Ferenc Gyurcsány’s State of the Nation speech 2013, Part II

It is not winning that is difficult but governing; the new government may have the destiny as Radicová had. Fico returned stronger

“Many people saw the coalition of socialists and liberals as a too colourful and sometimes quarrelling coalition. This coalition was the boring single colour and homogeneity itself compared to what it will be if a new government is built on the cooperation of Milla through Solidarity to E14, the socialists, the Democratic Coalition and only God knows who else. Not speaking about LMP and the Párbeszéd Magyarországért (Dialogue for Hungary) (a new party broken away from LMP). Governing is an extremely big responsibility. It is not difficult to win; that is a fair challenge. What follows after is the really difficult thing. The other factor why it is not the same will become apparent in the first year, because, if the conditions of a later governing will not be created, if we do not create them, then we will have the same destiny as Radicová had. The destiny of the Slovakian government that, temporarily, pushed Fico to opposition and then, a relatively colourful government was unable to implement its programme and no other possibility was left but to transfer or to give back the power to Fico, who returned stronger than before. Those who want Hungary to have just an ephemeral government and to open the way to the return of Orbán even stronger than today, who, otherwise, learned from each defeat only that still harder authoritarianism is necessary, those should continue to make political huckstering, but I would not propose that.

A political scheme and programme built on lie will fail

“In the eyes of the Hungarian voters I am sometimes a man of lies and sometimes that of sincerity – depending on the person – but anyhow, in a sense, I am an expert of this issue. Therefore, in this range, I would come forward with a less cited thought from Bibó who writes in his work “Distorted Hungarian Character”, among others, that: Although, occasionally, one can say lies in politics, it is not possible to build a political scheme or, rather, a political programme on lies. It is worth considering this citation, if for nothing else than because, since it is fully clear that the current regime builds a political scheme and programme on lies, it will evidently fail. This is my good news but we are already over it. I don’t want to speak about this regime any more in this speech. My bad news is that I see that we here, on the democratic opposition’s side, and I understand here all of us, I want just say it politely; we are also inclined to build a political scheme and programme on lies. If we do so and we continue it, then we will also fail.”

First lie of the opposition: to consider the earlier political mistakes to be the same as the current conscious authoritarian policy

“Let me say minimum three. It is a demagogue political scheme to allege that the errors and mistakes of the democratic governments that prevailed between 1990 and 2010 can be mentioned on the same page or in the same chapter, let alone in the same book with the sins of Orbán’s despotism. Those who consider the human, political and intellectual errors of the democratic politics – because there are such – to be the same as the conscious politics, which deprives the country of its freedom and builds autocracy, they bemire the democrats and make weapon less those who could organize the country against despotism. It follows from the above facts that those who do not want or are not able to make this difference, those either do not understand the politics or do understand them and consciously serve Orbán. Consequently, we must draw a clear dividing line between the errors of democrats and the sins of the people of autocracy. In this respect, we must not budge an inch.”

A second lie of the opposition: it is possible and allowed to make a compromise with Fidesz

“As to the second lie: in the 20 year old democracy, people have grown weary of the great number of democratic debates, they would like to have peace and agreement; they say: let’s come to terms with Fidesz, let’s make a compromise. Compromise can and must be made between democratic parties, it is natural, a compromise is necessary between the democratic right of centre and the democratic left of centre. The collaboration and competition of the large German parties is based on such a compromise and now a big coalition prevails in Vienna, and I could go on listing. But here, this is not the case. In our case, a racialist nation concept, the racialist nation concept of Fidesz and Jobbik is sharply against an open democratic nation concept built on the inviolability and protection of human dignity, which concepts are incompatible with each other. These are two different stories. It is not by chance that the German fundamental law is not based on the sacrament of the German national unity. The first sentence of the German fundamental law reads: “the human dignity is inviolable”. “The protection of human dignity is the duty of all branches of power of the state” – the second sentence says. The concept of blood and soil, the nation concept based on origin is not suitable for accommodating the evidently multi coloured democratic people, on which we want to build this homeland, this nation. This is our opinion about that. The two concepts exclude each other. The present constitution cannot be accepted even for a moment because it is not the protection of the universal human dignity that is behind this constitution but the requirement of origin, soil, blood and living-space, the requirement of primacy of the Christian conservative concept, i.e. the putting of freedom between brackets.”

Those who compromise with the right will also compromise with the nation concept of the right based fundamentally on racial theory

“On the weekend, I read a short article from Iván Bächer about the journalist Vilmos Faragó who had been the chief editor of the magazine “ÉS” for several decades during the Kádár era. He was a Jew. The above-mentioned article contains a painful sentence. In a phase of his life, Faragó decided that he will not ‘originate’, he will not be willing to originate any more but he will be the person whom he made himself. This is extremely painful.

Gyurcsany evertekelo1

The right-wing Christian conservative world is trying to sacralise the nation, together with its history. Sometimes one feels that the nation is nothing else than its own murky history. But one cannot sacralise a nation’s history, if I take away the history of the nation’s citizens and families, and if I don’t allow them to assume where they come from, who their parents are, what their religion is, how they lived. If they cannot be the persons who they could be, due to the creator, due to chance, due to human love or the good god knows what. This concept has been conceived in sin and will be a source for sin. This is why we might want to compromise with the right, but anyone who compromises with the right, will make a compromise, willingly or unwillingly, with the nation concept of the right, based fundamentally on racial theory. He opens the way for the Nazis, who are already marching here, anyway. But with the Nazis, one cannot and shall not compromise. I do not say that Fidesz is a Nazi party, but I do say that their mentality, their way of thinking opened the way for the Hungarian Neo-Nazis. And I do say that Jobbik, cooperating in several locations, acting in an alliance, with Fidesz, is the carrier of the Hungarian Neo-Nazism. We need to speak clearly about that.”

A third lie of the opposition: the myth of civilianisation, which may become the murderer of parliamentary democracy

“And third, let me tell you that being against the political elite or the myth of civilianisation might become the murderer of parliamentary democracy. One can be dissatisfied with politicians; for instance, many times I am dissatisfied even with myself, and this is a big word. Let me add that, from time to time, I am dissatisfied with you, too. One can create new parties, it is possible. One can apply to be a politician. But the basis of parliamentary democracy is the fight of parties for the public authority, where the parties are private organisations, but arriving to the parliament, they will act as a public authority. It is important to let the multi-coloured society get organised in the different associations, organisations, societies, and churches. But these are two different things. It is also important that political parties shall cooperate with civil organisations. But if someone does not understand that these two have different roles, someone who wants to use civil organisations to replace the parties, someone who is against parties in general, will sooner or later undermine the Hungarian parliamentary democracy, which is fragile anyway. One should not hate parties, as such, but one should not vote for the bad parties and should create good parties. One should not hate politicians, but one should be a better politician. The bad ones, even if that includes Gyurcsány himself, should be chased away. But it won’t work that we destroy the vital basis of the system, just because we actually have a lot of problems with the past 20 years. One should make democracy better, one should make the republic better, but one should not destroy the basis of democracy, just because we are inferior, mediocre or despicable in our thinking about Hungary. Those who do that, destroy us.”

Parties and voters of the opposition must show more solidarity to each other

“If we want to win in 2014, and we want to be successful in government, then a new opposition strategy is required, as of today, rather than from tomorrow. The first element thereof is that at least we, who are democrats, diverse, multi-coloured, who came from many places, at least we must show more solidarity to each other. And voters as well, and I speak not only about parties, but also about the plurality of voters. I speak about the remainder of the institutions of the Hungarian public, still serving the republic and democracy. I speak about intellectuals, and I speak about civilians, in this sense. If we don’t defend each other, if we don’t stick together, then we will be defeated. Not a little but much. It is easy to dismantle us, because we are manifold. It’ easy, because we have a strong need for autonomy. Easy, because after the decades of a dictatorial left, we are afraid of all kinds of authority, but in some cases, we are afraid of self-discipline, even. If we do not pay more attention to each other (and I am not talking about self-surrender), if we don’t help each other (I am not talking about a lie), if we don’t organise ourselves (I am not talking about cuddling up), then we will be defeated. This is not about ‘one camp, one flag’. But it is about democratic respect to each other, it is about accepting each other’s diversity, whenever such diversities are not beyond the limits of democratic constitutionality and the affirmation of the republic. We must warn ourselves. If we don’t find each other, Hungary will not find us either. This is the first and most important task for us, and we don’t have too much time for it.”

Old grievances cannot be more important than today’s task

“We will have plenty of room to talk about the grievances we have, about a bad sentence pronounced by any of us in 2008, about what any of us thinks about the voting rights of people beyond the borders or about the events of 2006. But I need to ask whether any of these matters can be important enough to stand in the way of a big coalition of the democratic plurality. Is there anything? Can any of these be compared to a situation where in today’s Hungary, tyranny is triumphing? In my view, none of these is comparable. As to those who don’t understand this… I don’t classify them now, because the newspaper Magyar Nemzet might quote some of my words. The Democratic Coalition, myself, I’ve had many disputes with the Socialist Party. So many disputes that finally we left and established another party. Two of the leaders of the Socialist Party are sitting here now and they will go later to the event of Attila Mesterházy. And we still have disputes in lots of partial issues. But it never occurred to me that I should weaken, discredit, stigmatize, en bloc and in general, either the Socialist Party or E-2014, and now I will stop here. We may have specific disputes, but disputes shall be carried out while taking care of each other. Diversities shall be visible, because we are manifold, but it shall be also visible that in the most significant issue, we are able to cooperate.”

(To be continued)


  1. “Those who compromise with the right will also compromise with the nation concept of the right based fundamentally on racial theory

    “On the weekend, I read a short article from Iván Bächer about the journalist Vilmos Faragó who had been the chief editor of the magazine “ÉS” for several decades during the Kádár era. He was a Jew. The above-mentioned article contains a painful sentence. In a phase of his life, Faragó decided that he will not ‘originate’, he will not be willing to originate any more but he will be the person whom he made himself. This is extremely painful.”

    Farago was married to my cousing. I met him around 2003 for the first time. He was a gentle and intelligent good man. Just last January, he died.

    He published his memoirs: http://www.libri.hu/konyv/farago_vilmos.hosszu-utca-darabveg.html



  2. London via Győr (still!) Calling!

    Eva – I’m very grateful to you for the English translation – as I am sure are those that don’t have ‘Hungarian! But…….

    I’m sure Gy’s speech is really a lot better than this translation. The clumsy and sometimes stilted idiom are hard to understand – to really get his meaning. And his humour isn’t conveyed either – flattened even!

    However his emphasis seems to be: ‘Oppositions Unite’.

    But even at this late stage they can’t and Gy spells out the consequences – which we on here have been bleating about for some time.

    I’m not sure his reputation and popularity are respected by the voting population.

    A brave attempt – and he does spell it out well – but Hungary is at the cliff edge….and we know what happens next.



  3. London via Győr (still!) Calling!

    99% O/T

    Russia leads….where Orban likes to follow….

    Mark Knopfler has cancelled his tour to Russia in protest at their treatment of NGO’s like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

    The authorities have been intimidating them with unplanned visits – and they are being compelled to register as ‘foreign agents’. And many are being fined.

    Knopfler’s cancellation will be a huge disappointment to his fans – he has performed there regularly.

    Now your turn Orban – some good ideas here from your Rusky mate! – Regulate all those nuisance foreigners out of sight. Maybe extend the Media Authority’s remit?




  4. And finally! 100% O/T

    Help me please?

    Life in Gyor!

    What is it with security guards in Hungary – Is this typical?

    A large DIY store has just opened in Gyor, OBI. It’s massive by Hungary’s standards.

    The store is brand spanking new – and seems to have opened when just about most other DIY stores are about to close through lack of business. (The house improvement industry is on its knees – which is no surprise when Hungary’s house building has reduced by 46% catastrophically.)

    I have made three visits to OBI – and each time it has been characterised by many many staff standing around doing nothing – so much so that they harass this Englishman with ‘can I help you’ questions every 100 meters. (This in itself is unusual in my Hungarian experience – but the constant exchanges are getting tiresome – I have to explain “Angol – I don’t understand” – which of course, they don’t understand either!)

    Every time I come through the tills there is a security guard standing intimidatingly close. Why is this? He stands with arms folded – and when I pass – he mumbles something quietly in Hungarian – that I can’t understand.

    I am very friendly with the till staff – engaging them, as you probably know by now – with their first names which, unusually, are displayed – singularly – on large badges. Well done on this at least.

    But the security man!

    On my first visit there were large queues and chaos at the tills – not least caused by the ‘shop-lifting’ alarm beeping – and the same security man frisking – yes frisking – every part of a man’s anatomy – presumably looking for stolen items.

    The customer was unusually compliant – emptying out everything from his man-bag and shopping – phone, wallet and diary – everything and waving it past the machine, to try and placate the security man.

    He was there a good 15 minutes while this process unfolded – my wait in the extended queues was much longer.

    The source of the cause of the alarm tripping was never found and the customer finally went on his way with his shopping – maybe another customer lost?

    Anyway on my subsequent visits the security man is there with an unusually close – intimidating, arms-folded stance. (He is very short so I have concluded he must have Napoleon syndrome!)

    In England the security men stand at a desk just by the exit – no intimidating or mumbling. And they are not allowed to ‘assault’ customers by frisking. Unless they have ‘actually witnessed’ someone secreting goods away without paying. Either through observing – or having camera evidence.

    And only then will he escort you off to an office for a search – but NEVER frisking!

    He will call the police as appropriate and they will deal with it.

    Imagine what the above customer’s neighbours, or work colleagues, would have thought if they had witnessed this undignified frisk?

    I have resolved to call the manager next time the security man is uncomfortably close and advise him that this is my last visit to OBI if it continues – and if the man EVER tries to frisk me – then he will have a physically defensive customer on his hands.

    Why are they like this? Only at OBI. Surely these over zealous, intimidating security men lose the business valuable custom? Why do you put up with it?

    (The loss of OBI from my DIY shop list will not be a great loss – there prices are so expensive – with only some items cheaper than say Practika or Baumax – which seem much more expensive than local specialist shops – especially if you don’t get a receipt!)



  5. Interesting story about the new OBI store in Győr, Charlie – but I fail to see what it has to do with the “state of the nation,” I’d suggest that you file a complaint. OBI is ultimately a German business, and I suspect it would be best to contact their parent company directly:

    OBI GmbH & Co. Deutschland KG
    Albert-Einstein-Straße 7-9
    42929 Wermelskirchen
    Deutschland / Germany

  6. Charlie: I do not have your experience re. OBI/BauMax/Bauhaus or Praktiker re. security. In the past I was very uncomfortable when entering the APEH office, where old policemen and/or soldiers with (machine) guns were guarding the premises.

    And I understand that most of these old soldiers/policemen were hired by these offices/shops. But this changed (yes in 2000 during VO previous stint) by allowing all kinds of organisations to start up these security firms (including mafia type organisations). As far as I understand there are no specific requirements for being security officer, only with regard to carrying weapons.

    Further as to alarm going off that may be the result of a not proper or too proper installed sensor (take your pick), some of them are going off as a result of your belt or a metal strip in your shoes.

    As to frisking they are not allowed to do this, except police or special trained security guards, and they need to put up a warning/sticker at the entrance of the area.

  7. Thanks Tryker and Ron for the information.

    Yes T you are correct – completely irrelevant! – As suggested by the ‘100% Off/Topic’ tag.

    Eva allows these ‘unnecessaries’ if they are relevant to the ‘Hungarian Condition’ – and I tend to write them – as do others – at the fag end of an item.

    Well…at least I think she doesn’t mind! – She’s been known to add a few herself!



  8. muttdamon :

    tappanch :
    Another topic, my apologies.
    Orban government wants to introduce segregated schools for Gypsy children:

    According to Zoltan Balog, the reopening of the Roma schools is not segregation. It is to help the Roma children to catch up.
    Right. I guess the white only bathrooms were temporary too. Until the colored learned how to use them.
    Shame. Only the Fidesz.

    I must chime in here. Regular readers do know that I am in no way of supporter of Fidesz, so please do not kill me here. We also know that Fidesz is also capable to play the “other countries”, “other constitutions”, etc. cards.
    What I try to say is that I do not see anything wrong about a school that specializes to work together with any ethnic or racial group as long as the attendance in such school is voluntary. Maybe reaching out to the Roma community with programs that are specifically crafted for this group is a great thing. In the Toronto District School Board (Canada’s largest school board) we had a very similar controversy. THe previous head of the school board wanted to create specialized schools, and so he did. THere are a few art, sport, music centred schools, and an Afro- centric school. THe idea behind is to try to reach out t students with different learning styles, and different interests. In Toronto the most likely groups that do not finish high school are clearly identified, and programs are put in place to reach out to them. In the specialized schools the attendance is strictly voluntary, and when the Afro-Centric school was suggested there were huge debates about it. Is it a success? Enrolment number is very low yet, and it is too early to analyze the long term results. I believe that the right program (breakfast, lunch program, cultural enhancement, teachers who want to be there) would benefit a school, and its students. What I am not sure about is what the real motivation of Fidesz, if this kind of school would be that double talk they do all the time, and they would give them only an excuse to segregate…

  9. Tappanch segregated ‘gypsy’ schools from the breathtakingly hypocritical Zoltán Balog……..

    I feel another reference to the EU…and International condemnation….coming on.

    He…….who presented the ‘Roma Strategy’ paper to the EU when Hungary held the Presidency.


    Is this a final solution?



  10. @ Charlie: Please read my comments above. THis strategy is used in many developed countries. It is not the school that is the problem.

    On a side note, I just read in the article tappanch recommended, that this will require a further tweaking of the already four times rewritten solid constitution.

  11. To continue OT:

    Charlie, this experience of yours was probably due to the OBI having just opened and their new people being maybe nervous …

    Re too many “workers” just standing there – we have the same experience in Keszthely and it’s even worse with the smaller specialised shops that sell building materials, paint, tiles, screws etc – there usually are more salespeople than customers around …

    If this goes on, even more shops will go bankrupt and some chains might leave Hungary.

    The only kind of shops that flourish seems to be the supermarkets. As my wife is wont to say:

    For a real Hungarian eating and drinking comes first, then maybe clothes and then – if some money is left, repairs to the house etc.

    But obviously, looking at houses, no money is left! We saw so many decrepit buildings on our way to Harkány/Pécs and back – unbelievable! The economic situation in the countryside outside the “centres of activity” (like Budapest, Hévíz etc) really doesn’t look good.

    Well, at least the weather is getting better – Spring might arrive next week!

  12. Please read more about All boys school, Afro Centric school, First Nation school, etc. form Toronto. THe other problem with Balog’s vision is that I am not sure who will “mint” this program. In Hungary there is no current studies, workshops, or experiences with such programs. It sound to me that they decided to bake a wedding cake without even having a recipe, but eggs, milk and flour.

  13. Some1 :
    Please read more about All boys school, Afro Centric school, First Nation school, etc.

    This is a very interesting article. Ok. Let’s be positive and assume we jumped the gun on this one … Although experience tells me that if it can be screwed up, the Fidesz will screw it up.

    If the idea is focusing on Roma identity in schools that are in Roma dominated neighborhoods, that can be a good thing. As long as it’s not mandated, based on declared ethnicity, or even worse, skin color.

  14. London via Győr (still!) Responding!

    Mutt I take your point about dilapidated houses and the Hungarian priority order! However if the security guard continues – he may get a Glasgow kiss!

    (And Ron an AK47 will definitely keep customers in order!)

    Some1 ‘Different but Equal’ is a noble way Toronto appears to be heading. But alas Orban’s ‘previous’ is just too untrustworthy.

    I bet this is ghettoisation – what choice will Roma people have in their existing ghetto’s?

    And why is this not the placating of many Hungarian parents who will not integrate with Roma – ‘over my dead body’?

    Fidesz voters, and waiverers, will love this.

    Energy sorted.

    Roma sorted.

    Fidesz sorted



  15. and btw Pixmania – the electrical retailer is pulling out of Hungary… must be the 27% vat – and the threat of 35% on luxury goods

  16. It is worth reading the local comments from Kecel.
    Fidesz representative:
    “If you do not want to sign for Fidesz to support the reduced utility rates, you should return the money.

  17. tappanch :
    It is worth reading the local comments from Kecel.
    Fidesz representative:
    “If you do not want to sign for Fidesz to support the reduced utility rates, you should return the money.

    or …

    “I’m not paid a single penny for fighting for your lower utility bills …”

  18. Mutt :

    tappanch :
    It is worth reading the local comments from Kecel.
    Fidesz representative:
    “If you do not want to sign for Fidesz to support the reduced utility rates, you should return the money.

    or …
    “I’m not paid a single penny for fighting for your lower utility bills …”

    or if Fidesz would not spend its money on soccer stadiums, they could give a tax break for people to pay realistic prices for their utility bill.
    or we will return the money to Fidesz as soon as they return the money they received to the EU.

  19. tappanch :
    Klubradio is not allowed to broadcast in Kecskemet from tomorrow.

    To quote from Ferenc Kumin’s highly misleading propaganda outlet:

    “So, looks like the saga is nearly over and Klubradio will receive its license for 95.3. Those critics who predicted that Klubradio would be “silenced by state authority” proved a bit too hasty with their conclusions. While the legal details were being ironed out, there was not a moment of radio silence. “

  20. Charlie H, 35% on luxury items is a joke. Those who actually buy anything luxurious do so abroad, all the more so because such a thing would have to be imported anyway (there is nothing luxurious produced in Hungary). Apart from that I am not sure it would be in line with the EU VAT directives.

    Retail of electrical goods is moving to the internet everywhere..

  21. Finally, Orban has allowed Klubradio to broadcast in the capital, and the capital only, but Klubradio has to devote a large % of its time to music. Klubradio had to cease its work in all of the 11 towns in the countryside as far as I know.

  22. Győr Calling!

    Prong55 you are right in saying that retail of electrical goods is moving to the internet – but it is still ‘contained’ within National borders.

    I know Hungary is landlocked and surrounded by cheaper regimes – but internet shopping in Hungary is positively Neanderthal!

    In a developed internet retail climate (such that exists in England (and my constant reference to what occurs in England must get up your noses – sorry! – It’s my only point of reference)) I can buy and have delivered so much stuff – at very competitive prices.

    Internet shopping has taken off in England in a massive way – forcing many town high streets to reconsider – and be innovative – in attracting people to their shops. Most supermarkets have an online portal and will deliver your weekly shopping at a nominated hour – sometimes free – but mostly for about £5 (HUF1700) which can often be the petrol cost of driving there yourself.

    In Hungary you are lucky if they even display their prices on their web pages.

    I know your population is much lower than the UK’s (8 million compared with 62 million) and economies of scale less attractive – but items for a new kitchen, for example, are expensive and lacking in choice.

    I have made a ‘Strategic Alliance’ with Orban – While he has a VAT rate of 27% I will ensure that I purchase as little as possible in Hungary. This is against my initial stance which was to do the exact opposite for Hungary.

    I regularly drive to Hungary with my partner in a car which allows the seats to be removed which then has the capacity of a small van – amazing!

    On the last trip I transported an ‘integrated’ fridge/freezer on the roof bars. It was so much cheaper – and ‘integrated’ fridge/freezers (built-in) are like rocking horse manure in Hungary – and twice as expensive. I have now transported most of the kitchen except the ‘carcassing’ for the cupboards – which I am currently building – together with dry-lining.

    Built-in kitchens are a joke in Hungary. A ‘built-in microwave’ – turns out to be a ‘slung-under’ crude one adapted for the purpose – and the top line of the cupboards is interrupted – and things like ‘cornicing’ and ‘valence’ non-existent.

    Finally (sorry!) In England you see van after van making internet deliveries – most of which are delivered by Royal Mail.

    In Győr? Never!



  23. I indicate, when you invest almost every day of your
    life concealing your real self from the world, you truly begin to feel badly about yourself and your future.

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