Crippled free press

So-called “left liberals” are petitioning   in order that the EU countries should apply the most severe sanction (Article VII of the EU Treaty) against Hungary because

Hungary is no longer a democracy. … the situation for women, ethnic minorities and religious groups in Hungary becomes deadlier by the second … along with criminalization of the homeless and attacks on women and the LGBT community, Hungary’s seen a horrific spike in state-sanctioned antisemitism and racism…

Then these  hysterolib, shall I say libnazi, liars  use this picture, showing a huge crowd demonstrating in Kossuth square in front of the Parliament,  to illustrate their petition … which drools about the government’s “crippling the free press:

A huge crowd in the streets of Budapest

At a closer look one can see that the sign in the front says “Nem leszünk gyarmat!” (We won’t be a colony!)… Oh, yes, I took part on that rally with this slogan…  It was freezing cold on  the 22nd of January, 2012 and I marched together with several hundreds of thousands Hungarians… and we were protesting exactly against those who sign this petition, protesting against the hysterical, vile attacks directed at Hungary then and in support of democratically elected Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.  This huge crowd gathered so that EU/IMF wouldn’t do to my country what they did  earlier in Italy and Greece when they simply replaced their democratically elected governments with the delegated EU/IMF lackeys.

This petition is a perfect example for that what kind of methods these so-called proponents of free press use.

As opposed to this huge crowd of people supporting the Orbán government, the “champions of free press” could gather only a magnitude smaller crowd on the 2nd of January, 2010 at the height of a very well mediatized international hysteria campaign against Fidesz and PM Orbán. That must be the explanation why these “democrats” (that’s how they always call themselves) try to make their point with a picture of the  much  bigger pro-government rally.

It goes without saying that the “free press”, such as the Washington Post, the BBC, Süddeutsche Zeitung, etc., all tried very hard to increase the importance of the anti-government rally and to make orts of the pro-government one.

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Santa Cat is coming to town…

I wish Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my dear readers!

Áldott Karácsonyi Ünnepeket és Boldog Új Évet kívánok minden kedves olvasóimnak!

Santa Cat

Blah

Blah, I’m not interested. Please make it wriggle for me!

That thing called Christmas tree needs to be decorated properly... how about mice and birds?

That thing called Christmas tree needs to be decorated properly… how about mice and birds?

The War on Life

Hungary’s conservative government is planning to enact stricter controls on voluntary sterilization:  only adults with three children of their own or over 40 years of age would be eligible for sterilization as a method of birth control.

According to “Társaság a Szabadságjogokért”, a Hungarian liberal  pressure group,  one’s right to mutilate oneself is a  “basic right” 

In the opinion of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), conditioning the right for sterilization on a certain number of children or on an age threshold violates the right of self-determination and the right of privacy. Furthermore, it rules out the possibility of considering individual circumstances. The conditioning of constitutional rights, including the right for self-determination, on an age minimum higher than the age of majority should always be properly justified. In this case, we believe the justification is unsatisfactory for such abusive intrusion into private lives and family planning decisions.

As it was the case today in the Supreme Court of the UK, I guess  “the right to die”  will be a “human rights problem” (again) in Hungary, too.

These days the main  “human rights issues”  are  the so-called gay marriage,  various kinds of “right of self-determination”  (  “women’s rights over their bodies”, that is abortion  in plain English, or “one’s right to die”, that is  suicide in plain English.   No kidding but some would  put even the efforts of the Hungarian government to get homeless people off the streets as “a breach of right to self-determination”!).  The right-to-get-stoned (“cannabis legalization”) is an evergreen “human rights” issue in  such liberal circles, of course.

There’s a War on Life.

So I should end this post with a video on the visit of a very inspiring pro-Life warrior to Budapest.

Another historic low base rate and T-bill yield

Another historic low base rate and T-bill yield

In accordance with everyone’s expectations, Hungary’s central bank has cut the base rate to 3% this afternoon. This has been accompanied by a new record low yield 2.88% on Hungarian 3-month Treasury bills this morning.

What is quite interesting is that the Hungarian Forint got a bit stronger after the decision was announced at 14:00!

EUR/HUF exchange rate today

Orthodox vs. unorthodox

Portugal is comparable to Hungary both in population  (10 million people) and in territory (92,000 and 93000 square km respectively).  Both countries are peripheral to the core economies of Europe.  The differences are significant though. Portugal is a member of the Euro zone and Hungary has its own currency (Hungarian Forints).    Portugal is a Mediterranean country with an Atlantic Ocean shore, Hungary is a land-locked country in Central Europe.  So the culture and the history are very different, too.  Portugal’s GDP per capita was 20,180 USD in 2012 and Hungary’s was only 12,620 USD.     Another difference is that Portugal chose to follow the EU/IMF economic recipes in 2010 but Hungary chose to rebel against them.

Still, let’s see some quick comparisons how some economic figures, and especially the ones important for people’s everyday life, have changed in good boy Portugal and in bad boy Hungary since then.    First let’s review some basic, major figures which are somewhat indicative of how these economies were doing in 2010 and how they are doing now:

GDP growth in Portugal and Hungary

Unlike in Portugal’s,  Hungary’s GDP starts to grow

seems to decline...

Hungary’s external debt seems to decline…

... seems to look worse and worse...

Portugal’s external debt problem seems to get worse…

A positive trade balance means you sell more than  you buy.  Hungary’s trade balance was always negative prior to 2009 but Hungary has been producing big pluses since then.

Balance of trade (exports minus imports)

While Portugal’s trade balance doesn’t show any improvement, Hungary’s balance of trade looks great

Now let’s see those figure which directly affect people’s lives.  While Hungary still had a relatively high inflation in 2010, Portugal had a very low inflation in 2010.  Portugal experienced a peak  in the meantime but  their inflation rate is back to nearly zero  again.  Inflation has  decreased to nearly zero in Hungary  only recently.

Consumer Price Index in Portugal and Hungary

Consumer Price Index in Portugal and Hungary

Unemployment rate is something which really affects people. Unemployment at a young age and long term unemployment are especially devastating.

Young people's unemployment used to be the same, now it's much worse in Portugal than in Hungary

Young people’s unemployment used to be worse in Hungary  in 2010 than in Portugal, now one can put it the other way around

... just like the situation with long term unemployment...

… just like regarding the situation with long term unemployment…

And the overall unemployment rate shows the same picture.

And the overall unemployment rate shows the same picture.

And what about the wages and the income tax which also directly affect people?

I can see some emerging pattern here, too.

I can see some emerging pattern here, too.

Portuguese  income tax up, Hungarian income tax down

Portuguese income tax up,
Hungarian income tax down

Maybe the progress happened at the expense of the business sector in general? Let’s see the construction output

The black line belongs to Portugal

The black line belongs to Portugal

or foreign direct investments:

The blue dotted line belongs to Hungary.

The blue dotted line belongs to Hungary.

or the corporate tax rate:

The constant blue line shows the Hungarian data

The constant blue line shows the Hungarian data

Well, let me not draw the final conclusion yet that the EU/IMF orthodoxy is a complete failure and the Hungarian “unorthodoxy” is a complete success because the jury is still out on this. Let’s regard these charts instead as a report after three years on the progress of a 10-20 year race.  To filter out the effect of Portugal’s having the Euro, which I think is largely responsible for the troubles in Portugal,  and Hungary’s having its own currency, I’ll have to do a similar comparison with ‘good boy’ Romania… and caution will be required there, too.

Britain wants restricted labour market

When other countries join the European Union we should be insisting on longer transitions and perhaps even saying until you reach a proper share of an average European Union GDP you can’t have freedom of movement.
We’re putting in very tough measures and controls but I think in the future we will need to go further.

David Cameron raises his finger

British prime minister David Cameron said.

As a Hungarian citizen, who spent five nice years in Britain as a higher-rate tax-payer, while not being on  benefits for a single day, and someone who did not use  the “famous” British NHS  at all (apart from a few futile visits to the local GPs who were simply unable to distinguish between allergy and flu), I agree with Mr. Cameron.

It goes without saying that  the countries Britain would restrict its labour market for should restrict the movement of capital and access to their markets for British  banks and corporations accordingly.

Female opposition condemns Fidesz sexism

Six, that is six women are among the 106 Fidesz MP candidates. Half of the list should consist of women if we wanted to maintain the current shameful proportion, 9%, of women. Besides Fidesz would hardly run any women on their party lists either. This is how we are going to go below our own negative record in Europe. It’s an unforgivable shame (on them).

fumed  Katalin Ertsey, a leftist independent opposition MP who left the small left-wing opposition party LMP (“Politics Can Be Different”) after LMP declined to join ex-Socialist PM Bajnai’s Együtt 2014.  Her two female comrades, already in Bajnai’s opposition party, also shed a lot of tears how few women would be in the next parliament because of the sexist ruling party Fidesz.

Katalin Ertsey

Using their logic, I think the list should also reflect the age distribution and the income distribution of the whole population. But certainly only after the distribution for sexual orientation, ethnicity and religious affiliations would be taken into account. Then certainly  the list must also represent the hair and eye colour, plus the height and weight distributions of the electorate, of course. Adjusting for the IQ score distribution, or political skills, is a low priority. Maybe, for the sake of political correctness, the latter thing shouldn’t be done at all.

The roaring mouse

daStandard.at: What election result do you expect for MSZP next year?
Mesterházy: We’re going to win the elections.
daStandard.at: Percentage-wise?
Mesterházy: That’s difficult to tell but I wouldn’t rule out we would win a two-third majority.

MSZP president Mesterházy said in an interview he gave to the Austrian liberal newspaper Der Standard.

As a reality check, the left-wing pollster, often linked to MSZP,  Szonda Ipsos measured these voter preferences last time:

Party preferences among decided voters who promise to vote

Party preferences among decided voters who promise to vote

Well, that shows that if anybody then it’s Fidesz which might have a chance for another two-third supermajority. I agree that’s quite unlikely though.

  • Ambition (politicsinhungary.wordpress.com)

Uncreditable credit rating agencies

Yesterday’s news was that the credit rating agency Fitch affirmed Hungary’s credit rating in the “junk grade”.    They really didn’t bother much about the steadily improving macroeconomic figures Hungary has been producing recently (the budget deficit being firmly below 3%, GDP growth becoming stronger than  expected, a big trade balance surplus, Hungary’s stopping the growth of its public debt, the slightly decreasing unemployment rate while the  economic activity is increasing (!), the all time low inflation rate or the steady demand for Hungary’s treasury bills at an all time low base rate, etc.).  The key sentence in their report must have been this: “Fiscal discipline contrasts with unpredictable economic policies, especially with respect to the banking and utilities sectors.”  In other words:  the Financial Empire strikes back.

Where’s the red bean? (aka the shell game)

Let’s note that the big (US-based) credit rating agencies (Fitch, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s)  rated Hungary’s creditworthiness  many, many grade higher, in the “investment grade” in the autumn of 2008 when, due to the economic amok running of the so-called Socialists and Liberals,  Hungary de facto defaulted and only a 25 billion Euro EU/IMF-loan, which was fully repaid  by the Orbán government seven months before its expiry, could save the country from the financial collapse.   In contrast,  these credit rating agencies all lowered Hungary’s rating to the “junk” category at the end of 2010 when it became apparent to them that the Orbán government is not going to dance to the IMF tune.

And what was the market reaction at today’s Hungarian government bond auction to the “junk bond” evaluation of Fitch yesterday evening  ?  Significant yield drops on all the bond types.

Life in a fascist dictatorship

There has been a lot of talk about Hungary’s prolonged shift towards authoritarian rule by Prime Minister Orbán, Hungary’s fledgling dictatorial regime, Hungarian fascist paratroopers roaming the streets  while intimidating Jews and Gypsies, etc.  A recent masterpiece  documentary by the Swedish public TV channel sums the grim situation up well.  (Its broadcasting was carefully timed on the 23rd of October, a Hungarian national holiday, which is the anniversary of the Hungarian anti-Communist revolution and freedom fighting of 1956 .)   It’s really well worth watching   this gem just a bit.  I don’t speak Swedish and, I guess most of my readers don’t either, but  it’s definitely fun to try to count the words “anti-Semitism”, “Fascists” and “Fascism”… though only if you’re good at big numbers.

However if this doesn’t entertain you enough  then I suggest you should watch this video instead:

Or perhaps read about that how “unprecedented hard work and never before seen government support is proving the skeptics wrong“.  In case you want to check out yourself if the Swedish public TV programme or the Japanese American blogger’s video is closer to truth, please do learn eleven things to know before visiting Hungary.  Maybe they only forgot to list the 12th item though: you need a swastika tattooed on your forehead in order to survive Hungary.

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