A scathing article on Orbán's position re Unkraine's accession to the EU. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/06/ukraine-eu-accession-viktor-orban I'm still wonderring what the EU will…
Together with NATO, We Defend the Borders of Hungary and Europe
UPDATED – This is the statement of Orbán according to his official website ►HU. For a head of government of a NATO member this statement should be a very normal thing to be loyal with the other states that agreed on common defence. But in case of Viktor Orbán this sentence is a sensation! All his propaganda press was sent only days before chasing his opponent in the upcoming elections for saying pretty much the same, who announced to be loyal to NATO.
How does it come? Orbán is isolated and under pressure from abroad as well. The closest ideological ally of FIDESZ, the Polish PiS, has repeatedly called Orbán to allow harder sanctions against Russia. Banning Russia from SWIFT, the international interbank payment system, has been refused from several states by several reasons. Cyprus is functioning as safe harbour for the funds of Russian oligarchs, but agreed. Germany and Italy – where former European Central Bank governor Draghi is currently Prime Minister – were afraid of a collapse of international finances and agreed to exclude Russian banks instead of Russia itself. After yesterday president of Ukraine Zelensky called Orbán to agree with a ban on Swift also Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki spoke to Orbán again and he stated: “…. [Orbán] assured me of his support for far-reaching sanctions against Russia. Including about blocking the SWIFT system.” Translated with Google ►PL. I also heard about pressure from the other ally Orbán still has in Europe, Slovenia.
For this moment Orbán abandoned his love affair with Putin and the EU stands together closely. Remains the question: What does this newest turn around mean for the elections? Russia never was a very beloved country among Hungarians, the FIDESZ propaganda media have through the years pushed the people into the line of Orbán that Russia would be the best friend of Hungarians. Hard to know what FIDESZ voters will say regarding this new sudden turn of their idol. The official line that the Russia of 2022 is no longer the old Soviet Union is hard to maintain with the pictures arriving from Ukraine. The name changed, the person in charge changed, but not the desire of maintaining marionette regimes around, suppressing neighbours, and if neighbours don’t subjugate sending the military. I don’t know what the FIDESZ supporters will think about all this regarding the fact that Putin literally has bombed away the narrative of their own state party.
A question also discussed on Partizán yesterday evening ►HU. It is still amazing that most intelligent discussions about Hungarian politics take place on internet TV, especially contrasting the Russian propaganda on Hungarian state TV I wrote about yesterday. After an update how the situation in Ukraine was yesterday a long discussion took place, that would fill a post on its own. Later Katalin Cseh (MEP, M) was interviewed (1:12:56 in the video). She sat in a car at that moment, on a mission for the European Parliament within Transcarpathia, Ukraine. In her function as member of the EP committee of foreign affairs she wants to get an impression of her own at least in an area that is still far away from Russian troops. She saw a 30 km long row of vehicles in the opposite direction. She wants sanctions imposed on Russia that lead to a complete isolation of Russia. While young Hungarians are killed at the front, kindergartens and houses are bombed it is no time to think about good relationship with Putin. From Hungary she wants additionally to ban the International Investment Bank IIB, the former COMECON bank, that was installed in Budapest by Putin and Orbán and that got diplomatic immunity and the Russian members are suspected of intelligence activities. Remark: Romania had a share in IIB as well, but left yesterday. She also wants to ban Russian propaganda media from broadcasting within the EU. And she wants to stop the permission procedure for Paks 2 nuclear power plant. She also wants to get independent from Russian energy, but admitted within the same sentence that this would be a long-term project that only can be archived in European co-operation.
Next guest was Péter Márki-Zay (1:20:52 in the video). Before answering any question he pointed out that his answers on the questions of the host Márton Gulyás were abused through the regime media and that he talked about exactly the same as Orbán earlier today, about being a loyal member of NATO. He was victim of the most ugly attacks through these questions, what of course not will happen with Orbán in his own media empire. Here I have to agree and to disagree. Of course Orbán will not be attacked in the propaganda media for telling exactly the same as MZP has been attacked for. Nothing wrong to point out this fact instead of answering questions before. But it is part of good journalism not just to offer the interviewed just a space for ventilation of his thoughts, but also to insist on answering of questions. In the media world Orbán created not only the last 12 years, but before as well, this might get forgotten, but Partizán is obviously not the same as Kossuth Rádió, where “journalists” are only present for giving keywords to the PM on his Friday preaches. The abolition of free media in Hungary has made us too much believing in the idea that media have to serve parties or persons instead of informing.
Gulyás gave the good example to insist on answers after this statement as well. Márki-Zay answered that he definitely would not call for closing down gas deliveries, exactly in opposite to what did Orbán with Ukraine on Putin’s order before. This time, although invading Ukraine, Putin did not stop gas exports through Ukraine, but increased the quantity of gas channelling through Ukraine. The question of cutting off Europe from Russian gas at this moment is not even on table. What the sanctions are MZP wants? To do the same as Finland did, when stopping their nuclear power plant project they have together with the Russians. Closing down the spybank IIB Orbán installed in Budapest in a treacherous way by giving Russian spies diplomatic status. So much he serves Putin, so much he disregards Europe, so much is his disloyalty against NATO! And although being just a symbolic act the foreign minister should hand back the medal of friendship he got from his Russian counterpart.
Márki-Zay named in a row what else has been done by Orbán disregarding the interests of both the international community and Hungarians. Among them the released axle murder, sending weapon smugglers not to the USA who looked for them, but home to Russia, while it is NATO who is the only warranty of freedom Hungary has. And while president Biden declared to defend every single square centimetre of NATO member territories, states threatened by Putin what did Orbán do? As only member state refusing additional NATO forces coming to Hungary. Orbán did do what Putin ordered, although he earlier also threatened Hungary. Biden and the Americans were very correct when they said that Putin would attack Ukraine and not only want to “protect” the separatists. Treasonous Orbán means the highest risk for our own security.
Whether he has background information he could share with the audience? One that he has been strictly advised from Ukraine officials not to travel to Transcarpathia, since his return to Hungary could not be ensured in case of Russians might be present at the area at that time. Another information he got during his visit to Germany. Remark: He returned from Germany the night Putin invaded Ukraine. He met leaders of the 3 coalition parties, 2 state secretaries and a minister. With all of them of course the topic Ukraine was discussed. At that time his conversational partner said Orbán would veto sanctions against Russia. Orbán was regarded as the most disloyal partner within EU and NATO siding with Putin. Germany has no confidence in Orbán and they would be right, it is no good idea relying on a traitor.
The opposition wants to call together parliament and Orbán should declare what the people have to expect. Remark: Last seating Orbán did not participate. They want to discuss in parliament the question to ban Russian planes from Hungarian airspace. Right now Orbán is telling one thing one day and the opposite the next day. Still today the minister of defence is claiming the same Orbán did before that no NATO troops may enter Hungary, today Orbán seem to admit them. Within the V4 Orbán is isolated as the only serving Putin. The Slovenian PM called Orbán to move to stricter sanctions. The Polish pressured strongly concerning SWIFT. MZP told again that the swing policy must be ended now. Orbán has to express himself in front of Hungarians and the international community.
Whether FIDESZ would use the situation to postpone the elections with their 2/3 majority in parliament? Márki-Zay does not think so. He had the possibility already with the pandemic and decided to let the elections happen. And there are also financial reasons for having the elections early. Remark: Orbán has given away so many presents to the electorate that the state finances are endangered and regarding the shut down of EU funding we have to face it is even more important to change course and the “we can finance everything” attitude of Orbán can’t be held up for long.
And the problem of inflation. Already last year in May the governor of the central bank has called for actions against the inflation. Obviously Matolcsy is willing to fight inflation seriously and MZP is also prepared to do so. He has the impression that a co-operation in this field would be possible. Stopping throwing away money, stopping financing oligarchs, stopping corruption, stopping stadium building would contribute a lot. His aim is a strong Forint that allows the introduction of the Euro to get away from the weak Forint policy we have now. While the prosecutor general has been brought in position unconstitutionally the governor of the central bank was elected legally. But at least in case of inflation both Matolcsy and MZP pursue a common target.
And what is about the connections of Jobbik with Russia? Normal connections to Russia never have been a problem. That Jobbik had a very problematic member, Béla Kovács or better known as KGBéla, is correct, but he moved back to Moscow and plays no role any more in Hungarian politics. Within Unity for Hungary as today there are no problematic contacts to Russia at all, completely in opposite to FIDESZ. As far as Jobbik candidates concerned he doesn’t know anybody choosing the Russian side right now.
Asked what Mi Házank would think, since they usually have chosen to side with Russian and are completely silent about the war in Ukraine, MZP said that they will think what FIDESZ will tell them to think. A vaccinated MP campaigns against vaccinations, where their best results had been in the EP elections they did not even run in the local elections a few months later. They wouldn’t be an independent party, but the FIDESZ nazi wing.
At the end the question whether the war would push Orbán as the incumbent PM or whether his closeness to Putin would obstruct him? The regime propaganda will tell whatever they want, just as the opposition has been claimed to be anti-vaxxers, now that they would be war mongers for the same position Orbán also changed to – which MZP said is a relief to him. For him it is important that Orbán never again turns back to Putin, that Orbán never again betrays Hungary. The 36 days until the elections he should be able to keep up not to endanger our safety again. Who up to now is committed to the brainwashing media won’t change mind anyway. But there is another part of the Hungarian people. Rightwingers, Christians. Those, who never would vote for a traitor. No respectable Hungarian at all would do so.
UPDATE – The Czech Republic announced to leave IIB ►HU.