Thursday, 06 October 2011 08:57
Former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány showed up at 12:58 PM on Monday, 3 October 2011 at the entrance gate of the Chief Investigative Prosecution Office in Budapest in order to testify as a suspect about his alleged abuse of power in connection with a casino investment project originally planned near the Transdanubian municipality Sukoró. (It has to be noted that the project has never come to completion.) Actually, the exact subject that the accusation is based on does not even matter. Based upon a report prepared by former Fidesz MP (and now Judge of the Constitutional Court) Mr. István Balsai, the former premier might have also been summoned – and we have a good reason to believe that he will soon be – as the chief instigator of the horrific events of the autumn of 2006, or also as the person who crippled hundreds of thousands of Hungarians, according to another report prepared by a parliamentary committee of inquiry, whose primary task was to name the people responsible for excessive lending and borrowing in foreign currencies in Hungary in the years before the great financial and economic crisis. Not surprisingly, the committee was chaired by another former Fidesz MP, Mr. Ferenc Papcsák (currently serving as the mayor of Zugló / Budapest’s 14th district). The essence of the whole story is “only” that it allows the governing parties (Fidesz and KDNP), and prime minister Viktor Orbán personally to see – and also show on television – that their/his political opponent is lead away in chains, or at least, he has to visit the Prosecution Office to be interrogated from time to time.
In comparison to Mr. Gyurcsány, his successor, Mr. Gordon Bajnai escaped quite easily yesterday, given that from Monday, 3 October, he can boast also the great honor of being personally mentioned in the Discharge Act concerning the financial year 2010/2011 as a person who allegedly deceived both the nation and the world by deliberately publishing false data on the 2010 budget deficit (the Bill was formulated and submitted by national economy minister Mr. György Matolcsy, and subsequently approved by the Fidesz-led legislation).
Let us repeat: by the official stigmatization of their political opponents, and by the imperishable desire to imprison them, the ruling right-wing government of Hungary is burying the rule of law of the 3rd Hungarian Republic. It effectively denies the only (perhaps) common political credo of the transition, i.e. the heritage of 1956, that no one in this country should ever face legal action again because of his or her political views. However, it’s not enough for them that voters made a paralyzing judgment over their opponents’ governance, they criminalize Hungarian politics in a radical way, thus inducing an avalanche with no end in sight, and unleashing the imagination of all kinds of radical forces, especially that of right-wing radicals who already sit in the Hungarian Parliament. Who will be able then to stop anyone else to trump up charges against those who might be in their way? And there’s no escape anymore from this rat-race.
Mr. Bajnai’s crown of thorns (prepared by Fidesz) is also telling. Their purpose is to connect Bajnai’s term, that lasted for only one year, with the governance of Mr. Gyurcsány; however, the MSZP-led government failed, in fact, a year earlier, when then prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány stepped down, and not in April 2010; so the concept of the Hungarian Socialist Party was not to give up themselves (and their values and commitments) just in order to remain in power for an additional year under the reign of Gordon Bajnai. In reality they had thought that their complete defeat and also the economic chaos that ensued as a result of the great crisis might have been mitigated this way. Given the eventual consolidation of Hungary, it was a good decision in the long run. However, Fidesz must denigrate now even the “composed” Bajnai, even if the accusation that he had tampered with budget figures is an outright professional nonsense. And the reason why Fidesz must do so is that from the perspective of the dead-end street the ruling parties have lead the country into by now, the calm year of 2010 under the reign of Mr. Bajnai and his finance minister, Mr. Péter Oszkó – even with the burden of austerity measures – is increasingly attractive for many.
Those who believe that these measures are simply a means of distraction, given the lack of appropriate governance, are only partially right. In fact, while the demagogue thriller parodies are going on, the single-party State of Fidesz is being constructed.
Róbert Friss; Népszabadság; Tuesday, October 4. 2011.