The deadly embrace of Hungarian television propaganda

Yesterday, while waiting for the results of the anti-refugee referendum, I decided to take a look at Channel M1, one of Magyar Televízió’s four or five channels. This particular channel is devoted to news and political discussions. I must admit that I hadn’t bothered to watch it before, though of course I knew that since 2010, when Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party won the election, MTV had become a servile mouthpiece of government propaganda. I heard all the jokes about its being the Hungarian version of North Korean Television and that anyone who has a cable connection avoids M1 like the plague. Insufferable, unwatchable, disgraceful; these were the verdicts coming from Hungary. And then, yes, there’s the astonishing €160,191,200 yearly budget on channels few people watch, although MTV can be received across the country and beyond. (Of the private stations, only RTL Klub and TV2 have nationwide coverage.) Well, yesterday I took the plunge.

Watching Channel M1 while the voting was in progress was a shocking experience. The intensity of the propaganda could easily be compared to the times of Mátyás Rákosi–if, that is, Hungary had had television broadcasting in those days. Friends of mine who worked as journalists during the last two decades of the Kádár regime tell me that, despite the limitations imposed on them by the regime, they had more freedom than those journalists who still work at MTV. The better ones were fired years ago; those who remained do what they are told.

I hate to think how much money MTV spent on this last-minute campaigning for a valid and successful referendum. One reporter was sent to Belgrade to interview “migrants” who are stuck there. Another went to France. Another was dispatched to the “capital of Székelyföld,” which is a fiction of the Hungarian right since there is no way Romania will grant autonomous status to the two counties where Hungarian-speaking Szeklers are in the majority. Another journalist stood in front of a former refugee camp in Debrecen.

The anchor at intervals asked for the latest developments in Belgrade. The correspondent there reported that the “migrants” are breathlessly waiting for word on the outcome of the referendum. If it is not valid, they are planning to storm the Hungarian border first thing Monday morning. Ten or fifteen minutes later the anchor got in touch with the reporter in Belgrade again for “the latest developments.”

Then came the turn of the reporter from France. She was in the village of Allex in southeastern France where, as several French- and English-language papers reported in mid-September that“furious villagers have plunged France’s asylum system into chaos after demanding a vote on whether to kick out migrants re-homed in their neighborhood.” Allex had to take 50 refugees and the locals, egged on by the Front National, created a situation that became explosive. They demanded a referendum, which couldn’t be held because localities cannot decide on immigration issues. This news was picked up by right-wing Hungarian internet sources like Origo, 888.hu, and Pestisracok.hu around September 15. So MTV sent a special correspondent to this village to record a conversation with the mayor about “the lack of democracy” in France.

The reporter in Csíkszereda told MTV’s audience in Hungary about the great enthusiasm among the Szeklers for this referendum. Népszabadság’s Bucharest correspondent, who was also in Csíkszereda, reported otherwise. According to the Hungarian consul-general, 17,525 people asked for ballots and instructions to vote on Sunday but 11,820 (67.45%) didn’t bother to pick them up. In Cluj/Kolozsvár the situation was a bit better. All in all, there was not much to see in Csíkszereda. Most people had already voted by mail and, as we know, more than 16% of the ballots were invalid. According to the National Election Office, 30,705 ballots came from Transylvania before October 1.

Then came the story of all the atrocities that “migrants” had committed in the last year or so in Hungary. The reporter stood in front of the by now empty barracks that used to house refugees in Debrecen. The whole neighborhood was ruined, there was litter everywhere, fighting broke out over some dispute about the Koran, every time they wanted something some migrants climbed up on a tower and threatened to jump if their demands were not met. In short, it was sheer hell and, if migrants were allowed to enter Hungary, the whole country would be like that. The story then continued with the “terrorists” in Röszke who threw rocks at the policemen, people at the Keleti Station, and the march toward Vienna. A long litany of atrocities committed by the “migrants.”

Finally came a series of interviews with politicians and ordinary citizens who all voted no and who explained their weighty reasons for doing so. These stories were packed into one hour of non-stop propaganda, which was outright stomach turning.

television-propaganda

I decided to write about the hour I spent on the state propaganda channel of a so-called democratic country because the defeat of Orbán’s referendum is even more momentous when viewed in the context of this government attempt at brainwashing voters.

Although most foreign and domestic observers consider the result a colossal failure for the Hungarian government, the Fidesz leadership gathered stone-faced in front of a small and somewhat artificially enthusiastic crowd to announce the government’s great victory. Journalists were forbidden to be present. In a short speech Viktor Orbán shamelessly claimed that nine out of ten Hungarians voted for the sovereignty of Hungary. “Brussels or Budapest. That was the question and we decided that the right of decision lies solely with Budapest.” Although I often get confused with numbers, I’m pretty sure that 2,978,144 is not 90% of 8,272,624 eligible voters.

As for his future plans concerning a change of the constitution, it is about as illegal as the referendum itself was. I know that Jobbik will support it because Gábor Vona’s original suggestion was a simple change of the constitution, which Fidesz refused to consider and instead launched the referendum campaign. We don’t yet know whether the democratic opposition parties will present a common front. So far DK and MSZP have announced that they will boycott any parliamentary action concerning an amendment to the constitution. The small Magyar Liberális Párt also expressed its disapproval of changing the constitution on account of the refugee quota issue.

Tomorrow I will attempt to shed some light on the very complicated issue of the relationship between the referendum and the constitution. Meanwhile we will see how Orbán handles this new situation. I suspect with belligerence and even more hateful speeches against both the refugees and the opposition. 444.hu recalled today an interview with Anikó Lévai, Orbán’s wife, in Story magazine a couple of years ago. She told the reporter that her husband is unable to lose and gave a couple of examples. When they run together, he pretends that he is close to chocking and is far behind, but in the last minute he revives and sprints ahead, beating her. Only once did it happen that they took part in a ski competition where she came in first and he second. By the time the results were announced Orbán had arranged to separate the sexes, and thus he was first in the men’s category. He is always ready to change the rules of the game. I think this is what we can expect.

October 3, 2016
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Reality Check
Guest

Any stats on the percent of the Hungarian population that watches these stations?

The referendum presented some evidence that a fairly large portion of Hungarians can see through the propaganda that the regime puts out there.

Guest
Looks spot on. But I would suggest the fact of the ruling government controlling a high share of media voice in the country works against a true functioning and healthy democratic environment within the country and in the entire EU. I do not believe this can continue if Magyarorszag expects to crawl out of the hole it has dug for itself when it comes to the dissemination of information to the country. When the government is more and more to be shown the primary axis of information to the country on matters of great import that of itself shows the extent of how tainted the relationship between rulers and those governed is. It’s almost as if the people are simply unthinkng automatons to have arguments drummed through their brains and then to have them regurgitate it back out without any semblance of analysis of what it is they are exactly agreeing with. The ‘dumbing down’ of the Magyar electorate. The Fidesz control of media is its calling card. It is another of the most difficult problems to solve in the country. Perhaps the referendum opens up a gateway to a light within that closed media tunnel that seems to be… Read more »
petofi
Guest

RED LIGHT ALERT!

The government has allowed itself a defeat. In chess, this is called a tactical sacrifice…taught in the basement rooms of the KGB. You can be sure that when the referendum on leaving the EU comes out, there’ll be a surprising win for Viktor…

dos929
Guest

To spend even on sentence on this human heap of garbage is one sentence too many…

dos929
Guest

Sorry, should have been ‘To spend even one sentence’

webber
Guest

State news almost always has a hate campaign on. When it’s not refugees, they feature stories that are raw character assassination against individual Hungarian politicians. As little emotional breaks they will have short heartwarming stories. My favorites were: 1. A woman giving birth on the sidewalk in front of an older man’s house in some village, and his description of how he helped her. 2. A bunch of puppies discovered at the end of some elderly woman’s garden in another village. This sort of story is apparently meant give the impression that Hungarian news cares about what happens in villages.
This garbage spills into non-government media as it reacts to government media propaganda and, in a way, thereby legitimizes it. I never watch govt. t.v. these days, but have to hear about its lies if I watch independent news, and that makes that even less watchable (a bunch of talking heads).
Tuning out seems to be what most young people are doing.

Guest

Animals and their treatment by Hungarians – don’t talk to me about that, it’s outright atrocious – the way some people treat their “pets”!

Of course it’s slowly changing, some people are nice but the majority of Hungarians at least here in the village has a very strange relation to their pets and other household animals In Germany they would take the cats and dogs away from them …

webber
Guest

Wolfi – people in rural areas also think lambs and calves are cute. And they still kill and eat them. Urban people get to eat them without having to see them killed.

Member

But what is the moral you draw from that, webber?

The worst of Orban’s (or Putin’s) depredations are as nothing to the Eternal Treblinka most humans collaborate in inflicting — completely needlessly — on non-human animals.

Harnad, Stevan (2016) Animal sentience: The other-minds problem Animal Sentience. 2016.001

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Guest

If I were allowed to make a series of programs in M1 I would begin softly with:
“A pizza is tastier and healthier than a langos.”

Guest

You don’t have to “Go Italian” for healthier food – a langáló or kenyér lángos is similar (like the Flammkuchen) and contains much less unhealthy fat!

Made in a wood fired oven its my favourite food!

We sometimes used to watch “food programmes” – they were usually from Erdély (some propaganda is necessary …) but the stuff they showed was usually so fatty that we can’t stand it any more.

Nowadays we don’t switch on the tv at all , even National Geograhic has too many repeats – maybe in the long cold Hungarian winter, but I’ve prepared some blue rays with concerts and movies, just in case …

I wouldn’t know what to do without internet – reading books seems to get more difficult when you get older …

webber
Guest

Jean P was right – he said he would begin SOFTLY. You can’t change things over night.

As to “kenyérlángós” – twenty years ago it didn’t even exist. It’s nonsense, in my view – a warm sandwich with a new name.

Proper lángos, however, has been made for God knows how long in Hungary and under different names all over the world.
Yes it’s greasy. Yes it’s fatty. But so is fat bacon. And both are authentic.

Guest

No, no, webber!
A “real” kenyérlángós is really good – as good as a pizza, or better.
Have you ever had a “Flammkuchen”?
Or you should try the kenyérlángós that my wife makes – btw I get to add the toppings … 🙂

webber
Guest

A “real” melegszendvics (open-faced warm sandwich in English) is what it used to be called, and it too is excellent if made properly (at home – rarely good anywhere else).
They have just changed the name.

webber
Guest

P.S. A proper Italian pizza is fantastic, too. You can’t get them in Hungary. Go to Naples for the best.

Guest
Naples! Yes Queen Margharita in 1899 frightened her officials by telling them she wanted to eat what the locals ate. So they went to the local pizzeria and he suggested a pizza with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Hence the colours of the Italian flag were enshrined in the pizza and the ‘Margharita Pizza’ was born. Amazingly the pizzeria that created it is still serving pizza in Naples today. One of the features of many houses in Hungary is that they often have a bread wood oven included. These are brick built incineration chambers with an outer ‘smoking’ chamber with bars to hang joints of pork and sausage for smoking. Our house in Hungary has a beautiful ‘Summer House’ to which is attached a beautiful bread/smoking oven outhouse. During stays we often have a ‘pizza’ dinner party where I make the dough from scratch (the double ‘knock-back’ system) – fresh yeast is widely available in Hungary and – yes – I ‘knock-up’ mainly Margharitas. Fresh basil in Hungary is a wonder! Not the wan spindly London stuff – real robust aromatic leaves. Mozzarella in Hungary is a let down – but I once got buffalo mozzy from Lidl. I always bring… Read more »
Guest

Thanks for that experience Charlie!

Since we’re OT anyway:
If we weren’t too far apart km-wise we would visit you and bring you some of my wife’s fresh “Bazasalikum” – she’s very proud to have lots of spices in the garden, of course Parsley, Chives, Oregano, Rozmarin and some stuff where I don’t even know the names …

Member

You go to Encs in Hungary for excellent pizza. The restaurant is Anyukam Mondta and they are rated one of the best restaurants in the country.

Guest

Tarte Flambée is an Alsacian spcialty that goes under the name of Flammkuchen in Germany. It gained a foothold in Berlin when the restaurant “Ständige Vetretung” moved from Bonn to Berlin.

Guest

Come on, Jean, you know as well as I that “Elsass” was as German as the Black Forest …

Guest

I know that it was German the same way as “Transylvania” was Hungarian.

Guest

Back to square one. Comparative Hungarian cooking.

webber
Guest

🙂
Thirty years ago every restaurant in Hungary had roughly the same menu – gulyás, pörkölt, szegedi halászlé, csalamádé/vegyes vágott (what they called it depended on where you were), variations on pickles (kovászos uborka was supposed to be special), etc., etc., and for vegetarians deep fried cheese (this was always on the menu everywhere).

So, things have changed, slowly slowly – as you suggest they might. It will never be France.

Guest

Actually there are many good restaurants – around Hévíz e g and surely in other bigger cities too.

Our favourite “Green Elefant” is experimenting wit lots of things like sous-vide …

And we also have a few addresses for really good pizza.

Rather OT?
We prefer Hungarian restaurants to the ones in Germany – for comparable quality you spend much less …
So when we’re in Germany my wife usually cooks, but when we’re here we can afford the luxury of going out for dinner without thinking how wemight have spent that money on something better …

Guest

wolfie… Listen would you mind if my wife and I can dine with you when we go out over there. We dress nice and don’t talk loud . I’d think we’d be pretty good company. …;-)….Looks like you guys are ‘big shots’ and can get served anywhere in Magyarorszag. Webber says 30 yrs ago you all can get this or that. Well you know it was ‘no porkolt for you!’ for us forty years ago..;-)….Hehe we were always traveling on light stomachs. And my soulful country keeping that tasty food to itself….;-)….

Guest

I’ve already thought about meeting people from HS – it’s just that we don’t leave here too often, maybe twice or thrice a year we go to Budapest – my wife doesn’t like the city!

But we met several very nice people from politics.hu (!) and took them to Hévíz for lunch this summer and also met them in Bp …

So maybe w should think about having a kind of HS convention some day?

Just a crazy idea …

petofi
Guest

My wife and I are ‘in’ for the HS convention, and I even have a recommendation:
Kiskakkuk on Posonyi in XIII district…

Guest
Not crazy at all Wolfi! Every year my partner and I go to the Sidmouth Folk Festival by the sea in beautiful Devon. Since she’s been here she has become an accomplished anglo-concertina player and not a bad fiddle (‘hegedu’) player either. I often ‘call’ dances for ceilidh’s with a band so we go to Sidmouth to dance our socks off – so I can pick-up new English dances. (The new mayor of our village in Hungary wants an English ceilidh at the village hall – so we have to get a band together for it – me ‘calling’ in English and my partner translating! – I don’t know how you translate ‘do-si-do’ but never mind!) Why am I telling you this? Well since we have been going to Sidmouth we always meet up with ‘Kati’ and her husband – she’s a Hungarian who married an Englishman sixteen years ago. She goes every year and dances from the very first note – to the last! She’s addicted to it! And it’s always great to see her. This year she advised us that she has a property near the Balaton – and invited us there – because our visits to Hungary… Read more »
Guest

Oh boy I think my ‘tongue in cheek’ comment really opened some things up. It was nice that everyone took it a good way. Indeed after our move within the next month to the south and to warmer climes we expect to start some ‘pilgrimages’ to Europe which include the UK, Eire and Magyarororszag sometime next year. It would appear interests dovetail wonderfully. My better half is Ir and I am quite attuned to that tuneful ceili stuff. Absolutely love it. So maybe one day ladies and gentlemen a meetup can ensue. Would look forward to the company , nice
chats and perhaps great dancing!…;-)…

Guest

Well done! Actually we are both fiddler’s – and 99% of the music we play is Irish – but the dancing is barn-dance English!
With some refined Playford added!

Guest

Very nice! We like the ‘styles’.

Something
UK’ish.. a fine ballad…

http://youtu.be/ZqdnmqTv__k

Enjoy.. We love all music!

Guest

I’ve often made the comparison to North Korean TV and since the “New and improved M1” came into existence we haven’t watched it at all, it’s so horrible!

The good side of this my be that many Hungarians are so fed up with the State News that they start to get their information from other sources – though these are of course more difficult to find.

And of course nobody believes M1 anymore – everybody knows it’s just propaganda!

I wonder how the “journalists” there feel – if they tell someone they work there and the reaction they get …

webber
Guest

OT – Fidesz’s public opinion polling firm Nézőpont claims Fidesz would get a 2/3 majority of the national elections were held today…
Anyone who believes that now needs to have his head examined.
Nézőpont lies and lies and lies. Not a single one of their employees should be allowed to teach in Hungarian universities or schools.

pappp
Guest

Yes and no. In a FPP system (the Hungarians system is a mixed system it’s most important component is the FPP system) a party may still win the majority of with 20-25% of the votes cast (is. even smaller percentage of all the voters) as long as the opposition is divided or disliked. With 30-35% of the votes cast, in such scenario even the 2/3s is possible.

As long as Fidesz continues to be the dominant party of the right wing and the left wing is divided (and we know Együtt will not be joining DK and MSZP) it’s almost impossible to get rid of Fidesz via elections. In other words, even if 70% of the voters cast a vote against Fidesz, it can still continue to rule. Let’s not forget that.

webber
Guest

Pappp, Nézőpont lied and has been lying for years now in the polls that are released to the public. You know that as well as I do.
It was even leaked by someone from Nézőpont a year or two ago. They always have two sets of data – one for the public, which has been “massaged”, and the other of real data for Fidesz.

pappp
Guest

Yes, I know and this is where you are right. But as long as Fidesz has that core constituency of very committed 20-30% of the voters who actually cast a vote life is difficult for a *divided* opposition (and for the left-wing opposition it is more difficult still as it has a 6-8% point built in disadvantage due to gerrymandering).

So in a sense this is the case of the broken clock which shows the right time twice a day. Nézőpont lies but in some sense it is right.

Guest

Certainly not very heartening to hear. Almost waiting for a possible inevitability in Magyar ‘democracy’: Fidesz ‘writing’ the copy for the opposition. It behooves the opposition to take advantage of its opportunities. I hope they can muster a reply.

webber
Guest

So, Spain and Portugal are to have their EU funding frozen for going over deficit…
But that cannot be done to Hungary for violating the values and laws of the EU, because Germany’s leading party regularly and always opposes it as counterproductive.
Danke Frau Merkel.

https://euobserver.com/economic/135348

pappp
Guest

The EU is about free trade, the common market. It’s about money.

Nobody gives a shit about anything else. The EU was badly oversold as something bigger than that and many people (mostly liberals) naively believed that. Orban and his people always knew the reality.

Time to realize the EU is only about money and numbers – not values.

Germany has only one overriding goal in politics and one goal only: to keep the factories humming, that is stability in trade relations, business. (As long as Germans have well-paying jobs people are more or less content, if there would be a stagnation there like in France, well, that’s not desirable). German politicians just don’t care about anything else. Why would they? Do we care about Moldavian politics in Hungary?

Even if the EU as such would disappear overnight the existing economic relations in Europe are so strong that Germany would continue to benefit and be successful. Most customers cannot or wouldn’t want to substitute German products. Thus in reality Germany doesn’t have to care about the EU, its values and apparently it doesn’t.

webber
Guest

Germany will be successful in any economic environment (the same goes for the US, and I believe for Britain). That is what having a successful durable economy means. It reacts instantly to any changes. Momentarily it goes up, and goes down, but in the long term the trend is up.

webber
Guest

pappp, you are apparently right about the German government, but quite a lot of Europe’s populace bought the line about “values” – and you are wrong about it being just liberals. Many conservatives and (esp.) Christian dems care deeply about values. There is a large swath of the populace who believes it all.
Pointing out the German government’s abandonment of values is a way of shaming that government.
Merkel and crew may not care about values, but they will care if Germans who care about values stop voting for them.
And THAT is the point.

petofi
Guest

I reject the idea that Merkel does not care about values.

Who started this notion?…(The basement boys…?)

webber
Guest

If Merkel cares about values, why has she repeatedly stopped initiatives to block EU funding to Hungary for violating them?

When you find a believable answer to that, get back to me.

petofi
Guest

Oh you poor Web…What makes you think that all that’s going on is hung out to dry for people’s perusal like so much laundry?

We’re not privy to what’s going on. Leave it at that and save your grief. If lucky, we’ll find out in 10 years or so.

webber
Guest

Oh you poor Pet.
You don’t believe the facts if they hit you in the eye.
You don’t believe it when, in the EU Parliament, Merkel’s deputies, to a man, vote against sanctioning Hungary.
You don’t even believe Eva’s post a few days ago, which suggested that Merkel was making a deal again behind the scenes.
Have the back-room boys gotten to you too?
Oh, you poor Pet.

webber
Guest

Petofi, why do you imagine the deals being done in the dark are of anything but benefit to Orban?

Since when were you such an optimist?

webber
Guest

A constant lie on t.v., backed by falsified data from the Central Statistical Agency, is how successful Hungary is. That lie has apparently worked with ratings agencies which upgraded Hungary (remember Greece’s ratings before Greece admitted it had faked data?)
The lies may work abroad, but they don’t work with most Hungarians, because everywhere they look in larger cities they can see homeless people begging in the streets (esp. Budapest). Everyone knows young people who are planning to leave Hungary or who have left for Western Europe because they can’t find a job that pays a decent wage. And everyone is paying more and more of their salaries for goods (don’t tell me things have gotten cheaper in forints – I buy groceries every day) .
People just don’t believe the lies any more. They see what is happening with their own eyes. Witness the referendum results.

Andrew J Chandler
Guest

Sky News featured a Skype call with a British journalist in Budapest who was obviously also watching M1’s coverage and pointed out how it was broadcasting this propaganda while voting was taking place, something that would not be permitted by the electoral commissions of normal, liberal- democratic countries.

webber
Guest

Orbán’s government got rid of the regulation some years ago. Political campaigning can legally go on even after the polls open in Hungary.

Bowen
Guest

This is a picture on the Hungarian government’s Facebook page. Expect something similar to be rolled out on a nationwide poster campaign soon. All good for syphoning some more cash into the party-faithfuls’ pockets.

https://m.facebook.com/kormanyzat/photos/a.134933189912743.29836.120370174702378/1192574374148614/?type=3&source=54

Guest

Yes, the hate propaganda war will continue as long as Fidesz stays in power – at least it shows what kind of lunatic fascists most of them are.

Sometimes I even wish for a breakdown in Europe – that would give us a chance for a new start, just like after 1945 …

But of course it would mean a lot of hardship for many people. We’re so used to having and getting everything nowadays, I wonder how the young people would react, when you suddenly couldn’t buy a new smartphone every year, maybe even had no internet connection and needed to scramble for food.

Cicil war maybe?

Another idea would be to rebuild the Iron Curtain …

Bowen
Guest

Wolfi, I suspect climate change will be bringing this about sooner than you think. A lot of people will suffer. Meanwhile, the 24 hour news cycle will focus on Trump, Brexit, etc. to keep us all pre-occupied with something else.

Guest

Re: ‘Another idea would be to rebuild the Iron Curtain’

You know in my opinion while it’s gone perhaps physically it seems to be operating pretty effectively in the way governments and some people there in Magyarorszag and other countries of EE think in their day to day lives. In the case of VO’s fiefdom his view has gone to a sense of closure and restrictions as he relates to the world. His nearsightedness simply makes him look immediately next to him in thought and in action.

The control of media and political life and discourse is his way of constantly keeping tabs on limiting maneuver outside of his purview while giving him the freedom to do whatever he wants to do especially when it comes to the Constitution of the country. Changing that document to him is akin to constantly changing flat tires due to a car he never takes care of properly. A purely mechanical exercise to get rid of or put order to vexing illiberalist issues.
Iron Curtain: active and bubbling VO style.

petofi
Guest

One of the things the basement boys discovered is that if you hate…you forget about your hunger and deprivations-

Nicholas Molnar
Guest

It is about time for you to memorize the difference between “fascist” and “naciz”. Germans and right wing Hungarians never were “fascists”. “

Guest

Cobblers! It’s the Hungarian ‘redefinition’ factory at work again.

PALIKA
Guest

Let us go back a few weeks when we debated, briefly the meaning of the word Fascist.
I do not think there was any doubt based on that that both were. Can somebody remind us, please?

tütüke
Guest

I didn’t know that Andras Schiffer – although he did not actually vote – was supporting the No vote and on Facebook he was calling the leftist opposition “liberalfascists”, “political powers which are destroying democracy” and “extremists”.

http://csehszlovakkem.tumblr.com/image/151247908162

Bowen
Guest

Very interesting map here, showing detailed voter turnout. Highest by far was in the regions close to the Austrian border. Even places like Roszke had much lower turnout.

With Brexit, ‘leave’ areas all had similar features. They were areas with low educational attainment, poorer living standards, high unemployment, and few immigrants.

I do wonder why the west of Hungary voted much more strongly to reject the EU’s refugee policy. Perhaps it is because people there are much more aware of how low Hungary’s living standards / unemployment prospects are (having Austria so close by, for a comparison)? In which case they felt that voting ‘NEM’ would be a hope for making Hungary ‘stronger’?

Bowen
Guest
pappp
Guest

There is also a strong historical pattern. Even before WWII this region was very conservative. They just don’t like liberal, leftist, internationalist ideas there.

Bowen
Guest

I’ll note also that Norbert Hofer (far-right candidate) had very high support in Burgenland in the recent Austrian presidential elections. In fact, Burgenland is the most supportive to the Austrian Freedom Party.

Guest

Maybe because the Burgenland (at least part of it) used to belong to Hungary?

So are they afraid of an Hungarian invasion – you know “Greater Hungary”, Trianon and all that stuff …

And Hofer’s hero Haider also played on xenophobia.

Member

I agree. The people on the western border tend to be Austrian wannabees. That is for the Austria of Franz Josef and Sissy. They are very conservative and very Catholic.

Ferenc
Guest

I don’t understand how Hungarians accept what is done with M1. Their tax money is used by the Fidesz government for pure propaganda only.
If I was an Hungarian I would surely let them know that I don’t accept my money wasted in such a way, for example by not paying a part of the tax, used for the public TV stations.

webber
Guest

“for example by not paying a part of the tax”….
There is no telling which taxes go to the TV stations. They are just financed by the budget.
If you stopped paying any part of your regular taxes – and told them you were doing this -, you will certainly be audited and hit by a grotesquely high fine. If you refused to pay the fine, they would either take it from your bank account, sequester your wages (they can do that), or seize and sell some of your property (car, summer home, whatever). You would also be prosecuted and probably would end up in prison, too, or at best with a suspended sentence.

Hungary is not the US. Hungarian law is not based on American Constitutional rights.

Ferenc
Guest

I know, but the main question is: do you (Hungarians) accept/agree what the current government is doing with your tax money??
If yes, OK let them continue.
If not, then better DO SOMETHING about it!!

Apart from tax, I can image other possibilities like: a referendum about M1 (and actually all media funded by public money), would be funny what stories M1 would make about that……

webber
Guest

Trying to hold a referendum about M1 is a great idea!

Guest
London Calling! Completely O/T Having been weaned on a BBC radio 4 program – all my life – ‘Any Questions’ is a programme that has been running for at least 100 years! Ok I exaggerate but it seems like it. They have a panel – usually of ‘balanced’ politicians – who discuss questions asked by the audience which have been submitted in advance. The panel are alleged not to be briefed in advance but an astute member can usually ‘bog up’ on likely topics. The World Service of the BBC has just started a similar programme called ‘World Questions’ hosted by the same chairman, Jonathan Dimbleby – from the family that has been a radio ‘dynasty’ in British history. Next Saturday’s programme comes from Budapest and will discuss the Hungarian Threatenerendum and Europe. Saturday 8 October 2016 19:06 GMT – or 21:06 Hungarian time (and repeated on Sunday 9 October 12:06 GMT – or 14:06 Hungarian time. If you miss it you can listen to it on iPlayer. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p049m2s0 It promises to either be rivetting or a damp squib! Normally we know in advance who will be on the panel – but they have yet to inform us – but… Read more »
webber
Guest

I bet they invite the honey-tongued liar George (György) Schöpflin, Fidesz MEP. He speaks with an impeccable British accent.

Guest

Yes or Kester Eddy – Nick Thorpe?

Any takers?

I’ll send a ‘Margharita’ pizza to anyone who guesses a member of the panel!

I’m enjoying this game!

Guest

I’d really like Agnes Heller!

Guest

Ivan Fischer?

webber
Guest

He, too, would be awful.
Agnes Heller would demolish Fischer and Schöpflin.

webber
Guest

Sorry – was thinking of Tibor Fischer (not Ivan), who is a staunch Orban-defender.

Bowen
Guest

Please don’t use ‘honey-tongued’ to describe Schopflin. You make him sound like Cary Grant. He’s more like Mr Creosote from the Monty Python film.

Guest

!!!

Guest

And Yes! Of course!

The best panel member of all would be……….

Eva S Balogh – pity you can’t be there, Eva!

Guest

Not forgetting Ferenc Gyurcsány.

Looks like I’ll be eating my own pizza!

webber
Guest

If Schöpflin is there, I’ll want a pizza!

berti
Guest

A good video for speakers of Hungarian. 444.hu went to Nyírség, a small region located in the easternmost county of Hungary. It is obvious that the state TV channels have a lock on the minds of this poor and rural community. Also for these voters Jobbik is already not only mainstream but in fact more moderate that Orban, who is still popular. Orban in this region still has the image of the tough leader who fights for the interest of Hungary.

http://444.hu/2016/10/02/a-jobbik-fele-hajoltam-mert-orban-nagyon-radikalis

vinnie
Guest

Before people here get carried away about the current mood of the people.

Orban has at least an extra 600-800bn forints to spend both in 2017 and in 2018.

That’s a lot of money.

It is enough to make a LOT of people happy.

Even if slowly the economy is improving too.

Which means Orban and Fidesz could again be very popular come 2018.

There is a time honored Brazilian Portugese term ‘rouba mas faz’ which means steals but get things done.

Do not dare to underestimate Orban’s chances.

http://www.portfolio.hu/gazdasag/adozas/hatalmas_adocsokkentes_is_beleferhet_orbanek_tervebe.3.238243.html

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