The Orbán government stands fast at home and abroad

At home

Viktor Orbán was expected to have a difficult time in parliament today. It was one of those times that the prime minister has to answer questions. He cannot pass the unpleasant task on to one of his ministers or even to undersecretaries. All three opposition spokesmen wanted the prime minister to say something about Index’s revelations concerning Antal Rogán’s suspicious business activities which, on the surface at least, seem to involve kickbacks and money laundering.

Opportunities to confront the prime minister directly are rare, and therefore each opposition party should designate its best person to pose the question. I’m afraid MSZP’s choice of László Varga wasn’t wise. His “witticism”—if you can call it that—about Antal Rogán’s inability to see reality from his helicopter and the size of his apartment fell flat. For Orbán, who can shine in such a situation, Varga’s poorly formulated question was easy to answer and counter. Orbán never uttered Rogán’s name but instead reminded the socialists of the days when the MSZP-sponsored hunger marches were organized by “an opulent euro millionaire,” a reference to a high-level MSZP politician who was discovered to have 200 million forints worth of euros in an Austrian bank.

Bernadett Szél, co-chair of LMP, was a great deal more specific. First, she recalled all the lies Rogán told about the residency bonds and about his relationship to Balázs Kertész. Szél specifically wanted to know how long Antal Rogán can remain a minister. She reminded Orbán that he as prime minister is responsible for the composition of his government and therefore it is he who must take responsibility for the behavior of his ministers.

This question couldn’t be sidestepped. Orbán had to give a more or less straight answer. His reply: “I don’t have anything to do with political bluster and political tabloid sensations. I am interested only in performance within the government. Whatever has been happening to Antal Rogán so far only strengthens his position. Don’t think that these accusations shatter us or that they force us to think of them at all. I consider the accusations no more than infantile sham which I simply don’t take seriously. If one word of this affair were true you would have filed charges already.”

Viktor Orbán today in the Parliament

Viktor Orbán in parliament today

Finally, György Szilágyi of Jobbik rose and listed all the lies Rogán uttered in the last few days. He inquired why Orbán as prime minister tolerates this. Orbán pretty much repeated what he said to Szél: “These are political sham attacks that I don’t take seriously. Every attack I have heard so far only increases my trust in the minister.” Orbán also cleverly used this opportunity to bolster his defense of Rogán by pointing out that the attacks are no so much against his minister as against himself and his government. His final words to Szilágy were: “a politician calling another politician a liar is not very original.”

So, for the time being Rogán’s position is secure. He has been an indispensable associate who, by the look of things, brought billions of euros into the coffers not only of the country but most likely also of Fidesz, in addition to enriching himself. Orbán at the moment thinks so little of the strength of the opposition that he believes that he can withstand all the charges. Most likely he is right.

Abroad

Hungarian papers barely mentioned an extraordinary dinner meeting of foreign ministers held on Sunday, which was inspired by German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. In light of the unexpected victory of Donald Trump, a man with no background in foreign affairs, Steinmeier thought it was important for the EU foreign ministers have a common policy when dealing with an unpredictable Washington. Federica Mogherini, the quasi foreign minister of the European Union, agreed and the meeting was scheduled.

It was rumored at the time the meeting was announced that Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó would not attend but would instead send one of his undersecretaries. It was an indication that Hungary, unlike most of the EU member countries, didn’t believe the emergency meeting was necessary. Since Viktor Orbán, alone among European politicians, rooted for Trump, he hopes that the new president will look upon his regime favorably. That the foreign minister opted not to attend the emergency meeting should give Hungary another gold star in Trump’s book.

Three foreign ministers did not attend the Sunday meeting. Predictably, the UK’s Boris Johnson was absent. After all, Britain is on its way out of the Union and needs to be on especially good terms with the next president of the United States. France’s Jean-Marc Ayrault sent an envoy due to a scheduling conflict. And, as euobserver.com said, “Hungary’s pro-Trump Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also kept his top foreign envoy at home.”

Assessments of the Sunday dinner meeting vary. According to critics, it was far too early for the foreign ministers to get together since we know practically nothing about Trump’s foreign policy objectives. Mogherini, on the other hand, declared the meeting a success, saying that the foreign ministers agreed “to engage with the incoming administration even from this very first week of transition,” meaning right away.

Meanwhile, Szijjártó decided to speak up and explain Hungary’s position. He found “the hysteria caused by the US presidential elections that swept through the European political elite pathetic and at the same time amusing.” Hungary will not take part in this hysteria because it considers Trump’s election good news. The Hungarian government finds the president-elect’s idea to stop “democracy export” beneficial to the world.

It should be noted that Viktor Orbán’s Visegrád 4 friends decided not to follow in the footsteps of their pugnacious Hungarian friend. I wonder whether there was any consultation among the four countries ahead of the Sunday dinner meeting. I suspect there was, but that Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic don’t want any more open confrontations with the rest of the European countries. They gave the EU a hard enough time on the refugee issue and don’t feel like sticking their necks out for Donald Trump, who may be courting Russia at the expense of Eastern Europe.

November 14, 2016
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Penny Sue Oswalt
Guest

i believe that this inexperienced President Elect will balk at the whole process. Be patient with the USA, we just elected someone who is totally ignorant to Europe, I did not vote for him but apparently he won. WE as a nation (USA) have to train him in the things in the office of the President. We the people will hold him accountable for his reputation. As far as the PM of Hungary and Putin? are concerned “go for it”. He did not get the popular vote, just the electoral. The question is now, what do we do with President Elect Donald Trump? Any suggestions? Please be somewhat kind in responding.

petofi
Guest

I had only one, long shot hope: that Trump would somehow get Bernie Sanders to be Secretary of State. Not likely.

What’s more likely is that Trump, the big health insurance companies; Wall Street honchos; and the rest of ‘big wealth’ in America will do an Orban on the country.

G-d help us all.

webber
Guest

Judging from the reaction of Wall Street over the past couple of days, that is not just likely, it is certain.

Ferenc
Guest

Wall Street (and all other stock exchanges) are just a bunch of opportunists, who are given way too much attention. Giving a lot of figures, especially in relation to money, is the easiest method to get people thinking about real life things.
Too much attention also for the all those polls, especially before elections, just figures, which don’t really count (but are ‘easy’ to make)

Ferenc
Guest

correction:
Wall Street (and all other stock exchanges) are just a bunch of opportunists, who are given way too much attention. Giving a lot of figures, especially in relation to money, is the easiest method to get people NOT thinking about real life things.
Too much attention also for the all those polls, especially before elections, just figures, which don’t really count (but are ‘easy’ to make and waste time with)

webber
Guest

Exactly- and the opportunists seem to be betting on four years of unlimited “profit taking” (Petofi would put it more frangrantly)

Ferenc
Guest

And then this could be the resulting count:
Total minus (more) Wall Street/Profit/etc. leaves over (less) for the average Joe.
So come Joes, don’t accept this to happen!

bimbi
Guest

…and you didn’t see this coming?! Donald Trump is the last guy in the US of A who is going to do anything for Joe Schmo working three jobs a day and trying to put his three kids through grade school – never mind college!

Didier Lemaitre
Guest

I just hope that Trump as a patented liar said what he said for gathering the votes. Amazingly truth and facts do not matter anymore in politics. And therefore just like many other politician, he will just act in other way. However the choice of Bannon does not go in the tight direction but he already amended his view on the so-called Obamacare. So let us hope for the best.

Ferenc
Guest

1.Wondering what all those people, who voted for DJT, wil do if they find out he’s, like you hope, a patented liar.
2.It would mean that winning in politics requires lies above truth, don’t know how long people would tolerate that.

webber
Guest

If Michael Moore is right, some of the people who voted for Trump just wanted to give the Washington elite a big FY. If Moore is right, they don’t expect a lot from Trump. They think he is a liar, too, but they want change.

pappp
Guest

They don’t expect much, in fact they (at least many) know life won’t be better but they wanted the cause the elite pain. The elite needed to suffer too, that was their main goal whatever the consequences.

Ferenc
Guest

OK, they caused pain to the elite. But what if life gets worse for them?

sunyilo12
Guest

Hi Eva,

I believe the socialist politician was discovered possessing 200+ million Forints worth of Euros and not 200 million Euros on his Austrian bank account.

Guest

Re: ‘the Hungarian finds the president-elect’s idea to stop ‘democracy export’ beneficial to the world’

Whoa. That’s a good one. Nothing like a self-serving remark to let the foxes run the political henhouses. Arguably it could said democratic nations don’t do enough of bringing the lunch-pail ethic of working doggedly to protect and strengthen democratic notions in political institutions around the world. And here Magyarorszag assumes the lead in quashing that effort. Thing is does the country question the Rossiyan quest to rise once again and obliterate the failures harshly experienced in the late 20th? Apparently no. They get the free pass to fiddle about with an illiberalism always slinking to the autocratic. This seems to be in tune with Viktor’s political karma. It appears Viktor’s land with its ‘progressive’ 21st century adjusted political attitudes is now aiding that quest. Democratic concepts to the country now look as if they are simply used dish rags put up and hung out to dry.

Jean P.
Guest

“Every attack I have heard so far only increases my trust in the minister.”

Go on attacking. There is a limit to how much a balloon can be blown up. Even a baloon of trust.

Ferenc
Guest

Fully agree, but be aware to attack in the best order, first corner the vasals and bring them down on their knees and only after that direct to the higher target.

Ferenc
Guest

Furthermore, what could be done into OV direction, is trigger him to go into a public debate, for example it could be mentioned that when OV is supporting DJ, he should not forget that DJ was in several debates with his opponent, according to most reports lost them, but still won the presidency.
It’s a shame for any democracy when the people in charge are not willing to go into public debate. In Hungarian parlament this now results into the opposition targetting OV too early in the process (best first the vasals, then higher up).

Guest

All questions from the opposition in parliament addressed to Orban are answered by expressions of contempt. He never goes into the matter of the question.

Ferenc
Guest

The problem he doesn’t really need to go into. The opposition fires questions too early and in the wrong direction. May be foreign intelligence should be contacted and invited to go into some cases at hand. They sure can get more serious evidence, which the opposition / press / even the EU can make use of.

Guest

Re Trump:

Indeed it looks crazy – breitbart’s Bannon in the government …

But let’s wait and see what really happens, I still have trust in the US people (at least some of them)!

Not too much OT:

German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) will probably be Germany’s next president – the Christian Democrats couldn’t find an alternate cndidate in their own ranks, so they had to agree to their coalition partner’s choice …

webber
Guest

You can have as much trust as you like in the American people, because more of them voted for Clinton than Trump, but that does not change the question. Do you have trust in Trump? I don’t. He’ll stick with the Breitbart lunatic, I just bet.

Expat American
Guest
Actually not true any more. The vote counting continues and he is now leading. If you subtract all the illegal aliens who voted then he won easily. As for Europe trying to tell Trump and his administration what to do they will be causing more harm than good. The arrogance of that attitude is very revealing and not welcome. People had better start taking Trump very seriously as he will abandon the EU to it’s own fate. The US doesn’t need the EU at all but it is not true in the opposite direction. Leadership that went all in on the globalist open border and anti-Russia gambits had better take very close look at what Trump is saying. The 60 Minutes interview (in it’s entirety, as they edited out the things which indicate his leadership) shows very clearly where this is heading. He very clearly stated it is the fault of NATO for encroachment onto Russia as the root cause of the problem with Russia. He feels strongly that the US or anyone else cannot interfere in any country’s internal politics. These are all good things. We will see if he closes the US bases in Kosovo and Romania and… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest

“he is now leading”, haven’t read/seen this yet, please direct me to these latest results
“all the illegal aliens”, as far as I know you can only vote when you have registered yourself, so USA has registered ‘aliens’, and even ‘illegal’ ones?
“he is all about cost/benefit ratios”, I think there must be an overall balance so against each benefit stands another deficit, so can you enlight me in whose favour those ratios will be (e.g.the average joe, Wall Street, our globe, mankind in general, etc.).
Just wondering now, if DJT, with or without family, has ever walked in a forest, or did he not come further outside one of his ‘Trump’ named buildings, than a, by mankind provided, park.

Guest

Re: ‘He is all about cost/benefit ratios and the morality of international relationships’

You know it will be interesting to see how the equation containing variables of ‘nickel and dimming’ , squeezing the buffalo on the nickel and the acceptance of a bit of authoritarianism contributes to the deterioration of democratic institutions in Europe and around the globe. In my opinion, this tyro , this possibly naive dilettante, we have in foreign affairs needs to be mindful not of the bank account but lasting consequences of very foolish political strategies. Rossiya could possibly eat this guy alive when it comes to their drive to impose ‘their’ views of our future world.

FreeWheeling
Guest

Yes, please provide a link to the latest popular vote count from a valid source.

Your other analysis where you think that Trump will be able to completely change NATO agreements based on his own blather is not based in any kind of knowledge or reality. It would take more than a decree, and even if he did he would greatly damage the USA as a trustworthy long-term partner and reneges on long-standing treaties. A true “America first and everybody else get in line” policy as you described would would result in China becoming the foremost hegemonic power by the end of DJT’s presidential term.

Guest

Nice try – for a Russian troll!

Member

“Expat American” is a troll, obviously. Why do the regulars keep falling for it?

kalamari
Guest

The fringe is now coming and it is becoming normalized by the day. Independent media is sucking up to power as it always does – after all it needs access. Though you can be sure that Breitbart and Fox will be preferred.

Try to imagine the most lunatic, crazy, unhinged, conspiracy theory obsessed operators and they will be in government.

Putin (and Orban) just can’t believe their luck.

We will soon think of W. and his neocons as just an amateurish liberal bunch.

And in the name of political rebirth of the Democratic Party the Senate Minority leader will probably be Chuck Schumer steadfast supporter of wars, torture and Wall Street. When the right-wing wins the left-wing always conforms and does not resist. When the left-wing wins the Republicans mount the most aggressive resistance and low and behold they come back winning and dismantle the achievements of the liberals.

pappp
Guest

I guess many Republicans won’t vote for the debt financing of the infrastructure projects so Democrats will help Trump and vote for it. They just can’t resist Republicans the way Republicans resisted Obama.

The ensuing jobs growth/GDP growth will help the reelection of Trump or Pence. Otherwise Trump obviously can’t bring back jobs from China or Mexico (via new duties or other policies) so it will be the infrastructure projects in PPP.

Democrats will end up saving Trump’s ass who in the meantime will obliterate Obama’s and the Democrats achievements in the last decades. (Of course, the Republicans will not simply repeal laws like Obamacare, that would be too generous, rather they will tweak them in ways which will cause the most outrage, resentment among those addressed by the law down the road, which will cause the most damage to Democrats).

Tyrker
Guest

wolfi,

Bannon is not a stupid man. Here’s what he had to say about Putin, ISIS and priorities:

“You know, Putin’s been quite an interesting character. He’s also very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he’s playing very strongly to social conservatives about his message about more traditional values, so I think it’s something that we have to be very much on guard of. Because at the end of the day, I think that Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand. However, I really believe that in this current environment, where you’re facing a potential new caliphate that is very aggressive that is really a situation — I’m not saying we can put it on a back burner — but I think we have to deal with first things first.”

Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/this-is-how-steve-bannon-sees-the-entire-world

This is straight talk. Bannon calls Putin out for what he is (a kleptocrat and an imperialist) but claims that dealing with the “caliphate” should have precedence over confronting Russia.

Guest

So Bannon is an intelligent fascist, good to hear – especially from you, the master of half-truths!

Istvan
Guest
Believe it or not I think Péter Szijjártó was wise not to waste his time attending a dinner with EU foreign ministers contemplating various dilemmas with the Trump administration. Central Europe’s future is being discussed by Trump and Putin. He will talk with the EU later. Apparently the first of those discussions took place yesterday: “Putin and Trump Talk on Phone and Agree to Improve Ties, Kremlin Says”- The New York Times. President Barack Obama can tour Europe and claim a President Trump will continue America’s commitment to the NATO alliance based on his brief discussion with him at the White House. It is part of a concerted effort, inclusive of the US mass media, to sell Trump as possibly moderating to the public for the good of the nation. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Mr. Giuliani is one of the leading candidates to become Mr. Trump’s first secretary of state, no doubt much to the distress of Newt Gingrich. Rudy Giuliani, as a video I linked to HS several weeks backs shows, is very pro-Polish and spoke in Chicago very positively about Poland increasing its military and self-Defense capabilities. As has been made clear in numerous articles… Read more »
Gardonista
Guest

People who have been critical of Orban have an important message for the United States. My main concern right now is that that the opposition to Trump remains united, and we don’t follow the Hungarian example of a divided democratic movement.

The other important message that I want to broadcast after watching Orban is that everything Trump says is self-serving. He will do nothing to bring in majority opinion. The idea that maybe we should “wait and see” if he will change for the better is wrong. I do believe he will change… for the worse.

Guest

A pathologist friend in the US who left Hungary in 56, always an unwavering supporter of Orban, has declared to me that the election of Trump is a catastrophe. Maybe he and other Hungarian immigrants of the old guard will notice Orban’s admiration for Trump and begin to see the light.

e-1956
Guest

The election of trump maybe a catastrophy, but the opposition and even the republicans will certainly splinter.

The anarchists of the democrats and the evangelists of the republicans may leave their parties.

Istvan
Guest
This article on the Trump transition process that just came out merits reading http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/us/politics/trump-transition.html?_r=0 It appears that Mike Rogers, who had handled national security matters for team Trump has abruptly resigned. Mr. Rogers, is a former congressman from Michigan who led the House Intelligence Committee and was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. In July, Mr. Rogers presented at the Air Force Association’s Peter Huessey Congressional Breakfast Series, focusing on the serious and growing threat Russia poses to U.S. security and that of our allies. (https://armedservices.house.gov/news/press-releases/rogers-urges-president-stay-course-nuclear-modernization ) He stated in part in that speech: “But, I’m going to draw your attention to Vladimir Putin, and the new Cold War he is intentionally creating between his country and the United States and our allies. Mr. Putin is the only existential threat to the United States and our allies—that threat is undisputedly growing. It is remarkable when you sit back and think about how far things have deteriorated since the “reset” button was pushed by Obama in 2009. One product of this President’s policy towards Russia since 2009 was that, in early 2014, Vladimir Putin invaded the sovereign territory of Ukraine and annexed the peninsula of Crimea.He then poured military units… Read more »
Guest

The escalating Russian military pressure on Europe leaves no doubt that Europe needs a forceful ally against Russia. If the US pulls out Europe must have a defense alliance with China. There is nobody else around.

Istvan
Guest

This article discusses additional foreign policy fights going on inside of team Trump http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14/politics/trump-shortlist-national-security-worldview/

Istvan
Guest
Member

Here are the numbers to decide the debate above:

Clinton received 1 million more votes more
[61,964,263 vs 60,961,967] as of November 15.

November 09: Clinton 47.7% (59.9 million), Trump 47.5% (59.7 million)
November 12: Clinton 47.7% (60.9 million), Trump 47.2% (60.3 million)
November 15: Clinton 47.8% (62.0 million), Trump 47.0% (61.0 million),
[other candidates received 6.8 million votes]

Smallest Trump margins:

Arizona 4.0%
N Carolina 3.8%
Florida 1.2%
Pennsylvania: 1.1%
Wisconsin: 0.9%
Michigan: 0.3%

Smallest Clinton margins:

New Hampshire: 0.4%
Minnesota: 1.5%
Nevada: 2.4%
Maine: 2.7%
Colorado: 4.7%
Virginia 5.2%

Member

California: Total = Clinton + Trump + Others

November 12: 9318258 = 5741035+3076486+500737
November 15: 10159257= 6262707+3352555+543995

Member

Three largest margins:

Trump:

Wyoming: 47.6%
West Virginia: 42.2% [Trump has promised to reopen the coal mines…]
Oklahoma: 36.4%

Clinton:

DC: 86.9%
Hawaii: 32.2%
California: 28.6%

Member

The November issue of Jobbik’s free magazine that just landed in the mailboxes is very critical of the financial outrages of the Orban government.

No wonder Orban is furious with Vona !

http://www.hazai-palya.hu/

Why isn’t the Socialist party able to create a magazine like this? They do not do ANYTHING.

Guest

Tappanch, we also get this delivered to our letter box – and the crazy pictures of the Fidesz nomenklatura always make me laugh …

Gallows humour is all that we’ve left it seems.

Totally OT but horrendous (and not a fake it seems!):

Clay County Development director Pamela Ramsey Taylor made the post following Republican Donald Trump’s election as president, saying: “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels.”

Whaling responded: “Just made my day Pam.”
You still see things like this in the USA in the 21st Century …
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/11/15/michelle-obama-ape-in-heels_n_12985756.html
Both women resigned it seems after an uproar …

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