Orbán’s response to the EU

As most of my readers will know, the hysteria about George Soros CEU university is still going on and PM Orbán visited Brussels this week twice.  Please listen to his Wednesday speech in the European Parliament here:

Unfortunately I don’t know about an English language video for  the press conference which Orbán gave in Brussels later on Wednesday.  I’d say that was pretty good indeed. 🙂
After EC president Jean-Claude Juncker had official talks (!) with George Soros in the building of the European Commission on Thursday, obviously to pull strings against Hungary, PM  Orbán attended the meeting  of the European People’s Party, which his Fidesz party is a member of, and the EU summit on Brexit on Saturday.  There wasn’t really much new compared to what you may gleam from the above video.
By “popular demand” (from my Twitter followers), I’ll translate the official press release which summarized his stance at the end of the day. I haven’t seen an English version yet.
Hungary’s prime minister has stated on the executive meeting of the European People’s Party that Hungary’s government is open to cooperation with the European Commission in every unresolved legal issues.
As  we did in the past, we intend to settle the infringement procedures against Hungary via agreements. Hungary’s prime minister has clarified again that the Hungarian government is not adamant about closing George Soros’ Central University in Budapest. However no university may enjoy privileges. Hungarian laws apply to everybody. Higher education institutions, which don’t provide actual education and operate as off-shore mailboxes,  will not be allowed by the Hungarian laws in the future either.
Hungary’s prime minister has clarified that the National Consultation launched by the government is not against Europe. On the contrary, its purpose is to reform the European Union which malfunctions in many respects at the moment and it needs renewal.
The prime minister asked help from the European People’s Party so that the energy union proposal of  the European Commission, which would substantially increase the energy bills of the Hungarian families, should be withdrawn.
Concerning the issue of migration,  he stressed that Hungary is unable to accept the illegal migrants’ unchecked immigration  and the Hungarian government is going to keep the border fence, which defends Hungary and Europe, under any circumstances.
Bertalan Havasi
Manager for the Prime Minister’s Press Office

Hope this helps to clarify the situation.  The global mainstream media is busy posting fake news like “Hungary’s Orbán accepts EU demands”….

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On conservatism

English philosopher and political thinker Sir Roger Scruton, who is held in especially high esteem in Central Europe and Hungary, gave a lecture on conservatism in the Danube Institute a few months ago. I’ve just noticed a video recording is now available.

 

 

 

 

Orbán quotes from today’s speech

Prime Minister held his regular, annual “State of the Nation” speech  this afternoon.

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The scene of the speech, “Várkert”, was shamefully derelict until Orbán’s government had it renovated it last year

The transcript is not available in English yet but no doubt you may read it soon on Mr. Orbán’s site here.

As usual, the speech took a broad, historic view and it was spiced up with great metaphors and jokes.  First he gave a broad historic overview of Hungary’s last 150 years, the various eras and its struggles to develop the country. After a few remarks on the political and economic situation,  the second half of the speech was about the migrant crisis and its historic context.  Let’s see some memorable quotes from this part in no particular order:

We should never be dragged into anti-Russian,anti-German or anti-Turkish international political manoeuvres.  Politics based on moral superiority, which is often cultivated in the West, doesn’t fit Hungarian interests.

In Western Europe, now  boundaries are blurred between good and bad, women and men, reality and dreams.

There’s no freedom, community or individual success in the face of reality. There’s only political drug addiction, failures, cynicism and self-destruction if you fight  reality. Maybe this is why there are so many high-minded unhappy liberals in Brussels.

If we don’t act now, the tension between Europe and the Muslim world will be out of control, here on our territory.

It’s not migrants who we should be angry at. They are also victims, they do only what their interest is- but Europe does not do that!

Europe has the capacity to protect itself.  Brussels can’t organise this defence and doesn’t even want to.

How is it even possible to let in masses of people without any control? We just don’t get that here in the Visegrád countries.

Europe is Hellas, it’s not Persia; Europe is Rome, it’s not Carthage. Europe is Christianity, it’s not caliphates.

Some of the Western political elites are cosmopolitan but  people are patriots – these elites don’t understand their own people.

Uncontrolled masses are being transferred into Europe – we don’t know who is a terrorist, who is a criminal, an economic migrant or a refugee: this is CRAZY.

Spring is coming. We must help the countries of the Balkans because they are protecting Europe’s borders.

Hungary is a sovereign country, only those may enter our territory who respect our rules and abide our armed forces.

We cannot let Brussels to place itself above the law. They can’t force us to import their mistakes.There won’t be no-go zones, there won’t be riots in Hungary, there won’t be attacks on refugee centres and gangs are not going to harass our wives and daughters.

We don’t believe that Europe will give up its legacy.  Rest assured Hungary won’t make a single step on that road.

UPDATE:  Watch the speech with English subtitles here.
He speaks about the existential danger Hungary and European civilization face  in the second half.

August the 20th: Hungarian national holiday

It’s St. Stephen’s Day today. St. Stephen (ca. 975 – 15 August 1038) was our founding king who established the Kingdom of Hungary in AD 1000.  His feast day or nameday marks the day of the Foundation of Hungary. It’s  also “the Day of the New Bread” because  harvesting was traditionally finished on this day.

The Hungarian tribes conquered the Carpathian Basin at the end of the 9th century,  in the last wave of the Migration Period.  A feudal state had to be established or Hungarians would have disappeared like so many peoples did in the age of the  Migration Period.  St. Stephen (“Szent István”) led the country into the Christian church and established the institutions of the kingdom and the church.  He chose Western Christianity even though the Byzantine influence was much stronger in his time and it actually looked more promising than Western Christianity.  We, modern Hungarians, should thank him for that, too, because Western Christianity turned out to result in a better organized state, less corruption and less despotism.

St. Stephen’s statue in Buda Castle

The holiday is always celebrated with  lots of programs (I attended a free concert of Ghymes yesterday 🙂  ), including the oath taking of newly graduated policemen and military officers and the evening  fireworks display on the bank of the Danube in the evening, which is always attended by many people on both river banks  and is watched by many from the hills on the Buda side of the river.

Watch last year’s firework here:

Samurai sword

Eight years ago a Gypsy teenager, József Patai was stabbed very severely with a samurai sword on a bus in Budapest.  The left-liberal media started crying about racism immediately.  They wrote that “according to witnesses, a white man dressed in military uniform pierced through Patai”.  Headlines yelled “Racist attack on Roma victim”.  Politicians condemned the racist attack, dozens of articles were wailing about rising Fascism in Hungary. Left liberal groups demonstrated against racism.  Miklós  Tamás Gáspár, a former SZDSZ MP,  shouted from the rooftops that “Hungary is a racist country and he doesn’t want to live in such a country”.  BTW, he repeated that “as it’s well known, Hungary is a racist state” in a TV interview in 2011.

The victim in 2005

The police arrested the attacker a few days later .  He turned out to be a Gypsy man known as Mortimer (Mihály Gyurcsa).  This wasn’t much of a surprise to the Hungarian public though since it’s well known who wield samurai swords in the streets.

The samurai swordsman in 2005

Now I read in the news that  Bolton’s fourth most wanted one has been threatening people with a samurai sword.

A samurai swordsman in 2014

In case somebody couldn’t recognize him, his name is József Patai  and he can be seen in the very first picture, too.

Hungary’s left liberal elite and the West

I came across with an excellent writing by George Schöpflin:
the Budapest elite looks down on the countryside and patronises the centre-right as ignorant hicks. This does not go down well.
This approach, which has deep roots in the Hungarian past, is strongly universalist (quondam internationalist) and will not or cannot understand how the great majority in Hungary accepts its Hungarian identity and objects to its being disrespected. Consequently, the left-liberal elite not only has to confront a shrinking voter base, but actually appears to revel in it and to insist on the absolute correctness of what it says by constant reference to “the West”.  This “West” however is an imaginary construct (to misuse Benedict Anderson’s language) that serves only to legitimise the left-liberal elite’s claim to power, the power that is to set the agenda and pass moral judgement. It’s an odd kind of opposition that is constantly running abroad for its support base, is increasingly cut off from the social and cultural realities of its own society, lives in an epistemological bubble and betrays its purported intellectual heritage by refusing to engage in argument of any kind. Consequently, its cultural capital is shrinking, a haemorrhage that does not seem to perturb it in the slightest.
for reasons of their own, the international media have run a quite unbelievably vicious campaign against Hungary. Plausibly backed by a sophisticated public relations operation that plays to the journalists’ own predispositions, a thoroughly negative narrative of Hungary has been constructed and the domestic media use this to reinforce their own belief system. The left liberal elite then sees itself justified in its thinking. It’s a wonderful circular system, that has only one drawback: it doesn’t win votes.
I highly recommend reading Mr. Schöpflin’s whole article because it does explain a lot of things in Hungary’s political life, including the positions of Fidesz, Jobbik and LMP as well.
Fidesz won in each and every county

Fidesz won in each and every county

 

Fidesz won in all but in 10 constituences

Fidesz won in all but in 10 constituences

HUNGARY: WHY THE FORCES OF DARKNESS ARE DESPERATE TO CONTROL VIKTOR ORBAN

And this old post must be read, too. It was written on the 18th of January, 2012, five days before hundreds of thousands Hungarians took to the streets of Budapest in freezing cold in defense of the Orbán-government.
PM Orbán later said several times this huge rally prevented EU/IMF from doing to what Hungary what they did in Italy and Greece, that is replacing their democratically elected prime ministers with their stooges.

 

The pro-Orbán rally on the 23rd of January, 2012

The Slog.

Orban…bad guy who may do some good?

While the media in general are paying far more attention to Greece and its determination to play by the rules and thus win back market respect, Hungarian maverick Viktor Orban takes the opposite view. He may well represent a far bigger threat to the shibboleths of our current form of capitalism.

It’s hard to be anything other than equivocal about the rumbling Hungarian crisis. On the one hand, Magyar Prime Minister Victor Orban appears to be in the same Bonkers League as Recep Erdogan, displaying as he does the familiar mix of controlling political power-grabs, while pursuing economic policies best described as All over the Place. But on the other hand, Orban was elected with an overwhelming majority, he inherited most of the fiscal problems from the previous deficit-obsessed New Labour-style government (Peter Mandelson had quite a few ‘friends’ in it), and…

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HUNGARY EXCLUSIVE BREAKING……Is the EC/US axis about to try and destabilise the dissenting Government of Viktor Orban?

I must reblog this… It’s spot on.

The Slog.

SOROS INVOLVEMENT IN DIRTY TRICKS SPELLS TROUBLE FOR HUNGARY

The Slog first posted about Viktor Orban’s outspoken Hungarian government in January 2012. Since then, Mr Orban has won a further General Election here by a very clear majority.This is called democracy.

Hungary is an EU member that wisely decided to stay out of the eurozone.

Hungarian politics are complex, but the Sun headline is this: Orban and his right wing Party are actually nationalists opposed to three things – US neoliberalist colonisation, the euro, and Brussels throwing it’s weight about. Although the Opposition in Budapest positions itself as ‘socialist’, it actually consists largely of former Soviet apparatchiks who became reborn as neoliberal fanatics soon after the USSR collapsed. But they still like the idea of rule by faceless bureaucrats: and so naturally, the EU suits them perfectly. (Think Angela Merkel)

Now think of Hungary this way: Orban is rather…

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New government sworn in

… we stand by the classic Lincolnian thought: our government shall be of the people, by the people, for the people. We reject elitism and, in response, the elites call this politics “populism” … We need elites but we don’t need an elitist government.

… The election winner is not right. The election winner has a job to do.  The greater is the mandate one gets, the greater is the responsibility one bears.

Prime ministerial inauguration speech by Viktor Orbán, on the 6th of June, 2014.

 

The third Orbán government

Orbán’s full speech and the introduction of the ministers (in Hungarian) can be watched here.  Note that he, a practising Calvinist, finished with Soli Deo gloria , one of the Five solas,  He seems to make this into a tradition at such ceremonial occasions.

The new government held its first meeting in the afternoon and it was revealed that PM Orbán asked Defence Minister Hende to investigate the possibility his ministry could move to Székesfehérvár, Agriculture Minister Fazekas about moving to Debrecen, cabinet minister Lázár about moving the countryside development state secretary office to Kecskemét.   Given the incredible  weight in state administration  1.7 million strong Budapest has in 10 million strong Hungary, I’d say this would be a paradigm shift in Hungarian politics!  Though I’m sceptical it would actually happen. The first freely elected government in 1990 wanted  the Constitutional Court to work in Esztergom, there was even a law about this but the Constitutional Court still moved to Budapest “temporarily” and “for practical reasons” … until 2012 when a law eventually stated that the Constitutional Court is based in Budapest.   Yup, that was a farce.

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Orbán and Horthy

Orban is a rare political leader in Europe. He is quite popular, but he is in a balancing act. To his left are the Europeanists, who see all his actions as a repudiation of liberal democracy. On the right is a fascist party that won 20 percent in the last election. Between these two forces, Hungary could tear itself apart. It is in precisely this situation that Weimar Germany failed. Caught between left and right, the center was too weak to hold. Orban is trying to do what Horthy did: strengthen his power over the state and the state’s power over society. He is attacked from the left for violating the principles of liberal democracy and Europe. He is attacked from the right for remaining a tool of the European Union and the Jews. The left believes he is secretly of the right and his protestations are simply a cover. The right believes he is secretly a Europeanist and that his protestations are simply a cover.

Now we add to this the fact that Hungary must make decisions concerning Ukraine. Orban knows that Hungary is not in a position to make decisions by itself. He has therefore made a range of statements, including condemning Russia, opposing sanctions and proposing that the Ukrainian region directly east of Hungary, and once Hungarian, be granted more autonomy. In the end, these statements are unimportant. They do not affect the international system but allow him to balance a bit.

Orban knows what Horthy did as well. Hungary, going up against both Germany and Russia, needs to be very subtle. Hungary is already facing Germany’s policy toward liberal integration within the European Union, which fundamentally contradicts Hungary’s concept of an independent state economy. Hungary is already facing Germany’s policies that undermine Hungary’s economic and social well-being. Orban’s strategy is to create an economy with maximum distance from Europe without breaking with it, and one in which the state exerts its power. This is not what the Germans want to see.

Now, Hungary is also facing a Germany that is not in a position to support Hungary against Russia. He is potentially facing a Russia that will return to Hungary’s eastern border. He is also faced with a growing domestic right wing and a declining but vocal left. It is much like Horthy’s problem. Domestically, he has strong support and powerful institutions. He can exercise power domestically. But Hungary has only 9 million people, and external forces can easily overwhelm it. His room for maneuvering is limited.

I think Orban anticipated this as he saw the European Union flounder earlier in the decade. He saw the fragmentation and the rise of bitterness on all sides. He constructed a regime that appalled the left, which thought that without Orban, it would all return to the way it was before, rather than realizing that it might open the door to the further right. He constructed a regime that would limit the right’s sense of exclusion without giving it real power.

Russia’s re-emergence followed from this. Here, Orban has no neat solution. Even if Hungary were to join a Polish-Romanian alliance, he would have no confidence that this could block Russian power. For that to happen, a major power must lend its support. With Germany out of the game, that leaves the United States. But if the United States enters the fray, it will not happen soon, and it will be even later before its role is decisive. Therefore he must be flexible. And the more international flexibility he must show, the more internal pressures there will be.

For Horthy, the international pressure finally overwhelmed him, and the German occupation led to a catastrophe that unleashed the right, devastated the Jews and led to a Russian invasion and occupation that lasted half a century. But how many lives did Horthy save by collaborating with Germany? He bought time, if nothing else.

Hungarian history is marked by heroic disasters. The liberal revolutions that failed across Europe in 1848 and failed in Hungary in 1956 were glorious and pointless. Horthy was unwilling to make pointless gestures. The international situation at the moment is far from defined, and the threat to Hungary is unclear, but Orban clearly has no desire to make heroic gestures. Internally he is increasing his power constantly, and that gives him freedom to act internationally. But the one thing he will not grant is clarity. Clarity ties you down, and Hungary has learned to keep its options open.

Orban isn’t Horthy by any means, but their situations are similar. Hungary is a country of enormous cultivation and fury. It is surrounded by disappointments that can become dangers. Europe is not what it promised it would be. Russia is not what Europeans expected it to be. Within and without the country, the best Orban can do is balance, and those who balance survive but are frequently reviled. What Hungary could be in 2005 is not the Hungary it can be today. Any Hungarian leader who wished to avoid disaster would have to face this. Indeed, Europeans across the continent are facing the fact that the world they expected to live in is gone and what has replaced it, inside and outside of their countries, is different and dangerous.

by George Friedman, the Chairman of Stratfor.  The full article can be read here.

 

I don’t agree with everything Friedman writes but certainly it’s a very interesting analysis on Hungary’s situation.

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