Viktor Orbán on solidarity and financial assistance

In happier times Hungary wasn’t a prolific source of sensational news items for the international press. With the appearance of Viktor Orbán on the political scene in 2010, however, hardly a day goes by without some juicy story about what the Hungarian prime minister is up to. The avalanche of news items on Hungary at the moment is more impressive than usual. There are two reasons for this sudden interest in the country, and both are related to the “migrant issue.”

First, Viktor Orbán surprised Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, with a letter in which he demanded a hefty contribution to the fence he unilaterally decided to build along the Serbian-Hungarian border in order to prevent refugees and migrants from using Hungary as a transit route toward Western Europe. Second, the European Court of Justice just dismissed complaints by Slovakia and Hungary about EU migration policy. This is considered to be an important victory for the European Union and a blow to Viktor Orbán and his allies in Eastern Europe.

Today let’s tackle the controversy that has developed since August 31 over the issue of the cost of the fence and Orbán’s monetary demands. I will stick closely to the texts of the letters exchanged between Juncker and Orbán. All three letters are available in their entirety.

“I am contacting you regarding the protection of the external borders of the European Union and European solidarity,” begins Viktor Orbán’s initial letter to Juncker. As far as he is concerned, “Hungary followed the Schengen rules requiring the protection of the external borders” all along, and by that act Hungary “is protecting not only itself, but the whole of Europe against the flood of illegal migrants.” Orbán claims that the cost and maintenance of the fence is 270 billion forints or €883,000,000, half of which should be paid by the European Union. He closed his letter by saying that “we agree that solidarity is an important principle of the European community. When Hungary had to protect the common external borders, we started with immediate action and not a request for help. I hope that, in the spirit of European solidarity, we can rightly expect that the European Commission, acting on behalf of Member States, will reimburse half of our extraordinary border protection expenses in the foreseeable future.”

It was unlikely that Orbán seriously expected a positive answer from the European Commission. In a sense, he gave himself away in that last paragraph when he admitted that Hungary “started with immediate action and not [with] a request for help.” It was the sovereign decision of the Hungarian government to go ahead and build a fence along the country’s southern border. As for the cost, both opposition politicians and journalists in Hungary are in total darkness when it comes to the real cost of the fence. Most suspect that the figures are greatly inflated.

Hungarian media commentators were certain from the very first moments after the announcement of the demand that the European Commission would not be impressed by Orbán’s arguments. It took only a few hours after the Hungarian government made the content of the letter public for the Commission’s spokesman to announce that the European Union is not “financing the construction of fences or barriers at the external borders.” As for Orbán’s appeal to European solidarity, the spokesman noted that “solidarity is a two-way street, and all member states should be ready to contribute. This is not some sort of à la carte menu where you pick one dish.” The spokesman then summarized all the benefits Hungary received, for example “over €93 million in funding for Hungary, both from the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Internal Security Fund. It also awarded Hungary an additional €6 million in emergency funds.” He reminded his audience that in 2015 Hungary refused to be labeled a front-line state and rejected becoming a beneficiary country, like Greece and Italy. Instead, it opted to build a fence.

After this announcement on September 1, there could be little doubt that Jean-Claude Juncker’s reply to Viktor Orbán would be a firm rejection of the Hungarian prime minister’s specious reasoning. The tone of the letter, however, was polite and expressed an openness for cooperation if there is a willingness on the other side. First, he reminded Orbán of the events of 2015 when Hungary was greatly affected by the refugee crisis and the European Union proposed that an emergency relocation scheme would apply to Hungary, similarly to Italy and Greece. Hungary rejected this offer of “concrete solidarity, declining the possibility to benefit from relocation of up to 54,000 persons and decided to return nearly 4 million euros of EU funds pre-paid by the Commission.” Shortly after that, Hungary “challenged the validity of the Council decisions on relocation before the Court of Justice.”

Then came a list of all sorts of benefits Hungary received from the European Union in connection with the refugee crisis. The last item on the list was “another form of European solidarity [which is] represented by the EU’s regional funds. Hungary is the 8th largest beneficiary of the European Structural and Investment Funds in the period 2014-2020 with an allocation of 25 billion euros. This represents more than 3% of Hungary’s GDP annually, the highest of any Member State.”

Finally, Juncker “welcome[d] the call in [Orbán’s] letter for more Europe in the area of migration and border management.” He also assured him that he is “committed to working together with Hungary towards a more efficient and fairer European migration and asylum policy based on responsibility and solidarity.”

Yes, it was a polite letter, although it contained a fair description of the European Union’s objections to Viktor Orbán’s interpretation of solidarity. And there was one sentence in this fairly lengthy letter that must have sent Orbán into a rage, as we will see from his answer. That was Juncker’s reference to Hungary’s being the eighth largest beneficiary of the European Structural and Investment Funds. So, let’s turn to that crucial part of Viktor Orbán’s answer to Jean-Claude Juncker.

I would like to inform you that we are confounded by the part of your letter that creates a link between the question of immigration and cohesion funds. Such a relationship does not exist and is not permitted by the current EU acquis. According to the view of the Hungarian government, a significant part of the resources provided by Cohesion Funds landed at the companies of net contributor countries. The economies of major EU member states have thus greatly benefited from the use of cohesion funds, as they have benefited from opening the markets of new member states.

Viktor Orbán delivered a speech this morning in which he rejected the widely-held view that Hungary’s economic growth derives largely from the funds received from the European Union. I don’t have the complete text and therefore have to rely on MTI’s summary, but his argument was that Hungary’s yearly budget is 18,000 billion forints while the EU subsidies amount to only 1,000-1,500 forints. What Hungary has achieved in the last few years is “our success.” However, according to Péter Mihályi, a professor of economics, Orbán’s figures are wrong. Between 2006 and 2015, Hungary received 2,400 billion euros. During the same period the Hungarian economy grew by only 4.6%. Without the EU funds that figure would have been -1.8%.

Another topic that irritates Orbán is the European Union’s interpretation of solidarity. He didn’t elaborate on it, but he claims that Juncker’s “interpretation of solidarity is not in accordance with European Union legislation.” More critically, “it is not in accordance with Hungarian historic traditions either.” This difference in interpretation is explained by the fact that “in contrast some of the major member states of the EU, Hungary has no colonial past.” These countries, because of their colonial past, have become immigrant countries, but Hungary is not an immigrant country and does not want to become one. “The interpretation of the principle of solidarity described in your letter is in essence the transformation of Hungary into an immigrant country, against the will of the Hungarian citizens. In my view, this is not solidarity, this is violence.” Finally, Orbán said that he is “stunned and puzzled” that the European Commission refuses to provide funds for the fence. At the end he repeated his demand for half of the €883 million euros which, according to him, is the cost of the building and maintaining the 175 km fence.

Just a footnote to Viktor Orbán’s interpretation of solidarity. Last night, Zsolt Bayer, the anti-Semitic journalist of extreme political views, wrote an opinion piece for Magyar Idők that appeared in the early morning edition of the paper. He also argues that Hungary cannot be compared to countries that are situated in the West. Half of Western Europe countries, for certain periods of time, were colonial powers. These countries occupied large parts of the world where “they destroyed the culture and civilization they found. They killed the inhabitants; they carried away their treasures and raw materials. Those who survived were made slaves. This is the glorious history of the West. That’s how it became rich. That is how it became strong. It is from these treasures that they built their democracy. It is from this position that they began to look down on the people of Eastern and Central Europe who have never had any colonies. The people of those colonial empires are now going to their former slave owners and submitting a bill.”

So, the West is responsible in a way for the migration of the former slaves. They deserve what they get. And as for the financial assistance coming from the West, it is no sign of generosity because in the end all that money ends up in the pockets of western multinational companies. So, politicians of Western European countries have nothing to complain about. At least this is what Viktor Orbán thinks.

September 7, 2017
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tappanch
Guest

A.
“However, according to Péter Mihályi, a professor of economics, Orbán’s figures are wrong.
Between 2006 and 2015, Hungary received 2,400 billion euros.”

No.
This much money would be too much even for an Orban gömböc.

The gross amount Hungary received in this period was 41.1581 billion euros.
Hungary also paid into the EU budget, so the net amount Hungary received was 31.7481 billion euros.

B.
“During the same period the Hungarian economy grew by only 4.6%.
Without the EU funds that figure would have been -1.8%.”

Yes.

It is on page 8 of “EUTE_makrogazdasagi_elemzesek_osszefoglalasa” at
https://www.palyazat.gov.hu/magyarorszagi_europai_unios_forrasok_elemzese

Get the .pdf file before the government makes it disappear from their web page.

old 1956
Guest

eva, you are analyzing the orbans with your scholarly tools, as they were a serious regime. but they are only a soap opera. or even worse, a weaponized dictatorship to annoy, split, hurt, disrupt the west.

can you not detect the daily stream of active measures from the budapest-moscow axis? their weapons are indecent. they have got no decency.

Anita
Guest

Indeed. All of this fuss that they are creating only serves to divert the attention from their large scale robberies of national assets and their gradual destruction of everything which is good in Hungary.

tappanch
Guest

Orban’s “argument was that Hungary’s yearly budget is 18,000 billion forints while the EU subsidies amount to only 1,000-1,500 [billion] forints.”

Income in the yearly budgets of Hungary.
2017: 17,867.7394 billion forints,
2016: 16,222.0524
2015: 16,445.7245
2014: 15,983.6687
etc.

https://net.jogtar.hu/jr/gen/hjegy_doc.cgi?docid=a1600090.tv
https://net.jogtar.hu/jr/gen/hjegy_doc.cgi?docid=a1500100.tv
https://net.jogtar.hu/jr/gen/hjegy_doc.cgi?docid=a1400100.tv
https://net.jogtar.hu/jr/gen/hjegy_doc.cgi?docid=a1300230.tv

The EU grants the Hungarian government distributed:

2007-2013 cycle: 9,222.633032347 billion forints
2014-2020 cycle: 2,837.695654580 , as of 4 AM September 8, 2017

I haven’t totaled all the budget numbers, but say, the average income in the budgets of last ten years was 13 trillion forints.

The EU money was also 13 trillion (13.1 trillion so far)

So we can estimate that 10% of the income of the Hungarian budgets came from the European Union in the last 10 years.

tappanch
Guest

Correction:
the distributed EU money in the two cycles so far has been 12.06033 trillion forints, not 13.1.

The (planned) yearly income of the Hungarian state was 138.6934 trillion forints in the last 10 years.

Therefore 8.7% of the income of the Hungarian state came from the generous European taxpayers.

tappanch
Guest

Remark:
Orban’s higher speech number, 1500 billion from the EU gives 1500/18000= 8.3% for 2017.

Observer
Guest

tappanch

Let’s not mix the ratios, the more telling indicator “is % of GDP” since it eliminates the eventual gov budget figures tricks and is directly commensurate with econ growth.
E.g. even using Orban’s fake* figure:

EU subs 1500/36 000 (projected GDP) = 4.2% of GDP

Guys, note that the uneven drawing of funds makes for significant variance from the average in a given year.

* BTW the KPMG study says 14 000 billion were distributes (!?)

tappanch
Guest

@Observer: “more telling indicator “is % of GDP” ”

Is it so difficult to manipulate the GDP number ?
Do you mean GDP at current prices, 1995 prices, 2005 prices or by volume ? Pre- or post- 2014 calculation ?
etc.

The [EU money inflow]/[total income of the government] is more interesting to me.

Observer
Guest

GDP as per Eurostat or OECD is just more reliable than the Orban budget modified at the drop of a hat.
What do u use in the case of EU inflow/tot gov inflow for several years period?

Marija
Guest

The Commission’s letter to Orbán was too polite by half.

Seriously, why does he even bother repeating the request for the fence funds? What response does Orbán seriously expect from Juncker, at this point?

Ferenc
Guest

JCC and the Commission are real democratic politicians… Against this OV is starting to talk about violence.
If you are Hungarian, and don’t agree with OV’s beheavious in this case, I kindly ask you to think about how you can stop him, before it’s too late…

Member

Dear Ferenc, what is to late? In your inquiry?

Ferenc
Guest

with “before it’s too late…”, I mean before Hungary under OV has developed so far, that it can not be stopped anymore with democratic means…
…at the moment it’s still possible (2018 elections)…

Guest

My guess is Orbán’s letter had to do with internal politics – i.e. showing the Hungarian people Hungary cannot rely on the EU for funding the protection of its own borders. The majority of Hungarians are still pro-EU despite the repeated attacks against “Brussels”; this is just another one.

Ferenc
Guest

“letter had to do with internal politics”
that could explain the amount of language mistakes in the officially signed English letter…

Observer
Guest

Marija

This is why we use the “malevolent gypsy” stereotype:
– Lying his head off re the cost figure, no details of course.
– Brazenly shameless, cynical claims for solidarity after rejecting all such and attacking the EU in all aspects (weak, wrong, ignorant, stupid, lazy bureaucrats, declining, lacking democratic legitimacy, unfair/double standards, anti Hun, etc. etc)
– Aggressive arrogance (when no retribution is expected) in style and substance, always raising the stakes or adding oil to the fire.
– All this without any basis whatsoever, but ,very transparently, for domestic propaganda purposes.

This is the way facts/evidence, rational debate, moral norms, even common language start to disappear and give way to blind faith, shouting matches and ultimately to the law of the jungle, i.e. violence, as the only means left to realize anything by imposition on the weaker.

This perilous road guarantees net losses even in the best case, significant decline (Hun today) down to civil strife and war.

dos929
Guest
How can ANYONE take seriously ANY statistics coming from a gang of thief’s such the Orban regime? Besides all the false claims of Hungary’s economic success let’s not to forget that if it were not for the numerous Western car plants, Hungary’s ‘economic miracle’ would not exist. It is a mirage and the figment of imagination in the relentless propaganda emitted by the regime. Even with the income derived from these export oriented products and the EU subsidies, Hungary is a failed state that failed in more ways than one. Arguing about the numbers is a futile exercise and it is no more than tinkering around the fringes of the central issue of having a Mafia State with common criminals at the wheels of governance. As long as the EU leaders keep the dialogue going with Orban he will take himself seriously as a recognised statesman, who is clearly not. Were the doors shut on the Hungarian regime they would collapse within weeks. However (it seems), this is exactly why the EU tolerate this Orwellian dictatorship, or with other words, the EU does everything in order to avoid the collapse of a member state. And we know where such an… Read more »
wrfree
Guest

Re: stats coming from the ‘gang of thiefs’

A little vic today: Magyar ‘statisticians’ are those who ‘come to the rescue of figures that cannot lie for themselves’. It’s a wonder how a state sails through ‘numberification’ built on distortion and slight of hand.

If words, numbers and pictures figure importantly in communication the stat mavens are waaaaaaay behind in clarity as the VO ‘function’ always gets applied to data. It’s called a trend of ‘obfuscation within obscurity’.

Observer
Guest

dos929

Let’s stay real, orbàn’s may be the most corrupt regime in Hun history, but this is still fascism light. For good or bad this mafia is mostly interested in money and the power is primarily a tool, not much ideology here.
The natural development of these systems, however, is to harden, to become more oppressive until all is gotally subjugated and no dissenting voice can be heard.

csipsz
Guest

John Le Carré says fascism is up and running in Hungary and Poland. He is right.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/07/john-le-carre-on-trump-something-truly-seriously-bad-is-happening

Observer
Guest

Sorry John,

I would like to claim precedence – I’ve been ringing this bell since 2011. I’ve been also warning that Orban is an accidental fascist since 2007.

It’s heart warming, though, to be in good company.

wrfree
Guest

Fascism..Mr. Le Carre probably is seeing an Orban as a Magyar Mosley ‘in revolt against the ‘united mutton’ of the ‘old gangs’ of Euro politics’. Fascist talk always has that ring to it.

Aida
Guest

No, I think you do not understand. Le Carre knows a fascist when he sees one having seen a few. He does not need the stereotype of the pathetic Mosley or of the shit Orban.
I heard his interview on BBC when he explained how difficult it was for him to write his latest book during the pro Brexit campaign. About this he said rather quietly as an old fashioned, now extinct, English gentleman that “I hate Brexit”. It is not enough to hate nationalism of every kind. We must find a way of destroying it by stealth. You cannot confront it because that is what makes it grow. Any suggestions? Seriously.

Observ
Guest

Aida,
Yes, we know a fascist when we see one.

Yes, u have to undermine silly nationalism, divert it and give it a positive tinge.
.g. in the H case there was an embracing nationalism in 19th cen, people wanted to be/come H because there were beneficial developments in the country and others were accepted by H majority.

Observer
Guest

This relative openness was partially a tradition of the multinational Habsburg empire, where many non Germans reached high offices, e.g. Count Andrassy as foreign minister, Horthy as aid de camp to the emperor, etc.

In didn’t last long (until Tisza ?), although Bethlen and Teleki were more open.

Today there are mainly negative developments in H, nobody wants to become a H, and we have the vicious Beyer, Orban and co pouring venom and hatred agains any and all.

Observer
Guest

When these malevolent fascists start bleeding over the envisagedp disappearance of the real Magyar (mèly magyar) I pray for the same. The sooner they disappear the better for the Hungarians of the majority.

Ferenc
Guest

Referring to a comment above, I like to make this whole thing a real (soap) opera.
Apart from typical HU translation mistakes, one thing really catched my attention in OV’s reply letter to JCC (dated 2017.Sep.05), that is the following crippled sentence:

“It impossible to defend to defend ourselves against………”

There’s clearly missing something…, a natural human reaction would be to add/correct as:
“It is impossible…..”
BUT as the letter is coming from OV’s head (instead of mind, as that would be too much of an exaggeration…), it might very well be that was meant:
“It is not impossible…..”

So herewith and analog to an old (pop) opera song, I suggest a new version, with as central part:

What’s it gonna be, Vik? Come on, I can wait all night.
What’s it gonna be, Vik? IS or IS NOT?
What’s it gonna be, Vik? IS or IS NOT?

And then OV doesn’t know/want to answer, request to sleep on it, etc.

Suggested title: Paradise Behind The Fence’s Light”

Ferenc
Guest

Sorry you may have noticed that I double-crippled the sentence, please read it as it originally was written (and 2017.Sep.06 undersigned!):

“It impossible to defend ourselves against………”
(page 2 of letter, in 2nd from last paragraph)

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘Paradise Behind The Fence’s Light’

You might have something there. Most would like to expect juicy and tender filet mignon with The ‘Big O’ but unfortunately everybody has to settle for er…’meatloaf’. 😎 Nowadays a key element in the Magyar ‘diet’ fed to the electirate.

Michael Kaplan
Guest

Orban’s comments about Hungary having no colonial history must come as a great surprise to its neighbors. If only Hungary had been wiser in promoting a country of equals vs. Magyar domination, we might be living in a different world. Hungary is also a nation of “migrants”. Many of the generals in 1848 revolution did not even speak Hungarian And Kossuth was of Slovak origin. These crazy historical games that Orban engages in can be “played” by everyone with no benefit to anyone.

Istvan
Guest

I think clearly Orban’s reference was to classical colonialism in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, etc. That is also not true, because the Austro-Hungarian Empire participated in the Eight-Nation Alliance, which was an international military imperialist coalition set up in response to the Boxer Rebellion in the Qing Empire of China. The members of the Alliance in August 1900 occupied Peking and proceeded to loot and pillage the capital.The forces consisted of approximately 45,000 troops, from various countries including Hungary, then part of the Empire.

Austria-Hungary had a single cruiser SMS Zenta on station at the beginning of the rebellion, based at the Russian concession of Port Arthur. Detachments of sailors from the Zenta were in combat in China and included Hungarians. Zenta was joined by the armoured cruiser SMS Kaiserin und Königin Maria Theresia, and 160 sailors from both ships (and two landed guns) assisted German marines in the assaults on the Taku forts. Zenta had her commanding officer, Kapitän Eduard Thomann Edler von Montalmar, killed in the action.

So Orban’s own knowledge of history fails him yet again.

tappanch
Guest

Yes!

Map of the Austro-Hungarian concession (colony) in Tienjin, China, 1901-1917 – the pink area:

comment image

tappanch
Guest

More detailed map in Chinese (look for the light green color):

https://www.raremaps.com/gallery/enlarge/36094

Guest

Rather OT:
Is there any memory, anything left in China from the Austrian/Hungarian concession?
You know like the Germans told them the secret of brewing good beer – Tsing Tao beer (named after the German colony) is still one of the best!

tappanch
Guest
Guest

Tappanch, many thanks for these incredible pictures (also of the German concession)!
I had no idea something like this existed in China or I might have searched for it myself.

Ferenc
Guest

Hungary ‘colonising’ in China, completely new to me, THANKS!
This brings me to a question @tappanch:
Do you have figures about the number of Chinese in Hungary and also other EU countries (and if possible over the years since 2004)?
I have the impression that there there are (much) more Chinese than elsewhere. First make clear that for me no problem whatsoever, just very curious for the figures and if these would proof (but also if not) my feeling, anybody can come up with explanation(s)?

Guest

I don’t know the numbers but I know that there are many people from Vietnam around Hungary – many of the “China stores are owned and run by Vietnamese who came from North Vietnam and decided to stay here, wonder why … 😉

tappanch
Guest

“Austria-Hungary managed to hold North Borneo in Malaysia (1878-1880, sold to British empire)”

https://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/comments/57fzev/austrohungarian_colonial_empire_including/

tappanch
Guest

„Borneó és Celebesz, magyar volt és magyar lesz”

http://index.hu/tudomany/tortenelem/2014/11/03/ahol_majdnem_magyar_gyarmatok_lettek/

Istvan
Guest

I knew nothing about that, very interesting.

Michael Kaplan
Guest

Yes, Orban’s reference was to “classical colonialism”, which is my precise point as many of Hungary’s current neighbors once found them selves as inferiors in an Austro-Hungarian empire. I wonder why you and others here don’t recognize this fact.

Nevertheless, thanks for comments about the imperialism in China.

Member

For their respective victims, can someone please explain the difference between “classical colonialism” and imperialism?

Istvan
Guest
Yes, there was some differences. For example in terms of rule of law. Classical colonialism actually created law based on the codes of the mother nation, in general an over-reaching imperialism allowed existing rules of law to remain in place for indigenous people. So France imposed French law on Vietnam and for that matter even Mexico briefly under Maximilian Ferdinand, or Maximilian I who was a French puppet ruler from Austria. In general its fair to say imperialist rule uses local rulers to control and does not impose its own foreign ruler directly, but operates more indirectly. In the case of Great Britain it transitioned from direct colonial rule to imperialist behind the scenes rule in several situations. That is a crude and simple explanation of how I see it. For the people living that experience, imperialist foreign control over a nation, to be honest allows somewhat more freedom than does direct colonial rule. I would say the USA exercised direct colonial rule over the Philippines for a period and fought a war to enforce it, then we transitioned to a much more imperialist approach that cost less in money and lives. In Vietnam we always utilized Vietnamese rulers, in… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest

OV’s reply to JCC (2017.Sep.06), on top of page 2:
“…transformation of Hungary into an immigrant country, against the will of the Hungarian citizens. In my view, this is not solidarity, this is violence.”
Well let’s check:
a.Hungary IS an immigrant country, ever since it’s very founding!
b.THE will of THE Hungarian citizens, may be OV means (again) the (in)famous 98% of last year’s referendum voters (total valid turnout: 41.3%), SO overall his THE….are in fact 40.6% of electorate
c.this claiming of THE…, shows only populist BS, not respecting the ‘other’ 59.4% of electorate, and therefore at heart NOT democratic!
d.but what really gives me the creeps is OV’s usage, against solidarity, of the word “violence”, where will this lead to????

Ferenc
Guest
OT – Czech elections coming During a previous post about the V4, I got interested in the Czech Republic. Very interesting there will be the elections to be held 2017.Oct.20-21. The most popular politician (Babiš) is recently kick-out of the government for suspicions of EU fraud, a month ago he was stripped of his parliamentary immunity. But despite all this he seems to remain popular. Note that he has build-up a serious media empire (newspapers, TV), and his party has a think-tank with main task to raise new politicians for the party. [familiar to anyone here? Babiš may be Simicska and Orban in one?] Political Party – leader – % in latest polls (2013 elections seats – %, note total 200 seats) social-democrats – ČSSD – Zaorálek* – 14% (50 seats – 21%) liberal-populists – ANO – Babiš** – 28% (47 seats – 19%) communists – KSČM – Filip – 12% (33 seats – 15%) liberal-conservatives – Kalousek – TOP 09 – 7% (26 seats – 12%) liberal-conservatives – Fiala – ODS – 8% (16 seats – 8%) christian-democrats – KDU-ČSL – Bělobrádek – 7% (14 seats – 7%) pirate party – PIRÁTI – – 6% (0 seats – 3%)… Read more »
Joseph Simon
Guest

If Trump can demand that Mexico pay for a fence along the US-Mexico border then why can not Orbán ask the EU to contribute to the fence built by Hungary that really serves the interest of the whole EU.

Member

Your ideology is certainly consistent! (And if Trump can lie, steal, cheat and bully, why can’t Orban?)

Guest

Joseph (no longer Joe – did you get promoted by O for your services here? :)) – you know that there will be no fence in the USA and especially none paid by Mexico, don’t you?
Now compare that to Hungary …
Like O I can demand anything – now I demand that you f*ck off!

Member
Juncker and the other EU big wigs think the way to deal with Orban is with logical and well-reasoned argument. The typical Hungarian voter will then say “Yes, that nice man from Brussels is so right, maybe you should listen to what he is saying, Mr Orban?” Wrong. Orban knows his support-base It goes without saying they are racist, homophobic and misogynist to the core but there are 4 other characteristics which form part of the typical Fidesz voter that outsiders, be they from the EU or from the democratic world should take into account when deciding how to deal with the Orbanist regime. 1. Fidesz voters belong to the very lowest rung intellectually. There is no brain power, never mind critical thinking, existing within the head of the typical Fidesz voter. Viktor tells them the EU are banning Xmas, they will believe it. 2. They have a high propensity towards violence. Like their PM they actually get visceral pleasure from the thought of refugee mothers and children getting beaten up by the brave Hungarian border guards. They laughed their little heads off when their fellow Fidesz thug beat up a lone woman protester at Orbans speech in Romania. 3.… Read more »
wrfree
Guest

Re: the big bad West…

Mr. Bayer appears to have a very selective view of the history of the West. He seems to forget the victor’s treatment of those who lost as they piled on the funds to contribute to a greatly wounded Europe and get it back up on its feet. But unfortunately Magyarorszag was met by one ‘slave owner’ from the East who needed to absolutely get some ‘plantations’. We have seen its inauspicious results through the years. It is significant in feeding the sense of Magyar victimhood. If he would take the blinkers off Mr. Bayer could check out the nearby ‘colonialist’ in the backyard.

Some Euro countries ‘get it’ but I’m afraid Orban doesn’t when it comes to a consideration of his country’s relationship to something bigger and greater than themselves. The EU needs to face it as they are made to revolve like gerbils on a treadmill to Orban’s political machinations. An exhausted EU is a weak EU. And doing all that for arguments with Orban whose ‘beloved’ appears to reside in the East? Jeez.

Istvan
Guest

PM Orban’s statement: “The economies of major EU member states have thus greatly benefited from the use of cohesion funds, as they have benefited from opening the markets of new member states,” is profoundly true. There is simply no question that cohesion funds allowed the transportation of parts, completed industrial products (such as cars), and agricultural products to be shipped to the core EU nation states more efficiently generating profit within the core nation states of the EU. But this reality was fully understood by the post communist Hungarian politicians who supported joining the EU.

Ivan Berend discusses this I think brilliantly in his book “Central and Eastern Europe 1944-1993 Detour from the periphery to the periphery.” The idea that the EU merger with the former communist nations was not arranged to benefit the core industrial nations at the heart of the EU is delusional. Orban is of course intelligent enough to understand this, but much of the Hungarian population has never fully understood this. The economic alternative to this economic arrangement is clearly dependency on Mother Russia, which will prove to be a worse deal by far for Hungary.

Ferenc
Guest
You didn’t quote the sentence before: “Accoring to the view of the Hungarian government, a significant part of the resources provided by Cohesion Funds landed at the companies of net contributor countries. The economy of major EU…..” My comments to this (partly your comment): 1.Let OV come up with info where all the EU Funds for Hungary really ‘landed’. 2.The EU Funds are meant for development projects in the countries to which they are rewarded, if parts of those projects are executed by companies from other (EU) countries, it’s still the fund receiving country’s decision. 3.The efficiency of the projects for the development in the fund receiving country, depends on the quality of the projects, which are mainly decided within that country. So OV (and other Hungarians) should stop complaining to other countries and the EU about not all the EU funds ‘landing’ in Hungary, it’s the quality of the projects themselves which really matter and therefore focus on the potential developments of ‘his’ projects! PS: if you compare other countries, which connected together with HU in 2004 to the EU, you can very clearly see that Hungary is at the bottom of the list regarding development, and that Hungary… Read more »
Istvan
Guest

I would argue Ferenc that it makes little difference whether the cohesion projects were carried out primarily by corrupt Hungarian oligarchs or by core EU corporations. Ultimately Hungarian politicians understood there was going to be a net gain over the long run for the core EU nations in relationship to these funds. It was the cost to be paid as Hungary emerged from Communism or whatever it actually was under Kadar.

The question for Hungary, as it has been for China or South Korea with the USA is how to turn that essentially dependent relationship into a dynamic process of internal development. Hungary has failed to even come close to figuring that out under the rule of social democracy, conservatives, or the Fidesz Mafia government.

Ferenc
Guest

Sorry Istvan, but I disagree here. In my opinion if used efficiently by the fund reciving country, there will not be a net gain from these funds for core EU nations, then there should always remain more in the receiving country.
Regarding the situation before connection to the EU and the free playfield foreign companies (not only EU companies! but from all over the more developed world) was given (apart of certain ‘fees’), I can agree with you that then there was considerely gain, out of the former communist countries, to those foreign companies (note again, not so much to the countries of these companies).

Istvan
Guest

I think the development interests in relationship to the cohesion funds are different for German corporations than for Hungary. So if Germany can utilize a more developed transportation system to build parts or fully completed products in Hungry with a lower wage scale it will over the long run realize more money than Hungary will from the input of EU funds. But if Hungary can dynamically use that transportation input to develop itself creating a level of capitalist autonomy then it could be greatly beneficial.

Both China and South Korea developed protected industries using profits from foreign trade because they did not have the EU competition rules hanging over them. For economic development of an underdeveloped nation some level of protectionism is required. Within the EU that is somewhat more difficult, but not impossible. Certainly its a better deal than Mother Russia is currently offering Hungary.

Matt_L
Guest
Hungary has always been a capital poor country (or at least since 1711). The money to make the transition from Kadar era state socialism to a liberal market economy had to come from somewhere outside Hungary — either from the EU institutions or private investment from the USA and core European economies, maybe Japan. In reality both were necessary, each one on its own was insufficient. In the 1990s there was no money to be had from the USSR/Russia. Their economy was in freefall. Did the core EU economies benefit from the development moneys sent to Hungary? Maybe, but it is also certain that construction firms from Austria and Germany also had to hire Hungarian subcontractors to do much of the work. They employed Hungarian labor who paid taxes (sometimes) to the Hungarian State. They bought local sand, gravel, and cement for roads, bridges, and office parks. So yes, those German and Austrian firms booked a nice profit on their contracts, but a majority of the money stayed in Hungary and flowed into government coffers. Berend’s point about Hungary being on the periphery of the European and World economy is a good one. The Hungarian economy has made itself into… Read more »
The reality
Guest

“Hungary has always been a capital poor country ” Poorness is relative. Hungary was better economically more industrialized and more urbanized than any Balkan or Eastern European (Russian) or Southern European countries before the WW1.

tappanch
Guest

Deficit, year-to-date = 1 trillion forints = 3.3 billion euros.

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Reason: EU has sent only 1 billion euros – the Hungarian government expects another 3 to 4 billion euros before the end of 2017.

In this case, it will have the enough money to spend freely before the 2018 elections.

http://www.portfolio.hu/gazdasag/hatalmas_penzt_kolthet_meg_el_iden_a_kormany.5.261589.html

http://index.hu/gazdasag/ado_es_koltsegvetes/2017/09/08/ha_brusszel_elkezdi_kuldeni_penzt_adocsokkentes_johet/

Zoli
Guest

If this would be still the much-desired “happier times” that Eva desires, the Hungarian government, against the will of the people would have quietly accepted the Western goal of European cultural genocide, by imposing colonists on the local native population, much like China does in Tibet.

Ferenc
Guest

If this will be even the less-desired “miserable times” that Zoli aches for, the Hungarian government, against the sense of the humanity will violently accept the Eastern own-goal of Worldly cultural happiness, by integrating refugees in the already mixed local society, much like Hungary didn’t succeed in before 1920…

Should I cry or should I laugh, is there still hope for Zoli to be able to ever respect other human beings…

Member

Lots of people added good comments already to this article, so I will not bore anyone long. My opinion is simply this;
Zsolt Bayer is the epitome of evil, I can visualize him as Satan lurking next to God, arguing with Him constantly, trying to corrupt the Angels, and destroying as much of the creation as he can.
So, I think, the World would have been a much nicer place if little Zsolt Bayer was hit by a streetcar before he learned to speak.

Guest

I disagree!
Bayer just says what many Fideszniks think and that’s a good thing in a way.
The lithmus test obviously is that he has not been thrown out of Fidesz …

PS and a bit OT:
There was a similar fascist creature, a real xenophobe, homophobe, antisemite etc writing the most abominable stuff on politics.hu (called itself leto, also appeared here – but only for a very short time) and there were quite a few people who claimed not to be xenophobes, homophobes, antisemites etc – but would never say a word against the little fascist …

Member

I am sure, that you don’t know the meaning of the nouns you listed in your murky accusation. Perhaps, if you able to retain what you are reading, studying the dictionary, learning the meanings of words would be far better pastime for you, than to post meaningless comments on this webpage.

Guest

Have you ever read anything by “leto” on politics.hu?
Or should I quote him here?

Ferenc
Guest

Should we consider the comment as typical: “Ki mint él, úgy ítél”?
And boys please, if you wanna fight this out, best somewhere else…

tappanch
Guest

Speaking of money.

Hungarian government bond yields today, 2017-09-08:
5 yr 1.67%
10 yr 2.98%
15 yr 3.61%

Paks 2 interest payments to Russia

2014 (?) – 2025: 3.95%
2026-2032: 4.5%
2033-2039: 4.8%
2040-2046: 4.95%

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tappanch
Guest

5-yr government bond yields of EU countries.

23. Portugal 1.20%
24. Croatia 1.46%
25. Hungary 1.67%
26. Poland 2.51%
27. Romania 2.70%
28. Greece 6.88% (3 yr)

Ferenc
Guest

How does the ‘residence bond’ compare to the 5 year government bond?
So starting with the same amount of money from the ‘kulfoldi allampolgar’, how much are the money flows for both bond types after 5 years?

AlexN
Guest
Clearly Zsolt Bayer’s article in Magyar Idok is peripheral to this article, but an objective observer has to agree with him on this. Central and East European countries in no way had a meaningful part in colonialism, despite the apparently tiny allocation of real estate in Tientsin to Austria-Hungary. Can anyone seriously equate these countries guilt with that of Great Britain? It’s no wonder then that our citizens reject any responsibility for the any ‘guilt’ re: the third world. Respnsiblity of the EU is toward its own people, first and foremost. If certain countries have a guilty conscience, they need to deal with that individually. Pay reparations as Germany has done. In no way should the guilt be spread around. Nations such as Hungary should feel no responsibility for Africans fleeing their own own incompetent societies, other than on an individual humanitarian basis. The EU as a whole needs to re-focus (or at least appear to do so) on the disadvantaged nations on their own territory rather than on corruption and incompetence elsewhere. This is the source of Central European’s distrust animosity to the EU. Were the EU to focus foremost on its own people instead of others, our citizens… Read more »
exTor
Guest
The illogic of your extrapolation is breathtaking, AlexN. According to your thought process, because AustriaHungary did not control any colonies, the major remnants, specifically Austria and Hungary, do not owe anything to bonafide refugees. Nor to anybody else, to further your extrapolation. There are two issues you ignore. One is human decency, which mandates assisting others, regardless of the relationships of those others to the potential benefactors. The other is the upholding of EU mandates. The current refugee reality is emotionally and logically separate from the European-colonial history with which you try to tag this issue. A ‘guilty conscience’, as you put it, may play in the background of countries like Germany and France, however that is not the salient EU-refugee reality. The EU “responsibility … toward its own people” is in no way abrogated by the acceptance of the number of refugees who were able to make it to major EU countries. The refugees will be assisted for a while and they will eventually meld with the populations of their respective countries. Viktor Orbán may reject refugee-acceptance ‘guilt’, as you put it, however he gladly accepts EU munificence. His actions are selfserving hypocrisy. Contrary to your assertion that “an… Read more »
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