Furious denial of any wrongdoing and rejection of a European solution to the refugee crisis

I would like to continue with yesterday’s theme for at least two reasons. One is that the report of Human Rights Watch on the brutal treatment of refugees along the Serb-Hungarian border has been confirmed by Nick Thorpe, Budapest correspondent of BBC, who paid a visit to two camps at Horgos and Kelebia where the conditions are, he said, appalling. Apparently, the Hungarian authorities could easily handle the registration of 100 people a day instead of the 15 they do now, so it is obvious that the aim is to slow the process to discourage people from crossing into the European Union through Hungary. A physician from Doctors Without Borders also confirmed “cases of intentional trauma that can be related to excessive use of force.” And Thorpe reported cases where refugees were already as far as 25 km from Budapest and yet were forcibly moved back to beyond the fence hundreds of kilometers away.

As for some of the most brutal acts of violence, they may have been committed by far-right members of paramilitary organizations patrolling the border on their own. This is speculation because the activity of such groups along the border is not officially acknowledged. And yet, although the Serb-Hungarian border is 175 km long, it is hard to believe that if such groups do indeed patrol the border and beat up refugees who cross illegally, officials are unaware of this fact.

The second reason for continuing this theme is that today the parliamentary undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, Károly Konrát, denied any and all wrongdoing. Human Rights Watch’s accusations are baseless. In fact, Hungary should be praised for its vigorous defense of the borders of the European Union. As for the humane treatment of migrants, again Hungary can only be praised. The government spends 140,000 forints a month on each refugee, more than the average Hungarian worker makes. Refugees receive three meals a day, a hygienic package, and medical treatment and medicine if needed. Of more than 17,000 illegal migrants, only eight filed complaints, and all eight cases turned out to be bogus.

As for the refugees whom Hungary doesn’t want, according to Nick Thorpe “the unofficial leader of the camp” at the border is a 25-year-old Afghan doctor who negotiates with the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Nationality. Then there is the 23-year-old Syrian refugee who, after spending five days in a Hungarian jail, is now studying computer programming in Berlin in a program called ReDi. But it seems that the Hungarian government finds the idea of admitting desirable immigrants “inhumane and contrary to the European ideal.” János Lázár, for example, described such a practice as a “market place for human beings” where each country picks the “desirable” ones. He fears that Germany and other western countries will pick the best, leaving “the rejects” for the East Europeans.

As expected, the Hungarian government is both denouncing and falsifying the European Commission’s proposed reform of the asylum system, released yesterday. In the interest of truth, I think I should summarize its main points.

The overall procedure will be shortened and streamlined, and decisions will be made in a maximum of six months. Asylum seekers will be guaranteed the right to a personal interview as well as free legal assistance and representation during the administrative procedure. A guardian will be assigned to unaccompanied minors. New obligations to cooperate with the authorities will be introduced. All asylum seekers must have the same protection regardless of the member state in which they make their applications. In order to achieve this harmonization, the member states will be obliged to take into account guidance coming from the European Agency for Asylum. As bruxinfo.hu, a Hungarian internet site reporting on the affairs of the EU, pointed out, there is no talk here of compulsory quotas or punishment for non-compliance. Each year member states would announce the number of refugees they could accommodate. They would receive 10,000 euros for each refugee accepted.

rejection

So, let’s see how this was translated into Orbanite Hungarian by János Lázár this afternoon at his regular Government Info. In his reading, according to Dimitris Avramopoulos’s suggestion “Hungary would have to undertake the complete integration of immigrants forcibly brought into the country.” This is a preposterous idea, which “goes beyond the notion of compulsory settlement quotas.” While he was at it, he reminded his audience that the European Parliament accepted a proposal that would include heavy financial penalties if refugees were not accepted. Moreover, George Soros’s scheme of imposing extra taxes and/or other financial punishment on countries that refuse to participate in the program is “still on the table of the European Commission.” Lázár is referring to Soros’s speech, discussed here earlier.

Lázár is convinced that the “leftist delegations” of the European Parliament, together with the European Commission, work daily on their settlement schemes and keep coming up with new suggestions. That is why there is a need for the quota referendum, to be held on October 2. Lázár finds it impossible to believe that the European Commission will simply ignore the results of “direct democracy.” The referendum, instead of decreasing European integration, will actually strengthen it. It will be “a stabilizing factor.” Unfortunately, he didn’t elaborate on this claim. I would have been curious to see how our maverick Fidesz double-talker could possibly make his case.

Lázár, in talking about fines, repeated a piece of disinformation that the Hungarian government has spread far and wide in the last few days. Fidesz accused MSZP, DK, and LMP members of the European Parliament of voting in favor of a motion to fine states that refuse to participate in the migrant quota scheme. In fact, the report the European Parliament adopted says only that “a European approach is needed based on solidarity and a just distribution of the burden to resolve the migration and refugee crisis.” And, as it turned out, not only “leftist” members but also the vast majority of the European People’s Party, to which Fidesz belongs, voted for it.

You may recall János Lázár’s statement last week that he wouldn’t vote for Hungarian membership in the European Union today because of its migration policies. Of course, he said, this is his “personal opinion,” but a high government official, especially the man who is in charge of the disbursement of billions of euros received from the European Union, should not publicly share a “personal opinion.” Today he followed up, saying that “we didn’t secede from the Soviet Union in order to become a member of another union, but we left the Soviet Union so at least we can be independent and sovereign.”

Well, I don’t want to sound like a schoolmarm, but Hungary was never part of the Soviet Union. That, of course, is the least of the difficulties here. Hungarians desperately wanted to belong to the European Union, and at a referendum well over 80% of them voted for membership. Today, 75% still want to remain in the Union. With their vote at that referendum the Hungarian people authorized their government to give up some of the country’s independence and sovereignty. If Lázár, the second most important man in the Orbán government, insists on full independence and sovereignty, he should discuss it with his boss, and they should start making preparations for a Hungxit. And, while they’re at it, for their retirement from politics.

July 14, 2016
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kincs
Guest

I don’t think we can say that Lázár “is convinced that” the leftist delegations are working daily on their settlement schemes and keep coming up with new suggestions, nor that he “finds it impossible to believe that” the European Commission will simply ignore the results of “direct democracy.”
Lázár is merely delivering the party line on issues of the day. One reason why there is a one-day delay between the Wednesday cabinet meetings and Lázár’s Thursday press conference is that the Fidesz propaganda team needs time to package for the public those decisions that the cabinet deigns to share with the public.
All Fidesz MPs – those permitted to speak to the media at least – are always in harmony and on message in the classic party-state tradition.
What any of them actually believe – those that can think for themselves anyway – is another matter altogether.

Observer
Guest

Lovely.
You must know the past (which has become present)… party line, agit-prop department, TASS or MTI communique, the leader of the Party and the state…

Member

Splendid commentary by Professor Balogh. Once the Orban odium is over and he and his foul retinue of thieves, deceivers and bullies have been run out of the country — and, I hope, unceremoniously deprived of the obscene mountain of zsákmány they have stolen from the hapless Hungarian people as well as the guileless and generous EU tax-payers — the annals of native Hungarian historiography will record for posterity the enormous service provided by this unique tireless, clear-thinking, and extremely well-informed and fair-minded expatriate Hungarian historian. With her relentless and penetrating daily coverage she is not just chronicling Hungarian history, she is making it. (Perhaps even her patient tolerance for troll-invasions — even though it makes me wince every day — is yet another thing for which she deserves admiration.) Le a kalappal, drága Éva!

Observer
Guest

Hear, hear!

Guest

Re: ‘Le a kalappal, draga Eva’

I would like to add my admiration too!

Guest

And ‘zsakmany’. Is it read ‘pickings?’ Thanks ahead

Observer
Guest

And loot, booty, spoils …

Guest

Got it. Thanks. When I saw ‘zsak’ that ties in!

Observer
Guest

It’s a constant stream of half truths, disinformation and blatant lies. Like in Orwell, like the USSR, like Orbanistan: the Ministry of truth (e. g. Veritas), Newspeak (less is more, to take away is to protect, eg. pension funds, to drag back is to advance, eg. pre 1944 state).
One is better off to start by assuming that exactly the opposite is true, or consider the heap of lies in order to find out what are they trying to conceal.

1989
Guest
dos929
Guest

Why would Orban and his ‘illiberal’ regime behave towards the refugees better than they behave towards their own citizens? Didn’t we, didn’t you, didn’t the EU and everyone else who even from the distance observed the last 6 years of Orban’s reign learned that whatever this regime do is against all decent norms? The villainous nature of all their intentions and deeds serve only one purpose; to stay in power no matter what. And just wait and see; they will use last night’s awful terrorist attack in Nice to their own advantage as well in order to justify the Hungarian Government’s actions. And yes, this Orwellian world that Orban & Co. have created was obvious within 6 months of their coming to power. And yes, no one should be surprised if on this path of total economic, social and political anarchy the end result will be a bloody revolt…

Guest

Re: Orban and Orwell….

One does it with the tinkering of history and current political events. And the other pronounced on mendacious governments way before Orban came to be with his keen political mind:

“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”

Joe Simon
Guest

Most people here blame the US for the migrant-crisis. The US meddling in the Arab world, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Mission accomplished announced Bush Jr. Hardly. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Hungarians donot want migrants.
I think that Hungary should accept some, but there is much hostility against them.

FreeWheeling
Guest

You realize that Fidesz has always styled itself after the Republican Party in the USA and have consistently done business with their consultants? As you know they are the party that were responsible for the unjustified war and resulting massive bloodshed and chaos in the Middle East? Their guest of honour during their unveiling of the Ronald Reagan statue in Budapest was Condoleezza Rice, one of W’s key foreign policy strategists throughout his . Furthermore they have regularly made appearances at the Republican National Convention each quadrennial to show their solidarity with the GOP. I wonder if Szíjártó will have a high-profile interviews with Hungarian news media in Cleveland this year like he did in the past?

1989
Guest

Correction: FIDESZ is a clone of a standard Moscow style oppressing regime.

Disinformation is their most important weapon.

Observer
Guest

@Joe Troll

Wrong (or lying) as always :
1. It is the Orban regime that spreads the anti US mantra on refugees, among other lies.
2. Mass migration and the associated problems are several thousand years older than the US, see: from the Old testament, through the invading Hungarian’s murderous raids in the 10th century, to the 20th century stream from the former colonies to the UK, France, Holland, etc.

For the record: I am against mass migration.

petofi
Guest

Simple solution to mass migration: do not allow immigrants from countries that do not practice population control; and, provide a certain standard of living and schooling to their inhabitants.

1989
Guest

Correction: most intelligent people blame Moscow for the genocidal mess.

pappp
Guest

With the Nice attacks (84 dead on Bastille day) Orban and Trump will unfortunately be vindicated.

I know that my Hungarian colleagues are terrified of Muslims and would not shed a tear if all of them (there aren’t too many in Hungary) would be deported (wherever) tomorrow. And this is just Hungary. I’m not sure white French or German feel any different.

Terrorism is obviously not an issue for the left-wing which is seen as weak when it comes to national security and law and order.

Refugees are also inexorably linked in the minds of voters to terrorism. Like it or not the propaganda worked.

Thus the refugee issue is not an issue for the left-wing either, it is however a winning issue for the right-wing.

If this wave of terrorism continues and I bet it will ((there are too many radical Muslims and the chaos in the Middle East will unlikely to abate) then leftist parties will continue to lose out.

1989
Guest

Correction: Nice is the result of the Moscow tailored weaponization of the Muslim world.

Guest

London Calling!

As Viktorlae Orbanescu develops his illiberal state and gets ready to move into his castle – he is increasingly formalising the use of thugs as a second line of enforcement.

We have seen these thugs having a prominent role in the Városliget working alongside the police – and even seemingly directing their operations.

We have seen these thugs being used to supplement the operations of the ‘referendum’ office over the Sunday trading shenanigans.

We have remembered Orban’s use of thugs in the early days when the TV station was attacked to his advantage.

The ‘Gonosztevőisation’ of his Commocracy has parallels with the Securității of a previous nation.

I have no doubt now that in any engagement of Rendorseg or Army that these Gonosztevő are officially put on standby – and with an agreed ‘pay-per-punch’ tariff.

And I have no doubt that the Gonosztevő are operating behind the scenes at the border to beat up refugees.

Hungary is a nation of thuggery hell on earth – promoted by its own electorate.

Observer
Guest

The worst thing is that the regime is setting a system of media and opinion control, intimidation, suppression and now violence. Once in operation, and with some conditioning or resignation on part of society, the system can be used against anyone the leader points his finger at.

Guest

Maybe I should call them the ‘Goonosztevő’?

Guest
I think that there is a great deal of categorial confusion – or categorial conflation – in the ways many liberal democrats draw parallels or even equation signs between the essentially successful outcomes of the mass immigration of Hungarian and other East European peasants and Jews to the New World a hundred, hundred and fifty years ago, and the likely outcomes of the mass movement of Muslim refugees and would be immigrants to Western Europe from Afghanistan, the Arab lands and black Africa. The key difference is not in the capacity and willingness of the first generation of Muslim newcomers to integrate into West European societies, but in the willingness and ability of second and subsequent generations of by then native-born Muslims to assimilate into the mainstreams of the societies in which they find themselves. And a corollary to that is of course the capacity and willingness of West European societies to themselves actively integrate not so much the first generation of Muslim newcomers, but the second and subsequent generations of by then native-born Muslims. These and such problems were never ever present among the East European masses, mainly landless peasants and Jews, who moved across to the New World… Read more »
Guest

Great article, unarguable, hard hitting and to the point. Thanks Éva!

Guest

O/T

Turkey is experiencing an army coup – which might be successful. Erdoğan is on holiday!

A Turkish military statement read out on television says it has taken over power.

While the cat’s away the mice do play.

Could have awful ramifications for Turkey’s €4billion refugee ‘deal’ – and a real mess for the EU and it’s schengen ‘arrangement’ that Britexers disliked so much.

Istvan
Guest

I am disturbed about the military coup in Turkey, but this is not the first NATO nation to experience a military coup. France had two while in NATO, 1958 and 1961. Italy had one and a half coups, the one in 1970 was more of a failed plot. Greece of course had the right wing military coup in 1967, which the CIA may have had a role in. Portugal also had one in 1974

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an Islamist fanatic, but none the less democratically elected. I find the entire idea of military coups repugnant and it clearly shows a major failure on the part of NATO in term of indoctrination over the preeminence of elected civilian rule.

petofi
Guest

@ Istvan

re: ‘disturbed about coup’

Really? What kind of military man are you? Do you not think that your fellow army boys, especially the ones associated somehow with NATO knew about this? Maybe even ‘instigated’ it?

It’s been a gas watching CNN today and watching the American military experts demure about what ‘it all means’. Yeah, I’ll bet.

Mind you, if the coup fails–which now appears likely as Erdogan has flown back to Istanbul–the incompetence of the plotters is mouth-dropping. For one thing, how could they not capture Erdogan? Anyway, who knows what’s going on.

Is it possible that the Russians helped Erdogan just to thwart the Yanks???!

tappanch
Guest

Dear Istvan.

According to this logic, Von Stauffenberg and his fellow military officers deserved their fate, since they wanted to overthrow the “democratically elected” Hitler on July 20, 1944.

If there is no procedure in place to impeach, if there is no way to remove an elected leader after s/he destroyed democracy, then only an undemocratic move (outside the legal framework) can restore democracy.

With Erdogan’s victory, I expect waves of Turks knocking on Europe’s doors fleeing the dictatorship in Turkey.

Istvan
Guest

Hitler was not democratically elected by the time the Valkyrie coup attempt was made in July 1944. Hitler was lasf elected to office in August 1934, after that point he became an endless unelected dictator and was fair game for the plotters. The situation in Turkey is totally different, Erdogan has not crossed the border line of banning democracy. That could happen, it could also happen in Hungary, most military loyality oaths are to the constitution not to the leader.

If the constitution is fundamentally violated then the military has to consider acting, but it can not anticipate a fundamental violation before it happens. That is totally wrong. In that situation presuming a revokation of constitutional democracy is eminent a popular revolt is the best option and each member of the military needs to determine where they stand on that revolt as citizens not soliders. Militaries are not designed to govern societies.

tappanch
Guest

Re: Erdoğan
“Erdogan has not crossed the border line of banning democracy. ” – I strongly disagree with your statement.

What about the forced change of the editorial boards of the independent newspapers, the arrest of MPs to create the coveted 2/3 majority, the massive show trials of military officers and journalists in the past, and now the detention and dismissal of 3000 judges?

Erdoğan has even created his own Trotsky called Gülen.

Re: Hitler
“Hitler was not democratically elected”

November 6, 1932: NSDAP 33.09% (plurality)
January 30, 1933: Hitler took power playing the democratic rules of the game

March 5, 1933: NSDAP 43.91% (not fair, but multiparty elections)
March 24, 1933: Ermächtigungsgesetz, which made Hitler’s dictatorship “legal”

November 12, 1933: NSDAP 92.11%
March 29, 1936: NSDAP 98.80%
April 10, 1938: NSDAP 99.01%

So Hitler conducted four “elections” after taking power.

(In Communist Hungary, there were nine elections between 1949 and 1985)

Re: the Brutus quandary
When Caesar accepted the new title “dictator perpetuo”, did Brutus act properly by trying to save the “res publica” ?

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