Orbán came home from the summit empty-handed

Viktor Orbán has had a very busy schedule in the last few days. He paid a visit to Munich, where the socialist members of the Bavarian parliament (Landtag) were less than thrilled with the Hungarian prime minister’s appearance among them as he talked about his country as “a land of liberty which has never tolerated and never will tolerate occupation, repression, and dictatorship.” In perhaps the most outrageous remark of the speech, he compared closing the country’s borders to the refugees to opening its borders for the East Germans in 1989. Both were for the defense of European freedom, he claimed.

A day later Orbán gave a long interview to the Passauer Neue Presse. What first caught my eye was his attempt to prove that the enormous amount of EU subsidies Hungary receives is but a fraction of what Hungary lost by opening its markets to western companies. In the past only the far right espoused this economic fiction, but now it has been adopted by the prime minister of the country himself. As he put it, “Hungary is being overrun” by the economically strong nations of the European Union which “make a lot of money in Hungary at the expense of Hungarians.” The cohesion funds do not fully counterbalance these losses. Of course, this is absolute rubbish. We can only imagine what would have happened to Hungary if its government had closed the country’s borders to foreign capital and know-how in 1989. I also wonder what the managements of Mercedes-Benz and Audi think when they hear this complaint. After all, a good chunk of Hungary’s GDP comes from the Hungarian plants of these two car manufacturers.

It always amuses me when Viktor Orbán decides to show off his knowledge of history. Let’s savor this sentence: “Hungary has a healthy attitude toward Muslims and respects Islam because it civilized a very difficult part of the world.” Perhaps Orbán was playing hooky when his history teachers talked about the great civilizations of Mesopotamia and Persia.

In Orbán’s static worldview countries that accept Muslim immigrants “will face an entirely different world in 15 to 20 years” because “Muslims have more children than we Europeans.” No one disputes that Middle Eastern families are on average larger than European families, but it is also true that over time immigrants become increasingly acculturated to the majority population in thinking and behavior.

To Orbán’s mind, countries like Germany that accept immigrants entertain a notion he calls “social romanticism,” which I find difficult to interpret. In his opinion, German politicians today “artificially want to change the composition of the population.” He, on the other hand, is dead against any kind of immigration because Hungary is not a country with a history of immigration. Really? I often think of the enormous number of Hungarian surnames that reek of Magyarization of fairly recent vintage, names that were, in many cases, originally either German or Slovak.

Viktor Orbán's press conference after the summit MTI / Photo bey Gergely Botár

Viktor Orbán’s press conference after the summit
MTI / Photo bey Gergely Botár

Viktor Orbán also went to the summit in Brussels, his mind firmly made up. Currently, his top concern is the migrants and his fight not only against compulsory quotas but against all refugees. They would, he contends, introduce an alien culture and a dilution of what he considers to be a uniform ethnicity. He has a couple of other goals in addition to the migrant issue, but he hasn’t been at all successful in the last two and a half years in convincing the European Council of the efficacy of his suggestions. One is lifting sanctions against Russia; the other, lifting visa requirements for Ukrainian citizens. Sanctions remained, as Orbán had to admit after the summit, because of Russia’s interference in the Syrian civil war. The Ukrainian visa issue just gets postponed from meeting to meeting.

His most important demand was the withdrawal of the earlier decision on compulsory quotas, but Jean-Claude Juncker refused to abrogate the earlier decision. For the time being Orbán escaped the onerous task of signing something he swore he would never sign. What he really hoped for was the complete erasure of the former decision, which he considers illegal. But he failed.

There was another development that may not have been noticed by the casual observer. The document that the prime ministers signed contained a paragraph about the speedier dispersion of asylum seekers among the member states. Hungary and Slovakia attached minority opinions to this particular point. Only Hungary and Slovakia? What happened to Poland and the Czech Republic? I consider the Visegrád 4’s lack of solidarity on this issue a definite setback for Orbán.

Finally, Orbán apparently suggested the removal of refugees and so-called economic migrants to refugee centers outside the European Union. This suggestion seems to me a variation of the plan he tried to sell at the mini-summit in Vienna on October 3–for the EU to set up a giant refugee camp in Libya under EU jurisdiction. This plan was vetoed. Moreover, a few days after the meeting one of the European Commission spokespersons explained that the registration of asylum seekers can take place only within the borders of the European Union. It seems that Orbán doesn’t hear what he doesn’t want to hear and repeats the same thing at every EU gathering.

Finally, a few choice nuggets from Orbán’s press conference after the summit. In connection with his suggestion of setting up refugee camps outside the European Union, he added that “it is much more humane not to allow them into the territory of the EU in the first place.” And, defending his anti-immigrant stance, he said: “There are immigrant friendly and immigrant unfriendly countries. Is it necessary for everybody to be friendly or do countries have the right not to be such?” As for the criticism of Hungary’s lack of solidarity, he “can declare that Hungarian solidarity manifests itself by protecting not only ourselves but the whole European Union.” He also promised to fight even harder in the future.

Another summit is over and Viktor Orbán’s only “accomplishment” was that the decision on compulsory quotas was postponed. All of his other ideas were rejected. Not exactly a reason for him to rejoice.

October 21, 2016
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Observer
Guest

Orban’s stream of BS and lies is amazing:

Despite all abovementioned he claimed victories, again“

The claim that Hungary has been “land of liberty” is preposterous, unless we compare with Central Asia.

On one hand Orban says that Hu ” has never tolerated and never will tolerate occupation, repression, and dictatorship.” and on the other decries the misfortunes of Hu suffered under various occupations.

These ignoramuses always refer to the “Hungarian culture” and nation (nemzet), to the greater pre WWI Hungary, “with no tradition of immigration.” passing overthe fact that hundreds of thousands of Slavs fled the Ottomans into Habsburg Austria, or the fact that almost half the population of pre WWI Hungary were non Hungarians.

Re Hungarian markets, EU subsidies, etc maybe Orbán wants some autharky like the Ceausescu’s Rumania or Enver Hoxha’s Albania.
Hajra Magyarorszag! You can do it.

webber
Guest
An attempt to encourage the bandwagon effect is why Orban and so many Fideszniks say – regardless of the facts – that Fidesz has won again and Fidesz will always win. The sophisticated among Fidesznik trolls say “yes, Fidesz is awful…. but the party is going to win.” The bandwagon effect is a well-known social phenomenon in which a significant number of people decide that they like something if they are convinced that this something is what the majority prefers. The bandwagon effect can be extremely important in elections. Quoting Wikipedia “The bandwagon effect occurs in voting: some people vote for those candidates or parties who are likely to succeed (or are proclaimed as such by the media), hoping to be on the “winner’s side” in the end.” A corollary of the bandwagon effect is that if people are convinced that their candidate cannot possibly win, some of them will give up and not vote at all. This is why Fidesznik pollsters will always publish results showing Fidesz has a lead. This is also why it is important – in my view – to vigilantly counter such claims with the following observations: 1st. Fidesz is now incredibly unpopular in Hungary.… Read more »
pappp
Guest
webber: I wrote to yesterday’s thread also and I will repeat parts of it now. Agreeing with your 3 points above I also want this thing settled once and for all. I don’t think Orban is necessarily going to win (although the system is rigged in favor of Fidesz). I do think that there is now an opening in the political realm which did not exist 2 or 4 years ago. I’m actually cautiously optimistic. Voters, I believe, would want to hear about somebody mercilessly standing up against Orban and at the same time proposing something interesting, newish, something from which voters may deduce that they understand the problems of the median voters, something which is a bit inspiring. Something that is intriguing, titillating to a minimal degree. I never said that Fidesz has an unbreakable popularity, but perhaps in light with historical patterns it is still very popular in certain rural regions. Fidesz all but controls mass media and those are not to be ignored. One more thing. People – unless we talk about a revolution style upheaval which is about toppling the tyrant but almost always lacks plans about the next day – understand viscerally (even if they… Read more »
webber
Guest
Personally, I don’t think opposition parties have to say anything but “Elég volt” or, in loose translation, “Enough is enough.” I don’t think they have to give people much of a platform at all. Fidesz didn’t present any coherent platform during the 2010 elections, except the promise to change everything. It worked then. It would work for the opposition now. If they can come up with a unified platform – great. But not really necessary. As to your defeatism, you yourself admitted in an answer to Wolfi (and one to Stevan, I seem to recall) that you have not been indicating that you do not agree with the defeatism you post. You have been presenting it as your own ideas, not as from some other source with which you disagree. You haven’t, until challenged, made a single critical comment about it. After you are challenged, you do say positive things. But never until you are challenged. So I am afraid in my view, and in the view of many others who have made similar comments, you SOUND like a Fidesznik troll or a defeatist quite a lot of the time. Almost every single day, in fact. That is the face… Read more »
pappp
Guest
I will acknowledge positive things when I see them, I haven’t seen many positive developments – the loss of the referendum was one offew. My hunch about the opening is just a feeling, I can’t pinpoint any specific or empiric developments supporting it (except for the referendum). I can’t recall the post you refer to but let me make it clear again: I’m not defeatist. I write in a style that often wants to make explicit the arguments which are being spinned by Fidesz (and are lost on you or wolfi but not on many an average voter), those are not my arguments but the arguments that are being pushed by Fidesz in clever, not overt ways. There’s often sarcasm behind those arguments, sentences, especially when the argument is patently absurd to any more educated person. There’s no reason to be be a defeatist. But there’s much reason to criticize the leftist parties, which I will do. If the leftist parties continue to project the image of a bunch of clueless, infighting weaklings I will say so. From Péter Uj (of 444.hu) to others they all agree that the opposition fails to project the necessary image a force that is… Read more »
webber
Guest

Ukrainian visas – Apparently not many people noticed, but a few weeks ago news came up that Hungary had created a fast-track visa process for Ukrainians with skills needed by Hungarian manufacturers. According to some reports I’ve heard, up to 200,000 Ukrainians may be brought to Hungary to take jobs in Hungarian businesses which can’t find Hungarians to hire, because Hungarians are going west instead of accepting starvation wages.
Here’s one report – mentioning only a few thousand:
http://index.hu/gazdasag/allas/2016/09/22/ukran_migransokat_hoz_a_kormany_az_orszagba_titokban/

I can say that Ukrainains are already arriving – I’ve seen them. They were obviously working-class and were speaking Russian, not Ukrainian – not a surprise, since most of those who are coming (according to reports) are from areas of Ukraine devastated by fighting – and those areas are primarily Russian-speaking areas.

So, while Orban says he’s protecting Hungarians from the quota of just over a thousand people, he is bringing in cheap workers from the east – people who will (through no fault of their own) enable Hungarian employers to continue to pay Hungarian workers substandard wages.

webber
Guest

Here’s another article about a Hungarian village where Ukrainians are being settled now:
http://index.hu/gazdasag/allas/2016/10/18/samsung_vendegmunkas_bevandorlas/

I wish these Ukrainians well, but am very worried that because they are so desperate for work, they will be used to keep wages low in Hungary.

Guest

London Calling!

This is exactly the same worry that our Northern English friends expressed in their Brexit vote – possibly with greater population percentage flows. (Not knowing your actual numbers) – and your concomitant fears about suppressing wages.

Isn’t it strange? Presumably Ukrainians are acceptable immigrants because their skin colour is similar to a Hungarians?

And presumably their ‘Russian’ culture is more familiar to Hungarians – after all, many Hungarians had to learn Russian at school.

And many Hungarians were historically raped and pillaged? And their whole country’s resources and wealth commandeered with a foreign culture forced upon them – Russian.

I know many will say that Ukrainians are not Russians – Putin won’t agree – but they are a foreign culture, as alien as many other cultures.

Is this inbuilt racism? Latent racism?

Discuss!

webber
Guest

Charlie – wrong assumption: unless you mean the Hungarian govt., and not the Hungarian public, in which case you are probably right.

According to the second article I posted above, Hungarians in the village that already has a bunch of Ukrainians don’t like them simply because they are different, because they are not Hungarians. One complaint the reporter heard about them is that they are “too happy” (!), and “they pretend” they don’t understand Hungarian, “but they really do.”
In other words, these particular Hungarians may be reacting to Ukrainians in a similar way as they would react to Syrians. They simply don’t like outsiders. That may change as they get to know individual Ukrainians, of course.
I should stress that this is just some Hungarians – I would not generalize about all Hungarians.
But in general, I believe many Hungarians will be upset that Ukrainians are taking jobs.

webber
Guest

Also – I don’t think the concern that foreign workers are driving down wages is racist, though racists clearly do jump on that bandwagon.
Criticism of loss of American jobs to Mexico because of NAFTA is objective, in my view. Criticism that imported foreign workers are driving down wages in W. Europe is also objective.
The observation that capital always seeks cheaper labor, and always looks for ways to lower wages was made in the 19th century, and appears to be valid even today (see the first part of The Communist Manifesto, among other works)
E. Europeans are seen by many as “scabs” in England. I fear Ukrainians will be seen as the same in Hungary. That this can encourage racists and can bring people to racism is unfortunate, but does not mean that we should turn our heads away from the real problem of wages being driven down.

Guest
You reply is as informative as ever. Thanks. One of the ‘non-understandables’ is the fact that Hungarians aren’t a pure race. They are made up of at least 10 national cultures – a bigger hotch-potch than yer average Brit, be they Pict, Celt, Saxon or Norman, etc. Many Hungarians who come to London remark on the visible multi-cultural inhabitants – only because they have different skin colours. Hungarian multi-culturalism is hidden – but possible made up, historically of many cultures. I remember seeing the map of Hungary after a census and it listed at least 12 nationalities – and many on here comment that before Trianon, Hungarians were in a minority. What am I saying? Well it really sticks in the craw, that Orban is keeping his country’s culture free from ‘dilution’ – and I’m not convinced it’s just the government – when in fact he means white. (Except he’ll allow ‘dilution’ if they pay!) And he’s defending ‘Europe’ from the migrants – when we, for example, don’t want his ‘pseudo-protection’ (code for racism) from him or his Grinning Goon Szijjártó. And from my experience of the villagers they are so Fidesz, and Jobbik – and so anti-Jewish, that I… Read more »
webber
Guest

From an American and Canadian point of view, all Europeans are of one race.
I think xenophobia is a better term than racism for what’s going on in Europe now.

Guest
You know taking at look at VO ‘s pronouncements indicates we are not looking at all at someone who shows flexibility in solving problems. But rather an individual who throws his xenophobia around like a dark malevolent cloak over the entire country. The latter is almost being smothered to death by his fears. And this ‘one-mindedness’ of his borders arguably on the pathological taking the country along for the fearful ride to the depths. And noting Prof’s allusion to other civilizations particularly Persia, if he perhaps gave a bit of perception towards the current migrants and their heritage he would be no doubt be dumbfounded to know they follow a greater civilization than his at one time. And their leaders had responsibility over many cultural groups as they lived together. It should be said that Orban , a supposed leader of a people, is an example of an individual practicing regression in the understanding of great history and how it evolves in the world. But his one- track mind keeps on doing what he wants to be doing and damn he’ll take the country with him. At this point, perhaps he could be a modern age arrogant and naive wanna-be… Read more »
PALIKA
Guest
They may be your friends Charlie, but count me out. The assumption that they are priced out of jobs by unskilled European workers working for low wages is part of the fantasy promulgated by commentators. Why would your “friends” not be willing to work for the same wages? The cost of living of a Polish builder is the same as that of one of your “friends”, save that the Pole will have fares to pay to see his family in Poland. Indolence, understandable dislike of the Tories as well as of Corbyn’n chums and belonging to a subculture where the knee jerk reaction to foreigners is their dislike, suspicion and intolerance. Not listening to experts is part of the scene. My experience is that when you pay for advice and you ignore it you pay twice. Once when you pay. for the advice and next when you pay for the consequences of ignoring it. You Charlie and I will probably be OK even if not happy at having to pay perhaps 10% more for most things in the next couple of years. But your “friends” will either be worse off or those who do not work will expect us to… Read more »
Guest

You are reading too literally – ‘our Northern friends’ is written with irony. I’m surprised you don’t understand the English.

Our Northern ‘friends’ as in the bastards who voted for Brexit.

I had to stop reading as soon as the realisation hit me.

Nothing new there then.

PALIKA
Guest

Read on, please. You must put friends in parentheses to underline the irony. I am not too good at this.

Guest

Comments in the German media on O’s visit to Munich:
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/europaeische-union/viktor-orban-besucht-horst-seehofer-im-bayerischen-landtag-14485223.html
Main point is that Bavaria lost several billion € in the bankruptcy of Hungarian MKB – but Seehofer doesn’t mind that “little present” for O …

And the Süddeutsche remarks re O and Seehofer: “Brothers in Arms” …
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/bayern/bayerischer-landtag-seehofer-und-orbn-feiern-eine-in-europa-einzigartige-waffenbruederschaft-1.3210198

Giuseppe Riccardi
Guest

Opposite sides meet…
Orban and Renzi.
Italy has no longer any fronteer , every person from africa ,asia and south america claiming to have no id papers ,to be a refugee etc is taken charge by
No profit-for profit organizations at the cost of 50 euros per day paid by italian tax payers.
Unemployment rate among young italians is cca 60% and they have no state help.
Renzi asked for european money but he only obtained that italy can pay through additional state debt for the more than 600000 unemployable migrants freely arriving.
So he is saying that italy could think of getting out of the eu etc etc
Meanwhile the country is collapsing.
Orban and Renzi could meet : both of them know that being on friendly terms with usa and russia can help our countries survive… funny isn’t it ?

webber
Guest

Yes, Renzi seems to be doing the two-step, one to the right, two to the left, turn around and do it again.
Everything you wrote is fine, only… what can Russia possibly give to Italy? I am seriously curious. Russia is involved in two wars now- one in Ukraine, the other in Syria – and the Russian budget and economy is in disastrous shape. GDP has been falling steadily since 2013, – a combination of the fall in oil and gold prices, and the effects of sanctions. Figures here:
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/russia/gdp/forecast

webber
Guest

2015 figures
GDP of Italy: 1814.76 bn.
GDP of Russia: 1326.02 (and falling) – both 2105 figures
GDP/capita of Italy: $35,925.88 (2013 figure)
GDP/capita of Russia: $14,611 (2013 – it has fallen a lot since then).

To me it looks like Russia needs Italian help (to get rid of sanctions – to invest Italian capital) a lot more than Italy needs Russia’s help.

Giuseppe Riccardi
Guest

Dear Webber,
Without the russian market italian economy is bankrupt.
Italian industry exports technology, mechanical and home products.
The same for food industry and agricolture. Italy was doing well with russian tourists.
Eni ( the former state energy big company) is tightly connected with russian gas and petrol.
Traditionally italy was a close friend with both and a bridge between russia and usa.
It might seem strange but this was useful to balance and avoid a german europe.
It meant real national independence and progress for the country.
The big mistake was entering the euro.

webber
Guest

On the Euro, I agree with you. But without the EU and US markets, the Italian economy will disintegrate. Russia is not such a significant partner for Italy, and is growing less significant by the day.
Before sanctions Italy imported more from Russia than it exported to Russia – that is, Italy actually lost a bit on trade with Russia.
The top export destinations of Italy are Germany ($61.3B), France ($49.8B), the United States ($40.8B), the United Kingdom ($28.1B) and Switzerland ($22.5B).
Russia took about 14bn. of Italian goods at its peak in 2013 – that figure has fallen drastically, in part because of sanctions, and in part because Russia is much poorer now than it was.

The top import origins for goods to Italy are Germany ($70.2B), France ($39.5B), China ($33.2B), the Netherlands ($27.3B) and Russia ($22.9B).

For sure, sanctions have hurt all countries, not just Russia. United States chicken farmers, for instance, lost a huge market in Russia. But that is the point of sanctions – they cut both ways. The countries imposing sanctions say “sanctions will hurt us too – but we feel so strongly about this issue that we are imposing them on you.”

Figures here:
http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/stacked/hs92/export/ita/rus/show/1995.2014/
http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/ita/

webber
Guest

Unfortunately, we have entered a new cold war, and most countries will shortly face an “either-or” decision. Going both ways won’t be tolerated much longer, if Putin does not change his government’s behavior.

Guest

In England we don’t call it the Cold War – or a continuation of the Cold War.

It’s increasingly being called the Hot Peace.

Russia is presently being provocative by sailing his navy fleet through the Enhlish Channel.

I just hope that Hillary launches a pre-emptive strike on Putin, the war criminal – get your tanks off our lawn.

Another thing that sticks in the craw – Orban sucking up to Putin – and the EU allowing it.

webber
Guest

OT – olala!
Fidesz lies, and then lies about lying…. and where can that lead?
Eurostat has announced that it does not accept Fidesz’s debt figures or accounting practices! Says the figures have been massaged, specifically that the losses through Eximbank have to be included. Worse – for Fidesz – Eurostat has started to look into Matolcsy’s National Bank figures, and has already found problems there too.
http://index.hu/gazdasag/ado_es_koltsegvetes/2016/10/21/az_eu_nem_hiszi_el_a_szamainkat/

Tappanch and Observer can, and will, provide much more and better analysis I am sure.

Guest
This is a ‘I told you so!’. For years on here I have been advising that the figures emanating from Hungary’s official agencies have to be treated with a (large) pinch of salt. Why? Because the first principal of statisticians is that they must be independent and completely free of government influence – even down to the publication date of a data series. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear (!) that an English government tried to change a publication date of some embarrassing statistics about to be published by our Office of National Statistics. Sir Claus Moser fought hard and devised a Statistics Calendar announcing in advance when they would be published – no compromise. The ONS has maintained a fierce independence ever since. And they have held Eurostat’s work in low esteem. Hungary? Well dodgy dodgy dodgy. For one simple reason. All the agencies have Orban placemen at their head – and independence is the last word to use of their work. Even to the man on the Clapham Omnibus (the Győr tram?) it is sometimes obvious – their figures just don’t compute. Even Eurostat is disparaged by many – they hold the figures on which grants and… Read more »
Giuseppe Riccardi
Guest
Dear Webber, Thanks for your data that help understand. Of course every country has more than one market for its exports. But that’s a oart of the picture . Eg russia was working with eni to transform italy in the gas and petrol hub Of southern europe against the european commission which favors a northern europe one. Moreover after losing the Lybian matket thanks to obama great strategy , russia remains important specially for thousands of small companies where a lot of jobs are. Russian investment in Italy were also increasing a lot . As for the new cold war ( or hot peace) many people here don’t understand why what was good for kosovo is bad for crimea. A widespread opinion here is that the usa just wanted to stop eu and russia ‘entente’ and first of all create problems to the new german world role. Divide et impera. Obama strange invitation to Renzi came at the same time when Merkel and Hollande were meeting Putin and discussing Ukraina. It looked like sort of a trap. That’s why the italian governement as a balance quickly opposed new restrictions to russia. As a past politician used to say : america… Read more »
webber
Guest

Please talk with Ukrainians about EU-Russia entente, as I have.

And while you are at it, remember where Italy stands vis-a-vis NATO.

Istvan
Guest
Eva writes: “Jean-Claude Juncker refused to abrogate the earlier decision (on quotas). ” From a variety of articles I have read after JC Juncker made his state of the EU speech and talked about quotas and refugees, stating they “must be voluntary, it must come from the heart, it cannot be imposed” he was effectively contradicted by a press secretary for the EU commission one week later indicating that Juncker’s statement was not EU policy. Juncker did not have the authority to abrogate the quota decision, it was not that he refused to abrogate it. It should also be noted that Juncker added “voluntary” comment to a prepared speech apparently thinking it might help reduce problems with the V4. (The text of the prepare speech issued to the media before the speech did not include it.) Eva Mr Juncker suffers from significant alcoholism and it is starting to impact his cognitive functioning. He no longer understands fully where the concensus lies amongst the member states. I would strongly recommend that Juncker no longer be looked at as an authoritative figure. A big part of the problem of the EU is in fact Juncker, Brexit would have failed if not for… Read more »
Guest

Re: ‘…a land of liberty which has never tolerated and never will tolerate occupation, repression, and dictatorship’

Well…a bit loose there in the verbiage.

And to a point…

‘If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too’. W. Somerset Maugham

Magyarorszag looks two for two there in the estimation of the future.
Magyarorszag.. well fed with irony as it gets its fill with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Guest

Let me repeat it:

The EU policy is not decided by Juncker (or any other person) – that’s maybe the main difference between a democracy (even if it’s slow working) and a state like Hungary where some crazy idea of O is turned into law in two days (and maybe rescinded after a year or even earlier …). So all this talk about Juncker’s alcohol dependency is irrelevant in a way – wonder why some people bring it up again and again …
My Fidesz motto:
A new law every day keeps sanity away!

Guest

Re Juncker’s relation to alcohol again:

I just read the quoted Spiegel article which complains about Juncker – but the only point re alcohol is connected to politico.eu. Now politico to me seems a strange site anyway. Let me give an example:There was an article claiming

Across Central Europe, young voters are moving further right on the political spectrum than their elders, with many expressing disenchantment with the European Union.

But if you read the article (written by Lili Bayer) it says that this happened in the Videsgrad4 countries which like to claim they are “Eastern Central Europe” but are considered by most people as part of the former Communist Balkan, there’s nothing about anyting like this happening in DACH e g!
So politico gives me the creeps …

http://www.politico.eu/article/why-central-europes-youth-roll-right-voting-politics-visegard/

PS and totally OT:

We have had a loss of electricity here several times since noon – is this Fidesz telling us that we shouldn’t run our machines today?

If I were a “constipation theorist” I’d think of several possible reasons for this near the Balaton ….

webber
Guest

Not defending Politico (couldn’t care less about it), but I believe they are roughly right about young voters in CEE.
What specifically is your problem with that article? Politico wasn’t applauding this.
Compared with their elders, young people in this region are far more likely to support the extreme right. That goes for young Poles, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Slovaks and Serbs (Milosevic was actually a leftist, recall). Doesn’t mean most or all of them are going for the extreme right. It just means that they are more likely to be extremist than their elders.
Politico is in particular right about Hungary. Jobbik is extremely strong (comparatively) among Hungarian university students. There are some very solid sociological studies, done by Hungarians, demonstrating this.

So, what was it you didn’t like, Wolfi? I am really curious.

webber
Guest

P.S. V4 countries are not considered by anyone to be part of the Balkans. They are Central European – former Habsburg lands (incl. S. Poland) + former German lands (W. Poland) + very, very little from the old Russian Empire (E. Poland). They have never been considered part of the Balkans, in all their history. Prague is to the West of Vienna.
These lands were considered part of “the Slavic East”, by German supremacists, yes. Part of the Balkans? Never.

Guest

Just ask anyone from DACH – nobody here considers V4 as part of Central Europe!
Maybe because of the “Balkan mentality”?

webber
Guest

That is a peculiarly German point of view.
Look up what the Balkans mean in geography – even in German. Hungary is not in the Balkans.

Guest

This is not about geography but but what people feel/believe:

For most people in DACH there is no difference between a Pole, a Czech, a Romanian, a Hungarian or a Sothern Slav – they’re all considered “Balkan”.
And often there are the usual negative stereotypes associated – people are like that …

Guest

My point is:

This movement to the extreme right is typical for the former “Communist” countries – we have a similar situation in Eastern Germany where now many vote for the AfD (which really is as bad as UKIP or Front National) who once voted for the left.

The percentage of AfD voters is about three times as high in the East compared to the West with its democratic tradition!

So that tells us something imho:
Those 40 years under Communist rule somehow destroyed the democratic spirit of those countries – and the sorry thing is: It continues with the young generation …

Is it their upbringing, what they learned in schools or what?

Of course it’s still a minority – luckily …

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As I said, Spiegel quoted Politico… as if Spiegel weren’t saying it, just mentioning that Politico says Juncker has a problem with alcohol. But Spiegel didn’t say it? Sorry – but that’s like Trump saying he doesn’t want to mention Bill Clinton’s infidelities out of respect for Clinton’s daughter. Spiegel said it, no matter that they attribute it to another paper.
The Telegraph also said it.

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