Our 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.
Published on Sunday, 06 January 2013 17:05
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.
Published on Sunday, 06 January 2013 17:02
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
Published on Sunday, 06 January 2013 17:00
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/).
Published on Sunday, 06 January 2013 08:46
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."
Published on Saturday, 05 January 2013 07:57
(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."
Published on Friday, 04 January 2013 00:19
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.; Budapost.eu
Published on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 20:41
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.
Published on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 15:59
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.
Published on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 22:09
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
Published on Saturday, 15 December 2012 10:43
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 index.hu. 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.
Published on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 18:40
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.
Published on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 14:09
Four million Hungarians living near or below subsistence level, the highest inflation rate in Europe, 28 new taxes, a 27 percent rate of VAT, an Arrow Cross theatre for Dörner, Horthy statues, Wass-Nyírő-Tormay in the Core Curriculum, György Fekete, as the cultural pope, the paintings of Imre Kerényi, humiliation of Ilona Tokody, joint management of municipalities with Jobbik, removal of the statues of Attila József and Mihály Károlyi, Kossuth square 1944, another smear campaign against Gyurcsány and Bajnai, the Sukoró scandal, with the false accusation of Gyurcsány, hindering the creation of the DK parliamentary fraction, nullity bull for the mob of 2006, humiliation and then, discharge of Ibolya Dávid, Herényi, Szilvásy, amuck by Budai and Papcsák, repulsion of the accusations against Fidesz personalities by Polt, appointment of Mrs Szájer and Annamária Szalai, Klub Radio was awarded a frequency in vain, one-party OVB (National Elections Committee), registration to prepare an election fraud, one-party fundamental law, with a table of its own, "National System of Cooperation", CÖF and Peace March financed from mysterious hundreds of millions, paid claqueurs in the Museum garden, hired Polish demonstrators on the national holiday (March 15), shattered Hungarian parties and organisations in the neighbouring countries, spoiled EU presidency, complete international isolation of Hungary, the axe murderer became free, buddies and kinsfolk receive land, laws approved within a matter of hours, nullified authority for Constitutional Court, occupation of the National Bank of Hungary, life-threatening underground lines, highest-ever government debt, 3,000 billion HUF of private pension fund assets stolen and spent, series of IMF scandals, Fidesz-owned Videoton, billions for Közgép, failed diplomacy, the Hungarian film industry is stopped, liquidation of alternative theatres, junk and then, below junk, recession, falling industrial output, handover of projects initiated by the Gyurcsány government (without an invitation to companies that started the projects), brutal tuition fees and admission quotas to universities, young people leaving the country, longer and longer surgery waiting lists (also for cancer patients!!), shortage of doctors and nurses, closing hospitals, disarranged emergency service, commissars in public education, mandatory teaching of religion or ethics in the schools, purchase of MOL shares, pointless and detrimental nationalisation, bank tax, selectivity among currency loan debtors, stagnating unemployment, one can live from 47,000 forints per month, the wage of public workers is 23,000 forints, vexation of handicapped or homeless persons and pensioners, retroactive legislation, EU infringement proceedings against Hungary, billions of forints for research firms of dudes, increase in the costs of the government staff, appointment of "Lászlóné" to be minister, downsizing at Nokia, Dunaferr, Flextronics etc., banks cut back lending, Orbán failed as an EPP's Vice-President, restriction of press freedom, censorship and unilateral news service in "public television and public radio", billions of forints flow into football, whilst we see only a few hundred people on the bleachers, complete disregard of election promises, attack against Róbert Alföldi, special bills for buddies, from Vajna through Járai to Borkai, indebted municipalities, blocking agent files, whitewashing agents, attacks against former public TV employees on hunger strike, the money collected for the harmed of the red sludge has disappeared, members of the Fidesz grandstand became theatre directors, the fairy tale of Matolcsy, the freedom fight of Orbán, the polling booth revolution, the construction industry is down, pharmaceutical prices keep increasing, the gasoline price is at top levels, plagiarism by Schmitt and by Semjén, Kövér and his guard, two servile presidents of the republic, closing Játékszín (a Budapest theatre) and then, passing it over to a buddy, decreasing support for theatres, occupation of the Cultural Fund, scandal of the Palace of Art, omitted increase in wages for teachers and doctors, cutback of rights and pensions for policemen and firemen, the euro reached even 326 forints (a negative record)...
And the end of the series is nowhere to be seen yet - I'm looking forward for your proposals. And those who want the defeat of Orbán are looking forward to a unity of opposition. Will they get it?
Published on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 13:46
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.
Published on Wednesday, 05 December 2012 20:33
Friday 30th November
No economic news is good news. Unlike last week when we had a barrage of data. I was able to use my weekly radio "interview" to spread propaganda about the new Hungarian economic model.
The fact that we can't afford to scrap the bank tax, for example, which was supposed to be a temporary measure. Rather than admit that we can't really afford to pay for the tax cuts because we have not managed to achieve any efficiencies, I told the public that it is all part of a plan. We will continue to tax those foreign investors who have a monopoly position in areas such as banks and utilities.
Sunday 2 December
I watched the X factor last night and admit I rather enjoyed it. When I went to bed, I had a really odd dream. I dreamed that I was participating in an X factor type competition to be the Prime Minister. It was the end of the show, and the mentors had to decide whether I should stay on as Prime Minister for another week, or stand down in place of Bajnai:
Mentor 1: "I like the way you stand up for the Sovereignty of Hungary against the interfering bureaucrats from Brussels Viktor. But I sometimes think you could be a little less abrasive when dealing with them. A good assertive leader can get his point accords without resulting to insults, so I think you need to work on that. But I say stay!"
Mentor 2: "Viktor, I have to be honest. That was awful. You are wrecking the economy. OK, to be fair, you are managing to keep the deficit to below 3%, just. But you have only really achieved this by stealing pensions and taxing multinationals. Foreign investment in our country is falling, and this will really affect economic growth in the future. So sorry to say this, but you should go home Viktor!"
Mentor 3: "My problem Viktor is that I just don't know what you stand for. One day you tell us that you won't let Hungary be bullied by the E.U. The next day you tell the E.U. that you will change the laws in any way they want. One minute you say that you want the government to have a partnership with foreign investors. The next day you introduce a new range of taxes which only applies to foreign owned companies. One minute you are making school children read books written by fascists, the next you are saying that there is no place for prejudice in Hungary. I think you need to work out what your government stands for. That's why I say Viktor, go home.
Mentor 4: "Viktor, a real leader is someone who looks after all his people. But you only act in the interests of your clan and are excessively spiteful to your political adversaries. I mean this recent poster campaign about Bajnai and Gyurcsany, what was the point of that? And that small radio station that you are determined to close just because they express opposition views. You'll never make a good Prime Minister, Viktor. Go home."
As I stood on the stage and heard this, I became very angry, and started to shout at the mentors.
"You fucking communists!" I shouted. "I will have this program taken off the air by the media council. And you will all be arrested!"
Suddenly I woke up, thank God! It had all been a dream. But it has got me thinking. Why would the mentors say that about me, even in a dream?
Sunday 3 December
A weird thing happened today. The opposition held a demonstration against anti-Semitism, in the wake of that awful speech made in Parliament last week. Then Antal Rogan, head of the Parliamentary party of Fidesz told them that he would like to attend, and make a speech. And he did! And they agreed with him.
Perhaps we can cooperate with the opposition sometimes! Perhaps I should take note of what the mentors told me in my dream.
FreeHungary; December 05. 2012.