Orbán press conference after no vote to Juncker

British PM David Cameron and Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán voted ‘no’ for Jean-Claude Juncker  as European Committee chairman.  Cameron requested the voting procedure to take place. He opposed Juncker’s presidency so vehemently that he said this would mean the UK will likely vote for leaving the EU in 2017.  First it was Orbán who announced on the 25th of May, shortly before the EP elections, that  Hungary is not going to support Juncker’s EC presidency. Besides Orbán’s support, initially Cameron also had the backing of the prime ministers of Sweden and the Netherlands.  Moreover Italy’s PM Matteo Renzi and even Germany’s Chancellor Merkel seemed to oppose Juncker. After a series of talks, eventually Merkel changed her mind, probably for internal political reasons, and Italy’s Renzi pulled out of the anti-Juncker group, too.  Sweden and the Netherlands switched sides this Wednesday and they announced their support for Juncker.

Orbán has confirmed he would vote no this morning and he said  the following after the voting:

Voting is the normal procedure  in democracies if no consensus could be reached. This is what happened today and the result was 26 votes for and two votes against.  I myself would have voted no even if I had been alone because this is a question of principle.  Hungary had to send out a clear and strong message: we are not going to agree to trespassing the boundaries of the Basic EU Treaty, even with the  laudable intention of striving for consensus.

He meant that according to the Basic Treaty the Council of Europe  European Council, that is the heads of member states, should nominate the EC chairman but now the candidate of EP election winner, the European People’s Party, the party group which Orbán’s Fidesz is an important member of, was nominated automatically.   Orbán added that if more political room, new rules are needed  then that must be proposed, discussed and then “the Basic Treaty may be modified in a transparent, democratic, well-prepared and thoughful way”.  He said it’s very wrong to reinterpret treaties and this is what happened here.  He also remarked the EU has tried to claim the right to rule on several issues which in fact belong to national competence beyond any doubt. He quoted examples like regulating utility bills, the tax Hungary levied on banks or the law on making distilled spirits (pálinka).  “This practice simply cannot be continued and we are going to defend Hungarian interests”, he added.

In addition this whole issue points well beyond our own interests and beyond the interests of the European People’s Party, too.  In fact I did not vote against one particular person. I voted for changing this established political practice.

Answering a question how Fidesz MEPs will vote in the European Parliament, he said he’s got a very firm opinion but that voting will be a secret ballot.

Orbán answered questions after the voting

He also spoke about that the Hungarian approach won in a few issues concerning the EU strategic policies for the next five years. For example, the previously much attacked economic policy of Hungary that taxes on labour must be decreased has been accepted. He also saw some progress about Hungary’s method of achieving low energy prices via market regulations. He stressed that market regulation is not a goal in itself and  market forces must compete so that the consumers would enjoy better and better quality and lower and lower prices. However in his opinion this principle doesn’t always work and that’s clearly the case in the energy supply market where monopolies are inevitable.

He said that there seems to be some kind of progress in the question of migration, too.

The EU must make it very clear that migration (into EU) must be stopped, that’s the Hungarian stance.  We don’t regard migration a process to be managed, something controllable.

He admitted “the closing statement of the EU summit doesn’t state this so bluntly but it does contain a passage that EU must manage migration much better than so far”.

Finally he said that most of the debates, between the Northern and Southern countries,  were about making the rigid monetary and fiscal rules of EU more flexible.  Orbán said that he stayed out of these debates because  Hungary has treaded her own path in these questions in the recent years.

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Goldilocks economy in an Orbán-era?

A Goldilocks economy is

An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. There are no exact markers of a Goldilocks economy, but it is characterized by a low unemployment rate, increasing asset prices (stocks, real estate, etc.), low interest rates, brisk but steady GDP growth and low inflation.

Regulators use fiscal and monetary policy tools to try to create an economy with these conditions. Economic conditions abroad, and regulators’ reactions to them, also influence whether an economy can achieve a Goldilocks state. This state is ideal for investing, because as companies grow, stocks perform well, and in the absence of inflation, bonds will hold their value. If GDP grows too quickly and inflation creeps up too quickly, however, the economy can overheat and a bust can result.

The phrase comes from the fairy tale “The Story of the Three Bears“.  Similarly to the UK, Hungary may enjoy a Goldilocks economy now… and that may mean a Orbán-era ahead… with a lot of postcommie/leflib  whining about “checks and balances” for years to come.  I’m looking forward to that.  🙂

The Central Bank of Hungary has published their latest forecast today.  CBH expects 0.0% inflation for 2014  (as compared to their 1.3 percent forecast in March) and they increased their GDP growth forecast to 2.9% from 2.1% .  The public budget deficit is expected to stay below the 3% Maastricht requirement.   They also predict rising employment, decreasing unemployment and a steady real household income increase.

NBH forecasts

According to the latest poll by Tárki published yesterday,  political support haven’t changed much for any of the parties since the EP elections:  Fidesz-KDNP is backed by 56% of the decided voters (up from 54%), MSZP has 16% (down from 17%), Jobbik stands at 15% (down from 17%).

 

Epic fail

Hungary’s conservative government dared to launch an investigation into the matters of the so-called “Norvég Civil Alap” (Norway Civic Fund).  As it turned out last year, really the network is operated by the neoliberal Jewish American billionaire, stock exchange shark and CIA-smelling, colour revolution supporter George Soros  who is the money distributor and manager of this Norwegian state organization.   Soros heavily funds the postcommunist opposition, such as ex-Socialist PM Bajnai’s “Haza és Haladás” foundation, and most importantly he supports everything socially subversive:  militant homosexual activists, drug addicts, militant pro-abortion groups, a “trade union”  of prostitutes, militant “Roma rights” groups,   “human rights” groups … but of the right kind only.  For example, they turned down supporting the  Baptist Humanitarian Aid Mission  because, according to them, “it doesn’t comply with the modern approach to human rights”.

Today’s news is that now even Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas O. Melia,  the former Deputy Executive Director of Freedom House , got involved…  Yes,  it smells CIA.

English: Bajnai has met George Soros in New York

Gordon Bajnai meeting George Soros in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The board of the allegedly non-political money-distributing NGO consists of persons closely related to the “left-liberal” political forces Mr. Soros is so fond of. According to Roger Scruton, the famous British conservative political thinker, the Soros-network is behind the bad reputation Hungary has in the global media and they spread the image of “Hungary’s becoming a Fascist dictatorship“:

It’s not persecution complex to speak about conspiracy against Hungary. As far as I can see from England, there is such a conspiracy indeed. There are quite a few people who feature Hungary as ‘a Fascistic   dictatorship’ in the international media all the time . Universities, especially expensive American ones, generally can be characterized by left-wing bias. These give fellowships to people, who are often very intelligent and interesting people, who come from the circles of Miklós Haraszti and János Kis (prominent ex SZDSZ leaders). Then they use their privileges in the Western world to be “opposition beyond the borders”. I think that’s illegitimate political power.

Now these so-called NGOs , with Soros in the background,  cry rivers about “checks and balances”, “civic society building”, “human rights” and “the rule of law” …. and then they are trying not to reveal the documents the government is entitled to ask from any NGO registered in Hungary.   They insist they are “civic organizations” and the Hungarian state should have nothing to do with the money which was flowing from Norway .  On the other hand the government says  that in fact this is direct foreign meddling in Hungary’s internal politics.   Both  Norway  and Hungary   have already summoned their ambassadors regarding this on-going political row.

Márton Gulyás, a manager of one of these  NGOs in question is breezily whining in this video how KEHI (Governmental Auditor Office) cannot demand internal documents from them (concerning who decided, and how, which organizations were given money and which were not). The interview was made by the left-liberal ATV TV channel but even Olga Kálmán, an  infamously partisan left-liberal reporter  was astonished when Gulyás blurted out that the “Norwegian Civic Fund” financed a recent left-liberal political demonstration against the government.

What an epic fail! 😀

Hungary’s economic boom vs credit rating agencies and the Economist

Hungary’s central bank has published the latest trade balance figures today. The trade balance surplus was  984 million Euros in the first quarter of 2014 and that’s more than double what it was a year earlier (463 millions).  There is a very significant increase compared to the last quarter of 2013, too (710 million Euros).

Hungary’s GDP growth was a “big surprise on the upside” again in the first quarter of 2014:  3.5%.  Foreign investments increased, too.  The inflation is zero so the central bank could safely cut   Hungary’s base rate to a new low of 2.3% today.

 

The CDS is the price of insurance against a particular country’s defaulting and it measures the risk of investors.  The higher it is, the higher the default risk is.  Let’s have a look at the CDS pricing of Hungary’s mid-term (10 year) government bonds. The CDS has reached pre-crisis levels.

 

CDS of 10-year Hungarian government bonds

 

In principle the big credit rating agencies rate the government bonds using such criteria as above. In reality they all rate the Hungarian government bonds in the “junk” category now and they all rated Hungary’s government bonds as “investment grade” in 2009… when the postcommunist MSZPSZDSZ coalition was busy ruining our economy… in the “orthodox way”, that is following orders coupled to the huge, 25 billion Euro loan they took out from the EU and IMF .

Yup, Hungary’s bonds were of “investment grade” when the CDS pricing was record high in 2009 and they became “junk” in 2011-2012 when the “unorthodox policies”, which seem to deliver big results by now, were implemented.

The downgrade of Hungary’s ratings reflects further deterioration in the country’s fiscal and external financing environment and growth outlook, caused in part by further unorthodox economic policies, which are undermining investor confidence and complicating the agreement of a new IMF/EU deal

Fitch wrote then.  Two years later Hungary’s GDP growth is one of the highest in Europe.

And what does The Economist  write about Hungary?  Well, only the usual libnazi bullsh*t  about Hungary’s role in the Holocaust and some more politically motivated drivel.   Yes, just check it out yourself with a search for the past month.  That’s about all those Economists have to say.

 

 

The opposite ones

The Hungarian people have bred, with centuries’ work, the perfect opposite of themselves. It’s a being that is always cheerful, merry as a grig, which see only the good in everyone and which is infinitely nice to everyone. It’s a being that trusts the whole Created World, that doesn’t mull over the past and doesn’t worry about the future.

Meet the Hungarian Vizsla!  (The quote is from here)

 

Vizsla

Vizsla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A Hungarian Vizsla named "Ginger Gypsy Ro...

A Hungarian Vizsla named “Ginger Gypsy Rose” playing with sticks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Okay… this post is seriously unbalanced… Let me fix that immediately:

 

A Black Beauty

 

 

 

 

25 years ago

I’ve taken part on quite a few political rallies in my life and at least one of these will surely be in future history textbooks. That’s the reburial of Imre Nagy, the  Communist Prime Minister executed by his comrades after  the ’56 revolution and, of other martyrs, on the 16th of June, 1989.  We’ve just had the 25th anniversary of this major Hungarian political event.

I must be somewhere in this picture

I still remember the feeling of somehow being part of history in the middle of a more than 100,000 strong crowd on Heroes’ Square.   I remember the long queue of speakers who didn’t really make much of an impression. And I remember that finally a young unshaven lad came and he delivered a speech everybody remembers. He demanded that the occupying Soviet troops should leave Hungary. I remember the astonishment in the crowd, the disbelief that somebody dared to say that then. I remember it crossed my mind that his microphone would be switched off immediately and he would be arrested by undercover policemen on the spot.

MSZMP, the state party of the Communist dictatorship shed the letter M (for “munkás”, that is “worker”) a few months after this event and it became MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party). They were already busy at converting their political power into media and economic power. Then they returned into government in 1994.  That young stubbly lad who delivered that speech beat them first in 1998 against the odds and he became prime minister first in 1998.  Viktor Orbán did a pretty good job: Hungary had a five percent GDP growth in 2000 and Hungary’s already big public debt was decreased to 54 percents of the GDP.   Unfortunately the postcommies, that is MSZP and their ‘left-liberal’ sidekick SZDSZ, won the 2002 elections with the slogan “more money to people!”.  They did so indeed … by taking out foreign loans again. And, of course, their own people got the real money.  Soon these postcommies completely ruined the Hungarian economy but they still managed to win the 2006 elections by “lying day and night“, with the active help of the European Commision.  The West preferred the ex-Communists, who served the Soviet Union and switched to serving the Western interests, to those troublesome Hungarian nationalists, populists, anti-Semites, what-have-you.   Then Orbán won the elections again in 2010, Hungary’s debt ratio was already 80+ percents at this time,  and Hungary was overtaken in GDP per capita by many countries (Slovakia, Poland, Estonia, etc.) we were much ahead of ten years earlier.  Hungarians gave Orbán a huge political mandate so that he should put things right … like how the economy performed at the turn of the millennium when he was prime minister. Well, it seems his government is delivering  results … but it’s a very long way to get back to that relative position Hungary’s economy enjoyed  in the region then.

Orbán delivering his famous speech in 1989 which burst him into Hungarian politics

 

MSZP started fragmenting after their crushing defeat in 2010 and one of these splinters is ex-Socialist prime minister Gordon Bajnai‘s party called ‘Együtt 2014’.   Hungary has a Soviet-built nuclear power station in Paks, which supplies 40% of all electricity,  and two of these blocks will have to be decommissioned in 2025,  two new nuclear power station blocks will have to be built by then.  The postcommies wanted to award the building contract to the USA or to France.  It was no coincidence that  Socialist prime minister Péter Medgyessy was awarded the French Legion of Honour for his activities… and the French nuclear company Areva caused a serious nuclear  accident in 2003. The problem  had to solved by the Russian Rosatom.  Orbán’s government decided in 2013 that Russia should build Hungary’s two new power station blocks because they’ve got the technological advantage here and Russia gave us a long term, low interest rate loan with a high percentage of Hungarian economic participation.   For comparison, just check out what the French company Areva has been doing in Finland…

And now comes the punchline: the successors of the Communist state party, those faithful servants of the Soviet occupiers, who had the reburied ones executed in the first place,   managed to say, on the 25th anniversary of the historic reburial of their victims, to the very man who first demanded the withdrawal of the Soviet troops that

Orbán sold Hungary’s independence out to Russia and he called in the ones whose driving away Imre Nagy and other martyrs gave their life for.

This is so unthinkably absurd…  If  somebody from Finland  reads this then  let me ask  them: Did the Finnish Communist party, or some successor party,  say that the Finnish government stained the memory of those Finnish heroes who fought against the Soviets in the Winter War when the Finnish government granted  Rosatom to build a nuclear power station in Finland?

 

 

 

Templeton Fund manager on Hungary’s economy

Dr. Michael Hasenstab, of Franklin Templeton Investments,describes Hungary’s economic turn-around.

Two nations against EU orthodoxy

The European Union has embraced an economic orthodoxy defined by tight budgets, anti-inflation central banking and limited government fiddling in the economy.

But that orthodoxy is facing an uncomfortable fact: Two nations that have been challenging it in recent years—Hungary and the U.K.—now boast two of the 28-nation bloc’s best-performing economies.

Hungary and the U.K., neither of which are in the euro zone, are among several governments fighting back against what they see as unwarranted intrusion into their political life by unelected officials at the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm

Economic recovery in Hungary, in the UK and the EU

writes the Wall Street Journal.

RTL Klub war plan with moralizing on freedom of press

The freedom of press is a morally higher consideration than the questions of viewing rates and economic issues…

said  Péter Kolosi, a top leader of the commercial TV channel RTL Klub ,  in an interview  why  RTL Klub attacked Lőrinc Mészáros,  the mayor of Felcsút*, so hard in their Wednesday night news programme.  RTL Klub is owned  by the German Bertelsmann conglomerate. (You know that company which  was the biggest single producer of Nazi propaganda during WWII)

So here goes a real miracle: a commercial TV channel which puts freedom of press  first and its profits second!  Or at least they are going to do so from now on because one wouldn’t have thought this has been their priority list so far,  judging from  their programming which consists of reality shows deeply humiliating and exploiting their “stars”,  trash soap operas, tabloid news  only, etc.  Luckily they are going to mean it now.  And  all this miraculous change  for the better required only that they  pay a bit of tax…

Have you made a war plan (against the government) at RTL Klub?” , the reporter asked the commercial TV manager later

Certainly” was the answer.

* Felcsút is the village where Prime Minister Orbán grew up and where he’s got a house and where he established the Ferenc Puskás Football Academy.  The Hungarian Parliament passed a new law  on Tuesday which is going to make RTL Klub pay a lot of advertisement  tax.

Oh, the European Commission has announced already today that they are examining the content of the ad tax act  passed on Tuesday.   They are so damn quick… in such a case.

Bye, bye, Danone

“Due to a significant decline in sales”, international food company Danone is closing sites in Hungary, Germany and Italy, the company has announced on Wednesday.

 

 

Why is this interesting on this blog about Hungary’s politics?

Well, Danone has become a kind of a symbol of  cheap “halálmiszer”.  That’s a portmanteau of “halál” (death) and “élelmiszer” (food, “élet”  means ‘life’, “szer” means ‘stuff, substance’).

One couldn’t buy that kind of artificial, chemical food in the justly condemned Communist dictatorship I grew up in.  I’ll risk the statement that such “food”  products, for example like Danone yogurts, were not sold in Hungary even before our joining the EU in 2004.

Here are a few of their deceiving marketing gimmicks Danone has been selling their cheap, and possibly unhealthy, stuff with:

  • They substituted milk for something who-knows-what  in their kefir in 2008 and then they kept selling it at the same price, in the same packaging. Okay, they had to reverse this quickly enough.
  • Their 175 gram yogurts were reduced to 150 grams first and then to 125 grams… for the same price.

  • Their  big marketing campaign “Könnyű és finom” (Light and Tasty) was actually about removing fruit content from their  fruit yogurts.
  • The labels on their yogurts read like this: “Ingredients:  milk, sour cherry substance 13% (sour cherry 60%, …)”

 

Let’s see what Wikipedia writes about the health effects of one of these ingredients, called Xanthan-gum:

Evaluation of workers exposed to xanthan gum dust found evidence of a link to respiratory symptoms

On May 20, 2011 the FDA issued a press release about SimplyThick, a food-thickening additive containing xanthan gum as the active ingredient, warning “parents, caregivers and health care providers not to feed SimplyThick, a thickening product, to premature infants.” The concern is that the product may cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

Xanthan gum may be derived from a variety of source products that are themselves common allergens, such as corn, wheat, dairy, or soy. As such, persons with known sensitivities or allergies to food products are advised to avoid foods including generic xanthan gum or first determine the source for the xanthan gum before consuming the food.To be specific, an allergic response may be triggered in people sensitive to the growth medium, usually corn, soy, or wheat  For example, residual wheat gluten has been detected on xanthan gum made using wheat.This may trigger a response in people highly sensitive to gluten. Xanthan gum is a “highly efficient laxative,” according to a study that fed 15 g/day for 10 days to 18 normal volunteers. Some people react to much smaller amounts of xanthan gum with symptoms of intestinal bloating and diarrhea.

 

Danone is part of a bigger problem though:  Hungary has been flooded with junk food by the West, often with stuff they couldn’t even sell in Western Europe, and people, either because of ignorance or because that’s what they can afford , feed on this junk. “Free market proponents” would argue that people vote with their money.  I’d say the Hungarian state should protect Hungarians with administrative measures, too, from literally junk food.

I avoid shopping in Tesco  supermarkets in Hungary because they suck so much.  Shopping in British Tesco shops is fine with me.  The icing on the cake is that prices don’t really differ so  much…  The  difference often lies in the quality of goods these multinational companies sell in Hungary and in Western Europe.

Anyway, will Danone leave Hungary? That would be good riddance.

 

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