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Gréczy-blog: About the historical responsibility of the opposition

I think I am not the only one who doesn't understand the polls. I don't think that they are lying willingly, but, if they can be linked to a certain political interest or ideology (as we know that they can), questions about their credibility rise up quite rightly. One of the polls suggested that the reduction of the household costs brought many percentage points to Fidesz, whereas the other one suggested that it was a bad move, which caused quite a lot of people to turn away from the governing party. Similarly, according to one poll, Attila Mesterházy, the leader of the Mszp , is ready to assume the responsibilities of a future prime minister, yet, another poll suggested, that the popularity of the party is at an all- time low. Those who want to get a clear picture of the Democratic Coalition or the Együtt 2014 won't fare better either, since the polls are, once again, controversial. The country is in a sorry state of affairs. For a start, Fidesz destroyed it, but, more importantly perhaps, the opposition is non-existent. They have personal, organizational problems and a well-developed Gyurcsány phobia. The former prime minister has been the only one, who, using his capabilities and talent, stood up to the then would-be dictator, and won. Never mind the constant smearing from Fidesz or the backstabbing from his own ranks, he is the only person known so far to have beaten Viktor Orbán. If we are to believe the polls, Fidesz is leading just by reducing the household costs by a few thousand forints. Compare this to what former prime minister, Péter Medgyessy did: he implemented a universal 50% wage rise. What was the result? A 20% lead for Fidesz two years later. If only Gyurcsány's internal opposition had not stabbed him in the back, if only the intelligentsia on the left had supported the then prime minister, we would not have a dictatorship today. At least, some of the leading members of the opposition do recognize what Gyurcsány did, when they mention his name with that of Gordon Bajnai. The constant fighting between the parties of the opposition is eroding our chances to get rid of the present government. The socialist party, being the biggest of them, wants to see Mr Mesterházy as the prime minister. Supporters of the Együtt 2014 think Gordon Bajnai is the right person to do the job, since he proved already how good he was in 2009. The only man, who knows how to fight the devil (Ferenc Gyurcsány), doesn't have prime ministerial ambitions. Funny old world... If we ever want to have our democracy back, the three leading figures of the opposition should thrash out an agreement, because the time is working against us. It is either this or a general boycott of the entire parliamentary elections. Should they decide that all oppositional parties will be on the same list, they will also have to accept the fact that the election they took part in was fraudulent, and that their participation in it made it legal. The responsibility on the shoulders of the opposition is historical. If they fail to come to an agreement they will not only fail in their credibility, but they will also fail the thousands of people who are queuing to get a warm meal, the thousands who are about to leave the country, and the thousands who live in constant fear and intimidation. If the opposition lets our chance to get rid of Mr Orbán and his mafia fritter away for their own petty political purposes, the people will not forgive them.

Elections 2014: An Orbanised Crime

Fidesz is acting as a petty pick-pocket, who, having been caught in the act is pretending that it is his victim who is the actual robber. And while the venom of the people is directed at the innocent victim, the thief is walking away with the wallet. In 2014, we can be the witnesses of a farcical election. The restriction of international observers, the complete redrawing of the constituencies, the presence of Fidesz cronies as elections observers in the election committees, the restriction of the use of the media for the opposition parties and the revolting populism that centres around the reducing of household costs show how far the government is prepared to go to make this election a joke in poor taste. This is the party that keeps illegal personal data of the citizens, and this is the party that, using these data, will intimidate and punish those, who are not "trustworthy voters". And now they are screaming foul play because Gordon Bajnai's data collecting was revealed. It is again, the victim who will be left dumbfounded, while the robber, instead of having his mug shot paraded in the rogues' gallery, will walk away, smirking.

János Dési; Népszava; March 25. 2013.

The Secret diaries of Viktor Orbán

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Today the US Helsinki Commission had a meeting entitled "The Trajectory of Democracy: Why Hungary Matters."

Jozsef Szajer represented the government at this hearing. Jozsef wrote the new constitution on his i-pad, so nobody knows it better than him. He did an excellent job during the hearing, providing answers to the main criticisms that have been raised, particularly against the amendments that were passed last week. He was the voice of reason in a storm of hysteria.

But then that b#&tch came along and destroyed Joe's great work. Dr. Kim Scheppele, a constitutional law expert from Princetown University gave a detailed and quite accurate account of how we have dismantled the constitutional system of checks and balances one by one since we came to power. "Hungary is on the verge of tyranny!" she declared.

This woman spent time in Hungary during the 1990s studying the Hungarian constitution! How sad is that?

Why should I care about what a committee in a foreign land says about Hungary? After all, the MTV "report" on the news did not even mention Dr. Scheppele, so our voters don't know about her. The problem is that they will undoubtedly influence the E.U. And the E.U could then suspend Hungary's membership. All those lovely subsidies would disappear. And then the oligarchs would probably kill me.

Ok, we need to change our image. We will appear like reasonable people, as József Szajer did during the hearing: "Nothing could be further from our mind than dismantling democracy. If that's what we have done then it was totally unintentional."

And we will destroy the reputation of Dr. Kim Scheppele!

Wednesday 20 March 2013

My secretary came into my office. "Mr. Martonyi to see you Prime Minister!"


"Mr. Martonyi. He's the Minister of foreign affairs" she whispered.

I'd quite forgotten. These days all government decisions are made by me, Janos Lazar and Peter Szijjarto. The rest of the cabinet is just there for show.

Anyway Mr. Martonyi wished to brief me on the meeting that he (and Szijjarto) had with the Russian foreign minister. It seems that trade relations between our countries are getting stronger. And we agreed that we would back the Russians in pushing for a negotiated end to the conflict in Syria (in other words, we will ignore the fact that Russia is providing arms to el Assad to use against his citizens, and we will not support French and British calls to arm the opposition.

Thursday 22 March 2013

I was shocked to learn today that a German cartoon on a children's TV channel showed Hungary being given a red card. I called some German official and asked him to refer the matter to the German media council, but was told that Germany does not have a media council as they believe in Freedom of the Press. What a ridiculous idea!

Friday 22 March 2013

My usual radio interview on Kossuth Radio. I talked about the controversy over the constitution, and as planned was totally reasonable about it. We will listen to the opinion of others, I told the listeners, but Hungary still retains the right to self-determination. Totally reasonable!!

Of course, the listeners could not see my new Magyar Garda uniform, nor did they know that as I spoke these words, we are now cooperating more with Jobbik. We are even going to propose a joint candidate to the constitutional court.

An exciting football match tonight. Hungary played Romania, and we looked like a really good side. We were 2-1 up until the 93rd minute. Then the Romanians managed to score in the last minute. Disappointing! No fans were allowed to watch the match of course, as a punishment for their anti-Semitic chants to the Israeli players during a recent 'friendly" match.

March 26 2013

Today was the first meeting of the monetary policy committee of the National Bank of Hungary since my puppet Matolcsy took over. I sent over my instructions to the committee and told them to cut interest rates by only 0.25% for now. I also told them that we will scrap the traditional press conference after the meeting. Don't want to make it too obvious that Matolcsy doesn't have a clue what he's doing!

Freehungary; March 27. 2013.

Verhofstadt: Time to suspend Orban's EU voting rights

Since the arrival in power of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his conservative party Fidesz, Hungary has gone through a set of dramatic changes to its legal system.

Not only has the Hungarian parliament adopted a new piece of legislation almost every day, among them some highly controversial laws which have restricted media freedom.

It has also adopted a new constitution, which despite being described by Orban as "solid as granite," was already been amended four times, showing the instability and unpredictability faced by Hungarians every day.

This has all been made possible by an electoral law which enables the parliament to change all rules by a two-thirds majority.

Having a political majority should not mean riding roughshod over the minority, but taking their views onboard.

However, Orban has seen his party's political majority not as a responsibility, but as an opportunity to consolidate its grip on the state, media and judiciary.

International and European institutions, civil society and human rights organisations, opposition parties, and even the United States have closely scrutinised and criticised the gradual "Orbanization" of Hungary.

The last straw was the adoption on 11 March by the Hungarian parliament of a fourth amendment to the constitution, ignoring requests by EU institutions to delay the changes until the Venice Commission - a Council of Europe expert body composed of former constitutional judges - had given its opinion.

This decision flies in the face of Hungarian Constitutional Court rulings and criticism from the Venice Commission over a large number of controversial laws, which have now simply been inserted directly into the constitution.

These include the possibility of criminalising homelessness, a restrictive definition of family, a ban on political advertisements in the commercial media and strict state control over religious establishments (which violates freedom of religion).

Other new measures include linking state grants for students to an obligatory period of domestic employment after graduation, as well as the abolition of the autonomy of universities and higher education institutions in financial matters.

Many of these measures had previously been rejected by Hungary's Constitutional Court.

But now, the court has had its powers radically curtailed, impeding its ability to review the constitutionality of amendments to the constitution and restricting its powers in relation to budgetary matters.

Finally, the fourth amendment has also threatened the independence of the judiciary, meaning that the Fidesz-appointed president of the National Judicial Office now has the last word over which court tries which case.

The Liberal (Alde) group in the European Parliament has strongly criticised this new set of amendments.

We have called for a debate during our plenary session of April. And I have called on the European Commission and Council to activate Article 7 of the EU Treaty to start the procedure to determine if there is a "clear risk of a serious breach" by Hungary of the European values of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights that we all subscribe to.

If there is a "serious and persistent breach," Hungary would be invited to submit its observations and the European Council could decide by qualified majority to suspend certain rights, including voting rights.

Far from being a "nuclear" option, as it is often described, this is a formal procedure that is available to handle such situations if the political will to use it is there.

Let me be very clear.

I believe that we are far beyond the "risk" situation. We are clearly faced with a "breach" that is persistent and systematic.

I intend to call on the European Parliament to initiate the Article 7 procedure. And in particular I urge the European People's Party (EPP) to support such a procedure.

In effect, as a two-thirds majority is required in the parliament, the final decision will be in the hands of the EPP of which Fidesz is a member and Orban is a vice-president.

In recent days an anti-Semite journalist and an extreme right-wing musician have also been honoured by Zoltan Balog, the Hungarian minister of human resources.

Enough is enough.

I call on all those of us in Europe who believe that our continent is built on a set of common values and fundamental rights, who believe that the Union is only as strong as the principals it adheres to itself and who recognise that the time has come to take firm measures to stop the drift of Hungary away from democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

We owe it not only to the Hungarians, but to Europe itself.

Guy Verhofstadt, (Belgian MEP and leader of the Liberal Alde group in the EU parliament)

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.

Orbán's personal gangsters

Since the fall of 2006, we should not have any particular doubts about what Fidesz is capable of. With whom they are willing to ally when power is at stake. Hardworking gangsters can fit in well with soccer hooligans who make up the core audience. Politically, this team that deceitfully call themselves right-wing conservatives, will enter into temporary alliance without hesitation with members of the extreme right, undeserving of any respect.

What happened at the Fidesz headquarters - when a brutal murderer, an underworld figure "took the initiative" of protecting the headquarters against twenty-something university students, largely skinny girls – gives probably a new perspective on the concept.

Afterall, since the mining industry has unfortunately been practically eliminated in Hungary, the miners could not be unleashed on the protesters. (In addition, unlike their Romanian colleagues, the Hungarians would probably not have let themselves be messed with.) So the ones who remained were poor retiree volunteers who enthusiastically made fools of themselves, and - for the sake of simplicity, let us call them so - the soccer hooligans.

It would surely look different if they take on the task of beating up the protesters, instead of trying to push this on the police. The police would then readily retire to make room for the team of Kubatov-volunteers. Then, if the problem gets out of hand, the authorities can say that they are very sorry, but it had nothing to do with them. Unfortunately, things spinned out of hand, that is how people are - if the dear leader is in danger, they will go and take noble revenge.

A well-trained press is needed then, to use its routine in covering up the facts. For instance, the daily Magyar Nemzet gives an account of a lecture that Orban gave in Warsaw, on the dear leader's reply to the question of what it takes to win: among others, it takes a well-trained, hand-fed press, held on short leash. He used different words, but that was the message.

From now on, he will say who is the terrorist and who is the freedom fighter.

It is the same story – only in street fighter style - as when the forty-seventh amendment to the new Constitution (carved into granite obviously) was submitted, and all they had to say was that it was nothing more than a simple individual motion of an MP.

Dishonest, pathetic, cowardly.

The Fidesz takes another great leap towards turning Hungary into a Weimar style republic. And it should only fill us with great concern that the SA was also butchered by their own comrades.

Ceterum censeo: Orbán's gotta go!

János Dési; Népszava; March 11. 2013.

Gréczy-blog: The Plight of the Poor

According to a recent poll, the number of rich people in Hungary has decreased from 9% to 8%, the number of people who managed to climb up the social ladder into the upper middle class has increased to 27% and members of the middle class stagnated at 30% after a fall of 4%. The number of people making up the lower middle class has decreased to 21%, while the number of the poor people has increased from 9% to 14% between 2000 and 2012. This is a comparison of the social policies of Viktor Orbán and Ferenc Gyurcsány. And, we find that, under the premiership of Mr Gyurcsány, the difference between the salaries of the richest and the poorest 10% of the population was steadily decreasing. Who represented the interest of the people better? Of course, there is the omnipresent excuse of the budgetary deficit. But, back in the days of Mr Gyurcsány, we had some industry and construction works going on as well. Now the debt has reached an unspeakable level, which even the stealing of the pensioners' money could not impede. And we are much worse off than four years ago.

The Secret Diairies of Viktor Orbán: Ruler Supreme of the Nation of Hungary

Wednesday 6 March 2013

On Monday, Parliament will pass the fourth amendment to the constitution. This is what I have sent to parliament for them to agree to:

1. We don't recognise gay marriage or unmarried couples as families, so they won't get any family allowance. A bit old fashioned I admit, but we have to keep our partners, the Christian Democrats happy.

2. The state only recognises certain religious institutions as churches.

3. The Hungarian Socialist Party (MszP) and the Democratic Coalition (DK) as successors to the Hungarian Communist party can be found guilty for any crimes committed by the communist party. So by the time of the next election, all opposition politicians will be in prison.

4. This is the best part. The constitutional court no longer has the right to challenge any laws on the basis that they are unconstitutional. So now we can pass any law we want. We of course being me, as I know that those sheep that we call Fidesz members of parliament would never question law I write.

Soon I will have absolute power. Parliament is just a rubber stamp. The constitutional court and the president will have no teeth. I control the media and the central bank. The revolution at the ballot box will be complete!

Thursday 7 March 2013

Travelled to Warsaw today, to attend a meeting of the Visegrád 4 countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia). We were also joined by Angela Merkel of Germany, and François Hollande of France.

On the flight over, I read the financial times. I was pleased to see that the amendments to the constitution are the subject of a leading article. The newspaper said that E.U. should sanction Hungary, cutting off subsidies until we comply with European norms. Well as Oscar Widle once said, there's only one thing worse than being talked about. And that is not being talked about!

While I was in Warsaw, I missed a demonstration against the constitutional amendments that took place at our old party headquarters. Some rather intelligent young people turned up, shouting slogans: "Democracy, constitution, rule of law." That was exactly what we used to demand in the late 1980s, when we were idealists before we became corrupted by power and greed.

The Fidesz staff handled this demonstration admirably, turning what could have been a rather damaging incident into a PR coup d'etat. They waited until the TV cameras arrived; then the charming Gabriella Selmeczi went out to meet the crowd, looking very relaxed, and offered them some cakes that she had just pinched from Tesco. Then another press officer read out a statement, accusing Bajnai of organizing the demonstration. He made a statement in which he said "If Gordon Bajnai had let us know in advance, then we would have allowed his people into the Fidesz headquarters without hesitation. We regard everyone's opinion as important and listen."

This was all aired on the evening's news. Brilliant!

Once the cameras had gone, Fidesz staff told the police that they were no longer needed. Then they called the Ferencváros hooligans over to defend our property.

We used the services of the Ferencváros hooligans quite a lot in 2006 in the wake of Gyurcsány's "I fucking lied to win the election" speech, when we wanted to create civil unrest in the city. We paid them to attack the TV station to try to stir up a revolution. They have agreed to work for us again, putting down any demonstrations that occur between now and the election.

Friday 8 March

As expected the deluge of foreign concern over our constitution has arrived. José Manuel Barosso, head of the European Commission called me to express his concern about the undemocratic nature of our amendments. I find such criticism a little rich, coming from a man who was not actually elected, but I assured him (as usual) that if our law is found to contradict European norms then we will amend it.

I welcome this foreign interference. Nothing angers Hungarians more than having foreign organisations trying to interfere in our countries business. They will be so angry about that that they will be pleased to allow me to snatch power, just because I am Hungarian, and am going against the foreigners.

Monday 11 March

The fourth amendment has been passed by the sheep!! What total idiots they are! Do they have no brains? Do they have no guts? I'm pleased to say that they do not.

My opponent Ferenc Gyurcsány summarized the situation best when he said "Democracy is dead!" Too bloody right it is.

Source: FreeHungary; March 13. 2013.

Matolcsy, the engine

I picture the moment when, finally, the prime minister decides who should be the next leader of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB). There are so many names to choose from: Godon Bajnai, Péter Oszkó, Csaba László, Tibor Draskovics, György Matolcsy, János Veres. It is not easy to weigh the pros and cons against these men, but finally, and unsurprisingly, the PM decides on György Matolcsy. From now on, he shall be the overlord of Freedom Square. The prime minister interfered with the autonomy of the bank, when he stipulated that the leader should have governmental experiences. Of course, the bank remains independent, says Mr. Orbán, but these qualities are essential. Therefore, the PM's choice is quite evident. The former minister for economic affairs has the required monetary experience. One of his challengers could have been Sándor Pintér, the minister for interior affairs. He also has governmental experience; alas he is not a representative in the Parliament. (Although being a representative is not a condition for the MNB, it certainly is if you want to be a constitutional judge). In the world of the prime minister, the leader of the MNB should follow his explicit instructions. Therefore, the leader only proposes such steps, which the prime minister wants to hear. In the person of Mr Matolcsy, the PM has just about found the right person. These two people perfectly complement each other. The fear about the autonomy of the bank is wholly unfounded, since the bank, independently from the government, will implement the same measures as the administration. Forget about Audi and the other economic measures which were to have revived the sluggish economy, the new economic centre of Hungary is called Freedom Square, its engine György Matolcsy. According to the PM, the country is performing better, now the MNB should follow suit. And who better to put our trust in, than the repository of our great success?

Levente Tóth; Népszabadság; March 2. 2013.

The secret diaries of Viktor Orbán

Friday 1 March 2013

Today I finally announced that I have appointed Matolcsy to head the National Bank of Hungary, subject of course to approval by the parliament. (Not that there is any chance that parliament would not approve anything I propose.) So at last I will have a puppet in the central bank. One that might let me spend those foreign currency reserves in the election year! One that will cut interest rates to get the GDP moving up again in time for the election! Who cares about inflation?

I had expected the forint to drop on news of the announcement but it didn't. Someone told me that the market was already expecting the news, so the current exchange rate already reflects it. I am surprised about this because I announced two weeks ago that there would be no cabinet reshuffles. Don't they believe anything I say?

Mr Matolcsy has already come up with some brilliant proposals. One is to convert the foreign currency reserves (the ones that we don't spend of course) into Russian rubles. He believes that the dollar will decline now that it has been proved that western style capitalism doesn't work. Russian style capitalism is the model of the future: a small group controlling all the organs of the state, including the media, and controlling and owning the nation's wealth. Reminds me of another country that I know and love!

Sunday 4 March 2013

The football season continues in Hungary! Vidi beat the Budapest Honved side 4-0, hurrah! Pleased that the taxpayers'money is yielding such good results. Watch out Man United, here we come.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

I was saddened to hear of the passing away of Hugo Chavez, the charismatic president of Venezuela. He did so many things for Venezuela that I would like to do for Hungary. He nationalized the country's oil assets, taking them out of the hands of foreigners. He may have been a socialist, but I feel like we have a lot in common.

FreeHungary; March 6. 2013.

The secret diaries of Viktor Orbán

Friday 22 February 2013

This evening I made my annual state of the nation address.

Drafting my speech was a nightmare. I couldn't really talk about Hungary having the highest fall in GDP in the region, or the huge rise in unemployment. But though I say it myself, I am a very good politician, and can put a positive spin on anything.

My researchers managed to find a positive statistic. Apparently the number of babies born in 2012 was 90,300, which is 2,251 more than in 2011. So obviously that went into the speech. I told the crowd that this clearly shows that people are optimistic about the future of our nation. Great!

Foreign investment in our country is at the lowest level for the last eighteen years; in fact it is actually negative at the moment. Some people might say that is bad news (which it obviously is) but I even managed to make this sound positive; "We are building a country in which people don't work for the profit of foreigners!" I know that nothing is surer to please my supporters than a dig at those nasty multi nationals who come to Hungary and strip the country of its wealth. (Oh that reminds me, I have a meeting at Audi on Tuesday to sign a strategic agreement).

I also mentioned some individual success stories, just to show how great our nation is, such as the marvellous performance of our athletes at the Olympic games last year, and how we have great chefs, great inventors; in short, we are the greatest nation in the world, and it does not really matter that we are starting to become isolated.

I mentioned how we had "politely" declined advice from abroad. That got a chuckle, as people remembered how we sat at the negotiating table with the IMF while simultaneously putting up posters around the country telling the nation that we would not give in to these wankers. Very gentlemanly!

Having discussed these issues, and of course blamed the socialists for getting us into debt during the period from 2002 to 2010, I decided I'd talked enough about the present, and even about the near future. So I spent the rest of the speech talking about what Hungary will be like in 20 years. Promises cost nothing!

Naturally the invited audience were ecstatic at such a wonderful speech. It was delightful to see (ex) President Pál Schmidt in the audience. I've hardly seen him since he resigned after his plagiarism scandal.

Sunday 24 February

Today was a memorial day for the victims of communism. I always make a big deal of such events because firstly it distracts people from the failures of today, and secondly, I always like to hint that my political opponents are the successors of the communists.

During my speech I declared, "A country has to be built where nobody can be discriminated against on the basis of their gender, race, religion or political views." Provided that they are white Hungarian Christians of course, and did not work under Gyurcsány!

Afterwards, I had a laugh with some of my colleagues about the case of a female Roma member of parliament who had realised she had left her money at home so couldn't pay for a taxi. She asked a male member of parliament if he could take her home. He replied "Sure, I wouldn't mind fucking you even though you are a gypsy!" Hilarious! Hungarians should be proud of the wit of their elected members!

FreeHungary; February 27. 2013.

Gréczy-blog: Slipping into civil war

greczyIt is certain that the prime minister will do whatever he can to hold on to his power. If, however, as many of us hope, there will be a new government in 2014, the opposition will also do whatever it can to push the country into a civil war. The signs are already there. Demonstrations against a well-known right-wing journalist took place in front of the Fidesz party-centre. The banners, which awaited the protesters, were full of contortions, and references to Jews. Recently, banners ridiculing the poor and the desperate, awaited the members of the „Hunger-march". The government just cannot grasp that the people are desperate and the snapping point is coming ever closer. The students are taken in by the deceptions of the government, and terrorised by the thugs of 2006. Should they prove too unruly, data are gathered about their personal backgrounds. In the Hungary of Viktor Orbán, the innocent are sitting in the dock (Sukoró, Ibolya Dávid, Károly Herényi), while the chief public prosecutor gets away with impunity for organising show-case trials reminiscent of the 1950s. Is it any surprise then that the only party which does not want to reveal the past, is the governing Fidesz? Orbán knows that he must win in order to survive. That is why he is giving away millions of taxpayers' money to former communists, now friends, like the newspaper owner Gábor Széles or his journalist, Zsolt Bayer. This is why he is so adamant to have Péter Polt and György Matolcsy by his side. Concessions to the opposition are not allowed, as it is a sign of weakness. It is either him or them. The way he is governing the country fits perfectly well with his philosophy: "We have to win only once, but win big time." The sad thing is that the prime minister can run amok because he is not in the least bothered by the opposition. Fidesz is ready for the next battle: with lands, tender money, oligarchs, his very own police, media empire, football thugs and his core supporters. In the meantime, what does the opposition do? They are fighting each other, watching how the prime minister is getting crazier and crazier by the day, while the country is slipping into despondency. Maybe a common show of strength on the 15th of March wouldn't be such a bad idea after all...

Secret diaries of Viktor Orbán

14 Feb 2013

The GDP figures for 2012 were released today. Our GDP fell by 2.7% last year. Oops!

On the positive side, it will be easier to achieve growth in 2013, as we are starting from a lower base.

15 Feb 2013

My weekly interview at Kossuth radio. I told the listeners about the very successful auction of public debt. I said that this ended four debates. The first is whether Hungary needs an IMF loan. We don't! The second is whether investors have confidence in Hungary. They do! The third debate is whether our policies are leading to uncertainty. As the successful issue of the government debt shows, investors do not fear uncertainty. The fourth debate is whether we deserve the junk status that we have been given by the three major debt agencies. We don't!

As far as the slight fall in GDP is concerned, I told the listeners that this is due to the European crisis. Let's hope that they are not smart enough to realize that the other central European members of the EU are all experiencing an increase in their GDP!

Monday 18 Feb 2013

A new poll published today shows a rather mixed picture. Our support has fallen by 1% to 18%, while that of far right Jobbik has grown by 2% to 8%. I'm surprised by this, particularly after the recent newspaper article by Fidesz member Zsolt Bayer in which he called stated that gypsies are animals and we Hungarians should not have to live among them. I had hoped that this article would have reassured the voters that we really are just a bigoted party, and therefore attracted some voters back to Fidesz from Jobbik. I don't know what we have to do to win these fascists back.

The good news is that support for our biggest rival, the Hungarian socialist party has fallen by 3% to 13%. The number of Hungarians who will not support any party is now 55% of the electorate.

We have now changed the constitution so that successor parties of the communist party can still be held liable for the actions of the communists. This clearly includes the Hungarian socialist party. So we still have 14 months before the election in which to blacken the name of our opponents. Perhaps we should arrest Attila Mesterházy (leader of MszP) for supporting those who crushed the 1956 uprising. We can also limit political advertising on media other than state run television. So I think the next election will still be ours!

FreeHungary; February 20. 2013.

Gordon Bajnai's speech at the governance assessment meeting of the Together 2014 Electoral Alliance

My Friends, fellow countrymen who want change!

We, patriots and democrats, meet today because we want to live in a normal country. We insist on living in this country, and we are aware of our rights. Consequently, if a government fails to do its job properly, we want to find another government, not another country that we can call our home. And the present government has failed at its job, so we shall replace it. Viktor Orbán and his regime must go so that millions of Hungarians can stay and get along—in their native land, their own country.

There are people for whom the only chance to live in a normal country takes the form of a budget airline ticket. They emigrate to another country to be able to work, or even to live. Half a million people have already done so. Twice as many as did after 1956...

This almost equals a drop in the population that would normally take place in the course of a quarter of a century. We lost a quarter of a century's worth of Hungarians in only a few years... Which means what we need to talk about today is not only how this government should be sent away. We also need to talk about how those who left in the past two years should be called back.

Above all, we must determine how to make Hungary a country worth returning to—and one worth staying in. Worth staying and getting along—for all of us.

After 2014, Hungary will send an important message to all Hungarians. A message to those whom the lack of prospects drove away; and to those who have stayed but struggle to get along: Come home, stay at home! This is our message. Come home, there is a future for you here. This will be the message of the new government programme.

My Friends!

Life has its biological conditions, such as water and oxygen. But it also has spiritual conditions, like hope. The hope that there is a sense to work or to struggle, that things might change for the better, not only for the worse. The hope that children might do better in life than their parents, that they might break out of what they were born into.

There is no life worthy of a human being without hope. Because hope is faith in the success of tomorrow. This is what those who left their country in the past two years have lost their faith in.

And it is in returning this lost hope that I have faith in. This is what I want to talk about today. And this is what I would like you to talk about when you return home. This is why we are here today. To recover hope for Hungary!

My Friends!

We assume a great responsibility with our undertaking. People's hope is not to be toyed with. In 2010 Fidesz won by promising hope again to a disappointed Hungary. The hope of a better, more peaceful life. By now, only the paid extras fail to see that this promise has remained unfulfilled. Unless it was always a lie.

This government has failed to make use of the power of hope. Could not put it to work. It has squandered it.

This is the most important thing Viktor Orbán should be held responsible for. For offering hope, and bringing hopelessness instead. The man who used to be an emblem of the political transition is now the symbol of a political system that needs to be dismantled.

Orbán's government is the government of hopelessness! Therefore, our responsibility today is to build and bring to triumph a coalition of hope. Because hope shall always overcome hopelessness. Which is why we will overcome Orbán's regime!

My Friends!

Hungarians want to live in a normal country. In a country where life is not all about politics. A country where politics is at last about their lives. A country, where a Saturday afternoon is not for a political rally, but for a match, a film, a show at the theatre... At the National Theatre, for instance.

But today Hungary is not a place like that. It is in discord, thanks to divisive politics. It has been ruined by bad governance.

This is obvious to the students who cannot be certain whether the university will start their programme in September, the one they have been preparing for years. And it is obvious to their parents who are worried about the tuition fee, the immense burden it represents.

It is obvious to the nationalized teachers, who in January were waiting for their rightful pay in vain. Instead of the money, movers came, who took away some of the furniture, the printers, the computers—because the Klebelsberg Centre needed them.

It is obvious to the unemployed, for whom it takes an average of eighteen months to find a new job. Meanwhile, the government shrank the benefit eligibility period to three months. Eighteen months of struggle versus three months of fragile security. This is what the government of hopelessness has given to Hungary.

It is obvious to those on minimum wage, who now pay HUF 11,000 more tax than in 2010, under a government of crisis management—and pay it from the same wage.

It is obvious to those on workfare, to whom the government's message is that there is less than minimum, it is possible to live on 47,000...

It is obvious to the entrepreneurs, who are forced by increasing public burdens and ever scarcer credit opportunities to dismiss more and more people. Who recently had to submit their address and mother's name again, for HUF 22,000, or else face a fine of hundreds of thousands.

It is obvious to those who took out a loan in a foreign currency, and watch the exchange rate of the forint tumble day by day, forcing them to multiply their debt by 300.

It is obvious to the university students, whom the government wants to bind to the country, as did the predecessors of today's overlords bind the serfs to the soil—and do so by instituting their immobility in the constitution. On Monday, these students will also protest for the generation that follows. I think highly of their solidarity, and want to declare our solidarity with them.

It is obvious to those in the Hunger March, who are approaching the city as I speak, and whom I welcome and want to feel encouraged. I want to declare our solidarity with them.

And it is obvious to old age pensioners, who pay the lowered utility charges by postal order which in turn bears an extra tax. Pensioners who pay more for the bread because the government raised the utility charges for bakers.

It is already obvious to all today. It is obvious that that real way to cheaper charges leads through putting this regime out of charge.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Over the past few months we have also learnt that instead of solutions, this regime always looks for scapegoats.

You know, after 23 October I told my children they would be seeing less of their father for some time... In the end, I was wrong. Because my children travel by bus. And I am there on the backs of buses. And on advertising pillars and billboards, in newspaper ads. They see more of me than previously.

Strictly speaking, I should be flattered by the knowledge that the Orbán–Simicska duo has spent more than 200 million on raising the public's awareness of me. But I am saddened by the fact that this was public money. And that the profits of the billboards go to Simicska's empire. There are some who draw an extra profit even from discrediting campaigns.

Which is of course not that funny. Because when my children read these adverts, they are fed with lies. Lies about their father.

Lies about things I have never done. Things I do not plan to do. And things that Viktor Orbán did, not I.

If Viktor Orbán considers me a challenger, if he is wary of me—I can see why. But he need not hide in the sheepskin of phoney NGOs.

I'd like the Prime Minister to come and prove, if he can, that the minimum wage is worth more today than two years ago.

Would he mind proving it to the people living under Fidesz mayors that I am the one who wants to introduce property tax, and what they are now paying after their houses and gardens is but a figment of their imagination—a fairytale?

Would he mind telling the citizens of Hungary who laid the foundation stones of those developments on which he now cuts the ribbon?

And would he mind telling us whether there will be any ribbons to cut in three years' time? Will there be a factory with new jobs we can open?

I'd like him to tell what it was like to drive a Mercedes in Kecskemét. And would he also tell during the term of which government the plant was built? When was the last time investors were coming here, and not fleeing?

And would he demonstrate how the state will pay our generation one and a half months' worth of pensions, which he burnt by nationalizing the pension funds?

Viktor Orbán could see another Hungary would he stop watching his own TV. Would he listen to radios, read papers, other than his own. (Although he would have a hard time finding one, because by now independent media are few and far between.)

Now that he has addressed me so, I'd like to return the favour and invite him, with all the respect his position deserves, to come and talk, clear all the facts and lies. We can talk even in his own television: if he accepts the challenge, I will confront him with this other Hungary. The real Hungary.

Dear Friends!

I know I'm often called a technocrat. I wonder what that means.

Does it mean I am a professional, a specialist? Someone who grew up outside the self-absorbed world of politics, in real life, amidst real challenges? And became a leader there? That is correct. I admit I did.

Does it mean I am someone who would not hate his opponents? Someone who is only interested in what others say, and why they say it? And not in who their parents are, where they come from, who they vote for, and what they believe in? That is correct. But this is something we all need so as to understand each other and end the dialogue of the deaf.

Does it mean I am someone who considers everything but empty words until they are backed up by sober figures? Someone who won't take something for a policy just because a party has called it one? That is correct: I do need a guarantee for every promise. A scheme about how we get from A to B, detailed to the last penny. Well-meaning critics often challenge this view. "Gordon, don't worry about fine details. Just stand there, make three good-sounding promises, and say it's your programme. No one is interested in details; all that matters is communication. Tell them the programme's ready and it will be ready."

I'm not willing to do politics like that. One reason is that too many people have been doing politics like that over the past twenty years—far too often. And we can see how this has crippled the country. The other reason is I am not like that. I believe in facts and expertise. I believe that sober action is more important than high-sounding words. Nor do I believe that there are left- or right-wing solutions in politics: I believe in what works, what provides a solution.

If this is what a technocrat is, I admit to being one. My life has taught me to believe in common sense. But I also believe in dreams. My dream is that hope will rise again in Hungary. It will be a place where parents look into the future with optimism, because they think it is worth raising children here. Not just a child but children, two or even three. Because they can go to good schools and will have good jobs. For a country to see many children born, it must have a future. And for a country to have a future, it must see children born.

I believe in this Hungary—the one that grows, rather than shrinks, like the present one. I will fight for this dream. This is why I have returned to politics.

Patriotism and progress, Europe and solidarity: this is the programme that helps us to realize this dream.

I believe in my country, in my nation.

I am proud of the past thousand years, but I also have trust in the next thousand. Let me say that again: children are a nation's greatest wealth. But young people will not raise children if the government shames and punishes those women who have born a single child. Or those who have not been able to bear one... It takes a government that esteems women for young people to raise children. Not a government that forces women to make a choice: either work or motherhood.

Work and motherhood—this is the Hungary I believe in. Where women can be successful, respected members of their profession, and good mothers—at the same time.

I believe in progress.

In modernization, ceaseless progress. I believe in a Hungary where the doors of schools are not closed before children but are thrown open. Because this Hungary knows these doors allow access not only to classrooms and lecture rooms, but via knowledge, to a better life as well. And combined, the knowledge of many Hungarians will link this country to the centre of Europe for a long time, a centre that grows and defies crises.

I believe in Europe, a European Hungary.

I believe that it is only within the European Union that we can secure success for our national interests efficiently. By making alliances, not by guerilla warfare. Nor by being bent by any wind that blows from the East.

Because it is not in the interest of the nation to lose HUF 1500bn in support, all because of bad governance and wrecked alliances. What is in the interest of the nation is to secure at least as much in Brussels as the previous governments. This is a national interest, for which we must all act. This is why I went to Brussels to lobby. This is why we are happy if we could cut at least some of the loss. Because this is a shared cause, no matter who is in government. And after 2014, these funds will need to be drawn and used by another government.

Last but not least, I believe in solidarity.

I believe that Hungary cannot be a place where the tax system gives to the rich what it takes from the poor. A place where you are worth as much as you have. Because the great majority of Hungarians are worth far more than what they have. This is the reason why we have fallen behind, why we have failed to make more of what history offered. Over the past two decades, we have failed to avail ourselves of the potential of Hungary.

The new long-term national consensus about solidarity and progress, the social contract that we will enter into in 2014 will state that we will help those who make an effort, who try to better their lot; we will help them to grow, to succeed.

There is no other task more pressing than this. Because besides those fellow countrymen who left Hungary over the past two years, there are many who feel they were left behind by their country in the course of the past two decades. Their own state has turned its back on them. It abandoned them, for instance because they are poor.

In our modern European country, half a million children live in poverty, fifty thousand of whom also starve. This is what I call a true outrage, a real shame! We are not so poor – not even with an economy that has been shrinking for two years – as to watch and allow this to happen.

After 2014, we will govern this country in a way that ensures no child can go to school with an empty stomach, no child can go to bed hungry. As a Hungarian, a father, and now also as a politician, this is a point of honour for me. A point of honour I will not yield upon.

Dear Friends!

The force that revealed itself in 2010 is still there. This country still wants change. This is why that 23 October was an important day. A day of hope.

And this is why it is such a great responsibility to represent this hope. The greater one's personal credibility, the greater the responsibility. The more the political support, the greater the responsibility.

Let's take a look at all those concerned.

The LMP promised Hungary a difference in politics. This is their responsibility. But the LMP broke in two under this weight. A decisive part of the party took on the responsibility. The dialogue for the change of government, the dialogue for Hungary.

It was a difficult decision, an act of responsibility, for which my respect goes to them. I am glad some of them have accepted our invitation and are here today with us.

Then there is the responsibility of the MSZP. They made a great step after 23 October. Formerly, they couldn't even agree whether collaboration was necessary. Now the only question for them is who to join forces with, under what conditions.

I understand the dilemma that MSZP faces. They do not only want to rise above the historical defeat of 2010, but also want to learn from it. This old party seems determined to renew itself. But it still hasn't been able to bring a closure to the past. It still carries with itself a lot of burdens that keep masses of voters away.

The truth is, there are a million people in today's Hungary who would never vote for MSZP. The same people are very keen on getting rid of Viktor Orbán's regime.

The new electoral system forces all responsible political forces to overcome such dilemmas. Those who cannot face reality today will not be able to realize their dreams next year.

Because what is needed in 2014 is not a simple change of government. We also need to end all that has led the country astray over the past twenty years.

A change of government, a new era—and good governance! This is what Hungary needs. All three, together. Otherwise we will be disappointed again.

Yet the MSZP does not have enough voters to effect a change of government. It lacks sufficient credibility to introduce a new era, and it lacks sufficient expertise for governance. It has plenty of each ingredient, but none in sufficient amount.

And voters in 2014 will not take it for a justification that there were many of us, but not enough...

Ladies and Gentlemen! Dear Friends!

Over the past few months, it has become obvious for the organisations of Together 2014 how great the responsibility we undertook on 23 October is.

We must offer a clear and eligible solution for the majority that wants change. It must be eligible even under the new rules of election. A solution for those who want to end the Orbán–Simicska regime. A solution for those who want guarantees that what they wanted to get rid of in 2010 will not be continued after 2014. A solution for those who want more from politics than revenge from the left: those who want a better country to win, who want peaceful days of growth.

This is our responsibility.

Together 2014 is the way to change the government. Together 2014 is the way to a new era in Hungarian politics. Together 2014 is the way to the establishment of peace. Together 2014 is the way to good and professional governance.

This is why we need to, and why we will, transform into a political party. We unite to form a single, open, strong party.

By 15 March, we will transform the organisational structure of Together 2014 so all those can get involved who want to help and support us. Support us with their work, expertise, money, or votes.

There will be many of us, and we will be better than the representatives of the politics of old. There will be many of us in 2014, and we will be better!

Dear Friends!

I have been travelling the country since 23 October, talking to people. Day after day, I can see how hope is on the rise all over the country. The hope that it is possible to do it, possible to do it differently, possible to do it at last.

This is what the crowded lecture halls and letters of support tell me. This is what can be heard in the whispered support of entrepreneurs, teachers and medical professionals. As well as in the loud encouragement of those who do not depend on the state. Who are not wary of their jobs or contracts, but "simply" fear the future.

That's right, my Friends: fear. For instance, an old lady told me recently: "Prime Minister, I also came for my children. They did not yet dare to come in person, because one of my daughters is a teacher, and her husband is a small entrepreneur. But they asked me to come for them. And I no longer have anything to fear."

Alas, there are many in Hungary, again, who live in fear. Decades have passed, and they live in fear again. But all the while, hidden by the silence of fear, hope is on the rise...

From Békéscsaba to Győr, from Szécsény to Oroszlány, the people I have met know exactly how difficult, but at the same time how valuable, was the crisis management that this country performed between 2009 and 2010.

They understand and appreciate honest words. They can see the difference between governmental boasts and real performance.

I heard plenty of unexpected words of recognition, and even more words of encouragement. I want to thank them again. I want them to know: I won't let them down. I hear and understand what they are saying. I know what they expect from me. I want them to know: I will do it. I will carry it through!

My Friends!

Trust obliges. I am aware of my responsibilities. First, I will never lose sight of the goal established on 23 October, the replacement of the Orbán government. I will resist distraction manoeuvres and flanking attempts. Nor will I allow myself to be embroiled in those petty political games, that jockeying for position and wangling that only the voters are more bored of than me.

Secondly, I will concentrate on forming a single powerful force of the victims of this regime. The will of the victims of the Orbán–Simicska regime. The will of citizens worried about the rule of law, the will of students losing hope, the will of doctors and nurses looking for employment abroad. The will of teachers, policemen, women and mothers, all of whom have been humiliated. The will of farmers who have no land after the redistribution of land, the will of families groaning under the weight of their foreign currency loans. The will of entrepreneurs taxed to death, the will of grandparents fearful of their grandchildren's future.

These multifarious wills must be collected into a united force, if we want more than helpless anger.

And thirdly, I know that I need to shape the dreams and reviving hopes of these fellow countrymen into a concrete action plan. Into an election programme, and then the programme of good governance. Because it is not enough to say no to what we have now; we also need to say yes to what we want in the future.

We now represent the hope of Hungary: we, together. This is our responsibility. And this is my responsibility. If Together 2014 is strong enough, the collaboration of the opposition will be strong enough, as will the government of the new era. This is what I am working on.

Come with me, join the coalition of hope. Tell your neighbours, colleagues and friends that there is hope again. There is hope because there is a force that will counter the government of hopelessness. There is a force that is sensitive of their pain and disappointment. There is a force that will represent them.

Join Together 2014, and invite as many as you can to join us. Tell them to bring along more people, not one but ten. Tell them to come on 15 March so that we can show the power of those who want change.

We will launch a membership campaign to reach everyone. If not through the media, than by telephone. If not by phone, then over the internet. If not on the internet, then in person. We will go, from town to town, from house to house, from person to person.

Until I reach every corner in the country I myself will have met and talked to tens of thousands of my fellow countrymen. I will turn to hundreds of thousands, to convince them and involve them in this concentration of forces. So that by 2014 there will be enough of us in the coalition of hope.

We will be many, and we will be better!

United we stand, divided we fall.

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