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Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:09 am

Four face murder charges in Hungary migrant death truck trial.

By Krisztina Than | KECSKEMET, Hungary

Four men went on trial in Hungary on Wednesday charged with murdering 71 refugees found suffocated to death in the back of a lorry at the height of Europe's migrant crisis in 2015.

The one Afghan and three Bulgarian defendants walked into the court room packed with journalists and onlookers, accompanied by police wearing full face masks.

The refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - 59 men, eight women and four children - were found crammed into the small, unventilated vehicle, abandoned on the side of a motorway in Hungary's neighbour, Austria.

Their deaths shocked Europe as it struggled to cope with the biggest influx of migrants since World War Two.

"The 71 victims due to the small space, inability to move, a lack of air and overheating ... died shortly after they set off on the journey. Before their death they continuously banged on the walls of the lorry and shouted," the court said in a statement posted on its website before the hearing.

It was the worst incident seen on the overland route across the Balkans, where hundreds of thousands of people were making their way from the Middle East, Africa and southern Asia up to the richer countries of western Europe.

The trial is taking place in Hungary as authorities say that is where the refugees died, at the beginning of their trip into Austria.

The four defendants are also charged with trafficking other migrants over several months alongside seven other men. Only six of those, all Bulgarians, appeared in court in the Hungarian city of Kecskemet. Authorities said one is still on the run.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:49 pm

Hungary: Opposition says hurt by law on political billboards.

A political billboard of the far-right Jobbik Party in Budapest Hungary that reads: “Jobbik: On the people’s side. You work, they steal - that is why salaries are low.” The poster shows Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, and Lorinc Meszaros, one of Hungary’s richest people who has attributed his wealth in part to his friendship with Orban. Hungarian government lawmakers passed legislation on Friday which the opposition claims will limit their billboard campaigns.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Lawmakers from Hungary's governing parties have approved legislation on political advertising which opposition parties say will limit their billboard campaigns. The new rules approved Friday ban billboard owners from giving discounts to most political parties, subject to heavy fines. The government says the aim of the law is to fight illegal party financing.

The law is seen aimed mainly at the far-right Jobbik party whose current, widespread billboard campaign says Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his allies are stealing while other Hungarians have to work for their money.

The billboards are in spaces rented from Lajos Simicska, a businessman and former head of Hungary's tax office who accumulated his fortune mostly through state construction projects while he was close ally of Orban. They had a falling out in early 2015.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:22 pm

Amnesty International won't comply with Hungary NGO law.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Amnesty International has joined a boycott of new, mandatory reporting rules for foreign-funded civic groups in Hungary, the group said Tuesday. According to the government, the law that went into effect Tuesday is meant to increase transparency, but critics see it as an effort to stifle political dissent.

"Amnesty International has every intention of challenging Hungary's repressive new NGO law in the courts ... and no intention of complying with it until all these avenues have been exhausted," Amnesty International Hungary director Julia Ivan said.

Civic groups receiving more than around $26,200 a year from abroad have to register with the courts within 15 days and include in most of their online and printed publications that they are foreign-funded.

The law passed earlier this month reflects the conflict between Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Hungarian-American financier George Soros, whose ideal of an "open society" is at odds with Orban's desire to turn Hungary into an "illiberal state."

Soros' Open Society Foundations support some of the non-governmental organizations affected by the law, such as the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights advocate, and corruption watchdog Transparency International.

The government sees those groups as "foreign agents" working against Hungarian interests, especially by supporting the rights of asylum-seekers. Hungary has imposed strict measures to try to keep migrants out.

Orban reiterated his criticism of Soros on Tuesday, describing the wealthy philanthropist as "a speculator operating an extensive mafia network who endangers Europe's peace and future." The Helsinki Committee and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union say their financial situations are already "fully transparent." They have announced boycotts and legal appeals of the law.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:28 pm

I am afraid that Amnesty is another organisation that has lost its way over recent years.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:39 am

More Hungarians Being Turned Away at US Border, Hungarian Consul General Says.

Speaking to Hungarian state radio, New York Consul General Ferenc Kumin said that the number of Hungarian citizens denied entry at the United States border has risen sharply over the past week.

Kumin told Kossuth radio that it is up to the border patrol agent to decide whether tourists can be allowed to enter the country or if there is a risk that they will take on illegal work.

He said that obtaining all the necessary documents needed to take up legal work in the United States is an “unbelievably complex” process that could take years to complete. Kumin added, at the same time, that many people get conned by organized crime rings into thinking that they can work in the US legally and as a result end up in a vulnerable position.

In a statement, the Hungarian foreign ministry said that American authorities tend to deny entry to Hungarian tourists due to a high number of entrants planning to take up seasonal jobs without a work permit.

According to the statement, the majority of applicants for ESTA visas “do not know or overlook the fact that this visa is solely for tourist visits; any other purpose requires a relevant visa”.

The ministry warned all people wishing to travel to the US to find employment to acquire appropriate visas before leaving Hungary.

While it is unclear as to whether the two are connected, this news comes just days after the US Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s “travel ban” to be partially enacted before it is reviewed by the court this October.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:51 am

Fidesz VP Szilárd Németh compares Soros-sponsored NGOs to Cosa Nostra.

On Friday, Fidesz vice-president Szilárd Németh held a press conference to let it be known that organizations that have received funding from the Open Society Foundation’s George Soros are “fake” and only seek to undermine Hungary’s constitutional and democratic order by challenging Fidesz’s recently adopted NGO-stigmatizing bill.

Németh went on to name the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International before, according to Index.hu, saying these organizations operate like the Cosa Nostra in Italy.

He said Soros uses these “mafia networks” to carry out his plan to import 1-1.5 million immigrants into Europe, but Hungary’s border fence and family subsidies stand in the way of this plan.

Németh’s statements – and those made by other Fidesz politicians – signal an early start to the April 2018 national elections.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said recently: “There will be no pardon when it comes to Hungary’s security. There is no making excuses, no philanthropic blabla, no liberal gobbledegook. There is only law, legislation, power, and defense.”

Taken together with Németh’s statements from Friday, the messages coming out of Fidesz offer a grim foreshadowing of what to expect in the coming months.

http://budapestbeacon.com/news-in-brief/fidesz-vp-szilard-nemeth-compares-soros-sponsored-ngos-cosa-nostra/48144
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:55 am

Another propaganda campaign!

The Hungarian government has launched its latest propaganda campaign. Átlátszó.hu’s Vastagbőr blog posted (above) the government’s latest “public service announcement” commercial Friday morning.
99 percent reject illegal immigration. This is George Soros, the world’s most influential billionaire. He supports the settlement of illegal immigrants and would eliminate borders. This is outrageous! His policies would ruin Hungary. Let’s not let Soros have the last laugh! Commissioned by the Hungarian Government.”
The “99 percent” is a reference to the government’s most recent national consultation, aptly titled “Let’s Stop Brussels!”.

In 2016, the Hungarian government lost its own referendum on the anti-EU refugee quota after voter turnout did not reach the minimum threshold legally required for the referendum to be valid.

On Friday, Csaba Dömötör, an undersecretary with the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister (commonly referred to as the “propaganda ministry”), told pro-government propaganda outlet Magyar Idők the government’s latest campaign is built on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s own messages and that it would also be displayed on billboards.

At the end of the Magyar Idők article, its author cites Orbán as saying: “When it comes to Hungary’s security, there is no pardon. There is no making excuses, no philanthropic blabla, no liberal gobbledegook. There is only law, legislation, power, and defense.”

http://budapestbeacon.com/featured-articles/another-propaganda-campaign/48136
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:23 am

no philanthropic blabla, no liberal gobbledegook.

What wonderful phrases! Hungary should be glad Orban is running things, not virtue-signally halfwits like this dumb female:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3924505/married-calais-jungle-charity-boss-who-romped-with-toyboy-migrant-fears-for-her-life-after-refugee-lover-tried-to-burn-down-her-hq/

Charity of married boss who romped with toyboy migrant in Calais Jungle ‘suspends operations after refugee lover tried to burn down HQ’
Clare Moseley fell for Tunisian Mohamed Bajjar, 27, but the migrant reportedly poured petrol around Care4Calais' HQ after their relationship ended
.....etc.

These stupid females will never, ever learn.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:47 pm

Viktor Orbán’s former BFF vows to take down Fidesz.

The prime minister’s rivalry with millionaire Lajos Simicska creates the risk of mutually assured destruction.

BUDAPEST — With one year to go until Hungary’s next parliamentary election, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s greatest worry may not be pro-democracy protests or criticism from Brussels, but the influence of a man who knows him better than almost anyone else.

Oligarch Lajos Simicska, who went to high school with Orbán in the 1970s and later helped transform the Fidesz party from a group of university dormmates to the dominant force in Hungarian politics, has thrown his support behind the far-right Jobbik party.

“All my sympathies are with Jobbik,” the millionaire, who fell out with Orbán in 2014, told Hungarian news magazine HVG in April. “This is a stinking criminal gang that must go,” he said of his former friends, adding that if Jobbik does not defeat Fidesz, no one will.

Hungarians have come to refer to the rivalry as “the Orbán-Simicska war.”
More at link.
http://www.politico.eu/article/viktor-orbans-former-bff-vows-to-take-down-fidesz/
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:40 am

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-hungary-soros-idUSKBN19V1J4?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=59650c4604d30106baafd17a&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

Israel backs Hungary, says financier Soros is a threat

Well, that's embarrassing for Soros.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:31 pm

Hungary's Orban: Collaboration with Nazis was mistake, sin

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's prime minister says his country's collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II was a "mistake" and a "sin" as it failed to protect its Jewish community. Viktor Orban said Tuesday that he told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "this can never happen again," as Hungary "will protect all its citizens." Some 550,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to visit Hungary since 1989, when Hungary was still under communist rule. A recent government campaign against Hungarian-American billionaire philanthropist George Soros has been criticized by Jewish organizations for its anti-Semitic overtones, which Orban's government denies.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:52 pm

Another most welcome outbreak of honesty, IMO. I will be interested to see if collaborator Soros keeps up this nonsense about loathing him being 'anti semitic' now Israel has spoken out against him.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:47 am

On hot mic, Israeli PM raps 'crazy' EU, admits Syria strikes

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was caught Wednesday by a live microphone railing against the European Union's "crazy" insistence on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a precondition for closer ties.

Netanyahu was meeting with leaders of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia at a regional summit. Netanyahu was discussing Iran, Syria, the Islamic State group, and EU-Israel relations when some of his comments — and those of other leaders at the meeting closed to the media — were accidentally broadcast to journalists in another room.

Netanyahu also made a rare public admission that Israel has struck Iranian arms convoys in Syria bound for Hezbollah "dozens and dozens of times." The Israeli premier was overheard blasting the EU's approach to Israel, saying "it's crazy. I think it's actually crazy" that the 28-nation bloc maintains that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must come before closer trade ties.

"There is no logic here. Europe is undermining its security by undermining Israel. Europe is undermining its progress by undermining the connection with Israeli innovation because of a crazy attempt to create conditions (for peace with the Palestinians)," said Netanyahu.

European ties with Israel would determine whether the 28-member union would "live and thrive or shrivel and disappear," he added. EU-Israel relations have been tense for years, with Jerusalem feeling that Brussels is targeting its policies far too much while being too soft on the Palestinians. While the EU is the main trading partner for Israel, frictions have persisted. Relations took a dive in November 2015 after Israel derided a decision by the bloc to label products made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The EU doesn't recognize Israeli sovereignty over territories it captured in the 1967 Mideast war, including the West Bank and east Jerusalem, where the Palestinians hope to establish a state. It has been a vocal critic of Israel's settlement construction and has adopted measures mandating the labeling of goods produced in West Bank settlements.

"The European Union is the only association of countries in the world that conditions the relations with Israel — that produces technology in every area — on political conditions. The only ones. Nobody does it," Netanyahu said, citing Russia, China and India's willingness to do business with Israel despite politics.

Netanyahu has pushed for closer trade ties with India and China in recent years. Earlier this month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a state visit to Israel, during which the two countries signed a number of trade agreements cementing increasingly warm relations.

During statements to the media after their meeting, Orban shared Netanyahu's view on the EU's relations with Israel, calling for a more rational approach with "significantly better ties" and less criticism of Israel.

"The EU should value the efforts made by the state of Israel for stability in the region," Orban said. "This is of interest not only for Israel but for Europe, too, as it protects us from more and more migrant invasions."

"The EU's relations with Israel are not rational enough and need to be repaired," Orban added. "Instead of criticizing Israel, we should open the door to cooperation with Israel." Orban's comments on Israel were in line with his similar views on countries like Turkey, Russia and China, where he also has chosen to emphasize improving ties and economic relations without delving, for example, into human rights issues.

Orban said the four Central European countries in the so-called Visegrad Group had accepted Netanyahu's invitation to hold an upcoming meeting in Israel. Near the end of his visit to Hungary, Netanyahu gave a speech to representatives of the Jewish community and paid his respects at a Holocaust memorial behind the Dohany Street Synagogue, Europe's largest.

Andras Heisler, the head of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, reiterated his criticism of the anti-Semitic overtones of a campaign by the Hungarian government against Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros and Israel's decision to water down a statement by its ambassador to Hungary condemning the billboards and posters.

Neither Orban nor Netanyahu mentioned the Soros campaign and did not react to Heisler's criticism.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:50 am

Always good to be reminded of why I voted Leave, LL - the EU should have stuck to trading fish and cheese, not trying to pretend it's a superpower.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:00 pm

https://www.thelocal.de/20170721/german-media-failed-to-report-refugee-crisis-honestly-study-claims

German media failed to report refugee crisis honestly, study finds

An influential German institute has studied thousands of article published by daily newspapers during the refugee crisis. Their conclusion: journalists lost their objectivity and drove a wedge through society.
As hundreds of thousands of refugees arrived in Germany in 2015 and early 2016, daily newspapers took on the role of “public educators” rather than objective critics of public policy, a team of researchers at the Otto Brenner Institute conclude, according to a report in Die Zeit this week.

The researchers, led by former Die Zeit editor Michael Haller, studied thousands of articles published between February 2015 and March 2016 by leading daily newspapers, including Bild, Die Welt, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The report, which will be published on Monday, criticizes “the so-called mainstream media” for lining up behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policies, and for uncritically taking on “the slogans of the political elite.”

Journalists used the slogan Willkommenskultur (welcoming culture) to put moral pressure on citizens to contribute to the cause of supporting refugees, the study finds.

People who criticized the government policy were treated by journalists as suspect and potentially racist. At the same time, the newspapers saw it as their role to educate such people on becoming better human beings, the study argues.

“Most journalists failed in their job as someone who is supposed to objectively explain the world to readers,” Haller told Die Zeit.

ews articles were often infused with the opinion of the journalist, while the opinions of normal citizens, of experts, and of asylum seekers themselves were often ignored, he added.

The report concludes that the moralistic reporting by the major newspapers “massively contributed” to a loss of trust in the mainstream media and a split in German society.

Over one million asylum seekers arrived in Germany in total in 2015 and 2016, with numbers rising sharply after the government opened its borders in late August 2015. At the height of the crisis, tens of thousands of people passed into the country every day.

The arrival of huge numbers of refugees led to the rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right party which consistently opposed the government’s refugee policy. In national elections in September, the AfD are predicted to become the first party further to the right of Merkel’s conservative CDU to make it into the Bundestag (German parliament) in post-war history.

The term "Lügenpresse" (lying press) simultaneously became a popular term used at rallies held by the AfD and the anti-Islam Pegida movement.

Newspapers and broadcasters came in for particularly harsh criticism after hundreds of women in Cologne and other cities reported being sexually assaulted at New Year celebrations at the end of 2015.

The national media took days to pick up on the story, leading critics to claim that they were afraid to report on crimes which portrayed asylum seekers in a poor light.


However, the German media couldn't prevent more honest reports coming from other countries. Or prevent the UK and V4 countries staring at their TV screens in horror as armies of aggressive young men from alien cultures responded to Empress Merkel's party invite.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:09 pm

Hungary's leader: EU and Soros seek to "Muslimize" Europe

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — European Union leaders and Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros are seeking a "new, mixed, Muslimized Europe," Hungary's anti-migration prime minister said Saturday. Prime Minister Viktor Orban said during a visit to Romania that Hungary's border fences, supported by other Central European countries, will block the EU-Soros effort to increase Muslim migration into Europe.

While Hungary opposed taking in migrants "who could change the country's cultural identity," Orban said under his leadership, Hungary would remain a place where "Western European Christians will always be able to find security."

Orban, who will seek a fourth term in April 2018, said Hungary's opposition parties were no match for his government. "In the upcoming campaign, first of all we have to confront external powers," Orban said at a cultural festival in Baile Tusnad, Romania. "We have to stand our ground against the Soros mafia network and the Brussels bureaucrats. And, during the next nine months, we will have to fight against the media they operate."

Soros has become a key target of Orban and his government. Recent legislation in Hungary seeks to close or expel the Budapest-based Central European University, founded by Soros in 1991. There are also new rules about non-governmental organizations funded at least partly from abroad — which critics say stigmatize the NGOs, many of which are backed by Soros' Open Society Foundations.

Orban reiterated his charge that Soros-funded NGOs want to weaken Hungary's security with their advocacy for asylum-seekers and said Hungary had managed to stop the "migrant invasion" with razor-wire fences on its borders with Serbia and Croatia.

A recently ended anti-Soros billboard and poster campaign in Hungary has been criticized by Jewish groups for its anti-Semitic overtones. In the speech broadcast by Hungarian state media, Orban repeated his claim that the EU leadership was encroaching on member states' rights and trying to apply policies, such as increased immigration, which he said were opposed by most Europeans.

Orban said Poland, which is under pressure from the EU because of attempts to put its Supreme Court under political control, had replaced Hungary as the target of the EU's "chief inquisitor," whom he identified as European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

"The main target of the inquisition, the example of national governance to be weakened, destroyed and broken is Poland," Orban said, vowing to defend the Polish government. "Hungary will use every legal possibility in the European Union to be in solidarity with the Poles."

Asked about choosing between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Orban answered with a joke about a Pole being asked in the communist era to choose between Hitler and Stalin.

"He answered that he chooses Marlene Dietrich," Orban said with a laugh. "What I want to say with this is that you can't give a good answer to a bad question." Orban first expressed his support for Trump a year ago, while Putin has visited Hungary twice in two years. Hungary is expanding its energy ties with Moscow, including Russia's construction of new reactors at Hungary's only nuclear power plant.

Orban said "Hungarian interests" would be the "guiding star" of his country's foreign policy. Orban said Hungary's low birth rate made the country an "endangered species," and that the government was using taxes on multinational companies to fund social policies that would spur families to have more children.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:54 pm

I suspect Soros especially has it in for Hungary because like Israel, people there know the truth about him - and he has a shameful record of exploiting and destabilising nations for his own ends, anyway.

I also suspect that all the EU cares about is cheap, unskilled labour, and to Hell with the social consequences - or the blood on EU hands from all those economic migrants that believed the lies about the streets of Europe being paved with gold.

All that was really waiting for them was prostitution, virtual slave labour, and the ever-growing hostility of European natives.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:09 am

An interesting read on what makes Viktor Orbán run. LL

Viktor Orbán, the leading statesman of Europe

I’m not sure whether it is worth devoting a whole post to the latest Orbán speech at the Tusnádfűrdő/Băile Tușnad gathering of Fidesz leaders, especially after I waded through the dreadfully boring text. A reporter from one of the Hungarian internet sites asked some people in the audience after it was all over what particular sentence or idea they thought was most memorable. The less imaginative ones just stood there mum, while a clever middle-aged lady in a state of rapture announced that “every word the prime minister uttered” was equally unforgettable. How clever.

The most “exciting” moment of the event was a sight to behold. Muscled-up Szekler “gentlemen” began roughing up a woman who foolishly braved the crowd alone to protest the building of the Paks II Nuclear Power Plant. One of her attackers dragged her to the ground by her hair. Judging from what we can see on the video, the incident could have ended very badly.

I don’t know how other people will judge this speech, how others will interpret the speaker’s state of mind, but my overarching impression is that Viktor Orbán is afraid. This judgment might surprise some people, especially since most people, just like Péter Magyari of 444.hu, would undoubtedly find the speech little more than an attempt to explain “why he is the most important person in the world today.” It was precisely this extended and continuous self-aggrandizing that made me suspicious that the Hungarian prime minister is not as self-assured as he would have us believe.

Let’s start with “the strengthening of the Visegrád 4 countries,” which he considers to be the most momentous event for Europe in the last 12 months. Admittedly, there was the U.S. presidential election and the French presidential and parliamentary elections, which “swept away the whole French party system,” but they fade in comparison to the reality that “the cooperation of the Visegrád 4 has become closer than ever before.” Of course, he takes credit for this feat. But even a superficial perusal of the international media tells a different story. The coming reform of the European Union will most likely force these four countries to make choices that may vary according to their perceived national interests. Orbán’s claim that “Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest speak the same language” might have been true regarding their position on the refugee issue, but it is most likely a very temporary phenomenon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with the Visegrád 4 may have served Israeli interests, but it had no appreciable effect on the cohesion of the alliance.

From his alleged diplomatic success he moved on to his incredible foresight in recognizing ahead of everybody else that the days of global, supranational elites are over and that the future will be in the hands of “patriotic national leaders.” Here, I believe, he is thinking of the U.S. presidential election, because the description fits only the political system Donald Trump is trying to create, for the time being without much success. In Europe, most likely to the chagrin of Orbán, those extreme right-wing leaders whom Orbán calls “patriotic political leaders” have not yet emerged–with the exception of Poland, and let’s hope that the European Union will muster its courage and ensure that the Polish “disease” does not spread across Europe.

It is a well-known fact that Orbán, who spent his first 14 years in a small village, is no friend of Budapest, where he never felt quite at home. Yet now he decided to brag about the country’s capital as the only city between Vienna and Istanbul that is a metropolis. As he put it, “our capital is capable of serving more than the Hungarian state.”

Naturally, a good portion of the speech was devoted to the refugee crisis and the dire situation that awaits Europe, which will inevitably be Islamized. He repeated his usual arguments, especially about the alliance of George Soros and the Brussels bureaucrats. The only noteworthy passage from this section of the speech was Orbán’s claim that his determined anti-migrant policies saved Europe “from the migrant invasion.” Therefore, “next year’s Hungarian election will be a special one because all of Europe will have a stake in it.” If he loses the election, his political opponents will take down the fence he built and will allow immigrants into the country. Thus, “they are ready to hand over the Europeans of today to a new future continent with a mixed population.” There are forces in Europe that want to see a change of government in Hungary because they want to weaken the Visegrád 4 alliance and, with it, the whole of Central Europe.

From this rant I think we can hypothesize that Orbán is actually worried about the outcome of the election, however crazy this sounds given the utter disarray in which the opposition finds itself at the moment. The incredible effort Orbán has expending lately urging all Romanian-Hungarians to vote is telling. At the last national election 97% of Romanian-Hungarians voted for Fidesz. So virtually all votes coming from there will be cast for Orbán’s party. Fidesz has managed to get close to a million people to register and the campaign is still under way. Second, the reference to certain political forces that want to weaken the Visegrád 4 alliance is also a telling sign of his worries about the stability of the group.

So, what kind of a picture emerges from all this? He is a politician who wants to portray himself as the leading statesman of Europe. In addition, he, and not Donald Trump, was the harbinger of the “patriotic leader” whose main concern is national interest. He was the man who saved Europe from a migrant invasion. Budapest is destined for greater things than being the capital of Hungary. And finally, his rule over the country is so important that all Europeans must keep fingers crossed for his political survival because otherwise Europe as we know it will be lost. It’s no wonder that the opposition claims that Orbán has lost his sense of reality. Yet, all that brings to mind the saying about the man who whistles in the dark although, in fact, he is fearful of the world around him.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:47 am


From his alleged diplomatic success he moved on to his incredible foresight in recognizing ahead of everybody else that the days of global, supranational elites are over and that the future will be in the hands of “patriotic national leaders.” Here, I believe, he is thinking of the U.S. presidential election, because the description fits only the political system Donald Trump is trying to create, for the time being without much success.


Really? Not Russia, Turkey, the Phillipines and a good few smaller nations? Does the commentator imagine only Western nations count?

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:41 pm

Putin visiting Hungary, attending World Judo Championships

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Hungary for the second time this year on Monday, attending the World Judo Championships being held in Budapest. Putin, who made an official trip to Hungary in February, sat in a VIP box at the Laszlo Papp Budapest Sports Arena with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and other officials.

Discussions between the two leaders were expected to center on energy issues, such as Russia's construction of new reactors for Hungary's Soviet-built nuclear power plant and Hungarian imports of natural gas from Russia.

Hungarian opposition parties protested Putin's trip amid concerns that Orban has become too close to the Russian leader. Orban used to be highly critical of Russian influence in the region. Activists from the Together party blew whistles as Putin's motorcade arrived at the arena and held up a banner in the stands reading "We Won't Be A Russian Colony" before police escorted them out of the building.

A few supporters of Momentum, a new party whose recent campaign led Budapest to withdraw its bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, donned Putin masks and wore T-shirts with the slogan "Let's go freedom of speech, let's go Hungarians."

Critics say the nuclear project is rife with corruption risks and increases Hungary's dependency on Moscow. "Putin is looking for colonies in the former Soviet bloc, not allies," political activist Gabor Vago said. "Only Russia benefits from the nuclear deal, which ties Hungary for decades to an obsolete technology."

Russia has loaned Hungary 10 billion euros ($11.9 billion) for the nuclear development plan, an amount expected to cover about 80 percent of the costs.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:02 pm

Hungary asks EU to help pay for anti-migrant border fence.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's prime minister has asked the European Union to pay for half of the cost of anti-migrant fences it built on its southern borders, or about 440 million euros ($523 million).

A police officer with a dog patrols along the border fence on the Hungarian-Serbian border near Roszke, 180 kms southeast of Budapest, Hungary.

In a letter dated Thursday to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the fences erected in 2015 on the borders with Serbia and Croatia have practically eliminated the migrant flow through Hungary, guard more than just his country.

"With the construction of the fence, training and placing 3,000 border hunters into active service, our country is protecting not only itself but entire Europe against the flood of illegal migrants," Orban said in the letter. "I hope that, in the spirit of European solidarity, we can rightly expect that the European Commission ... will reimburse half of our extraordinary border protection expenses in the foreseeable future."

But European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein encouraged Hungary to use funds already earmarked in the 2014-2020 EU budget. "We are not financing the construction of fences or barriers at external borders. We do support border management measures at external borders. This can be surveillance measures. This can be border control equipment. But fences, we do not finance," Winterstein said Friday. "We won't change" our stance on that.

The border hunter corps was set up within the police force a year ago and its officers dedicated to border protection duties and guarding the fence. Hungarian soldiers have also been aiding police in the tasks.

Orban said Europe needed to show solidarity with Hungary's border protection efforts, not just with Greece and Italy, the countries which have received the brunt of the migration influx. EU leaders have criticized Hungary for failing to show solidarity because it refuses to take in any asylum-seekers sought to be relocated from Greece and Italy until their asylum requests are decided.

Orban's government has promoted a "Let's Stop Brussels" billboard and publicity campaign rejecting the EU's migration policies. Last year, over 98 percent of participating voters said the EU shouldn't settle anyone in Hungary without the consent of the Hungarian parliament, but the referendum was invalid because of low voter turnout.

As Orban and other government officials earlier made it a point of pride that Hungary had paid for nearly all the costs of the fences and their maintenance with local funds, the change of heart could also let Orban generate another conflict with the EU, should it reject the "reasonable" request for reimbursement.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:33 pm

EU court rejects Hungary, Slovakia appeal in refugee case.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The European Union's top court on Wednesday rejected legal action by Hungary and Slovakia to avoid accepting refugees under an EU scheme, a decision seen as a victory for countries bearing the greatest burden of Europe's migrant wave.

In a long-awaited ruling, the European Court of Justice said that it had "dismissed in its entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary." EU countries agreed in September 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy over two years, but only around 27,700 people have been moved so far. Hungary and Slovakia were seeking to have the legally binding move annulled.

Hungary and Poland have refused to take part in the scheme, while so far Slovakia has accepted only a handful of refugees from Greece. The refugee scheme was adopted by the EU's "qualified majority" vote — around two thirds — and the ECJ held that this was appropriate, saying the EU "was not required to act unanimously" on this decision.

The court also noted that the small number of relocations so far is due to a series of factors that the EU could not really have foreseen, including "the lack of cooperation on the part of certain member states."

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said he respected the court decision, but that his government still does not like the relocation scheme, which some see as a system of quotas imposed on countries by unelected EU bureaucrats in Brussels.

"We fully respect the verdict of the European Court of Justice," Fico told reporters, adding that his country's negative stance on the relocation plan "has not changed at all." Fico said the scheme was a temporary solution. He says he believes his country doesn't face any sanctions from the EU over its stance. EU officials say the relocation of eligible asylum-seekers in Greece and Italy will continue even after the scheme ends.

Germany's foreign minister welcomed the ruling. Sigmar Gabriel said he expects all EU countries to implement the decision "without further hesitation." Gabriel said the ruling confirms that the solidarity measure approved by EU leaders is not just in keeping with European values but also adheres fully to European law. He said "solidarity is not a one-way street."

Human rights group Amnesty International welcomed the ruling, saying Hungary and Slovakia had been trying to turn their countries into "refugee-free zones." The Hungarian Helsinki Committee, an advocate for asylum-seekers, urged Hungary to give refugees an opportunity to make their case for asylum.

"The lesson of the verdict is that helping people fleeing war and terror is truly a common responsibility for Europe," the group said. "Hungary needs to respect the decision of the EU court." Beside Hungary's legal arguments against the EU plan, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has also made the case and the issue the focal point of its political activities since early 2015 and ahead of parliamentary elections expected in April 2018.

Hungary's position is that only its elected leaders should be able to decide who is allowed into the country. Orban has said that the large influx of mainly Muslim immigrants threatens Europe's and Hungary's cultural identity.

From mid-September 2015, Hungary closed off its southern border first with Serbia and later with Croatia, with a fence protected by razor wire. The fences have mostly stopped migrants from passing through Hungary on their way to Western Europe but Hungary has also greatly reduced the chances for asylum-seekers to submit applications for protection in the country.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:38 pm

Slovakia says it respects EU's migrant ruling.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Slovakia's prime minister says he and his government respects a decision by a European court that has rejected legal complaints by Slovakia and Hungary against a European Union plan to relocate refugees.

Robert Fico told reporters on Wednesday "we fully respect the verdict of the European Court of Justice." But he also said his country's critical stance on the quota system and the migrants "has not changed at all."

Fico says the 2015 plan to relocate 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy over two years was a temporary solution that will cease to be effective on Sept 26. He says he believes his country doesn't face any sanctions from the EU over its stance.

Germany's foreign minister is welcoming the ruling by a European Union court that Hungary and Slovakia must participate in an EU plan to relocate refugees. He says he expects all EU countries to implement the decision "without further hesitation."

Sigmar Gabriel said Wednesday the European Court of Justice's ruling confirms that the solidarity approved by EU leaders is not just in keeping with European values but also adheres fully to European law. He said "solidarity is not a one-way street."

Gabriel added: "We can also expect now, and we do expect, that all European partners will keep to the verdict and implement the decisions without further hesitation."

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says the ruling by the European Court of Justice rejecting his country's and Slovakia's attempt to stay out of an EU plan to relocate asylum-seekers is "outrageous and irresponsible."

Szijjarto said that the court decision puts at risk Europe's security and future. He called it a political decision and vowed that Hungary would continue to challenge EU efforts to force countries into taking in migrants.

Szijjarto said Hungary will continue to put emphasis on the defense of the EU's external borders and said it is time for the EU to abandon the "unsuccessful" relocation scheme.

EU lawmakers are welcoming a court ruling rejecting an appeal by Hungary and Slovakia against the European Union's flagship refugee-sharing scheme.

Lead parliamentarian on the scheme Ska Keller said Wednesday that the ruling means "there is no excuse" for EU states not to share refugees from Greece and Italy as they have committed to do.

She said that "leaders such as (Hungarian Prime Minister) Viktor Orban cannot demand more money for border protection, while blocking the reception of refugees from Greece and Italy."

Claude Moraes, chairman of the Civil Liberties Committee dealing with migration, said "we urgently need to have in place an organized and compassionate response" to the plight of refugees.

He said the slow pace of relocation "draws attention to significant gaps in the EU's response to the biggest refugee crisis on the continent since World War II."

Human rights group Amnesty International is welcoming a ruling by the European Court of Justice against Hungary and Slovakia on the relocation of asylum-seekers, saying they have been trying to turn their countries into "refugee-free zones."

The group's EU office director, Iverna McGowan, said Wednesday that "Slovakia and Hungary have tried to dodge the EU's system for solidarity, but each country has a role to play in protecting people fleeing violence and persecution."

She called on EU nations to "show solidarity with each other, and with asylum-seekers who are seeking protection in Europe."

EU countries agreed in September 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy over two years, but only about 24,000 have been relocated so far.

Hungary and Slovakia were seeking to have the decision annulled.

The European Court of Justice says it has rejected efforts by Hungary and Slovakia to stay out of a European Union scheme meant to relocate refugees.

The court said Wednesday that it had "dismissed in its entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary."

EU countries agreed in September 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy over two years. Only around 24,000 people have been relocated so far.

The program is considered a key part of the EU's migration policy.

Hungary and Poland voted against the plan and have refused to take part, while so far Slovakia has accepted only a handful of refugees from Greece.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:40 pm

EU warns of legal action against Hungary, Poland.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The European Union's top migration official says the EU could soon take court action against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland if they do not live up to their obligations to accept refugees like EU nations are doing.

The European Commission has already launched an "infringement procedure" against the three for failing to take, or not recently accepting, some of the thousands of refugees who have arrived in Italy and Greece over the last two years.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said Wednesday if the three did not act "in coming weeks" the Commission should consider taking "the last step in the infringement procedure, to refer Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to the European Court of Justice."

Slovakia is not included in the legal action. It recently agreed to host a few refugees.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm

Great idea, bully other countries into taking Merkel's party guests.

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