Brussels after the Hungarian referendum

Although the Hungarian media is full of the story that Antal Rogán lied about his extravagant helicopter ride to a wedding, I would rather talk about the Hungarian referendum’s reception in Brussels.

The initial reaction came from Margaritis Schinas, the first spokesman of the European Commission, who, in his October 3 press conference, tried to give the impression that the Commission takes an absolutely neutral position as far as the result of the referendum is concerned. As he put it: “If the referendum had been legally valid, we would have taken note of it; now that it is declared legally void, we also take note of it. We respect those who voted and those who didn’t vote.” A day later, in response to a question from a Hungarian journalist, the European Commission spokesman said: “The pertinent authorities declared the results of the referendum invalid. I leave it to you to draw the conclusion how this will influence the decision-making process of the European Union.”

We know that there was a sigh of relief in Brussels after the referendum failed. Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, indicated that Viktor Orbán’s failure to produce a valid referendum had weakened his position in any future negotiations with the officials of the European Union. As he put it, “Budapest should take it … seriously that it was not a majority and we have therefore a good chance for a dialogue.” This indicates that Viktor Orbán will most likely have a harder time in his negotiations in Brussels after the referendum fiasco.

On October 5 Jean-Claude Juncker made it clear in a speech to the European Parliament that he has no intention of lifting the quota of 1,294 refugees that Viktor Orbán himself approved already in February 2016. His remarks were interpreted by the anti-EU British Daily Express as a “brazen statement [that] is likely to cause consternation in Budapest.” Again today in Paris Juncker called on the member states to honor the decision on the distribution of refugees that was agreed upon in February. The Hungarian internet site Index seems to agree with the British paper when it predicts that Juncker’s hard-line attitude regarding compulsory quotas will only provide further ammunition for Viktor Orbán. However, Juncker’s steadfast, hard-hitting words of late don’t bode well for a friendly future encounter with the Hungarian prime minister, especially since Juncker looks upon referendums as the death knell of the European Union. Apparently, Juncker was specifically thinking of the Hungarian referendum when he talked about the problems of the European Union.

On October 6 Bertalan Havasi, head of the public relations department of the prime minister’s office, released the news that Viktor Orbán had sent a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker in which he gave details of the result, emphasizing that “3.33 million people expressed their will that without the approval of the Hungarian parliament no foreign nationals can be settled on the territory of the country” and therefore “he is initiating an amendment of the constitution.” He reassured Juncker that the proposed amendments will be in accord with European Union law as well as with Hungary’s international obligations. Copies of the letter went to Donald Tusk, Martin Schulz, and Robert Fico as the current president of the Visegrád 4 Group.

Jean Claude Juncker's door is always open Source: The Telegraph, credit AP

Jean-Claude Juncker’s door is always open / Source: The Telegraph, credit AP

At the October 3 press conference Margaritis Schinas, again in an answer to a question by a journalist, said that if Viktor Orbán would like to meet with the president of the European Union, “Mr. Juncker’s door is always open to all the heads of the member states.” Although Havasi made no mention of any such request, apparently Orbán did ask for an urgent meeting with Juncker in the same letter, as Népszabadság learned. But since Juncker already had a fixed schedule yesterday and today, “he could give Orbán only an impossible time that Orbán couldn’t accept.” As someone half-jokingly said, perhaps Juncker suggested meeting him late afternoon today, which certainly wouldn’t have suited the football-crazy Orbán who wanted to be present at the Hungarian-Swiss game held in Budapest. I suspect that the meeting between the two men will take place soon.

There is another issue in connection with the referendum. Tibor Navracsics, once one of the highest office holders in Fidesz and the Orbán government, is currently an EU commissioner. On the very day of the referendum he gave an interview to pestisracok.hu, a far-right Fidesz internet news site. In the interview he disclosed that he had voted “no” on the referendum question because in his opinion the question has nothing to do with the European Union or the European Commission. It is a national issue and therefore, despite his position as one of the commissioners, he can freely express his opinion. Index’s “Eurologus” agreed with the commissioner and quoted the European Commission’s “Code of conduct for commissioners.” Csaba Molnár, DK European Parliamentary member, thinks otherwise and asked Juncker to investigate the case. The leader of the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats of the European parliament, Gianni Pittella, agrees with Molnár that European commissioners have a duty to promote the general interest of the EU, not the interests of their own national governments.

The comments by Commissioner Navracsics on the failed referendum in Hungary calls this into question. A legal decision was taken on the resettlement of refugees, and the question in the referendum went directly against this and against the proposal coming from the EU Commission, of which Navracsics is a member. If Commissioner Navracsics does not believe in what his own Commission put forward and on the contrary thinks that national governments should not follow decisions taken by the whole of the EU, then we have a problem. If this is how he feels, then why is he working for the European Commission? Commissioner Navracsics must clarify his comments immediately.

Alexander Winterstein, deputy chief spokesman for the Commission, when asked about Navracsics’s action by euroactive.com, was evasive, claiming ignorance of the case. By today, however, it looks as if Juncker’s office is looking into the matter, asking for translations of Navracsics’s interviews and statements. Népszabadság learned that the officials of the commission find Navracsics’s public statements ambiguous, from which it is not clear whether they side with the Hungarian government or the commission on the issue of “the compulsory settlements.” Winterstein announced today that Juncker will bring the topic up at the meeting of th commissioners.

It is possible that in purely legal terms Navracsics is correct when he claims that no conflict of interest exists in this case. But one thing is sure: as euronews.com reported a day after the vote, Brussels considers Orbán’s failure to be their victory.

October 7, 2016
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Guest
Not content with eroding democracy in Hungary by destroying its constitution with endless “amendments” Orbán is now hoping to do the same in the EU, as if he and he alone can call all the shots. His fight against cumpolsory re-settlement of refugees has very litle to do with an anti-muslim sentiment, and is all about the fact that he lost the referndum and, as his wife said, he cannot bear to lose anything. When he lost a previous election, he had a hissy fit and trashed his offfice before calling a state of emergency and organising his supporters to protest. Surely a unique instance of a government demonstrating against the people, rather than the normal protest of the public against a government. Hungary doing it back to front, as usual. So now his beef is not really about the quota, but rather about his inability to lose graciously. It will be interesting to see how far the EU lets him continue. And as for Navracsics, he has exposed to the EU the manner in which Fidesz operates – ie. flaunting all rules or regulations, icluding ones which it has helped to create in the first place, if it gets… Read more »
Observer
Guest

@time4change

The Fidesz Basic law was a legal stuff up at birth with it’s ideological preamble , its references to nonexistent “historical constitution”, etc. This “chiseled in granite” for eternity mish mash is being amended all the time, significantly at that , eg. the fourth amendment was 45 pages long, if I remember well.
Practically Hungary has no constitution to serve as a stable base for the process of legislation, the will of the leader proved to be just as weighty a base for the latter.
And this is a basic feature of a dictatorship.

Guest

Re: After the referendum..

An observation now can be such as ‘Hell hath no fury as a tinpot brooding’. ‘Losing graciously’ at this point is anathema. The goal now is to ‘save face’. Unfortunately, others will be forced to go to plastic surgeons…;-). More scars to be created and added on to the nation. At this point perhaps it can be said the whole country lives in a korhaz. Illness is palpable.

Geppo
Guest

The attitude of the european countries to mass immigration from africa ( that’s the real problem) is quite peculiar.
Some northern europe countries quietly closed their fronteers after playing the good guys till they imploded.
France and Spain have a tough attitude.
Spain continues the socialist politics of strongly defended walls and the navy contrasting immigrant boats without taking them on board,sending them back even in rough sea.
I don’t know about Belgium.
Switzerland,Austria and Germany closed their fronteers against the hundred thousands african immigrants that are ferried by european boats into Italy.
Unfortunately immigration became big business for onlus relief organization, coops and church relief structures. The italian government is in indebting itself hugely to pay for everything while the mafias and isis are becoming rich through this trafic that strangely the eurpean central authorities are promoting instead of investing in african development.

Guest

London Calling!

Unfortunately such is the reluctance of the EU to defend their ‘values’ that they will find a way to allow both parties to claim victory. Orban 1 Juncker 1.

Ditto Navracics.

Allowing Juncker et al – and now Hollande – to devote their time continuing dissing Great Britain while gagging GB. But scheming amongst themselves, nevertheless.

O/T on another matter:

Looks like Orban’s nominated fellow thug, Trump – racist, misogynist and thickko has finally gone terminal in his presidential campaign.

Alleyluya!

Ha! Ha!.HAaaaaaaaa! HAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Oh! Sto…… HAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa stop pleeeeeeeees ….HAAaaaaaaaaàa ……
Haaaaaaaa. STOPPPP!!!!!……. Haaaaaaaaaaaàaaàaaa…….
Ha! Ha!.HAaaaaaaaa! HAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Oh! Sto…… HAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa stop pleeeeeeeees ….HAAaaaaaaaaàa ……
Haaaaaaaa. STOPPPP!!!!!……. Haaaaaaaaaaaàaaàaa……

RIP

Trump!

Guest

I’d think they should put the fork in him. He’s done. Truly we have some event happenings going on in two parts of the world, East and West. One guy is an absolute dolt here and has the gall to go for the highest chair in the land. (cough cough holding throat). The other well he’s taking a page from Mr. Springsteen:

‘Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king and a king ain’t satisfied ’til he rules everything’

If this is what countries and societies can only muster for our ‘civilized’ political formations well perhaps we’re caught between a rock and a hard place. Some change sure has been afoot. And not for the better.

Guest

There been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Let’s keep hope alive a little longer?

Guest

Sam Cooke was murdered before his song became a hit …
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Change_Is_Gonna_Come

Guest

You’re onto something. Some ‘change’ trying to be implemented by ‘messengers’ simply and absolutely cannot be countenanced. When a country experiences life in complete stasis it’s hard to retrieve equilibrium.

Guest

Am I right? The new head of he UN was previously High Commissioner for Migrants?

bimbi
Guest

No, he was the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees

PALIKA
Guest

And Prime Minister of Portugal

bimbi
Guest

Business as usual, except that the boil on the backside of the EU – the Orban/Fidesz government – has started to suppurate. Orban (FAIL), armed with his jousting stick (referendum FAIL) is off to Brussels to look for some EU windmills. Yes, the EU has his measure but they must be embarrassed that like Mr. Punch he has popped up again, gallopy gallopy, “I am right. Rogan (LIES) and Navracsics (CORRUPTER OF THE JUDICIARY) are with me. Give me the money!”

In a time when wisdom, diplomacy and unity are at a premium, Orban espouses farce.

PALIKA
Guest

Can anyone please help by answering this question?

Will Hungary still be a member of the EU in 5 years from now?

webber
Guest

The only person who can answer that question is Viktor Orbán.

PALIKA
Guest

Well, maybe he knows, but it may not be entirely up to him. I was hoping for the input of those who are good at this kind of forecasting. My view for what it’s worth is yes, but I am far from sure.

webber
Guest
It is entirely up to Orbán. Since you doubt that, I will explain. Let’s assume that enough political parties in the EP are fed up with the Hungarian government’s behaviour and start the process to throw Hungary out of the EU. That will depend, naturally, on the reaction of Hungary’s government. If Orbán wants to keep Hungary in the EU, at that point he will address all criticisms coming from European countries, and correct all abuses committed by his own government. If he would prefer to keep on abusing his power, then it will be his own fault that Hungary is ejected. The other possibility is that Orbán himself decides to take Hungary out of the EU because by 2020 EU funding for Hungary will dramatically decrease (automatically). It will still come, but just not as much. And Orbán cannot help but know that Fidesz is incredibly unpopular, and could possibly lose an election if the election is held even with just a minimum of democratic norms. So, Orbán might decide that it is a perfect time to get out – through a vote by Parliament, not by citizens (he would lose such a referendum – a vast majority of… Read more »
webber
Guest
P.S. I personally believe that Orbán wants to take Hungary out of the EU. I have said that from time to time in comments here. Among many others, the sociologist György Csepeli also believes Orbán wants to take Hungary out of the EU and install an open dictatorship of the Russian sort (with elections that only Fidesz can win). He based that pessimistic prognosis on a comment Orbán made immediately after the referendum, which Csepeli sees as preparation for a confrontation with the EU. If Csepeli is right, Orbán will depict Brussels as a bully trying to push poor Hungarians around, and will use that as the excuse to hold a vote in Parliament to leave the EU (I think that for some favours, Jobbik would join Fidesz in voting for this – given a 2/3 majority). I am less certain than Csepeli, but think that all signs and all actions of the Fidesz government point in that direction. I am less certain, because everyone who is not insane in Fidesz knows that this step would be hugely unpopular with the population as a whole. So, there might be some resistance within Fidesz, but Orbán’s control over the party is… Read more »
pappp
Guest
Webber, For the record I totally agree with you. Orban has had enough of the nuisance (because honestly it isn’t much more) which is Brussels. Never mind the money he and his family and friends have stolen. if calculations are correct he and his friends have amassed a few billion EURs and Russia will allow Orban to get a cut from the oil and natural gas (he is already getting those) plus enriched uranium (ie. Paks 2). These are totally enough for Orban. Those are more than enough to constitute fuck you money. He viscerally hates the EU and has deep contempt for Western leaders and will do everything he can to get Hungary out of the EU. Remember Simicska’s falling out with Orban. It wasn’t just about the money. It was at least as much about a pivot to Russia and away from the EU. Orban wants to establish a Russian style system (we are almost there sans the killings – yet) and the Népszabadsag story is just one step. The Russian media situation is the envy of Orban and his circle and it let’s face it, it works perfectly in Russia. Soon, the situation will be the same… Read more »
Guest

You know looking at all the excitement it looks a tennis match 3 setter. I’m afraid the government’s up 6-0 …6-0 ….5-1…..It’s getting late to muster up a fight. I mean in order to compete you must match with equal intensity and and add on more of it for the run.

Guest

Re: that ‘Russian style’ system

Beats the heck out if me why Vlad’s land should be so emulated unless they want a regressive ancien regime to be raised on high and gloated on by the minions and serfs of the land. Rossiya surely isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the big country shed. And Magyarorszag wants to sit under their skirt?

Nothing like two boxers, a heavyweight and lightweight , hanging on the ropes to mask their great weaknesses. The dance they will do for the EU will be the CE ‘ropa-dope’.

Member

I also agree with all of this.

As the EU funding winds down, turning off the self enrichment fountain to Fidesz, exponentially, he’s opening the door to the east, Russia.

The EU is worthless to OV if it’s not shovelling money into his furnace. Next level plan for him is definitely get out soon. Get free of annoying EU laws, checks, balances and human rights violations, from the West, then back to business, Russian kick backs.

PALIKA
Guest

Well, clearly you understand the potential complexities involved in this political game. Short of asking OV, we can only rely on our intuition and experience of the subject. Where does that take us? Yes or no?
Incidentally Nepszabadsag has suspended its publication indefinitely. Almost 60 years to the day from its inception as successor to Szabad Nep.

webber
Guest

“Nepszabadsag has suspended its publication”
No, Nepszabadsag has not.
Fidesz has suspended its publication.

The difference is enormously important.
*I’m not throwing stones at you for this. I type too quickly here too, and sometimes put things badly as well.

webber
Guest

Closing Nepszabadsag is just more evidence that Orban intends to take Hungary out of the EU and install an open dictatorship consisting of one or two parties (two if Jobbik will join him – KDNP is not a party in reality, it is a fraction of Fidesz.). Heaven knows what that dictatorship will look like. Russia could be the model, but it could also be a copy of f the system that existed under Horthy, where there were some opposition parties but only the governing party could possibly win elections.

PALIKA
Guest

Yes, it does rather give support to your theory about OV’s intentions. He is not very imaginative and the Horthy model may well suit him and keep him in the EU because it may pass for acceptable in Brussels.
This is a very serious setback. Probably part of the payoff for the unsuccessful referendum and other damaging outcomes.

webber
Guest

Palika – it just struck me that you might have asked because you are thinking of moving (back?) to Hungary because you don’t want to live in a non-EU Britain.
For your own good, either stay in Britain or move to some other EU country. Britain even outside the EU will be more democratic and free than Hungary in it.

PALIKA
Guest

Clever thought but it never crossed my mind. Purely of academic interest and to open a discussion about what others thought.

Guest
‘Blinker’ is only too happy to diss his host nation – taking any negative sentiment on here to (mis)-match it to the completely unrelated society he lives in – making extremely tenuous links – and extreme extremely tenuous links to diss his host nation – and finding nothing remotely positive to say about his adopted country. ‘Off- beam’ and ingratitude are hallmarks of Blinker’s posts with overuse of the insult ‘cretin’ liberally sprinkled through them. But hey, this misjudging, mis-reading paranoia is understandable, when you realise that, like Orban, Blinker has chosen Trump over Clinton. Every Hungarian I have met here in London is appreciative of the opportunities they have had here – and having checked with them – none are fearful of Brexit. They report that all their British contacts have gone out of their way to reassure them that they are welcome here – because we too are disgusted by a small minority who have the brain of a pea and behave shockingly. But you’d never know it from Blinker’s perspective. And when a Hungarian neighbour has a wedding in Hungary – the groom’s black friend is made to feel extremely uncomfortable – because he is black, we… Read more »
Guest

And btw I believe Blinker is a woman.

PALIKA
Guest

You should be banned from thid blog. This remark is clear sexism. Added to your earlier virulent racism should earn you a lifetime ban. You hold yourself out as an honourable, decent, knowledgable English man. You are a disgrace and should leave this blog. Eva, please deal with this oaf.

PALIKA
Guest
It is a bit early in the day to be incoherent pissed, but I suppose it is Saturday. You are welcome to your Brexit. I think it is shortsighted, jingoistic, hugely damaging to the UK, but more importantly to Europe. It’s promoters and supporters are playing a dangerous game in bringing poverty and conflict to a land they profess to love. I suppose your confused garbage is a sign of a typical pro-Brexit mindset. The motives behind Brexit are varied. Mostly they are just daft, but the aspiring oligarchs do not want their day spoilt by the enforcement of strict procurement rules enforced by Judges they do no appoint and cannot influence. Hence the hysterical opposition to the ECJ’s jurisdiction which incidentally brought justice to part time workers who were denied their rights by the UK Government. The EU in its Part Time Worker Directive put part time workers on the same footing as their full time colleagues. When the UK implemented it they excluded most of those in the public sector. Why? Because they did not want the Government to pick up the cost. EU law sorted it out. When the EU made a directive to outlaw age discrimination… Read more »
Observer
Guest

Palika,
My guess is yes, with 75% certainty, because it’s in many oligarchs’ interest and the majority is for it too, for now. But it will be a tug of war all the way.
Decisive change in EU policies re corruption, human rights or core values can force the little pri.. to take clear stance one way or the other.

Guest

I don’t know what will happen between Hungary and the EU, but I am quite certain that what Orbán wants is domination over Europe, as well as in Hungary.
He will chivvy along the Visegrad4 to endorse his “counter-revolution” nonsense. He will do everything he can to undermine democratic systems with their checks and balances, and their stress on transparency and accountability.
He will do anything to cover up his criminal activities and corrupt fraternity, even if this means making a u-turn, temporarily, in order to pull the wool over the eyes of distant bureaucrats, as he has done now for numbers of years.
And who knows, but 5 years from now the EU itself might be a thing of the past, having been extinguished by their own inability to act swiftly and firmly when faced with a destructive element in their midst.

tappanch
Guest

The totalitarian dictatorship in Hungary strikes again !!!!

Today, in a coup, the Orban regime suspended the publication of Nepszabadsag, including its internet edition and fired the all of its 400 (?) journalists.

The largest daily of Hungary was taken over by the government financially , via proxies and in secret, a week ago.

http://nol.hu/

tappanch
Guest
tappanch
Guest

All of the investigative reports of Nepszabadsag about the crimes of Orban and its circle in the last years will be gone from the internet unless we downloaded them.

webber
Guest

They took it over just to close it, it seems.
The revelation of Rogán’s helicopter trips, and some hard-hitting stories recently must have been too much for them.

Guest

My wife just told me that a family member of hers knows a journalist/manager there who had been saying for the last half year that he expected something bad to come soon, a kind of Putsch – and that’s what it was!
Seems that everybody there was prepared for – something …

But we have known for some time that Fidesz is not too much into democratic and lawful procedures – they just are a kind of mafia brotherhood!

Ferenc
Guest

Incredible……………. This is really over any limit!!!!!!
And of course all happened during a period of transfer to another office location………..

webber
Guest

They closed Nepszabadsag n a Saturday, with no warning. So, what are they going to say to the subscribers? Will they give them a refund? A lot of money is at stake.
If they do not give a refund to subscribers, hope some lawyer takes them to court, and represents all subscribers on this. There is no doubt that if the subscribers brought a unified case, they would win. It could be a real hit to the Fidesz company that took over Nepszabadsag, just to close it.

PALIKA
Guest

Webber, the subscribers are the least of it.
It is the loss of newspaper that took investigative journalism seriously.
I wonder if Dimbelby will pick up on this in tonight’s programme. If Thorpe is his link person I doubt it.

webber
Guest

glaringly obvious comment

but an excellent observation on Dimbelby

pappp
Guest

This is just the beginning. It’s not only Népszabadsag that will close. There are a number of other media, however incosequential to politics which will go extinct in the next year.

webber
Guest

You might be right, but how do you know that?
Nepszabadsag was obvioius, because it had been purchased by a Fidesz company. Others are not owned by such companies.

pappp
Guest

I am certain that Orban is not stopping here.

Most of the critical media is loss making from Magyar Narancs to HVG to 444.hu.

Index.hu’s owner is being pressured and so on.

Since origo.hu is fervently pro-Fidesz its readership is about the same. People don’t care, they are attached to the brand, they eat up the shit.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

Guest

Re: The paper closed with ‘no warning’

Somebody save that ‘last’ copy. As the EU looks on they should not fool themselves of what they have in their ‘neighborhood’ and what they are seeing which is the slow erosion of critical and informational free speech in the society. As it continues, its supposed ‘servants’ will be shown to be the eventual stranglers of the nation. The country’s future looks to be a straitjacket if this continues.

pappp
Guest

And one more thing. Népszabadsag was already appeasing its new, and expected fidesznik owners. For long it was not a leftist, it was crypto-Fidesznik already. Yet, this wasn’t enough for Orban. It never is.

petofi
Guest

You must’ve hit the palinka early today, webber: any lawyer daft enough to move against the government would discover certain, extremely unlucky incidents in his life. That is, if he is left a ‘life’ to live…

As for compensation, you have a mightily short memory: do you not remember how the government-led Malev dealt with un-used tickets? Obviously not.

There is nothing to be done.

The closing of the paper is just another slap at the Hungarian people and Orban’s way of telling one and all to, “take it and like it”.

Observer
Guest

They are putting the roof over the fascist structure.

Charles Gray
Guest

The point the Commission and others are missing is that even if the result of the referendum did not oblige the Hungarian Government to refuse an EU refugee quota, nor did it prevent them from choosing to do so as an act of policy.

tappanch
Guest

If Mr Soros is reading this:

you can do a lot of good to Hungary if you start a new daily and employ the fired journalists of Nepszabadsag.

webber
Guest

Or if you give enough support to Nepszava to enable it to hire some of those journalists and turn into a larger paper. It is already a good paper, but could be a great one if it were beefed up.

Guest

tappanch?

Soros has given up on Hungary – he must be considering moving his CEU university – it’s only a matter of time before Orban lances the boil and makes it impossible to operate in BP.

Soros is a democrat – and must feel that Hungary has gone too far along the autocracy route to be retrieved.

And the hate mail he must get must be a tsunami.

He is safer in New York.

Try Voice of Europe?

tappanch
Guest

The last front page of Nepszabadsag (or at least half of it).

comment image

tappanch
Guest
pappp
Guest

Orban is planning the snap elections he wants to clear up the media situation beforehand.

Orban thinks if Putin could do it with “his” media then sure as shit he can do it too with his.

It’s actually gotten a bit embarrassing lately Putin and Erdogan (or their people who talk to Orban’s people) keep asking: Viktor, are you a pussy or what?

webber
Guest

How do you know that Erdogan and Putin, or their people, are talking like that?

pappp
Guest
That was sarcasm webber. They both did it: arresting/killing journalists, closing down media. They ended up totally controlling the media. Isn’t this what Orban wants too? I consider them both Orban’s role models. He and his ministers visit these countries so often it’s hard to keep track. Orban must feel inferior though, if they could get away with these then why can’t he? And yes good question why can’t he get away with it? I honestly don’t know. By now we know that he EU does not exist/will not do anything. Germany does not do anything either. The US is far away, so it won’t do a thing. The only country that cares is Russia and it really does. So Orban will get away with everything. Nobody will stop him. He lost with this referendum but he will show, he must show (as I know him) that he still has the upper hand. He has the most enjoyment when he sees liberals, leftists outraged. So nobody cares about Hungary and the local people who do are afraid and being controlled. Budapest is different but one swallow doesn’t a summer make (just as Istambul isn’t enough to force any changes in… Read more »
webber
Guest

Sorry!
Sarcasm is a bit harder to detect in print.

pappp
Guest

Please forget Soros. The Hungarian democracy cannot depend on a single elderly individual. He is disliked by many in Hungary, the government fuelled propaganda did work.

Other people, subscribers and readers, anti-Fidesz people need to get together and finance something, maybe Népszabadság, maybe something else.

I don’t think the yearly loss was such that it could not be financed by local Hungarians. It’s gonna be an uphill battle but unless people aren’t angry enough, nothing will happen. I try to see the positive side of it, arrogant dictators inevitably make outrageous moves which fuel their own opposition . Let’s hope this will be one such move.

webber
Guest

Oh, I don’t know… You are generalizing a bit too much again, I think.
Seems like you might move in Jobbik circles.
The people I talk with have come to hate Fidesz so much that they seem to think that anyone Fidesz hates must be okay. I am not saying they are representative, but that this too is an opinion in Hungary, and seems likely to become increasingly common.

pappp
Guest

With a perfect timing Hungarian government’s spokesman Zoltan Kovacs just gave an interview to Breitbart News (the media outlet of choice for Ambassador to DC Rita Szemerkenyi and other Orbanist people) supporting Trump.

http://444.hu/2016/10/08/epp-akkor-tort-ki-a-legnagyobb-botrany-trump-korul-amikor-kovacs-zoltan-a-filozofiajat-kezdte-dicserni

webber
Guest

🙂
This is for Kovacs and for Orban – personally – and in general for people here who have said they support Trump:
https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/2016/oct/08/robert-de-niro-id-like-to-punch-donald-trump-in-the-face-video

tappanch
Guest
Mária Vásárhelyi on facebook at 11:15: She blames the EU for financing the Orban dictatorship. “Köszönjük Európai Unió! Akármilyen fájdalmas is, nélküled Magyarország nem juthatott volna oda, ahol ma tart. Ha te nem finanszírozod Orbán diktatúrájának felépítését és működését, akkor az már régen összeomlott volna. Mert akármilyen fájdalmas is, a sajtószabadság egyik utolsó bástyáját, a Népszabadságot nem másból, mint az EU által számolatlanul és kontrollálatlanul ideöntött pénzből tudták megvásárolni a bűnöző állam bűnöző oligarchái. A Népszabadság soha nem volt olyan tisztességes, becsületes, színvonalas és bátor, mint az elmúlt néhány évben! Ezt elégelte meg a putyinsita, erdoganista hatalom! Úgy döntöttek kivégzik a lapot, mivel annak munkatársai következetesen küzdöttek a maffia állam maffiavezérei ellen. Ahelyett, hogy Rogán mondott volna le a sorozatos sorozatos korrupciós-ügyekben való érintettsége és a nyilvánvaló hazudozása miatt, azt az orgánumot hallgattatják el, amelyen következetesen tette a dolgát és harcolt az államot foglyul ejtő maffia ellen. Ilyen csak diktatúrákban fordulhat elő. Nemcsak a mi szégyenünk, hogy egy ilyen hatalom elnyomását tűrjük, hanem az EU-é is, hogy nemcsak eltűri hanem finanszírozza is ennek a maffiának a működését. Az EU tagországok állampolgárainak adóját egy diktatúra felépítésére és finanszírozására költik. Olyan diktatúrára, amelynek vezetője magát az EU-t is naponta becsapja és elárulja.… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

Fidesz vice chairman Szilard Nemeth:

“It was high time that Nepszabadsag shut down abruptly”
“I will not shed tears for Nepszabadsag”

http://hirtv.hu/ahirtvhirei/nemeth-szilard-udvozli-a-nepszabadsag-felfuggeszteset-1365410/

tappanch
Guest

The journalists of Nepszabadsag have called for a demonstration at 6 PM today on their new webpage:

https://www.facebook.com/nepszabadsagszerkesztoseg/

Istvan
Guest
The liquidation of Népszabadság is no doubt part of a Fidesz plan to tighten its control over the media as it relates to any type of investigative journalism. But it also reflects a worldwide collapse of the newspaper industry, It is probably true as has been published that Népszabadság has lost 74% of its sold circulation in the past 10 years, corresponding to more than 100,000 copies. The Chicago Tribune here where I live once a media giant has sold off its landmark building and its staff has been cut repeatedly. Here are just two articles on the collapse of the Tribune http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-maloney/tribune-decline-of-a-medi_b_273938.html and http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-gannett-tribune-publishing-offer-0608-biz-20160607-story.html For those of us who believe investigative journalism on both the right and left is critical for democracy this situation is tragic. On Eva’s quote from JC Juncker, now flipping positions on mandatory quotas. His addiction to drInk has obviously impaired his judgement, how he has not been removed from his position is simply beyond me. He gives a major speech that included backing off of mandatory quotas and then he retreats. First he weakens the stance of the EU on the issue, then he tries yet again to be the tough guy. I am… Read more »
webber
Guest

Until it was closed today Nepszabadsag was the most widely read daily in Hungary. Its circulation beat every other paper’s. Indeed, it may have had more circulation than all the other dailies put together.

Reality Check
Guest

Tappanch reported that “Fidesz vice chairman Szilard Nemeth:

“It was high time that Nepszabadsag shut down abruptly”
“I will not shed tears for Nepszabadsag””

Recently Szilard announced he was going after Soros supported NGO’s.
http://budapestbeacon.com/featured-articles/senior-fidesz-official-calls-for-investigation-into-ngos-supported-by-soros/39849

Several small investigative journalism organizations are Soros funded. So, I expect small independent media organizations, like Atlatszo.hu, are also in the government’s sights.

Istvan
Guest
The sudden elimination of employees became standard practice here in the USA. That is why the WARN act was passed, but that law can be and has been circumvented. There are actually companies that provide consulting on layoffs that recommend shock and awe layoffs. I have no doubt Eva and Webber are correct about the political basis for the closure. But none the less the problem is mass distribution newspapers have not found a way to make money on digital editions as print fades. This is on a world scale. If the newspaper is very tight on its digital edition it losses stature, if it is too lose and open it loses money on advertising on its print edition as people switch to free internet editions. Outlet’s like this blog will become more and more critical in the future. As the Mafia state tightens its grip more and more news for Hungarians will have to be based off shore. As China has shown, it’s impossible to effectively block all of this due to things like proxies servers and organizations like the Anonymous group. I mean if a subgroup of Anonymous (AnonSec) can penetrate gaining access to a US Global Hawk… Read more »
Guest

The closure of Nepszabadsag already made it into the international media:
http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/ungarn-groesste-oppositionszeitung-nepszabadsag-eingestellt-a-1115770.html
The Austrian media report on it too of course.

Re Hungary leaving the EU:

I don’t think this will happen – after the expected turmoil of Brexit people will see too clearly what leaving the EU means for them. The expected breakdown of the economy after the “Bad Global companies” leave Hungary would be too much for even most Fidesz hardliners – and a Civil War?.

tappanch
Guest

Political dailies in Hungary, 1st semester 2016.

printed copies; “actively purchased” copies

Népszabadság 46 896; 37 563
Népszava 23 387; 10 793
Magyar Nemzet 30 559; 19 132
Magyar Demokrata 19 000; 8 540

Local dailies (Fidesz obtained most of them on September 30, 2016)

Békés Megyei Hírlap 16 061; 14 601
Délmagyarország 37 146; 34 506
Dunaújvárosi Hírlap 5 983 ; 5 184
Észak-Keleti Napló 36 420; 34 668
Fejér Megyei Hírlap 32 885; 30 129
Heves Megyei Hírlap 10 125; 8 946
Kisalföld 60 725; 56 792
Petőfi Népe 18 098; 16 390
Somogyi Hírlap 16 348; 15 337
Szabad Föld 83 291; 71 327
Tolnai Népújság 11 162; 10 448
Új Dunántúli Napló 22 764; 20 872
Vas Népe 42 638; 40 346
Zalai Hírlap 41 409; 39 383

Fidesz & Szeles-owned Magyar Idok & Hirlap do not allow themselves to be audited about the number of papers they are able to sell.

Source:
http://matesz.hu/oldalak/adatok/publikus-adatok

tappanch
Guest

Compare the previous numbers with the 1st semester 2013 [2010] data:

Népszabadság 61 506; 49 995 [91 719; 75 117]
Népszava 29 864; 15 330 [30 834; 17 895]
Magyar Hírlap 14 586; 8 157 [27 569; 14 393]
Magyar Nemzet 55 472; 37 007 [63 722; 48 391]
Magyar Demokrata 21 657; 9 910 [27 230; 14 993]

http://matesz.hu/oldalak/adatok/publikus-adatok?halfyear=2013/1
http://matesz.hu/oldalak/adatok/publikus-adatok?halfyear=2010/1

tappanch
Guest

Correction: the data above referred to the 1st QUARTER of 2016 data (non-audited).

Second quarter of 2016, non-audited data:

Népszabadság 47 764 ; 36 938
Népszava 22 530; 10 377
Magyar Demokrata 19 000; 8 305
Magyar Nemzet 28 586; 17 095

tappanch
Guest

Change of printed copies, 2016 vs 2013 change (1st semesters):

Népszabadság: -26.0%
Népszava: -24.6%
Magyar Nemzet: -48.0% (G-day!)
Magyar Hírlap: secret

Ferenc
Guest

So in short: the most* selling daily newspaper is closed down, because it’s not able to be profitable, while others kcan keep running.
Hum, interesting, could use some serious checked by experienced investigators.

*unfortunately 2 daily’s could not be taken into account because not allowing to be auditted

tappanch
Guest

Most of the income of Magyar Hirlap & Idok comes from government ads.

In other words, Orban gives undisclosed amount of taxpayer’s money to newspapers that do not disclose how many people they can reach.

Ferenc
Guest

Again (always those typos).
So in short: the most* selling daily newspaper is closed down, because it’s not able to make profit, while others can keep running.
Hum, interesting, could use some serious checking by experienced investigators.

*unfortunately 2 daily’s could not be taken into account because not allowing to be auditted

pappp
Guest

Orban’s goal is to lead Hungary out of the EU.

How this will be achieved is yet unknown.

He may engineer a Turkey-like state of emergency (perhaps with Russian assistance) that will be kicked out of the EU or simply he will direct the government to do so or via a managed referendum, it doesn’t matter.

Orban basically has two years until he can fill his already full pockets, after that he simply has no use for the EU. Why on earth would he want to stay?

After that the Russian energy monies will be enough to keep him in control for ever and the EU will be history.

tappanch
Guest

The funds from the 2014-2020 7-year cycle will arrive until the end of 2022. This is the date when Orban withdraws from the EU unless he gets enough money in the 2021-2027 cycle or the majority of the EU countries become dictatorships like his own.

Geppo
Guest

It’s impossible that Greece, Hungary,Poland,Italy etc leave Europe because they are Europe.
It ‘s the present confused eu leadership that are going to leave.
Mr Barroso’s job with a financial group who took part in the massive attack against european economy should teach our countries to reform the present eurocracy.

Jean P.
Guest

Trace the money. The take over and close down of Nepszabadsag was most likely financed by stolen money.

tappanch
Guest

Tv2 pattern.

State_owned bank gives money to Orban’s proxy to buy and rape a piece of commercial media with large circulation.

The inmates have taken over the asylum, gangsters have conquered an entire country.

Thé story started in 1993, when Orban and his friends were not charged for their first financial crime.

Paul
Guest
Although the closing of Népszabadság is a shock (perhaps it shouldn’t have been?), I still think Orbán will not take Hungary out of the EU. And, after the Brexit farce, the EU certainly won’t kick ANY country out! Orbán is not a dictator (even if he would like to be), he doesn’t have the toughness or intelligence to be one. He is a clever chancer, he knows (mostly) how far he can push things and what he can get away with. He’s a successful gambler and a good reader of people’s (and the people’s) base instincts, fears and desires. He is also wary of Putin. He likes him as a ‘friend’ and supporter, and he likes playing the USSR 2 game, trying to scare the EU, and he thinks of himself as Putin-like. But he didn’t get to where he is today by being an idiot (or mad), and he knows damn well that if he ditches the EU, not only will the money dry up, but so too will his power and freedom of movement – he will become Putin’s puppet, totally in his power. Orbán likes pulling the EU’s tail, he enjoys the power and the notoriety, he’s… Read more »
Paul
Guest

Click on ‘read more’ and you get paragraphs!

webber
Guest

You assume Orban is sane, and acts in a logical manner, and therefore you think he will keep Hungary in the EU because that is best. I believe he is severely mentally unstable, and wants to take Hungary out of the EU regardless.

I cannot convince you that he is insane. I would just suggest you keep your mind open to the possibility that he is severely mentally ill.

PALIKA
Guest

Thank you for helping answering my question. Unanimous stay. I agree

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