There's thick air in Budapest. And not just because of the smog alarm. Europe woke up and is now complaining about the new media law in Hungary. In Germany it's Zeit, Süddeutsche, Tagesschau... who announce their concerns and have a critical look on the political development in Hungary. It's exasperating that most of them only now complain, after the bill has become law. Maybe Fidesz would have drawn back and made a softer version of the bill, if there had been a storm of protest after the content became public. But it was quite silent in the feuilletons during the last weeks. Only after the nightly vote by name (to prevent any stray votes from Fidesz- or KDNP-MP) is seems to be worth to make news from it. Nobody's interested in the danger of a volcanoe outbreak. Only when lava is flowing and houses are burning, the cameras are turned on.
Critics usually stop the protest with the always same argument of "Orbán-bashing". When the socialists were still in government, they were treated very softly, there were no critical reports. Already then everybody was preoccupied with Orbán and the right wing parties. That might be true or false. the perception of media reports is always very subjective. We would have to search now for reports in newspapers and TV news of the last eight years and to define an allucation key to make the different incidents comparable. Because a corrupt Hungarian politician or black money at the Danube are not as big news abroad as are right wing parties in parliament, a constitutional court without power or a media gag law. One has to measure with two gauges here. And even if the socialist were treated "nicely" by western, German media during the last eight years, for whatever reasons, this argument doesn't focus on point. Nobody can or should justify or relativise the actions of today's government by argueing that the last two governments weren't better either.
So, now the media bill has become law. And the self-imposed cencorship already works very well, maybe except for Népszabadság. Kossuth Rádió for example has suspended the two moderators Mong Attila and Bogár Zsolt for protesting against the media bill by having a minute of silence on air during their show. But Kossuth doesn't have any other choice but to prosecute with all relentlessness. Because Mrs. Szalai in her function as top bandog of cencorship will surely classify a minute of silence as unappropriate political propaganda in the future, and within a blink Kossuth will have a to pay a high fine, though nobody ever said a word...
Because of the hubbub around the media bill, the Hungarian "Stasi" documents nearly got lost. Well, they might be lost for real soon, or disappear into smoke. Because Orbán has advised his guys to work on a regulation how these papers could be handed over to the people mentioned within them. These victims could then use the papers as they like. Read them, publish them, burn them, sue the informers. And papers that cannot be allocated will be kept secret, or maybe they will be used as fuel for the heating of public buildings. It's not clear yet what will happen to the list of real names on magnetic tape. The historian commission, that was supposed to work on the material, has been send home, they are not needed anymore. The government will take care of the papers and will along the way classify all information that hints on secret service activities of ministers and MPs. You say that's a unproven and insolent claim? Yes, maybe. But nobody can prove the opposite, as long as no independent historian is involved anymore.
No wonder that more and more critics compare Hungary to Belarus, Turkmenistan and other surely pure democratic countries. Appropriate would be Burma, too, because house arrest is something up to date in Hungary now, too. Of course you cannot compare the midwife Géreb Ágnes to Aung San Suu Kyi. But after the verdict of the human rights court in Strasbourg regarding home birth in Hungary, one has to ask why mrs. Géreb has been released from prison, but right afterwards been put into house arrest. Danger of repetition of a crime that is not a crime, according to Strasbourg. Right. And what will the house arrest help? It's not called house arrest for nothing. If the midwife doesn't come to the pregnant, then the pregnant will go home to the midwife...
Speaking of home: Orbán is back home! He has finished his round trip through Europe. And now Van Rompuy has visited him in Budapest and said some nice words. The homepage of the council presidency, which was very costly while nobody cares about it, is already online. The speakers of the presidency have finished their face muscle training, they now can smile in any thinkable situation, the castle in Gödöllő has been prepared, and even the short cut highway from the M0 to Gödöllő has been finished in time, unlike the M6 to Pécs, when Pécs what cultural capital. The European politicians will be able to arrive at the Liszt Ferenc Airport and travel without any detours to the Sissi-castle.
Liszt Ferenc Airport? Yes, correct. The government would like to rename Ferihegy in relation with the 200th birthday of the famous Hungarian composer. Since Hungary owns only a minority of the airport, the other owner, including Hochtief, have to agree to this, too. It might not be a bad idea to give the provincial "Franzenhügel" (named after Ferenc Mayerffy) a little more cosmopolitan name. Just like Frankfurt airport has been named after... mmm... Mr. Fra Port.
Malév, too, is supposed to be renamed, new name: ballandchain airline. Because Malév is a bottomless pit, and the government support that it receives are not only unfair buy maybe even unlawful, at least if you follow European law and not Russian. Anyways, the EU now looks into the backgrounds of the state payments. In case Malév has to pay back this money, they can shut down the airline.
The new attraction of Budapest downtown will come too late for the travelling commission tourists: Only in September 2011, a new Hard Rock Café will open on Vörösmarty tér. It's strange why it took 20 years until we can listen to terribly loud music, eat onion rings and burgers and afterwards buy T-shirts. What a pity, that the T-Shirts bearing "Hard Rock Café Budapest" have been available for eternity already, and now who would like to buy an overpriced original?
Another word regarding overpriced and regarding the price-value-ratio. At Tesco, we may self-scan our shoppings in the future. A first pilot test is conducted at the brand new Tesco in Dunakeszi. The idea comes from America, of course. This way, you can save some more employees, because it will be enough to test here and there, whether the shoppers really scanned all the goods. And since the security guards at Tesco are bored anyways, they now will get some work to do, while the cashiers may stay at home in the future. And we customers are told that this is an improvement and modern life. Now we not just have to search for the goods by ourselves on the shelves, we not just have to pull the shopping carts through the shop, we now have to scan them, too. And of course, we will not pay one cent less, though we should have the right to get the former cashiers' salary. What do you say. A legkisebb is számít.