Welcome to December 1, 2023 !

  • November 30, 2023
  • tappanch
  • 51 Comments
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tappanch
tappanch
December 1, 2023 08:16

In two weeks, the EU will release 10 billion euros to the Orban government.

Details:
https://www.szabadeuropa.hu/a/tizmilliard-euro-valhat-elerhetove-jovo-evtol-magyarorszag-szamara/32708674.html

tappanch
tappanch
December 8, 2023 10:14
Reply to  tappanch

Guy Verhofstadt (December 7)

“More and more indications that Commission will unfreeze 10 billion for Hungary… so Orbans blackmail is working.

Scandalous ! High time to end the veto’s !”

https://twitter.com/guyverhofstadt/status/1732753524881014791

tappanch
tappanch
December 8, 2023 14:29
Reply to  tappanch

News #1:
Approved to Hungary:

6.5 billion euros in grants
+ 3.9 billion in loans

https://444.hu/2023/12/08/az-eu-s-penzugyminiszterek-is-jovahagytak-johetnek-az-eu-s-penzek-magyarorszagra

News #2:
The Hungarian budget deficit reached a new November record.

https://www.portfolio.hu/gazdasag/20231208/elkeserito-deficitadat-erkezett-bajban-van-a-kormany-656593

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
December 9, 2023 23:25
Reply to  tappanch

The EU builds a case against Orbán.
Releasing funds weakens his case.
How that affects life in Hungary is another matter in the hyper reality of Orbánistan.

wolf
wolf
December 1, 2023 11:35

Today my wife got a friendly letter from Viktor – she threw it into the paper recycling bin straight away.
Poor postman had hundreds of them to carry …
And the taxpayers paid for millions of them, crazy!

Pantanifan
Pantanifan
December 1, 2023 13:26
Reply to  wolf
wolf
wolf
December 2, 2023 17:23
Reply to  Pantanifan

Took the time to read these idiocies but won’t comment, just one sentence:
As I counted the word “Brussels” is written at least 26 times …

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
December 2, 2023 21:51

Really Magyar Nemzet has transformed itself from being a Fidez propaganda rag into being the new targeting agency for individuals and entities in Hungary that team Orban plans to crush using new laws.

These laws will create a new government Office for the Defense of Sovereignty with sweeping powers to arbitrarily target any organization or person it suspects of serving foreign interests and jeopardizing Hungary’s sovereignty.

This authority would have powers to obtain unhindered access to sensitive data, including confidential contracts, client information, and even private medical records kept by the organization.

Magyar Nemzet is very much in a hurry to start the work of Office for the Defense of Sovereignty. Today it targets https://politicalcapital.hu and its parent organization Political Capital Policy Research and Consulting Institute. In this article https://magyarnemzet.hu/belfold/2023/12/igy-vedene-hazank-szuverenitasat-az-amerikai-penzekkel-kitomott-political-capital it is declared an entity funded by the CIA and the US government even prior to the new Office for the Defense of Sovereignty has actually been created.

The Biden administration is so obsessed with defending Ukrainian and trying to figure out what to do about the war in Gaza to the extent it has farmed out any attempt to defend what remains of Hungarian democracy to the EU. Clearly a recipe for disaster, in fact on BBC radio this morning I heard a political scientist from Oxford University declare Hungary an authoritarian state where democratic elections are no longer possible. What a way to wake up.

Don Kichote
Don Kichote
December 3, 2023 14:18

The new sovereignty law reportedly provides for up to three years’ imprisonment. I’m sure it will be even more restrictive. The image of a racist kneeling on someone’s neck until he suffocates is an apt description of the state of illiberal democracy in Hungary. At least from my point of view, the kneeling Orban and the person lying on the ground are the people. All Orban has to do then is provide the appropriate headlines “foreign-paid enemy of the people – arrested”, as in Russian democracy, which is modelled on Stalinist democracy.

Tappanch, good for you for continuing, it’s an exceptional blog compared to all the others I know.

Last edited 3 months ago by Don Kichote
Don Kichote
Don Kichote
December 3, 2023 14:56

Hungary’s sovereignty is only Orban’s sovereignty; Orban’s “foreign” financing by the EU is not up for debate. Arbitrariness is built into most Hungarian laws. Thus an anti-racism law becomes an instrument that can be used against minorities if they behave accordingly. Pester Lloyd once wrote about this. But the Nazis who marched through Budapest were never affected by it.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
December 3, 2023 21:10
Reply to  Don Kichote

You are close to defining early 1900’s sovereignity issues!
If that holds true in Hungay, the country will be more isolated and marginalized, forced to seek partnerships in a different realm than the EU.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
December 6, 2023 03:39

István, – Hungary is lost in the EU and Orbán is considered an advesrary by most, but the legal paragraphs, in which he maneuvers, define his room for assertion.
He is close to walking the plank, but very aware of every clause that offers the opportunity of negotiation – stealing time (legally) and ultimately gambling with the plight of his voters..
It’s really not going very well.
Tax reductions may have given a feeling of greater income in mid-Hungary,, but inflation makes it irrelevant and the secret agreement to support the Russian war effort will be costly, regardless of whatever he may say.
The sovereignty stuff is pure smoke and inscence.
Blackmailing the EU is not a good way forward, for Hungary.

Last edited 2 months ago by Michael Detreköy
wolf
wolf
December 6, 2023 19:31

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 do and how they will treat Hungary.
Not so good news for Hungarians …

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
December 7, 2023 15:35
Reply to  wolf

I don’t see the Guardian article as particularly scathing, it seemed objective to me. Making Ukraine an EU member will not fix it’s problem of being both bankrupt and experiencing a cut off of US funding.

The Republicans in the US House of Representatives that led the funding cut off are now joined by Republicans in the US Senate including supposedly pro-Ukrainian Senator Mitch McConnell (see https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/4343929-senate-republicans-ukraine-funding-tempers-flare-classified-briefing/amp/).

The issue of migrants being shipped by the thousands from the Texas border to New York City, Chicago, on Republican funded buses and other bastions of the Democrats is apparent as they can been seen camping everywhere. The climate crisis in Mexico, Central America combined with criminal gangs extorting millions of people are driving many people across our borders. So the Republicans want money to seal the border before they give anything to Ukraine.

Because President Biden has tied funding for Ukraine to arms funding for Israel there has developed opposition inside the Democratic Party too. Many people of color in the USA see the Israeli invasion of Gaza in response to the October 7 attacks as racist and disproportionate to the killings carried out by Hamas militias in Israel. Currently about 65% of all US voters support more military aid for Israel with 23% opposed. (See https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/npr/2023/10/13/1205627092/americans-strongly-support-israel-but-there-are-generational-and-racial-divides/ ) However, just 51% of nonwhites said the U.S. should take a public stance supporting Israel, while 72% of whites thought it should.

Support for Israel in the USA is declining as the war in Gaza goes on.

wolf
wolf
December 8, 2023 09:46

A really interesting article on

wolf
wolf
December 10, 2023 19:40

Fidesz is having a two day meeting with Republican friends in Washington DC. They are asking the USA to stop helping Ukraine …
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/10/hungary-viktor-orban-republicans-ukraine-aid

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
December 11, 2023 00:34
Reply to  wolf

Yes it is a good move on the part of team Orban. Support for funding the defense of Ukraine is clearly declining here. Biden’s support for Israel and the U.S. veto in the UN of the ceasefire resolution are also losing him support too.

Hopefully Trump won’t get elected President from his prison cell and be set free by a self pardon.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
December 11, 2023 03:39

Orbán coasts though the whole thing.
If Trump goes to prison, it will be the bugle-call for the aggregate masses of conservative Americans who can’t imagine life without a white-christian supremacy.
Orbán knows that.

wolf
wolf
December 11, 2023 08:50
Reply to  wolf

Coincidence?
At the same time Zelensky is visiting Biden …
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/11/zelenskiy-to-visit-washington-in-bid-to-break-senate-deadlock-on-ukraine-aid
The Guardian also reports on Giulani, former Mayor and Trum’s lawyer and his claims that the elections were manipulated.
Just like Tucker Carson he might have to pay millions to election workers he accused.
it’s a crazy world!

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
December 11, 2023 17:41
Reply to  wolf

Zelensky is also meeting with the same Republican leadership that is courting Orban.

The new Speaker of the House Make Johnson is a real fundamentalist Christian see https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/10/speaker-mike-johnsons-old-time-religion.html.

I don’t think Zelensky will gain too much by this visit. As far as I can tell the Republicans would leave NATO if they could. Trump goes back and forth on NATO.

tappanch
tappanch
December 12, 2023 20:19

Yes Mike Johnson refused to budge. What a shortsighted policy !

MAGA should be nicknamed MASA – Make America Small Again

wolf
wolf
December 12, 2023 08:43

It’s almost funny:
The leader of the most corrupt country in the EU just called Ukraine a really corrupt country. Shouldn’t he be happy to lose that position if Ukraine joins the EU?
You’ve probably guessed already which leader said this to a French newspaper:
https://www.politico.eu/article/viktor-orban-hungary-ukraine-corruption-eu-accession/

tappanch
tappanch
December 12, 2023 09:36

December 12:
The Orban regime is scheduled to push 23 bills through Parliament today.

They will modify :

the “Basic Law” (the constitution substitute),
the electoral system for Budapest,
forbid foreign money to the opposition
(while a government agency took away the domestic financial support of the opposition parties [save the Fidesz-created MiHazank] a few days ago)
etc.

https://24.hu/belfold/2023/12/12/parlament-kedd-ulesnap-varhato/

tappanch
tappanch
December 12, 2023 20:15
Reply to  tappanch

The new “Sovereignty Defense Authority” can investigate everybody and anything.

https://www.parlament.hu/irom42/06222/06222-0012.pdf

If you are a foreigner or foreign organization, you cannot give money to the opposition.

Even if you are Hungarian, you cannot give money anonymously.

Opposition candidates risk 3 years in prison for taking foreign or anonymous money.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
December 13, 2023 03:24
Reply to  tappanch

Thanks tappanch for summary of the disastrous situation with the EU. I would say it consistent with the EU terror of Orban walking into the hands of Putin over a number of years. So the idiotic strategy is to bribe Orban to say in.

I suspect the soft Orban dictatorship will take a turn towards a harder look at using new laws to finish the democratic opposition in Hungary. But only if they pose an electoral threat to Fidesz rule.

Apparently Orban has decided to take out Gergely Karácsony one way or another. He may be the first target of the rising dictatorship in Hungary, followed by the root of all evil Ferenc Gyurcsány. However the Orban dictatorship decides to clean house it will not be pretty.

tappanch
tappanch
December 12, 2023 09:55

Outside Budapest, it is not the Parliament, but the local Fidesz party that redraws the electoral districts before the 2024 local elections

GyőrLook at the non-contiguous districts:
comment image

A high-rise is split:
comment image

https://telex.hu/valasztasi-foldrajz/2023/12/11/uj-valasztokerulet-onkormanyzati-valasztas-rendszer-gyor-borkai-zsolt-gyorszentivan

tappanch
tappanch
December 12, 2023 10:32

On the same day, December 12:

EU BILLIONS FOR ORBÁN
COMMISSION CAPITULATES: EU commissioners are today expected to grant Hungary €10 billion in EU funds, which Brussels froze over corruption and rule-of-law concerns.

The big winner: It’s a victory for Hungarian autocrat Viktor Orbán, who is blocking EU decision-making and torpedoing the Union’s response to Russia’s war at the key summit of European leaders starting Thursday.

The big loser: Ursula von der Leyen. Orbán may have tried to humiliate the Commission president with his poster campaign attacking her personally, but this humiliation is actually self-inflicted.

More losers: The remaining EU leaders — led by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz — who, according to senior diplomats and officials, have pressured Brussels to release the funds and will have to explain to their citizens why their taxes are being used to finance a government that in effect supports Russia.”

https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/brussels-playbook/eu-billions-for-putins-buddy/

tappanch
tappanch
December 12, 2023 10:36
Reply to  tappanch
Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
December 13, 2023 14:41
Reply to  tappanch

Amazingly tappanch the Washington Post was still running an article one day ago discussing how the EU was using those funds to get Orban to agree to EU admission for Ukraine. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/12/zelensky-orban-hungary-ukraine-aid-eu-funding/

Really because of the linguistic barrier that the Hungarian language seems to pose for most US based reporter’s understanding of Orban over here is truly pathetic. In fact even with the rise of computerized translation systems these reporters are vacuous about Fidesz and Orban.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
December 13, 2023 04:01

Zelensky visited Congress today and the Republican leadership in both the US Senate and House of Representatives told him no funds would be approved for Ukraine prior to 2024.

The Republicans were all over the media messaging the US must protect our borders with Mexico prior to funding either Ukraine or Israel. Why Zelensky came is beyond me, it was embarrassing for him to be begging for money from some Republicans who actually think Putin is not such a bad guy after all. The nickname of the leader of the Republicans in the US Senate is Moscow Mitch. (See https://www.salon.com/2021/10/21/rachel-maddow-explains-origins-of-how-mcconnell-earned-his-moscow-mitch-moniker/)

wolf
wolf
December 13, 2023 12:02

A
look into the future???
PM Szijjártó: Discrimination of Western Balkans unacceptable
Source: dailynewshungary.com https://dailynewshungary.com/pm-szijjarto-discrimination-of-western-balkans-unacceptable/Back to reality:
Considering the Veto-Rights of any member state and Serbia’s friendship with Russia the EU would have to be crazy to let the Balkan join.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
December 13, 2023 15:05

By the way President Biden had what we Catholics call an apithany and decided Benjamin Netanyahu was a good guy surrounded by extremists in his government. Really it’s obvious President Biden is experiencing cognitive decline and cooking up ideas to cover his own explicit support for eliminating Hamas in Gaza.

He had to have been told by his National Security Council, the CIA, and US military intelligence that the project of eliminating Hamas would be a bloody affair. In fact is Biden likely even read the Israeli news summaries he gets every morning and he might have seen warnings that the Hamas project might not go so easy.

Now with the reality of his own endorsement of the elimination of Hamas as a legitimate objective leading to a huge turn against him in terms of polling among younger likely voters he retreats fast. Creating a new fantastic theory that Netanyahu is being blocked from being more moderate by right wing allies in his own government.

tappanch
tappanch
December 13, 2023 16:47

Re: Gaza

Poll of Palestinians taken between Nov 22 and Dec 2, sample size = 1231

Approval of the October 7 Hamas attack
West Bank: 82%
Gaza: 57%

Support for Hamas, September —-> November
West Bank: 12% —-> 44%
Gaza: 38% —-> 42%

tappanch
tappanch
December 14, 2023 05:59
Reply to  tappanch
tappanch
tappanch
December 14, 2023 06:00
Reply to  tappanch
tappanch
tappanch
December 13, 2023 16:57

Re: Gaza

Israel should have shouted and should shout that it is the legal duty of the Egyptian government to take in the Gazan civilians as refugees while the fighting is going on.

Then the foreign countries would have no pretext to condemn Israel for the civilian deaths.

I am sure Israel would be happy to make a solemn declaration to let the Gazan civilians back once the fighting is over.

Netanyahu, Biden, Sisi, Sinwar are all guilty in keeping the Gazan civilians inside the fighting zone.

tappanch
tappanch
December 13, 2023 17:06

Re: West Bank

Biden’s campaign against the “extremist settlers” is absolutely phony.

Even Al Jazeera admitted that they cannot blame more than 8 Palestinian deaths on “settlers” since October 7. The other 250+ Palestinian deaths in the West Bank
were the results of the counter terrorist raids by the Israeli Army.

By this campaign, Biden wants to prepare the ground for the expulsion of the 450,000 Jews from the West Bank [+210,000 in East Jerusalem] to create a Palestinian state.

The creation of the Palestinian state would not create peace of course. This state would not be contiguous to start with.

This state would create even more bloodshed.

Iran has already offered to send in troops to help a Palestinian state to exterminate Israel.

tappanch
tappanch
December 15, 2023 16:55
Reply to  tappanch

Dec 15: joint statement by

UK, France, Spain, BeNeLux, Scandinavia, Switzerland and the European Union:

“express their grave concern about the record number of attacks by extremist settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank. Since the start of October, settlers have committed more than 343 violent attacks, killing 8 Palestinian civilians, injuring more than 83, and forcing 1026 Palestinians from their homes.”

“We reiterate our position that Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law and remind Israel of its obligations under international law, in particular Article 49 of Geneva Convention IV.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-statement-on-west-bank-settler-violence

The relevant sentence of Article 49 of Geneva Convention IV.:

“The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en/ihl-treaties/gciv-1949/article-49

But Israel did not “deport or transfer” its civilian population to the West Bank. They went voluntarily to live there.

Remark: all but 3 Jewish villages in the West bank are at least 30 years old.

tappanch
tappanch
December 13, 2023 18:06

December 13, afternoon:

“European Commission unlocks €10bn for Hungary, despite criticism from MEPs and experts”
In a statement, the commission said:

After a thorough assessment, and several exchanges with the Hungarian government, the Commission considers that Hungary has taken the measures it committed to take in order for the Commission to consider that the horizontal enabling condition on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is fulfilled in what concerns judicial independence.

This means part of the Cohesion Policy funding would no longer be blocked, and therefore Hungary may start claiming reimbursements of up to around €10.2bn.”

German Green MEP Daniel Freund said in a statement:

“By releasing €10bn to Orbán, von der Leyen is making the biggest mistake of her time in office.

The necessary reforms have not been implemented. However, the timing of the release only allows the conclusion that this was not about judicial reforms. Instead, the €10bn was intended to remove Orbán’s veto. There was no obligation to respond to Hungary’s request before the summit.”

Moreover, Orban got the money for nothing!
He will probably still veto the help to Ukraine.

tappanch
tappanch
December 13, 2023 18:34
Reply to  tappanch

Orban on his Facebook page at 5:30 PM:

“The summit in Brussels just started. We will not support the quick accession of Ukraine !”

Theestampe
Theestampe
December 14, 2023 09:53
Reply to  tappanch

I can’t wait to see the EU fucked over by Orbán again in spite of the release of the €10Bn. They deserve no less.

tappanch
tappanch
December 13, 2023 18:15

Letter from

Iratxe García Pérez
S&D Group President

Manfred Weber
EPP Group President

Stéphane Séjourné
RENEW Group President

Philippe Lamberts & Terry Reintke
Co-Chairs of the GREENS/EFA Group

“Dear Commission President,

We would like to express our deep concern as regards the imminent positive assessment of the Hungarian judicial reforms and their fulfilment of the four judicial milestones set out in the horizontal enabling condition under the Common Provisions Regulation.

The [European] Parliament has made it clear that it expects the Commission to properly assess whether the enabling conditions have been fulfilled before any relevant payments are made.

In our view, the horizontal enabling condition referring to the independence of the judiciary has not been fulfilled. “

[…]

we also wish to express our concerns for new threats to the rule of law in Hungary, such as the proposal for the so called “defence sovereignty law”. This would enable the Prime Minister to create a new authority directly under his control, equipped with sweeping powers without any democratic supervision. This risks to be used to further silence
opposition parties, NGOs and other government critics.

Further, these groups would also be those with no access to EU funds because the current Hungarian government refuses to process applications submitted by them. In some cases, the authorities even justify this
publicly arguing that they do not give funds to critics of the government.

It is evident that a fair allocation of EU funds in Hungary is virtually impossible.”

wolf
wolf
December 13, 2023 20:30

I wonder how this will develop in the EU, just look at which parties/groups in parliament are involved:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/dec/13/european-union-viktor-orban-ukraine-europe-live
They also raised concerns about Hungary’s new “sovereignty protection” law.
The letter was signed by Iratxe García Pérez for the Socialists and Democrats group, Manfred Weber for the centre-right European People’s party, Stéphane Séjourné for Renew Europe, and Philippe Lamberts and Terry Reintke for the Greens.

wolf
wolf
December 13, 2023 20:43
Reply to  wolf

Just did the calculation.
The 4 parties have 492 of the 705 members of the EP, almost a two thirds majority,

tappanch
tappanch
December 14, 2023 17:20
wolf
wolf
December 14, 2023 21:05

Great news!
The EU leaders voted to start talks about Ukraine joining.
What about O1G ? He decided to stay away from it all …
Members of the European Parliament declared that 10 billion € was a high price for blackmailing them, but …

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
December 14, 2023 23:02
Reply to  wolf

He is still saying Hungary will vote against admission of Ukraine. Based on a video he put on his Facebook account.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
December 15, 2023 00:21

He saves face and technically avoids breaking his energy sponsorship contract with the boss in the Kremlin.
What we have seen now, is that the other EU PM’s know how he can bought and let his arm be twisted at the same time.

tappanch
tappanch
December 15, 2023 08:06

Overnight, Orban vetoed the important, non-symbolic stuff, the 50 billion euro aid+loan to Ukraine.

wolf
wolf
December 15, 2023 07:57
Reply to  wolf

And now it’s obvious that Orbanistan is Putin’s ally and an enemy of the EU:
We’re only in it for the money!