Viktor Orbán on his role at the European Council Summit

Yesterday I tried to make sense of a garbled newspaper article in Pesti Srácok giving details of allegedly newly discovered documents that implicate certain Hungarian nationals who are in the pay of George Soros, the sworn enemy of Viktor Orbán and his migration policy. As I pointed out, the documents actually surfaced in August 2016, but the powers-that-be deemed it necessary to reintroduce them to the public. A day after the appearance of the article, two government and party officials picked up the story and threatened members of NGOs that receive financial help from the Soros Foundation with investigation by the national security forces. A day later, on October 27, Viktor Orbán himself devoted part of his bi-weekly radio interview to the subject.

I will spend relatively little time on the part of the interview that dealt with George Soros’s network in Hungary because I discussed some of this yesterday on the basis of two press conferences, one given by Balázs Hidvéghi, Fidesz communication director, and the other by János Lázár, head of the prime minister’s office. Viktor Orbán made quite an issue of the alleged novelty of the documents. He acted as if the great news all over Europe was the release of these documents and that therefore one could not be surprised that eventually they found their way to Hungary. The truth is that these documents had been a topic of interest in the Hungarian parliamentary committee on national security in late September 2016. Deputy chairman Szilárd Németh (Fidesz) was greatly disturbed by what he read in the Hungarian press about the DCLeaks documents and suggested holding a meeting on it. So much for the truthfulness of the prime minister of Hungary.

Viktor Orbán distinguished several levels of influence of the Soros Network. We already know that he is convinced, or pretends to be convinced, that the whole European Commission is under the thumb and in the pocket of George Soros. Tibor Navracsics doesn’t know about Soros Plan, which only shows how well hidden it is. Then there is the European Parliament, where 226 members were identified as receptive to the ideals of the Open Society, including five Hungarian members from the opposition parties. He is particularly disturbed by the fact that a fair number of these people are members of LIBE (Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs), including Péter Niedermüller of the Demokratikus Koalíció. This committee just lately passed a report that would impose mandatory migrant quotas and strip non-complying member states of funding. Viktor Orbán cannot do much about this. He is after those “who, according to the newly emerged documents, work in Brussels against the Hungarian government.” These people try to influence decision makers in order “to punish Hungary and force it to change its migrant policy.” As he put it, the Hungarian government “must find these people who through various channels manage to influence organs of the European Union, which eventually lead to legal proceedings against Hungary.” He, unlike Lázár, didn’t talk about journalists, but let’s not exclude the possibility of extending the investigation to members of the press, especially those who receive or used to receive money from the Soros Foundation. We have arrived at a new phase in the anti-Soros campaign. New attacks on NGOs–like Transparency International, the Helsinki Commission, and TASZ–are forthcoming.

More interesting for those of us interested in Viktor Orbán’s political ambitions on the international scene is the lecture he gave about the workings of the European Council and his own role in the process. Keep in mind that he attended a two-day summit on October 19-20 in Brussels and that, breaking his habit, he didn’t give a press conference to the three or four reporters who accompanied him to Brussels. Therefore, he most likely thought that a “report” on his attendance was in order.

Orbán explained to the Radio’s reporter that the politicians of the European Union are an overly refined, genteel lot who like to cover up disagreements. For example, after a summit the European Commission publishes a set of “conclusions.” If something is not in the “conclusions,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was not discussed, just that there was no agreement on the subject, he claimed. Thus, the EU is hiding what actually happens at these meetings.

There is a problem with this contention because it is clearly stated that “ahead of the European Council meeting, the President drafts guidelines for the conclusions. These are then discussed in the General Affairs Council and later adopted at the European Council meeting.” That is, there is a set of items which is given out ahead of time to the participants.

The conversation about the conclusions took an interesting turn. The reporter pointed out that the issue of compulsory quotas was not among the items in the conclusions. Orbán assumed that the reporter had concluded that the reason it was missing from the conclusion was a lack of consensus in the European Council. “Yes, you’re correct. I’ve been fighting for the last year and a half so that no item would ever appear in the ‘conclusions’ at the end of the negotiations of the prime ministers that would violate Hungarian sovereignty.” The implication is that the question of compulsory quotas was on the agenda but, thanks to Orbán’s strenuous efforts, no consensus was reached.

The European Council Summit in session

The European Council’s conclusions are public, so he could not ignore a crucial sentence: “The European Council welcomes the progress achieved so far on the reform of the Common European Asylum System and calls for further convergence towards an agreement which strikes the right balance between responsibility and solidarity and ensures resilience to future crises, in line with its June 2017 conclusions.” The Council will return to this point in December and “will seek to reach a consensus during the first half of 2018.”

Orbán in his interview claimed that during the session there was tremendous pressure on him “to compromise and agree to some kind of compulsory quota which might be part of a future general regulatory arrangement.” But he “managed to deflect this attempt.” Instead, however, of repeating his resolve to continue his fight in December, he simply said, “We will see.”

I have an additional reason to doubt that there was an extended and contentious debate over compulsory quotas. According to one of the diplomats present, the most important issue on the agenda was relations with Turkey. Those present spent altogether three hours on this one subject alone. It is hard to imagine that another highly-charged issue like compulsory quotas could be squeezed into the meeting, which had a very full agenda. It would be good to know exactly what happened, but I’m almost certain that no extended discussion of compulsory quotas took place at this particular summit.

October 28, 2017
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Guest

We still are bombarded every day in Hungary with these fake news and accusations re Soros and his evil powers over almost evrybody in the EU – my wife has finished joking about it, like me she can’t stand those idiotic lies any more. I shudder every time I have to look at one of those billboards or the ads in all the newspapers (even those local advertising mnagazines we find in our letter box) – it’s kind of ridiculous!
Now I’m wondering:
Do the Fidesz mafiosi and idiots really believe all that crap they’re spouting day and nigh?
How will it all end? Will they invent even more crazier things? Will they send all opposition journalists to jail?
Is burning books and newspapers next? Can the Hun internet be censored?
Everybody outside Hungary is incredulously watching what’s going on here …
Some people in Berlin and Brussels are probably laughing their heads off at the stupidity of Hungarians.

PS:
The comparison with Goebbelds tactics that was made in one of our German newspapers really is on the line – and we know how those ended …
Reminds me of the (in)famous:

Wollt Ihr den totalen Krieg?

Istvan
Guest

Wolfi I don’t agree in the least that: “Everybody outside Hungary is incredulously watching what’s going on here” in relationship to the lies about Soros. If you read Russia Today you can find very similar attacks on Soros, for example https://www.rt.com/op-edge/407420-useful-idiots-soros-lobbyists/ Moreover, RT positively reports on Orban’s attacks on Soros, so we see today this story https://www.rt.com/news/408106-soros-influence-brussels-migration/

Here in the USA we have Brietbart News promoting the same conspiracy theories about Soros and supporting Orban, see http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/10/24/soros-plan-orban-eu-attacking-sovereignty-new-asylum-rules/

The common thread in all of this Wolfi is the hand of the Russian security services and operatives. Soros supports a very different vision of capitalism than does Putin or Orban. He supports a global vision for growth and development that requires democracy as part of a dynamic process that also puts a check on some of the self destructive tendencies of capitalism. I don’t agree with everything Soros promotes, especially as it relates to what he seems as militarism and some of his own hypocrisy relating to market manipulation. But his ideas none the less present a threat to the vision of oligarchic capitalism promoted by Putin, Orban, and yes Trump.

wrfree
Guest

Considering the fact of US diplomats coming home from Cuba due to physical and auditory issues and the constant communication bombardment by Orban vilifying the Soros name there is the impression political ‘earworms’ now seem to be a preferred method of disinformation by anti-democratic forces.

And there is another issue here on our shores where there has been movement away from essentially ‘promoting’ democracy but rather having a POTUS who is always clicked on ‘rapamatic’ and is driven to hear his voice enunciating a verbal drumbeat of ‘America First’ which is really almost a dirge on perhaps creeping isolationism.

At this point we are in an ‘information’ war and the West doesn’t appear on the surface to have ‘share of voice’. I’d think they need an ‘earworm’ too before it’s too late and we’ll find ourselves in the trash bin ultimately caused by those who simply talk trash.

Istvan
Guest
The supposed indictments in the USA by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of at least former Trump campaign officals are rumored to begin on Monday. There are stories floating around today Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, carried out a series of suspicious wire transfers to offshore companies linked to Manafort moved more than $3 million all over the globe between 2012 and 2013. Supposedly these were funds were fees from the corrupt Ukrainian regime prior to the Euromaidan Revolt which was of course close to Russian President Vladimir Putin for laundering some of the millions it plundered through corrupt dealing. Hopefully these rumors are true and we shall find out shortly I guess. There are clearly relationships in all of this to Hungarian nationalists due to their support for the dismantling of the Ukrainian state and promotion of a fully autonomous Hungarian community on the border with Ukraine in a manner similar to the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). On 18 February 2017 Putin ordered Russian authorities to recognize identity documents, diplomas, birth and marriage certificates and vehicle registration plates as issued by the DPR (and the Luhansk People’s Republic) until a “political settlement of the situation” in separatists… Read more »
Observer
Guest

“..So much for the truthfulness of the prime minister of Hungary..” which on par with the proverbial gypsy horse trader, add a thief and a bully.

Ferenc
Guest

OT – cont’ ridiculousness
About two weeks ago Szel Bernadett asked the government for the ‘Soros Plan’ (when Jobbik filed charges at the police), friday she received an Email, which she published on her facebook. The mail appears to be a rehash of the consultation leaflet with some (old) quotes in English this time (instead if the manipulative translations by HU government).
The most interesting in Szel’s post are her last lines:
“…kedves kormány, köszönöm a mailt és készüljenek a perre,…”
“…dear government, thank you for the mail and prepare for the lawsuit,…”
Right on, take of their mask and make them fully accountable for ‘their works’!!
https://www.facebook.com/szelbernadett/posts/1411439792302292

Guest

The latest Tárki poll – the data would give Fidesz a two thirds majority in 2018, even a three fourths majority in parliament seems possible!
http://hungarianfreepress.com/2017/10/26/fidesz-on-track-to-win-three-fourths-majority-in-2018-elections/
Congratulations – or not?
If the opposition parties continue like right now – will Fidesz then make Hungary leave the EU?

Istvan
Guest

I think both Putin and Orban like it right where they are offering maximum disruption and maximum benefits to Hungary including selling EU citizenships to various oligarchs.

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