The Hungarian EU European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor caused quite an uproar in British political circles with his attack on Britain’s plans to curb benefits for migrants. Andor, nominated by the previous Socialist-Liberal government, was dubbed “the most left-wing commissioner”, yet a British Labour MP called him “a fascist party member” and he said Andor “called for the expulsion of Hungarian gypsies from a country where paramilitary groups have been attacking Roma in their villages and where hundreds of Hungarian Jews have fled to Vienna because of fears for their safety”. Nice friendly fire indeed… 🙂 Yeah, the Brits have good reasons to fear an influx of unskilled Romanian and Bulgarian Gypsies from January. In case they didn’t know, Hungarian Gypsies have had the opportunity to move to Britain since 2004. So what’s the leftist answer to this not quite politically correct issue? To accuse Hungary, governed by a centre-of-right government, of fascism, racism and what have you, of course!
Then the right-wing tabloid Daily Mail published a brutally anti-Hungarian article, full of similarly vicious lies, titled “Hungary is anti-semitic and vile to the Roma. Don’t dare lecture us, Mr Commissioner”. British Prime Minister Cameron called EC Chairman Barroso to make a complaint about Andor and he also tweeted his anger:
Well, as someone from Central Europe, a right-winger who is proud to be a Hungarian nationalist and who worked for a year in Italy after Hungary’s joining the EU in 2004 and then who spent five great years in the UK as a higher-rate taxpayer and who is now back in Hungary to do the same job for a lot less money, I must say I support the right of countries, including Britain’s, to filter benefit fraudsters, beggars, criminals and similar anti-social elements out from those who want to live there. I also support restricting entry to the labour market of a country if the chosen representatives of the country think so.
In other words I support British PM Cameron as opposed to Hungarian Eurocrat László Andor. At the same time I strongly reject the nasty anti-Hungarian garbage the Daily Mail or that British Labour MP, and probably some more Brits, have been coming up with in this spat. Shame on them.
Posted by Leto مؤدّب on 30/11/2013
When you look at Hungary from a macro standpoint, Hungary is doing OK… Hungary and central and east Europe as a whole are going to outperform the rest of Europe in the next one-and-a-half to two years… there is a lot of infrastructure investments and competitiveness is higher than in western Europe, and this will continue.
General manager Laurent Poiron said after the big French bank BNP Paribas became the first foreign lender to sell Forint-nominated bonds.
Posted by Leto مؤدّب on 29/11/2013
The President of the Hungarian National Bank, György Matolcsy has called on EU Economics and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn to resign because, according to Mr. Matolcsy, Mr. Rehn has personal responsibility for the failed crisis management in the European Union.
Mr. Matolcsy used to be the Minister of Economy in the Orban government before he was appointed HNB president and the economic policies, which now seem to start bearing fruits for Hungary (see related articles), were mostly his brainchildren, together with the highly successful Lending for Growth program launched by HNB under his premiership.
Economics EU Commissioner Olli Rehn and his thumb-up (for himself?)
But does Mr. Rehn really have any reason at all to resign? Isn’t he an established, highly recognized expert on economy? To mention only one small thing, Mr. Rehn was capable of predicting the accurate figure of Hungary’s budget deficit in 2012 to an amazing degree of accuracy, merely with a 30 percent difference, last November! He said it would be 2.5% and then he almost got it exactly right: EuroStat confirmed this April that Hungary’s budget deficit was 1.9% in 2012.
Posted by Leto مؤدّب on 28/11/2013
The Hungarian National Bank cut the base rate to a historic low 3.20% this Tuesday, at a historic low 0.9% year-on-year inflation rate in October. JP Morgan has revised their forecast and they say 2.4% could be the lowest. They also expect lower inflation than HNB.
Posted by Leto مؤدّب on 28/11/2013
A Hitler-lookalike from England 🙂
Posted by Leto مؤدّب on 26/11/2013
Prime Minister Orbán delivered a speech on a business forum in Tokyo
Prime Minister Orbán delivered a speech on a Tokyo business forum today. He told the audience about the new Hungarian 16 percent, flat rate, family-based income tax system which was introduced in 2011. He said he thinks income tax is a bad thing and ideally he would like to see a “zero percent” income tax. He expressed his hope Hungary could have a single digit income tax in a few years. He added 60 percents of the income tax was, and still is, paid by the top twenty percents of tax payers, so this is not what the change is about. What changed is that the previous tax regime penalized economic achievements, it demanded too much from those working legally and “it opened up the gate of tax evasion for large crowds of people”. He emphasized that the new Hungarian tax system aims to tax consumption instead of income.
Time will tell if this would work out and if it would become another step in the “Orbanization of Europe”.
BTW, here is an interview with Mr. Orbán broadcast by the Japanese public service TV where he stressed that Hungary must diversify her export markets and this is also a reason why Japan is considered an important economic partner for Hungary.
Posted by Leto مؤدّب on 22/11/2013
A common (and a bit stupid) “joke” in Hungary is that “no smoking” means in fact: “do not enter in a dinner jacket”. (Hungarians use “szmoking” to mean “dinner jacket”). Yeah, Hungarians were liable to ignore even those signs forbidding smoking explicitly and nobody didn’t really care either, not even the authorities.
Well, I lived in England when the smokefree laws came into force in 2007 there and I remember people grumbling about not being able to smoke inside pubs. On the other hand, having never smoked in my life, I myself was quite content that tobacco smoke was suddenly pretty much gone wherever I went to. I’d say people got used to the strict restrictions on smoking quickly enough. I visited Hungary often and, to say the least, I wasn’t pleased when I had to breathe in smokey air in public places in Hungary. I really wished Hungary would do the very same as the UK regarding smoking in public but I thought it was fat chance. Then Fidesz won a landslide victory in 2010 and I moved home at the end of 2011. And soon the Orbán-government introduced a similarly strict, if not stricter, anti-smoking law from the January of 2012 than the British one! First I was quite sceptical if it would be effective and enforced, I thought it would be watered down in the end and I did expect a quite big outcry. To my astonishment, there wasn’t really much at all! After a few month transitory period, when I could still see some people were not taking the ban too seriously, I could see less and less violations. I guess the hefty fines convinced the owners of pubs, cafes and restaurants that they’d better enforce the smokefree laws. Or maybe just common sense? Now I cannot remember when I saw someone smoking in a forbidden place in Hungary last time but I don’t think it was this year. I must say I’m pretty impressed.
So Prime Minister Orbán, or in fact Hungary and Hungarians for the above reasons, as he himself emphasized, well deserved this anti-smoking WHO award:
Ah, according to a recent survey, while 28 percent of the adult population used to smoke on a daily basis in 2012, this ratio dropped to 19 percent in 2013. Not bad, eh?
Posted by Leto مؤدّب on 21/11/2013
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, delivering a speech today in Kaposvár: “Hungary needs more births than deaths”
Viktor has travelled to Japan this evening. He’s going to hold a lecture at the (private) Josai University with the title “Hungary and Europe in a changing world”. It sounds like the lecture will have a geopolitical aspect, something like what Stratfor praised him for when he delivered this lecture in London recently.
Besides he’s going to open a Hungarian culture and tourism centre in Tokyo, he’ll deliver a speech at an event of the Hungarian-Japanese Business Forum, he’s going to meet Japanese businessmen and he’s going to have official talks with Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.
What surprises me is that he is also going to meet Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. I thought the Japanese Emperor usually meets only other heads of states…
Posted by Leto مؤدّب on 20/11/2013
Following most economic analysts and the European Commission, the OECD has raised its outlook for Hungarian growth to 1.2% this year and 2.0% next from a previous 0.5% and 1.3%.
The investors seem to be more optimistic, too: Today the average yield on Hungary’s three month T-bill dropped to all-time low below 3% and yesterday Hungary issued USD-nominated bonds, worth of 2 billion US dollars, with a fivefold (!) bid-to-cover ratio and a 325 basis point spread over the US 10-year bonds (which is 20 basis points lower than what was achieved in the February issuance) Let’s note that this is the reaction of the markets despite that all three big credit rating agencies keep Hungary’s rating in the “junk” category…
And there’s more:
Posted by Leto مؤدّب on 19/11/2013