Might be the beginning of the end for the Fidesz rule, three fourth of the EP voting against them!
And promptly the Forint “rose” from 395 to 410 in just two days.
I’m still wondering when Hungarians will realize why prices are exploding – wait, of course it’s the EU’s fault …
Let’s do Huxit!
So Wolfi are you saying if Fidesz votes to exit the EU they are finished? My family members in Esztergom who are Fidesz supporters see it differently of course, they seem to think this will all blow over eventually with Orban making some minor concessions on the rule of law issues.
One in law who is I guess the family intellectual posted on Facebook a link to the minority opinion attached at the end of the report and signed by a small group of far-right MEPs from Spain, France, Poland, Italy and Hungary.
I know that there are other nations that have exhibited questionable use of EU cohesion funds and simply don’t want to attract attention by defending Hungary’s corruption.
Here is a link to the full text https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2022-0324_EN.pdf I will try to digest the full document eventually. But some parts offer an escape for local Fidesz administrations at the level of the county and municipal levels. Where it reads: “ Reiterates its call on the Commission to ensure that the final recipients or beneficiaries of EU funds are not deprived of these funds in the event that sanctions are applied under the Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism, as set out in Article 5(4) and (5), of the Rule of Law Conditionality Regulation; calls on the Commission to find ways to
distribute EU funds via local governments and NGOs if the government concerned does not cooperate regarding the deficiencies in the implementation of the rule of law;”
Rule of law is not the main condition for getting the Covid related compensation funds, as stipulated by the Commission, but it is a constant cause for concern regarding funds in general.
Responsible, coordinated “prophylactic” and transparent investments in a country’s ability to handle public health challenges AND meeting the planned reductions of the dependency on fossil fuels are the bigger criteria – Needless to say, Orbán & Co flunk out on both, big time.
They hit the bottom several times, by repeatedly not being able to provide satisfactory evidence of cooperation.
The current need for keeping step politically, only further exposes Orbán & Co’s disqualification.
They are relegation ripe, by all EU standards.
The fact that problems exist in other countries, is not an accepted excuse today.
I am not arguing for an excuse for Fidesz Don. I am indicating there are some pretty big crooks that voted for this resolution, who misuse funds themselves. They don’t want to draw criticism on themselves.
Bulgaria arrested in March the Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov on suspicion of misusing EU funds.
Ex-Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, the former head of the Budget Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament, Menda Stoyanova, and the former head of the government press office, Sevdalina Arnaudowa, also were arrested. At least they cleaned house, but of course there are more such crooks. Maybe the EU can use Hungary to terrorize the other crooks.
By the way we have plenty of political bag men here in Chicago who misuse public funds, even corrupt Generals in our military the USA is obviously not above criticism especially having had Trump running the show for 4 years.
Can you name some “big crooks” you are indicating to?
The EU rapport shows systematic corruption and deconstruction of democracy on government level. I am curious where we can find this elsewhere in the EU.
Responding to Jan, well Malta has six elected representatives and they all supported this resolution as far as I can tell from the vote. I suspect that none of them had ties to the history of corruption there involving looking the other way on Russian money laundering. There are 6 members of the European Parliament from Luxembourg and they voted for it or abstained too, having a history of corrupt practices linked back to JC Juncker. In January 2017, leaked diplomatic cables show Juncker, as Luxembourg’s prime minister from 1995 until the end of 2013, blocked EU efforts to fight tax avoidance by multinational corporations. Luxembourg agreed to multinational businesses on an individualised deal basis, often at an effective rate of less than 1%.
The Council of the European Union decided in March 2020 to open accession negotiations with Albania. This the case even though it has many of the same problems relating to the rule of law as Hungary has (see https://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/rule-of-law-looms-large-as-albania-takes-first-steps-toward-eu-membership/ many of these issues can be seen in a 2014 report from the US government.
Hopefully if the EU actually comes down on Hungary and cuts funds it could have a positive impact. If not it’s probably not good. The idea that the resolution approved wants to allow Hungarian towns and cities completely under Fidesz control to get direct EU funding avoiding the Orban national government even if the violations are not corrected is a huge problem.
As I said we are here in Chicago profoundly corrupt and have put many elected officials in prison, but the corruption continues.
The truth is in Chicago real estate developers pay legal bribes to local public officials for favorable consideration of required permits in the form
of campaign contributions. This has been the practice for a hundred years here.
Public funding for electoral campaigning is the way to go. This is the case in some European countries. Donations to political parties are nothing but bribes.
Sorry, I asked for the big crooks who are misusing public funds.
Not in the past as your Malta and Luxembourg examples, and not in the future as you suggest Albania will do.
I do not know of any country in the EU where corruption is a government business, and is built in in the law.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/15/viktor-orban-hungary-eu-funds/ “The E.U. must punish Viktor Orban, Hungary’s authoritarian leader” a pretty scathing Washington Post editorial about both the EU and the Orban government. But since as yet the USA has not managed to punish Trump the USA’s authoritarian leader. The Post could well be seen as hypocritical by many EU citizens. Calling for punishment and carrying it out are different things I guess,
That editorial very precisely addresses the relative weakness of the EU judiciary. I sense some frustration over the influential position Orbán appears to hold, in American far-right circles.
If the EU would stop funding the regime altogether, that would hit two flies with one swat.
Fidesz won the by-election in the Royal Castle district by legalized cheating.
Fidesz had moved dozens of people into fictitious addresses just a few days before the by-election.
Ukraine lacks a Napoleon.
Russian troops left Kremnina in their general disarray on September 11 or 12 .
Locals posted Ukrainian flags.
Ukrainian troops did not move in.
Russian troops returned in the strategic town on September 14.
Hold your horses!
If anything, the Ukrainians have shown the ability to keep cool under fire and surprising their enemy. This would not happen without confidence in adaptive self-management.
By the way, Napoleon was continously beaten with the help of bad weather, the importance of which he underestimated.
So this story https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/16/kherson-ukraine-russia-war-putin titled “
Modi rebukes Putin over war in Ukraine” could provide some hope that pressure will be brought on Russia to end the invasion. Unfortunately Putin responded to Modi that Russia would strive to stop the conflict “as soon as possible.”
Then after this meeting went on to attack Ukraine saying while responding to a question about the Russian military targeting civilian infrastructure, including the power grid in the Kharkiv region, leaving dozens of settlements without electricity and running water. Putin called these attacks “a warning.” He went on: “If the situation continues to develop in this way, the answer will be more serious.”
I think the real warning is all the new Ukrainian civilians found dead and buried with evidence of torture in areas Ukrainian forces have taken back. I have to wonder if the Russians have already already shot Ukrainian military prisoners Katyn massacre style who are supposedly in Russia proper. They are after all in the view of Putin all fascists.
The answers to Putin’s allegations are ugly.
Evidence of Russia’s war on civilians mounts by the day.
The International editin of the SPIEGEL has an interview with the Polish prime minister (in English) where he shows how angry he is with the germans for not fighting enough against Russia and helping Ukraine.
What he conveniently forgets to mention is that all this was done by the clerical fascists under Mrs Merkel.
Kind of funny are the last paragraphs:
Asked about Orbán and his position re Russia he evades and also claims that LGBT people have equal rights in Poland – doesn’t say a word about discrimination of women etc …
To me he is a real fascist!
The Polish government is certainly all too happy to use the war in Ukraine to help them improve their image abroad.
So Magyar Nemzet decided to visit the nuclear war possibility in relationship to Ukraine today in this article https://magyarnemzet.hu/kulfold/2022/09/joe-biden-nem-fedte-fel-mi-tortenik-ha-atomfegyvert-vetnek-be . The article discussed an interview President Biden gave to the US network CBS news that has not yet aired, but was released in what we call in the USA a teaser https://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-joe-biden-vladimir-putin-60-minutes-2022-09-16/ .
The CBS interviewer, Scott Pelley, asked President Biden this question: “As Ukraine succeeds on the battlefield, Vladimir Putin is becoming embarrassed and pushed into a corner. And I wonder, Mr. President, what you would say to him if he is considering using chemical or tactical nuclear weapons?” Biden actually did not answer the question, here is what he said: “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.”
Pelley asked the follow up question as to what would be the US response be if Russian did use either tactical nuclear weapons or chemical weapons in Ukraine? Biden responded: “You think I would tell you if I knew exactly what it would be? Of course, I’m not gonna tell you. It’ll be consequential. ”They’ll become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been. And depending on the extent of what they do will determine what response would occur.” Magyar Nemzet’s article quoted this response in translation in its article.
Actually President Biden said more here than Magyar Nemzet’s editors understood. What he did was apply a doctrine called proportional response. To understand this method I would recommend reading this https://carnegieendowment.org/2021/01/21/proportionate-deterrence-model-nuclear-posture-review-pub-83576 .
But President Biden applied the doctrine of proportional response in a way that set off some alarm bells among higher ranking US retired military officers last night that I received via comments posted on a private blog. The CBS teaser internet article came out around 7pm eastern standard time last night, by midnight there were dozens of posts on Biden’s comments. The first observation made by several higher ranking retired officers was Biden had just provided to Ukraine something of a nuclear umbrella even though it is not part of NATO using the doctrine of proportional response.
The NY Times only one hour ago ran an article on Biden’s comments https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/09/17/world/ukraine-russia-war/biden-threatens-a-consequential-response-if-russia-turns-to-unconventional-weapons?smid=url-share . The NY Times article does not even venture into the complex issue of NATO and the doctrine of proportional response.
Those knowledgeable readers of this blog are probably aware that NATO has an entity called the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG). The NPG provides the forum for consultation on all issues that relate to NATO nuclear deterrence. All Allies, with the exception of France, which has decided not to participate, are members of the NPG. So Hungary has a seat on this body and we have to assume given the official stance of the Orban government on the war in Ukraine it would not support a NATO tactical nuclear response or even a massive conventional response, even a proportional one, to Russian use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
The 2022 Strategic Concept, adopted by Allied Heads of State and Government at the NATO Summit in Madrid sets out the Alliance’s core tasks and principles, including deterrence. It states that NATO’s deterrence and defense posture is based on an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional and missile defense capabilities, complemented by space and cyber capabilities. But the concept of deterrence does not apply to non-member state Ukraine based on that document. So the assumption of the retired officers who commented was Biden would go forward with a proportional response relating to a Russian tactical strike without NATO agreement if necessary.
But my retired officer colleagues also pointed to Russian television where on Thursday Igor Korotchenko spoke about the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine on Moscow’s state-run TV Channel 1. There was a link posted to a translation of his comments which I read. They read as follows:
“We may encounter direct nuclear blackmail against Russia because American tactical nuclear weapons are now located at a number of NATO air bases and the formats of their use in combat envision the transfer to NATO countries with air power of free-falling American modernized nuclear bombs for hitting Russian territory.” Korotchenko also said: “Well, evidently the time has come for us perhaps, I’ve already said this, to hold drills for practicing scenarios in which Russian tactical nuclear weapons are used. It’s just that when we encounter NATO’s nuclear blackmail, we shouldn’t be running around thinking about how to respond. I propose that a nuclear planning ground be set up under the (Russian) Security Council in order to…determine our aims and objectives, including of the eventuality of us having to react in this way…which of NATO’s critical infrastructure facilities, which units and headquarters may be targets for a strike since we will soon be issued with a direct nuclear ultimatum by the NATO alliance.”
So going back to the Magyar Nemzet article it also tried to reassure Hungarians about the danger of nuclear war on its borders stating: “So far, Moscow has firmly ruled out using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, and most Western experts agree that the Russians would not risk such an escalation.” Putin has never taken off the table the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, because the Russian doctrine for their use is based on an existential threat to Russia which is not further defined. Ukraine now has forces on the border of Russia with artillery capable of firing miles deep into Russia, it would not be difficult for Putin to interpret that as an existential threat.
Second the Western experts who are arguing that Putin would not risk escalation in some cases also were doubtful Russian would launch a full scale invasion of Ukraine with the stated goal of elimination of the existing government declared to be fascist. Nor did some of these experts anticipate that the Russian strategy in Ukraine would include reducing Ukrainian cities to rubble with massive artillery and missile attacks either, because it would seem illogical since all of that property is of value and of use to Putin. But that all changed after the Russian failure to rapidly take Kyiv early in the war.
Istvan, thanks for this detailed analysis.
Sometimes while reading I had to shudder – this reminded me too much of the dystopian Science Fiction I’ve read.
I just hope that there is a bit of intelligence left in Putin’s environment to see that whatever they do it will have really bad consequences for Russia and them especially.
Or do they really think they could “win” a war against NATO?
Clearly some Putin fanatics believe Russia could win such a war, but what wining means is in question. Formally the Russian position is mutually assured destruction would be the outcome.
But even inside the US Air Force their are some who believe a nuclear war is winnable. In Russia Alexander Dugin wrote just on September 16: “ We are on the brink of World War III, which the West is compulsively pushing for. And this is no longer a fear or expectation, it is a fact. Russia is at war with the collective West, with NATO and its allies . . . Whether it will come to the use of nuclear weapons is an open question. But the probability of a nuclear Armageddon grows by the day. . . It is therefore worth coldly admitting that the West has declared war on us and is already waging it. We did not choose this war, we did not want it. . . The only thing that matters now is to win it by defending Russia’s right to be.”
The actual article is very long and I read it in translation. Since our host does not want links to Russian sources on this blog I can’t provide a link.
Dugin is a madman, but he is a madman who has the ear of Putin. Dugin in conclusion says: “At the heart of the global confrontation that has begun is the spiritual, religious aspect. Russia is at war with an anti-religious civilisation that fights God and overthrows the very foundations of spiritual and moral values: God, the Church, the family, gender, man. . . We are dealing with what the Orthodox elders call the ‘civilisation of the Antichrist’. . . You must not wait for the world enemy to destroy your home, kill your husband, son or daughter… At some point it will be too late. . . The enemy offensive in the Kharkiv region is just that: the beginning of a real war of the West against us.“
I have read that a thousand times and that already five hundred years ago and at that time there were already fairground screamers, the world is ending and only God can help.
Let’s just keep cool for a while and recognize what happens on the ground.
With speculation and internet-communication comes Russian hacking –
It’s no secret and probably the best “weapon” Putin can buy in these times – Just as Trump bought it, in order to sneak an election victory.
Did you think about the possible secret/officially “negative” German support for Ukraine? It makes a subtle diference.
Dugin sounds like Goebbels but also like the Catholic priests or Orban with his clerics. Nothing that could impress me, it is only the expected of existing culture.
taken from Hadházy Ákos’ facebook page (my translation):
“One of Hungary’s luxury military jets flew to St. Petersburg (!) on Tuesday afternoon and only arrived back here two days later, on Thursday evening. Either our air force has attacked the Russians, or some member of the government was being briefed again (e.g. based on the news or his Facebook page we don’t really know anything about what Orbán Viktor was doing between September 13 and his award ceremony in Serbia on Friday, but it would be very bold of him to have traveled in person again to the war criminals in Russia for instructions).”
„The European Commission is proposing to cut 7.5 billion euros in payments to Hungary for violations of the rule of law. Budapest wants to pass laws on an emergency basis to combat corruption“ … How many billions will be paid out?
Four fifths of the original sumof around 34 billions if I interpret this correctly, on fifth will be held back.
Orban laughs at the leadership of the European Union.
They are going to withhold only 1/5 of the money, and only for 2 months.
They will be satisfied if there are 2 bidders for EU funds:
Orban_fief.fake_competitor and Orban_fief.winner
I agree tappanch. So Magyar Nemzet ran with this headline today https://magyarnemzet.hu/belfold/2022/09/magyarorszag-megnyert-egy-brusszeli-csatat (Hungary won a battle in Brussels) which should actually read in my opinion Fidesz won the battle in Brussels. Telex does not agree that he decision that came out from the European Commission (EC) amounts in to a real victory for Fidesz, more like a conditional victory, see https://telex.hu/kulfold/2022/09/18/europai-bizottsag-dontes-jogallamisagi-mechanizmus-magyarorszag-johannes-hahn.
Johannes Hahn, the Commission’s budget commissioner, held a press conference on this on Sunday morning where he laid out the rudiments of the decision. Basically that if the Hungarian government implements the commitments it has made by November 19, and the Council accepts this, then there will be no withdrawal.
The Telex article indicates the Hungarian government is committed to important reform measures, and would adopt 17 new laws in the name of action against corruption and creation of the new anti-corruption authority. ( I saw it called the integrity authority, which is funny for a body likely controlled indirectly by Orban.)
I also listened to klubradio and came away with the impression that Fidesz will implement the proposed deal and that it represented a significant compromise for the EU. The Hungarian Minister of Regional Development Tibor Navracsics held a press conference where he assured Europe that the deal reached would be implemented by the Orban government.
Our late host Eva, made a serious critique of Navrasics some time ago and it is worth reading https://hungarianspectrum.org/2019/04/22/revolutions-devour-their-own-children-the-case-of-tibor-navracsics/.
I mean no offense to those who read this who are Momentum supporters, and really the most progressive of my few extended family members and friends in Esztergom who are not Fidesz are linked to Momentum, but I found the statement they issued today that called on Prime Minister Orban to “put aside the economic interests of his own cronies and relatives and ensure the arrival of EU funds to Hungary by fulfilling the minimum conditions required of all member states,” to be forró levegőt fújva.
It is not just the economic interests of the Fidesz oligarchs that are the problem, its Orban’s own economic interests and those of his family members that as has been well documented by Bálint Magyar and Júlia Vásárhelyi for years now.
Pity the European Parliament doesn’t have more power: it’s the only EU institution that is willing to address the problem head on with Orbán’s kleptocracy.
Money allocated to Hungary for 2021-2027 at April 2021 prices,
i.e. the numbers below + inflation.
billions of euros
Just transition fund: 0.262
Agriculture and rural development” 0.2983+3.0103+8.9280 = 12.2366
Recovery and Resilience Facility – grants: 7.2
Total: 43.1096 billion euros
2-month withholding 7.5 billion in Cohesion,
33.29% of the Cohesion,
17.40% of the total money.
If the 7.5 billion is at September 2022 prices and
the inflation factor determined by the EU bureaucracy is 13% in the last 1 1/2 years, then the temporarily withheld money is just
7.5/ (43.11*1.13) = 15.40%
Remember how proud the Hun government was about the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees that came to Hungary?
It seems most of them went on.Kafkadesk reports:
Only around 28,000 Ukrainians have chosen this country as their home for the near future.
European spot market price of gas:
2022.02.23: 9 cents/kWh (the day before the start of the war)
2022.08.30: 32 cents/kWh (peak)
2022.09.16: 17 cents/kWh
Orban’s second tier gas price, so called “reduced” price
747 Ft/m^3 = 747/10.55 = 70.81 Ft/kWh = 70.81/405 = 17.5 cents/kWh
I can’t pity the Hungarians for being so stupid naive.
I’m not sure they’re just naive. What I find disturbing is that 30 years after the end of “communist” indoctrination and even terror many people in the countries in the former communist block still don’t understand/haven’t accepted/don’t want democracy.
And what I find even worse is their longing for a right wing/fascist dictatorship!
The most horrible experience for me is that more than 20% of people in East Germany vote for the AfD (Alle Faschisten Deutschlands) – in some regions, even cities AfD ist the strongest party even!
I can’t find an explanation for this – is it just backlash from the communist times or what?
I would add to my response to tappanch bellow my own sorrow for supporters of democratic Hungary who have looked to the EU to fix the nightmare of Fidesz rule in Hungary. They are overwhelmingly very good people who mean well for Hungary. I recall the many times our late host Eva would say the EU Commission is close to bringing down the hammer on Fidesz corruption, only to be disappointed by the reality of the decisions reached eventually. She was actually enthusiastic about JC Juncker, who had his own trail of corruption back in Luxemburg breaking the back of the Fidesz money machine. I thought to myself how can such a brilliant woman believe this? Talán a remény egy reménytelen helyzetben. Eva eventually recognized her error about Juncker in a comment on her blog to her credit, she did not hide from reality once it became fully apparent.
Istvan you just don’t get it – Eva was an optimist that was one of her drives. I think criticism of this leads nowhere. It’s boring if you want to portray yourself as smarter than Eva. I never agreed with any criticism of Eva on your part, but that’s just me.
It’s not smarter at all it’s seeing that EU has corruption too and Orban sees that as a justification for Fidesz stealing all it can. Juncker was seen from day one by Orban as a member of the corruption club.
We have innumerable numbers of politicians similar to Juncker in the USA that specialize in granting corporate tax breaks. and they get ingenious kickbacks.
EU countries with corrupt govt. practices have (like Hungary) made their people used to that order of business.
It’s a fundamental weakness in any democracy.
Guys, wait a second! The 2 months Orbán got was to reform Hungary completely and abolish all problems concerning the rule of law the commission found. It is not a limited time of punishment and thereafter it will be over! But with a new system where Antal Rogán will be the independent chief corruption hunter (I am not joking) offering security to the EU? Although concerning the RRF: Poland offered to abolish the punishment of judges and the commission did not accept a pure change of name. Cosmetics can‘t be the solution.
While talking about the RRF: Actually there is no Hungarian plan for the grants, not even a proposal. Key problem here is that the funding is bound to things the Orbán dislikes – as for example green energy, education, or projects for equal chances in society. Regarding the low interest loan of the RRF there is no application, just an obscure letter that Hungary would like to participate after the earlier refusal of making debt. Besides problems in finding projects that both fit into the rules and Orbán allows happening in Hungary the use must be safe in the meaning of avoiding corruption. BTW deadlines are approaching and without an accepted plan money will be lost.
Adding the agriculture funds to the entire calculation is not useful. This money all farmers in the entire EU get on an equal formula. It never has been thought about cutting. The land grabbing of the FIDESZ mafia just adapted to the EU rules. And who is allowed to own land in his own country is definitely nothing the EU has say in.
The old story of corrupt Luxembourg should slowly come to an end. Still today it is not only legal, but commonly wanted, that members attract companies by low taxes. Only the formerly legal idea to give extreme low taxes to companies that only make profit in other EU member states has been abolished, when – indeed through the Luxembourg example – the member states agreed no longer to get profit just by damaging other member states. I made a list of all EPP members who voted in the EP against the resolution last week , where also Juncker and his party are members of. All MEPs from Juncker‘s party voted for the resolution. And what is the real difference between Bulgaria, where the former PM has been put to trial, and Hungary? In Bulgaria corruption can be prosecuted in courts with independent judges, in Hungary prosecution on charges of real or invented corruption is a political punishment. The EU is not expecting that criminals extinct through the rule of law mechanism, but that criminals won‘t be protected from prosecution by politicians.
And with this resolution we have the next point: The EP is not happy with the commission. I remind to the fact that the resolution puts the commission in complicity to the Orbán regime. Such a statement has never been passed by the EP before. It is hard to tell what the EP will do next. The EP has already in 2017 triggered the start of the Art 7 procedure, the hardest possible punishment of a member state, so this is no new option. The EP has taken the commission to the court in the case of Hungary as well, the 2nd hardest mean the EP has against the commission, this has been a unique step. The hardest would be the vote of non-confidence.
Is there a reason to postpone a voting over cutting the funds? Well, the commission doesn‘t need to fear too much a veto from Orbán against the “stupid” and “not working” sanctions against the Putyin regime, they need to be renewed shortly. In November most sanction packages will have been renewed. In fact Orbán has made a lot of offers to solve the problems the EU has with the legal system FIDESZ had introduced by passing 17 laws. I don’t believe that these offers were made to enable a working legal system. But the commission can’t be blamed by the regime that they hadn’t the time to do so. Of course, these offers are poisoned and the postponing shows how weak the commission is compared to the EP. But one can find arguments for this decision.
At the end to Don, who wanted to know whether no funding would mean no Orbán. No, he wouldn’t implode, neither in biological sense nor in the sense of power. If you accept the estimations that about 30 % are stolen from all funding the remaining 70 % that are used in favour of the Hungarian economy would result in an implosion of the economy. Of course, if the cut had been in the beginning of 2021 as earliest possible, the elections wouldn’t have happened with voters showered by tax breaks and extra pensions. The never-ending story of Orbán as engine of economic success and cheap life would have ended in summer 2021 instead of summer 2022. No warranty that this would have been a game changer in April, but for sure a very different situation. Stopping funding now (or November) wouldn’t end the regime, but bring us closer to a Hunxit. In case of the EU having no longer financial value there is no reason why not to forbid the remaining free press and to arrest politicians that are annoying to Orbán. Declaring Hunxit a year before elections the central question of the elections would have been determined. Now declaring Hunxit would allow being out before the next elections. And whether only FIDESZ, “yes or yes” stands on the ballot, is another question.
István I do not believe in this statistic that in Hungary the greatest support for the EU is a conviction of democracy but the conviction of a lot of money that beautify a pair of ugly spots. I find that here in the country again … We will see when the teachers and the professors become smarter and no longer vote for Fidesz. Most do not even understand the connections then a sack of potatoes is enough that you can pay with tax money.
To be honest, I never heard about a poll selecting why people want to be EU member. Of course the financial advantages of being EU member are extremely important and it is true as well that the EU is not the source of democracy, but the people are. Don, while you just mentioned the for sure relevant transfers from Brussels, the by far most important financial benefit for Hungary is participating in the common market! It could be that the generally wealthier population in Western Europe could serve as example that a free society with democracy and rule of law offer a bundle that could be used as example for the own country. But for using this example the people would need an understanding that only having the chance to make a cross at several places doesn’t constitute a democracy and vote selling does not represent the advantage of living in a democracy.
To be honest, it was not a poll it was a statistic.
The EU has its origin in the Treaty Of Rome, to which the governments of France, (West) Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg signed, in 1952.
The first expansion, in 1973, included Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark, through referendums.
The second expansion, included Greece (1981), Spain and Portugal, in 1986, also through referendums.
Third Expansion included Finland, Sweden and Austria in 1995, through referendums.
The fourth expansion, in 2004, included Slovenia, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Cyprus and Malta.
In 2007, Romania and Bulgaria joined.
in 2013, Croatia joined.
I wish you had the time and or energy to post more frequently, the idea of an institutional split between the EP and it’s commission relating to dealing with corruption merits some thought. Thanks for your extended comment.
Allow me in a beginning to name the EU institutions involved in this question. The European Parliament (EP) is directly elected by the people based on proportional representation by country and a slightly higher representation of the countries with smaller population. Decisions are regularly based on majority, in a few cases 2/3rd majority. The European Council as kind of 2nd Chamber of Parliament, wherein the governments of the member states take seat in. They decide on a few cases as for example common foreign affairs unanimously, in most cases in qualified majority, which means at least 15 members, representing at least 65 % of the population, in a few cases with reinforced qualified majority of 20 members and 65 %. And the European Commission, in fact the EU government. The Council suggests the EP to elect a commission. Without majority in the EP no commission, the EP can refuse every single proposed commissioner (as we have seen in the case of Trócsányi.) The EP can’t elect a Commission without the proposal of the Council, but has the right to unseat the Commission with supermajority, no matter what the Council wants. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is a body of independent judges that can be addressed to by all institutions in case of disputes between each other or by the Commission in case of disputes with member states – or the member states against the EU. The basic treaty the EU is founded on, in a state it would be called constitution, is the Treaty on the European Union (TEU.)
Concerning the Article 7 TEU procedure both the Council and the EP may take the initiative, the Commission only can act by suggesting to the Council to do so. In case of Poland Commission and Council did so, in case of Hungary the EP. The Commission has after investigations and negotiations to solve the deficits to put it to the Council for voting for a deadline. If things are still not solved the Council votes with unanimous vote (the only time this is needed in this procedure) and the EP with supermajority. This article enables suspension of voting rights of the country constantly and severe violating the basic values of the EU, these are democracy, rule of law, human rights and so on in widest sense.
The rule of law conditionality is more limited, but easier to pass. Here only the Commission may start the procedure and normal voting takes place, the hurdle of unanimous vote is not to be taken in this procedure, this means however Poland would vote it has no meaning. Whether the regime manipulates elections doesn’t matter, whether Orbán dictates the news on public TV neither, just to take 2 examples. While both are against the basic values these don’t fit into the conditionally. Here it is a pure measure about EU funding. If a case of fraud occurs the case should end in front of independent judges and not be ended with Péter Polt telling the public that for example the thick Elios dossier he got from EU anti-fraud department OLAF doesn’t contain a single sign of a crime being committed.
The rule of law mechanism was adopted in December 2020 and became effective on January 1st, 2021, passed together with the 7-year budget of the EU unanimously. The regime was cheating for more than 10 years with EU funding at that date. The EP stood on the position that the Commission should use that clause immediately. Instead the Commission remained inactive. Poland and Hungary both waited until March 31st, 2021, the very last possible day to sue the EU for adopting a procedure not obeying the TEU, especially Article 7. Orbán hoped to postpone this way all decisions about the conditionality to the time after the 2022 elections. Not without telling the world already in 2020 that the EU would try to interfere in the 2022 elections by implementing the conditionality. Indeed the Commission remained inactive. But the ECJ decided in February 2022 that the rule has been adopted correctly and is definitely not violating the TEU. Orbán used this to declare how bad Hungary is treated by the EU, just days after he hinted the EU that he is happy about membership, but the EU must for keeping Hungary as member accept how he is ruling and stealing.
In the meantime the EP sued the Commission for inactivity, because there was a mechanism adopted and Orbán still happily allowed stealing EU funds. This inactivity procedure is not decided about by ECJ yet, but no longer really important, since only days after the elections the Commission started the procedure. Indeed Orbán negotiated how to change the rules for avoiding the cut in funding. There are suggestions and promises. When all will be of a kind as appointing Antal Rogán to chase corrupt members of the regime these are absolute useless acts of course. Vera Jourová, commissioner for justice, today declared that there is no solution agreed on, but that Hungary has to prove that the EU funds will be save in future by adopting well working checks and a proper legal framework. Until now the problems aren’t solved at all. Even if the case might be closed in November there is no reason not to open another procedure in case of state backed fraud. In opposite Orbán got also today friendly words from Kremlin spokesman Peskov for his fight against the EU – very helpful. The regime press was so proud of “Orbán beating the EP” by the Commission postponing the decision about the rule of law conditionality until November and sold it as “great victory.” Surrendering (whether for show or as real option) as beating those who Orbán surrenders to.
The 3rd time the EP has named a rapporteur about the situation in Hungary. All reports, named after the rapporteurs, have been adopted by parliament. The Tavares Report with majority and against the votes of entire EPP, where FIDESZ was part of. The Sargantini Report was adopted with 2/3 majority and started the Art. 7 procedure, most but by far not all EPP members voted in favour. Now the Delbos-Corfield Report got 74 % of the votes, only a few EPP members voted against, mainly the Orbán depending KDNP and RMDSZ, his favourite SDS from Slovenia and French Les Républicains, a party that saw it’s last president going to jail (yes, it is possible!) All reports have one thing in common: They are documents of a permanently deteriorating situation and clearly state so.
The 1st time ever the Commission was now named as being in complicity with a criminal organisation. Already earlier there were calls for a non- confidence vote against the Commission concerning the missing distance to Poland. We mustn’t forget that v/d Leyen is member of EPP and suggested by Macron, who is an important figure in liberal Renew. And all Renew members and most EPP members accused her in the resolution last week. I have no idea what will happen, but November will be interesting.
Sadly no one in the EP will risk to propose a motion of censure against the Commission, the stakes are higher than Hungary’s political situation.
There is a caucus of Hungarian pro EU politicians, “Európai Magyarországot!” which seems to gain more support in HU now.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/19/pentagon-psychological-operations-facebook-twitter/ is about US military trolls in internet combat with Russian and Chinese trolls apparently with all sets of trolls lying about stuff. Honestly I am not shocked, I also suspect Ukraine is employing military trolls too.
“Kremlin says it values Hungary taking ‘sovereign positions’ inside EU”
Hello Mrs. von der Leyen the Russians appreciate your cooperation in undermining the EU.
Actually hvg.hu was sort of humorous about this today writing “Peskov (Putin’s PR voice) did not elaborate on exactly what “sovereign position” they had in mind, but it is not too difficult to guess.”
I interpret “the lickspittle of Putin first VdL second”. 🙂
Back to reality in Hungary:
This totally crazy story is all over the Hun media.
After 4 years of studying a young teacher makes not more than a cleaner at the same school – 200 000 HUF/month.
Of course O1G says that would be much better if the EU gave the billions of €s to Orbanistan.
And Hungarian deplorables really believe this crap?
I saw it too. Apparently these were two ads, one for an English teacher, one for a janitor and the salary difference was still in favour of the teacher but by just a few Forints.
There was an article on Telex about a teacher who quit her job as it simply wasn’t possible for her to continue teaching even though it was her childhood dream. Quite revealing of the dire situation teachers in Hungary face on a daily basis and not just financially.
Bread price inflation August 2022 vs August 2022
#1 Hungary 65.5%
#2 Lithuania 33.3%
EU27 average: 18.8%
#27 France 8.2%
Correction: Bread price inflation August 2022 vs August 2021
“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche !”
“Enfin je me rappelai le pis-aller d’une grande princesse à qui l’on disait que les paysans n’avaient pas de pain, et qui répondit : Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.”
My wife told meto buy at least 20 kilos of flour and special “bread mix” (containing sunflower seeds etc) over the last months so we can bake our own bread this winter – and the oven will help with heating, in the hot summer we didn’t use it.
Poland promised to protect Hungary from the EU’s illegal keeping their rightful money – but what about legally keeping the money?
‘We have mightily deceived the EU’ he did NOT say so just laughed.
Orban’s people will not leave the boards of the privatized universities and other privatized enterprises, having taken billions of euros of public assets with them.
My wife just told me that they fired the boss of the Hungarian Post and installed an O1G friend.
And there are many more examples of tappanch’s remarks.
And back to the everyday life:
We just went for a walk and bought 20 eggs from one of our neighbours, really good, free range hens that we often see outside.
She almost cried when she told us that next week she has to raise the price from 70 to 80 HUF per egg, food has got so expensive. I still remember when she asked for 50 forint.
Interesting comment Wolfi, I have been wondering for some time now why the inflation in Hungary was so high compared to other European countries. I could imagine the economic situation is one reason but I cannot help but wonder if it has something to do with so many unqualified O1G friends placed at the helm of so many public institutions and public services companies all across the country. Maybe someone can confirm or give a better explanation?
So Magyar Nemzet ran this article today which caught my eye, https://magyarnemzet.hu/mozaik/2022/09/hol-el-a-legtobb-milliomos-a-vilagon the title translates to “Where do most millionaires live in the world?” Generally here in the USA is the answer, but the concept of being a millionaire is let us say passé here in the USA. So I discover from reading this article that it suddenly redefined who was and was not considered a millionaire. It used a standard it claimed was created by the consulting firm Henley & Partners in the UK that used formal definition of a multi-millionaire is someone whose assets exceed $10 million (USD). It also indicated that Chicago was listed as having the 7th highest number of millionaires in the world (the actual definition of Chicago is not within the legal city limit of the city, but rather what is called the metropolitical statistical area of Chicago). The article in Magyar Nemzet is based on a very poorly written article that appeared on vg.hu. which is a Hungarian business daily.
I was intrigued because depending on how ones wealth is defined I might have been just removed from Chicago’s prefered millionaire status, because my own wealth as now can be reasonably measured is below $10 million USD when marked to market values. So I went to the Henley & Partners website, and discovered this article https://www.henleyglobal.com/newsroom/industry-insights/the-changing-face-of-millionaire-migration written by Dr. Juerg Steffen the Chief Executive Officer, Henley & Partners. In it he clearly writes “A millionaire is an individual with a net worth (the value of all financial assets and real estate after deducting any debt) in excess of USD 1 million, but it is useful to distinguish between high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) — those who have a net worth of at least USD 1 million in liquid assets — and ultra-HNWIs (UHNWIs) — those who have more than USD 30 million in liquid assets.” So I am saved, my status is assured.
But actually Dr. Steffen’s article was more about the decline in millionaires ((HNWIs) internationally, along with the movement of so-called and he writes: “The coronavirus has severely disrupted the global economy, with estimates showing that private wealth levels dropped by 14% in the first six months of 2020.” While those of us who may be HNWIs might be declining billionaires are increasing internationally.
Aside from Magyar Nemzet’s confusion on who is and who is not a millionaire in Chicago really the article does not explain to Hungarian readers what the hell Henley & Partners actually does, which it does state pretty clearly on its website as “Our specialist private client advisors guide hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs and their families each year, providing expert advice on the best residence and citizenship by investment solutions available to them worldwide… Having options is an essential part of any family’s insurance policy for the 21st century. The more jurisdictions a family has access to, the more diversified its assets and the lower its exposure to both country-specific and global volatility will be.” Particularly relevant to Hungary is the fact that there is zero evidence that Henley & Partners recommends that a guy like me move to Esztergom or even Budapest.
As those of us familiar with Hungary know, the Orban government has offered residence to richer individuals, in return for investment and job creation in Hungary. A growing number of countries host residence and citizenship by investment programs (also known as golden visa programs) that offer a variety of attractive investment options designed to cater to each family’s unique requirements. Hungary’s visa program is not even on the recommended list for rich people. One has to wonder why Magyar Nemzet did not report that? Eva wrote several articles over the years on how Hungary was selling passports effectively to allow various international crooks to enter the EU, but really if they are wealthy and not on an a wanted list as corporate criminals Hungary is just an access point to western Europe. Many sane Russian oligarchs and even less than patriotic Ukrainians with deep pockets may have used used such options as Eva discussed well before the start of the current Russian invasion.
Russia wants to annex 4 regions of Ukraine within a week, after a completely ridiculous and fake “referendum”.
Big parts of the Zaporozhie and Donietsk regions are not even under Russian occupation, similarly to small chunks of Kherson and Luhansk.
Will Putin drop atomic bombs on Ukraine saying that Ukraine continues to attack the newly annexed territories?
“the Zaporozhye “oblasty” should be renamed into the Zaporozhie “kray”;
the referendum will be held in the liberated part of the Zaporozhye region, and then step by step in the rest of its territory as it is liberated.”
This article about one hour old
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/20/russia-referendum-annexation-luhansk-donetsk-kherson-ukraine/ Links the annexation vote to an increased possibility of a tactical nuclear strike by Russian forces in Ukraine stating: “After annexing the territories, Moscow would likely declare Ukrainian attacks on those areas to be assaults on Russia itself, analysts warned, a potential trigger for a general military mobilization or a dangerous escalation such as the use of a nuclear weapon against Ukraine.”
The nuclear strike possibility continued in the article:
“The use of a nuclear weapon would cross a bright red line. President Biden over the weekend warned Putin not to use an atomic weapon. Asked by a reporter on the CBS news show “60 Minutes” what he would say to Putin if he were contemplating such a move, Biden said: ““Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It would change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.
Prominent Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of RT, who is among the hawks cheerleading for a tougher approach to Ukraine, tweeted Tuesday that the moves underway could lead to Russia’s victory or nuclear war, hinting that Russia is about to ramp up its actions.”
The Post article quoted Margarita Simonyan as writing: “Judging by what is happening and what is about to happen, this week marks either the eve of our imminent victory or the eve of nuclear war. I can’t see any third option.”
Well I do not see Russia anywhere near an imminent victory so maybe nuclear war is nearer with this annexation vote. What I do find far more scary is I can read blog comments from retired US Air Force strategic commanders who believe any use of nuclear weapons by Russia is an opportunity to finish off the evil empire once and forever. I think they may have watched the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Dr. Strangelove too many times.
If Putins nuclear bombs supply lines in the Dnepropetrovsk – Krivoy Rog (Rih) region, he can cut off the Ukrainian troops and conquer the Ukrainian-held parts of the Donietsk and Zaporozhie.regions.
Well that I guess that assumes tappanch that there would be no significant US response, once Russian missiles start flying things could get very ugly for the whole of Europe. Let’s all hope it doesn’t start.
New decree by the Orban government :
The decisions and discussions of its (CoViD and energy) “operating bodies” in the last 2 1/2 years are reclassified as secret RETROACTIVELY.
The government wants to win a lawsuit against the weekly HVG by this decree.
The state and details of the Hungarian-European negotiations
Putin blamed the West even for the Islamists in the Caucasus in his speech of September 21.
He is the Nazi, Hitler reincarnated.
Loss of the Soviet Union in 1991 = Loss of greater Germany in 1919
Donietsk basin, Crimea 2014 = Sudetenland 1938
Post-occupation referendum for E and S Ukraine to “join” Russia 2022
= post-occupation referendum for Austria to “join” Germany 1938
His speech is full of lies:
Erdogan has a better historical claim than Putin.
The Tatars and Turks ruled it much longer than Russia !
Genova ruled southern Crimea for 215 years (1261-1476).
What Putin calls New Russia (southern Ukraine), the territory of NovoRossiya, was part of Russia for 142 years ONLY, between 1775 and 1917.
Putin threatens to use nuclear weapons:
“our country also has various means of destruction, and for some components more modern than those of the NATO countries. And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff.”
His chief lies are:
‘the West wants to take away Russian territory’.
In fact, his is the biggest country on Earth, but he still wants to annex more territory – now it is Ukraine.
‘The West threatens him with nuclear weapons’.
He is the only one who threatens to use nuclear weapons. First time he did so in his February 24 speech.
Actually since you have seen his speech and possibly read a transcript then you are aware he went far beyond just a claim the west wants to take away Russian territory. In fact he clearly stated that the goal of the west is now the destruction of Russia as it exists. So he has now met the Russian criteria of an existential crisis that threatens the existence of Russia as the basis for the use of nuclear weapons including as a first strike option. (See “Voyennaya doktrina Rossiyskoy Federatsii” Военная доктрина Российской Федерации [Military doctrine of the Russian Federation]. scrf.gov.ru (in Russian). Moscow: Security Council of the Russian Federation. 2010-06-25 [presidential decree 2010-06-25]. Archived from the original on 2011-05-04.)
It is the common belief of many US citizens and residents that the USA does no support the possibility of a first strike. This is incorrect. Since 2017, in the US Congress Ted Lieu, Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, and Adam Smith all introduced bills to limit the President’s ability to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike. Calls to limit the President of the United States‘ ability to unilaterally launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike increased after the January 6 United States Capitol attack. During the 2020 United States presidential election Joe Biden expressed support for a “sole purpose” declaration confirming that the only use of U.S. nuclear weapons would be as a deterrent, although this is distinct from a “no first use” declaration identifying that the United States would not unilaterally use them. None of this legislation has ever been called for a vote in Congress.
Putin should be afraid that it is China and not the West who would take away parts of a weakened Russia.
Sparsely populated Siberia would be a great bounty for China.
Tappanch please recall our host asked us all not to use links to Russian news services. I understand you are not trying to promote Russian propaganda and read Russian sources myself regularly with the assistance of software. Just explain what the Russian media is saying which is acceptable to Istvan.
https://ridl.io/the-kharkiv-offensive-and-its-consequences/ this honestly coming out only yesterday on the Russian opposition website Riddle is dated. None the less it shows the dysfunctional situation of the Russian military. The issue of Russian possible use of tactical nuclear weapons is not discussed at all in this article.
My understanding from statements I have seen from retired officers on closed blogs is that US forces located in Europe are now operating at what is called DEFCON level 2 or red alert. This is a high level of preparation. DEFCON 2 was declared for the US home command on: October 22nd, 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Currently here, in the USA, it appears we are at DEFCON 3, not 2 indicating a Russian strategic attack on the USA itself is currently not likely.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/21/russia-ukraine-war-latest-updates/#link-7O5OHKIS2BDOFFWV7SP4OH4NGQ the title reads “ Zelensky says he cannot rule out possibility of Russian nuclear strike.”
Given that US European stationed forces are apparently now at DEFCON 2 what else could Zelensky say.
Apparently the world markets are betting on the USA coming out ahead in any nuclear conflict with Russia see https://www.barrons.com/articles/dollar-putin-russia-ukraine-51663746930 . To be honest that’s crazy.
This story https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-fleeing-mobilization-dbe01d0c9be45a8c479565501a2a8f32 indicates the Russian heroes are getting out as fast as possible to avoid the draft. Putin had better close the borders as fast as possible.
It probably won’t be long before Russians face restrictions on flight tickets out and stricter border control.
Human traffickers will look forward to that.
Emirates Air Lines still have tickets for Dubai (from St. Petersburg) at a wild rate: 4,966 Euro for a single ticket. Everything else appears to be booked.
Join the Netherlands, vote in a referendum this weekend.
Following the rules that our host on this blog has requested of us I will not be providing the links to Russian sources for this post. It is widely being reported in Russia that Dmitry Medvedev has made a very provocative response to a comment made by retired US Army Lieutenant General Ben Hodges,who was the former commander of the US Army in Europe, who said that US forces could destroy Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, that’s based in Crimea, or its bases on the peninsula if Moscow resorts to using tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. General Hodges made the comment to the UK’s Daily Mail via email apparently.
Now General Hodges has no direct access to planing for a US response to Russian use of tactical nuclear weapons. I have no doubt that numerous scenarios have been run using simulation software by the US NSA and the US Department of Defense. So I am pretty confident President Biden will be presented with a menu of options for him to implement in the event Putin uses tactical nuclear weapons against Ukrainian forces. I assume one included option would be not to respond at all with a counter strike of some type, even though Biden had indicated in the last few days he would respond with a conventional or nuclear attack on Russian forces. That option seems not likely at this point to be Biden’s pick.
President Biden under existing United States law would have as US Commander in Chief has the full authority for such a decision. There is also no obligation that NATO even be consulted, but I suspect that certain countries that have representatives to the NATO Nuclear Planning Group have been provided some information already on the US planning process for this possibility. I assume Hungary even though they are represented on the NATO Nuclear Planning Group would be excluded completely from such consultations as might some other nations.
General Hodges is making a very informed guess and nothing more and of course Russia is well aware of that. So the response from Dmitry Medvedev who is Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation was authorized by Putin himself without question or else it would not have been spread all over the Russian media. On Medvedev’s Telegram account today he called Lt General Hodges, without naming him, a “retired idiot” for raising the possibility of the US attacking Crimea in response to a Russian tactical attack on Ukrainian forces. He went on to write Russia would defend all of its territories using not only conventional ground forces being mobilized but also with “any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons.” He then added this: “Hypersonic [missiles] are sure to hit targets in Europe and the US much faster, the Western establishment and NATO citizens need to understand that Russia has chosen its own path” and there is “no way back.”
So now clearly Russia is escalating its potential response to any US counter strike against Russian forces in the event they use tactical nuclear weapons with launching of intercontinental nuclear armed missiles targeting the USA itself and NATO nations. Possibly Péter Szijjártó should get a message to Medvedev asking if Hungary would be spared from any Russian ICBM assault.
Dmitry Medvedev is he the one who advised Putin to drop a nuclear bomb on GB and others?
Yes he has a death wish for his own people and for all of us I guess.
I am not impressed by Medvedev – just as I am not impressed by Trump as the supreme commander 🙂 or Walker Bush. Fear doesn’t impress me either and certainly not a loudmouth who wants to defeat Ukraine in three days. Imagine there comes one from America and claims a UV lamp destroys the corona virus (best accessibility through the anus.)
Yes but people like Medvedev, Trump, and Putin can kill all of us. I am very frightened of them all to be honest and take them very seriously.
Yes, you have to take them seriously, but you can’t let yourself be intimidated and blackmailed. The argumentation that it once belonged to us can be put forward in Europe by any country in history, even the Turks, who occupied Ukraine longer than the Russians.
Even the threat of nuclear weapons is not very convincing if the alternative is occupation by Russia and/or Russian Federation. I have read articles about discrimination against ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea. First of all, they are denied help in the health care system. If one is not opperated and the consequence is an “unnecessary” death.
One question is not answered where the “new” borders will be drawn if Russia wins? Another is whether you can live there, for example, write a post on a blog.
PS. If the Ukrainians can kick Putin’s butt, what do they do with a Putin-Pinscher?
These guys are like Hitler who wanted all the Germans to be killed too after it was obvious even to him that the war was lost.
Fight until your last cartridge and then use your spent weapon to hit the enemies!
There were several examples where Germans came up to the Allies with white flags and were killed by Nazis.
My hometown has a story here with a happy ending:
The Nazis destroyed almost all of the bridges but then fled and Dr Dobler, head of the local military hospital with more than 7000 patients, went with a white flag to the advancing French soldiers.
After two hours Tübingen was occupied – in peace. Many French soldiers came later to the former German barracks.
My favourite story as a student in the 60s:
In my “Stammkneipe” we were visited regularly by French soldiers, many of them black or brown (Moroccans eg) and they sold us cigarettes, champagne, cognac etc at really good prices which they had bought at the military store, tax free.
So they made good money and everybody was happy.
Whatever happens I fear that the end of this war will be much worse, never thought it could happen again.
Anti-American, anti-NATO & pro-Russian propaganda article in Orban’s semi-official daily :
‘In spite of article 5 of NATO, Hungary should not get into a war with Russia’
Russian links are not permitted here (why not? we are not people with no brain)
Are Orbanist links still permitted?
That is what our host advised me, it may be due to EU prohibiting some .ru sites. I am surprised you do not recall that.
From the Guardian – No comment necessary:
Reuters reports that Poland has distributed iodine tablets to regional fire departments to give to people in the event of radioactive exposure, after concerns about fighting around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Poor Hungary is bullied by Biden and the EU – which is now a gang of socialist, shrinking economies. Nearly the entire continent is mired in deep recession thanks to green-energy foolishness, high tax rates, low productivity, big-government socialism initiatives, and a collapsing currency.
Of course Hungary is different – the Forint is rising every day just as prices have been rising by 50 or even 100% – Glorious Hungary!
As is obvious there is a proliferation of articles in the popular news media internationally about the issue of nuclear war between the United States and Russia over what is now more and more being characterized as the potential use of at least tactical nuclear weapons against Ukrainian conventional military forces by Russia. Following this trend today the Washington Post published late yesterday an article titled “US has sent private warnings to Russia against using a nuclear weapon.” It was written by Paul Sonne and John Hudson which can be read here https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/22/russia-nuclear-threat-us-options/ .
Now as is typical of these types of articles in the Washington Post or the New York Times these authors of this article never inform it’s readers how they know this, all they write is the information comes from “US officials.” We do not even know if these unnamed US officials who informed the Post that the Russians have been warned via “private communications to Moscow” that there would be serious but unspecified consequences if they attacked with nukes had first hand knowledge of those communications. But supposedly those warnings were kept “deliberately vague.” As I have already posted President Biden on the US TV program 60 minutes made exactly the same type of warning to the Russians last week, so this is probably not news at all.
The article rehashes threatening comments made by Putin and Medvedev relating to the use of nuclear weapons, but amazingly does not mention at all that US armed forces in and around Europe appear to have been placed on DEFCON 2 status based on what are called “open source” information and references made by retired US military officers in private chat rooms. They went to that level on February 2, 2022 and that includes US navy forces that have nuclear weapons, and attack air craft that are nuclear capable, and possibly ground based missile attack teams and interceptor teams. Both U.S. and NATO stated publicly that in December 2021 that Russia’s recently developed SSC-8 missile system violates the short range weapons ban and posed a new threat since it can reach European capitals within minutes. In response the US Army reactivated in early November 2021 the 56th Artillery Command, which is based in Wiesbaden, Germany, and it is called by retired US Army officers a “indirect indication” to Russia that NATO intended to redeploy such weapons in Europe.
In so many ways this article is important for what it does not say more than what it does say. The Post article never discusses if any European nuclear powers have issued to Russia similar warnings. All of the commentators in the Post article who are considered to be strategic nuclear war experts few and far between they are: Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a nonproliferation advocacy group in Washington DC; Matthew Kroenig, a professor of government at Georgetown University and director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council; and James M. Acton, co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The limited input from this experts is most likely they are the only US based strategic nuclear war experts who would go on record for the Washington Post’s reporters. I also found it notable that RAND Corp contributed no expert voices to this discussion and I can’t believe the authors of the Post article did not reach out to them. My guess is RAND Corp is in fact running nuclear escalation simulations utilizing super computing capabilities. This article published in August 2022 https://www.rand.org/blog/2022/08/how-russias-nuclear-double-cross-of-ukraine-teaches.html provides just a slight look at what could be going on over at that think tank.
None of the sources the Post article uses are advocates of what is commonly called massive and immediate nuclear retaliation against Russia if tactical nuclear weapons are used against Russian forces. Those voices do exist within the US military based on comments from more recently retired higher ranking US officers calling for rapid massive retaliation against Russia if they use tactical nukes. This flows from is one of the foundation blocks of mutually assured destruction (MAD) which is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy which posits that a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by an attacker on a nuclear-armed defender with second-strike capabilities would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender. But there are many visions of where MAD would start for example in the current situation where Putin is already openly discussing strategic responses to any limited tactical response by the USA. These complex discussions are avoided in the Post article.
There is a very interesting quote from Vadym Skibitskyi, deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence, who told the U.K.’s ITV News that it is possible Russia will use nuclear weapons against Ukraine “to stop our offensive activity and to destroy our state.” The Ukrainian military seems to be preparing to continue offensive operations even if they get hit by tactical nukes, but it seems obvious their field forces lack protective radiation gear to do so and as yet there is no indication the USA has provided such gear in quantities sufficient to outfit the Ukrainian Army. The United States Army uses CBRN as an abbreviation for their Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Operations Specialists. The United States Army CBRN School (USACBRNS) is located at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri a base I am pretty familiar with and as yet there has been no massive Ukrainian training program there.
My understanding is In response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine starting only in February 2022, NATO has taken steps to significantly strengthen its deterrence and defense posture, and will further develop the full range of capabilities, including CBRN defense capabilities, necessary to maintain credible deterrence and defense. But it is pretty unclear how prepared the Ukrainian forces are in CBRN defense capabilities at this point. I am also doubtful Russian combat troops are CBRN prepared and I have seen no indication from the photos of captured Russian combat storage areas that they have stockpiled what are called CBRN gear. So Putin could indeed kill off his own troops using these weapons.
I do agree with this quote in the article from Daryl Kimball who stated: “What everyone needs to recognize is that this is one of, if not the most, severe episodes in which nuclear weapons might be used in decades, The consequences of even a so-called ‘limited nuclear war’ would be absolutely catastrophic.” I do not think the people of Hungary and other Central European nations grasp as yet the reality of the situation.
What is the (cancer-causing/immediate death) radius of a tactical nuclear missile Put in might use against Ukrainian troops.?
Thanks for the question tappanch I have a similar one.
Is a tactical nuclear strike against Ukraine possible without affecting NATO states and if so where – Kiev … ?
Because the yield of tactical nuclear warhead is varied, in fact it is now commonly called a dial a yield or Variable yield weapon. The old US Mod-10 B61 bomb had selectable explosive yields of 0.3, 5, 10 or 80 kilotons, depending on how the ground crew set a dial inside the casing when it was loaded onto an the Mod-10 B61 bomb had selectable explosive yields of 0.3, 5, 10 or 80 kilotons, depending on how the ground crew set a dial inside the casing when it was loaded onto an aircraft..
More modern warheads can have their yields adjusted seconds prior to detonation.
What is called direct radiation is produced in the weapon’s nuclear reactions themselves, and lasts well under a second. Lethal direct radiation extends nearly a mile from a 10-kiloton explosion. With most weapons, though, direct radiation is of little significance because other lethal effects generally encompass greater distances. An important exception is the enhanced-radiation weapon, or neutron bomb, which maximizes direct radiation and minimizes other destructive effects. In general tactical nukes are often neutron based weapons. This makes the lethal radius of the neutron burst greater than that of the explosion itself. Since the neutrons scatter rapidly, such a burst over an enemy column would kill the crews and leave the area able to be more quickly reoccupied.
When I went from Vietnam to Germany as a US Army artillery officer in 1972 we still had nuclear artillery shells for our 155 mm howitzers. (See this history of the program https://www.19fortyfive.com/2021/07/nuclear-artillery-shells-americas-secret-plan-to-beat-russia-in-a-war/ ) Those as I recall them the US warheads for the shells in the 1970s we’re the W79 Mod 0 and it was developed specifically for nuclear artillery shells Those had adjustable yields even then, I was taught how to adjust the yield based on the orders from our fire control commander.
Nuclear artillery was abandoned by U.S. and NATO forces because sudden change in the wind could get your own forces killed or sick I read somewhere.
I had trouble editing this so there are double passages Sorry the edit function did not work.
Thanks, and for those who don’t know:
The Hiroshima bomb had an energy of 15 kilotons TNT so it would be considered a tactical bomb today.
But we all know how devastating it was – and the Nagasaki bomb was no different.
So the name “tactical bomb” is really crazy!
I suppose that a smaller explosive force causes a higher contamination by radioactivity … I have found a post, if it is true, Russia is naked. The article claims that only two nuclear bombs on Russian territory would wipe out the majority of Russia’s population. If this is true Russia has a big problem … if.
Réka Molnár’s retort to Magyar Nemzet https://telex.hu/zacc/2022/09/22/magyar-nemzet-orosz-propaganda-haboru, is pretty good but I have a small problem with part of the title of the article’s title where it reads in part that Magyar Nemzet argues “America is the puppet master who is not interested in the rights of Russians.” Right now the nationality rights of Russian speakers in Ukraine who are not bilingual (there are not many of them either) are irrelevant and the US stance is indeed not interested in debating that issue.
Why? Because as President Biden said at the UN the issue before the world is the existence of Ukraine as a nation and that is it. Biden is right in my opinion. So the more profound problem with the article discussed by Réka Molnár is that right now the rights of the Russian cultural and linguistic subgroup in Ukraine are being discussed in a Fidesz newspaper only because of Fidesz’s obsession with the Hungarian minority that still exists in Ukraine. It’s part of the greater Hungary syndrome that plagues Hungary. I have little doubt if Orban could get away with it he would seize the Ukrainian border areas by force, but I suspect even he knows the Ukrainian border guards would have a pretty good chance of defeating any invasion by the pathetic Hungarian army who might not be very motivated to fight.
Electricity prices in [euro cents/kWh]
2022.02.23 (just before the start of Putin’s war)
Spain & Portugal:: 19.6
Hungary: 74.9 (highest in the EU)
Spain & Portugal:: 20.2 (lowest in the EU)
Italy: 50.6 (highest in the EU)
Spain & Portugal: 10.7 (lowest in the EU)
Explanation for Spain & Portugal:
“Earlier this year, the Commission granted Spain and Portugal a waiver that allows them to uncouple natural gas from the cost of electricity in the wholesale market by capping the price of the fossil fuel when it’s used for power generation. This has helped the two countries avoid the larger price surges seen elsewhere. ”
This is how much Hungarian consumers pay for electricity now.
(at EUR/HUF = 405)
up to 210 kWh/month: 8.9 [euro cents/kWh]
above that 17.3 [euro cents/kWh]
French consumers: 17.4 [euro cents/kWh]
(while the average salary is about three times the Hungarian)
Considering the general state of the national Hungarian economy (Post-Soviet Orbánomics) – Average wages and pensions are appr below 1/3 of the EU average – direct comparison isn’t indicative of actual costs, since wages/pensions in Hungary don’t follow the EU market 10+% norms.
That is a post-Soviet heritage Hungary shares with much of Eastern Europe, where governments (deliberately or ignorantly?) failed to implement a market economy of state investments and returned public profits, but just kept domestic wages and prices much lower than EU market average and cropped the profit.
Germany handled this change of paradigme differently – and more succesfully – although a lot of “human capital” was wasted in the process.
Michael, care to explain this???
although a lot of “human capital” was wasted in the process.
I use the term lost human capital for the sudden high rise in East German unemployment, after the reunion.
Mchael, ok, got it.
A detailed analysis of this is available here in German for those who are interested from the year 2001:
Hungary is of course in a similar or maybe even wore situation. Only a few companies want to invest here because they profit from the special situation. Most prefer the West, even if they have to pay much higher wages.
It’s really difficult to compensate for those 44 years of “socialism”. We see it every day – the stories my wife tells me about daily corruption are abominable!
And don’t even think about the education system!
So today we can read in this opinion piece
a Washington Post writer on foreign affairs being somewhat critical of Biden writing: “ The Pentagon has undoubtedly presented Biden with a menu of options for how to respond if Putin, say, uses a tactical nuclear weapon to block further Ukrainian advances toward Crimea and the Donbas region. Biden in an interview broadcast Sunday warned Putin against using nuclear weapons, saying: “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It would change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.”
Biden’s comment was more plea than threat. And it was in line with his repeated signals that he wants to avoid any direct U.S.-Russian conflict. That’s admirable restraint, but it’s also part of why Putin keeps raising the ante. Now that Putin has directly threatened use of nuclear weapons, Biden must signal more clearly that the cost would be devastating for Russian forces occupying Ukraine and for Russia itself.
Russian news services are reporting today that Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev has been appointed Russia’s deputy defense minister in charge of “material and technical support,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
Mizintsev is replacing Army General Dmitry Bulgakov, who the Defense Ministry said is moving to an “unspecified position.”
Putin seems to forget Stalin’s rules for purging the military. The General removed is declared an agent of imperialism, given a quick trial and then shot.
That reduces the possibility of a demoted general organizing a coup and creates a nice sense of terror. Putin prefers to have people fall out windows after he removes them, Stalin’s approach seems to have been proven more effective. Hopefully demoted Russian officers will get smart and not think they are safe and are heading to retirement but realize their accident or sudden cardiac failure is coming. Maybe they will shoot Putin first, I know Tappanch I am delusional due to living in the west. But one can at least hope?
to be V4NA or to be FAKE4NA?
More than 2 years ago Eva wrote a post about OV&Co’s new International “Independent” News Agency – https://hungarianspectrum.org/2019/05/13/v4na-hungarys-independent-news-agency-on-the-march/
Now finally an truly independent Hungarian media, atlatszo, got inside information about the operation of O&Co’s agency and checked the offocial London addresses. And guess what, at the adresses no agency to be found and somebody working for OV&Co’s “International” agency informed that he was everyday working in an office in Budapest, Obuda to be precise [a district in North-West Budapest, the one with the Roman remains].
So OV&Co’s “independent news agency” is FAKE!!!!
Therefore best to call it from now on FAKE4NA!!!
For details check the article at https://english.atlatszo.hu/2022/09/08/international-news-agency-informing-hungarians-about-a-declining-west-from-london-has-actually-never-left-budapest/
A very well researched article, thanks for the link.
Atlatszo is a very good source of news about Eastern Europe (sorry, the V4 claims to be central Europe, but …) and there are others like Kafkadesk:
I’ve often thought about having a list of qualified sources like these. Would add Steven Nelson’s site too:
Maybe Istvan could put these in a separate thread?
Another really good and fascinating article (careful, it is very long, begins with the Old Greeks more than 2000 years ago …):
If V4NA IP connections with University media-facilities can be traced back to concrete addresses, some interesting network structures will appear.
And now for something completely different [thanks Monthy Python].
Here’s the latest alternative for the Russians, a referendum about…. well just have a look at
😀 Orban can hold referendum best … Why can Orban not hold a referendum to incorporate Russia into Hungary. After all, everywhere where Hungarians live is Hungary.
This report just out here in the USA https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/09/22/as-war-in-ukraine-continues-americans-concerns-about-it-have-lessened/
Clearly indicates support for the level of economic and military support for Ukraine is eroding somewhat in the USA. I experienced that during the Vietnam war, where most of our population abandoned South Vietnam to the communists and never looked back.
A similar thing happened very recently with Afghanistan and my own daughter who was a US Army reserve officer there is probably as bitter as I have been over Vietnam.
Based on this report from Pew about 67% of the US adult population is at least concerned the United States will end up in a war with Russia over Ukraine.
Pew did not ask about whether people understood any armed conflict with Russia was likely to be a nuclear war of some type. They did ask about the risks of a nuclear accident in Ukraine and America’s expressed concern over that.
I am very suspicious about the reported mass shooting at a school in in the city of Izhevsk in Russia’s Urals region. I watched Russian channel 1 with closed captions in English and the attack is being presented more or less as the start of Nazis assaults on the Russian homeland.
The discussion immediately turned to at least Ukrainian “moral” responsibility for the attack which is under investigation. I guess my own mind in already seeing this as a potential justification for A Russian tactical attack on a terrorist nest in Ukraine.
There was another shooting today, when a man fired shots at a military recruiting center in Ust Ilimsk, in the Irkutsk region.
The Russian actress and news presenter Ekaterina Strizhenova is all over the place on Russian TV emphasizing the Nazis threat to Russia. She is best known for her supporting role in the Russian 2003 film anti terror where Spetsnaz and the FSB save the day. Putin liked the film a lot.
I don’t ask if without refugees the fascists would have so much success.
„“Bravo, Giorgia! A more than deserved victory,” the right-wing populist wrote on his Facebook page Monday.
Meloni’s far-right Fratelli d’Italia clearly became the strongest party in the parliamentary election, according to projections Monday. With a right-wing alliance, they also won an absolute majority of seats in the two chambers.
Orban maintains a markedly good relationship with Meloni, but also with the two other heads of the right-wing alliance, Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi. In Europe, the possible emergence of an EU-skeptic, illiberal Rome-Budapest-Warsaw axis is being watched with concern. In Poland, the right-wing conservative PiS party, allied with Meloni’s Fratelli, governs. In the EU’s crackdown on rule-of-law abuses in Poland and Hungary, the two East-Central European countries support each other.“
We shall see how far the Italian banshee can take it.
I imagine the Polish and Hungarian PMs will go to some length to cheer her on, but I doubt they will settle for second violin and viola in an opera she conducts.
Anno domini 2022 Italy elects a Mussolin, … who probably finds it funny to make funny faces with two melons in front of her chest. Probably she was too long together with Berlusconi whose face can only two expressions hä and the clown. Now only the whooping facial twitches of Orban are missing. Not even popcorn can help.
Berlusconi looks like he spent some time with an undertaker.
He reminds me of this character.
Here is a US reporter from the Washington Post on the shooting of the Russian school children
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/26/izhevsk-udmurt-russia-school-shooting She is seeing the same stuff I have and even more direct attribution to Ukrainian involvement than I saw.
What is suddenly noticeable on major US networks is an increased discussion of Putin using tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Up to about a week ago most discussions of it were framed for US audiences by saying it was considered unlikely by US officials.
More often one would see former US Ambassador to Russia on TV Michael McFaul saying how Putin would not use nukes in Ukraine because China and India were opposed to it. McFaul is a fluent Russian speaker and often over states his direct knowledge of Putin’s psychology.
Now that argument has declined somewhat and has changed to Putin could possibly use nuclear weapons. The editorial decisions made by mass media in the USA are sometimes mysterious but it seems to be related to President Biden’s comments on the US TV news program 60 minutes that indicated a military response of some type to any Russian use of nukes in Ukraine.
This sort of story is now common https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/27/europe/putin-binary-moment-russia-ukraine-war-tipping-analysis-intl/index.html where a possible use of nukes by Russia is not discounted.
If Putin sees himself driven into a corner with no prospect of “victory” in Ukraine, anyone who knows Putin’s psyche, similar to Orban’s, will assume that Putin will resort to nuclear weapons. The only thing that can stop him is a strong west wind.
The other rather unlikely possibility would be a heart attack or a coup.
I think that no matter how the war ends, it is the beginning of the disintegration of the Russian Federation.
Hungarian central bank raises interest rates by 1.25 percent to 13 percent, the highest level since 2000. Supposedly, the increase in the key interest rate is stopped 🙂 they say. Reuters analysts expect inflation to rise another 13.95 percent in 2023.
Mr. Matolcsy with his “creative” financial market tools …
How cynical can one be? Ukrainian men are hold back at the “border” of the occupied areas from entering Ukraine to avoid being picked up by Putin to fight against their own country. And the Ukraine army against them of course.
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