“Coup from above”? Anti-federalist forces in the European Council

Anyone who took Magyar Nemzet seriously would think that Viktor Orbán is not only the strongman of Hungary but also of Europe. A great statesman who is jealously guarding the rule of law in the European Union. According to Magyar Nemzet, Jean-Claude Juncker’s bid for the presidency of the European Commission is down the drain. On the other hand, several commentators (for example Julian Priestley, the former secretary-general of the European Parliament) think it likely that in the final analysis Juncker will be in charge of the European Union for the next five years. We can, however, expect a protracted political fight between the European Council and the European Parliament.

The issue, as far as I can see, brings into focus two vitally important issues: first, the supremacy of the elected European parliament vs. the heads of member states and, second, the very future of the European Union itself.

This is the first time that the European Parliament has an important role to play in the elections and the choice of candidates for president. The leading members of the European Parliament wanted to democratize the election process and run a campaign with the names and pictures of the candidates (commonly known as “Spitzenkandidaten”) heading the party lists. In early March the European People’s Party chose Jean-Claude Juncker, former prime minister of Luxembourg, as their man while Martin Schulz was chosen by the socialists. Since as the result of the election the EPP will again be the largest party in the European Parliament, the assumption in parliament is that it will be Juncker who will lead the Union. All the party leaders of the European Parliament stand behind his candidacy.

Enter the European Council, composed of the twenty-eight heads of the member states. The president of the Council is Herman Van Rompuy. Last night these people gathered to discuss the results of the election, and it turned out that there was at least four countries that opposed Juncker’s nomination: Great Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Hungary. Viktor Orbán announced immediately after the election results became known that Hungary cannot support Junker’s presidency. Hungarian sources claim that the real instigator of the anti-Juncker move was not Orbán but either David Cameron, prime minister of Great Britain, or Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany. My hunch is that it was Cameron who was most opposed to Juncker, who is known as a “federalist.” Cameron believes in a union of nation states. During the meeting Merkel, as is her wont, sat on the fence, not committing herself one way or the other. The only agreement to come out of the meeting was that the president of the European Council will negotiate with leading members of the European Parliament and the heads of states about the future president of the EU.

So, on one level the fight that is developing is between the federalists and the “states rights” advocates, while on another it is a struggle between the European Council and the European Parliament. An Austrian paper called the move coming from the European Council a “coup from above.” The coup may not succeed. As EuroActiv reported, Van Rompuy after the meeting said that this first discussion had been “useful,” which is a diplomatic euphemism for inconclusive. However, he also made it clear that he would not embark on a collision course with the European Parliament. According to a source who seemed to have been present at the meeting, Merkel apparently announced that “she is still supportive of the Spitzenkandidaten system and of Juncker,” but made no strong statements to discipline the dissidents. On the Council doorstep Merkel declared: “Jean-Claude Juncker is our Spitzenkandidat.”

Jean-Claude Juncker and Viktor Orbán are great friends here

Jean-Claude Juncker and Viktor Orbán are great friends here

Leading members of the European Parliament are outraged, including Joseph Daul, leader of the EPP group, who told Die Welt after Viktor Orbán announced his intention to pick another candidate that one simply cannot pull a new candidate out of the hat. Hannes Swoboda, leader of the Socialist and Democrats group, tweeted that it  is “absurd that Juncker has our backing to start negotiations but is blocked in the European Council by his own EPP family!” Julian Priestley expressed the opinion of many that “only if the negotiations between the European parties and the parliament fail does it become conceivable that the European Council might have to reach out for a candidate outside the election process. But they have every incentive to succeed, because what’s at stake is bringing the direction of the EU within the parliamentary system.”  And let me add that in my opinion it is essential that the anti-federalist forces are defeated on this issue and that a man is elected who wants “a more perfect union.” The British Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party (Ukip), said of Juncker, “there is nobody more fanatical about building the United States of Europe.” That certainly does not make Juncker a friend of David Cameron and Viktor Orbán.

What is happening at the present in the European Parliament is a “grand coalition between right and left which is taking shape, with the aim of isolating the Eurosceptics.” Not only does Schulz support Juncker, but the leader of the third largest group, Guy Verhofstadt of the liberals, also wants to join them. He emphasized that for the election of the next president they need “a stable majority, that means more than 400 seats. Otherwise it will depend on the backing of parties such as those of Mr. Orbán or Mr. Berlusconi.”

There is at least one Hungarian commentator, Gyula Hegyi, who claims  in his article “Juncker-Orbán 2:0” that Cameron and Orbán lost this match. Hegyi used to be a socialist MEP, but in the last five years he has been working for László Andor, commissioner for employment, social affairs, and inclusion. In his interpretation it is true that at the Tuesday night meeting no decision was reached, but those present admitted that the results of the election must be taken into consideration. They also took cognizance of the fact that Juncker is unanimously supported in the European Parliament. So, as far as Hegyi is concerned, it is a done deal. Juncker will be the candidate and will likely be elected by a large majority.

My feeling is that Hegyi and Priestley are right, but given the business practices of the European Union, it will most likely take a whole month, until the very last minute, to agree on the candidacy of Jean-Claude Juncker.

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50 comments

  1. I would not bet on Juncker as the candidate for presidency. Viktor Orban’s feelings are not very important in this case, it is a qualified majority among the heads of state that is necessary. The UK matters (and the Netherlands also), and I doubt that the majority of the heads of state would like to provoke the UK so obviously. The EP does have legitimacy but given the widespread abstention from voting, and the sizeable votes for the sceptics, why choose the most “integrationist” solution. So a Juncker solution appears possible only with very large other concessions towards the UK, and I cannot imagine what that might be. Perhaps Mr Rompuy will come up with a magic formula, but I am sceptical. The president of the European Commission has to cooperate with all heads of state, the other candidates suggested might be less controversial.

  2. The European Parliament does not have a second chamber in which the countries would all have the same weight. There is no qualified voting in the EP, only in the decision making among the representatives of the states. So far no country is prepared to swallow decision making by simple majority irrespective of the size of the country. That is why it is no doubt good that the EP has pushed its role in this process but to automatically accept the candidate of the EP would indeed not fully reflect the actual functioning of the EU and also the ideas of a large part of the European citizens.

  3. Re Kirsten and the second chamber. I just heard that DK, for example, would like to see the abolishment of the European Council in favor of a second house.

  4. I think liberals and socialists should have very serious reservations about Jean-Claude Juncker becoming President of the European Commission that go beyond the fight that is developing is between the federalists and the “states rights” advocates. There more to this than just PM Orbán’s opposition to Juncker.

    There is the whole story about the Luxembourg State Intelligence Service (SREL) and Juncker, along with a Parliamentary Inquiry in Luxembourg into allegations of SREL misconduct including the illegal bugging of politicians, purchase of cars for private use and allegations of taking payments and favors in exchange for access to officials. The report concluded that Juncker had to bear political responsibility for SREL’s activities, that he had been deficient in his control over the service and that he had failed to report all of the service’s irregularities to the enquiry commission. To put it simply the report stated “La responsabilité politique du premier ministre est incontestable.”

    In many respects Juncker functioned very similarly to how the Obama administration covered up for clearly illegal activities of the NSA in the USA in relation to domestic surveillance violations. Just for the record I don’t think Edward Snowden did the right thing in leaking everything he did to the Washington Post and The Guardian. He assumed that US Senate judiciary committee had general knowledge of the NSA activities and he would be arrested if he had tried to leak this information to any members of that body. Because Congress created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 1978 as a check on executive authority and then effectively washed its hands of all this dirty dealing.

    Snowden might now be in a US jail if he got caught leaking to members of the US Senate judiciary committee, but he would be a hero in my eyes and in the eyes of many others if that had happened. Now, he is an unfortunate guest of Putin the former KGB agent, who is hardly a true believer in the public oversight of intelligence agencies. But Juncker is clearly no friend of democracy when it comes to the power of national intelligence agencies.

  5. From Britain — back off, EU. Back off. Give us a few years during which you emphasise the freedoms that you ensure for us (freedom from war, freedom to travel and to work) and we can forget about the pettinesses of no-imperial-measurements and (in Hungary) no-home-palinka. End the Strasbourg double-capitol farce. Provide the financial details that will let your accounts (after nineteen, NINETEEN years of fiddling!) be audited and approved. Cut the numbers of Brussels employees by half and the salaries of those who remain by half.

    And then come back to us to say — We’ve learnt. Give us another chance.

  6. Yes, Prof Balogh. Thanks for asking. I did. My vote went to my local Tory candidate; I thought — business interests will constrain that party from withdrawing from the European Union, in which I firmly believe as an IMMENSE force for good!, and, unlike Labo(u)r, unlike the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives are not so infatuated with the idea of EUROPE that they will ignore, will not seek to correct, the abuses of the present system. (UKIP was never a possible choice.)

  7. I am glad to hear that Wondercat supports the EU. It is a great institution.

    Not surprisingly, the ungrateful ruler of Hungary is plotting to breach this entity.

    How come that Hungary’s failed rulers always bet on the wrong side of history?

    With the exception of the saintly Ferenc Deak, all other Hungarian leaders and kings were incompetent amateurs.

  8. “Can’t imagine how EU can lecture the rest of the world on democracy given how its leaders go about choosing the head of the Commission” — reference by E. M. to the suspicion that Juncker will not be nominated/elected.

  9. It is a farce to think the Socialists and Liberal factions support Juncker in the EP.

    I see right through the farce of Schulz and that other guy. They NEVER said that they support Juncker, they just said they support his right to start the negotiations first. Their childish ruse is extremely obvious.

    They want support for the so called “Spitzenkandidat” system and then they simply vote down Juncker when he comes up to a vote in the EP. The moment Juncker is nominated they will be against Juncker. Not publicly of course but voting is very unreliable in the EP… They will use their influence to ensure he is voted down.

    After Juncker is voted down Schulz will try gather the votes for himself and demand to be nominated. His reasoning will go that it was Juncker first who had the opportunity to gather the votes but he was second so now his turn is coming. The liberal leader hopes that he will also get some scraps when Schulz wins or that he is third in line and by that time everyone will be embarassed and tired so he may also be secretly hoping this works out for him.

    This all depends on breaking the law, overriding EU treaties by force and trying to take away the lawful right of the Council to nominate whoever they find best. This is what the present fight is all about, whether the Council or the EP has the right to nominate.

    Juncker will never become Commission president even if he is nominated by the Council. If Juncker is nominated the only thing that happens is Schultz will laugh and laugh as his negotiating position will become stronger after he ensures the voting down of Juncker. But by then it will be too late.

    The solution is to nominate someone who has broad support at a national level. In that case it doesn’t matter that Schulz or whoever opposes him because MEPs never follow the party line in the EP anyway, they vote on a case by case basis.

  10. I find it rather interesting that you talk about “anti-federalist forces” whereas last week, we learned that there are “anti-federalist electorates”. Essentially, you seem to be arguing that they should be ignored for the greater good. Well, that is not what I regard as democracy and it is this attitude that is fostering support for simplistic parties like UKIP. But then again, I’m not surprised. My own love affair with the EU was deeply shaken when the Irish referendum produced a result that upset the status quo. So what did the EU do? Make the vote again until they gave the “right” answer. That is not my understanding of democracy. We are back to the famous Brecht quote: “Wouldn’t it be easier to dissolve the people and elect another in its place”?

  11. Interesting discussion right now – obviously there are two factions here also:

    The one which wants a United States of Europe (my idea too …) and those who want a Union of Nations and at the same time don’t want to follow the common rules. As I’ve said it before re Orbán:

    We’re only in it for the money!

    And btw that goes for Cameron too – sometimes I think that Britain really should be thrown out of (sorry, leave) the EU!

    Democracy does not mean a tyranny of the minority (nor of the majority of course)!

    PS:

    “Leading members of the European Parliament are outraged, including Joseph Daul, leader of the EPP group …”
    This also is interesting because Daul (like the Bavarian CSU) always seemed to be a big supporter/friend of Orbàn!

  12. Wolfi, one of the problems is that the English don’t have any sense of European identity. I speak three European languages and have lived in mainland Europe for years on and off, but I really can’t say I feel any greater kinship with mainland Europe than I do with Canada, Australia or New Zealand. That cannot be created at gun point and I can’t see how you can create a United State of Europe unless people genuinely have some sense of Europeanness in the same way that the American states are held together because everyone sense that they are American. Perhaps in Germany, or Belgium or Luxembourg, people do have this pan-European sense, in which case the EU as you envisage it can perhaps develop. But the UK is not going to be part of such a scheme. And looking at the French election results, the French don’t have any appetite either. Incidentally, my own severe misgivings about the democratic nature of the EU is not a “right wing” attitude – I’m much more influenced by the arguments of English left wingers like Tony Benn and Michael Foot.

  13. @HiBoM:

    If I remember correctly the EU founders like Schumann, de Gaulle and Adenauer had the same feeling re Britain so the UK was not included in the early attempts for a United Europe like the Montanunion etc.

    But for me the real problem of the Brits is their economic weakness – they still think they’re the greatest, but after the loss of their Empire they’ve been in a downward spiral economically. British companies are really laughable (with just a few exceptions) – some of that surely is due to their general idea of “we do it our way, we have our own standards”!

    Just one example:

    Many years ago I worked as an IT consultant for Opel – and the stories those guys told me about Vauxhall (their British counterpart) were unbelievable! Opel had just made the switch to front wheel drive for the smaller cars but some Germans still wanted a rear wheel drive so they repackaged some Vauxhalls as “Kadett City” – there were two engines of different power, but they had almost no common parts which made those Opel engineers (and the car repairmen too …) desperate.

    So in the end GM pulled the plug and sent all the European development to Rüsselsheim – the only thing those people at Vauxhall had to design was the mirroring of the mechanics so they could install a system to drive “on the wrong side of the road” – and change the speedometer to miles …

  14. And re the French National Front and its 25% of the votes:

    The French also have a problem with immigration – they are afraid of all those poor people coming from Africa. Of course this also follows from their former Empire …

  15. As things stand now, neither Juncker nor Schultz has good chances to become head of the Commission. Cameron has phoned up the leading capitals and told EU leaders that he can not support any of the two.

    As France has now officially entered a deep political crisis – and Hollande’s support hovers at 11% (!) -, Merkel has to take the UK position extremely seriously. And she does.

    One should also add that Juncker had been finance minister of Luxembourg between 1989-2009. Meanwhile, it is an open secret that the Grand Duchy has been a money-laundering black hole. This story may return to haunt him, along with the SREL scandal mentioned above.

  16. @Wolfi, I can’t compete with that level of profundity so I’ll let leave you in peace,

  17. @HiBom:

    I only wanted to show you what most Germans think about the EU and Britain. Now back to the current problems:

    Again the “brakemen” of the EU have enough power to slow down integration it seems. Whoever will be the compromise candidate for president – (s)he will be a weak man/woman and progress will stall. I feel very sorry for this, though we Germans probably shouldn’t mind – anything new would have to be paid for by us anyway, so it’s ok if nothing happens …

    But France and the UK and Hungary etc will have to think about other ways to solve their problems. Closing off the EU to anybody else is no long term solution!

    And Germany will not be willing to pay even more for the weaker partners – especially Mrs Merkel’s coalition partner is really angry.

  18. The Hungarian government will investigate the Norwegians Funds, I think the prosecution will also have to be involved, sorry, but there is a suspicion of various unlawful activities. Gotta see clearly.

    Plus, Norway benefits from the EU and all those funds from Norway and other non-EU countries should therefore benefit the entire Hungarian nation.

    As a result, Hungary has not only the right, but an obligation to check what is going on with the Norwegians.

    Sorry, guys, you lost it. You thought you can defeat János Lázár. Well, an Eastern-European lawyer is tough to beat, especially as David Cameron is behind him.

    Hungary will simply nationalize (tax away) any funds the Norwegians sent to Hungary and the government will redistribute those funds instead to more proper Christian and conservative causes. They are poor and discriminated against (well, they receive a lot from the state, but that is not enough) by those Norwegians, who are supporting homosexuals, liberals and post-communist NGOs. This will now stop as the government is a real national government not a post-communist one.

    By the time the ECHR or whoever will decide about these taxes, the whole issue will be forgotten and totally rearranged, so that the decisions will not even be applicable, so new procedures will be needed.

    Orban and Lázár are only getting started with their fights.

    Against the EU and the EEA. From the money of the EU and the EEA. Isn’t it great to be a European these days?

    http://444.hu/2014/05/29/csepreghy-meguzente-hogy-csakazertis-vizsgalni-fogjuk-a-norveg-civil-alapot/

  19. “But for me the real problem of the Brits is their economic weakness – they still think they’re the greatest, but after the loss of their Empire they’ve been in a downward spiral economically. British companies are really laughable ”

    I don’t know you so I have no idea whether you are a German Ultra-nationalist but this is just so wrong. The UK companies are the strongest in Europe in the most important sectors, especially finances and banking. Is London Europe’s financial capital or Berlin? It’s London, nobody views Germany as even comparable.

    HSBC. Barclays, Lloyds, Standard Chartered and many more. So now that we already established that the UK is the financial center of Europe let’s look at the other sectors. Tesco, Unilever, Intercontinental hotels, are good examples to show how laughable they are. Or let’s talk about the weapons industry. Or any other but you know what it all comes down to one simple fact:

    The German GDP is only bigger than the UK one, because you were allowed to redraw the WWII borders and absorb a whole another country. Never forget that, which country allowed that to happen (UK).

  20. @Papillon:

    A really good satire, thanks a lot!

    @Babilon:

    You also made me laugh – yes, those London banks is almost all you’ve got – the other examples you gave make their money outside Britain and Unilever eg is at least half Dutch. Btw I’ve worked for them too many years ago and even then they showed me how they operated financially: The conglomerate of many companies had its profit in the Swiss or Liechtenstein associate – the production companies in Britain and Germany were always operating at a loss …

    And no, I’m a European – not a German nationalist ! I’d like to be a citizen of a United Europe – I always tell my German compatriots that we’re really lucky to have made such a political and economic (and cultural) revival after
    WW2. Our GDP was already bigger than Britain’s before reunification – which cost us a lot of money btw.

    And now I’m off – I have to help my wife, she’s making Langaló for our family and friends – we’re in Germany right now and today is a holiday, “father’s day”.

  21. @Babilon:

    Yep, the British ‘allowed’ the German unification. Right. As if they would have bombed Berlin in 1991 to prevent that, after all the British rule Europe so if they want to do that they just do it. The British empire is over, dude, even the Scots want their own country.

  22. There is no reason to believe that the same logic that brought a Barroso to the helm will not prevail again. He was the lowest common denominator whose main attraction was the absence of a backbone.

    Maybe this is what European voters have just sanctioned: the spinelessness of an ineffectual EU that is not even capable of enforcing its basic founding principles of democracy and the rule of law. Or maybe voters did not fully understand bureaucrats ruling over the shape of cucumbers and diameters of tomatoes while wasting rare public resources and financing the rise and consolidation of a soft dictatorship.

    To paraphrase Einstein: Insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over in hope of a different result.

  23. @wolfi:

    about half of Papillon’s text is from the letter Lazar’s new deputy wrote to the Norwegians.

    It is a farce, but it is an important farce.

    Lazar does exactly the same as Orban: lets willing people (in the name of generous, European openness to negotiations) play their role in their own humiliation.

    Remember how IMF was flying back and forth, the same with the EU, certain Jews re the Holocaust year (that was a bit less successful for Orban but he has his Jewish defenders), now the Norwegians. Of course the Norwegians are generous (that is how they were educated) so they have to answer this ridiculous and outrageous letter, to which this deputy will answer again, that time with the “grave findings of the audit” and so on. The Norwegians just cannot not say anything, cannot escape the discourse the rules of which are set by Orban.

    Orban knows how people behave: what is people’s real nature.

    The Western Europeans cannot not behave gentlemanly and naively.

    They are almost giving themselves up for a sacrifice.

    Orban and Lázár are great at smelling this and they act on it and stop at nothing. It worked before, so it will work again.

    I haven’t the slightest doubt that in the end there will be a ‘compromise’ and in the new era Lázár (or some other compromise right-wing crony/soldier) will have a say in the spending of the money. If not others then the recipient NGOs will lobby with the Norwegians to give in and they will. i can only hope that this time it will be otherwise due to some miracle, but I have no faith in the Norwegians, to be honest.

    This is Eastern-Europe and the Norwegians have no idea where they are.

  24. Einstein’s words can be applied straight to Hungary, too.

    Failed in its repeated Christian, and Socialist experiments, but hesitant to retry the only successful recipe: The European/Greco/Latin Enlightenment.

  25. @qaz: Yes, it’s a real shame, but you’re right and said it succinctly:

    “the spinelessness of an ineffectual EU that is not even capable of enforcing its basic founding principles of democracy and the rule of law”

    On the other hand we’re enjoying the free trade and the easiness of travelling – and we can choose which countries to visit …

    Though my wife already told me she wouldn’t mind staying in Germany all the time – it’s just that her family can’t visit us here too often.

    PS and totally OT:

    The langaló my wife and I made was fantastic! We had six people for lunch and they ate two trays full – nothing left …

  26. Mesterházy is gone for good.

    Éva, what is your opinion? Who will be the next leader of MSZP?

  27. wolfi, I will visit you on my next trip to Tuebingen. I hope your wife’s relatives will also move to Tuebingen.

    Re EU: I hope the EU will regain its sanity, and its enemies, Orban, Putin, Cameron, and even Obama will disappear in the pages of history.

  28. Successor to Mesterházy? I think that they will follow Kovács’s suggestion and have an interim collective administration of experienced people. Afterward? I have no idea. But I have the feeling that the left-of-center will move over to DK or E14, although the latter might not survive especially after Bajnai’s “retirement.”

  29. Eva, thanks for that link to the German newspaper NRhZ! That book on Orbán is really scathing – maybe a bit over the top, you can’t call all of Fidesz fascist.

    Reading this I also discovered that they have an article on Karl Heinz Deschner (just died a few weeks ago) who wrote a 10 volume magnus opus: “The criminal history of christianity” – parts of it were also translated into English afaik.

    http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=20391

  30. Papillon
    May 29, 2014 at 4:08 am
    The Hungarian government will investigate the Norwegians Funds, I think the prosecution will also have to be involved, sorry, but there is a suspicion of various unlawful activities. Gotta see clearly.

    Plus, Norway benefits from the EU and all those funds from Norway and other non-EU countries should therefore benefit the entire Hungarian nation.

    Oh my….. It is very hard to compete with such amount of misinformation, and twisted truth.
    It is like saying “as long as we breath the same air on dart we have the right to tell other countries how many cows they can keep.”
    Does not matter how you slice it and dice it, the Norway are giving away their money. THe money that is their own money, whatever way they received it, it is their money. Maybe they found the money on the seaside, or it the money fall from the clouds, or the EU gave it to them, or they inherited from some distend Hungarians, it is THEIR money. THey could spend that money to buy an extra pair of shoes for each of their own citizens or build super playground. They could spend the money to lower the taxes of their own citizens.
    Do you get the concept?
    Instead the government of Norway decided to give some of that money to Hungary. THey choose who they give that money, the “company” that will divide that money as they please.
    I know that this kind of concept is very far from the concept of the Fidesz government;s thinking, but Papillon, please try to grasp the concept. I understand that Fidesz have a problem with not being able to put their hand on this money as they did with the private retirement savings of example, but please Papillon get a global perspective versus the perspective of the Orban’s family backyard. (You know that you can go over to the other people’s land and take all the trees you want, because everything belongs to you…) THis money is from Norway. If they want to make a bonfire going with it t cook goulash, they can!

  31. “as long as we breath the same air on dart we have the right to tell other countries how many cows they can keep” should read as long as we breath the same air on earth we have the right to tell other countries how many cows they can keep.
    Also sorry for the grammar like “the Norway are giving” should be the Norwegians… you get the concept.

  32. “The Hungarian government will investigate the Norwegians Funds, I think the prosecution will also have to be involved, sorry, but there is a suspicion of various unlawful activities. Gotta see clearly.”

    Now, the reason that “tough to beat Eastern-European lawyer” (known to the rest of his colleagues as just a plain thick bumpkin) Janos is pushing this little story is that he himself and his “perfectly legal” London hotel bills have been in the news the last couple of the days.

    Funnily enough this “tough to beat Eastern-European lawyer” has beat an uncharacteristic retreat on that one. Wonder why? And wonder who leaked the story in the first place?

    Could it be that the “tough to beat Eastern-European lawyer” has been given a message from his Better, a message to know exactly his place and not to get too ambitious?

    Could it be that this is another East European conspiracy theory?!

  33. the Budapest municipality will be rearranged. Even if the opposition could get stronger in Budapest at the municipal elections (a big if), Fidesz will keep its power.

  34. D7:

    Lázár will never inherit Fidesz, he has no vision and Orban is clear about that. A ‘great founder’ always has big problems when finding a worthy successor, which is the reason Orban will not find a good enough one. Until Orban can breath, he will be the head of Fidesz, it is his own. But this is not on the agenda for the next couple of decades. I don’t think Lázár seriously thought he can take Orbán’s position. Although Simicska, who is known to play such games, could have arranged this story to put Lázár back to his place.
    .

  35. Juncker is out. Juncker: Orban is not 2:0. It is 1:1. He “won” by letting Gyurcsany destroy the country, not stopping his madness in 2006. That time, nobody from the EU wanted to have a low budget deficit. Now he got it back. He can get lost.

  36. kommentelo
    May 29, 2014 at 7:12 am
    Mesterházy is gone for good.

    “Éva, what is your opinion? Who will be the next leader of MSZP?”

    Gyurcsany-Bajnai will come back. Soros will not stop funding them and bring them around the world, educate them how to speak. Bajnai is like a robot even now after the lot of advices he has to think on constantly, rather than acting naturally. But Soros and coworkers do not get it. The people will never elect these two criminals. Most of the people think that they are as disgusting as Rakosi. (The problem there was not the outlook, but what he was doing…)

    But the soap opera goes on. The answer is GYURCSANY or BAJNAI. Or both! (They could even marry…)

  37. Steven
    May 29, 2014 at 11:05 am
    kommentelo

    Gyurcsany-Bajnai will come back. [….] The people will never elect these two criminals. Most of the people think that they are as disgusting as Rakosi.

    Would you mind expending on this acquisition? What is Gyurcsany’s crime? You name him a criminal, so you must have some proof, I assume. So far anything Fidesz tried to smear on Gyurcsany PROVED to be untrue. Nothing hold on court against Gyurcsany even though Orban has the whole system working overtime. So go ahead Steven, let us know.

  38. OT but very interesting:
    A retired German general gave a talk on the Jewish soldiers in the German army in WW1 and how they were treated – especially after 1933.
    If anyone’s interested I could send this.

  39. Yes Wolfi I suspect you are correct about Steven, but it is still worth pointing out since Steven mentioned Mr. Soros that it was the Soros Foundation that paid for Orban’s four months at Oxford. His personal tutor in politics was Zbigniew Pelczynski prior his winning a seat in Hungary’s first post-communist parliament In January 1990. Mr. Soros has funded many projects in Hungary, possibly some that he regrets too.

  40. @ Istvan

    Will people please forget this nonsense of Hungarian politicos who ‘attended’ Brit universities.
    Four months? What the hell is that? I’ve yet to see a Hungarian politico have a degree from one of the name British universities. They all just put a UK university on their CV–typical Hungaricum.

    But, hey, ask Szigetvari: the Hungarian universities are just as good or better than Princeton…and they turn out better political commentators, too! (Idiot.)

  41. As for K.L. Scheppelle, can anyone tell me to what extent she is responsible for the Hungarian constitution of 1989? Has she ever commented on that constitution?

  42. Istvan
    May 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm
    Mr. Soros has funded many projects in Hungary, possibly some that he regrets too.

    A “project” named Orban Viktor for example.

  43. Some1, yes. He also helped Fidesz and the opposition in general. He bought copy machines, for example. Orbán’s three or four months in Oxford is a joke. He got a scholarship for a year but he felt that he had to be in Hungary and run for parliament.

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