Hot topics of the day: Budaházy and Ráhel Orbán

The Hungarian media was preoccupied with two topics today. The first was the reaction to the stiff sentences handed out in the case of György Budaházy and his co-conspirators, who were convicted of terrorist activities. The other was the recent discovery of mysterious “negotiations” undertaken by Ráhel Orbán, eldest child of the prime minister, and her husband, István Tiborcz, in Bahrain.

The day after the trial

As one could anticipate, the Hungarian extreme right is outraged. Jobbik’s official internet news site is full of stories of the “seventeen patriots” who were in the forefront of the “national resistance” against the traitorous Gyurcsány government. What Budaházy and his friends did in 2006-2007 was a historic act. László Toroczkai, an old friend of Budaházy who today is the Jobbik mayor of Ásotthalom at the Serbian-Hungarian border, is demanding that Fidesz take a stand on the issue.

But Fidesz refuses to make any comments on the case. The closest approximation to a comment was an opinion piece by Zsolt Bayer that appeared today in Magyar Hírlap. Bayer’s memories of terrorist acts committed by the Budaházy gang, I suspect, are purposely vague. He remembers “some kind of a video of some kind of an explosion,” but basically he can’t imagine that this gentle man could possibly commit such atrocities. He is just hoping that there is “real evidence.”

In connection with the case, Bayer poses a number of questions: “Were they really the ones who threw Molotov cocktails into the houses of politicians? Were they the ones who beat up Csintalan?” And don’t forget, “the body is missing that lay on the street in Olaszliszka* as well as the one that was lifted from the lake in Kaposvár**.” Finally, Bayer says, comes the most important question: if Budaházy received 13 years, then what about Ferenc Gyurcsány and Péter Gergényi, police chief of Budapest at the time of the 2006 disturbances? After all, they are “the two most notorious miscreants of the age.” This question must be asked because “without Gyurcsány, Gergényi (and Draskovics, Szilvásy, and Bajnai) there is no Budaházy.” In brief, the guilty ones are not Budaházy and his fellow terrorists but the governments of Gyurcsány and Bajnai. I take Bayer’s attitude toward the Budaházy case to be a reasonably close approximation to the views of the Fidesz leadership.

András Schiffer’s Facebook note “Budaházy 13 years, how many for shooting out eyes” drew appreciative comments from the right, including Fidesz sympathizers. Viktor Orbán has been trying for years to implicate Gyurcsány in the “police brutality” during the 2006 street disturbances. Up to now they have been unsuccessful. They couldn’t come up with anything to tie Gyurcsány to the police action at the time. The decision to deal with the situation was entirely in the hands of the police chief and his close associates. And even at that level, although the Orbán government brought charges against Gergényi, they couldn’t prove their case.

According to Jobbik and Fidesz supporters, what happened on the streets in 2006 was “police terror,” pure and simple. They therefore equate the “terrorism” of Gyurcsány with the terrorist acts of Budaházy and his companions. The other side, by contrast, remains convinced that the disturbances were an attempt to overthrow the legitimate government of the country and that Fidesz politicians were in touch with the leaders of the mob that was supposed spark a general revolt in the population. It just didn’t work out. András Schiffer, who is allegedly a democratic politician, sided with the extreme right and Fidesz on this issue. It is no wonder that the liberals and socialists are outraged.

The most eloquent condemnation of Schiffer came from Árpád W. Tóta in HVG, according to whom “András Schiffer took a deep breath and sank to the deep where Krisztina Morvai*** resides.” Schiffer should know the difference between an accident that happens during the dispersion of a crowd and premeditated criminal acts committed in a conspiratorial manner. Tóta admits that he never had a good opinion of Schiffer, but he never thought that Schiffer was wired into the same circuit as Krisztina Morvai. I can only agree with Tóta.

Ráhel Orbán and her husband in Bahrain

I must say that Ráhel Orbán, who by now is 27 years old, gets herself into a lot of trouble, unlike her brother Gáspár and younger sister Sára. One reason is that she appears to be interested in politics. Moreover, it seems that father and daughter work together on projects. As we know, Ráhel is interested in the entertainment and tourist industry. A few months ago there was a lot of talk about the government’s centralization of the industry under an umbrella organization in which Ráhel might play a prominent role. But, and this is yesterday’s scoop, it seems that Ráhel might also have been given an unofficial diplomatic assignment.

444.hu discovered an article on the website of Bahrain’s National Oil & Gas Authority (NOGA) with accompanying photos showing the Minister of Energy Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza, Ahmed Ali Al Sharyan, the general-secretary of NOGA, Ms. Ráhel Orbán, mistakenly identified as the wife of the prime minister of Hungary, and Balázs Garamvölgyi, the Hungarian consul in Bahrain. István Tiborcz, also in the picture, was not identified in the caption. This visit took place in September 2015. According to the article

They discussed a number of global oil and gas market and energy issues (…) investment opportunities and expanding economic and trade ties between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of Hungary. They discussed the benefit to the national economy in both friendly countries from improved cooperation.

Ms. Orban and her accompanying delegation expressed their deep appreciation to H.E. Dr. Mirza and thanked him for the warm reception and issues discussed, which were aimed at creating a sustainable business environment and helping build new trade and investment bridges between the two countries that will enhance the economic interests of both. They wished every success to the Kingdom for further development and prosperity.

The press department of the prime minister’s office had no information on Ráhel Orbán’s trip to Bahrain. A few hours later, however, Ráhel Orbán in her usual arrogant style released a statement saying that “between September 17 and 20, 2015 my husband and I paid a private visit to Barhrain [sic]. We paid for all expenses. All other claims are lies,” I guess even NOGA’s press release. Diplomacy is not her strength. Father and daughter express themselves forcefully. Of course, this answer is no answer at all. No one claimed that it was the Hungarian government that paid for their trip. The issue is her involvement in negotiations with Bahrain’s minister of energy.

bahrein1

Panic must have set in government circles after the revelations of 444.hu and word must have reached the politicians in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, because by now the objectionable text about negotiations has disappeared and has been replaced by the following:

Minister of Energy His Excellency Dr. Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza received in his office at the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) on a courtesy visit, the daughter of Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary Ms. Rahel Orban, accompanied by the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Hungary to the Kingdom of Bahrain Mr. Balazs Garamvolgyi, in the presence of Dr. Ahmed Ali Al Sharyan, the NOGA General Secretary.

H.E. Dr. Mirza welcomed the distinguished visitors in the Kingdom of Bahrain and gave a brief overview of the economy of Bahrain.

Ms. Orban and the accompanying guests expressed their deep appreciation for H.E. Dr. Mirza, and thanked him for the warm reception.

They wished every success to the Kingdom for further development and prosperity.

Journalists at Index had a lot of fun with Balázs Garamvölgyi, who gave “probably the best mini-interview of his life” because he conveniently forgot what he was doing in Bahrain. As he said, “it was last September and I really no longer remember.” But one thing HírTV managed to learn: Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, had no knowledge of any official trip undertaken by Ráhel and her husband to Bahrain.

István Tiborcz definitely needs a new suit and Ráhel a new dress

István Tiborcz definitely needs a new suit and Ráhel a new dress

The latest piece of news is that one month after Ráhel Orbán’s visit to Bahrain a delegation from MOL, an international oil and gas company headquartered in Budapest, paid a visit to Abdul Hussein bin Ali Mirza, minister and head of the National Oil and Gas Authority. Garamvölgyi, who seems to have miraculously recovered from amnesia, insists that the two visits had absolutely nothing to do with one another. Of course not. The author of the blog “Most és Itt” (Now and Here) told this story in the form of a fairy tale (“The little royal princess Ráhel in Bahrain”). Most adults no longer believe in fairy tales just as we don’t believe that the two events had nothing to do with one another. Let’s finish this story with the customary last line in Hungarian fairy tales: “Itt a vége, fuss el véle.” Here is the end, run with it.

—-

*Olaszliszka was the town where a group of Roma killed a man driving through town because they thought that a little girl had been killed by his car.

**A reference to the brutal murder of a little boy whose body was thrown into a lake near Kaposvár in 2012.

***Krisztina Morvai began her career as a liberal civil rights lawyer but eventually ended up as a fiercely anti-Semitic member of Jobbik. Currently she represents the party in the EU Parliament.

August 31, 2016
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Member

Schiffer used causative: he asked how many years for making [the police] to shoot out eyes.

Of course nobody ordered the police to shoot out eyes. That is to hurt people intentionally. The use of rubber bullets on the crowd was a questionable decision, but not against the law. Schiffer is a liar.

Orionpax
Guest

I feel bad for Hungary. It is like orban family would soon declare it as absolute monarchy. They run the country like it is their private state.

petofi
Guest

Correction–

They run the country as if it was their farm: pigs everywhere.

Orionpax
Guest

Amen brother

Guest

Reminds me of Orwell’s Animal Farm …

All animals are equal but some are more equal than the others …

Not too much OT:

My wife just read that there are about a million Poles in the UK and other Western countries, that’s 2.5% of around 40 million people.

There are at least 500 000Hungarians working abroad – that’s around 5% of the population …
So people are leaving …

Jean P.
Guest

“We paid for all expenses.”

Directly or indirectly by tax payer’s money?

Alex Kuli
Guest

C’mon, Jean. They worked for their money with their four hands.

Jean P.
Guest

On my boyscout honor I forgot to include that possibility.

Bowen
Guest

Rahel is a very talented woman. Not everyone can achieve so much at the age of 27. Not only is she a new mother, a lecturer at Corvinus, manager of restaurants in central Budapest, and expert on the Sziget festival, but it turns out that she’s an expert in the oil and gas industry, too. Her Knight’s Cross medal is surely due very soon.

Her husband, meanwhile, just has a fixed expression of a poor schmuck who just wants to go back to the pub with his friends, and doesn’t really know how he got into all this.

Alex Kuli
Guest

Orban’s eldest daughter is clearly assuming the mantle of the Madame Mao of Hungarian politics. From her aspirations to influence Hungarian culture to her shrill reactions to any criticism… she is indeed the whole package.
Rahel Orban responded to 444’s article with Fidesz’s favorite trope: “They’re lying!” To be fair, there may indeed have been a mix-up. The Bahraini PR service’s summary of Rasi’s meeting with the Energy Minister identified her as Orban’s wife; a separate web article said she was the prime minister herself. Given such sloppy errors, it’s not too hard to believe the PR service also made a mistake about the nature of Rahel’s visit , or simply copy-pasted a paragraph from a previously published article about a different meeting with the Energy Minister.
Question remains: You and your husband go to Bahrain, which is not exactly known as a romantic getaway, as tourists. Somehow, you end up in a government office, dressed to the nines, with the Energy Minister and Hungary’s honorary consul. Moreover, your husband is involved in the Hungarian energy industry and has profited handsomely from suspicious contracts with daddy’s government.
Where there’s smoke, there isn’t necessarily fire — but it’s feeling pretty hot in here.

bimbi
Guest

…the daughter of Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary Ms. Rahel Orban…

Sorry that Ms R.O. was not able to get the message across to the leadership of “Barhrain” that her Daddy has long since dropped the “Republic” from the official name of his private playground estate… …details, dear boy, details…

Observer
Guest

Two emblematic cases about the situation in Hungary: fascism and corruption.

Guest

London Calling!

Once upon a time, in a far away land – known as ‘Nyet-a-Republik’ the authoritarian leader called Viktor il Un passed away and the whole Kingdom was in mourning – or appeared to be in mourning- for their beloved and worshipped leader.

The whole nation was crestfallen and the kingdom took several years to come to terms with the passing of their deity.

However the elder son turned out to reject the chance of succession and went off to start a new religion after failing in his father’s sporting expectations to be a star footballer – where everyone told him how great a footballer he was. Press releases also mentioned how he had played 18 rounds of golf and had achieved 17 holes-in-one. The bloke who failed to remove the flag for the 18th was shot – but his family understood and they whisper his name as a traitor which they hardly talk about.

But the younger sibling – a bit on the chubby side – became the new ruler but kept the spirit of daddy alive with enormous statues and Freedom Square rallies.

And Ráhel il Un and her fairytale prince, Tibor il Elliot, lived happily ever after.

Guest

I forgot to mention that they spend most of their time playing and riding on the late daddy’s choo choo train – whilst living happily ever after.

Guest

Re: ‘fairy tales’

You know within each one including yours it isn’t beyond to to know them as er… ‘Grimm’ as can be.

Once again as the sheen-covered facade of the ‘good old days’ makes a reprise in the bucolic garden of St. Istvan’s land it too continues the fairy story that hides some scary things. For now and perhaps the future.

Istvan
Guest

Re: Ráhel Orbán’s dress

Ráhel Orbán’s dress is in OPI’s Euro Centrale Collection nail polish color called “Suzi’s Hungary AGAIN!” also called hot pink, it’s actually very fashionable. The only reason I know this is because my youngest daughter, yes the Army officer when not on duty wears it, and I recalled the name because it was such a striking pink. A cousin from Budapest got her started on using the color after her last trip to Hungary that I have written about before and her experiences with Budapest night clubs. If you look carefully you can see Ráhel is wearing the nail polish too.

PALIKA
Guest

Poor Rahel, her mother is so much more attractive and elegant. Pity she did not ask her to help her to chose her wardrobe or her diet. Maybe the man in the old and I’ll fitting suit should be perhaps recycled.

Guest

That couple almost reminds me of the old bad joke – how do you recognise a “Tiszta Magyar”?

Answer:
It’s easier to jump over him/her than to walk around him/her …

Luckily my wife seems to be the exception! 🙂

PS:

But it’s a sad fact that you see so many obese Hungarians nowadays, even young ones, even children – we also wonder about their diet.

PALIKA
Guest

I returned after many years away from Hungary only to find out that the expression “jól néz ki” does not mean he is looking good but that he is over weight.
For a 27 year old healthy woman she looks like a “babushka”‘if you get my meaning. Her mother at her age was elegant, pretty and sophisticated.
But the Hungarians have much in common with the mainstream English apart from jingoistic bigotry. It is a health defying tendency to look like Billy Bunter on a jolly afternoon.

Alex Kuli
Guest

Folks, I think it’s pretty shallow to be talking about Rahel’s looks. There is so much legitimate material to critcize.
I’ll go on the record to say I find her quite attractive. I’m probably going to get TEK at my door for saying that, but it is what it is.

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