Is it time for Viktor Orbán to choose sides?

Not surprisingly the Hungarian media is focused on the consequences of the resolution adopted by the European Parliament that calls for launching Article 7(1). Yesterday I could report on the reactions of Foreign Minister Szijjártó and Fidesz spokesman Balázs Hidvéghi who laid the blame for the fiasco on, who else, George Soros. Viktor Orbán, who had just returned from China, carefully avoided the topic with the exception of one sentence in a speech he delivered today at Daimler AG’s meeting. In his opinion, “it is foolish to vilify Hungary when it is first or second in the European Union in terms of economic growth; it is here that unemployment diminishes fastest; it is a country where all European fiscal rules are adhered to and the sovereign debt is decreasing.”

One can quibble about the accuracy of Orbán’s claim about Hungary’s economic growth, although it is true that the projection for this year, due to an unusually large infusion of EU convergence money, is very good. But what Orbán conveniently ignores is that the EP resolution to invoke Article 7(1) has nothing to do with Hungary’s economic performance. It is the “serious deterioration of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights over the past few years” that prompted the European Parliament to act.

It is hard to tell whether the Orbán government was prepared for the blow or not. A few days ago I read an interview with András Gyürk, the leader of the EP Fidesz delegation, who admitted that, despite the Fidesz members’ best efforts, “the most important actors” in the European Parliament still don’t understand the Fidesz version of the situation in Hungary. Hungarian opposition MEPs have been saying in radio and television interviews that from their conversations with members of the European People’s Party they gained the impression that as many as half of the EPP members have serious reservations about defending Viktor Orbán and his regime. At first I thought that number was wishful thinking on their part, but the vote pretty well confirmed their claim: 67 of the EPP members voted for the resolution and 40 abstained, so about half of the EPP caucus refused to come to the aid of the Orbán government.

Those few government officials who spoke about the debacle emphasized the size of the EPP contingent that stood fast behind Viktor Orbán. Pro-government commentators keep repeating the optimistic predictions of “political scientists” of Fidesz-sponsored think tanks like the Center for Fundamental Rights (Alapjogokért Központ) and Századvég that “there is no chance” of the procedure getting to the second stage because, given the present political makeup of the European Parliament, the necessary two-thirds majority is unachievable. But I wouldn’t be so sure, especially if it becomes evident that the Orbán government has no intention of following the recommendations of the European Parliament to, for example, “repeal the act amending certain acts related to increasing the strictness of procedures carried out in the areas of border management and asylum and the act amending the National Higher Education Act, and to withdraw the proposed Act on the Transparency of Organizations Receiving Support from Abroad.” Because the way it looks, the Orbán government has no intention of changing anything in the law on border security, as Szijjártó and others made clear already yesterday. Today we learned that the government will not give an inch on the issue of Central European University either.

László Palkovics, undersecretary in charge of education, was giving a press conference in Debrecen on another subject when, in answer to a question on the fate of CEU, he made it clear that the law on higher education will not be changed. It is a law that is applicable to all universities, not just CEU. It stands the test of constitutionality, and it conforms to the values of the European Union. The decision by the majority of the European Union was a “political act.” I should add that constitutional scholars have a very different opinion on the matter.

A couple of weeks ago the government indicated that it would form a working group to start negotiations with the administration of CEU. Today a large group of middle-level bureaucrats arrived, representing practically all the ministries, but after an hour and a half it became obvious that they had no decision-making powers. In fact, they were totally ignorant of the government’s position and plans. Neither Palkovics nor Kristóf Altusz, undersecretary in the Foreign Ministry, was present. Zsolt Enyedi, vice-rector, got the impression that Altusz, who was supposed to “negotiate” with the U.S. government, did no more than ascertain that the federal government has no jurisdiction in this case. And so he was told to negotiate directly with the university instead. The present “negotiations,” Enyedi believes, are the government’s answer to an American suggestion. No one knows whether the government has any intention of seriously negotiating with the university in the future. My guess is that it doesn’t.

János Lázár’s usual Thursday press conference gave journalists an opportunity to hear more about the government’s reaction to yesterday’s vote. He concentrated on the migration issue and said that “the Hungarian government will not meet the European Parliament’s request to terminate either the legal or the physical closure in place. The security of the Hungarian government is much more important than the political dogmas set by the European Parliament.”

This reference to the “political dogmas” of the European Union brings me to a brief press conference Viktor Orbán gave in the middle of his trip to China which, according to 24.hu, was, despite its brevity, a fuller explanation of his thinking on democracy and related matters than at any other time since his illiberal speech three years ago. The prime minister was obviously impressed by what transpired in Beijing and praised Chinese plans for the Belt and Road project. In this connection he insisted that the East has by now caught up with the West and therefore “the old model of globalization” is over. From here on money and technology will flow from East to West and not the other way around. But here comes the interesting part. According to Orbán, “most of the world has had enough of globalization because it divided the world into teachers and pupils. It was increasingly offensive that some developed countries kept lecturing the other, greater part of the world about human rights, democracy, development, and market economy.” Orbán, according to the journalist commenting on this short interview, thinks that “the time has come for Hungary to choose sides.”

Orbán’s complaints about developed nations lecturing to less developed ones about human rights and democracy provide a window into his psyche and the motivating forces of his actions. Unfortunately, Orbán’s human failings have serious, adverse consequences for the people he allegedly wants to save.

May 18, 2017
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LwiiH
Guest

“don’t understand the Fidesz version of the situation”, don’t understand or don’t agree? Are we going to hear the same old tired, arrogant excuse that we’re not Hungarian so we can’t possibly understand?

Persistence
Guest

You do not understand anything

Member

It is my guess, that many members of the EU Parliament are becoming less concerned about the internal politics of Hungary, than the antics of the little viktor lately. They lost patience with an ill mannered, aggressive, combative and constantly lying s.o.b., who attacked their polite and politically correct style of speech and downgraded them to be only bureaucrats, even though many of them are ministers, were ministers or even prime-ministers in their own country.

Now, the added statements about the financial speculators=jews, financial speculators (the jews) rob other people’s money, as Lázár stated, put the viktor’s regime in a very bad light. Anti-Semitism, racial and religious prejudice is NOT condoned in the EU. The attacks on George Soros ARE now seen as an anti-Semitic campaign, it is sold on that bases to Hungarians, because a large portion of the population is either anti-Semitic or even if not, they are indifferent about prejudice, so they learn to hate Soros, a jew, a speculator, as they are told to do so.

THE WORD FINANCIAL SPECULATOR HAS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MEAING IN HUNGARY THAN IN THE WESTERN WORLD, IT COMES FROM NAZI PROPAGANDA FROM THE 1920’S TO WWII!

Melanie Zuben
Guest

According to Kovess Slomo (chief RABI of Budapest): ” Just because you don’t like George Soros’s idea of a perfect world (Open Society, open borders etc.) and his organizations, it doesn’t make you an anti-Semite.” His comment is good enough for me to make up my own mind re: alleged Hungarian anti-Semitism.
My question is: what makes someone an anti-Hungarian? Is it unresolved pain that turned into hatred or is it something more sinister than this?

petofi
Guest

Melanie-baby,
when you get out of the scalding-hot tub, wait a while before you take your temperature…(Are you as big as you sound? All puffed up and nowhere to come…)

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Petofi,
I have no intention to take a bath with my hairdryer. 🙂

Ferenc
Guest

“what makes someone an anti-Hungarian?”
Your question can only be answered if you clarify it by giving some examples of what you consider anti-Hungarianism

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Ferenc,
Some of the commentators on this blog used to call the Hungarian people the following:
– geneticly inferior morons
– useless scumbags
– peasants
– pigs
– hopeless idiots etc.
– anti -Semites etc. etc.
Just have a look at some of their responses to me. (They are incapable to conduct a debate in a civilcivilized manner. Name calling is the norm in here).

Ferenc
Guest

I disagree with you that ‘name calling’ is the norm here. The big majority of reponses to you does not contain any of the words, you gave as examples.
And for your original question, unfortunately I have to answer that I just don’t know.

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Ferenc
I’ve been commenting on this blog since its very beginning. You have to believe me on this.

Guest

At least you reduced your “self advertising” but you can’t stop it, it seems.
But you still serve as a very good example of total ignorance re what’s really going on in Hungary!
Just one question:
When and how long were you in Hungary the last time – and who did you talk to?
Think about the answer for a while …

Melanie Zuben
Guest

wolfi,
“At least you reduced your “self advertising” but you can’t stop it, it seems.”

I’m an open book. We all have an agenda, I guess. Mine is to find platforms to sell my books and yours is to influence public opinion, re: Open Society, open borders etc. etc.
As for your question: I visit Hungary often, but I haven’t yet come across an anti-Semite. But that’s just me. Obviously, I’m moving in the “right” circles.

Guest

Of course, those Fideszniks you meet which profit nicely from the EU money are happy – just like you!
Have you ever been tothe country in winter where people have no gas but use coal and everything that burns to heat at least one room in their house that looks like a ruin?
And did you also congratulate them on their “Großer Führer”, aka great leader Orbán whom they all adore?
You wrote about that once …

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Wolfi,
Have I “ever been to a country where people have no gas” etc.?
I was brought up in a village in one of those houses. We were dirt poor for today’s standards.
In the last few years, I have noticed many notable improvements and I have high hopes for the Orban Government to solve this dreadful problem that should’ve been attended to long, long time ago. (After all, Communism ended back in 1989.) The Orban Government or any other government would have a hard task ahead of them.
BUT, as the saying goes: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”! It will take time to eliminate the ruins that was left behind by the oppressive communist dictatorship.

Observer
Guest

Hungary was the merriest barrack under Kàdàr/the circumstances.
Now, in the free world, it is the saddest under Orbans thieves and fascists.

Hajra.

Ferenc
Guest

Back to your original comment, with which you questioned and/or tried to refute “alleged Hungarian anti-Semitism”.
Well I have lived and worked in the past for quite some time in Hungary and from personal experience I can state that there is a serious anti-Semitic sentiment in much more people in Hungary than you think. People who I had known for quite some time still could surprise me with talk containing unexpected anti-Semitic undertones.
So I have nothing to refute Gyula Bognar Jr’s comment, only experiences supporting it, so he might very well be right.

Guest

You’re kind of funny – if someone had criticised Hitler, should we gerrmans have called hil anti-German?
Just think about this!

Member

“Kovess Slomo (chief RABI of Budapest)”

There is no such title – Mr Köves is a rabbi of the Chabad organization. This organization also calls itself EMIH or “Status quo ante” in Hungary since 2004. Although this organization is expanding, it still represents a minority (20-25%) of religious Jews in Hungary.

Member
Köves Slomo is the jewish equivalent of the Christian “Peace Priests”, (Békepapok) employed and paid by every Hungarian Government since the time of Rákosi. Slomo and the MAZSIHISZ are subservient jews, catering to the Fidesz boys, getting paid for their “loyalty” and lies. Yet………………………………… You can BELIEVE whatever and to whomever you want to BELIEVE! The benefit is, that one cannot argue with beliefs. On the other hand, it is a proven fact, that a very substantial portion of the Hungarian population is anti-Semitic and another large portion thinks they are not, but in reality they are also prejudiced against most other non-Hungarian people. A very large numbers of Hungarians BELIEVE that the jews were deported by the Germans from Hungary, so Hungary is the only European country that did not and does not admit the heinous crimes they committed during WWII, nor do most people do not admit responsibility for it. The fact is, that stripping the rights from the jews, robbing them of their property, collecting them in camps, sending them to work detail and to the death cams was done entirely by the Hungarian Government, the Government employees, police, gendarmes, etc, and almost nobody from the population… Read more »
Guest

“Orbán’s complaints about developed nations lecturing to less developed ones about human rights and democracy ”
In other words, Orbán acknowledges Hungary is a less developed nation? That’s one way to understand it.

Persistence
Guest
Dear B.S. Eva, Your one sentence threat (see at the end) almost landed me in hospital with a heart attack. It is frightening to know that you still live by the same guidelines which you learnt in your most receptive age (14-20) … if you cannot solve your problem with someone by peaceful negotiation call the authorities to take care of the matter that you have created on the first place. The only problem with this Dear B.S. Eva that 60+ years passed since and in spite of all your efforts to suppress the rights of others you must come to terms with the fact that everyone’s freedom of speech is protected by Amendment 1 not only ultra-left lib fascist dictators and their followers. I know you would if you could silence me and everybody else for not sharing your distorted and perverse passion of bringing down the democratically elected government of a country that you have nothing in common with other than some documents show her as your birth place. You have no right to get into their external and internal affairs because you are a hostile alien. You have no reason to publish highly venomous articles about the… Read more »
Member

What is clear from this letter that Mr Plurinymous [and probably other Orban propagandists and apologists] are afraid of Eva’s blog.

Unfortunately for them, Orban cannot ban or Orbanize [i.e. cannibalize] this blog so easily as he did away with almost all independent media in Hungary.

Member

How can a blog that is so “ill-fated” and “insignificant” also “create mayhem?”

Ferenc
Guest

“are afraid of Eva’s blog”
SPOT ON!!

Is it possible that “Persistence” long comment is the start of a new campaign, first try to discredit Eva’s blog and finally end in something like ‘Lex Hungarian Spectrum’?
Looking forward for the wording in the next, if there is time for it, ‘National Consultation’ in relation to such a campaign…

Guest

“…you must come to terms with the fact that everyone’s freedom of speech is protected by Amendment 1 …”

“You have no right to get into their external and internal affairs …”

Self-contradiction. One stops reading.

Member

Personally, being bombarded with lies on a daily basis by the fascist state media and its lapdogs in Hungary (stealing my tax money as it operates its dirty work on behalf of the dictatorship) I would appreciate not having to read the neo-Nazi ravings of the Fidesz sheep also on here. But that is Professor Balogh`s choice.

A blog is the private property of its owner. Since Hungarian Spectrum takes not one forint from my and others taxes then Professor Balogh can operate whatever way she wants.

Member

This clown (and his various aliases) has an excellent command of English and usually is among the first to comment. Since Orbanites are not known for their command of foreign langauges, and are not paid enough to stay up late at night (CET), I would suspect it resides in North America. Just a guess, tho.

wrfree
Guest
Because of the uptick in venom directed against Prof Balogh and the entire blog itself I would have to think it in a sense stands in for the reality which exists outside of the blog. It’s getting tough and ‘touchy-touchy’ ‘out there’. Fidesz is not altogether a happy bunch singing kumbayas by the fire. This mini- universe looks to replicate the happenings on the outside. If Fidesz hears silence Fidesz fears nothing and all is status quo. If you speak up fire , brimstone, ‘blood and snot’ get heaved from the ramparts under siege. And that is from all who appear to be severely ‘communications challenged’. We can see the effect as they do their best in their limited expression abilities. We see it here in all its inanity. Looks as if this what happens with a didactic , patronizing government rather than a ‘serving’ one. Its expression is more a matter of being glib and smooth in its statements which has its object the end of discourse rather than to extend some sort of engagement and continuance on the great concerns of the country. So far as ‘teacher’ of the nation VO et al has managed and taught nothing… Read more »
Member

Orban in his weekly show on state radio this morning [March 19]:

[As opposed to the Chinese], “in the center of the thinking of the West is the pursuit of freedom, which always causes conflicts.”

https://444.hu/2017/05/19/orban-arrol-hogy-az-europai-neppart-vezetoje-szerint-kovetkezmenyei-lesznek-ha-rosszul-reagal-az-ep-hatarozatra-na-latja-ilyet-kinaban-sose-mondanak

Member

“War is Peace,
Freedom is Slavery,
Ignorance is Strength”

Orban’s ideal government structure:

Ministry of [Peace = war ]
Ministry of [Plenty = rationing and starvation].
Ministry of [Love = torture and brainwashing].
Ministry of [Truth = propaganda]

Guest

Yes, 1984 put into practice. Soros = Goldstein, rewriting history, censorship, surveillance, low living standards, newspeak/state lies, etc…

Member

Goldstein = Soros

Member

Correction: [May 19]

aida
Guest
What is clear from this interview is that VO will not give an inch. He is clearly uncomfortable with having to accept the rules of the EU and he is doing a slow march towards Hunxit. In the UK the anti EU forces conducted a relentless anti EU propaganda campaign for decades. The career prospects of civil servants who took the EU seriously, specially in the FCO were blighted. The underlying tone was anti EU, not just “sceptic” as the Tories call it. The leaders of this campaign found strong allies in the Mail and in the Murdoch press. The relentless drip of poison had its results. In the lead up to the vote last year they promoted anti migrant hysteria. In a small village for example where a local business employed large numbers of Poles the local schools had to employ extra staff to teach them English. However the school could not get extra funding to accommodate this demand growth. The local GP who has been there for 30 years said that she gave double time to Polish patients because of the translation issues. No extra funding. The Poles were blamed by the locals instead of the government. There… Read more »
Member

“Hungary is on its way out of the EU.”

Once Brussels` funding of the fascists finishes, 100%.

While the EU still naively fills up Orbanist begging-bowl, the fascist regime, by hook or crook, will remain.

Ferenc
Guest

OT
Erdogan Security Forces Launch ‘Brutal Attack’ on Washington Protesters, Officials Say
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/turkish-embassy-protest-dc.html
After having watched the video in the NYtimes article, have a look at the following video made from behind the car of Erdogan:
https://twitter.com/joshdcaplan/status/865310629934112768

And now back to the subject of this post: which side will Orban choose?

Member

OT:
Amerikai Népszava discusses whether Judit Onyutha was fired from her position as weather woman for racial reasons.
Whatever the case, she has behaved like an adult throughout the affair – a rare occurrence in Hungary these days.
http://nepszava.us/szerepet-jatszott-e-onyutha-judit-meneszteseben-hogy-szinesboru-migrans-leszarmazott/

Member

It is not the CEU that enjoys privileges in Hungary but NKE (a.k.a. Janissary University), which was founded by Orban in 2011.

it has a separate, enormous budget –
it receives 10% of all money spent on universities and colleges,
it received monopoly rights granting degrees in certain areas,
its president is the chairman of the National Election Committee – free elections anyone?

http://hvg.hu/itthon/201720__orbanegyetem__kozszolgalati_kepzes__versenyelony__kivetelezettek

wrfree
Guest

Re: OT….reflection from a past…

comment image

Taken back in ’04 with VO in ‘youth’ among youth..
Just thinking how much thinking going on now in the heads then ’round him. Curious how they look upon the pied-piper now after what he’s been doing.

Member

The Orban government has spent at least [tip of the iceberg, discovered by LMP] 1.144 billion forints to popularize the future Paks 2 atomic power plant.

More than half of the money went to five well-known friends: Meszaros, Habony, Liszkay, Vajna, Csetenyi

https://444.hu/2017/05/19/az-lmp-megtudta-mennyit-kaszal-a-fideszes-stromanbirodalom-paks-2-reklamkoltesein

Observer
Guest

Reading the piece, the comments and the linked ones – I start to feel this is surreal – there cant be 1.6-2 mil (fid voters) sick souls/idiots. If there were, what do they benefit (or think they do) from this debacle.

Finally, I guess, I’m very anti Hungarian if this bunch pretends to be Hungary.
Vesszen a mély Magyar.

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