freelogoOur objective is to provide English speaking readers interested in Hungary with a well balanced view of political activities in Hungary by featuring contents from various printed and online sources together with our own commentaries. We are convinced that Hungary is built on all sorts of different ideas, thoughts and opinions and, despite of the new Media Law, our aim is to provide an alternative and reliable source of information – contrary to the one-sided press of the government – for those who want to hear the voice of a free Hungary.


Gréczy-blog: Does early election come?

Something is happening here. Only few days ago József Szájer and Antal Rogán vigorously pushed for the electoral registration. Although I assume that before Christmas Fidesz had information that their idea, which would tread on liberties, would be cut off, because I had also written about this in my blog in the days before the feasts. So if I had information, they should have had even more. In addition to this a couple of years ago after that kind of decision of the Constitutional Court the same Fidesz would have called every judge of the Constitutional Court communists noting that with this teeny-weeny cavilling the system of national corporation cannot be forced to retreat. And now the same Antal Rogán stands up and says that the case is closed, there will be no registration in 2014. What could happen?

Of course the magistrates' judgement retrospectively legitimizes the hunger strike of Ferenc Gyurcsány, Csaba Molnár, István Kolber and Péter Niedermüller, which first drew the national and international community's attention to the baseness called registration. The DK has protested most strongly turning to international organizations, with a human chain around the Parliament. So the abolition of this shame is partly the success of the Democratic Coalition definitely.

However from the annulment of the registration it could even follow that Fidesz is preparing for an early election. Here are some reasons, which for Orbán point to having voting in early June 2013:

– According to the researchers until now the Fidesz has still remains the most popular party. (Especially with Jobbik they would have majority.)

– To February they promised the final electoral law, after that only the Parliament should be dissolved, then 90 days and the voting could take place.

– Over the boarder – who knows why – they keep the registration. (The incoming votes will be recorded and summarized by an only Fidesz members containing OVB.)

– The opposition have only just started to negotiate with each other. There's no way to make an agreement till June about the joint program, candidates, especially the candidate for the prime minister. (Perhaps an early election would rather smash the negotiation up than accelerate it.)

– Fidesz has already been campaigning (posters at public spaces which are defaming Gyurcsány and Bajnai, another "peace march" in the air, declining charges of the public services, once again promised rise of the teachers' payment, lightning-fast lifting back of the maximum limit numbers...)

– With the early election at least hundreds of high school students of nowadays, whose future becomes precarious, can be kept away from the voting.

– Orbán's system has built up: with a kind of control of the election the party hacks, who were appointed to reliable district leaders, has taken up their position. (The representatives, who will lose their mandates, have also got their parachutes, which can be opened safely.)

– In March Orbán can fit his party hack to the head of the MNB, so he will access to the reserves of the monetary bank for a last-minute dispense.

– There's the Kubatov list and Simicska's billions, the dominance in the Media, after a potential electoral victory the appointed party hacks' mandates can be renewed again.

Of course the question arises, how could the Fidesz explain this decision? It is simple:

"The Government of the National Cooperation decided to confirm the confidence towards itself in an early election. In the last three years we have built up a new a world in Hungary. We have given a new basic law to the Homeland. We have given voting right to the Hungarians who are living abroad, with that we have unified the Nation. We have abolished the economic dependence of the country. We have defended the Hungarian enterprises, we did not let them make us a colony. For this we had to make great sacrifices, but the new system has been built up: Hungary has become strong and self-confident. The transformation, which involved conflicts, has ended. The country is about to reach economic growth again. It's the time for social, economic and cultural consolidation. Fidesz as the guardian of democracy and the rule of law asks for confidence and a new mandate to continue its work after the election... and so on, etc."

Well so... The danger exists.


Ghostwriter-blog: We won, but...

So there won't be any registration of voters after all – and we are right to be happy about it. But only up to a point – as the essence of things has not changed.

We can be happy because, it seems, Fidesz could be beaten into retreat on at least one important issue. And – contrary to what some observers are saying – this indeed was a victory for the opposition. For all those, who had protested, who walked out, went on strike, to protest, stood in the human chain, wrote articles, went on TV to give interviews, or made noises in any other way. A victory for those who cared, and stood up for their opinions, and were not frightened of the eggheads who sought to make fun of them, or – in the name of a "balanced view" or "objectivity" went as far as to say that the whole issue of registration was "overrated".

Nevertheless, our democracy is still where it was a week ago – on the verge of being non-existent. The next elections will still be held under gravely unjust conditions. The election law is full of provisions which provide advantage to the current ruling parties. The implementation rules of the elections are also gravely doubtful, indeed. And chances are, that by the time we actually can go to the polling stations, they will be even worse.

Fidesz may well have backtracked this time, but they are still very much in command. They have occupied all democratic institutions – severely weakening them, or even making them obsolete. We have as much of a constitution as we did between 1949 and 1989. Parliament is in no way a counterweight to the government. The independence of justice has severely been weakened. The prosecutor general and the president of the court of auditors are both party soldiers. There are less people who believe in the fairness of public procurements than in Santa Claus. The public media service has ceased to exist. Instead of a national TV, radio or news agency, we only have propaganda. The commercial media are under constant political pressure, and a poor shadow of their earlier selves. In a couple of week's time the independence of the National Bank will also be a thing of the past. And the list could go on.

All of that has not changed because of a single decision of the Constitutional Court. Indeed, I do not think that we could even rehabilitate the Court itself. They deserve credit for this decision, but the times when we could blindly trust in the constitutional judges curtailing any overly ambitious government measures, are long gone..

Our party and our government are still the same as they were last week. They are working against us, not for us. Watch their hands, they are cheating. Still they do. And even if we do not need to register, we will still need to go to vote. Not a bit: a lot.


The Secret Diaries of Viktor Orbán

Friday 4 January 2012

Today was one of the worst days of my political life!

Nearly as bad as when we lost the elections in 2002 and again in 2006!

Worse than when I had to crawl back to the IMF last year, and ask them to consider providing a standby loan to Hungary, after I had previously kicked them out of Hungary, telling the electorate that if the IMF came back, I would leave!

Worse than when the President, appointed by Fidesz to rubber stamp our laws had to resign after the plagiarism scandal.

Worse than when the court rejected our high profile attempt to prosecute former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány, on the basis that there was no evidence to support our allegations.

Worse than when I introduced fees for university students in December 2012, and then had to do a u turn days later after a large student strike.

And so on!

Today the constitutional court found that our law introducing compulsory registration for voters was unconstitutional as it impedes voters in exercising their democratic rights. Of course it does, that was the whole point. I've lost two general elections due to floating voters, I didn't want to lose a third. I hoped that by making registration compulsory, the 50% of voters who are totally disenchanted with Hungarian politicians would not bother to register. So then only the 50% of decided voters would register, and as 46% of those (or 23% of the total) would almost certainly support us, we assumed the election was already won.

Now, sadly, we face a rather big possibility that we will lose the election.

Thanks President Áder (rather an appropriate name for a snake) for sending the law to the constitutional court to consider. You betrayed the party that you were a founding member of. We won't forget. (Perhaps we should have an anti-Áder poster campaign.)

I already knew that we did not control the constitutional court.

We could change the constitution... but perhaps that would be counterproductive.

Perhaps I should just give up? Many lesser men than me would see the writing on the wall!

But I am Viktor Orbán. I never take a hint that perhaps I am not wanted any more. I've lost two general elections for my party and still I fight on!

Freehungary; January 6. 2013.

Gyurcsány-blog: The 3rd Blow to Fidesz

The abolition of mandatory preliminary voter registration is the third and greatest blow to Fidesz since 2010. The first blow was that they had to excuse themselves because of a blatant sexist remark by one of their MPs. After that, they retreated from their higher education reform (which foresaw the introduction of high tuition fees), and now, the mandatory preliminary voter registration has been abolished by the Constitutional Court.

We have no reason to keep secret that we, the Democratic Coalition (DK) have been the greatest opponents to the voter registration scheme. We were the only ones who boycotted the rude parliamentary travesty when Fidesz proposed and passed this law. In September 2012, four MPs from my party and I endured a hunger strike on Kossuth Square [the square which encircles the Hungarian Houses of Parliament] in an attempt to protest against the mandatory voter registration scheme. After that, we started to collect signatures across the country so that voters could have a direct say that they were against the unconstitutional measure taken by Fidesz. As a manifestation of our discontent and opposition, we formed a human chain (together with thousands of citizens) around the Houses of Parliament in November.

We took the right decision by opposing this law with full force from the very beginning, and the many people who decided to join us in this effort did so rightly. Now we can say: we won! And this time, that small piece of Hungary's constitutional tradition (which has been violated and desecrated a thousand times by now) has also won. I thank you all who took part in this fight.

Ferenc Gyurcsány's weblog; Facebook/gyurcsanyf; 5 January 2013


Gyurcsány's Great Success

Now that the Constitutional Court has abolished the "subscription" scheme aimed at restricting voting rights – what else must it have been aimed at? –, it turned out that (at least temporarily) even Fidesz found it better to retreat: Fidesz MP Antal Rogán has recently announced that the mandatory voter registration scheme will not be introduced. This is a great success for all voters with a commitment to democracy and for all democratic parties and for all Democrats in general, whether they be Right-leaning, Liberal or Left-leaning: they indeed managed to warn Orbán and his circle of supporters that now everybody sees the preparations for rigging the next elections; in other words, that the emperor is without clothes. That is why they do not dare to amend the constitution once again.

That is an immense success for all Democrats, and in particular, for the Democratic Coalition. This party, which has been unjustly and wickedly deprived of the possibility of forming its own caucus in the Parliament, protested against the autocratic modifications of the electoral law with great enthusiasm and with a very strong determination until its abolition. Of course, the statements and communications made by a small party without a parliamentary caucus are not presented so strongly in the media than those of a bigger party and one less hated by Fidesz, that is why DK politicians must fight for much more press and media coverage, and they must also organize (jointly with their sympathizers) political actions nationwide, in the capital city, and in the countryside in order to communicate their messages to the nation. In fact, former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány and the DK did just that.

From the personal point of view of Mr Gyurcsány, this is a favorable outcome: citizens in many parts of the country still identify him – and maybe even the Democratic Coalition – with the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) (though MSZP just like LMP ['Politics Can Be Different' party] did not put much energy into protesting against the new electoral law, especially considering their significance in the country's political life).

One of the most substantial moves was the formation of a human chain around the Hungarian Houses of Parliament (organized by the Democratic Coalition /DK/).


An analysis of the Hungarian Constitutional Court's ruling on voter registration

It is time to take a closer look at the Hungarian Constitutional Court's decision. Unfortunately, the opinion is very long and technical and I have neither the time nor the expertise to go into all the subtleties of the decision. Here I will address just two points: (1) what sections of the law on "electoral procedure" (T/8405) were questioned by President János Áder and (2) what sections of the new Basic Laws–which I still call the Constitution–the court referred to in making its decision.

Here is a brief summary of the paragraphs mentioned by President Áder. §82 simply gives a definition of the "central register" (központi névjegyzék), a list of those who previously registered at the local notary expressing his or her wish to vote. §88 outlines the procedure of actually getting registered, which is very narrowly defined. It can be done either completely in person or in part electronically. Both possibilities are slow and cumbersome. On the other hand, those who live abroad can register by mail. Clearly, the government party favors those Hungarians who live in the neighboring countries by making their registration procedure easier. §106 goes into more details of the registration procedure, setting a time limit of 15 days before the election to be eligible to be included in the "central register."

More on:


Gábor Török blog: Registration until the last breath

(The blog has been written one day before the Court's decision – editor)

If the rumours are true, the Constitutional Court will strike down voter-registration. However we should remember that it was President János Áder who submitted the text for constitutional review, starting the process that ended with the ruling on Friday. It is Áder, if anyone, who CÖF (the organizers of the pro-government Peace Walks) should attack now". (CÖF threatened a few days ago that in case a major demonstration against registration was organized by the left-wing opposition, they would not let demonstrators near the building of Parliament). If Áder had signed the draft into law, it would have been much more difficult for the Court to examine it. The government had to decide how much it had to gain and how much it might lose by dropping the idea of pre-registration or insisting on it and enshrining it into the constitution to make it untouchable by the Constitutional Court. In the latter case, the potential gains would have been to keep many of the undecided away from the polls. On the other hand, such a confrontation with the Constitutional Court would damage their image and open a prolonged battle over basic democratic values before the elections. The government would do better to drop compulsory pre-registration but one may expect the government to hold on to it "until their last breath."


Flags, camps, goal

The negotiations of delegates representing the Socialist Party (MSZP), Together 2014 and former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány's Democratic Coalition (DK) to co-ordinate their stances on key policy issues "should not be overestimated." What is really important for the moment, is the very fact that negotiations are under way, and parties had better keep their cool: they cannot break up now without demoralising the strongly anti-Fidesz groups in the electorate. They must also know that to beat Fidesz, voters who would never vote for the MSZP have to be rallied as well. Otherwise, and in the best scenario, we will simply get back the two-tier party system but have no chance of forming a constitutional assembly with a two thirds majority which, after changing the rules, would dissolve itself to give way to new free elections. For this to happen, a new opposition coalition must be ready. Without patience and readiness to cooperate with parties who have not joined the negotiations, efforts at cooperation may lead to failure or a two-tier party system at best.

Together 2014 was set up on 23 October 2012 to initiate negotiations between all "democratic parties" in opposition to Fidesz. LMP, the smallest opposition party in Parliament declined the invitation, and almost split in half over the decision. 4k, a small new leftist party outside Parliament did not join either. Now delegates representing the Socialist Party (MSZP), Together 2014 and Democratic Coalition have started talks to co-ordinate their stances on key policy issues.

Róbert Friss; Népszabadság; January 3. 2013.;

The Secret Diaries of Viktor Orbán

19 December 2012
It may be the festive season, but the government does not believe in goodwill to all men! So as a nice Christmas present to the only opposition radio station (Klubrádió), at 4.00pm on the last working day of the year, we issued them with a decree stating that we have decided their bid for the 95.3 MHZ frequency was invalid. They have 15 calendar days to appeal. That should keep them busy over the holiday period!

21 December 2012
There is a story going around that I am the most unpopular prime minister since 1990. A survey carried out by a polling organization deducted the percentage of people that are unhappy with my performance from the percentage that are happy, and I scored minus 39 points!
I can’t understand this. My main policy objective is to stay popular. I’ve cut taxes; I’ve demanded that energy companies cut their prices. In short, I’ve transferred the burden for financing the huge government operation from the Hungarian people to the foreign multi nationals. And still the people hate me! Even Gyurcsány was more popular in spite of our continuous campaign to blacken his name.
The Hungarian electorate are such a fickle bunch!

25 December 2012
Some lovely Christmas presents. One of my favourites was a book by the writer József Debreczeni which looks at the riots that occurred in October 2006 after the leaking of Gyurcsány’s famous Balatonöszöd speech, in which he admitted to lying to win the elections. A member of his cabinet very kindly copied a recording of the speech, and gave it to us! And in doing so, he made sure that his own party’s popularity would be permanently damaged. All because Gyurcsány was trying to stop him helping himself to taxpayers’ money.
I couldn’t believe my luck when that tape was handed over to us.
Debreczeni’s book brings back some fond memories. It is extremely close to the truth. I’d better not comment on that in public though.

27 December 2012
It seems our work is not complete yet. We have a two thirds majority in parliament. We have a president who is a party member. We have a head of the judiciary who is a party member. We have a media council that is made up of party members. And we have a state media that never says anything bad about the government, and rarely comments on the opposition. But we forgot about the constitutional court. And today that oversight cost us.
When we wrote the new constitution in 2010, we gave parliament the right to make “temporary” amendments to it afterwards. We have made quite a few such temporary amendments in the twelve months since it was issued, such as the requirement that voters must register if they want to vote (even though we have a perfectly accurate register of all Hungarian residents).
Today the constitutional court ruled that these temporary changes are not temporary in nature and are therefore invalid
The root of the problem is that only five of the judges were appointed by Fidesz. In other words, we still have a constitutional court that is independent of the government. That simply won’t do!

1 January 2013
New Year! I’m just thinking about our achievements over the last twelve months. A year ago, our currency was in free fall after talks with the IMF broke down. A year later, the IMF is still not back, but our currency has regained its strength.  We’ve shown the world that we can survive without the advice of interfering foreign bodies such as the IMF and the EU. We’ve done it the Hungarian way, and have achieved independence. This year will see the fruit of our labours. The fairy tale is about to reach its happy ending, at least I hope so; otherwise my popularity will match that of the much hated Mátyás Rákosi.

FreeHungary; January 2. 2013.

Gréczy-blog: Hungary without Orbán

2013 will be the last full year of the second Orbán government. Hungary has to brace itself for life after Orbán. We have to get rid of this tyrant, who was never really interested in the well-being of the country and its people. During his years at the top of the government, Mr. Orbán has become an immensely rich person due to his various positions, such as prime minister, leader of various committees, leader of his own party and his own parliamentary faction. All this money was paid for, of course, by the tax payer. Where has all the money gone? Today, Hungary is being held hostage by its own democratically elected prime minister, who has since betrayed the constitution. Mr. Orbán transformed his administration into a one-party system, which could not care less about the democratic institutions and free elections. His party program resembles that of the Jobbik, which is highly anti-democratic and intolerant. The big question is: has the opposition got what it takes to be a worthy opponent to Orbán? Will they have the strength and the inner force to say no to all of the big names from Fidesz who, thanks to their immoral attitudes, contributed to the present state of affairs? Can the opposition overcome their petty squabbles within their own ranks? This will be a long and hard battle, especially when everyone knows that the upcoming elections will not be free or fair.


The Secret Diaries of Viktor Orbán

Tuesday 11 December 2012

The students are still on strike about our proposed education reforms. The fact is, the government cannot afford to send people to university any more. Governments only have limited amounts of taxpayers' money, and it is necessary that those are used only on essential services, such as building new football academies so that once again we can beat England at Wembley!

I won't give in! I won't even meet the leaders of the students.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Bloody hell! Mesterházy, the leader of one of the opposition parties attended a student demonstration today, and showed a video of me campaigning against the introduction of tuition fees when Gyurcsány was Prime Minister. I even organized a referendum against tuition fees in 2006 and promised that Fidesz would never introduce them. I was hoping that the voters had forgotten than.

Mesterházy then promised that if MszP wins the next election, he will stop tuition fees. As I well know, it is easy to make such promises while in opposition, but quite another thing to keep those promises when actually running the country.

Tuition fees are the right choice! I will not give in.

Thursday 13 December 2012

I read Gyurcsány's post on Facebook today. He agrees that tuition fees are necessary.

I can't do something that Gyurcsány agrees with. Perhaps I will scrap this plan.

Saturday 15 December 2012

I've finally decided that we won't charge tuition fees. Students who get the right grades at school can go to University. The state will pay. No idea where we will get the money from, but I will leave Matolcsy to sort that one out.

They will of course have to spend the rest of their days living in Hungary. We are going to re introduce the system of passports that existed pre 1989, where passports are looked after by the state, and only given to the holders for approved trips abroad. Perhaps we should build an iron fence along the border between Hungary and Austria to stop graduates trying to escape.

Sunday 16 December 2012

I hear that Mr Bajnai was involved in a car accident today! Funny that...

Sadly he escaped uninjured.

Freehungary; December 18. 2012

The Secret Diaries of Viktor Orbán

Friday 7 December

With just over 16 months until the elections, we need some good news to cheer the voters. If my economics minister is to be believed, the fairy tale should begin soon, but just in case it doesn't...

So I chaired a brainstorming session of the junta.

"Anything we can do to warm the hearts of our voters?" I asked.

"Prime minister, you are a genius!" replied one of the other members of the junta.

"What do you mean?" I asked him.

"Warm the hearts of the voters... let's cut their heating bills. They will love us if we do that!"

"But we can't afford to cut the VAT on heating! It must stay at 27%!" I told him.

"No, we don't cut the VAT. We tell the energy companies to cut prices by 10%!"

"But the energy companies are private businesses!"

"So what. We are the government. We make the rules."

So simple! What a good idea. Maybe we will force Apple to cut the price of i-phones just before the election. We can force Tesco and Auchan to cut the prices of beer. The list is endless!!

Later I was discussing the idea with an advisor. He warned against it.

"If you require the energy companies to cut their prices, they will need to cut their costs. They may cut back on things like maintenance expenditure, which will lead to breakdowns. You won't be popular if the central heating breaks down in the middle of winter PM!"

"How long will it take before the heating starts to break down?" I asked him.

"I don't know. Probably two or three years!"

"Well that's after the election idiot!" I shouted at him.

Monday 10 December

Spent the day preparing the press conference to announce the cuts in the energy prices. People may be a little disturbed by a government interfering so directly in private markets. We have several good responses to that:

1. The energy companies enjoy astronomic profits. They should provide services like electricity and gas for free, as a public benefit. Not for profit.

2. Energy bills in Hungary have risen by 200% since 2002. We can blame that on the socialist government of course. (In actual fact the reason for increase is that the market price of crude oil has risen by 260% over that period, but why let facts get in the way of government propaganda?).

I was so looking forward to the press release, so I was absolutely incandescent when I heard that the University students were staging a very public anti government demonstration, complaining about our cuts to University places. They even closed Petõfi Bridge! I called the minister of the interior, and asked him to send in the tanks! Fortunately he didn't!

So all the good publicity that our heating cuts announcement should have made was lost.

Wednesday 12 December

We had a meeting to discuss our recent poster campaigns. The anti IMF campaign seems to have been a success, as we have had no calls from Washington since we launched that, so hopefully they will stay away.

We also discussed the recent anti Gyurcsány Bajnai poster campaign. One of our advisors was very critical of the campaign. He told us:

"Viktor, there is not such thing as bad publicity. Your anti Bajnai and Gyurcsány campaign will actually increase their profile and increase their popularity! People will see their faces and remember the good times again. They are delighted about the government funding their election campaigns. It also makes the government look childish. Hungarian people are more sophisticated than to believe such obvious propaganda. It was a waste of money frankly".

Well this man clearly does not know the first thing about politics. I've destroyed the only other conservative party, the MDF. I destroyed the liberal party, the Sdsz. I destroyed Gyurcsány's reputation. I will destroy Bajnai. Negative campaigning works.

At the end of the meeting we agreed to increase the budget for "government communications" (Fidesz propaganda) by HUF 700 million next year. This may be difficult when we are trying to find budget cuts of HUF 800 billion, but we can always cut an extra 700 University places!

FreeHungary; December 12. 2012.

"You lied, Viktor"

Renewed protests against the government's higher education reforms saw several thousand students, parents and teachers march from Budapest's Technical University to Parliament on Wednesday, demanding reversal of plans to slash state-funded scholarships and introduce tuition fees.

Smaller crowds gathered throughout the country in Szeged, Sopron, Nyíregyháza and Gödöllõ, the latest in a wave of more or less spontaneous protests and sit-ins that started on Monday and also saw actions in university towns Debrecen and Pécs.

The demonstrators want the number of state-subsidised university places to be brought back to the 2011 level, for the decrease in financing to be halted, restrictions on university autonomy to be lifted, student contracts to be abolished and state secretary for education Rózsa Hoffmann to resign.

They were reacting to the cabinet's announcement last week that numbers of fully funded scholarships would be cut to 10,480 from September 2013 (down from 27,000 this year and 55,000 in 2010), a decrease partly compensated for by a rise to 46,330 in the number of partial grants available.

The announcement was the latest move in the government's comprehensive overhaul of the higher education sector that its numerous detractors say is both poorly planned and communicated.

A particularly sore point is that the new policy means funding for university studies will shift almost entirely from a state scholarship basis to tuition fees. Between 80 and 90 per cent of students entering higher education without any scholarship in September 2013 will be liable to fees per semester ranging from an estimated HUF 150,000 (EUR 529) to HUF 325,000 (EUR 1,147) per semester depending on the subject studied, according to news portal Partial funding would leave recipients with a bill per semester of HUF 70,000 (EUR 246) to HUF 160,000 (EUR 564).

Critics see this as a cynical reversal in governing party Fidesz's stance. "You lied, Viktor,"some protesters chanted in front of the Parliament building on Wednesday, four years after Fidesz and now-Prime Minister Viktor Orbán forced in 2008 a referendum on a tuition fee policy favoured by then-Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány.

Government officials have strenuously attempted to deny the accusation and, especially, to reject the tuition fee moniker. "There is no tuition fee (tandíj), there is self-funding (önköltség)," Hoffmann told Parliament on Monday. A statement from the Education State Secretariat the same day said students will eventually understand the changes are in their interest rather than against them.

The government's policy should come as no surprise, Orbán wrote to national student councils organisation HÖOK on Tuesday after declining to meet representatives. He "recalled his pleasant memories of last year's meeting with a HÖOK student delegation about the act on higher education, which was under discussion in the Parliament at the time," according to a statement of the Prime Minister's Office about the open letter. "The new higher education concept is based on a system in which the State will finance everyone's studies, either by granting them scholarships or a new type of student loan", while under the previous system "when someone did not get a state-financed place, they could only attend higher education if they were able to finance their studies from their own resources", the statement read.

But promises that studies will be financed through full or partial scholarships, and tuition fees through student loans, are not free of drawbacks. Scholarships are tied to student contracts that, already introduced this September, require students to remain in Hungary for twice the length of their period of study after graduation, a measure whose legality is under challenge both in Hungary and from the European Commission over fears that it restricts mobility rights.

Under its new student loan formula, Diákhitel 2, the government would repay students' loans if they join the Hungarian public sector after graduation, while tax incentives would be offered to companies to repay their newly graduated recruits' loans. Students will face a very affordable two per cent interest rate on the loans, Hoffmann has said, though some reports indicate interest rates could also be reduced to zero.

The cabinet may make changes to its plans for higher education funding, including in the number of state scholarships, and the formalities for the repayment of student loans have not been fixed upon yet, Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog told news channel M1 on Wednesday. There has been no official confirmation of the number of state-funded scholarships and students' reactions are based on press reports and drafts, he said.

Reassurances have left students unimpressed. "Plagiarism is cheaper than a university degree,"a placard at a student protest in Gyõr read, a barely veiled reference to Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, whose dissertation was declared by an ELTE university committee last Friday to have included such a significant amount of copied material as to amount to a "serious ethical mistake".

Bénédicte Williams; Budapest Times; December 14. 2012.

For God's sake, Zsolt!

I do not want to disrespect you Zsolt (Zsolt Semjén, deputy prime minister - the editor) despite the things you have done. Even a fallen man is a man. Moreover the position of being a deputy prime minister is respectable. If you also respect it please, do not dishonour it further.

Zsolt, you are a Catholic person, that is what you claim about yourself and I do not have the right to question it. If you really like the church, do not bring further shame on it either. For God's sake, I ask you to step down.

Despite the fact that your diploma is fake you could be an excellent politician. (You are not, but you could be.) The question is not the quality of your diploma. It would not be a problem if you had no diploma, if you were talented and hard-working and self-taught, like Iván Mándy or Joschka Fischer.

The problem is that you stole. You claimed that others' sentences, thoughts and intellectual property are yours. And when it turned out that they are not, you did not apologize but you clamoured for an apology. And when it officially turned out that you stole and lied then you stated you no longer deal with this issue.

But this issue deals with you, Zsolt. Because we do think that if someone steals intellectual property he can steal other things as well. Someone who steals and does not regret it is a thief. Zsolt, a thief cannot be the deputy prime minister of Hungary.

So I beg you Zsolt: face the reality, apologize and step down. You can still do it voluntarily.

Do not worry about the government. It will be the same without you. Unfortunately.

Page 8 of 9



Written on 21/12/2017, 21:09 by admin
jerusalemJerusalem, the eternal capital of the state of Israel and the Jewish people, finally got the official recognition which was overdue for decades....
Written on 13/09/2017, 20:13 by admin
guest-post-eu-and-orban-two-good-friendsThe decision of the European Court of Justice, according to which Hungary should accomodate more than one thousand refugees is at the same time appaling...
Written on 06/10/2016, 19:58 by admin
guest-post-the-day-after-the-referendumThe much anticipated referendum about the resettlement of migrants in Hungary was declared invalid, however, those who voted overwhelmingly rejected the...
Written on 23/06/2016, 06:31 by admin
disintegration-or-something-else-gyurcsany-s-solutions-to-the-ills-of-western-democracies  Something has gone wrong. Quietly, but ever more noticeably, more and more people in more and more places are in revolt. In the American...
Written on 06/04/2016, 19:20 by admin
how-germany-and-its-leftist-liberal-supporters-killed-solidaritySolidarity. This is the word that is probably is the most used and misused term in European politics. Its original meaning is supposed to mean to show...
Written on 23/03/2016, 20:30 by admin
the-orban-regime-can-only-end-in-failure  Change in the Orbán regime is only possible in the event of its downfall, so ruling Fidesz either becomes successful with its current set of...
Written on 23/03/2016, 20:20 by admin
anger-or-resignation  No matter how hard Mr Orbán is trying to get rid of his old cronies, he just cannot get rid of himself. He is too old for his system. The...
Written on 14/01/2016, 20:51 by admin
europe-s-new-yearThe European continent had a very difficult year in 2015, but that may be dwarfed by 2016. The most heated issue will be, without a doubt, the migration...
Written on 09/12/2015, 14:16 by admin
the-secret-diaries-of-viktor-orban-nov-dec-2015November 14th 2015I awoke to the shocking news about the Paris attacks last night. Words cannot express my feelings of shock.It turns out that one of the...
Written on 12/11/2015, 14:31 by admin
spies-in-the-newsroom   According to a new scheme, the government might place spies in the newsrooms, to have a better view of what is being written. This all...
Joomla templates by Joomlashine