “some kind of Hungarian measure is under consideration that would be similar to a ban.” I do hope that Csizmadia’s information is only a figment of his imagination.

July 5, 2016
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Latefor
Guest

Dearest Eva,
As I was reading your post, halfway through I started to experience the following symptoms:
pain in my left arm
pain in my tummy
shortness of breath
sweating
dizziness, etc.
I feel I’m about to lose my balance and I’m about to fall . . . and I’m far too young to die yet. 🙂
Is there a doctor in the house? (no psychiatric evaluations please)

Guest

Come to Hungary and enjoy the medical system here – a doctor will treat you (not) – like they let a woman lie in her own pee all day recently …
My wife found it on index.hu – surely you can too …

1956
Guest

Soros is wrong partially.
Raise that 30 billion dollars annually.
And use it to reform Russia.
Without the Moscow plots, there is no refugee crisis.

Istvan
Guest

Unfortunately the only way to reform Russia would have to involve removing Putin and that would be no easy task. Russian 2016 military spending is expected to amount to 3.14 trillion rubles (over $41 billion at the current exchange rate) or 4 percent of GDP. I have little doubt however Putin and his oligarchs would like very much to get their hands on 30 billion a year for “reform.”

Before I provoke a sleeping Russian troll I will freely admit the US military budget is far higher than the estimated Russian budget, we are at about 585.3 billion dollars for FY 16.

webber
Guest

Istvan: To the contrary! A Russian troll would never mention that the US spends more on its military. That the US military is incomparably better equipped than the Russian military is something they do not want mentioned.

pappp
Guest

Actually Brexit is a good thing for Europe. The EU will not disintegrate because of the loss of the UK as a member state. Soros is way too pessimistic. Even the break up of the eurozone will not end the EU.

Jean P.
Guest

Eva: “I believe he is wrong in thinking that the refugee crisis per se had a substantial influence on the outcome of the referendum.”

This may well be but in the continental EU countries it is the the main argument of the extreme right parties for having similar exit referenda. Here people are more afraid of the “islamic terrrorist” than the “Polish plumber”.

Observer
Guest

The reaction of the regime once again proves that it doesn’t matter what someone’s doing or not (ha van sapka, ha nincs); the propaganda machine just uses the occasion to blast the current target realities notwithstanding, i.e. the stream of lies flows on.

Similarly the decisions about various project and the “economic policies” have little to do with the needs of or benefits to a region, community or the country. The decisions/actions are driven by the size of the envisaged embezzlement and who identity of those poised to gobble the chunk.

This is what makes such regimes irrational, unpredictable and ultimately very detrimental. The negative results are already showing.

Guest

The speech is interesting – even if it’s mainly about money, money, taxes, more taxes …

What I find strange is that Soros seems to be very critical now of Mrs Merkel, claiming she’s responsible for the whole mess – when some moths ago they semed to be best friends …

What I also conclude (but Soros doesn’t admit it):

He was wrong, didn’t foresee the refugee wave (like all our politicians and their experts!) and didn’t foresee the Brexit referendum’s result . he’s getting old obviously.

Ndy - Soros goin Gaga
Guest
Ndy - Soros goin Gaga

Hello wolfi7777 . This is a reply to your comment above.
I agree – soros is getting behind the times and just a wee-bit-gaga…

I have always maintained, that const what it may, the solution to the mega refugee crisis is a NEW country for all the refugees and migrants, somewhere the UN might be able to carve out some space.

In order to gain entry, immigrants would need to take a vow to leave old hostilities behind !!!!!!!!!!!!!! And to do all possible to keep their őprogenity thankful for the new home that these recent ancestors created for them.

New notion – new times – new imperatives.

The money should be put up by those countries who f’ked up the middle east during the Colonial days by carviung arbitrary borders which are causing the mess today !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mr Soros.
Kindly CONSIDER my plan and suggestion. Your money will also be highly welcome. And please dont stuff down the throats of europeans a group of new immigranst who can by the turn of a screw become mortal violent enemies of a society that welcomed them with your assistance to boot.

webber
Guest

OT –
A picture of Fidesz man Rogan at an event with the convicted gangster Tamas Portik (convicted of manslaughter as a youth, criminal conspiracy and a slew of other charges recently) has now been released. There will be more.
Rogan suggests the photo was faked. It was not.

To those now searching for more such pictures, I suggest looking for pictures of Habony with Portik. Habony is unusually good at avoiding cameras, but Portik enjoyed having his picture taken.

As an addendum to Balint Magyar’s excellent books: Fidesz does not resemble the Hungarian mafia. Fidesz is the Hungarian mafia.

bungee
Guest

It was a chance meeting, they did not talk, it wasn’t even a meeting. They were just at the same place and the same time. It happens. I ate in a restaurant when Gyurcsany was there with his son two meters away from me. What does that prove?

Rogan is an honest man. This is a smear campaign by liberals. Fidesz will always win.

Come to think of it, Gabor Simon’s trial in connection with his hundred millions found on his secret Austrian account will start soon. György Hunvald was just reelected as the chairman of MSZP’s District 7 chapter. I’m not sure voters will be super enthusiastic in 2018 about convicted felons. No top Fidesz politician was convicted yet. What they do may be a bit questionable from time to time but everything is legal.

Guest

Joking or trolling – that is the question 🙂
Of course, when you make a new law every day, everything can be made legal …

Jean P.
Guest

“What they do may be a bit questionable from time to time but everything is legal.”

Don’t count on it.

webber
Guest

bungee’s reaction shows this is now a priority for Fidesz. It means the party has instructed its trolls to deal with this issue.
It’s very hot, and is not going away.

Fidesz is the mafia.

webber
Guest

There will be more pictures.
When Portik said he took bribes to Rogan, he wasn’t lying.

pappp
Guest

I hope you are right about Portik. The only question is where can Rogan go? I mean even third rate Fideszniks disgraced almost a decade ago are being kept on the payroll with some phony title and a consultancy agreement at whichever state-owned institution. Rogan knows way too much about everything. If he is ever let go from the Prime Minister’s Office he cannot go to jail. That would be a PR disaster, but more importantly under no circumstances can he be allowed to have a chance to talk, even if inadvertently.

Imre Lakatos the rather famous philosopher of science who taught at LSE comes to mind who successfully persuaded Eva Izsak, a young activist, to kill herself lest she betray the communist cell they were members of (in case she was captured).

webber
Guest

But I don’t expect Fidesz will get rid of Rogan. Why would they? He’s only doing what the rest of the party members are doing.

For our trolls: You serve scum.
I believe the term in Hungarian for Fidesz trolls would be “csicska.”

Member

Only marginally OT. Hungarian Free Press’s editor, Christopher Adam (Ottawa), who is in Budapest right now, just wrote about Orban’s referendum propaganda billboard in a Budapest metro station that urges ”Let’s send a message to Brussels, so that even they will understand!”

HUNXIT STINKS but if the Hungarians are not bothered by the stench, there is no reason for the rest of the world to be. The only interesting thing about it all is that the transformation, unopposed, of a newly free country into one evil man’s ugly, corrupt dictatorship has occurred openly, before the eyes of its citizenry and the entire world, under the aegis and subsidy of the EU.

Something is clearly wrong, terribly wrong, with this picture. But it looks like it won’t be the citizenry that figures it out. The few who have done so should emigrate while they still have a chance. That chillingly Orwellian subway placard says it all.

(I hope Brussels’s reply will be “Takarodjatok” — so even the Hungarians will understand…)

comment image

Member
“Confess: Are you or are aren’t you still beating your spouse?” It seems to me that the democratic opposition (with the exception of the Liberals) have fallen into Orban’s cheap and shameless trap: A fatally slanted referendum question “Are you for or against having (nonexistent) immigrant quotas imposed on Hungary by Brussels?” The solution is not for the democratic opposition to abstain and hope that not enough people vote to reach the referendum quorum (it’s not binding anyway). It will still be used as a propaganda victory by Orban if the quorum is not reached, bigger the majority for NO. There aren’t enough sensible people to reach a majority YES protest vote as a rejection of Orban’s demagogic trickery. (If there were, then there would be enough to vote Orban out altogether.) But the sensible ones still need to be persuaded to protest-vote YES rather than abstain, playing into Orban’s odious hands. Unless someone has reliable demographic evidence to the contrary, the ones sensible enough to do a protest vote won’t be enough to tilt the balance to YES, but they won’t be enough to tilt the balance toward a quorum either. They will just be enough to reduce the… Read more »
Member

2nd thoughts (influenced by hearing Mr. Gyurcsany’s arguments on behalf of abstaining, especially the fact that Orban is so worried about not achieving a quorum that he is ready to fund the opposition to campaign for YES — so as to increase the turnout, confident of a NO majority): Either protest-vote YES or abstain (but I admit to a sense of lose my bearings in all this intrigue…)

Observer
Guest

@stevan
The referendum has no bearing on people’s lives really and the public is pretty inert anyway.
It’s almost impossible to achieve 50% participation, but on a red hot issue, Fidesz changed the rules here as well to make sure the people have no say in their regime.

Member

If you have Hungarian origin, you should be ashamed of yourself. Did you ever hear that “if you ignore history, you will tend to repeat it”?
Here is a little Hungarian history: Starting from the 15th Century, Romanians, Serbians, Croatians, etc immigrated into Hungary in huge numbers for Centuries to escape the Turkish Muslim terror. Hungary made the error of accepting them because they were Christians. Huge error.
1. During all 17th-19th Century Hungarian-Habsburg independence wars these immgirants were on the side of the enemy.
2. In 1920 (The worst Hungarian defeat ever in Trianon) these immigrant nationalities claimed 75% of Hungary as theirs and Hungary became 25% of it’s original 1000 year old kingdom.
3. Now you and your kind want the tiny Hungary to take in more immigrants? “Takarodjatok”. And Hungary should exit the EU immediately.

1956
Guest

Fearmonger’s comments, good try.

Perhaps, parduc could read the speeches of Ferenc Deak, on the subject.

http://mek.oszk.hu/02200/02213/

The principles of non-violence, respect for law, and humanity will change your mind.

You could also dig into different directions, and discover the lies of the current, and many past Hungarian regimes. There were too many criminal rulers, and just very few decent ones in our history.

Elephant
Guest

Parduc, you are a Russian troll, stop this. You have zero knowledge about history. Hungary has practically zero immigrants and no sane immigrant would want to come to Hungary (they want to go where they can live better and Hungarians themselves are emigrating in droves).

Hungary will stay in the EU even if Fidesz is scheming (with Russian help) to exit the EU and NATO

Observer
Guest

Read history: the ethnic Hungarians were decidedly a minority already in the 1870s. The 1856 (?) imperial census showed that they were a minority even in Transylvania by a small margin.
By your token, the Hungarians were the immigrant hordes in Transylvania, earlier Roman Provincia Dacia, from where the more than 2000 year old Romanian kingdom got it. Analise this.

Ndy - Brexit
Guest

For once I have no clear opinion on what really exploded in Britain to cause Brexit.

BUT I have a NOTION:
Firstly, its the old British notion that everything must be done somehow differently in order to spell success. i.e. Nonconfomity is to be PRAISED.

Its the STANDARD in Britain since centuries vs the Continent, aas they picture themselves, particularly the older members of society.

In todays fast moving ever-changing world, it coulc be a cancer of sorts.

And for Britain, within the next 15 to20 years it will mean that.

I am personally very hurt by it. I spent 3 beautiful years there and I loved their sense of ethics and the slow way ahead.

What is more, it is going to affect the absolute prevalence of the use of the English Language as an evident absolute, while it is the language of least resistance for most.

Ditto for a united try for European unity of some sort.

Guest

Re: Britain and a fast moving ever-changing world

I think from events the country has surely opted to get off the Euro train that has derailed. What next after her history of expansion with engagement and contribution? Has she aged so much that tiredness and withdrawal has seeped finally through the centuries onto that ‘sceptered isle?’ I fear if the far right gets more preponderant in the country’s agenda the ancient ruins that are continually ritualized as sacred could be the symbols of a Britain slowly descending into decline. Britain then will only have its history for sustenance in an age blasting by its passing parades.

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