Austria as an ally of Orbán’s Hungary?

Viktor Orbán’s planned meeting yesterday with Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s youthful new chancellor, was made public almost a week ago which, given the secretiveness of the Orbán government, was quite unusual. As for the physical trip itself, the Hungarian prime minister opted for an ordinary train ride between Budapest and Vienna. But one of his Volkswagen minibuses was waiting for him in the Austrian capital. A strange arrangement.

There was something else that was out of the ordinary regarding this trip. During the train ride Viktor Orbán had a video made, on which he announced that “in Vienna he wants to sign an agreement on migration, the two countries’ joint defense, and mutual assistance.” This was certainly an ambitious agenda. If Orbán actually meant to say that he would like to return with concrete assurances from the Austrian government concerning those issues, he must be disappointed. What the talk produced was merely a reiteration of long-held views shared by the two governments. No, they don’t want to harbor “illegal migrants”; they want to strengthen the Schengen borders; they don’t think that the quota system is working.

As far as Austria’s joining the Visegrád 4 alliance is concerned, the Austrian right-wing coalition wants to be only “a bridge” between Brussels and the not-so-steady Visegrád 4, even though the far-right Austrian Freedom party said before the October 15 election that it wanted Austria to join the group. Their plans were obviously quashed during the coalition negotiations. What Orbán’s views are on Austria’s joining is not known, but I would be surprised if he didn’t covet such a development.

The Austrian and Hungarian papers, by and large, consider the meeting of little consequence, which might be the reason for the Hungarian party’s reluctance to have any contact with the media after the negotiations were over. According to Die Presse, a conservative Austrian daily, Orbán originally didn’t even want to hold a press conference after his meeting with Kurz. It took some cajoling by Kurz to convince him to allow four questions, two from each country. On the Hungarian side, only M1 TV and the new Fidesz favorite, Echo TV, got a chance to ask questions, which were safe from Orbán’s perspective. The Austrian journalists naturally were more forthcoming, and the Austrian public television’s reporter managed to squeeze in a question about Orbán’s ideas on “illiberal democracy.” The encounter that followed was “politely” left out of the Hungarian news agency’s report. According to Austrian sources, Orbán insisted that his political system is called “illiberal” simply because there are no liberals in his government. “We don’t accept the equation of democracy with liberalism. The only true democracy is democracy without any adjective.” Kurz diplomatically added that he is liberal and Christian and he is happy that the people of Austria live in a strong democratic political system. He added that democracy is the best form of government for any country.

The topic that interested Hungarians most was Austria’s decision to cut child benefits for non-Austrian workers from East European countries, the largest contingent coming from Hungary. Hungarian opposition parties expected Orbán to fight hard for equal rights for these guest workers, but the general impression they got was that Orbán had not done so. This is one of those occasions when I have to defend Orbán. It is the European Court of Justice that will rule on the constitutionality of the issue. Bilateral negotiations with Kurz and his government have no relevance here. The same is true about Austria’s suit against the construction of Paks II. This is a matter between Austria and the European Commission.

Although Austrian and Hungarian commentators might believe that the meeting was a flop, one English-language paper wrote about the two politicians who came away from the meeting “with a pledge for close cooperation in Europe if not a formal alliance.” Euobserver believes that “while Kurz might seem less friendly than his anti-immigration campaign perhaps suggested to Budapest, the Hungarian leader can count on one more ally in opposing the EU’s migrant relocation scheme.” This fear might be exaggerated. Because of the presence of the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) in the coalition, Kurz is trying doubly hard to assure the European Union of his trustworthiness. He tweeted after his meeting with Orbán that “Austria can and wants to make a contribution to reinforce cohesion in the European Union and reduce tensions.”

The question is whether the young, relatively inexperienced Sebastian Kurz is capable of taming Viktor Orbán. Zsuzsanna Földvári, a journalist living in Vienna, gave a lengthy interview to the Független Hírügynökség ( on the encounter, which I found most perceptive. Földvári attended the press conference and gained the impression that “Orbán played the role of the fatherly elder statesman to the young Austrian chancellor, who behaved like a scared schoolboy.” Apparently, Orbán’s experience was evident in the way he handled questions. “He was more informative, more active, and more interesting than Kurz.” Of course, Orbán has the advantage of having spent decades in the political arena. Also, I would not underestimate his charm, which he exhibits on certain occasions. For a while, Orbán most likely will have the advantage, although Kurz just today showed that he can be tough when he announced that “there will be political consequences” of an FPÖ member of parliament’s membership in a neo-Nazi fraternity.

In addition to Sebastian Kurz, Orbán also talked with Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right FPÖ. Western papers paid little attention to this meeting, although for Orbán this meeting was just as important as his conversation with Kurz. Maybe even more so. For years Orbán has been most eager to meet Strache, whom he considers “the man of the future.” In September 2015 a planned meeting between the two was reluctantly cancelled in the last minute. Although the Austrian and English-language papers didn’t say much about Orbán’s meeting with Strache, Origo devoted a detailed article to the meeting, which centered on “the closest, most professional, and friendliest relations” between the FPÖ minister of defense and minister for transport, innovation and technology and their Hungarian counterparts.

I don’t want to underestimate the importance of a right-wing government in neighboring Austria, especially after the strained relations that existed during the Social Democratic-People’s Party coalition. At the same time, I would be reluctant to call the Kurz government an absolute bonanza for Orbán, whose expectations, I believe, exceeded what he actually got in Vienna yesterday. He can only hope that with time he will be able to draw Austria closer to the Visegrád 4 Group, gaining tangible support when the Visegrád countries flex their muscles. However, if Poland’s intransigence continues, cooperation between Austria and the Visegrád Group might be out of the question. In fact, it might even threaten the continued existence of the Visegrád 4 alliance.

January 31, 2018
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Orbán’s wet dream: a zombie redux of the Habsburg Empire, truncated in the South and East (not having the Yugoslavs, Romanians and Galicians), but extended in the North (having all of Poland), and with him as Emperor Victor the First ruling over his realm with an iron fist from Castle Hill in Budapest?



We can witness a diplomatic plot against Austria by a Russian proxi.

Russia woud enjoy to occupy Vienna again.


Re: ‘the zombie redux of the Habsburg Empire’

Somebody must be smoking too much stuff in Magyarorszag then to see that come off. If true there is an Emperor who must be significantly naive and lost in incredible reverie when considering borders and boundaries in the administration of ’empires’.

Europe looks to be forever trapped in being pieces of meat to be sliced and diced for the grandiose ideas of corrupted chefs.


Don’t forget that the Austrians were really strict on their emperor, its desecendants and the other aristocracy too!
They took away most of their belongings – and their titles even! There’s no more “von” in Austria …


Yeah and maybe one day it could be getting like to no more ‘von Dons’ in the mafia…😎


The relations with democratic Au much depend on the media/ public reaction too and there were negative ones (Die Pressed, Der Standard?) mentioning the D word. Migration aside, there arent many state level issues where the interests and policies of the two verlap, e.g. a Paks stop will send Orban ballistic. The personalities are also very different: a well bred Viennese and a not such from Felcsut.
Indicatively this meeting was a flop if a mild one.

Echo TV has been a fascist club since start, always supporting the extreme right and now owned by Mészàros, if I remember well.


Bu to be honest meda and public reactions are two different shoes.
The public reactions (user comments in the biggest newspapers Krone, Österreich, Heute and even the prestigious Presse) were predominantly in favor of Orban.


Yes, your friends – the right wing (dare I say fascist?) trolls!
Any comment from you on the conflicts re Paks and money for children?
No, that’s a job for Brussels!


Joe, you’re funny again!
Even the Kronenzeitung (which is on the level of BILD, BORS or BLICK – really populist) has some misgivings:
Strache ortete im – gerne und oft gegen Brüssel polemisierenden – Premier Ungarns “einen Ministerpräsidenten, der “zutiefst europäisch denkt” und “ein großer Freund Europas” sei.
A bit illogical …


From Der Standard:
Orbán hat die Medienfreiheit reduziert, in die Justiz eingegriffen und weite Teile der Wirtschaft Oligarchen zugeschanzt, die von ihm abhängig sind.

Im Sommer 2014 rief er die “illiberale Demokratie” aus. Kontrollinstanzen wie Verfassungsgericht, Opposition oder unabhängige Justiz werden in diesem System an den Rand gedrängt und zunehmend unwirksam gemacht. Die Führungsriege kann ohne große Einschränkungen durchregieren.

In other words there is no more democracy in Hungary!
That doesn’t sound very friendly – the facts named there might es well be described on HS!


The dying left wing Standard has a very very small influence in Austria.

Andrea Birnbach

I understand that there was another question from a journalist of Index during the press conference:


As related to OV’s visit to Vienna, repeat a previously made comment:

The evening before his meeting with Kurz, OV had a meeting with Pecina (‘Haupt-Stróman Felfüggesztés’). As explained by one of OV’s press-boys “on request of Pecina”.
In Vienna OV also met with some sausages, which he had to picture and put on his facebook.
WHY didn’t he put also a picture of himself with ‘Haupt-Stróman Felfüggesztés’ up there??

And as Observer also notes the Austrian media were very negative about OV and his visit. May be with exclusion of the far-right press (which I didn’t check), not one positive word from left till conservatives about OV, some words used: Rambo, Diktator, Katastrophe…


It’s the learning curve.

Everybody new like Kurz needs time to get to know Orban and his corrupt posse while Orban himself (or Putin for that matter) is almost eternal with many decades of political experience (and counting).

It’s like with Russia or China or Iran or Turkey. These states plan for decades (if not for a century) ahead (which is simply an incomprehensible approach for a Western person) and the professionals in their various ministries are constant.

Meanwhile in the West every four years people disappear, get rearranged, get posted elsewhere, seek new jobs and so the newly appearing people like Kurz and his advisors always need time (at least a few years) to get up to speed which is a huge opportunity for constant people like Orban to fool those naïve, rich, well-fed Westerners.

“Stability” (autocracy) has a huge advantage over democracy in international relations and this fact is totally underrated or ignored by the West.


“Stability” (autocracy) has a huge DISADVANTAGE in the economic relation a fact totally underrated or ignored by you (you’re not much into economics, are you?). Consider the classic examples of East/West Germany, North/South Vietnam, N/S Korea, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, etc.
Hun was the second best in the Communist world (after Slovenia) until our half baked, prickly, retrograde end product of the communist era started his destructive rampage and now Hun is competing with Romania and Bulgaria for the last place in Europe.


C’on, these examples from the past are text book and holding – the strength of capitalism is in the freedom for millions of ants seeking their best ways vs a couple of party appointees/hacks in a ministry/party committee trying to figure something smart.

Wrong on Turkey – it has been slowing, the good times ended after Erdogan came to power, maybe a coincidence?
Look at Hun sliding down; “remember “It’s the economy, stupid!”

I disagree because you mention historic examples which I think are not relevant any more. East Germany, Norh Korea, Vietnam were genuinely non-capitalist, planned-economy states (whether NKorea now is really communist is a big question, but it’s a planned economy for sure) and that doesn’t work. That’s quite clear. But after 1990 globalization increased immensely and not just because of the fall of communism. What we see is that capitalism is extremely resilient, and can thrive even under very autocratic systems, China being the best example, but current Vietnam is also not communist even though ruled by an autocratic communist party. Turkey is a “great” recent example, it’s a huge economic success story under Erdogan (although the last few years were not as successful). Authoritarian systems can be successful in capitalism. It’s the capitalism which is important here and it’s extremely resilient under any form of government. But my point is not really economic, but rather as regards power politics in international relations authoritarian systems have an advantage and that is that government structures seem to be more stable – that allows people like Orban and Putin, no matter how much they are hated or how many times they were… Read more »

Marty is you read the book the Unknown story: Mao I think you will find it difficult to discern a long term foreign strategy during Mao’s long rule. Mad communist dictatorships plan for survival of the boss on top.

Maybe, but in parallel with China becoming a serious global economic player (basically since the mid-1990’s) its long-term strategy became clearer and clearer: (i) to ensure that its hegemony in the far east would go unquestioned and (ii) to establish its (economic) influence everywhere else (Africa, Latin-America etc.) where there are raw materials or markets to be had. There are also smaller strategies as part of these two: to ensure that nobody would dare to question its dominion over Taiwan, Tibet and various disputed islands in the South China Sea, to totally eradicate any political discourse about human rights and democracy etc. Domestically nationalism became stronger in the last few decades as it has been actively encouraged by the political leadership. I think these strategies have been pretty constant and I don’t see them changed in the future absent some very exceptional global shock. I’m sure Mao would’ve been tougher in international relations but China was weak then. But the Chinese could wait, they are patient (patience and perseverance are important Confucian traits), and now that China’s getting stronger and stronger the world must come to terms with increasing Chinese influence and power – as wielded by an effectively totalitarian… Read more »

This is a funny story or a fake news.

Gyurcsany – according to a government mouthpiece which is known to make up “news” – may have a huge amount of money (150m HUF) on a secret Austrian account which he failed to report.

Did Gyurcsany seriously think that an Austrian bank won’t report Gyurcsany’s bank account to the Hungarian tax authorities if requested from Hungary? And why does Gyurcsany use the account to hold serious money (or in gold) instead of a safe?

Of course, this is peanuts to Orban’s looting but an opposition challenger must always be more careful. Alas, the leftists can’t even launder money properly.

Orban probably knows all the foreign bank account balances for opposition people held in European banks. In Hungary there’s no obligation to report such accounts to the tax authority (although the Hungarian tax authority can and does request data from sister agencies in the EU) but MPs must report them in an annual report of wealth.


The status of the RED HERRING called migrant relocation quotas.

Total people to be relocated (63% from Greece, 37% from Italy) to EU member states: 98255

Exempt: Denmark, UK, Italy, Greece.

Situation as of 2018-01-25:

Hungary: 0% of 1294
Poland: 0% of 6182

Czechia: 0.45% of 2691
Austria: 1.48% of 1953
Slovakia: 1.77% of 902

Bulgaria: 4.61% of 1302
Croatia: 8.47% of 968

Spain: 14.26% of 9323
Romania: 17.42% of 4180

France: 24.75% of 19714
Belgium: 30.01% of 3812
Germany: 37.31% of 27536

Slovenia: 43.03% of 567
Netherlands: 44.48% of 5947
Estonia: 44.68% of 329
Cyprus: 44.69% of 320

Portugal: 51.44% of 2951
Lithuania: 57.23% of 671
Latvia: 66.74% of 481

Sweden: 80.88% of 3766
Finland: 95.33% of 2078
Luxembourg: 98.56% of 557

Malta: 128.24% of 131
Ireland: 128.83% of 600

Average fulfilment of the quotas:

2017-07-31: 23.19%
2018-01-25: 31.01%


First-time asylum applications in Germany:

2014: 173072 ( Syria: 22.7%, Serbia: 9.9%, Eritrea: 7.5%, Afghanistan: 5.3%, Albania: 4.5%,
Kosovo 4.0%, Bosnia: 3.3%, Macedonia: 3.2%, Somalia: 3.2%, Iraq: 3.1%)

2015: 441899 ( Syria: 35.9%, Albania: 12.2%, Kosovo: 7.6%, Afghanistan: 7.1%, Iraq: 6.7%,
Serbia: 3.8%, Eritrea: 2.5%, Macedonia: 2.1%, Pakistan: 1.9%)
country of origin is not clear: 2.7%

2016: 722370 ( Syria: 36.9%, Afghanistan: 17.6%, Iraq: 13.3%, Iran: 3.7%, Eritrea: 2.6%,
Albania: 2.1%, Pakistan: 2.0%, Nigeria: 1.8%, Russia: 1.5%)
country of origin is not clear: 2.0%

2017: 198317 ( Syria: 24.7%, Iraq: 11.1%, Afghanistan: 8.3%, Eritrea: 5.2%, Iran: 4.3%,
Turkey: 4.0%, Nigeria: 3.9%, Somalia: 3.4%, Russia: 2.5%)
country of origin is not clear: 2.1%


Hungarians living in Germany, as of 12-31 of each year:

2009: 61417 (of which 41.3% women)

2010: 68892 (of which 39.7% women)
2011: 82760 (of which 38.5% women)
2012: 107398 (of which 38.2% women)

2013: 135614 (of which 38.3% women)
2014: 156812 (of which 39.1% women)
2015: 178221 (of which 39.9% women)
2016: 192340 (of which 40.7% women)

pages 32-33 & 38-39 in


non-naturalized foreign citizens living in Germany, as of 2016-12-31

Total: 10039080
from EU countries: 42.63%
from non-EU countries: 57.37%

Poles: 783085 (7.8%)
Syrians: 637845 (6.4%)
Romanians: 533660 (5.3%)
Afghanis: 253485
Iraqis: 227195


Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR in the Middle East:

Total: 5,523,288 (as of 2018-01-25)

in Turkey: 3,466,263 (2018-01-25) or 62.76%
in Lebanon: 997,552 (2017-12-31)
in Jordan: 655,624 (2018-01-02)
in Iraq: 247,054 (2017-12-31)
in Egypt: 126,688 (2017-12-31)
in North Africa: 30,104 (2017-04-30)

Remark: 95% of the Syrian refugees in Iraq live in Kurdistan.


See arrivals in Greece:

2014: 41038
2015: 856723
2016: 173450
2017: 29718
2018: 1373 (as of 2018-01-29)

Sea arrivals in Italy:

2014: 170100
2015: 153842
2016: 181436
2017: 119369
2018: 4054 (as of 2018-01-31)

Sea + land arrivals in Spain:

2014: 4632 + 7084
2015: 5283 + 10980
2016: 8162 + 5932
2017: 22103 + 6246
2018: 1325 + 674 (as of 2018-01-24)


OT – healthcare system
On Monday was published “Euro Health Consumer Index 2017”, the leading comparison for assessing the performance of national healthcare systems. In it are analyzed national healthcare on 46 indicators.
Accordingly updated infogram: though gaining a few points (from 575 to 584) in V4 Hungary slipped down to with Poland shared 4th place.
Note: in the EU Hungary performs ‘better’ than only 5 other countries
Full report at
Article (in Hungarian):

Quote from report: “reason(s) for this [poor performance by HU] is not obvious. However, it is well known from management practice, that if top management starts focussing on things other than producing the best products or services, the quality of products/services declines”
PS: Austria is with 816 points at 8th place in EU (11th in Europe)


Not too much OT.
Hasn’t Andreas von Retyi (lives in Germany it seems) been mentioned here?
This crazy Ufologist’s book on Soros was translated into Hungarian and given to Fideszniks to help them “discuss” The Soros Plan and the danger of immigrants …
He’s also written books on the Bilderberger conferences, the Illuminati, Area 51, 9/11 – a real constipation theorist!
If it weren’t so sad it would be funny!
Orbán giving out this creep’s books to his honchos!
Of course his publisher is (in)famous Kopp – others won’t accept his drivel anymoreit seems. And here he is on wiki:


I have seen many Hungarians in the west with names like von Csabai, de Vécses and wouldn’t bother to read anything from them (but nice music from von Dohnányi), you know, the Jesus-was-Hungarian crowd, or as the joke goes:
– Even the ancient Egyptians were Hungarians.
– How come?
– At least the elite and the Faro were, you know Tutankhamon? This was Tóth Kálmán.


Book translated and published in Hungary by PestiSrá
Surely done with (public) money from OV&Co, but could they even have applied some EU money for it?

Karl Pfeifer

The conservative Vienna daily reports today on two interesting news
1) ÖVP does not want to accept 3 extreme rightwing persons to the University Council
2) Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said to journalist that FPÖ should take his party as an example. When some ÖVP university functionaries made antisemitic remarks, they were expelled from the party.
Eva’s guess is correct, Austria will not become a second Hungary.


Austrians are way too democratic, smart and Western to degenerate into a second Hungary. Never gonna happen. Austria like Switzerland is about rich stability, no Austrian politician will ever endanger that.

J Simon

Austria at least received Orbán, a good beginning, whereas even Britain, the most loyal US satellite, would not receive Trump.


Au received Orban, a beginning and a good end, most probably.
We’ll see what will Napoleon and his pigs do if the Austrians block their access to the gigantic Paks trough.


You are a dunderhead if you believe what you just wrote. To even compare the importance and complexity of the USA and UK relations to EU bit players like Austria and Hungary is laughable.

Berg Dániel

The kindergeld issue is one that has been prominent in public discourse lately. Momentum is working with the Austrian party NEOS to address the issue, and András Fekete-Gyor was in Vienna on Monday to show solidarity with the party’s leader, Matthias Strolz.


Re: Orban and the Austrian ‘whizz-kid’ Kurz and the political entity FPO

Interesting VO called Strache the ‘man of the future’. The kid Kurz to him must be chopped liver. The ‘man of the future’ looks like he might get more of the state phone calls.

Also FPO’s Kickl’s comment on being in power once again: ‘Nothing to fear’. A statement full of potential for the only far right party in power in Europe. The EU and the V4 will see how it goes.


Well, the Conservatives in GB needed the Northern Irish DUP which is about as extreme right wing as FPÖ or AfD – all with lots of fascist undertones and openly fascist members.
Of course the official party line is always different …


Asylum and foreigners in Hungary

refugee status granted + protected status granted + authorised to stay
[new asylum applications]
{foreigners living in Hungary with permission}

2017: 106+1110+ 75 [3397] {242963}
2016: 154+ 271+ 7 [29432] {216172}
2015: 146+ 356+ 6 [177135] {204122}
2014: 240+ 236+ 27 [42777] {213361}
2013: 173+ 183+ 4 [18900] {221604}
2012: 68+ 240+ 42 [2157] {213732}
2011: 47+ 98+ 11 [1693] {227219}


Re: refugee status granted in 2017
The “Immigration and Asylum Office” (Hungarian abbreviation BMH) finally published the official data on their website – (note: data not yet available in English)
Checked the data incl.the breakdown of granted refugee status per country:
Iran – 30 / Afghan – 20 / Irak -10 / Pakistan – 10 / Syria – 10 / Other – 26 / total – 106
*HU seems to prefer to grant “subsidiary protection” instead of “refugee status”, the former gives less rights to the person and will be checked after 3 years (total 31% down from 154 in 2016)
*the 5 specified countries all have round figures!! could there be some sort of maximum quota?? should be checked what’s going on there!!


EU citizens with address in Hungary: 108552
Settled refugees + immigrants: 24059

Presumably, people under 18 are not included in these numbers. because the source is


We should not forget about the scheme called “Hungarian settlement bond” (June 2013 through March 2017).

More than 20,000 people got Hungarian “settlement” rights (6585 applicants and their family members).
The Hungarian state lost about 20 billion forints by paying interest to the bond holders cum applicants over the market rate.

The unnecessary offshore intermediary “enterprises”, handpicked by Rogan [Orban’s current propaganda minister] profited about 160 billion forints, i.e. $650 million.


2010: 74+ 115+ 58 [2104] {212248}
2009: 172+ 62+155 [4672] {216084}
2008: 160+ 88+ 42 [3118]