Two visits to Felcsút, the capital of Orbanistan

Let’s pay a virtual visit to Felcsút, which Gordon Bajnai, former prime minister of Hungary, a few months ago called “the capital of Orbanistan.” It is not a friendly place if the many security guards, cameramen, party secretaries, and Fidesz devotees suspect that you aren’t one of them. The reception is especially frosty if any of these people either recognize you or are alerted to your coming.

It was on July 18 that Gordon Bajnai and a couple of his fellow politicians, accompanied by members of the media, paid a visit to Felcsút to take a look at the work being done on the enormous, lavish football stadium erected indirectly on public  money. You must understand that this is the village where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán grew up and where he now has a home. Since Bajnai’s trip was announced in advance, the “welcoming committee” was already waiting for him. At the end Bajnai’s mini bus was practically forced out of the place. This “forcible removal” was described by Gabriella Selmeczi, one of Fidesz’s spokespersons, as a cowardly act on the part of the former prime minister. She said that “Bajnai slunk away.”

The other former prime minister who decided to pay a visit to the capital of Orbanistan was Ferenc Gyurcsány. Accompanied by Zsolt Gréczy, DK’s newly appointed spokesman, and a camera crew, he went to Felcsút yesterday to make a film about the recent “improvements” in the village of 1,000 inhabitants with a football stadium under construction for 3,500. The difference was that Felcsút was not prepared, so no screaming men and women waited for Gyurcsány as they did for Bajnai.

Felcsut2

This is what Ferenc Gyurcsány said about their visit on Facebook. He described the village as “a nice place and very safe where one can never feel alone.” Here is the longer version of the story. “We stopped at the sign indicating that we had entered Felcsút. We had a few takes and were ready to drive on when a young man knocked on the window of the car.

–What can I do for you?– I asked.

–Hello, Mr. Prime Minister Candidate, what are you doing here. Is there perhaps some kind of event to be held here?

–No, there won’t be any event. In any case, it isn’t any of your business. Are you a policeman?

–No, I’m not a policeman, I’m the Fidesz secretary of the electoral district.

–Well, Mr. Secretary, you have no right to inquire about what I’m doing here, so goodbye.

But by that time there were at least two cameras, several people, and a car. We went ahead, but our new acquaintances followed us and thus we entered Felcsút as part of a convoy. How nice. “Surely, they worry about our security and that’s why they are following us,” I whispered to Gréczy. We stopped at the stadium under construction. So did our companions. We went about our business and they followed us everywhere while they kept taking pictures. Meanwhile the secretary wanted to have a conversation with me by all means. I guess he liked me.

–My dear Mr. Secretary, if you really want to talk to me, call the DK center and ask for an appointment and then I’ll see what I can do for you, but please not now, allow me to work.

I encourage everyone to go to Felcsút. Take a still camera and a video camera along. Show some interest in the place. You will find friends and companions. The program is not expensive but  amusing. After all, there are not too many occasions nowadays to be amused. So, let’s be merry in Felcsút.

That was Gyurcsány’s experience. Now let’s turn back to Bajnai’s visit and see in more detail what happened to him. Bajnai, accompanied by Gergely Karácsony and Tímea Szabó, tried to take a look at the “sights and developments” of the village. There were demonstrators waiting for the group already in Budapest with a banner that had appeared many times earlier: “The mafia left together,” said the sign, which was adorned with the pictures of Bajnai, Gyurcsány, Mesterházy, and Portik, a man of the underworld. Another group of demonstrators waited for them in Felcsút where the police decided that it was not safe for the visitors to leave the bus. It was only outside of the city limit that the politicians of Együtt-2014-PM managed to hold a press conference. The site was, according to Lőrinc Mészáros, mayor of Felcsút, director of the Puskás Academy, and a close friend of Orbán, “right next to the garbage dump.” Of course, Mészáros later emphasized that the town fathers are always happy to receive any visitors, but they must announce their visit ahead of time. Then they will proudly show them everything.

Here is a footnote to the Gyurcsány visit. This afternoon a young man who happens to be a member of the Puskás Academy phoned into György Bolgár’s talk show. Even before he began talking about the Felcsút visit there was no question about his devotion to Viktor Orbán and the cause. He claimed that he was about 10 meters from Gyurcsány’s car and that the former prime minister’s description of what happened was all wrong. According to him, he was sitting in the dining room of the Puskás Academy with the Academy’s full-time camera man whose job it is to record the matches. The camera man recognized Gyurcsány and decided to follow him around to document his presence in town. After all, said the young man, this is the instinct of a good camera man. He didn’t know whether this camera man was the Fidesz secretary of the electoral district or not.

The capital of Orbanistan is obviously determined to shield itself from the prying eyes of the lying “mafia.” And if it can’t completely shield itself, at least it can document what the “foreigners” are doing so as to counteract any lies they might concoct about the idyllic town.

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63 comments

  1. Ivan, are you Hungarian? It’s not compulsory to sing the anthem, as long as you stand up, it’s fine. Not everyone can / likes to sing.

  2. In my limited experience, I find the Hungarian New Year celebrations quite confusing.

    As Wolfi says, everything suddenly stops, the anthem is played, everyone stands up, and then things just carry on as before. But the odd thing is there’s never any indication of when it’s midnight. Having grown up with the chimes of Big Ben at midnight, or, at the very least, the BBC pips, so you know exactly when the New Year begins, I find this strangely unsettling.

  3. OT and sorry if posted before…

    I was just looking at the Hitler’s Bodyguard Dies story on the BBC website. They always give you a selection of associated stories at the end, and they were all Hitler related, except this:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18497592

    This is how Hungary is seen from abroad – a tin pot proto-dictatorship, celebrating dead fascists.

  4. Ivan: I don’t know, I grew up there and have been to numerous occasions with numerous different people of course, but as Chesire Cat said, other then standing up (which is more of a politeness thing), you don’t really have to do anything let alone thing with patriotism.

    Paul: It’s one of those strange Hungarian things. You have the TV on, so when the anthem starts playing on TV, then it is midnight.

  5. This is spot on.

    Nézőpont Intézet and Századvég report on the results of the Hungarian-Romanian football match.

    http://reszegbroker.tumblr.com/image/60471129015

    By the way, this is all Sándor Csányi’s (of OTP) fault. Despite all the public monies football received [i.e. without exaggeration comparable to health care or education], Csányi as head of the Hungarian Football Association could not improve football. This is completely unacceptable. He needs to go — from OTP. It is high time for Orbán Viktor to do something with football, like spend more money on it, this time more smartly. I am sure Orbán wants to do the right thing, but the saboteurs will just do everything they can to prevent Hungary from its deserved success.

  6. Wazul :
    This is spot on.
    Nézőpont Intézet and Századvég report on the results of the Hungarian-Romanian football match.
    http://reszegbroker.tumblr.com/image/60471129015
    By the way, this is all Sándor Csányi’s (of OTP) fault. Despite all the public monies football received [i.e. without exaggeration comparable to health care or education], Csányi as head of the Hungarian Football Association could not improve football. This is completely unacceptable. He needs to go — from OTP. It is high time for Orbán Viktor to do something with football, like spend more money on it, this time more smartly. I am sure Orbán wants to do the right thing, but the saboteurs will just do everything they can to prevent Hungary from its deserved success.

    No. No more money for football.

    Beating Romania in a football match does not make me more proud of my country. Whether the Hungarian team wins or loses actually has zero effect on my life.

    On the other hand, my taxes are incredibly high and it makes it hard to support my family as a result. They should slash funding to football and decrease taxes correspondingly. That would make me more proud of my country.

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