Are the bureaucrats of Brussels afraid of Orbán as the Devil is of incense?

The pro-government Hungarian media triumphantly announced today that Martin Schulz, president of the European Union, who had been described earlier as the greatest enemy of Viktor Orbán, has finally come to the conclusion that the Hungarian prime minister represents the majority opinion within the European Union and therefore must be handled with kid gloves. At least this is what MTI reported from Passau, where Jens Stoltenberg, Donald Tusk, and Martin Schulz participated in a debate on “Menschen in Europa.”

One must understand that for years the right-wing media has been after Martin Schulz as well as, more generally, all those EU parliamentary caucuses on the left that are not exactly friends of Viktor Orbán’s illiberal democracy. One of the ugliest portraits of Schulz appeared in 888.hu, combining bits and pieces of half-truths about his career. And Pestisrácok.hu discovered at the end of September that a number of liberal and green delegates led by Barbara Spinelli of Italy on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group suggested a parliamentary discussion on the situation in Hungary regarding the anti-immigrant propaganda campaign. “The left wing of the European Parliament thirsts for revenge because of the forthcoming referendum,” pestisrácok.hu concluded.

The Hungarian government was undoubtedly irritated that Schulz refused to take the referendum seriously. He rightly considered it a domestic issue with little or no bearing on European affairs. He warned Budapest that “it should take seriously that it was not a majority” that voted at the referendum–that is, that the referendum was not valid. So it was with a certain amount of glee that MTI reported from Passau that Schulz had become a dove as far as his attitude toward Orbán is concerned.

The topic of the debate was the relationship between NATO and the European Union, specifically the defense of the borders. Donald Tusk also emphasized the necessity of defending “the last liberal democracy” that exists in Europe. But MTI, not surprisingly, concentrated on an answer Martin Schulz gave to a question from the floor: “When will the patience of Europe run out vis-à-vis Hungary, whose government in an indirect manner is responsible for the closing of the last opposition paper?” According to the MTI report, Schulz said that Viktor Orbán’s opinion that “the European Union wants to substitute a European cultural amalgam for national identities” is in his opinion wrong, but it must be taken seriously because by now it has become a majority opinion within Europe. One must find opportunities for a dialogue with the people whom Orbán represents instead of punishing them, which would only result in giving them an opportunity to feel that they are being victimized. He suggested “an open debate on the question of what kind of cultural identity nations possess within the united Europe.” The worst possible solution would be “to label all those who ask this question outcasts.”

This MTI report from Passau was greeted with jubilation in the pro-government press. Magyar Idők recalled Barbara Spinelli’s September 26 call for a debate on Hungary at the full session of the European Union, but after the referendum they scrapped the idea because “they didn’t want to give the Hungarian prime minister an opportunity to express his views on the subject.” But new winds are blowing now in Brussels. Schulz admitted that Viktor Orbán represents the opinion of the majority on the migrant issue. “If Schulz is not careful he will be considered a supporter of Orbán.” Magyar Idők is certain that the bureaucrats in Brussels “have recognized that when Viktor Orbán appears with the 3.3 million ‘no’ votes in his satchel a very unfavorable turn of events will take place from their point of view.” And “they dread the moment when the Hungarian prime minister says in the European Parliament what people think. Not only the Hungarians but—to quote Schulz—the majority of Europeans.” The title of the article is “They are afraid of him as the Devil is of incense.” So much for Schulz’s dialogue.

incense

Today, Gergely Gulyás responded to Schulz’s soothing words, which he considered “an important step forward.” But he lamented the fact that the European Parliamentary Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, where the left and liberal members are “in a depressing majority,” still want compulsory quotas without any upper limit. The Hungarian government appreciates Schulz’s call for dialogue, but “we would find it helpful if the socialist president of the European Parliament would try to curb the political extremism espoused by the majority of representatives in his own delegation.”

Government critics are not at all pleased with Schulz’s statements, especially in light of recent developments at home. Most people on the democratic side are convinced that no dialogue can be conducted with a dictator, and they consider Viktor Orbán a man who by now for all practical purposes is an autocrat with unlimited power. Nothing can happen in the country without his approval, and if the courts find some of the acts of the government illegal, in no time the laws are changed. According to them, Hungary is no longer a democracy and the European Union should recognize this fact.

More and more people are coming to the conclusion that in the last six years Viktor Orbán has created a political system that cannot legally be replaced. No opposition, no matter how well prepared, intelligent, and diligent, can remove Viktor Orbán from power. He might remain in office for the next twenty years unless something drastic happens. Can the European Union allow such a rogue state to remain within its borders? What if other countries in the region with weak democratic traditions follow Orbán’s example? Should the leading politicians in the EU worry about Orbán’s sensitivities when at home he mercilessly crushes his opposition? I don’t think so.

October 12, 2016
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dos929
Guest

I wonder what Mr. Schulz’s reaction would be reading this and all previous blogs and comments… Whatever the EU may do from now on about Orban it will be too late and too little. They, we and everyone that opposing this filthy regime must admit defeat… Defeat of democracy and defeat for the Hungarian people who have been excluded from any decision making process defining their own lives….

u-2016
Guest

dos929 – I like to read your sensible posts.
Don’t be discouraged.
Strong nations and people have been wiped out by the mighty State of Russia in the course of a cursed history.
Hungary’s problem is not the regime, but the choke hold of that ultra force.
We need unity to extricate ourselves from this trap.
The living has to fight for the memories of our brothers and sisters who were murdered by a long series of brutal plots.

Guest

It has to be evident that the EU is averse to the intense sweet smell. But more to the point of the EU, it must pay attention to this. More and more Rossiya has tended to tie in actions from another country with its ‘intrinsic’ interests. The example is Ukraine tied up in string by Mr. Putin. It is virtually impossible now to separate ‘interests’ to a successful outcome.

Looking to Magyarorszag and its apparently cozying relationship to Rossiya one would have to think the same set of affairs can occur in the cauldron of CE. Rossiya surely has ‘interests’ in VO’s land. It is foolish to think Mr. Putin will not take advantage of this grand strategy. For perhaps one day when the EU rails against Orban others will take it as an affront and an attack on a ‘fraternal’ brother due to co-mingling ‘interests’. Besides consternation that would also send up to another level the gaping hole between the EU and some of its member states. The EU needs to be sharp here and be on its mettle. Big trouble can be up ahead.

u-2016
Guest

wrfree/ricardo – I agree with you. You are on the right track. We hope that the Balogh – Blog will adopt your thoughts.

Guest

You know all of us don’t have to be Nostradamus but we’ve been around long enough to see when things don’t fly. This place is like Prof Balogh’s Magyar Pool Hall. …;-)…The cues and balls are all set up and then bam after the great pieces come out ideas and opinions go flying all over the place. And then come the ‘rebounds’ Maybe some will stick and open up light to the shroud enveloping the country. To take a baseball adage, it seems to be ‘getting late early’ in the 21st.

And btw Connie Mack has been getting too too many ‘walks’ over there in DC. Some Washington er ‘senators’ need to give him some ‘chin music’ when he’s in the batter’s box. He gets ‘on base’ too easily…..;-)…

Andy
Guest

Hungarian opposition is not protesting and demonstrating in Brussels.
It has potentially the most powerful ally right there all in one place and easily accessible but does not know how to reach the ears and hearts of the decision-makers there.

The Hungarian opposition is lazy, ineffective, lacks creative planning and coherent planning of any pro-active role, leaving all leadership and planning to Fidesz.

The Hungarian opposition is in full reactive mode only which means it is on the defensive at best. All in the meanwhile it has 27 counties as potential ALLIES.

Geppo
Guest

Marianne.net is an intelligentbfrench socialist magazine which is critical of the european left tendency to refuse basic “popula” needs in exchange for big business and banks hiding behind politically correct.
The EU leadership has been already successful in dismissing Gb which is not against european workers but against unlimited immigration from africa completely at local workers’ expenses.
Specially where in Europe unemployment and economical crisis are high the visegrad group attitude is considerad logical at ordinary people level.

Do you imagine what could happen to the confused unpopular EU leadership if hungary,poland or austria should be compelled to get out of the EU system ?

Fotonok
Guest
The EU will never intervene. Orban knows this and the EU bureaucrats just don’t care. Hungary is far away for them. Why would a Spanish or Danish bureaucrat who is worried about his tax free salaries, interest free mortgages or spots in an elite pre-school give a damn about poor Hungarians? “Bunch of **** losers who always give us work with their antics? Hungarians should grow the **** up up and produce shit and trade it, that’s what the EU is all about”. But mostly its just substitute work, passing the days pretending to do something, attending meetings (the more meetings you have the more busy you have and more important you feel) and sipping those lovely lattes – to earn that tax free money. The EU lacks real legitimacy (I mean when was the last time a US state, even better a US politician wanted to secede and when was the last time an EU member state or an EU politician did so?) and its bureaucrats know this well. They can’t risk entering controversial political issues in far flung places and so they won’t. In Sebrenica thousands were literally slaughtered while Dutch peacekeeper spent their well-prepared, balanced nutritioned breakfast.… Read more »
Guest

London Calling!

Appease, appease, appease.

The fools of the EU – and they wonder why the tragedy of Brexit occurred.

Fools.

Just as Chamberlain appeased Hitler.

Vikta DiktaOrban won’t stop now. He’s on a run – on an unstoppable wave.

“More and more people are coming to the conclusion that in the last six years Viktor Orbán has created a political system that cannot legally be replaced.”

Looks like the reluctant naysayers constituency is getting bigger – when they’d prefer it got smaller. With only the more optimistic still finding the energy to remonstrate with them.

The debate on here has increasingly focussed on ‘extra-parliamentary’ means with webber, rightly, decrying the solution of bloody revolution.

But it looks increasingly likely – if distant – while Nero Schulz plays his fiddle.

Chief Floundering Fool.

Guest

I always enjoy your pictures, Eva! But I think an incense burner in the form of a thurible would frighten the devil more, than an allusion to the 70s ‘decadent’ hippy era – which the devil would surely revel in!

Guest

Re: ‘afraid of him as the Devil is of incense

Just as an aside Vik in a way looks to be accommodated to the burning incense. For when it burns that’s where he can hide and lurk behind the inevitable smoke which spews and curls forth. He adds the mirrors for effect. Can’t say he isn’t learning to be a magician.

Guest

Really shocked and disappointed by Mr. Schulz’s remarks.
It seems he was absent from his history class when the lesson was about Prime Minister Chamberlain, and his appeasement policy towards Hitler , and look where that got Europe!

One does not appease monsters.

Guest

Snap!

PALIKA
Guest
Chamberlain has been assessed and reassessed many times. It is apparently pretty clear that Hitler’s failure to comply with the terms of the Versailles treaty did not draw the appropriate early response which might have stopped him in his tracks. At that crucial stage Baldwin was the UK PM. Churchill was a loud advocate of a hardline response which fell on deaf ears. By the time Chamberlain became PM any realisation that war with Hitler was inevitable was qualified by the realisation of the UK’s military unpreparedness. What followed was playing for time whilst preparing for war. Before Munich in 1938 Chamberlain wanted genuinly to avert another war, which was in accordance with the national sentiment. He was a very decent man and deeply troubled my the impending doom. It was he who declared war on 3/9/39 on Hitler. When he left office in 1940 and until his death shortly afterwards he supported Winston in his determination to resist Hitler whatever the cost. Halifax, who was Winston’s rival for the job, would have done a deal even in 1940. Does the Schulz want to open up another front when the daft English are hell bent on destroying Europe as well… Read more »
Guest

Completely O/T

Anyone who watched – or listened to in my case – the second debate and heard Trump deny physically putting his ‘locker banter’ into practice when challenged by the moderator, knew he had just primed a time bomb.

Just a matter of watch and wait – in the UK we have seen the mechanism unfurl too often with our predatory pop industry, where the chickens are coming home to roost too.

The wonder and dignity of female revenge is just a wonder! Well done. Perfect timing to deliver the last final fatal blow.

Trump has said it will have been an awful waste of his time and money if he fails.

Alleyluya.

“It’s the women what won it!” (To parody a famous Sun headline this side of the pond.)

Guest

Just a codicil! In the UK there is no statute of limitations on these types of assaults – and with so many coming forward there would almost certainly be criminal proceedings.

W can but hope.

Guest

“What if other countries in the region with weak democratic traditions follow Orbán’s example?” Poland was the first to follow and there could be more in the future, possibly from the Visegrad Group becoming an increasingly tighter group and within which Poland and Hungary have a clear anti-EU stance.

Ultimately, I would not be surprised to see the EU reshaped in some years time with the original EU15 and maybe a few more Central-European or Baltic states but without the rogue states. Or maybe not since the EU is nothing but an empty political shell which boasts about its supposedly positive values, yet whose only goal seems to be the single market (with the additional TTIP and CETA agreements the citizens don’t want but which will be imposed one way or another); and a reservoir of cheap labor force for Germany’s manufacturing sector – such a successful economy but also a society with one of the lowest birth rates in Europe.

Guest

Re: the ‘single market’

If I’m not mistaken the set up of the EU was predicated more on a unity based on economics rather than on any other reason for a coming together. Perhaps simply an update based on modern mercantilism. Today though we see how fragile the relationships have become and ‘centers’ cannot hold. The EU must reassess where they are in this upheaval. They are giving too much rope to get themselves hanged by hanged by new leaders who see another ‘star’ on the horizon. It comes as a big piros csillag. Moscow is the new Bethlehem. Orban leads the Magi.

Guest

Yes! It used to be called the EEC. The ‘European Economic Community’ which became more integrated Maastricht.

But it’s all over now baby blue!

(And Robert Zimmerman has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature!)

PALIKA
Guest

The future of the EU is difficult to predict. Brexit and other manifestations of xenophobia in Europe clearly present problems for an international organisation based on cooperation and freedom of movement. “It’s all over now” is one of the possible outcomes, but far from certain or even likely.
We live in dangerous times and the appointment to his job of the bellicose Foreign Minister of the UK is just one of the indications that the UK is entering on a dangerous path. I hope we have an early election and we can send the English xenophobes packing.

Guest

Re: ‘(And Robert Zimmerman has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature!)’

And he said he was just a ‘song and dance man!’
We have to thank him for Mr. Tambourine Man, Like a Rolling Stone, My Back Pages, Visions of Johanna, Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, Love Minus Zero to only name a few. Such great poetry married with music. I’d think Mr. Gollner up there in the North would concur it was a great choice since I recall in a post it came across that he liked Dylan’s work and understood it. I think he’d agree as well as others who esteem literature and poetry with what Rushdie said of Dylan. He was ‘a brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition’. For that the music player will be on all day today in honor of the modern ‘Bard’ of poetry meshed with music.

Guest

His news brings a welcome respite to the tawdry stuff coming from the US at the moment.

His music was more than just genius.

It was the background track to our lives – even if his song writing has tailed off a bit.

The head of the Nobel prize committee insisted that Blonde on Blonde was the best LP!

Could be. But I think it has increased the respect worldwide for the inventer of dynamite’s organisation.

PALIKA
Guest

He is another example of how much American music and entertainment world owes the Russian/Ukrainian/Belorussian Jews.
Berlin, Gershwin, Kirk Douglas etc, and the Hungarian ones Houdini, Toni Curtis, Molnar, Korda x3,

Guest

You shouldn’t forget maths and physics – the atom bomb wouldn’t have been built without von Neumann, Teller, Szilard and the others …

And even Nobel Prize winner Fermi left Italy because he feared for his Jewish wife.

So it’s Mussolini and Horthy’s fault that the Allies won the war against Hitler!

PALIKA
Guest

You may be right but I just wanted to think about the lovies

Guest

wolfi: ” .. the atom bomb wouldn’t have been built without von Neumann, Teller, Szilard and the others …”

…and EU’s nuclear option would not have existed without them.

Observer
Guest

G. Cukor in Hollywood.

Guest

I’ve been a great fan of Bob for more than fifty years now – you probably can’t imagine what his music (and the texts he sang!) meant for us students in reactionary Germany fifty years ago …

Thanks again, Mr Zimmerman!

PALIKA
Guest

How right you are.

Guest

Re: ‘I’ve been a great fan of Bob for more than fifty years now – you probably can’t imagine what his music (and the texts he sang!) meant for us students in reactionary Germany fifty years’

For sure and well said. And may I say I got a feel of it on Margitsziget way back as well. It wasn’t with Dylan but with the Beatles.
Making a day of it there one weekend afternoon we brought their lp’s and 45’s and played them as loud as heck. Slowly but surely we could see more and more the gathering increasing around us as the songs played. Problem was as the day got hotter the records started to melt! Well I ruined a couple of records but to see everybody getting into the music was just great. I and the listeners around us sure were lucky. What a day it was as we continued on to a ‘hazibuli’.

Guest

”Schulz admitted that Viktor Orbán represents the opinion of the majority on the migrant issue.”

Then he admitted something that may be wrong. Orban’s opinion on the migrant issue has been documented by the blue billboards. I doubt that the majority of Europeans refuse to call refugees what they are and refuse to help them. I can’t imagine that the majority of Europeans subscribe to the infamy of Orban’s campaign.
If the majority of Europeans really think the same way as Orban then Schulz and Co. should tell the majority that they are wrong in stead of telling Orban that he is right. Hate deserves no respect.

william
Guest

ATV’s main shareholder and ultimate decider Sándor Németh (who is also the leader of the Hit Gyülekezete Christian Evangelist Church) is a now a confirmed fan of Orban’s.

Sandor Friderikusz, the TV showmen, producer who talked with Németh says so.

Also, ATV is seen by 250k people at most, it’s reach is thus pretty minuscule.

So this is the media on which the future of the smart left-wig opposition depends.

http://index.hu/kultur/media/2016/10/13/orban_egykoron_nem_rendelt_volna_propagandariportokat_a_tv2-tol/

Ovdiu
Guest

“Schulz admitted that Viktor Orbán represents the opinion of the majority on the migrant issue..:”

Perhaps he relied on this study :

New study of 12 European countries has revealed how far anti-immigrant, nationalist, and authoritarian attitudes have spread from the political fringes.
Nearly Half The Adults In Britain And Europe Hold Extremist Views

https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/extreme-views-are-becoming-the-mainstream-in-britain-and-eur?utm_term=.cdnQLJO3b#.ruvMvLN5o

Guest

I haven’t seen anything on this except that Schulz said:

We have to be strict against Russia but open for a dialogue …
And if you look at his homepage there you’ll find:

Teile ihrer einzelstaatlichen Souveränität haben sie diesen Organen übertragen, damit in bestimmten Angelegenheiten von gemeinsamem Interesse auf europäischer Ebene demokratische Entscheidungen getroffen werden können. Diese Zusammenführung der Souveränität wird auch als “Europäische Integration” bezeichnet.

The EU is not just an economic institution – he says it quite clearly:

The states gave up part of their sovereignty to the EU!
http://www.martin-schulz.eu/europa/die-europ%C3%A4ische-union.html

Istvan
Guest
My answer to Eva’s question is yes they are afraid of Orban and also his friend Putin. There were other aspects of the discussion held at Passau, Germany that were equally disturbing to me as were those of European Parliament President Martin Schulz in relationship to Hungary. In particular NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had very weak knees in relationship to Russia in my opinion. It’s clear Stoltenberg recognizes a new threat from Russia when according to the transcript he says: “So first of all I think I have to just understand that we have seen a Russia which has really invested heavily in their defense capabilities over several years. Since 2000 they have tripled defense spending in real terms and during the same period Europe has decreased defense spending. We have seen that they have developed new capabilities, they have deployed more troops but of course most the most concern is connected to the fact that they have actually been willing to use force against neighbors. Ukraine, Crimea but also actually in Georgia, and they also have troops in Moldova against the will of the Moldavian government. So they have, we see a more assertive Russia, we see a… Read more »
Guest

Re: ‘Both Schulz and Stoltenberg are highly compromised social democrat politicans who fear Russia and actually fear dictators like Orban’

Just curious if they have seen say any NATO classified or secret documents on the extent of what Russian military aggressiveness would give them in a quick flash-type conflict. From what I have read NATO forces would be hard pressed in containing Russian divisions in an initial onslaught. It would not necessarily mean Russia would win the ‘war’ but give the all-important initiative to them in following up with tactical maneuvers.

Who knows? Perhaps their ‘fear’ is based on realitues that are very difficult to ignore if a conflict rears its head between Russua and Europe erupts. They might be the European ‘deer in the headlights’ who refuse to see some unpalatable consequences
when dealing with an aggressive Russia.

Observer
Guest

The EU leaders are not afraid , they just pass their tenure time, cut their little deals and in a pang of guilty conscience utter some criticism.
Their activities give ample justification to the far right’s claims that democracy is weak, inefficient and incapable of resolving people’s problems.
Their handling of the Orban’s fascist “light” regime, which is hiding behind the gutted facades of democracy, is an encouragement to other budding dictators riding the waves of discontent.
The blood poisoning has started, intervention is late, if at all, and the amputation of rotten states may be necessary in order to save the EU. History may tell about the petty pols who fiddled in Brussels while fire was spreading from the outskirts to engulf the whole city.

Istvan
Guest

On the existing Cold War with Russia I would recommend reading today’s Olga Rotenberg, AFP article titled “Russian rhetoric is increasingly pointing toward war.” Jens Stoltenberg is operating in an alternative universe if he believes a Cold War and arms race can be avoided with Russia. The choice comes down to confrontation with all the risks inherent in it or gradual surrender to Putin.

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