Rural Panic?

  • January 31, 2022
  • István

UPDATED. As we might remember Péter Márki-Zay ran in the by-elections for post as mayor in Hódmezővásárhely 2018 as independent candidate sustained by all opposition parties. The city was headed by FIDESZ/KDNP since 1990, from 2002 to 2012 the former FIDESZ top politician János Lázár was mayor, he only resigned when he became minister. Lázár until today is representing the district Csongrád-Csanád 4 in parliament. His successor as mayor died 2017, which lead to the by-elections Márki-Zay won. On April 3 Márki-Zay and Lázár will run against each other. Since Orbán is refusing an open debate with his challenger, MZP asked now his opponent on district level for a debate ►HU. Orbán won’t be challenged by such a call on district level, he only ran in 1990 and 1994 for a district, he lost in both cases. Since 1998 he relies on the party list only, which brought him into parliament in all elections.

The Orbán regime structurally has punished the towns and villages that have voted against FIDESZ or FIDESZ-sponsored candidates. Especially Budapest lost a lot of funding, in other cases as Göd, the local business tax was taken away. Of course “corona measures” as free parking, taking away the communal part of the road tax, and cutting business tax in half harmed the communal budgets severely. Local FIDESZ governments got compensation, others didn’t.

15 of the 19 mayors in the Hódmezővásárhely district are afraid of punishment from Budapest, if Márki-Zay’s campaign would be connected with the name of their villages. “Our settlements are developing and prospering thanks to the government, we do not need getting taught, no contempt, and most of all no pity.” This letter, sent in official function, with seals of their communities and all, they state that Hódmezővásárhely is a warning example for them: “It is characterised by vegetation instead of development, and a civil war atmosphere instead of peace, and they do not want this to happen in the settlements they represent.” They are afraid of a civil war atmosphere instead of their peace ►HU. Graveyard-like peace? However, they urged “not to bring in divisive politics.” However, they promise neutral co-operation in case he should win the constituency. One never knows, whether it could be useful one day…. No need to mention that the initiator is FIDESZ member.

The answer was another open letter:

[….] Thank you in particular for expressing your intention to co-operate in case of my election victory, and I would like to return this, I promise:

  1. After the deservedly unpopular reign of János Lázár, no one can ever force you again to make a similar, spontaneous, political party statement against your own consciences.
  2. After the replacement of Viktor Orbán and János Lázár, your settlements will not only receive the support of the government and the Union due to their management if their leadership is willing to co-operate with the government.
  3. After the replacement of János Lázár, you will never have to deliver voters for a sidewalk or bicycle path again, the subsidies will be distributed among the settlements on a proportional basis, regardless of party affiliation.
  4. Each municipality will receive more and more useful development, there is no need to contract with the representative’s friends and business partners, no need to redistribute 20, 30, sometimes 80 % of the price in a paper bag or garbage bag, and you can choose for yourself what project you ask public funds for.
  5. With the fall of the Orbán party state, your settlements will be enabled, if you require, getting back the schools, health care institutions and hospital departments taken away or closed by FIDESZ, as well as their revenues and administrative powers, such as the building authority. After April 3 you finally have no longer the obligation to represent the state party against the people, but your population, even against the state.

The change of regime is the warranty of your freedom, the replacement of the most corrupt government in the millennial history of Hungary and the most corrupt representative is of our region. After April 3, we will not only restore self-government, restore your independence and liberty, we will hold the thieves accountable, we will reach out to the main culprits for the hundreds of millions and billions taken from the citizens, by uncovering corruption cases and prosecuting them. The Rogans stole with the resettlement of migrants, the Lázárs with the tobacco scandal, the Tiborcs with the public lighting, the Völners with the bailiffs, the Kövérs from the cross-border funding, and I could continue the row.

Once the thief has been replaced, a representative can never again:

  • build a castle for himself on the outskirts of the city and deny it
  • he even steals his street to the castle and then has to pay this 20 million in debt after he falls
  • organise hunts worth 20 million for which he has no taxed income
  • try to go to luxury hotels with a mysterious companion on public money
  • use a laser blocker to protect himself against the consequences of traffic rule violations
  • look down on the poor, the gypsies, and call public workers being thieves
  • indebt and darken your city with developments, burdened by a boast of ongoing quality and safety issues
  • disregard his promises to create jobs or abolish the grave redemption fees
  • only addresses parliament once a year
  • and don’t dare stand up to an open debate with his political challenger
  • and seek to replace his own prime minister

In Hódmezővásárhely we have shown that with the elimination of corruption and intimidation, the love of power was replaced by the power of love, with this we were able to achieve wonderful results in just four years:

  • we abolished the once highest residential building tax in the country completely, and reduced our businesses with 30% so far
  • we repaid more than half of the ten billion debt we inherited from János Lázár, debt he denied lying
  • we replaced the Lázár-Tiborcz LED lamps and enlightened the city
  • we have introduced separate waste collection in every street, in every house
  • we built sustainable roundabouts and cleared the forest park
  • we introduced a city card for many discounts, opened a youth club, developed playgrounds, and the beach
  • we run free hourly bus services even in those parts of the city where there was no bus before – and all this means not more costs for the city, but less
  • we launched a Roma catch-up program, ten-finger blind typing, text comprehension and English language courses for children
  • we brought many houses and streets under local protection, we were the first in the world to provide online memorial plaques to the protected buildings of our city
  • with volunteers and donations, we run the city independently from all parties, I am the only one, who as politician has always accounted up to the Fillér his campaign revenues and expenses.

The appreciation of honesty and respect in public life by the citizens of Vásárhely is shown not only by the fact that they were elected twice by a large majority, that we won nine of our ten local districts, by the overwhelming support of the primaries, but also by the fact that the current FIDESZ representative has never been seen in the city, while I walk to the office, talk to everyone, and I help everyone. I now offer this fair attitude and this freedom and corruption-free development to your settlements as well, BECAUSE WE ARE SMARTER AND DO NOT STEAL!

You only need to wait until April 3 to be able to make your real opinion public. I confess that from the pit into which Viktor Orbán and FIDESZ pushed the country, the road does not lead to the right or the left, but only upwards! [….]►HU.

Last week Tamás Wittinghoff, the mayor of Budaörs since 1991, first candidate of SZDSZ, later of both SZDSZ and MSZP, since 2010 for a local list and responsible for communal policies in Unity for Hungary, gave an interview with telex as well. “We want transparent, long-term, task-related normative funding that is the same for everyone and no matter how politically oriented the leadership is.” Wittinghoff said. This would mean an end to ad-hoc funding of regime-friendly local governments and starving of those whose voters prefer another party.

Wittinghoff declares that as a 1st step schools are to be given back to the local governments, the gigantic and highly bureaucratic basic school authority, the Klebelsberg centre, should be abolished. Schools should be handed back already in summer to those communities that are prepared to run them, others could rely on the state for some additional time.

Another point he wants to change is the central guided agglomeration of Budapest into the neighbouring towns as Budaörs is one. So the local planning and building must be done through a local authority again, not through the central state.

Wittinghoff by the way doesn’t want to go into national politics, he wants to stay in Budaörs and refused invitations to run for the constituency Pest 2 during the primaries. He sees his place in Budaörs and wants to engage himself in new relations between the central state and the local governments. The entire interview: ►HU.

UPDATE: Lázár has shown today that he is made from the same wood as his boss: The wood cowards are made of. He refused to debate with Márki-Zay as well. Reason ►HU: “Who does not tell the truth, who insults others, can’t be debated with.”

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Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
January 31, 2022 15:07

Off topic but in the news in Hungary. This Magyar Nemzet article featuring US ambassador to Russia John Sullivan simply would not have appeared in the weeks prior to the Madrid conference of “so called” conservative parties (some of which can only be called crypto-fascist) and Orban’s realization that even most of his rightwing allies in Europe see Russia as an aggressor nation in the context of Ukraine. So now we see quotes like this appearing in bold print: “Lining up more than a hundred thousand soldiers at the border is an extraordinary thing, not a military exercise. We are not saying that Russia will attack Ukraine, but with its turbocharged military presence, it has the opportunity to do so, not only from Russian territory but also through Belarus. It’s like a pistol on the table while I say I came in peace.”

I think what this article is about is to transforming Orban from being a pro-Russian traitor with obsessions related to the relatively small Hungarian speaking minority in Ukraine to being the peace maker. He becomes the bridge between NATO and Russia, in other words Orban’s endless and the boring endless dance continues. 

On the other hand we can read today Zsolt Bayer ranting about the USA having created a puppet state in Ukraine “created and operated by the CIA” in this article . So Fidesz exhibits some diversity allowing it’s Russian operatives some freedom of expression while Orban transforms himself with his shape shifting magic.

Now I have actually lived in what can reasonably be called a US puppet state, the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), where in fact the CIA did indeed support a coup and recreated the government. In August 1963, nine years before I showed up in Vietnam, South Vietnamese military officers initially planned to obtain support from the U.S. for their coup against the elected leader Ngo Dinh Diem. There are in fact tape recordings of US President Kennedy from October 29, 1963 captures the highest-level White House meeting immediately prior to the coup, including the President’s brother voicing doubts about the policy of support for a coup. (The White House Tapes: Eavesdropping on the President (New York: The New Press, 2003, 331 pp. + 8 CDs, ISBN 1-56584-852-7). This is what a real CIA and US state looks like. 

We also know what a Russian KGB sponsored state looked like in Hungary following the 1956 uprising and so does Zsolt. What we have in Ukraine is not that, we have many people wanting to drink from the EU fountain of supposed economic prosperity that being under the control of Russia can not bring. Whether or not such prosperity will be realized for all people in the event that Ukraine became part of the EU eventually is for history to decide. Is the USA supporting Ukraine in making these moves to the west, without question. Are we doing it for purely altruistic motives based on freedom? I honestly doubt it, but that also does not make Ukraine a puppet state either.  

January 31, 2022 18:40

Great reporting, Istvan.
I think, we must appreciate the fresh thinking and good communication of MZP!

January 31, 2022 19:32

Thanks for the article today, and nice to see the answer of MZP being so to the point.
If the opposition when they win the elections can hold around half the promises he makes, they are good. I think time will be the deciding factor, if Fidesz is able to organise chaos and protests after a defeat, the opposition government is in serious trouble. What bothers me is this “being a true Christian”, but we have to do with it.
Today Népszava started a series of articles from every county, and district of the capital tasting the atmosphere everywhere about the elections. I hope it will be nice to follow. Today’s one I like.

Szérmán Smuel
Szérmán Smuel
January 31, 2022 23:36

If you disapprove of what Istvan has reported of Orban’s government punshing towns with public dissent, then you would have to disapprove of the government in Washington, for they have been doing such a thing for a very long time.

Sad to say – this sort of thing is common around the world.

This takes us right back to the life and times of Christ, where He talked about and demonstrated the choices we have and consequences we face, when we buck the power of the world.

This world, though fascinating, is not an easy ride for anyone or any particular tribe.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
February 1, 2022 14:36
Reply to  István

Actually in the USA if the Federal government did what Orban did with local finances there would be a fiscal panic here. The reason is called the municipal bond market ( I personally have some money a municipal bond investment fund and all my interest is tax exempt from federal and State of Illinois income tax, the rate of return is lower than corporate bonds however and the investment requirements are generally to high for most investors in the USA. Currently the municipal bond market in the USA is close to a $4 trillion dollar market.

February 1, 2022 11:59

Go back to the black hole you crawled out.