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The Secret Diaries of Viktor Orbán

Thursday 14 March - Brussels

Heads of government meeting in Brussels today. The flight over with national airline Wizzair was a little crowded, but gave me the opportunity to have my photo taken travelling with the masses. Who says that I am not a democratic leader?

I had to give a press conference, where I was anticipating lots of questions about the fourth amendment to our Constitution that has attracted international condemnation as it removes all checks and balances on the power of parliament. So I went on the offensive. I told people that they should not criticise us until they know the facts! That shut most of them up.

Friday 15 March- National Holiday

On March 15th, we celebrate the Hungarian uprising of 1848 against the Austrian Habsburgs. It should have been a day of celebrations and political arguments. However, the almighty decided to provide us with unseasonably cold temperatures, snow and a terrible cold wind! All celebrations were cancelled!!

The snow and the winds blocked two of our busiest motorways and thousands of motorists became stranded. The national catastrophe agency, which we set up on coming to power, should have sent out alerts to motorists, and closed the motorways. Unfortunately this did not happen, as the man who should have initiated the process, minister of the interior Sándor Pintér, had been out drinking last night, and only woke up at 10.00am with a hangover. By then there were already thousands of motorists stranded.

The country was in crisis. I acted as any responsible leader facing an election in thirteen months would have done. I returned to Hungary from Brussels, and made a propaganda video. I drove onto the motorway, with a cameraman who made a film of me shaking hands with policeman, firemen and generally seeming to be in charge of the rescue operation. We had to edit the video a bit, because some of the policemen were complaining about lack of equipment or an unclear structure of command. But the final video, which was posted onto You Tube does me credit (though I say so myself!).

On a more positive note, being March 15, the government gives out prizes to journalists and writers. We used the occasion to thank those writers who have been friendly to Hungary (i.e. Fidesz).

The Táncsics prize for journalism was given to the journalist Ferenc Szaniszló for his excellent educational programmes on Echo TV, such as the one where he shows that aliens will land on the Earth in the year 2015, and the only people they will be able to talk with will be the Hungarians. Szaniszló was wrapped over the knuckles by the media council recently for his anti-Semitic reporting, but I don't see that as a reason not to give him the prize. If we became too fussy about such standards, we would end up having to give the prize to liberal or left wing journalists, and that simply would not do.

An award was also given to archaeologist Kornél Bakay for his recent discoveries about the origins of the Hungarian nation. He discovered that God is Hungarian, and that Jesus was not born in Nazareth in Israel, but in Nyíregyháza in Hungary. Bakay deserves his prize for an excellent piece of scholarship.

Monday 18 March

When Matolcsy said that the year 2013 would be the start of the fairy tale for the Hungarian economy, most people assumed he meant that the economy would suddenly take off and do really well. What he actually meant was that in 2013, government statements on the economy would be as devoid of reality and as full of fantasy as Cinderella!

The forint has dropped by nearly 10% against the Euro during the last two weeks, probably because of stories about the death of democracy in Hungary. Today parliament wanted to know why (or at least the 1/3 minority, excluding Jobbik members, who are innumerate).

State secretary of the economy Zoltán Cséfalvay produced an excellent porky to explain that. He said it was because of the crisis in Cyprus. Fortunately nobody was impolite enough to point out that since the currency of Cyprus is the Euro, one would expect the forint to rise against the Euro if there is a crisis in Cyprus.

FreeHungary; March 20. 2013.

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