The internet tax is only postponed: it most likely will be called something else

The first act of the drama is over, but I’m almost sure that more will follow since the participants in the recent massive demonstrations know Viktor Orbán only too well. Moreover, in his interview today on Magyar Rádió, he was quite blunt about his resolve to reintroduce the tax. The tax will be adopted “but not this way,” “not in this form.” That’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it?

The problem, according to the prime minister, is that once again the people “misunderstood” the original proposal because there was never any talk about an “internet tax.” The proposed tax was simply an extension of the already existing “telecommunication tax.” Again the same old story: all controversial pieces of legislation are misunderstood by the domestic opposition. And naturally they are misconstrued by the antagonistic domestic and foreign media.

People who know Viktor Orbán are only too aware of his absolute intolerance of contrary opinions. We were reminded of this character trait only today when Tamás Mellár, the conservative economist who worked at Századvég for a year until he resigned in disgust, told the following story to a Népszabadság reporter. One day, when four or five economic experts gathered for a meeting with Orbán, he dared say to the prime minister: “Forgive me, but you are wrong in that.” A deathly silence followed, during which Mihály Varga, minister of national economy, “pulled” Mellár’s hand under the table, signaling to him that such a thing is simply not done.

So, you can imagine the scene when the normally servile reporter who conducts Orbán’s Friday morning radio interviews had the audacity to say that it doesn’t matter whether we call the disputed tax an “internet tax” or a “telecommunication tax”–it is only “playing with words.” A brief silence followed, and one could feel the stunned surprise and wrath of the prime minister. It was a frightening moment. But that was not the only awkward exchange in the conversation. The reporter mistakenly thought that Orbán had exhausted the topic of the internet aka telecommunication tax and wanted to switch over to foreign criticism of Hungarian policies, which he thought was somewhat connected to the upheaval over the internet tax. Orbán snapped at him again. First of all, these two things don’t have anything to do with one another, he claimed, and, second, he does not want to talk about this now. What he wants to bring up and what is very important is that the Hungarian government has an understanding with internet providers to make the whole country internet ready by 2020. This is what is important.

As for the criticisms, Orbán had a very simple answer. Naturally, the accusations of Hungarian wrongdoing have nothing to do with the facts. It is noticeable that criticisms multiply when the government stands up for the Hungarian people which in turn hurts foreign business interests. Right now, for example, after the parliament passed a piece of legislation that forces mostly foreign banks to lighten the burden on Forex borrowers, foreign governments are trying to put pressure on Budapest. Falling into the same category are the mostly foreign internet providers who don’t carry their fair share of the tax burden. They make enormous “extra profits” that they take out of the country. These extra profits disappear into thin air. He leveled this charge despite the fact that earlier in the interview he praised the same foreign internet providers for continuing to pour enormous sums of money into the development of broadband service.

Finally, Orbán announced a “national consultation” on the subject of the non-“internet tax.” Tamás Deutsch, a member of the European Parliament who hangs out on Twitter all day long entertaining people with his obscenities, will be in charge of this grand consultation. Although Deutsch thinks that the tax is “stupid,” he called the protesters “ragamuffins” and “stink bugs.” As for the so-called “national consultation,” we have witnessed a few of these in the past and we know that they are a farce. Viktor Orbán sends out millions of questionnaires to voters containing questions that beg for affirmative answers that justify the government’s position. For example, “internet dependency is a serious psychological illness” or “the internet is dangerous to young people because of pedophiles roaming the Net.”

As for the mysterious “extra profit,” I get annoyed every time I hear someone use the term. And unfortunately one hears it far too often. It stirs up old memories of a compulsory university course called “political economy.” In it one learned the Leninist definition of extra profit. According to Lenin, extra profit derives from the exploitation of workers in the colonies. These extra profits are then distributed at home to raise the living standard of the working class in order to keep them quiet. According to Marxist-Leninist theory, all profit is based on exploitation of the workers but the extra profit is achieved by taking exploitation beyond the normal level. The notion of extra profit in today’s public discourse makes not the slightest sense. Viktor Orbán is taking advantage of the Hungarian people’s discomfort with capitalism and what it entails–including competition and profit–and invoking concepts from the very same communism he wants to banish once and for all from the country. And, by the way, the profit these providers earn is apparently rather low.

Delete Viktor

So, will Viktor Orbán’s announcement this morning quiet the protesters? It looks as if Viktor Orbán’s interview, widely reported in the foreign press as announcing a withdrawal of the tax–a capitulation by the prime minister, did not impress Hungarians. Tonight József nádor tér was still full of demonstrators, and the slogans and posters highlighted various “sins” of the government. For example: “Viktor, you will find the extra profit in Felcsút.” Norwegian and EU flags were seen everywhere. The speakers announced that there is no need for “national consultation” because that already took place in the last  few days on the streets of Budapest and other Hungarian cities. The speakers argued that the government needs extra taxes because of the corrupt tax authorities.

In Szeged a very large crowd gathered tonight. Here the speakers covered several topics, including corruption and the lack of media freedom. The internet is the only “free island which the government hasn’t occupied yet.” It is, one speaker claimed, the most significant invention since the discovery of fire and the wheel and the symbol of Hungarians’ tie to Europe. “We cannot stop at the internet tax, let’s demolish the walls while they are not yet plastered and painted. … Long live freedom and the fatherland!”

54 comments

  1. “We cannot stop at the internet tax”

    That should be meant seriously with all the consequences. If people believe that waving flags while being otherwise “apolitical” will lead to anything, they are wrong. People who feel that “this has been too much” have to accept at the same time that this is not a one-item problem and that politicians of the opposition have to be called to their duty to support this movement and to provide political skill to the protests. (Sounds a bit unlikely, but hopefully the momentum could help a bit.) There has to be cooperation, and there should be asap some joint programme that includes more than the abolition of one tax. It should in particular make cooperation between the many different opposition groups possible, respecting differences in the concrete programmes. And accepting also that the most important issue at stake are not the egos of the bosses of the respective groups and parties. Protesting in the streets is impressive but it will have an effect only when combined with some strategy, (joint) programme, cooperation and mobilisation of the broad public, not only of people deemed “left-wing” or otherwise “intellectuals”.

  2. OT (sorry) – but the other day I got an email telling me that someone had ‘liked’ a post of mine on HS. I’ve never had one of these before and didn’t even know you could ‘like’ a post (for instance, I can see no way of ‘liking’ Kirsten’s post above).

    Can anyone throw any light on this?

  3. @Paul We have never been able to ‘like’ anything here—except for once, some months ago when Dr. Balogh was changing formats on WordPress. I had long wanted such an option, but when it was suddenly available, I wished it wasn’t there. It disappeared also suddenly. We can only ‘like’ someone’s comments by directly saying so. I think it is best.

  4. Well, this is the email I got:

    “useyourwings2fly liked a comment on Hungarian Spectrum
    useyourwings2fly liked your comment on “This is just the beginning”: An even larger demonstration against the regime today.

    “So, Hungarians wake up at last? Interestingly, today, for the first time ever, my mother-in-law actually criticised the Fidesz government over …”

    View Comment

    You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked your comment!”

  5. Paul, that message sounds like spam to me, trying to get traffic to another blog. Since Eva’s blog software does not have a “like” feature (and the notification feature seems to be disabled or not functioning) probably someone wrote a robot that crawls blogs looking for commentators who have their identities attached (you apparently have a gravatar) and then spamming them to go visit uyw2f… My own blog on Open Access has 21,499 bogus comments by robotic spamware…

  6. Eva S. Balogh: Tonight József nádor tér was still full of demonstrators, and the slogans and posters highlighted various “sins” of the government. For example: “Viktor, you will find the extra profit in Felcsút.” Norwegian and EU flags were seen everywhere.

    There was only one Norwegian flag (nice idea), and I only saw one EU flag; there might have been more, but certainly much less than Tuesday. Also, the square was only half full, compared with Sunday.

    Overall it was disappointing, much too solemn for the occasion and the attendance (a live band would have been nice), and though the speeches on corruption made sense the issue is too abstract to raise the kind of grass-roots response the protests were built upon. By 18:30, when the organizers said goodbye to everybody, I was under the impression that the crowd was longing for something that didn’t happen.

  7. @Paul

    Steven Harnad is spot on. The ‘like’ function works only between gravatar/wordpress users, and although the function is disabled on this blog it looks like a ‘like’ can still be triggered by reconstituting the absent button’s link.

    Beyond the comment number, there’s a unique identification key attached to each comment, and since this key is invisible when the function is deactivated there’s probably a wordpress security hole being exploited here.

    But it doesn’t mean these people have your email. Disabling “Email me when someone Likes one of my comments” in the notification section of your gravatar/wordpress account settings should prevent further spam in your mailbox.

  8. Let’s not get carried away. Orban won three elections this year. Sure, he committed electoral fraud (with absentee ballots from Romania and Serbia), thoroughly manipulated the election system, controlled and still control the media, but he also brought many more voters to the booths than the opposition. Orban is still adored by millions. There’s no better for that: he is being adored like a god. No European leader receives such adoring comments, letters, which are similar to what Kim Jong Un does or Ceausescu used to.

    As Uj Peter (editor in chief 444.hu formerly of index.hu) wrote: within a couple of months most people shed two centuries of concerns with Russia. Now being an Atlanticist is the same as being a Liberal, favoring the jewish/communist/capitalist (both communism and capitalism being a modern ‘ism’, and as such are deemed fundamentally jewish in Hungary) enemy hell-bent on destroying Hungary. Orban’s (and Russia’s) brain washing is working and won’t stop in the next years.

    His power base within the party is still 100% loyal and will support him come what may.

    The American visa issue is over, the internet tax issue is over (I agree it will be introduced under a different name). His position is strong today as was a month ago. The revolution is being postponed. The methods which proved so successful before, worked perfectly again.

    Now lets talk with those Norwegian and American friends of ours, I hear they have some complaints.

    Unless he is sick (other than mentally, which is probably the case, I don’t see signs of physical illnesses on him, although I only see pictures of him, I don’t listen to his speeches or watch video shots) he’s here to stay.

  9. Eva Balogh:

    “THE INTERNET TAX IS ONLY POSTPONED: IT MOST LIKELY WILL BE CALLED SOMETHING ELSE”

    Neelie Kroes on twitter:

    “I am very pleased for Hungarians today. Their voices have been heard #InternetTax”
    “Belföld: Orbán: Nem lesz internetadó – NOl.hu”
    “Hungarian Government will withdraw proposed internet tax. Good news.”

    Both are talking about the same but saying the opposite. Who is stupid out of the the two? Eva Balogh or Neelie Kroes?

  10. Paul and Stevan, I am worried about this private e-mail letter to Paul. His e-mail address shouldn’t be available an ordinary reader of Hungarian Spectrum where addresses are not public.

    I might as well mention that in the last two weeks Google Alert dropped Hungarian Spectrum. I subscribe to Google Alert and Hungarian Spectrum’s articles were there every day as they should have been. Two weeks ago the service stopped. This worries me.

  11. @jopla, I’m afraid you are one of those right-wingers who think in terms of stupid or not stupid. The question is: who is right? And I am afraid, Kroes misunderstood what happened. She spoke before she knew the details of Orbán’s announcement of the “postponement” of the tax.

  12. @Marcel. Thank you. I still don’t understand that why HS was dropped. It has worked for years. I guess I will never know. I only hope that they will reinstate me.

  13. “His power base within the party is still 100% loyal and will support him come what may.”

    That we don’t know. I am sure a percentage of Fidesz, the politicians and oligarchs, actually believe in Orban as a leqder and Orbanism as a policy (which is forever changing but that is besides the point). But I am also confident that a larger percentage of the regime are pure opportunists (or pragmatists if you want to be politer). Orban delivers them money and influence at this moment in time- they support him. He no longer delivers money and influence, there is no inherent loyalty that will keep them onside.

    If the economy was to go belly-up are we seriously stating that Orban would bring 100% of his regime with him, there wouldn’t be rebellion?

  14. It looks like Tamás Deutsch will be in charge of the internet tax “consultations” (probably just to get him to shut up about his opposition to it). Deutsch just now wrote on twitter that he would like to consult with Balázs Gulyás: http://twitter.com/dajcstomi/status/528497489054560256

    Right. I’m sure his first (and perhaps only) question to Gulyás will be “How much do we have to pay you so that you won’t organize another protest when we introduce the internet tax?” If Gulyás is smart and genuine in his intentions, he won’t have anything to do with Deutsch or any sham “consultations.” It is encouraging that Gulyás has already indicated that he’s not interested, and that he personally called Deutsch “frivolous” and “vulgar.” :)))))

    In any case the protests are not about any one person so someone else will continue them anyway if the tax goes through.

  15. Deutsch was picked probably because he always opposed the internet tax to begin with.

    But I am concerned about yesterday’s demonstrations (the one one Friday). There were a big demonstration called for 18:00 and it already ended by 18:30.

    Only about one thousand people turned up which shows a spectacular decrease from the demonstration on Tuesday. I hoped more would come but the interest in the Internet tax is disappearing very rapidly. Especially after they announced that in 2015 there will be no internet tax under any cirumstances.

    If there were no Friday demonstration maybe it would have been easier to say there is still momentum behind this cause. But such a big fail and suddenly proves that all the momentum just disappeared.

  16. @Eva S. Balogh: hope it works. One possibility is that you were previously indexed because of excellent rankings… which could have dropped in the last weeks due to the sudden amount of english speaking news on Hungary. Getting human approval should prevent this.

  17. What expertise does Deutsch have in either taxation, the Internet, or public opinion surveys? He is not a paid employee of the Hungarian government but a member of the European Parliament. Will he be paid for this activity? If so, out of which budget will he be paid?

  18. @Marcel, thanks for your help. The funny thing is that in spite of being dropped by Google Alert the number of readers has skyrocketed lately. As for subscribers we have witnessed a tsunami of people who signed up to receive HS in e-mail form. I really don’t know what happened. Since October 7 we have had 207 new subscribers.

  19. @limbo

    I’d say four to five thousands people were here, based on former estimations at the square for the Sunday and Tuesday demos. At 18:30 the square was ‘full’, but with much more space between people (on the other hand, barriers surrounding a large unplanted flowerbed had been removed this time, providing for more square meters). That’s indeed a serious drop, but nothing dishonorable either, considering this has been a very focused movement, on a single issue which for now is off the table.

    My only regret is that yesterday wasn’t more, well, … celebratory. Mulled wine and an couple orchestras would have been better suited than solemn speeches and the national anthem. Of course that may be my French side speaking here, but a real party would have embodied the youthful, good-spirited, mischievous spirit of the two previous protests. Something to be remembered and invoked if (or should I say when) it is needed again in January. We’ll see.

  20. ELECTIONS: FAIRNESS FIDESZ-STYLE

    Thanks to @tappanch, here are the 2014 Hungarian election’s voting percentages (again):

    Fidesz 43.7%
    (of which 2.5% were from non-tax-paying citizens of adjoining countries some of whom have never even set foot in Hungary, enfranchised for the purpose: only 0.1% voted for other than Fidesz)

    Left coalition 26.8%
    Jobbik 20.8%
    LMO 5.5%
    rest: 3.7%

    In other words, not only did Fidesz have nowhere near a 2/3 “supermajority” of the popular vote, it did not even have a majority of the votes, just a plurality.

    The Fidesz law-making/breaking 2/3 “supermajority” (133/199) was purely an outcome of the Fidesz gerrymandering of electoral districts, the number of seats, and the citizenship rules, using the law-making/breaking powers of the 2/3 supermajority of 2010. And even that would have fallen short of the 2/3 threshold without the 2.5% enfranchised non-Hungarian vote.

    That, on top of Fidesz media monopoly, signpost oligopoly, arbitrary campaigning-rule control and relentless press and police FUD campaigns against all opposition.

    (This is all assuming that these Fidesz voting figures are themselves honest ones, which, in light of all the other Fidesz foul play, is highly unlikely.)

    Any government in any country in the world could create and entrench a dictatorship with foul means like Fidesz’s at its disposal. (The only element they may be lacking is an apathetic populace with a petty, xenophobic minority, ready to believe every self-pitying, self-aggrandizing lie fed them by their corrupt leadership.)

    Reply to troll “@Shoulder”:

    You can have the information on percentage voting in the US that you demand as soon as you give evidence of abuses in the US of the kinds that are the real substance of Fidesz’s cheating:

    Gerrymandered constitution-modifying “supermajority” threshold-setting, government control and intimidation of media, signposts, campaigning, funding, vote-buying, enfranchising foreigners and ubiquitous, unabating scruple-free FUD.

    Troll “@Shoulder” applies the by now nauseatingly familiar Fidesz FUD-forumula: Respond to any criticism by echoing back false analogies mechanically; make tendentious and unfounded allegations; ignore all substance, evidence and scruple; wait for it all to blow over.

    Meanwhile: the US is a 2-party system, so no government short of at least a 50% majority is ever possible…

  21. @limbo

    Momentum as a term originating from physics may not be the best metaphor to describe politics. It’s actually misleading.

    Middle class people won’t just go out to the streets to burn stuff or throw rocks every day. People were out twice on the streets in the past week and people were apparently discontent. That didn’t change on Friday. If you hoped for a revolution, well, that didn’t happen.

    But discontent builds up slowly and can be used by politicians. Not necessarily by a movement building on the internet tax, but by existing opposition parties or by new parties.

    Orban has been only governing Hungary for 4 years, although he (thinks he) entrenched himself for another 20. I am not pessimistic, however, in the sense that I don’t think that in three years, he gotten three years older and three years crazier and after 7-8 years of dictatorial leadership he will be in a position to win democratically, however much we stretch this term further (as it was a stretch already).

    I think changes do take place within the electorate. Within 8 years, counting from the 2010 victory, a significant part of the electorate will change just by virtue of replacement via demographics, but also people get 8 years older and thus having somewhat different values. Of course an aging society is expected to be more conservative, like Florida, but even that’s not necessarily true, the Islamic countries with extremely young populations are as conservative as you can get.

    Jobbik may gain further ground, but others may too. For me, the conclusion is that Orban does commit mistakes, he’s far from invincible and there’s now ample time for work for those who want to get rid of him democratically. He is still extremely formidable, but he’s visibly getting older, more exhausted and more corrupt as you would expect from a dictator operating under extreme stress and lacking normal feedback other than polls. This trend isn’t about to relent.

  22. I do not think too many people went to the demo yesterday, due to the fact that today is remembrance day and people travel to various graveyards of loved ones.

    If it would be held next week you see more people.

  23. Re our KGB trolls and not too much OT:

    The German magazine SPIEGEL analysed a lot of articles and comments on the Russian/German relations in Russian media (including RT – Russia Today) by so-called German media experts and found that some don’t exist or are totally unknown and others were well known extreme right wingers (you might call them Neo-Nazis) …

    And a lot of comments on Russian/Ukrainian relations were just fabrications!

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/russland-medien-zitieren-angebliche-deutsche-experten-a-999692.html#ref=veeseoartikel

  24. There is a lot on the blog today. First of to D7’s link to the comments made by Norway’s minister for European affairs, Vidar Helgesen. It’s nice that he plans on putting yet more money into Hungary for civil society projects, it is also possible that the repressive apparatus of Fidesz plans on putting those Hungarians who work for the Okotars Foundation, the main distributor of the funds in jail on trumpeted up charges. Just saying as the minister did: “We don’t attach a lot of credibility to that report to put it mildly,” doesn’t mean much, nor does hoping the EU, to which Norway does not belong, will do something about the attack on Okotars mean much either. What would help is making a public commitment to provide unlimited resources to the Foundation to legally defending itself and in detail attacking the report. Another thing that could be done by Norway is to notify Hungary that it is preparing legal action in the International Court of Justice in relation to its claims against its own diplomats. The Norwegians are I sufficiently aggressive in response to attack they are faced with.

    Second Eva writes in relationship to foreign owned communications firms: “The notion of extra profit in today’s public discourse makes not the slightest sense. Viktor Orbán is taking advantage of the Hungarian people’s discomfort with capitalism and what it entails–including competition and profit–and invoking concepts from the very same communism he wants to banish once and for all from the country. And, by the way, the profit these providers earn is apparently rather low.”

    On this issue Magyar Telekom effectively owned by Deutsche Telekom ( see
    http://www.telekom.com/company/worldwide/60798) is a part of the so called strategic partnership to allow Hungary will be able to realize by 2018 the digitalization planned by the European Union to be finished by 2020. The Germans will invest several hundreds of billion forints to introduce broad band Internet to every household in Hungary. It is true that the net profit of Magyar Telekom is only half its result in back in 2010; Vodafone has been on the edge of zero balance for years, only Telenor has seemed to be profitable from what I have read.

    But sometimes a massive firm like Deutsche Telekom makes strategic decisions that will only yield massive profits years in the future. This firm and others like AT&T know that cable and satellite TV as it is know today is being destroyed (as in the concept of creative destruction) by Internet based TV hence the amazing rise of Netflicks on a world wide basis. Deutsche Telekom is preparing for next phase and we don’t need to cry tears for that firm.

  25. It’s trickier than this. Orban wants to get DT to invest those tens of billions or more, then Orban will tax the company when the investments would turn a profit and later on Orban will acquire Magyar Telekom just like it did MKB from the Germans and assorted energy companies shattered after making losses due to artificially low consumer rates set by Orban himself. Orban wanted to have is own mobile company, which effort failed at the first try. But he and the people around him didn’t give up the dream. But what if Vodafone suddenly left Hungary due to its persistent inability turn a profit and Orban could also acquire MT too, that would be even better, wouldn’t it?

  26. Puff, Deutsche Telekom even in the scenario you present might still make money on these investments assuming Orban and company simply did not expropriate Magyar Telekom and gave them something close to fair market value for the firm. Even then because of its global investments in companies that will make money directly related to a wide variety of interneted related commerce Deutsche Telekom Could make residual profits on these investments. It is always a complex thing within the context of global economy to discuss profits related to a particular operation of a massive transnational corporation.

  27. These people don’t joke. They are seriously planning the exit from the Eu and Nato. It’s a long term-project, but they are working on it.

    The biggest mistake is to say that, oh no, he can’t do that, he won’t do that because of this or that, that the oligarchs will prevent Orban etc. No, Orban and Jobbik, who is next in line to power, are both working tirelessly on exiting Western supranational organizations.

    Whether or not it happens in 5 years or 10, it doesn’t matter for them. Meanwhile Marton Gyöngyössi, Jobbik’s foreign relations guru is in Russia to monitor the “elections” in Donyecik (aka Novorossia).

  28. @tappanch

    Don’t forget that even Ivan Szelenyi wrote in a long HVG essay a couple years ago that in his view Orban wanted to default — we might add that Szelenyi wouldn’t have minded that either (he being an anti-capitalist too). I know that a lot of “serious” Fidesz people researched Argentina and Iceland and were very envious that these two countries (let’s add that neither has anything in common with Hungary, besides Argentina’s corruption) dared to break free from those capitalist shackles. If Hungary defaults, as it did several times during the 20th century then Matolcsy and his people will just print some money to cover the gaps. He will generate some inflation too, the lack of which may be a problem right now. You are still putting too much faith on the rational.

  29. Re Hungary leaving the EU and NATO and what it would mean for the West, especially the companies active here:

    I’ve written about that already. Just take the example of foodstuff being offered by these companies – on the packaging you’ll find the description in 10 or even 20 languages. So the Hungarian market is really just a small percentage – losing it wouldn’t be too bad for the companies involved, but for the Hungarian workers and the customers ???

    I’m sure that the automobile companies involved in Hungary already have their plans what to do when the border to Hungary is closed …

    Btw Mercedes/Daimler has around 300 000 employees worldwide – around 3 000 in Hungary.

    Can you imagine what would happen at the Austrian border if it were announced that from next week Hungarians will not be able to pass freely and border checks would be introduced again?

    I can remember those times when we had to pass several border checks getting from Germany to Italy and Spain , to Yugoslavia or to Hungary (of course much worse than Italy). many people then told me they wouldn’t travel to those countries because of the hassle …

    Remember the old Chinese proverb:

    May you live in interesting times – I hope not (for the sake of the the Hungarian people).

    Germany etc would just shrug it off – as we did the Albanians when the other communist countries made entry easier.

  30. That Tamas Deutsch (a serious cocain addict, according to rumors) can still be anything at all, a factor, boggles the mind.

    As Istvan Hegedűs mentioned in an interview Tamas must know something very important — Orban hasn’t gotten rid of him even though he doesn’t bring anything to Fidesz. He doesn’t contribute, but he is still close to Orban. One of the few survivors from the old days.

    By the way Deutsch was planning to open his own law firm (I wonder where he spent his three years of traineeship, was he really an ügyvédbojtár?) which will likely be a premier money laundering outfit and he will be a reliably good Strohmann. It’s inconceivable that he could give any legal advice of substance.

    He is the most obnoxious (bicskanyitogató) fellow operating in politics today and the competition is pretty strong.

  31. Xi: “You are still putting too much faith on the rational.”

    Unlikely. After a few years with Hungarian Spectrum, I believe many of the readers have already become completely disillusioned as regards the relevance and indeed also the likelihood of rationality in Hungarian political discourse. It would nevertheless be surprising if OV made such an extreme mistake like leaving the EU, not necessarily because of the money (that can be obtained from other sources), but because – as Eva wrote – he is interesting for the Russians, Chinese etc. and their money because he is an easy gateway to the European internal market and other shared areas.

  32. Kirsten: Leaving the EU won’t be like Orban decides to leave and then he will negotiate the terms. He will let the EU do the hard work, first, create rules for pushing member states out. The EU will have to start legal procedure after legal procedure. He just won’t give sh*t if Hungary is pushed out eventually in 5-10 years time.

    You just start to defy the EU laws. I mean what can the EU do if we build South Stream? Nothing. So Orban will build it. He’s a lawyer and he knows that laws are good as long as there’s a penalty built in. If not, it’s as if there’s no law. And this will go on and on.

    By that time the biggest enemy will be the EU (aka the out of touch federal government) so most people will feel good riddance. I guess the “Brussels as the new Moscow” will have to be changed, since Moscow will be a friendly place by that time. I actually spoke to numerous Budapest people (all over 45) lately who like Putin and Russia, they’ve never been there, know no Russian, hated the Soviets until 1990, but now they positively like the Russians.

    So Orban just wants the EU or NATO to push us out, he won’t do it. But he made up his mind. Too much hassle, it’s not worth it for him.

  33. You, people out there, isn’t seriously considering that Tamás Deutsch – or any other core fidesniks, or anyone around Orbán ‘the Greatest ever’ can be seriously considered as the negotiator of any kind of agreement..?

    You don’t mean it, do you?

    For heaven’s sake, wake up people!

    Anybody – but seriously! – anyone ever experienced anything from the orbanist propaganda machinery what can be treated as valid?

    That’s what I mean.

    Thank you, nevertheless…

  34. “Another thing that could be done by Norway is to notify Hungary that it is preparing legal action in the International Court of Justice in relation to its claims against its own diplomats.”

    What claims are you talking about in relation to the International Court of Justice? Your whole sentence is worded as if you wanted to say Norway should sue its own diplomats. Who should they sue and on what charge?

  35. @Xi
    Do you have any explanation for the behaviour of those Hungarians?
    Personally I do not.
    I’ve left the place right before they left the place too, and let me tell you, there is no real reason to yearn for a Russian influence/hegemony over Hungary.

    Those retards who chanting against Americans right now apparently have no idea how is it when the Russians ruling.
    After all, there was no American occupation of Hungary, ever, while there was – deservedly, mind you, but still – Russian, quite a while, thank you.

    So, kind folks, there are a bunch of idiots out there, who trying to compare one (nonexistent) occupation with another, while the optimal – and normal – state would be none of those, whatsoever.

    The only reason why we’re talking about such crappy topic is that our beloved leader – the name Orbán, in case you wondering – just can’t keep himself at bay to sell his country someone who will give him some ‘baksheesh’, in order to be able to pretend, he is the right one.

    However, the most important part is that Orbán has his share of the deal.
    Again.
    He will, so, be glad all you slaves, the master will be well rewarded, thanks God..!

  36. @KTP
    – What about those who didn’t kept their side of bargain?
    Like the government of Hungary, who has no jurisdiction over the Norwegian funds, whatsoever?

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