Everybody's attention was on Strasbourg this week, where Orbán was supposed to be publicly grilled. And I really don't think that he had much fun. Not only did he miss the 2/3 of yeasayers to strengthen is back and to applaud when hearing a catchword, but also the opposing parties didn't save their critisism against the media law. Especially Cohn-Bendit was very emotional.
That must have been a joy for Bayer Zsolt, since it gives him a great pass for another literary masterpiece in form of a dumb, antisemitic newspaper comment. That's what he gets the Madách cultural medal by Nográd shire for. Of course without a question, shire government is formed by Fidesz. It's interesting that even Jobbik is not amused, and Madách is turning in his grave for sure.
During his speech, Orbán mentioned that he is gaining for an "integrated, deregulated energy market" in Europe (transl. from German, which was translated from Hungarian by Pester Lloyd). Deregulated in this case surely only does mean to quit on subventions, not on Robin Hood taxes, doesn't it? The Eon managers surely have listened very carefully at that moment. Also his words regarding a European Roma strategy were an "vitriolic" joke regarding the cut supports, especially towards the Gandhi foundation, which finances the high school by the same name in Pécs. The only way from the vicious circle of poverty and unemployment leads through education, and this is what this school provides like a lighthouse in the dark. Europe has to have a heart, says Orbán, while Fidesz puts the scalpel in place.
After Cohn-Bendit, Schulz & co. gave him a clear ticking-off (that's what leo translates for "Leviten lesen", no idea if it makes sense to anybody), Orbán was only lamenting that this mean parliament has been insulting the Hungarian people and how these stupid parliamentarians have no clue what they are talking about. Most likely he really believes what he say. Orbán most probably doesn't read any foreign newspapers and doesn't watch or listen to the "western broadcasts". He believes all the euphemistic explanations and omissions by MTI, Magyar Nemzet & Co. and is surprised when he get's shit flying into his face in parliamnet. How annyoing that he couldn't even leave the session with ostentation, like he's used from Budapest when socialists and liberals start to talk. Joseph Daul called him a great European. Next he'll be called a flawless democrat. (Background explanation: Putin was called a flawless democrat by Schröder).
The völkisch groups in Hungary often comment that the EU shouldn't bother with the media law, it's a pure internal topic of Hungary and wouldn't concern anybody else. There's a simple, clear answer to that: 2.615 billion euro. That's the volume of the netto transfers to Hungary, from the EU. Sure, the argument "As long as you put your feet under my table..." is not always a very good one. But we don't talk about green hair or piercings. This concerns basics, democratics basic laws and freedom of press. And in this case, Hungary cannot open it's hands to get the new old Széchenyi térv financed, while at the same time stamping on European basic rights. Period.
What a pity, that the other alarming deeds of the last months were hardly mentioned in Strasbourg, even though the experts on the other side of the channel in Strasbourg right now have a look at the new laws regarding the retirement payments. It should be clear to everbody that it's an outrageous unrighteousness when you pay into the system of mutual solidarity, but you won't see a single forint of this money later on. And that's exactly the plan: Those who decide to stay in the private system, will still pay the largest amount of they payments to the state, but they will not receive any retirements payments from this. Is there a way to make it even more unfair? And who is not frightened by this yet, has the possibility to go to a very few offices, stand in the queu and apply for his rights. Of course only at usual office hours. Who doesn't do this and remains passive, will automatically change completely into the state system. The Hungarian abroad, who are usually Orbán's favourites, have it even worse, they have to go to the embassies. And don't forget the management fees of the privates which have been cut down to nearly nothing. Wasn't there an easier way to solve this, with a simple law? "§1: From today on there are no private insurances!" Or maybe this samali tactics of small chicanery is meant to give the whole thing the image of rule of law?
Of course it's obvious: Without stealing the retirement payments, the government would not have reached the deficit goals. But the problem has not been solved, it has only been postponed, and the budget of 2011 doesn't show much light at the end of the tunnel. For 20 years it has been the rule in Hungary: Don't save, no austerity, that might make the voters angry. The only real exception maybe was Bajnai, but he didn't have ambitions for a second round as prime minister. And so the current government rather takes from the future old and the international companies instead to speak the truth and to start cutting. Now they have a new job creation scheme, financed with billions of Forint, because Orbán has promised 1 million new jobs. So let's start with 15.000 jobs, and all of them will only work until lunch (sorry, German language joke: job-creating measures = Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahme = ABM = Arbeite Bis Mittag = work until lunch), in civil protection and forestry.
Subventions have been flowing into the Hungarian film business for a long time, since extras for films are nothing else than job creation schemes. Since 2004, film producers could count with tax cuts of 20% in Hungary. Film studios were created from scratch, in Etyek, Rákospalota (Angelina Jolie was filming here), Fót and of course in Budapest itself, and films were made like "Eragon", "Hellboy" or "Underworld". The busines promised yield returns, so there were enough investors. One of them was Andrew Vajna, a producer with Hungarian anchestors, who produces films like "Rambo", "Die Hard" and "Terminator". He invested into the Korda studios in Etyek. You might say that they put the fox in charge of the henhouse when Vajna now becomes the government appointee to restructure the Hungarian film funding. It will be interesting to see how he bends and turns the outcomes of his study to let the Korda studios look like the most promising candidates for funding.
May I suggest something: What about a remake of the "Police Academy"? That was fun with a success guarantee. Of course the content has to be changed a bit for Hungary. The heroe could be Posta Imre, a former police psychologist, who today throws around with antisemitic and racist shit. He's supported by the police unions and the students of the Police Academy. And the bad guy could be the mean lecturer Krémer Ferenc, who dares to talk about a democratic worldview in class and who insults national values and feeling. That's confusing to the police men anyways, who are usually seen as rather stupid in Hungary. They don't need democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of decision, they rather need: "Order is Order! You now cast this suitcase with film funding billions into the black hole in front of you!"
No wonder that national bank head Simor András has a lot of concerns regarding the new budget. Significantly he talks about this rather in Austria, and he doesn't go into details. Probably he fears for his job, even though he's supposed to be independent. Orbán always finds a way. "§1: There's not head of central bank anymore, I will do that job myself. Or my buddy György will do it." Anyways, the holes in the budget probably will grow faster than the large hole in Somogybadod. And in both cases there simply isn't enough money to fill them.