freelogoOur objective is to provide English speaking readers interested in Hungary with a well balanced view of political activities in Hungary by featuring contents from various printed and online sources together with our own commentaries. We are convinced that Hungary is built on all sorts of different ideas, thoughts and opinions and, despite of the new Media Law, our aim is to provide an alternative and reliable source of information – contrary to the one-sided press of the government – for those who want to hear the voice of a free Hungary.


Hungarian aspects of the EU budget – Received and not received

According to Viktor Orbán, "never ever so much money calculated per head" arrived to Hungary"; in the previous period, in seven years, each Hungarian received subsidies equivalent to HUF 660,000 from the common funds in Brussels. And now each of them will get HUF 712,000. This would correspond to the arrival of six railway wagons across the border, fully loaded with 20,000 bank-notes – if we were not living, for a long time, in the era of electronic payments. And he goes on listing statistics on the many ways we are on the top of the row and in which areas we will be better off than in the past eight, or more precisely, seven years.

According to the present "national development plan", the amount of the EU cohesion subsidies available to us in the period between 2007 to 2013 – at prices of 2004 – will be 22.41 billion EUR. At current prices (for 2007-2013) the same figure is 25.3 billion. According to the closing document published about yesterday's meeting of the European Council, the Union would spend 325 billion EUR in the forthcoming seven years on catch-up (cohesion) policy. From that, 20.5 billion EUR is due to Hungary. The figures were published at prices of 2011. Therefore, to compare any of the above data with any other would be a capital mistake in professional terms, or a rude misrepresentation. Prior to making any comparison, the data of seven years ago and the ones for today shall be brought to a common basis. According to the simplest calculation, the subsidies of 22.41 billion EUR in 2004, assuming a euro inflation rate of 2% p.a., i.e. roughly in the same way as the EU also calculated, was worth 25.74 billion in 2011. This figure of 25.74 billion EUR can be and shall be compared to the 20.5 billion EUR included in yesterday's bargain, measured at prices of 2011 again. The result is the following: the agreement concluded by the socialist-liberal government in 2005 was an amount exceeding the present one by 25.57%. This means that in real terms, the budget we received for the new period is one-fifth less than the previous one. No way to state that the bargain concluded by Viktor Orbán yesterday was even approximately as good as the one concluded by Ferenc Gyurcsány, seven years ago.

But then, what is it that prime minister Orbán is celebrating now? Is it a "net lie" what the PR people of the government presented to us? No, it isn't. It is rather a gross one. Mostly they listed real data, they only "forgot" to add that they were throwing figures representing non-comparable quantities. For instance, any economist who has some value gets an on-the-spot panic attack to hear the head of the government placing side by side some forint-denominated data of seven years ago with forint data as of now, announcing with a straight face that: in the coming seven years, we will receive fifty thousand forints more per capita from Brussels than earlier. Even without any specific calculations, we can see that what is less in euro terms, shall be less in forints as well. And this is what happens. If we convert the above figures at today's exchange rate into forints (and we do not spare ourselves from the hassle of using identical exchange rates for comparison of all financial data at the identical dates), the subsidies we received "per head" in the framework of the EU catch-up policy between 2007-2013 will be again 25 percent higher than the amounts to be expected from now on. The amount of the per capita subsidy decreases, also "per head", by a ratio of one-fifth.

On the one hand, we completed the very last round of the negotiations not too badly. Those 20.5 billion euros are about 643 billion forints better than the initial proposal last year. This can be respected, even if the last minute candies, allowances for honeying national bargains belong to the routine procedures of such summits. This is how, in addition to Hungary 14 EU member states (Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Slovenia), out of the 27 countries, received "personalised" gifts. And of course, each of the net payer member states, with David Cameron on the top, who managed to achieve a reduction in the EU's common budget, even if the extent was slight. As could be expected: again, the EU paid attention to the fact that nobody should return home empty-handed. Not even Viktor Orbán. On the other hand: we cannot disregard the fact that in real terms, funds available to us will be at least one-fifth less than in the present seven-year planning period. At today's prices, the loss is around 1533 billion HUF. And that is much, really much. Especially painful will be that the region of Central Hungary, with 3 million inhabitants, is going to lose almost 80% of its subsidies amounting to 2 billion EUR, and actually, this might do harm for the companies here, and harm to growth. But the schools, universities, public institutions will also miss that. According to all signs, my prophecy of November also comes true, whereas Hungary would be one of the main losers of the budget bargain. Our minus of 5 billion EUR is the fourth largest among the member states. Meanwhile, from among our neighbours, Romania, Poland and Slovakia could significantly increase their participation. As the saying goes, we cannot decorate our windows with that. And last, but not least: we shall take note that in the planning period of 2014-2020, the EU will raise much harder conditions in respect of Hungary, in exchange for the subsidies. To sum it up: What happened in Brussels this week is basically what we could expect. As compared to the initial proposal of the EU, although the situation improved somewhat, but the negotiating delegation was not able to prevent a serious financial loss. From the Hungarian point of view, the glass is half empty and half full. Viktor Orbán "has received and not received". In Europe, times are really hard. Therefore, after all, both for the Union and Hungary, the most important thing is that an agreement was made. For celebration, we surely have no reasons. But a sigh of relief is justified.


The Secret Diaries of Orbán Viktor

7 February 2013 Brussels

Back in Brussels for the E.U. budget negotiations. Britain and Germany are pushing for a cut in the budget. If that happens, Hungary may lose some of the subsidies that keep our economy afloat.

We had a tense meeting that went on through the night.

8 February 2013 Brussels

As I feared, our allocated cohesion funds have been cut by 5 billion Euros for the period between 2014 to 2020. How am I going to sell that to the Hungarian public? That I actually managed to negotiate less than the man who ruined our country!

9 February 2013 Budapest

Had a great meeting with the spin-doctors today. These guys are smart. Although the EU subsidies that we will receive have fallen in Euro terms, because of the fall in the exchange rate, they have actually increased in forint terms. And because of the fall in GDP, they have actually risen as a percentage of GDP.

So when I make my speech to Parliament on Monday, I will say that our subsidies per head have risen from HUF 660,000 per head during the period from 2007 to 2013, to HUF 712,000 per person for the period from 2014 to 2020.

11 February 2013 Budapest

Today was the opening of Parliament after the Christmas vacation. As prime minister, I had to make a speech to parliament. I focussed on my "successes" in Brussels.

The head of the socialists Attila Mesterházy did see through my financial alchemy, but I retorted that my success in Brussels is Hungary's success, and we should be above party politics on this one.

The hunger marchers arrived at Parliament today. They had marched from 11 different counties to raise the profile of the plight of many Hungarians today. My spokesman simply called them fraudsters, and said that the march was politically motivated.

The students are also having a sit in today, protesting against our plans to make students who receive state funding stay in Hungary after university or repay their funding. We called them hooligans.

Finally the heads of the police forces during the riots of 2006 were formally charged today with various trumped up charges. Their real crime was that they worked under the government of Gyurcsány. When we came to power, we politically cleansed the civil service and police force of all such people.

So a busy day for the leader of the party of national unity!

12 February 2013

I visited the Opel factory in Szentgotthárd today. They announced that they are expanding the factory, which will create 160 new jobs!

I also noticed on the way home that a small restaurant near my house has expanded, with the creation of two more jobs. The economic miracle has started!

Source: Freehungary; February 13. 2013.

Bajnai is still fighting with Mesterházy, not Orbán

Last week, when the former prime minister held his state- of- the nation speech, everything seemed to be perfect. The speech was good and Mr. Bajnai seemed to have found his rhetorical skills. However, the „Együtt 2014" movement is in deep trouble. Its popularity has been plummeting since last October, it is, seemingly, not able to address the main issues which are important to the voters. Mr.Bajnai also has got his fair share in the bad fortunes of his movement. He should have made clear his intentions for the prime ministerial office right away. Without this statement, people can't really make anything out of this triple alliance. His policy of uniting the opposition has failed spectacularly. Instead of bringing the parties closer, Mr. Bajnai further fragmented them. As well as that, the former PM, unwittingly or not, contributed to the dissolution of LMP, thus further reducing the chances of a regime change in 2014. He was also surprised by the solid performance of the leader of the MSZP, Attila Mesterházy. Mr. Mesterházy, who was written off as a dour and boring politician, managed to boost his chances by making his party the biggest and the most united on the political left. Also, Mr. Mesterházy now seems to have turned the tables on Mr. Bajnai by taking the initiative and forcing him into an alliance. Nevertheless, Mr Bajnai's speech on Saturday was a good performance, a prime ministerial, if you like, with lots of references to hope, and the wrongdoings of the prime minister. But he needs to step out of the shadow of petty arguments that is happening between the opposition parties, and most importantly he has to fight Mr Orbán and not Mr. Mesterházy. It seems that the tactic of Mr Bajnai is one, which is usually not too successful: trying to win over all the votes from his own side and, at the same time, running the risk of being pushed from the middle. He can talk about his feelings about Hungary, about how he would not let the past catch up with the present, as long as he is sharing a platform with Gábor Kuncze and his ilk, he is just proving that he doesn't understand the concerns of the people.

Source: Véleményvezér

Gréczy-blog: Gyurcsány Once Again Surpasses Orbán

greczyThe head of the 'junk government' is communicating with full force how much money he managed to get for Hungary as a result of recent EU financial negotiations. However, the amount that he "achieved" is in fact a failure. All the analogies and comparisons as to how great a train should be to contain that sum of money are in vain. The truth is: Ferenc Gyurcsány once again surpasses Orbán.

Hungary will receive much less money after 2014 than the amount that former premier Ferenc Gyurcsány successfully lobbied for his country in 2005 – gaining an additional EUR 1 billion at the last moment. Orbán is lying as he always does. The reason he communicates the result in HUF is that because of the weak Forint the lower amount in EUR seems to be more in HUF. On the other hand, he emphasizes the per capita amount because Hungary's population is decreasing and so thus it results in a more favorable per capita figure. Even so, the essence is unchanged: Hungary received much less than what Gyurcsány had achieved back then. What is really funny is Orbán's allegation that the greatest result of the negotiations is the 15 percent minimal retention rate, which was already 15% in the past seven years as well. All Orbán achieved is that nothing has changed in this respect.

The retention rate did not improve, whereas the amount decreased. Gyurcsány also surpasses Orbán if one looks at the proportion Hungary received from the pie. Everything else is pure sand and babble.


The Secret Diaries of Viktor Orbán

30 January 2013 Brussels

I started the day by giving a lecture to the Bruegel Institute, a think tank specialising in economics. No doubt they were very keen to hear about our new brand of economics in Hungary, where we have dismissed the old established economic wisdom and have had the guts to question and depart from the free market.

Unfortunately during the discussion that followed, I let slip the fact that the IMF actually turned down our application for a standby loan. We have always told the public that we were the ones who told the IMF where to go, when in fact it was the other way around. Anyway, I'm sure the Hungarian news agencies will not dare to report that.

Later I met Jose Manuel Barroso head of the European Commission. I am hoping that they will release Hungary from the excessive deficit procedure now that out budget deficit is below 3%. Barroso would give me no definite answer to this, muttering something about our fiscal position being unsustainable in the longer run.

31 January 2013 Moscow

I remember making a speech last year in which I said that Hungary would not be dictated to by Moscow or Brussels! And here I am visiting both places in consecutive days.

I've never really liked the Russians, and can't say that I was delighted to be coming to Moscow. Sadly now that our relations with the West have deteriorated, we have to seek friends elsewhere. And they will supply us with Gas too!

My 15-minute meeting with Mr Putin was forced smiles and polite comments on both sides. Putin made a comment about us naming a street after Lev Tolstoy, which I guess is his way of telling me that he is aware that Moscow Square is no longer called Moscow Square. I made some sycophantic comments about how Russia is a great country.

I was hoping that Mr Putin would give me some hints on how to make sure that I win the next election. I understand that the results of the last Russian Presidential election had been decided before the first vote had been cast. If only I had that power!

1 Feb 2013

Back in Budapest, thank God! I made a joke on my weekly Radio show about the fact that I had been to Moscow, and had managed to come back alive, which I'm sure the listeners found amusing.

4 Feb 2013

Another anti Gyurcsány Bajnai campaign! Once again a "private organisation" has initiated another poster campaign with pictures of the two previous prime ministers of Hungary, reminding the people that they ruined the country. So the election campaign is going full swing now.

6 Feb 2013

I've been grooming Matolcsy to take over as next governor of the Central Bank in March. He will be much more compliant than the existing governor. No announcement has been made, but Matolcsy has been touring the major financial centres of the world where he has been promising "should I become the next head of the central bank, I would not liquidate its reserves."

We decided to test market reaction, so yesterday we leaked the fact that I had indeed decided that Matolcsy is the man. Sadly as soon as this happened, the forint dropped like a stone on the financial markets, so we had to issue a statement denying the rumours. Looks like Matolcsy needs to do some more charm offensives.

I received a challenge from Bajnai this afternnon for a TV debate. No fucking way! The last thing I want to do is to talk about policies. We won the last election without giving away anything. I don't want to scupper the next one by agreeing to discuss policy. There is no policy. We just do what we want.

Freehungary; February 6. 2013.

Nuclear energy for gas

It is quite awkward that Viktor Orbán did not have any signed contract relating to the purchase of the company managing the Hungarian natural gas wholesale when he shook hands with Putin. Probably, it was not planned so when his trip was organized. The prime minister tried to hide the mistake by speaking about the purchase of E.ON in past tense already in Moscow. It was really an adequate, Russian-like approach to the sales transaction: we have already agreed upon the essence of the deal, there are only a few minor details still to discuss but they are the task of lawyers. This must be at worst annoying but does not change the essence: we cannot have any special doubt that this deal will be established.

But, is it good value for us that the state pays nearly HUF 300 billion for a gas wholesale and storage company? This company has a special strategic value for the prime minister: it is the main holder of the trade contract determining the Hungarian gas prices fundamentally and for the long run. Orbán has always regarded the supervision of this, and thereby that of the gas price and the domestic gas trade as a strategic issue. And, for this particular reason, he regarded the situation detrimental where the Hungarian government has no "official" insight into this contract, and consequently, has no direct influence on its terms and conditions.

He is of the opinion that, as long as this document is not in the prime minister's drawer and he is not the one who carries on negotiations on its basis with the Russian president and the CEO of Gazprom, he, as well as the country, is exposed to the Russian-German bargain. And within this bargain, the Hungarian contract is just a card in the pack; what is more, it is not the most important one for E.ON. Contrary to Orbán who is the prime minister in a country where gas price is treated by the politics as a primary issue.

However, the country will not benefit by the fact alone that, from this time on, the Hungarian prime minister will carry on negotiations about gas purchase with the Russians. It is an advantage that for him, the "real" question is the Hungarian gas quota, but this is also a disadvantage because he is not as large a customer as E.ON in bargaining with the Russians. Negotiating from its own customer position and knowing Germany's weight behind it, the German giant is, theoretically, able to achieve more favourable conditions at Gazprom than a single Viktor Orbán. On the other hand, it is both a question and a risk, how much Gazprom wants to allow from this preferential treatment to Hungary and particularly: how much in terms of prices and not from its own profit.

The other version seeming to be attained is that Viktor Orbán will be the one who negotiates the Hungarian gas price. Albeit, this is a matter of "life and death" for him, but he is not considered to be a really big customer for Gazprom. However, Russians will not give a good price to him just for a kiss. He needs to offer them something more, which they are interested in. This something more is Paks. The renovation and extension of the Hungarian nuclear power plant. This is such a big bite that Putin will also be interested in. But not only will he be. Without nuclear energy, they only give a smile to Orbán, but with nuclear energy he can be even taken seriously. Hungary's energy independence also declared by Orbán can be achieved in this way. With Russian gas and Russian nuclear energy.

Levente Tóth; Népszabadság

Will Orbán pursue a consolidation?

keszthelyiFidesz will probably steer towards the centre. So far PM Orbán has been busy preventing any of his followers from defecting to the far right Jobbik party. By now, the limits to Jobbik's appeal have become clear: while it does address issues that are relevant to a large proportion of the public, it has no answers that could be translated into policy. Once Fidesz feels that its right flank is safe, the party may turn towards the centre, where there are a million people who have already voted for it in the past and at least half of them have not found a new political home. Therefore, PM Orbán's main concern over the remaining 14 or 15 months before the elections will be to preserve peace and stability. It is dountful however that the Premier will be successful in that effort. On the one hand, the administration is extremely inefficient in handling certain crucial issues. Only half the EU development funds available to Hungary from 2007 till the end of this year have been used so far, and the new electronic motorway toll system that should be in operation by July and yield 75 billion before the end of the year, is nowhere in sight. The government reacts to such shortcomings with abrupt interventions and reshuffles which will prove damaging to the desired image of stability. On the other hand, Fidesz is a broad conglomerate of disparate forces and some of them will inevitably come forward with their own bright ideas that might stir up public controversy. The Christian Democrats are fighting for their own vision of the family, excluding unmarried couples (despite the fact that half of all births are to unmarried mothers); while some radical minded right-wing pundits regularly produce diatribes that provoke unfavourable reactions at home and abroad. To cap it all, Fidesz will have to keep political tensions at a high level, in order to motivate its core constituency. Taken together, all these reasons dictate against an easy path back to the political centre, if that is what the Prime Minister intends. Finally, it won't be easy for the disparate opposition forces to coalesce, given their own divisions and the inability of the Socialist Party to grow. What Fidesz has today may be largely sufficient to win a comfortable majority in 2014.

András Keszthelyi; Magyar Narancs

Gréczy-blog: LMP: Politics cannot be different

It is not easy to determine who is right in the internal party battle, which is unfolding at the moment. Is it perhaps András Schiffer, the old-new leader, who is determined to keep the party on an independent course, and, thereby, giving Mr. Orbán another chance for a possible 2014 election victory? Or is it Benedek Jávor and his entourage, who are convinced that the only way to get rid of the prime minister and his government is to enter into an alliance with the democratic opposition? To be honest, I don't understand the LMP. They are or were supposed to be a green party, but I haven't seen any green issues coming from the party yet. They are like Werder Bremen of Germany or Betis of Spain: The may wear a green dress, but that does not make them green. Even the fact that they were close to László Sólyom, the admittedly environment conscious former president, does not make them green. In short, I cannot see the point of this party. Mr. Schiffer is saying that LMP was established to give a new alternative to voters who had had enough of the previous governments, including that of Messrs. Gyurcsány and Bajnai, and that he wants to keep the independence of his party. Is this a legitimate argument? Yes, I think it is. In contrast, Mr. Jávor is saying that the conditions have changed, and the most pressing concern is to get rid of the government. But, in order to achieve this goal, the party has to give up its independence and enter into an alliance. Do I think that this argument sounds about just as legitimate as the previous one? Yes, I do. To confuse matters even more, polls show that two-thirds of the LMP sympathizers would gladly vote for the Democratic Coalition as well! If there are any lessons to be learnt from this saga, then the newly established alliance of Együtt2014 (Together2014), led by Gordon Bajnai, should learn it very well. Mr. Bajnai and his foundation cannot deny the past. He cannot deny the fact that he served as a minister in the government of Mr. Gyurcsány. And the crisis management program that he implemented as prime minister could not have been possible without Mr. Gyurcsány. It is of no use to surround himself with small parties and organizations, because it will not change that fact that Messrs. Gyurcsány, Mesterházy and Bajnai will be all needed if the opposition is to win the next election. Let's hope that, come March 15th, the parties of the opposition will understand what is at stake.[]


The Secret Diaries of Viktor Orbán (The man who has saved Hungary!)

Thursday 24 January 2013

Another battle with the European Union! Now they have initiated infringement proceedings over us relating to the tax on telephone calls that we introduced last year. We charge a tax of HUF 2 per minute, and HUF 2 per SMS message. The EU are saying that this goes against one or other of their bureaucratic rules.

If we have to repay the taxes that we have collected, we are up the creek!

I wish we could threaten the EU with a referendum on membership, like the British government. Problem is, our economy would sink without EU subsidies.

Friday 25 January 2013

I went to the new Mercedes factory in Kecskemét today, where I had the honour of driving the first car off the production line.

Afterwards, I made a speech, in which I said that the Mercedes factory shows two success stories. One is the traditional success story of Mercedes itself. The other is the renewal of the Hungarian economy.

Of course, I did not mention the fact that Mercedes made the decision to build the factory on 2008, while Gyurcsány was Prime Minister.

Sunday 27 January 2013

The opposition parties have been busy today. I was delighted to hear that the LMP has now split in two: half of the party want to join the "get rid of Fidesz at all costs" movement (Together 2014) which has been founded by former PM Gordon Bajnai. The other half, including the leadership, want to remain independent. So the half that wants to join Bajnai left the party. Great news. We need a divided opposition at the election.

The Democratic Coalition also had their conference. They are desperate to join the Together 2014 movement, but it seems that Bajnai does not want them. I guess he feels that Gyrucsány is too unpopular. I was also amused to learn that all of the cars outside the Democratic Coalition conference were wheel clamped today. How funny!

Bajnai is right. Unless the opposition unites at the election, we will probably win again. And the chances of the opposition uniting are looking pretty slim!

Monday 28 January 2013

Today the IMF published their monitoring program of the Hungarian economy. While they did praise us for managing to reduce the government deficit, they criticised us for the way we did it. They said that our ad-hoc measures, such as the bank transactions tax are not sustainable in the short run, and that our unpredictable policy measures have lead to a reduction in private investment, which is now at historic lows.

I'm not going to get upset about this. Everyone knows that the IMF is just the tool of the big multinationals (or at least that is what we tell the Hungarian people). We will not adopt the IMF policies, and will not allow Hungary to become the playground of the multinationals. (Apart from my friends at Mercedes, and those other 40 multinationals with whom we have signed strategic agreements).

FreeHungary; January 30. 2013

The Secret Diaries of Viktor Orbán

Thursday 17 January 2013

The main objective of the government over the next 15 months will be to ensure we win the next election. We have come up with the following plan to do this:

1. Force the utility providers to reduce their prices further. This will cost the government nothing, but will be popular with the voters. (We've already made them reduce prices by 10% as of 1 January!).

2. When the current head of the central bank András Simor's term of office ends in March, I will replace him with somebody who is prepared to support the government more, by cutting interest rates, and using tools such as quantitative easing, instead of being so obsessed with inflation targets and a strong forint. This will lead to higher investment by local businesses that will bring economic growth, hopefully before April 2014.

3. Increase pensions and have a 13th month pension at the end of this year. That should win us the grey vote.

4. Use the reserves of the central bank to pay for all of these pre election goodies. The EU requires us to keep our budget deficit below 3%, so we can't finance them by increasing government borrowing.

5. Ensure that the state run media continue their excellent one-sided coverage of the news. The message has to get out there that we are doing an excellent job – which of course we are. Well, sort of.

Friday 18 January 2013

Spent the morning on my weekly "interview" at Kossuth rádio. I always have to be bullish during these talks, to give the impression that things are going according to plan. I told the audience that 2013 will be a year of harvest, after two years of sowing. And so it shall. The fact that we will be harvesting crops that have not actually been planted yet is irrelevant. The electorate must feel that things are going well.

I also told the audience that we are replacing the central bank governor with somebody who is not an "Offshore Speculator." It's important that I drag Simor's name through the mud, because he is likely to be critical of our central bank policies after he leaves office. So we must destroy his credibility in the eyes of the electorate.

Saturday 19 January 2013

In the early 1990s, after the change of regime, my generation all thought that the market economy would bring riches to everyone in no time at all. The fact that this did not happen is obvious now. What actually happened is that foreign multinationals came into our country and acquired all of our assets. It seemed that we had rid ourselves of one foreign oppressor, only to become masters of the western multi nationals. This made me very angry.

Our Political opponents take a pragmatic approach to this. They say that if we cooperate with the multi nationals, and make Hungary an easy place to do business, we will all be better off. They will bring capital, expertise and jobs to Hungary, allowing our economy to catch up with the western nations.

I totally disagree with that attitude. I want the multi nationals out of our country. As Prime Minister of Hungary, I will not be dictated to by any foreign organisations – be they multi nationals, the E.U. or the I.M.F. I am on a crusade to turn Hungary back into an independent country. And I am winning.

I am currently having a battle with some of the foreign owned energy companies. I am demanding that they sell their assets back to the Hungarian government again. There is some haggling over prices. A typical discussion goes like this:

"We will pay you HUF X billion Euros for your business!"

"Its worth more than that, Mr Orbán. Last year our profits were X billion."

"But you are making a loss now!"

"That's because you are forcing us to swallow a 10% fall in energy prices. That is not legal!"

"Don't tell me what's legal, I write the laws in this country!"

Eventually they give in! I love it, I love it!

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Great news on the economy! We confirmed today that our Budget Deficit for 2012 was down to 2.1% of GDP. And that was before taking account of revenues from the seizure of private pension funds. There were a few odd things in there though. In spite of increasing the rates of many business taxes, the receipts from these fell, for example. Anyway we have gained some more credibility.

Lets not mention the fall in GDP of 1.4% or the inflation rate of 5%! Or the fall in foreign investment. People don't need to know about that.

FreeHungary; January 23. 2013.

The key sinners of the Orbán administration

It is not pointless to know who the key sinners are in the Orbán administration. Zoltán Balog (Minister of Human Resources) and Rózsa Hoffmann (Minister of State for Education) have top places on this list. They cause the utmost damages to the country. It is feasible to write a new constitution and to rebuild the system of checks and balances relatively quickly. The fortunes hoarded up in an undue way can be investigated. The Orbán era can be turned into a bad memory with these provisions.

What about the issue of education? The importance of religious studies grows, meanwhile IT education and science decrease. The running of bilingual schools is set back by government actions. Furthermore, the developed system of institutions for children with special needs is being demolished. How can all of these be redeemed? What can we tell to our fellow citizens who will feel the effect of poor education for the rest of their lives?

The action carried out by Zoltán Balog and Rózsa Hoffmann is far more than a mistake. It is a sin. They are just puppets with limited competence.

Ceterum censeo: Orbán has to leave!

János Dési; Népszava; January 21. 2013.

The secret diaries of Viktor Orbán

Monday 7 January

Had a wonderful evening attending the FIFA Ballon D'or in Zurich. My excuse for going was that one of the biggest prizes of the evening was the Puskás prize for the best goal of 2012, which was awarded to Mirosalv Stoch.

It was great to get away from Hungarian politics for an evening. I'm still depressed about the constitutional court decision to cancel our law requiring voters to register.

Tuesday 8 January

Everyone is getting excited about some comments made by my friend and member of Fidesz, Zsolt Bayer. He wrote an article in the Fidesz newspaper (Magyar Hirlap) in which he said that gypsies are animals, and it is intolerable that we must live among them.

Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics today condemned Zsolt's remarks, saying that there was no place in a democratic party for a person who holds such discriminatory views. I totally agree with Tibor on this. However, since Fidesz is not a democratic party, I see no reason to expel him.

I have not condemned Zsolt's comments. We have an election next year, and I need to try to win some voters back from Jobbik. I'm not going to do that if I am seen to be too lenient on gipsies.

Wednesday 9 January

I'm furious. I always liked to see Football as a place where I could escape from politics. But today I discovered that even in Football, we have some enemies.

Last year, the Hungarian Football Team played against Israel in a friendly. Some of our fans shouted anti Semitic chants at the Israeli players, and they took offence.

Today FIFA announced that they are punishing the Hungarian Football Team. No fans will be allowed to watch our next match against Romania! I have written a letter to FIFA asking them to reconsider this outrageous decision. We have also issued a story that the fans that made the chants were planted there by enemies of Hungary (i.e. MszP). After all, nobody in Fidesz would ever make a discriminatory remark would they?

Friday 11 January

In Limasol in Cyprus today. President Nicos Anastasiades is standing for re-election, and asked if the European Peoples Party leaders could come and do some campaigning for him, thinly disguised as a party conference. All the big wigs were there, including Barosso and Merkel. I wonder if they will do the same for me in 2014?

During the meeting we discussed the economic crisis. Most of the other leaders seemed to be pro free market, and in favour of the E.U. working closer together. I sometimes wonder if we have joined the wrong group of parties.

I made a speech in which I said that 2012 had been a year of consolidation for Hungary. We will see growth in 2013! The fairy tale continues.

Sunday 13 January

I had to laugh today. Gyurcsány organised a demonstration outside of our party office in Lendvay Street to protest about the fact that we had not expelled Zsolt from the party. He invited all the other left wing parties. It seems that the leaders of MszP and Bajnai could not be bothered to come.

Gyurcsány is definitely the greatest talent that the left wing has. Thankfully, over the years, all of our negative campaigning seems to have worked. Even Bajnai is trying to avoid being seen with Gyurcsány. And the left is still divided in spite of Bajnai's so called "together 2014" movement! We still have a good chance of winning the next election.

FreeHungary; January 16. 2013.

Gréczy-blog: The message from Pusztaszabolcs

greczyDuring the recent Pusztaszabolcs by-election, the Democratic Coalition (DK) was the only party to have its own candidate while all the other contenders ran as independents. With about 45% of the votes, the Fidesz party secured victory, followed by the candidate of the DK, Péter Miklósi, who came up to 24%. The candidate of the socialist party came a close third, while parties such as Jobbik or the LMP did not even participate in the by-election. The lessons that can be drawn from the election are manifold. Firstly, we can say that in a predominantly Fidesz influenced area the candidate of the ruling party could have been beaten, had there been a cooperation between the socialists and the DK. Secondly, all the polls showed that the DK would not be doing well at the election. This proves the unreliability and the bias of different polls and think-tanks. Thirdly, the media has now been saying for a long time that there is no future for the DK with Ferenc Gyurcsány as its leader. Contrary to all claims, the DK did well at the election, and considering the fact that the former PM played a huge part in the campaign, he proved himself to be an asset to the party. This is now the third consecutive success for the party, which was taunted as the party of the pensioners. Although the Democratic Coalition finished second, the example of Pusztaszabolcs says clearly that the only way to get rid of Fidesz is wide-ranging oppositional cooperation.

"The trial of the year" began: Sukoró

For background I suggest reading a few posts that appeared on this blog in the last couple of years. It would be a good idea to start with "What can happen to investors in Hungary" and continue with "The never ending story of Sukoró." Moreover, I have the feeling that this is not the last time that we will talk about this land swap that the current government thought could be used to convict Ferenc Gyurcsány in a court of law. That attempt failed, as I reported at the end of 2010.

The media on both the left and the right believe that the real target of the prosecutors is not the five men who are accused of a breach of fiduciary responsibility but Ferenc Gyurcsány. Right-wing publications add the name of Gordon Bajnai. Magyar Nemzet and Barikád, Jobbik's weekly and Internet paper, agree that the "big fish" weren't caught and that the wrong defendants are sitting in the courtroom today.

But if the wrong people are being accused, why bother to carry on with this charade? The answer is fairly simple. Fidesz and the right-wing media whipped up such a frenzy over the billions and billions of forints the Hungarian state would have lost if the Sukoró deal had gone through that they couldn't just shamefacedly admit that they don't have a case. I'm convinced that if the prosecution had found enough evidence to move against Gyurcsány the five people sitting in a courtroom in Szolnok wouldn't be in this situation.

But they didn't find anything on Gyurcsány. The prosecution, however, didn't just drop the charge that the former prime minister adversely influenced the staff of Magyar Nemzeti Vagyonkezelő (MNV), the office in charge of sales of state properties. They pretty well indicated that they remain convinced that Gyurcsány is guilty but unfortunately can't prove it.

And they persist. In the current indictment one of the points against the accused is that it was Gyurcsány who instructed the employees of MNV to make a deal that favored Joav Blum, the Israeli-Hungarian businessman who made the mistake of wanting to build a huge wellness and casino complex in Hungary.

The very idea that the alleged instigator (Gyurcsány) was not found guilty by the same prosecutors who now in the case against the officials of MNV use his person as proof of abrogation of fiduciary duties is more than bizarre.

I also would like to call attention to the fact that the case is being tried not in Budapest but in Szolnok, allegedly because it is such a complicated case and the Budapest court is overworked. The truth is that Tünde Hagyó, the head of the Judicial Office, seems to move "political" trials to courts where the judges may be sympathetic to the government and rule accordingly. The trial of former deputy-mayor of Budapest Miklós Hagyó was moved to Kecskemét. This trial, which is potentially even more politically important to Fidesz, also had to be moved out of the capital.

In order to show how complicated the case is, the prosecutors collected 40,000 pages of material. However, according to Miklós Tátrai, one of the accused, there are probably only about 3,000 pages that have anything to do with the case. The same testimony is sometimes repeated fifteen or sixteen times. The evidence includes the testimony of 150 people, most of whom have no connection to the case at all. For example, the prosecutors interviewed a neighbor of Joav Blum, who testified that he was a very nice man and took part in the activities of the small community of Sukoró, participating in table tennis competitions. Tátrai even found a recipe for cookies that was on one of the computers that the police confiscated.

Another peculiar aspect of the "investigation" is that the prosecution never bothered to get in touch with Joav Blum, the man who was supposed to be the beneficiary of the officials' breach of fiduciary duty. The prosecution also has no proof that the accused officials ever received any compensation from Blum for their alleged "favor." So, as one of the accused said in a television interview, they must have decided to cause financial damage to the Hungarian state just for the heck of it.

After reading the 30-page indictment, Miklós Tátrai, former head of MNV, testified. His testimony was long. About eight hours. He accused the prosecution of conducting a political witch hunt. He insisted that what's going on in Szolnok is a show trial (koncepciós per; a case based on preconception) which naturally the prosecutor in charge of the case denied. He said that show trials can be conducted only against politicians and that, after all, the accused are simply former government officials. A brilliant retort!


Page 7 of 9



Written on 21/12/2017, 21:09 by admin
jerusalemJerusalem, the eternal capital of the state of Israel and the Jewish people, finally got the official recognition which was overdue for decades....
Written on 13/09/2017, 20:13 by admin
guest-post-eu-and-orban-two-good-friendsThe decision of the European Court of Justice, according to which Hungary should accomodate more than one thousand refugees is at the same time appaling...
Written on 06/10/2016, 19:58 by admin
guest-post-the-day-after-the-referendumThe much anticipated referendum about the resettlement of migrants in Hungary was declared invalid, however, those who voted overwhelmingly rejected the...
Written on 23/06/2016, 06:31 by admin
disintegration-or-something-else-gyurcsany-s-solutions-to-the-ills-of-western-democracies  Something has gone wrong. Quietly, but ever more noticeably, more and more people in more and more places are in revolt. In the American...
Written on 06/04/2016, 19:20 by admin
how-germany-and-its-leftist-liberal-supporters-killed-solidaritySolidarity. This is the word that is probably is the most used and misused term in European politics. Its original meaning is supposed to mean to show...
Written on 23/03/2016, 20:30 by admin
the-orban-regime-can-only-end-in-failure  Change in the Orbán regime is only possible in the event of its downfall, so ruling Fidesz either becomes successful with its current set of...
Written on 23/03/2016, 20:20 by admin
anger-or-resignation  No matter how hard Mr Orbán is trying to get rid of his old cronies, he just cannot get rid of himself. He is too old for his system. The...
Written on 14/01/2016, 20:51 by admin
europe-s-new-yearThe European continent had a very difficult year in 2015, but that may be dwarfed by 2016. The most heated issue will be, without a doubt, the migration...
Written on 09/12/2015, 14:16 by admin
the-secret-diaries-of-viktor-orban-nov-dec-2015November 14th 2015I awoke to the shocking news about the Paris attacks last night. Words cannot express my feelings of shock.It turns out that one of the...
Written on 12/11/2015, 14:31 by admin
spies-in-the-newsroom   According to a new scheme, the government might place spies in the newsrooms, to have a better view of what is being written. This all...
Joomla templates by Joomlashine