Attack on Central European University is part of an ideological struggle

In the last couple of days I have received several telephone calls from journalists. They wanted me to offer reasons for the attacks against George Soros, Central European University (which he founded), and the handful of non-governmental organizations that receive a few thousand dollars from him. Journalists who are less familiar with the Hungary of Viktor Orbán find the whole thing baffling, if not downright incomprehensible. What nonsense, one of them told me, to endow Soros with the power to move millions of refugees half the length of the continent in order to infiltrate the European Union and thereby change its ethnic composition. This is madness, he said.

As usual, ever since the news broke that the very existence of the Central European University is in jeopardy, all sorts of fanciful explanations for the government’s action have surfaced. One that gained some traction came from Lajos Bokros, chairman of the Modern Magyarország Mozgalom party. According to him, Vladimir Putin expressly demanded the shuttering of Central European University (CEU). Apparently, this theory circulated widely in the Russian media, which is where Bokros picked it up. Putin noticed that in the Russian, Ukrainian, and Georgian administrations there are just too many graduates of CEU, which seems to specialize in educating free thinkers and opposition leaders.

I for one doubt that such a conversation between Putin and Orbán took place, but I think we can safely assume that Viktor Orbán finds Vladimir Putin’s template attractive. The Russian president’s harsh measures against NGOs resonate with the Hungarian prime minister. Let’s face it, the Helsinki Commission, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, and Transparency International are thorns in his side. He has every reason to be angry: they keep winning cases against the Hungarian government and are therefore considered to be enemies of the present political system. How much easier the life of the Orbán government would be if all these organizations simply disappeared.

The only reason the Hungarian prime minister didn’t move against them with full force until now was his fear that the United States would put roadblocks in his way just as it did in December 2015 when several high-level U.S. diplomats descended on Budapest. They told Orbán that there would be serious consequences if he went through with his plan to erect a statue honoring the anti-Semitic Minister of Education Bálint Hóman. He caved. And most likely viewed the encounter as one of greatest humiliations of his political life.

When it comes to CEU, the reason for the government’s antipathy toward it is not as direct as in the case of the NGOs, but I’m sure it has been an irritant all along. First of all, in only 25 years this university has come to be regarded as one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Europe, whereas none of the other Hungarian universities managed to crack the top 500 on the World University Rankings’ list. This fact alone must rankle the Hungarian government. Moreover, CEU has an endowment of $888 million, making it one of the wealthiest universities in Europe. This means that, unlike the teaching staff at the other Hungarian universities, the 300 faculty members who come from more than 30 countries are very well paid.

CEU’s prestige in the region and even beyond aroused jealousy in certain Hungarian academic circles. They began to look upon the university’s faculty and students as a bunch of privileged snobs. The very fact that the language of instruction is English annoys some people to no end. András Bencsik, editor of the far-right Magyar Demokrata and a strong supporter of Fidesz, expressed his irritation by pointing out that, after all, the official language of the country is Hungarian. (Other countries, such as the Netherlands and Denmark, whose languages are spoken by too few people had the good sense to use English as the language of instruction in their universities.) Orbán, who recently announced that he wants to see only Hungarians in Hungary, would naturally recoil from the idea of a multi-ethnic, multi-language group of teachers and students using English as the language of instruction. What right-wing critics of the university don’t want to realize is that, in large measure, it is the language of instruction that made CEU’s entry into the top tier of European universities possible.

Another reason for Orbán’s dislike of CEU is that it is a private university in whose internal affairs the Hungarian state cannot easily meddle. Moreover, Fidesz politicians are certain, and not without reason, that the great majority of the students and faculty do not sympathize with the present Hungarian government. In fact, Fidesz and KDNP politicians expressed their belief that CEU is a university whose graduates are their enemies. As Péter Harrach (KDNP) said about the massive Sunday demonstration, “an international crowd demonstrated for a university that serves international goals. It has become obvious that [the university] is part of an ideological and political struggle and that it is the officer training school of an army that fights a hard fight in Hungarian society. This is the gist of it.”

Demonstration in front of the parliament building, April 4, 2017

And so, however despicable it may be, the Orbán regime’s hatred of George Soros and the people who believe in an open, pluralistic society is both rational and understandable. The antipathy is not new. Orbán has been harboring these feelings for a very long time, but only in the last couple of years was the international climate conducive to a frontal attack on George Soros. The refugee crisis offered Orbán an opening, especially since Soros was outspoken on the subject. Soros’s larger presence in Europe gave Orbán the opportunity to turn up the volume on his condemnation of Soros, who is meddling in the internal affairs of Hungary by helping his enemies. And, of course, Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States further emboldened the Hungarian prime minister, who was an early and ardent supporter.

People who are critics of the Orbán government are stunned. In a few hours parliament passed the amendments to the law on higher education, which make the existence of CEU in Hungary impossible. Although Fidesz spokesmen keep insisting that this was just a small administrative adjustment, this is not the case. CEU is supposed to fulfill two obligations. One is to establish a brand new university practically overnight in the United States. The other is that a bilateral treaty must be signed between Washington and Budapest, without which the university cannot accept any students after January 1, 2018. Neither demand can be met.

The insistence on a bilateral treaty prompted Hungarian opposition politicians and commentators to conjecture that the attack against CEU was manufactured for the sole purpose of forcing direct contact between the Trump administration and the Orbán government. These same people recall that Péter Szijjártó failed to meet anyone of importance at the State Department. That might be true, but he did manage to speak with two people who are very close to the president–Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s deputy assistant, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s former lawyer and now U.S. special representative for international negotiations.

Orbán certainly didn’t endear himself to the U.S. State Department with this move. Its spokesperson announced on March 31 that “the United States is concerned about legislation proposed by the Government of Hungary … that imposes new, targeted, and onerous regulatory requirements on foreign universities.” The United States urged the government of Hungary “to avoid taking any legislative action that would compromise CEU’s operations or independence.” After the passage of the amendments, the U.S. embassy in Hungary issued another statement today, saying that “the United States is disappointed by the accelerated passage of legislation targeting Central European University, despite the serious concerns raised by the United States.”

It is possible that the Hungarian government is dissatisfied with the Trump administration’s relative neglect of Viktor Orbán, who so far has not received any special treatment as a reward for his support. Just today we heard that Réka Szemerkényi, the Hungarian ambassador in Washington, will be recalled soon. 24.hu learned from diplomatic sources that the Hungarian government is dissatisfied with Szemerkényi’s performance because she didn’t manage to convince the State Department of the legitimate and non-discriminatory nature of the legislation regarding Central European University. We don’t yet have confirmation of these reports. When ATV’s journalist asked Viktor Orbán whether it is true that Szemerkényi will be recalled, he answered: “I don’t handle entanglements with women” (nőügyekkel nem foglalkozom). The crudity of the man never ceases to amaze me.

P.S. While I was writing this post, thousands of people were demonstrating in front of the parliament building.

April 4, 2017
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Member

Hungary will leave or be kicked out of the EU within a foreseeable time. Paks 2 was approved, money will be flowing from Russia from now on, the little viktor can afford to be on his own, totally unchecked and steal as much as he wants to from the tax moneys also. He thinks his power is secured for a long time except……
Dictators never get voted out nor can they leave the job to retire with their stolen money and live happily after.

András B. Göllner
Guest

Dear Éva, I beg to differ with one of your observations, because it allows itself to be interpreted out of context. Namely: “The Orbán regime’s hatred of George Soros and the people who believe in an open, pluralistic society is both rational and understandable.” Au contraire ! The hatred is not rational, but emotional, and it is not understandable, but reprehensible. Robert Braun has made a similar point today as you, and his argument is equally problematical. For at least a hundred years, and especially during the Christian_National era under Horthy, liberalism, as you well know, has been presented as an invention of international Jewry, in order to destroy the Hungarian, Christian, nation State. Soros, the founder of CEU is a Liberal Jew, ipso facto (?) the racist mythology pictures him as an enemy of Hungary. This is the old, irrational menu, Orban and Jobbik, along with the likes of Bayer, Bencsik are reheating. I repeat, calling the assault on liberalism a rational and an understandable act, is problematical.

Guest

You have to interpret this the Orbán regime’s hatred of George Soros is both rational and understandable correctly:
It is the psychoanalytic explanation for someone’s irrational behaviour and hate against the rest of the world …
“Doesn’t like” is also inapplicable – for these people it’s either love or hate!

As I’ve written before I think this really will be called “the point of no return” for Fidesz/O once – unless they somehow do a u-turn on this again …
Right now I’m undecided when people here in Germany ask me about my second homeland:
Should I compare it to North Korea or Syria – or is Hungary only on the level of Turkey?
Probably, because there still are diplomatic connections to both Hungary and Turkey …
But bothe these countries are on their way to real dictatorships.

pappp
Guest

Too much speculation about why (I’m guilty too).

Orban did it and now people must react to that. It doesn’t make the slightest difference why he did it.

For lawyers: mens rea doesn’t matter, only actus reus.

Member

I also stopped at that sentence and had to read it twice:
‘Rational’ and ‘understandable’ in connection with Viktor Orbán ?

This is too much of a challenge for my empathy and tolerance.

I think, we don’t really need to ‘understand’ people like Adolf Hitler, Anders Breivik or Viktor Orbán.

wrfree
Guest
You know for the liberal voice VO and his ilk are now a nightmare. Magyarorszag now for a number of years has been flitting and existing through various political systems. And to the extent that apparently the nation and its people have not been consistently anchored to ideas that work for the benefit of ALL in the society it has become endemically a lost and wayward society contrary to its stipulation of being for God, country and all things ‘Magyar’. The country has been so long in the stink that it has lost the power to discern certain smells in the air. And it has to be said that the attempts of the EU and the US to curb Orban from his political switcharoos and attack on various ‘freedoms’ is like to take an old Irish saying ‘putting perfume on a goat’. Add to that recriminations and and a relentless thirst for revenge makes the country fertile ground for leaders like Orban to take power, hold it and be emboldened to go on and change his stripes from a so-called anti-communist to a veritable tinpot dictator dispensing with the flirtation of a democracy. Same old same old and where there’s… Read more »
Member

wfree:”If Orban sings a song it has to be ‘My Way’. This is the tune Magyarorszag dances to nowadays”

Nicely written, I must add:
This tune is a tune for old people.
The youth, which got a glimpse from outside Hungary, is almost gone.

More will leave after these events.

So Orbán can sing along with some left over hungarian seniles ( and me and my wife 🙁 )

Member

I was at both the April 2 (10000) and April 4 (5000) demonstrations.

The crowds did not have the numbers or the anger to change Orban’s mind. The only MP that showed solidarity with us in person yesterday evening was Ms Kunhalmi of MSzP. She was inside the crowd first, then hung a European flag from a window of the Parliament.

I also observed the crowd control methods. Not only the riot police, but the sending of plain-clothes bodybuilder skinheads into the crowd from the rear.

Member

The main demand stipulated by the university was that President (of what?) Ader should “veto” the legislation. I find it ridiculous – Ader is Orban’s close friend to start with. Moreover, the “president” does not have veto power in the Orban system . He can send the bill back to Parliament, which will adopt it again, or send it to the all-Fidesz “constitutional court” [there is no constitution since January 1, 2012], which will approve it.

pappp
Guest

As someone aptly put it yesterday: asking Ader to intervene (“veto”) is as likely to succeed as trying to pick up chicks while riding home on tram 4-6 [the downtown tram line which operates all night long] completely wasted at 3:30 AM in the morning.

Member

Actually, I’ve done that. Not often, but still…

Ferenc
Guest

“sending of plain-clothes bodybuilder skinheads into the crowd from the rear”
As far as you could see:
-who send them?
-were they clearly organized?
-what was the purpose of them going into the crowd?
Sounds like having a relation to the happenings at the election office some time ago (2016?)

Member

Here is another view of the deployment of plainclothes skinheads:

http://index.hu/belfold/2017/04/05/ceu_torveny_felsooktatas_tuntetes_parlament_rendorseg_civil_ruhas_rendor/

I saw an older short-haired bodybuilder give silent orders to two young skinheads to approach the front line of the protesters from behind.

pappp
Guest

Does it really matter why exactly Orban did this?

We will never see into his head.

Orban just doesn’t like CEU so he wants it banned.

Simple as that.

Orban has the power and in Hungary what he decides is law.

This is how democracy works in the EU as of 2017.

petofi
Guest

“Orban doesn’t like CEU…”

What utter nonsense!
Orban doesn’t like ‘whites’, or the sophisticated Budapesters.
Is out to shove it in their faces whenever he can, that’s all.
The CEU is a kind of ‘badge of honour’ for the intelligentsia–that they have a widely accepted university with western standards.

But Viktor will show them…

Ferenc
Guest

So at the moment OV has the power and decides Hungarian laws.
BUT for how long will the Hungarian electorate accept and tollerate this? COME ON people, don’t think about what OV is not doing for you, but what you have to do for your own and your fellow Hungarians’ FUTURE!

Guest

George Soros, the Emmanuel Goldstein of Viktor Orbán

Member

“The very fact that the language of instruction is English annoys some people to no end. András Bencsik, editor of the far-right Magyar Demokrata and a strong supporter of Fidesz, expressed his irritation by pointing out that, after all, the official language of the country is Hungarian”

Obviously the brain-dead Nazi is unaware that English is also used (alongside Hungarian) as a language of instruction at both Semmelweiss and the Veterinary universities in Bpest.

Member

I agree that the expulsion of CEU is, for the most part, simply an act of evil hatred on the part of an out of control fascist dictator…however, as even Nick Thorpe of the BBC pointed out, CEU owns some of the most valuable property in the city. Fidesz Nick reckoned pro-regime “academics” want to get their grubby mitts on it. They`ll be lucky…I am sure the Rogan Mafia and their various criminal associates will move like greased lightening the day CEU leaves.

pappp
Guest
As I repeatedly said Orban is an anti-liberal revolutionary. Banning CEU is like when fanatic communists banned parochial schools in the 1950’s. It is sad to see that Hungarian parochial schools remain silent. Banning CEU must be treated like nationalizing land in Hungary by the communists. Former owners (land owning peasants) were forced into the cooperatives after their land was appropriated but the rural people always knew and mentally registered that this plot belongs to old Jozsef or that plot belongs to whoever and his heirs. Come 1990 and many such plots were essentially bought back by the former owners with so-called compensation coupons (quasi money distributed to those who suffered injuries under communism). The local land privatization boards often respected the fact that X used to own a certain plot and so he (his heirs) wants to get that exact plot back, never mind that officially the plots had to be auctioned. (Of course this process was insult to injury: the communists took away the land and now the old owners had to pay for it again – they only hated “communists” more for it). Should CEU leave Hungary it must get back everything when Orban’s era is over.… Read more »
Guest

“Should CEU leave Hungary it must get back everything when Orban’s era is over. Opposition parties must promise that.”

Opposition parties must promise to redress all crimes and wrongdoings.

BMO
Guest
Allow me to share my rather disillusioned and bearish take: The relatively low key (ex-post of Orban anyways), but extremely well-publicized scandals of the left have managed to alienate the masses from participation in public affairs, that is clear. Combine that with digitization and the proliferation of high-speed internet, it has become very easy to not confront the real truth and just escape reality at the end of the day. While the populace is dormant and submissive, it did recoil over the internet-tax when it saw its escapism endangered. I am afraid that the regime has learnt the lessons of divide and conquer, whereby they will carefully avoid attacking too large a segment of the population at the one time. Proving this point if I may; Outrageous as the CEU issue is, it’s a laughable opposition when viewed on a national scale. 15 thousand people over two days and swathes of editorials will not affect underlying change, even if it is to succeed. Orban might have launched a blitzkrieg on intellectuals that could negatively affect its perception in large cities, but still, 70% of the population is not emotionally-vested or educated/informed enough to grasp the importance of the problem. When… Read more »
pappp
Guest
@BMO Let me oppose you. I grant that in order for CEU to win (without any legal deux ex machina or intl. pressure), CEU must appeal to rural, uneducated voters who basically care about only their own well-being. Why? Exactly because they are the bottom of the Maslow pyramid to begin with, they cannot possibly be interested in letters written by Nobel laureates when they have no jobs and hardly any money to heat their shabby homes. Urban, liberal intellectuals, smartly dressed students cannot possibly gain the sympathies of poor, rural folks. This is as true for Wisconsin and Michigan as it is for Hungary. Balazs Sebestyen’s dealing with the subject in a morning radio show whose station is by the way owned by Andy Vajna (fronting for Orban) comes closest to a “media celebrity” endorsing CEU – but it is hardly enough. Mind you Sebestyen never finished any college. That said, upsetting ambitious students (at Bibó College or Rajk College etc.) is never a particularly good idea by any government. Causing grievances can activate the otherwise moribund opposition, opposition-leaning people to act at a crucial time before the next general elections. Moreover although elections are decided in Hungary by… Read more »
BMO
Guest

Papp, I actually happen to share your point of view.

Picking a fight with university student bodies has historically not been conducive to the continuity of various regimes around the world.

The key is indeed to somehow mobilize the 18-30 segment because they are the least likely to reap the benefits of the status quo and are probably the most vociferous and ardent agents of opposition if properly organized.

In this however, I don’t see how they can gain swathes of supporters and thus I remain bearish on their ability to exploit the temporary publicity.

If we look back, the problem of recent Hungarian grassroots demonstrations is that they are effective in temporarily sustaining crowds with one central issue at stake, but their efforts and impetus disperses as crowds dwindle after 2 or 3 gatherings at best.

I fail to see how friendly marches under 30 thousand people will affect the situation in the absence of a viable political opposition that could capitalize on the dissatisfaction.

pappp
Guest

I’m not saying that tens of thousands of students will march. But if there will be a few hundred who may be persuaded to be more active in the upcoming elections that’s a positive result.

Member

So, if the legislation is just an administrative tweak, why all the sturm and drang from Fidesz? Why did they rush the bill through Parliament and why did Orban publicly order all his MPs to support the law?

aida
Guest

Whether Hungary will leave the EU, one way or the other is an interesting question. The present problems created by Brexit will take the EU’s eyes off the ball and OV thinks this is a good time to push his luck. The consultation document about stopping Brussels is a more primitive and even more Goebells like version of what UKIP and the rest of the xenophobes produced in the referendum campaign.

I suppose the EU can wait a while first to sort out the English and then if still need be the Hungarians. Frankly, it is of little concern what happens to Hungary if you do not live there. After all the political choices are made by the Hungarians and to use a sporting analogy, they are all unforced errors.
The Germans voted for Hitler, the English for Brexit, the Hungarians for OV. So much for the will of the people

Ferenc
Guest

OV: “nőügyekkel nem foglalkozom”
I consider the translation in the post of this quote as very mild, to my understanding it literally means: “I don’t deal with women’s cases”.
Well well well, Vikicske, wanna throw about half of the electorate out of the window? If you want, OK with me, continue this way!

Everybody feeling offended by and not accepting this statement from any politician, in this case the Hungarian PM (the Populist Minister), should think what to do after this.
Just some options:
-decide never ever to vote (again) for OV
-take actions against OV (the hopefully soon unpopular Populist Minister)
-start NÜDESZ – NőÜgyek Demokraták Szövetsége and make your points

András B. Göllner
Guest

Sorry to have to interject. Both translations of Orbán’s stomach-turning phrase are imprecise and stilted: What the Hungarian PM told his listeners was this: “I don’t concern myself with women’s issues”

Ferenc
Guest

without comments
Some words from the Populist Minister after ‘Lex CEU’ voting in ‘T.Haz’
Q: What will be the next step?
OV: We will negotiate in Washington
Q: Are there already responses from there?
OV: That is a serious country, ………, now it just should be announced
http://hirtv.hu/videok/178280

Ferenc
Guest

Just received news about a special press conference today by several parties (not the EPP) Parliament together.
Will start at 15hr (CEU-time) and can be watched here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/other-events/video?event=20170405-1500-SPECIAL-UNKN
Looking forward: what will be said there an if (parts of) the EU will be of any help at all

Member

Regarding the “Trump theory”. If Orban and his circle thinks for a moment that Trump will embrace him, Orban would have a rude awakening. This is the first time I am hoping Trump will do exactly what we think Trump will do when confronted. Hungary is nothing to Trump, and he has enough controversy going on as is. Orban’s government already triggered some unwanted political attention as mentioned by Eva above. Making Trump involved in the CEU is exactly the opposite what Trump was preaching “not meddling in other countries affairs”. If Orban starts to push Trump’s buttons, maybe Trump will send him a reminder of overdue NATO “membership payments”. The very first thing I would in fact I would welcome from Trump!

Istvan
Guest

President Trump is a bully inherently and bullies look to trounce the weaker, especially the weaker that pretend to be strong. He could exercise that instinct against North Korea by shooting down one of their rockets, he could suddenly put the screws on Hungary over NATO GDP military funding ratios to try and intimidate Germany. All things are possible with Trump and few of those things will be good for the world we live in.

wrfree
Guest

Re: Trump and Orban

Reminds me of Laurel and Hardy…. Like ‘two peas in a pod…da!’… For emphasis Laurel makes it two syllables…;-)…

VO probably gets a kick out of the situation since each appear to be working from the same menu when ‘running’ their respective countries. They love a nostalgia of the ‘great’ times, not too enamored of refugees/migrants now and love to live in the political limelight. Bring it on baby!
Trump and Orban.. with them it’s lead, follow or ….’get out of the way! These guys just want to get things done.

Ferenc
Guest

If they’ll ever meet (in Washington or elsewhere), djT should shake OV’s hand, AND NOT LET LOOSE ANYMORE!! If wished handcuffs might be applied, could be a nice solution………

Guest

“ATTACK ON CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY IS PART OF AN IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE”

If there is any ideology in it, it is Polpotism. Destroy the urban civilization.

Guest

It seems that the EU now really has had enough – the antics of the Polish and Hungarian lunatics might have consequences:
The SPIEGEL reports that Brussels is looking at the CEU case whether it conforms to EU laws:
http://www.spiegel.de/lebenundlernen/uni/soros-uni-eu-kommission-prueft-ungarns-neues-hochschulgesetz-a-1142007.html
And the London Times reports that the EU might “force” Poland and Hungary to take in their share of refugees – or else!
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/take-in-migrants-or-leave-eu-tells-hungary-and-poland-rscwfgtwn
Germany, France and up to 21 other countries will give an ultimatum to Hungary and Poland this year demanding that they accept their quota of migrants or get out of the EU.
Interesting times ahead …

Senior
Guest

There is no case. This just isn’t an EU competence. If the Commission can pull this off against Hungary with the CJEU it would truly be groundbreaking. Though with UK out it might perhaps work. I’m not very optimistic though. Orban’s government is a government of lawyers and they’ve been preparing for this for long. It would be foolish to underestimate them. And trusted dr. Navracsics will be involved in the matter so Orban can prepare well in advance. But who knows how the Hungarian case, the one that will start should the police come to shut the university down, will end?

LwiiH
Guest

1/2 of all lawyers lose all of the time.

Member

I am waiting for response from the European peoples party. There is still silence.
Many European politicians have already commented on the CEU-case and also critisized the EPP for still protecting Orbán and Fidesz.

The Austrian Karas (ÖVP-EU-parliament-leader (member of EPP)) has offered sharp criticism:

http://www.salzburg.com/nachrichten/welt/politik/sn/artikel/soros-uni-scharfe-kritik-von-karas-an-orban-241981/

Member

Karas sent letters with his concerns regarding the CEU closing to the leaders of EPP (Daul and Weber) and also to some Austrian ÖVP-ministers (Kurz and Mitterlehner).

Member

Manfred Weber (EPP fraction leader) twittered, that he had a phone call with Ignatieff. Wow!
This is the man, who boldly criticizes the poles, but protects the poles’ model Orbán (since 7 years).

https://444.hu/2017/04/05/az-europai-neppart-frakciovezetoje-targyalt-a-ceu-rektoraval

Member

Válasz has an interesting take on this story: http://valasz.hu/itthon/ezert-nem-engedheti-amerika-a-ceu-t-123244

The gist of their argument seems to be that Orbán and co. may not have taken US strategic interests into account when it considered trying to kick out CEU.

The author says that the network of American universities overseas serve important geopolitical goals for the US, and if local officials in places like Cairo, Dubai, Kuwait, etc. see the US permitting a pipsqueak Central European strongman to toss out an American university then it may encourage them to do the same to the American universities in their own cities. So the US will strenuously oppose removing CEU on that basis.

I think there’s a lot of logic in this argument, but what I’m not sure about is whether the US views CEU, a creation of George Soros, as counted among that network of American foreign universities.

So if any of you in the US are writing/calling your elected representatives about this matter, you may want to emphasize the importance of CEU to America’s geostrategic interests.

petofi
Guest

A little political reality please: Soros was an avid Democratic supporter. Trump, who never forgets an enemy, will hardly
support a Soros entity…

Member

Chemical attack by Assad in Syria.
Russia keeps supporting Assad.
Trump is angered by Putin.
He fires his pro-Russian advisor Bannon.

If Russia vetoes the UN resolution against Assad, Trump will bomb Assad’s airplanes. (Added benefits would be improved relations with the important Sunni countries of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.)

But Russia has advanced air defense systems in Syria. If they shoot down an American airplane, we have an American-Russian war.
(Most likely outcome is that the air defense systems will be deactivated during the bombing)

In any case, Orban looks like a Russian puppet by using the same methods as Putin (closing independent university, trying to silence independent organizations).

In a good scenario, we can see Orban dislodged by Trump’s anger.

Guest

That came as a surprise (at least to me) too:

Breitfart’s Bannon fired from NSC!

http://www.snopes.com/2017/04/05/bannon-national-security-council/
Though I don’t know if it has any significance …

Member

Orban’s daughter’s private school, the Swiss École Hoteliere of Lausanne, also gives a US degree aside to a domestic one at graduation, exactly like CEU.

https://444.hu/2017/04/05/orban-rahel-svajci-iskolaja-pont-ugy-mukodik-mint-amiert-eluldoznek-a-ceu-t-magyarorszagrol

Member

Minister Balog admitted today:

“We would not like to see CEU operate further in its current form”, because its alumni “serve Soros’s interest”

https://444.hu/2017/04/05/balog-zoltan-nem-akarja-hogy-a-ceu-ebben-a-formajaban

cornel
Guest

And if Balog doesn’t like it, it will be banned.

That’s just the way it is, baby.

Member

“Somebody is going to leak [further] bad information” about Fidesz leaders (since Orban’s daughter is mentioned, I guess the info will touch Orban himself) – claims the Fidesz propaganda organ magyaridok. The title of the article is “The denigrating action is carried out from abroad”

http://magyaridok.hu/belfold/kulfoldrol-folytatjak-lejarato-akciot-1543360/

The tone of this article brings back the atmosphere of the 1949 “Hungarian times”, the preparation for the Rajk trial.

Member

The shady past (Russian mafia connections) of Orban’s permanent interior minister Pinter is mentioned:

https://atlatszo.hu/2017/04/03/jakubinyi-tagad-de-a-bm-ben-sem-orulnek-a-pinter-sandorrol-szolo-konteoknak/

Member

The exceptions and inherent contradictions of the new, Russian-inspired bill to register independent NGOs as foreign agents.

https://atlatszo.hu/2017/04/05/a-felcsuti-focialapitvany-is-kulfoldrol-tamogatott-szervezet-minket-viszont-kihagytak/

cornel
Guest
When is the point when the Hungarian deep state intervenes to replace Orban who is now clearly insane? This has been the biggest international scandal of the last few years and we know that Hungary was involved in a few. And why? Because Orban got one day up a few months ago and figured he doesn’t like CEU so he will ban it – which no other EU members has ever attempted. This is a clear instance of extremism – for no possible gain other than to feel better for having crushed liberals. Of course this was an academic question really because the Hungarian deep state is entirely subordinate to Orban and is anyway pro-Russian. In fact my assumption is that one of the reasons the US doesn’t want to meet Orban (that is allow him to have a photo-op which Orban can sell as an evidence that the US supports him) is because the US intelligence long ago concluded that Orban – although leading a NATO and EU member state – is a Russian asset. And since Hungary doesn’t really have any geopolitical significance to offer (there’s not much Hungary can provide to the US really) this is not… Read more »
petofi
Guest

I doubt that anything Orban does has not already received an OK from Moscow…

Member

According to the APA CEU are negotiating at the highest level in Austria about relocation from Absurdistan to a country that has, at least, acknowledged the arrival of the 21st Century.

http://index.hu/kulfold/2017/04/06/ausztria_legfelso_szinten_targyal_sorossal_hogy_becsbe_vigyek_a_ceu-t/

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