Are these guy that ignorant or even crazy? Orbán held talks with Vladimir Orlic, the president of Serbia’s National Assembly,…
Tonight a bomb exploded, the regime has declared that the budgetary planning for 2022 is already now worthless. What happened?
The EU has just a year ago set-up a plan called Next Generation EU. With the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) as key instrument, offering a total of 723.8 billion € to finance this, whereof are nearly half the value (338 billion €) will be paid as grants, the rest in loans at very favourable conditions. This all is thought to offer the economy help to recover from the backslash it got from the corona pandemic and to make the member states fit for the future through investing into clearly defined fields. Details on the EU website ►EN
The RRF has 6 pillars: Green transition – digital transformation – smart, sustainable and inclusive growth – social and territorial cohesion – health, and economic, social and institutional resilience – and policies for the next generation. Only projects that fit into these pillars may profit from the grants up to the maximum available for that pillar. Further the EU was smart enough to include not only formal, but also material conditions that need to be met. In the case of Hungary the rule-of-law stays central, with the idea not to waste again EU funds with the only purpose to feed the oligarchs of the ruling elite.
Already in May 2021 the Hungarian government decided not to accept the loan from the EU, how favourable the terms might be, but only the Hungarian share of the non-refundable grant. Orbán declared ►HU that he does not want to go into debt. It is no secret that Orbán did not want to spend so much money into the compulsory pillars. For free money he could make an exception of course. So the Hungarian RRF plan contained only the non-refundable grant – and Hungary’s plan was not accepted. Orbán wants the money badly, but he wants it to his conditions only ►EN. Civil organisations shared with commission their concerns ►EN. And the plan was delayed again. Hungary still has no approved RRF plan – and as today got not a single Forint from this fund.
If this would not be enough bad news about European funding the Hungarian and Polish trial against the rule-of-law-conditionality at the European Court of Justice has no prospects of success. Advocate general Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona advised the court ►EN to dismiss the case, since the mechanism is no violation of the TEU. Since the court in most cases follows the advice of the advocate general Orbán likely will loose. This trial was his precondition to accept both the 2021 – 2027 budget and the RRF in December 2020. Although this was not written into the text of the law, but into a political declaration only, the commission did not use the clause. Because of the inactivity the European Parliament started a procedure against the commission at the ECJ as well. Věra Jourová, as commissioner for values and transparency responsible in the commission, stated last week “We would be ready to act as soon as we can” Visegrad/Insight ►EN. Also here Hungary awaits a hard financial setback. But as commentators expected a year ago: Orbán wanted to delay the consequences only until the elections of 2022.
Not to forget that the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Hungarian central bank) making loans more expensive by turning upwards the interest rates – 7 times already this year, from 0.9 to 2.4 % ►EN. Who as Hungarian buys state obligations may get up to 6.3 % tax-free interest now, average for 5-years obligations is 4.94 % ►HU. Refinancing also went more expensive and Moody’s sees Hungary still at the 2nd worst investment rate only, not really encouraging to investors.
While the revenue breaks away, and the costs of the public debt are rising, the regime is planning enormous presents for the voters. The young voters are the least happy with Orbán, so those under 25 will be exempted from income tax next year. Families of wealthy Hungarians are the regime’s favourite anyway, so they will get back the income taxes paid in 2021. Pensioners vote for Orbán “anyway”, so they only get a 13th pension. Those who work for low wages will have the minimum wage risen from 167 400 to 200 000 Ft (543 €) gross (+ 19.5 %), public employees will see higher wages and / or salary bonuses. And for nationalists Orbán buys back Budapest Airport from those bad foreign companies. No serious financial behaviour, but vote buying in the big way, not just with some potatoes. Apropos potatoes: FIDESZ member of the Nógrád county parliament Mihály Balla put his picture and party name on packs of waffles, a Christmas present for Roma in Balassagyarmat, which not he paid, but a company that got access to EU funds, reported Ákos Hadzházy ►HU
The 1st cracks came into the spending on December 13th, when Orbán declared not to buy the airport before the elections. He made clear that the “cold and cruel” circumstances of the stability and growth pact and so the EU would be responsible for this decision ►HU.
And yesterday evening, while entire Hungary is busy with the preparations of the holidays, Mihály Varga, minister of finances, announced a cut of spending worth 1 % of GDP ►HU. This while the money presents for the voters will remain unchanged, as Varga wrote. Although the cuts aren’t specified the fact that the vote buying will happen alone is enough to know that we’ll see less money available, where it is already now hard needed, for example education and health care.
This announcement happened silently and most media didn’t even mention this heavy cut. Another present Orbán gave himself, screamingly loud supported by the orchestra of the party media and noticed by the others. He promised that the interest on mortgage would be limited onto the level of last October ►HU. Of course this hurts the banks and not directly the budget. And it is limited until the elections are over.
Indeed, health care will suffer. The austerity measures will kill for example the Healthy Budapest program, Gábor Havasi said ►HU
István that sounds like two avalanches are on the way the one comes from the EU the other from the financial sector. Who would have thought … now happens what many have demanded “turn off the money tap” only the effects can be fatal especially in the health system. If the opposition wins Hungary is broke if Orban wins also …
P.S. I think you’re doing really well. 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍
Don is totally right!
And I’m wondering how people will react. We just returned from our Xmas shopping and my wife said that over the last months prices for consumer products have exploded. Some basic stuff like sugar, butter or flour has become 30 or even 50% more expensive than last year!
Thank you, Don!
Of course Orbán will use our taxes for the things he regards to be important, as soon as there is no EU funding. He never was interested in our health care, lying over the health care in other countries as he did the day before yesterday doesn’t change the facts. He can hide a part the consequences for a short while with a higher the debt or blaming Budapest as well. Exactly this is the reason why he so desperately wanted to postpone the rule of law mechanism as long as possible, before the elections the true believers should not feel where Orbán is sending the country to. But there is a huge difference: If Orbán will declare himself the winner next year we will remain cut off the EU funding, if the opposition will form the government they will be able to give the needed guarantees for restoring EU funding. Besides: If the EU is confident and is funding it will be easier getting favourable financing conditions at the markets as well.
I am impressed, Istvan. The work put into this website is incredible. Thank you 😊
Totally off topic. Zsolt Hanula who has worked for Index according to what I read for 14 years has an article in Telex https://telex.hu/eszkombajn/2021/12/22/amikor-a-hollandok-uveggyongykert-megvettek-manhattan-szigetet-az-indianoktol-na-az-nem-egeszen-ugy-volt. This article has as its critical thesis that “standard Hungarian grammar school history of what took place in the early 1600s, originally a Dutch settlement called Nieuw Amsterdam, or New Amsterdam, and the center of today’s metropolis, Manhattan Island, for $ 24 worth of glass beads. bought by the settlers from the Native Indians” was according to him much more complex than that.
Zsolt Hanula argues that based on history the sale likely “involved clothing, tools, firearms, gunpowder and metal raw materials. That is, things that were state-of-the-art and largely inaccessible to the natives” and the fact that native people did not share the same concept of private property as the Dutch in terms of transfer ownership, but rather likely saw it as granting the Dutch an entitlement to use the land. This is true, but it is not all of the story at least according to my own wife.
I translated the article and sent a copy to my own wife, who is a member of the Seneca Nation (an officially recognized Native American Tribe) here in the USA and was a native studies major at the University of North Dakota where she and I met and married so many years ago. I asked her what she thought of it. She said the author did not have a deep knowledge at all of Dutch practices relating to native people because Zsolt Hanula seems completely unaware of the enslaved native people and Africans in New York, which in my wife’s opinion is a far greater crime than buying Manhattan Island. Her recommendation is that Zsolt Hanula read a new book published by Cornell University Press in 2021 titled “Spaces of Enslavement A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York” by Andrea Mosterman. My wife informs me that the book discusses how the Dutch West India Company initially used native slaves before beginning to bring in African slaves starting early on. Eventually in 1679 the Dutch essentially made Native American slavery illegal relied exclusively on African slaves. Native people did practice a form of slavery prior to “the European invasion” as she calls it. But generally it was a form of slavery based on inter-tribal warfare and eventually most of these war prize slaves were accepted into victorious tribes as members.
My wife also recommends that Zsolt Hanula read a book published by the University of Illinois Press in 1993 titled “Africans and Native Americans The Language of Race and the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples” by Jack Forbes which discusses the very deep and long history of European enslavement of Native people in the Americas. She thinks if Zsolt Hanula is going to improve the historical education of Hungarian children then he needs to go far beyond what his article discussed. None the less she thought it was a good thing over all that this issue is even being discussed in Hungary. Every time I discuss these issues with my wife I come away learning something.
Maybe worth an article …
I just looked up the latest numbers on Covid in Hungary.The number of people who have had at least one vaccine shot is still below 65% and the daily incidence of deaths is much, much higher (almost three times!) than in West European developed countries.
What is going on there?
Are so many Hungarians that stupid?
Is it the Fidwesz politics?
Is it the rotten state of the health system?
Is it the missing money – which has gone into the coffers of Fidesz ***expletive deleted***?
Or all of the above?
How do the Hungarian media report on this, especially the Fidesz-controlled majority?
I’m so happy that here among the people we meet and our neighbours (almost …) everybody has had their booster shots – but in other places?
The relative low percentage of vaccinated (relative, because for example Romania and especially Bulgaria are way worse) seems to me to be an educational problem as well. I’ve no data, but experienced that the pandemic is a pandemic of the less educated as well. Too many believe it happens abroad, is about foreigners, about Budapest, but not about the rural villagers, who never leave the country. So far exactly what propaganda told us at least until the 3rd wave. Making it difficult to register and getting an appointment doesn’t make vaccination more popular, let alone that not everybody has internet connection and an email address on his own (I registered a couple of people and needed to create for everybody a separate address, just using my own was refused by the system.) And the lesser the trust in the state is (generally, not just not having trust in today’s regime) the easier horror stories about vaccines are believed. I don’t know research about it, this is my personal observation only.
Of course bad health care and bad health conditions are factors in the rate of deadly infections. But they can’t explain that high number of deaths. Other countries with similar or worse circumstances have significantly lower numbers. We don’t have a testing regime and the state doesn’t follow-up infection chains. Who is not seriously sick makes a good chance not to be discovered. This has 2 effects: A lower number of discovered infections drives up the percentage of fatal infections and enables a faster spread of the virus. Statistically this makes sense, but there is no proof of course. The lack of data is unbelievable!
Generally the unexpectedly high number of deaths is not discussed widely, and if more in a way of comparing year to date or 3rd to 4th wave. Especially regime media try to avoid it. I remember the M1 story about “how bad is the situation in Belgium” at a time Hungary had more than twice their deaths every day, completely without mentioning the way worse Hungarian situation. Messages: All is well in Hungary, all is bad abroad. And once in a while is assured that Hungary counts differently, you know all these “mostly elderly patients with underlying conditions” regime media use. People died, because it was their time through age or another disease. That someone in his 40s with hypertension could live further for decades is not mentioned at all. If you look into the database everything is an underlying condition, even if someone died who had also problems with his skin. They don’t write “none” if the patient had covid as only disease, they state in the database “unknown underlying condition.” Something else had to cause his death, the virus is always just a coincidence. And here the circle closes. Why getting vaccinated if I am not deadly sick already or already very old?
We just arrived in Budapest for the holiday season. Obviously people don’t seem to understand how wearing a mask is important; our taxi driver didn’t wear one for instance. The covid pass control when leaving the plane was a joke: people were showing their certificates or whatever for that matter, police officers hardly bothered to look and did not even check if the names matched. This is just my first impressions and I am afraid it’s only the beginning but I have the feeling Hungarians still underestimate the severity of the situation.
Covid is not taken seriously by the government (and many others) here. I flew to my home country for a week from Budapest in September and the flight attendants on the way out made sure everyone was wearing a mask properly when not eating or drinking. On the flight back to Budapest (same ariline), about two thirds of passengers weren’t wearing a mask and none of the flight attendants said anything…
Beautiful Favicon “mourning flag”.
OT EURONEWS has been acquired by a Portuguese advisor of Orbán’s. Guess what.
Are you the same “Observer” as who commented on Hungarian Spectrum?
I ask this, because, contrary to the others* who have commented on this new blog so far, you appear with a fully different avatar now.
*except “of course” Team M with it’s constantly changing avatar
He is! I got emails from Observer and these fit to the information I know about Observer from the HS posts both in content and style. In the 1st comment https://hungarian.news/wordpress/index.php/2021/12/21/law-of-the-ruler/#comment-75 Observer originally had the same avatar as on HS and asked me to change the email address for reasons I accepted. Both his comments came from the same IP address with only hours in-between. The newest one uses the other email address again.
I definitely can confirm that the avatar is linked to the email address. From the wordpress dashboard “For users without a custom avatar of their own, you can either display a generic logo or a generated one based on their email address.” I’ve chosen “Identicon,” which is email based and follows the tradition of HS.
Yes I’m the same.
I don’t understand the avatar stuff though.
OK [also to István].
Just noticed the changed avatar, that’s why I checked.
To understand the avatar change see István @11:34 above
Anyone know this Hungarian site?