Freitag, 17. Dezember 2010

2010-50: Freedom of opinion: The freedom to share Orbán's opinion

First time in English. I hope I'll manage to translate the weekly review regularly, it's quite some work. But LEO really helps!


It's good news that for the first time since 1999, a Hungarian Prime Minister has visited Slovakia. It has been time, and you have to compliment Orbán on this, if you like it or not. 

But of course, all things have a dark side, as usual. It became clear that Orbán is caring for the Hungarian minorities abroad, but only if they are following his line. The Slovakian Hungarian party Most-Híd unfortunately isn't on this line, since she caused a harsh defeat of the Fidesz-offset SMK during the elections in Slovakia. Because of this, Híd chairman Bugár may build as many bridges as he likes, he may even be part of the Slovakian government, for Orbán he will remain nothing but air. I wonder whether Bugár may enter  himself into the world register of Hungarians?

Someone else can already forget about his entry: Alföldi Róbert. After the head of the Hungarian national theater dared to offer his holy national halls to the Romanian ambassador for celebrating the Romanian national holiday, he's on the killing list of Fidesz, like so many others.

Remember for example the head of the national bank, who last week increased the interest rates against Orbán's will. Already Fidesz is planning changes to the rules of decision making and to the composition of the currency council. That's too much even for the ECB, which is piping up and demanding indepence for the national bank. Maybe Hungary should speedily introduce the Euro, after that Orbán cannot interfere anymore.

Another head on the top we already find at MR2. The music station "Petőfi Rádió" will now be managed by Koltay Gergely, a founding member of the extremist bike gang "Gój Motorosok". Some fans of the station already fear that they will have to listen to Ákos in the future instead of Kaukázus or Magashegyi Underground. That would be horror.

Only Zambo Jimmy would be worse. But because his songs are older than five years, he'll be widely ignored. At least if we follow the suggestion of some Fidesz-MPs, who would like to set the already planned national radio quota on 40%, and of these 40% another 25% of the songs should not be older than five years. As if you could enforce creativity and good songs. On the other hand, I really have enough of Robbie and Gary. That are true words, that why they come easy... Maybe some more Hungarian Indy would be better than Britpop.

Yes, that's the change of topic of the week: England. Because that's one of the places where the Hungarian tribe leader was this week. In London he claimed that Hungary had lost a lot of trust from Europe during the last eight years and that he would be glad to win this trust back during the council presidency and that he would be glad if the opposition would cooperate in this. It's not difficult to imagine what the opposition has to say on this.

Meanwhile the correspondent of Népszabadság was not allowed to take part in the press conference with the two prime ministers, because Fidesz didn't want to. Népszabadság was kindly asked to use the report of the "synchronized" MTI. That's censorship. That's not the way you earn trust from Europe, which has not just eroded during the last eight years but rather during the last eight months.

Népszabadság has gone to war with the new media council, too. The head of that council, Mrs. Szalai Annamária, had asked for a rectification, because the newspaper had reported that she will be boss of 1.000 employees and have control over the budget and inventory of the national broadcast services. That may not be correct on the paper, since she will be only head of the council. But in fact it's true. That's why Népszabadság refused to print a rectification and gave the reasons for this in an open letter and under the headline: "No room for rectifications". Next year, this kind of behaviour might be fined with up to 90.000 €. It's really tricky that the media council is setting this kind of fine, even when in cases like this it become prosecuter and judge in one.

And it will not stop with broadcasting and newspapers, as feared several times already in this blog. Kövér László has used the example of WikiLeaks (information terrorism) to let go another test balloon regarding the censorship of online reporting, or to put it in nicer words, "judicial control". Next to print media and broadcasting, Fidesz would like to control the internet by all means, because in their blogs, people are still saying what they think of Orbán, Kövér, Matolcsy & Co, and clearly so. And that's good.

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