Michael Ignatieff in Brussels ahead of Viktor Orbán

Tomorrow Viktor Orbán will have to make an appearance in the European Parliament in, as 888.hu put it, “the defense of our homeland.” In his long article Gábor Nagy recounts the indignities Orbán has suffered over the years at the hands of the European Commission. He lists all the “unfair” sanctions and infringement procedures, which, I can assure you, are numerous. Dozens of penalties have been levied against Hungary every year. And now, once again, the author continues, the homeland is under unjust fire. The Hungarian people should rest assured, however, that “Orbán is still fighting Brussels,” with the prospect of victory. Or at least that is what the grammatical construction of the sentence implies.

Even though the author envisages victory, a couple of sentences at the end of the article indicate that there is plenty of worry in Hungary over the outcome of this latest bout between Orbán and the European Commission and Parliament. The author calls attention to the fact that “right after the Wednesday EP meeting, Juncker & Co. will decide on new infringement procedures as a result of closing the Serbian-Hungarian border and the Central European University law.” Worry is also evident in a Magyar Hírlap editorial about the possible expulsion of Fidesz from the European People’s Party. It quotes all possible statements by Christian Democratic politicians in defense of Viktor Orbán and tries to calm nerves by quoting a Hungarian proverb about the porridge which is not as hot when eaten as it was while being cooked.

So far the Hungarian government is not backing down. Viktor Orbán declared that “if it’s war, let it be war,” meaning he is ready for a fight. The Orbán government found a new “star” among the Christian Democrats, István Hollik, a relatively young man who has become a forceful and extremely loyal spokesman in defense of the Fidesz-KDNP position. Practically all of his assertions are false, but he utters them with a conviction and force worthy of Szilárd Németh, except that Hollik’s demeanor and delivery are more civilized. Today in a press conference he delivered an indictment of both George Soros and the European Union. Soros, we were told, has been banned from “many countries–from the United Kingdom to Israel,” and “more than a dozen politicians in Brussels are in Soros’s pocket.” It is “an open secret, according to him” that his men are in the European Council and the European Parliament. As far as Hungary’s membership in and support from the EPP are concerned, Hollik claims to know that “the members of the European People’s Party are certain that EPP’s leaders, just as in earlier times, will not believe the mendacious allegations against Hungary and will give the country an opportunity to explain the facts and to clarify the misunderstandings.” My feeling is that this optimistic bit of news comes from the Fidesz contingent within EPP.

Well, if it depends on Michael Ignatieff, I don’t think there will be any misunderstanding in the EU about what the Hungarian government is doing as far as Central European University is concerned. Here are a couple of sentences from Ignatieff’s talk at an event organized on the issue of CEU in the European parliament, as related by The Guardian. His verdict on what the Orbán government is doing to his university is crystal clear. “It is just outrageous and these people around here need to understand how outrageous it is. This will be the first time since 1945 that a European state had actually tried to shut down a free institution that conforms to the law, that has good academic standards, operates legally…. My job is not to tell Europe what to do about it but to say: here are the stakes, this is why it matters.” Unusually frank words in the political world of the European Union. When Ignatieff was asked what Orbán hoped to achieve in persecuting CEU, he said: “You have really got to ask him. I can’t characterize what the agenda is with confidence and for me that is not the issue. I don’t care what the agenda of Mr. Orbán is, actually. My point is you don’t take an institution hostage to serve your political agenda, I don’t care what it is.” Ignatieff is, by the way, “cautiously optimistic” that the European Union will launch infringement proceedings against the Hungarian government.

Ignatieff also participated in a discussion organized by the Free University of Brussels (ULB/VUB), where the Hungarian ambassador to Brussels was present. The ambassador admitted that the European Commission might initiate an infringement procedure against Hungary on account of the CEU scandal, but “we are ready to face them and settle the disputes together.” There might, however, be a faster and more effective way to punish the Orbán government. You may recall that Ignatieff talked not only to Frans Timmermans but also to Carlos Moedas, who is in charge of research, science, and innovation. It is possible that the new law can be seen as interfering with the free flow of scientific inquiry, and therefore it might run counter to EU laws. In fact, that possibility was brought up in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. If this is the case, the EU could withdraw support for scientific research in Hungary.

Earlier, I thought there would be an easy way for the Orbán government to get out of this sticky situation. With the help of Jobbik, 64 members of parliament signed a request to the Constitutional Court to take up the case and decide on the constitutionality of the new law on higher education. The Hungarian legal community is practically unanimous in its conviction that the law is unconstitutional. Such a ruling by the court would provide cover for the government. It could drop the whole idea and thus save face and, at the same time, demonstrate to the world that, after all, Hungary is still a democratic state. Unfortunately, there is a problem of time. If President Áder had sent the amendments to the court for review, the Constitutional Court would have had to rule within 30 days. But in the case of a parliamentary petition, it might be several months before a verdict could be expected. So, in the short run this is not a workable solution.

For now, everything depends on what happens by the end of the week in Brussels.

April 25, 2017
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petofi
Guest

Whatever Orban is doing now, it’s under orders from Russia…probably to deflect interest in the French presidential election, which probably will come under some sort of attack to allow Le Pen to win. Like the Republican primary, it is already a big surprise that Le Pen made it to the runoff.

aida
Guest

Surprise to whom? The comments I have been reading everywhere expected her to win the first round. She came second. If she wins now we have a big problem. If she does not, we have a French President who has almost as little relevant experience as President Trump. He has better manners, but does not have a party in Parliament. The issue is huge. The EU is probably better off without the English, especially as the significance and strength of their divided country will diminish and will become increasingly isolated and prone to fall victim to Putinand or the fanatical anti Europe Tories. France is different: without France there is no EU.
Hungary is significant because the EU cannot let it fester as it will be corrosive of its institutions. I thought in 2004 the fact of joining the EU would integrate Hungary into the civilised European mainstream. I was wrong. It’s presence in Europe is toxic and it must be contained. Expulsion is the ultimate step but the threat of that would likely consolidate the rule of Orban.
As for theatre I look forward to watching the questionon in the EP

Doggo
Guest

“Expulsion is the ultimate step”

The EU is a voluntary club, not a dictatorship. There is no expulsion. There is not a process for expulsion and it would be absurd if there was. The EU wants to become like the US. Can you imagine the US federal government threatening Hawaii with expulsion if they don’t change their “sanctuary city” policy or some other policy the federal government doesn’t like? It would be petty extortion to try to grab more power than the constitution grants. The same applies here. The Brussels centre of the EU has as much power as it was given by laws and treaties and can’t expand that power by petty extortion. If they try the whole thing will collapse

webber
Guest

In the democratic world, membership of all clubs and all international organizations is voluntary. It is voluntary not only on the part of the country which wishes to join, but also on the part of all other members who may not wish this or that country to join because it does not meet standards. Exclusion or expulsion do not mean that membership is not voluntary. And simply because there is no mechanism in place, and no member state has ever been expelled, does not mean a member state cannot be expelled. The EU is a work in progress, not a completed project. Hungary could be expelled quite simply if there is will to do it, and as Orban continues to attack the fundaments of democracy, that will is solidifying.
Your Hawaii example is idiotic. If a member state of the United States does not adhere to the US Constitution, it can be heavily sanctioned. The government of Hungary has violated principle after principle of the Acquis Communautaire and should have been sanctioned long ago.

Istvan
Guest

I would say in general many Hungarians make references to the constitutional structure of the USA that are not well thought out, that also happens among residents of the USA too. The USA is not a voluntary union and that issue was settled definitively by the US Civil War. I would argue that the issue was actually settled by an earlier small civil war in the USA, up in Eva’s neck of the woods New England called the Whisky Rebellion.

The US constitution is formally silent on the question of whether or not a state may unilaterally leave, or secede from the Union. This issue was hotly debated during the presidency of Andrew Jackson under what is called in US history the theory of nullification. US Courts at the state and federal level, including the Supreme Court, repeatedly have rejected the theory of nullification. If Hungarian readers of this blog want a legal reference on the non-voluntary nature of the Union I would recommend they look at the US Supreme Court, case of Texas v. White (1869).

webber
Guest

I agree on secession, of course. Who wouldn’t? But my point was also that the EU is not at all like the US, and on this I think we also have agreement. Hawaii is an idiotic example for many reasons – in addition to the enormous differences between the United States and the EU, there is the little matter of the brutal and unlawful attack on the sovereign nation of Hawaii back in 1893 using people whom today we might call “little green men.”

Istvan
Guest

Well that comment Webber goes to very American ideas like manifest destiny which is our historically polite way of saying great power imperialism in my opinion.

When President William McKinley advocated annexation of the Republic of Hawaii in 1898, he said that: “We need Hawaii as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is manifest destiny.”

On the other hand, former President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat who had blocked the annexation of Hawaii during his administration, wrote that McKinley’s annexation of the territory was a “perversion of our national destiny”. US historians continued that debate; some have interpreted American acquisition of other Pacific island groups in the 1890s as an extension of manifest destiny across the Pacific Ocean. Others have regarded it as the antithesis of manifest destiny and merely imperialism. I am personally in a historical camp that simply sees manifest destiny as code words for imperialism.

Doggo
Guest

The Hawaii example is analogous because in this regard the US and the EU are the same. There is no possibility to expel anyone from the EU this is a fact. No matter how much you dream, it is an impossibility.

The EU can no more “expel” any member that the US could. It is not possible. I think the Hawaii example make this point clear, it is not possible to expel Hawaii from the Union the same way it is completely impossible to expel any country from the EU. The US can not expel Hawaii it can take Hawaii to court which the EU can also do with member states.

Member

“…we have a French President who has almost as little relevant experience as President Trump.”

Macron was President Hollande’s top adviser for two years and then served as his economy minister for another two. He has also worked as a public financial inspector. That’s not a huge amount of experience, but it beats Trump by miles.

Observe
Guest

Aida

Yes. Sanctions, should have imposed long ago openly or overtly. Most importantly the money flow feeding the Orban mafia should have been checked or stopped.
It’s outrageous that because of petty political interests the EU let the orban rot fester and the infection spread.

wrfree
Guest

One thing to be said is that Brussels will be the geography for the battle ahead instead of Budapest. That immediately dismisses the effect of the Magyar Parliament entrances and exits to be possibly blocked and opponents arrested if negotiations do not go as planned.
An exaggeration of course but it gives the dynamic feelings of the time between the EP and the country.

An obstreperous VO has proved to be the bane of the EU. An adamant , recalcitrant child exclaiming, ‘Me! Me!’ I do not do anything wrong!’ I implore the EP to stand up to the hostile and bare-faced attack put upon CEU. A millimeter back in stance cannot be given in the matter. If they do it will open up more broken crevices for the Magyar/Russo alliance to pick their way through. The two are not builders but partners in hurrying on the dissolution of European cooperation. The EU must get wise and refuse to be Orban/Putin stooges when it comes to inherent human rights.

Talpra mAGYarok!
Guest

speaking about the “mafia” it is worth to mention the ‘globalizers mafia of Soros’. The neocon, atheist , ‘creative communist’ visions and actvities of Soros and his ‘Open Society’ manipulations are equal to Lenin, Marx, Mao created world-holocaust cauesed activity !

Doggo
Guest

“The Hungarian legal community is practically unanimous in its conviction that the law is unconstitutional.”

If that were true the law would not have been signed into law. The office of the President has a full legal team which vetted the law and found that there is not a word that is “unconstitutional” in the law. It is a pipe dream to say that the law is unconstitutional.

On the other hand Ignatieff is bluffing when he says that the University is in danger of being closed to the EU. When Ignatieff is speaking to his own University he says there is no danger at all. He stresses that there is not even a minimal amount of amount of danger.

So which one is true? The Ignatieff speaking to the EU or the Ignatieff speaking to his own students?

The most likely scenario is that the law will go into effect and the University will continue to operate. They may have to issue one degree for one thesis instead of two degrees for on thesis. Every single University in Hungary already does the same and they survive somehow.

webber
Guest

The law is unconstitutional.
If you think the fact that Ader signed it is proof of its constitutionality, you are an idiot.
The most likely scenario is that the law will force CEU to leave Hungary.

Member

Doggo’s right. President Ader has a crack legal team composed of members who only plagiarized their theses a little bit. And they are certainly immune to all manner of political pressure from Orban.

Member

We seem to have a drole new troll who is parroting the same absurdities that Orban’s media are broadcasting. Leave its spoor intact. It’s a fair sample of the offal the poor brainwashed captive populace keeps being pelted with from all sides.

Guest

I totally agree – enough is enough!
I tried to reason with “doggy”, but gave up …

Observer
Guest

Stevan

Right. First I thought he was ignorant of the fact that unconstitutional laws and illegal executive acts are multitude under this regime and that Àder is a fidesznik ie Orban’s marionette, but then came the parrot commando script.

One is better off to assume the opposite of whatever Orban says and correct on rare occasion.

reality Check
Guest

Idiot! He was reassuring his students that he would do all in his power to prevent it from being shut down. That he herald all the legal means he could to prevent it. He was making a pledge to fight.

You are Orban’s dog!

Alex
Guest

This is factually wrong. CEU cannot and will not operate under this law. What Ignatieff tells students and faculty is that CEU will not cease operations for one moment. What he means is that either a compromise is found with the Hungarian government or CEU will open a campus in a neighboring state. As we have been offered buildings in Austria, Germany and other countries, and as CEU has financial means to execute a move, this is entirely feasible. The expectation is that the government will find a face saving means of keeping CEU. No one wants to move. Many of us have raised our children in Budapest and have deep roots here. But the CEU community knows perfectly well what Ignatieff is saying and the one thing he isn’t saying is that CEU will accept this law as it stands.

David North
Guest

I live in Hungary and I deplore the current policies of the Fidesz government towards the CEU and the NGOS. The party has clearly outlived whatever justification it had for being in power and needs to be replaced, or at the very least taught a lesson at the next election.

Observe
Guest

David

I also live here, I’m fluent in Hun and have relevant edu, knowledge and experience and I can assure you there’s much more to deplore, it’s a system, not an accidental occurrence.
It is fascism “light”, look closer and you’ll recognize the patterns.

David North
Guest

By the way, can anyone tell me how one gets to be a member of Hungarian Spectrum? I messaged Eve Balogh who suggested I contact several people without telling me how to do this.

Member

You have to apply. If your application is accepted, you must go through a long initiation procedure that involves binge drinking and public humiliation. Then all the current members vote on whether we think you’re worthy.

Alternatively, you can navigate to the field on this page that says “Connect with.” Choose one of the methods and follow the steps. Bob’s your uncle.

wrfree
Guest

👍👍👍👍!!! Isn’t there also an online language proficiency test? That you have to know how pronounce two words .. ‘hogy vagy’. Hint: it helps if you throw out whatever you know about consonants…😎

Hardy
Guest

From experience I can tell you binge drinking and public humiliation is the alternative of choice. As I experienced when being an exchange student in Tubingen under the Erasmus program.

What a beautiful city and what an intellectual atmosphere

Member

I saw that at VUB. The Belgians know how to do it.

Guest

Hardy, thanks for that – now can you imagine how my Hungarian girlfriend (now my wife) reacted when she came to my hometown – and was welcomed like an old friend?

Janos
Guest

Yes I can very well imagine

pappp
Guest

Orban war-gamed the potential outcomes together with the Russians.

The games showed him winning in all of the outcomes.

Orban cannot not win because he has the full backing of Putin and his adversaries are the EU bureaucrats who are the biggest pushovers. Never trust the EU that’s my advice.

Observe
Guest

Papp

Orban always win because his a winner and if he doesn’t that would be misunderstanding so he still wins, however here are some enemies still, so he hasn’t won yet, but as we know he always wins at the end, so he has won anyway…
Blah blah black sheep..

bimbi
Guest

“Dozens of penalties have been levied against Hungary every year.”

…and of course neither Orbán nor Fidesz gives a damn. Whenever “penalties” are levied against “Hungary” – guess who pays? The people do. It works this way: the EU money comes in and the ruling clique takes its cut (20 – 30%?), then the penalties are imposed and the offended government officials dig deep into their off-shore bank accounts and pay up? Not on your life. The Hungarian tax payers come up with the money.

It is all embodied in the tale of the sh*t sandwich – the more bread you get, the less sh*t you have to eat. Ain’t that right, Viktor?

pappp
Guest

Also I bet that unfortunately Orban will be beat everybody in the Parliament.

Orban is prepared, he knows the tricks, he lies, he uses tricky legal arguments and ultimately nobody from the Parliament really cares about CEU and Hungary. It’s very difficult to argue with a total liar, who is there only to have fun.

But more importantly the Western EU politicians think that debating on the merits is important (which assumes that the law has some rational, fair consideration as its rationale that can be debated), and that this is the way to defeat Orban. Completely wrong.

Orban cannot be beaten in a debate on the merits because lex-CEU isn’t about the merits, isn’t about any rational considerations, isn’t about education. Lex-CEU is about war on liberals, war on the West, causing damage to liberals, about winning and fighting by a deranged autocrat.

Observer
Guest

Papp

There must be two of you one clever and another not so..

Orban is at the level of a country fair (bùcsu) trickster and the integrity of a gypsy horse trader, to use the Hun saying.
I would have two Orban’s for breakfast in any normal court of law… but in Hungary now he is the man holding the gun

Guest

Which parliament are you talking about? The EP?
Once again:
Everybody there (and all over political Europe) considers O a clown like Trump or Kim and Hungary a funny country – the main difference being that Hungary is not a dangerous world power but a little backwards Balkan country, and whatever O does will only hurt the Hungarian people essentially.
And, well, if they don’t mind, but enjoy it even …
And it seems that a large part of Hungarians really are masochists.

PS:
Of course, for Hungarians it’s always someone else’s fault – my wife says so, she knows her countrymen.

Member
Yesterday (Tuesday), President Áder made a visit to a grammar school in Budapest, to lecture on environment issues, and it ended with the youngsters asking quite a few tough questions about Lex CEU. Now the Vice-Rector of CEU, Zsolt Enyedi, has written an open letter to Áder (https://444.hu/2017/04/25/sajnalom-hogy-tobb-fontos-kerdesben-felretajekoztatta-a-diakokat-a-ceu-rektorhelyettese-valaszolt-adernek), regretting that the President misinformed the students in many ways. For instance, Áder had claimed that the regulations towards foreign universities are much more strict in many Western countries than in Hungary (in reality, nowhere else is there a law specifically directed against a certain university). Áder had also insinuated that Rector Ignatieff believes that the CEU is not endangered (in fact, Ignatieff had said that the university will not cease to exist and that they are trying to remain in Budapest), and he claimed that, provided there is goodwill on both sides, the current problems can be solved by negotiation – in fact, the government has so far refused to negotiate with the CEU. Enyedi’s words to Áder personally deserve to be quoted (sorry, my doubly non-native translation again): “Please think of this: why didn’t the government listen to you, and why didn’t they start negotiations with the people involved? I’m… Read more »
pappp
Guest

The kids at Terfort know exactly that Ader lied. It’s an elite highschool, Ader can’t fool them. The Fidesznik spinmeisters are out of touch, at least with respect the Budapest situation.

In Budapest basically nobody believes Fidesz, among the kids of intellectuals or kids of the the secular middle class the percentage is zero.

I don’t even understand why Ader needed this. He probably would’ve had more success at any parochial high schools – where kids tend to come from strongly anti-communist/anti-liberal families.

Observer
Guest

Papp

Unfortunately even in Bud there is a large number of faithful, check the parliament and minicipal election votes.
Even now Fid may win in 2, 12 districts where many of the Orban thieves live.

gáspi
Guest

The municipal elections last week didn’t exactly show Fidesz was strong. Even in Józsefváros which is pretty conservative (lots a disorderly gipsies, drug abusers and homeless) Fidesz couldn’t have won against a common leftist candidate. The turnout was minimal and municipal elections are anyway more pragmatic affairs. Fidesz probably has 10-15% support in Budapest (from all voters) and maybe 30% of the votes cast. This is pretty weak even in a first past the post system. In Buda Fidesz is a bit more popular but not much more so.

Observer
Guest

Gaspi

I responded re the Fid support “among the kids of intellectuals or kids of the the secular middle class the percentage is zero.” Unfortunately it is not zero.
I’m looking at the last mun election figures for the whole. Yes. the two by-elections show a significant positive shift and in Bud Orban will loose badly.

Guest

Maybe O has (like in the cases of the internet tax and the Sunday shop closing) realised that attacking CEU directly was a bad idea and this is the first step in retreating for now – so doggy is right in a way, CEU will not be closed, at least not now, maybe later they’ll have a new attempt after (as we say in Germany): Gras ist über die Sache gewachsen …

Remember that Fidesz often tries some crazy stuff – then after some time they come up with other ideas to “fight their enemies), the foreign companies in Hungary, the EU, the NGOs, the Liberals, the Global Players, the intellectuals, you name them …
O just can’t give up, that’s maybe his biggest weakness!
And he sees enemies everywhere!

gáspi
Guest

What are you talking about? Stop dreaming.

There is zero evidence Orban changed his mind.

If anything Ader’s performance yesterday was a very clear evidence that nothing’s changed.

Fidesz is absolutely united in it efforts to kill off CEU once and for all. This is the power of Fidesz. That there’s no dissent whatsoever. Hitler or Stalin had more internal dissent. Fidesz is a monolith whereas you hear all about the endless infighting between and intra the leftist parties. Fidesz is a rock and Orban isn’t changing his mind. When the immigrants start appearing thanks to Erdogan and Putin this is a good image to have for Orban.

He is provoking the world, provoking the domestic opposition to act. Orban knows that nobody has real leverage over him and nobody will stage a revolution. It’s not in the liberals. They are too weak and hapless. This isn’t the right-wing sector of Madian. This is a group of 100 pound urban kids wielding 1.000 dollar Iphones. They won’t change shit.

The Russians and Pinter are watching Orban’s back anyway. Orban is safe and he’s made up his mind.

Roma locuta, causa finita.

Guest

gáspi, O cannot “kill” CEU – he can chase it away so it does a new start in Vienna, Bratislava or Vilnius (many capital cities have offered to host it …) and I think that new start wouldn’t be a bad idea. It would show what the Fidesz regime is really like – the money lost would also hurt them …

But let’s wait and see what the other players in the EU will be doing.

PS:
I know of course that all these crazy Fidesz activities hurt essentially the poorer people in Hungary – but if they vote Fidesz it’s their problem.
Though of course I know the typical Hungarian reaction_ it’s always someone else’s fault!
My wife got very angry again today after we talked to some neighbours – typical country bumpkins, she said. Hungarian schools must be and have been really bad – not teaching people to think for themselves …

Guest
Guest

That’s a funny picture indeed!

On the other hand when we see the orange Trump or North Korea’s Kim in all their beauty we also tend to laugh, but …

petofi
Guest

Yeah, we’ll be laughing all the way back to the stone age…

petofi
Guest

It must be said that with a mad-hatter like Trump in the US presidency, the Dr. Strangelove
scenario is an ever-increasing likelihood…

Guest

Petofi, I’m still an optimist at heart – the world has managed other kinds of crisis, though of course it wasn’t very nice for those people in the middle of it all.

Luckily it isn’t the orange clown all by himself who pushes the red button.

Remember the story of the Russian officer many years ago who got theinfo that US atomic bombs were on the way – and he didn’t call his superiors but waited until it was clear that there was an error, no bombs on their way …
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Soviet_nuclear_false_alarm_incident
The Germans in 2013 gave him not only a medal but also 25 000€.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanislav_Petrov

wrfree
Guest

Scene:

General Jack D. Ripper: The base is being put on Condition Red. I want this flashed to all sections immediately.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Condition Red, sir, yes, jolly good idea. That keeps the men on their toes.
General Jack D. Ripper: Group Captain, I’m afraid this is not an exercise.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Not an exercise, sir?
General Jack D. Ripper: I shouldn’t tell you this, Mandrake, but you’re a good officer and you’ve a right to know. It looks like we’re in a shooting war.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Oh, hell. Are the Russians involved?’

Amazing how the punk in NK dumps Russia in priority this time around. One has to think though Vlad would love to pile on the rockets and get in on the action…Things are getting hot. Hope Kimmy takes a page from Nikita. He better wake up and smell the coffee. Big meetup in the Senate today. Heard Stanley’s film will be screened initially… To take the edge off you know??😎

Istvan
Guest

This discussion reminds me of the endless and complex dynamics inside the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) that I had to endure during my service. If you think too much about this it can cause a loss of sleep. I am glad to be retired and able to look at this stuff from a distance now.

wrfree
Guest

Lucky you Istvan.
I hope our man in Washington, New York, Florida, Scotland, etc etc etc knows how to navigate the United States through this part of the century. We could wind up like being in one long whack-mole-game at carnival time. I mean if ‘KJ’ goes missing Iran has to pop up in the force field. They’re certainly not going away.

Three of them, Vlad, KJ, Ali K and Orban…. Guaranteed to drive Europe and the world crazy. The illiberalists and nukists are one big happy family.

Ferenc
Guest

Today (we.Apr.26) from 15.00, MEPs will discuss the fundamental rights situation in Hungary with Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Further info and links to follow it live are here:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20170424IPR72045/fundamental-rights-in-hungary-debate-with-timmermans-and-orb%C3%A1n

pappp
Guest

“We have a problem with a speculate” – so says Orban. It means of course we have a problem with – the figure of – “the Jew”. The Jew is always a scheming speculate whose weapon is money and increasingly ideas (communism, liberalism, capitalism etc.) with which he wants to infect the minds of righteous, indigenous people.

petofi
Guest

@ Pappp

Under the guise of giving the Fidesz mantra, you take the opportunity to spout the racist horseshit.

Get thee hence, satanic troll-meister.

Member

OT: Verhofstadt nails Orban in the European Parliament.

pappp
Guest
Let’s be honest. Nobody cares about a performance of a liberal member of the EP. More notable is that apparently CEU is now conceding defeat. Zsolt Egyedi just said that moving away from Hungary is now a real option. Until now, lets remember, CEU assured everyone that CEU will keep fighting and remain in Hungary no matter what. I don’t know what they hoped for but they were apparently underwhelmed by today’s developments – they probably realized EPP will not kick out Orban and so there’s zero pressure on Orban to revoke Lex-CEU. We’re looking at at least a 2-4-year long legal procedure by the Commission (assuming there will be a legal case after the investigation phase) which is only indirectly helpful for CEU which needs help pronto. Though when the police comes in September to shut CEU down then maybe that enforcement procedure will be stayed and the Hungarian court can submit the case to the EU court. But the EU-law legal case is rather tenuous – though this is a sympathetic claimant so the court may decide to break new ground. Domestically the Constitutional Court is not a real court but basically a Fidesznik upper chamber of Parliament.… Read more »
Doggo
Guest

“I agree that there is less than 50% chance for CEU to stay in Hungary but Enyedi will certainly not increase morale by admitting defeat so soon after vowing never to leave Budapest.”

Leaving voluntarily is not a “defeat” it is a change in tactic. As you said they vowed never to leave Budapest which was the previous negotiating tactic.

Which was true? Enyedi saying never to leave or you writing he is “admitting defeat”? Both can’t be true at the same time.

“Never” means “never” and not “in five days time we might change our mind”.

pappp
Guest
It wasn’t a tactic. It is the right thing to say and do. You want to force the dictator to actually shut down a university with police like it was 1948 again (when the commies disbanded and nationalized parochial schools by the police). And staying, resistance is what those 80k people who went to support CEU wanted also. The outside supporters and the CEU leadership must support each other and be consistent. The fundamental problem of CEU is the same as the problem of global warming. If we actually tell people how dangerous global warming is, how extreme the climate path we’re on then people will give up fighting because they’ll argue that it’s too late, it doesn’t matter any more, we can’t change it. So you have to thread carefully: tell people that it is very dangerous but no so as to render action hopeless. We know that CEU cannot be shut down forever. CEU will survive. At most teaching will be suspended until the university moves to Vienna and people will have a free semester until the moving is completed. In fact it would be better for the students (studying in Vienna looks better on the CV), the… Read more »
Doggo
Guest

You make a few interesting observations. What is your opinion on what will ultimately happen?

Will they stay or will they go?

pappp
Guest

Nobody knows, I don’t either, but CEU must resist until the last bullet and Ignatieff and co. must have nerves of steel.

Orban loves these games and wants to wear out those intellectuals who are not used to pressure like this months on end.

However, CEU can prevail. Orban is much weaker than he was 7 years ago. The most important thing is the existence of the possibility of victory; not the probability of it.

petofi
Guest

Two trolls–Dogo and Pappp–playing ping-pong on the blog.

pappp
Guest

petofi, you’re ridiculous. you have a tendency of charging many regular people here with being trolls.

petofi
Guest

Trolldom

One of the classic tells of trolldom is that the commenter dominates the blog…

Alex
Guest
The vow not to leave Hungary never entailed the hubris of claiming the government would fold. Rather, the message has been pretty clear: CEU will fight and make it as hard as possible for Orban and Fidesz to prevail. CEU won’t compromise core principles. And if forced to move CEU will retain a presence in Hungary, keep the campus and return when this regime is replaced. Governments, even authoritarian ones, come and go. Universities are meant to last in perpetuity. CEU has an endowment of over $800 million and a highly loyal faculty, student body and network of alumni-however painful and disruptive, it can live as a university in exile indefinitely. It bears mentioning that CEU employees are working harder than ever and have created a new level of cohesiveness and institutional loyalty. Incoming students are not declining offers. As an institution CEU is stronger than before the crisis and there’s no reason to think this will change. We have outstanding leadership, a capable and responsible board and a committed faculty, not to mention global support and newfound visibility. The costs to individuals and families will be high, bearing down especially on our children whose lives will be profoundly disrupted.… Read more »
Bowen
Guest

This is great. And it’s important. Orban will be furious. Expect a hate campaign on the streets of Budapest in the near future (as happened with Viviane Reding).

Guest

Has O already reacted to this?
http://bbj.hu/politics/ec-sets-record-straight-on-stop-brussels-consultation_132064
“The Commission considers that the consultation is based on several factually incorrect or highly misleading claims and allegations and will therefore set the record straight in its response – based on hard facts …
A slap in the face of “the dictator” or not?

Ferenc
Guest

Not (yet)! or never?
Timmermans stated these facts in his first speech, and Orban didn’t react to any of it in his last words.
The Hungarian INDEPENDENT media (444/index/hvg) is full with it, commenting on all the six questions with the hard facts.
May the EU should seriously think about what they can request OV&Co to do in this matter: stop this consultation / suspend tll correction of the texts / distribute additional factually correct info to all Hungarians.

PS: considering OV’s last words, to me he seemed too much pushing for the positive thing of the EU Cohesion Funds, so he might really be afraid for changes in the EU funds for Hungary,

Ferenc
Guest

quote from European Commission – Daily News, Brussels, 26 April 2017: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEX-17-1116_en.htm

“The Commission considers that the consultation is based on several factually incorrect or highly misleading claims and allegations and will therefore set the record straight in its response – based on hard facts – that has been made public at the start of First Vice-President Timmerman’s intervention at the European Parliament Plenary debate today and is available here in English and Hungarian.”

English: http://europa.eu/rapid/attachment/MEX-17-1116/en/Commission%20answers%20Stop%20Brussels%20Consultation_EN.pdf
Hungarian: http://europa.eu/rapid/attachment/MEX-17-1116/en/Commission%20answers%20Stop%20Brussels%20ConsultationHU.pdf

pappp
Guest

Nesze semmi fogd meg jól. (Take this nothing, grab it well).

So what? Ok, so what will happen to Orban? What’s the downside?

Nothing. This is nothing.

Orban and Fidesz are lawyers. A lawyer always looks for the sanction. The penalty, the potential negative consequences. And they don’t find any. So basically these are empty words.

We have long ago settled the Orban is interested only in real displays of power not in inane words by vapid bureaucrats.

Let me tell you: Orban is having a great party tonight, his people are opening their best bottles of Krug sekt.

They set up a great battle, spectacle, they won the fight and went home stronger.

Meanwhile they tested the EU and the EPP (CDU/CSU) and it turns out they are weak, which is good news for Orban and Putin, it’s just good to know, they will act accordingly. Orban also made the EU look weak which was a bonus, yet again the EU looks irrelevant – just as Putin likes it. This was a very sad day for Europe and for Hungary.

Ferenc
Guest

OV&Fidesz might think that today they won, ever the better if they think that!
But as far as I can see: OV&Fidesz just survived today, and they have to show to the whole EU, commission and parliament, that they move in a at least less unacceptable direction. If OV&Fidesz don’t fulfill that, EU will turn on the screws.
I also suspect that from EU side the local Hungarian public/state media will be very closely monitored, how they are informing the Hungarian public about the happenings in today in Brussels.

Guest

Here’s the report in our SPIEGEL on O’s performance in Brussels – reads like alternative facts what he’s proposing …
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/europaeische-union-viktor-orban-weist-vorwuerfe-im-eu-parlament-zurueck-a-1145016.html
Even our CSU right winger Mr Weber was not amused …

Ferenc
Guest

Thanks, here’s the header:
EU-Parlamentarier attackieren Orbán: “Sie lügen, und Sie wissen, dass Sie lügen”
Members of EU Parliament attack Orban: “You are lying, and You know, that You are lying”
Good picture also!!comment image

Ferenc
Guest
Zoli
Guest

Hello everyone! I am a 21 years old Hungarian student. I found this site as I was doing google searching about the international recognition about Hungarian politics. I fairly disheartening. Not in sense that it got small only foot notes, because that is expected, but that as I was reading the comments on the Guardian, I found out that they thought that orban is hugely popular in Hungary and has the majority of the population behind him. That being said, this is not the topic of this conversation. I think that the main problem is, that there are no valid opposition with a charismatic leader. I’ve spoken to a lot of students and those, who support fidesz only are only doing that because the lack of competent alternative. fidesz has around 1.5-2 million supporters. It could be overthrown if there was somebody who could rally up the silent majority. I know that this is a little off topic, so I am sorry

petofi
Guest

The problem, young pup, is that you and the young are searching for ‘charismatic’.

How about searching for a man of honour and integrity?

Janos
Guest

Totally agree and besides what’s charismatic about the lying, stealing, corrupt, boorish OV.

I wouldn’t worry to much about an un-charismatic leader as long as he or she is promoting the common good of Hungary instead of lining his own pockets.

An the alternative to Fidesz is going to the voting booth in groups of four students and agree to give one vote to each of the democratic opposition parties. Maybe they don’t have charismatic leaders but at least it will ensure debate in parliament and result in somewhat more deliberated decisions. Instead of the fast track garbage Fidesz produces

Talpra mAGYarok!
Guest

“Közép Európai Egyetem” (founded in Hungary) in english tranlation “Central Europian university” is not identical with “CEU” founded in New York. Thats the trick and the root of missinterpretations, false prejudictions

Janos
Guest

Totally agree and besides what’s charismatic about the lying, stealing, corrupt, boorish OV.

I wouldn’t worry to much about an un-charismatic leader as long as he or she is promoting the common good of Hungary instead of lining his own pockets.

An the alternative to Fidesz is going to the voting booth in groups of four students and agree to give one vote to each of the democratic opposition parties. Maybe they don’t have charismatic leaders but at least it will ensure debate in parliament and result in somewhat more deliberated decisions. Instead of the fast track garbage Fidesz produces

Alex
Guest

I’m sorry this is idiotic. The reason that there are two legal entities is that the Hungarian law required it of CEU. KEE exists solely because the previous government of Hungary passed a law that made it mandatory. CEU has always been meticulous in complying with Hungarian law, claims to the contrary are demonstrably false.

Talpra mAGYarok!
Guest

Azoknak , akik nem akarnak globalizált, homogén világot.

Őrizzük meg a nemzetek sokszínűségét, a nemzeti határokat és kultúrákat.

Miért fontos ?

Azért, hogy felhívjuk az emberek figyelmét arra, hogy az un ‘humanitárius’, “filantróp’ nézetek valójában bolygónk sokszínűségét öli meg !

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/People_who_does_not_want_to_have_a_globalized_homogeneous_globe_Save_the_diversity_of_the_nations_of_national_borders_an/?oIwlamb&utm_source=sharetools&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=petition-419256-People_who_does_not_want_to_have_a_globalized_homogeneous_globe_Save_the_diversity_of_the_nations_of_national_borders_an&utm_term=Iwlamb%2Ben

Janos
Guest

The author (Talpra m) would clearly have benefited from one of the free English language courses at CEU

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