Hungarian racists quarrel among each other


This video says about itself:

26 February 2013

Hungary’s Jewish community number more than one-hundred thousand, and yet this significant group is increasingly battling anti-Semitic feeling. The rise of the radical nationalist party Jobbik has breathed new life into the country’s neo-Nazi movement causing some Jews are opting to leave Hungary altogether.

By Ben Chacko:

Hungary: Right split thwarts Orban’s bid to keep refugees out

Wednesday 9th November 2016

DIVISIONS on the far right saw Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban defeated in his bid to pass anti-refugee amendments to the constitution yesterday.

Mr Orban, head of the ruling Fidesz party, received 131 votes for the five amendments while only three MPs voted against — but this fell short of the two-thirds majority of the 199-member parliament required.

The prime minister’s changes would have ruled that a “foreign population cannot be settled in Hungary” and were designed to make European Union proposals for a quota system for dividing refugees among member states unconstitutional.

They followed last month’s referendum where 98 per cent of participants said they opposed the EU having the right to settle non-Hungarian citizens in the country without the consent of the government.

Critics said the result was a product of low turnout (just 44 per cent of citizens voted, rendering the plebiscite invalid), the choice of wording and a viciously racist state-supported propaganda campaign, which saw massive billboards alleging that the Paris terrorist attacks were carried out by “immigrants” — in fact they were not — and claiming sexual harassment of women was rising because of the refugee crisis.

Ultra-nationalist party Jobbik was expected to back Mr Orban’s amendments but instead demanded he add a clause revoking the practice of issuing “residency bonds,” by which foreigners and their immediate families receive papers if they buy a €300,000 (£242,000) five-year bond.

Fidesz parliamentary leader Lajos Kosa said adding conditions was “tantamount to treason” while Jobbik chairman Gabor Vona snarled back: “Neither rich migrants nor poor migrants, neither rich terrorists nor poor terrorists can come to Hungary.”

The defeat is a setback for the prime minister, who has successfully changed the constitution six times since he rose to power in 2010 — including adding an official condemnation of communism in 2013 that forced the country’s Communist Party to change its name and drop use of the hammer and sickle or face being banned.

Hungarians boo Prime Minister Orbán


This video says about itself:

Viktor Orban and Hungary’s faltering media oppositionThe Listening Post (Full)

16 October 2016

On The Listening Post this week: The main opposition newspaper folds in Hungary. We examine the government’s tightening grip on the press. Plus, journalism in a post-fact world.

Low sales vs Viktor Orban’s media crackdown

It’s the latest chapter in the story of a media landscape transformed. When Nepszabadsag, Hungary’s most influential opposition paper was suspended, owners cited low sales – but journalists say it is part of a wider media suppression.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Prime Minister Orbán booed at commemoration of Hungarian Uprising

Today, 17:24

In Budapest, thousands of people are on their feet to demonstrate against Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Orbán was jeered by opponents of his refugee policy during his speech at the commemoration of the Hungarian uprising of 1956 against the Stalinist government. …

Demonstrators shouted “Viktator” and “democracy” during Orbán’s speech there. The prime minister had to stop his speech several times because he could not be heard above the din.

Critics say that Orbán’s government weakens democratic institutions. The vice-president of the center-left party Together, Peter Juhasz, said Hungarians in 1956 revolted against the kind of policy that Orbán now stands for. …

Earlier this week, Orbán said that 1956 meant the beginning of the end of the Iron Curtain. By keeping migrants outside Hungary, he says, he now does the same as the demonstrators in 1956.

His critics think otherwise. They believe that the memory of the mass flight of Hungarians after the failed uprising should bring the government to a less restrictive policy on refugees.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising with a nationalist tirade against immigrants on Sunday. The prime minister spoke at the official celebrations in front of the parliament to several thousand supporters of his right-wing Fidesz Party: here.

Hungarian government kills press freedom


27 June 1989: The Foreign ministers of Austria, Alois Mock (L) and Hungary, Gyula Horn (R) cut through the barbed wire that separated the two countries

From German weekly Der Spiegel in 2009:

When the Iron Curtain was torn open for the first time, on June 27, 1989, an image made its way around the world. It showed two men dressed in suits, using bolt cutters to nip holes in a barbed wire fence.

The men, then-Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mock and his Hungarian counterpart Gyula Horn, had traveled to the Austrian-Hungarian border that day to send a signal that the division of postwar Europe was coming to an end. Shoulder-to-shoulder, wielding the bulky bolt cutters against the wire fence, they seemed to be conveying the good news that the fence was finally coming down.

In reality, as then-Hungarian Prime Minister Miklós Németh says today, speaking in a coffee shop close to his home on the north shore of Lake Balaton, the removal of the border fence had already been underway for several weeks at the time. When Foreign Minister Horn proposed the fence-cutting ceremony along the border, Németh replied: “Gyula, do it, but hurry up — there isn’t much barbed wire left.”

That was 1989, that was then.

And now

This video says about itself:

28 August 2015

Screaming in agony, a young migrant girl gets her hair tangled in barbed wire as her family scramble through mud seeking a better life in Europe.

Barely old enough to understand what is happening to her, the girl was forced to crawl under a razor-sharp fence to get across the border into Hungary.

But as she wriggles through the dirt, her hair becomes caught and she lets out a cry of pain.

A woman, believed to be her mother, who is carrying a baby in one arm, uses her other hand to untangle her and the family rush to safety.

By Markus Salzmann:

Hungary: Last newspaper critical of government shut down

21 October 2016

The October 8 shutdown of Népszabadság, a newspaper critical of the government, is a further step towards the complete abolition of press freedom and the establishment of authoritarian structures in Hungary. The right-wing conservative government of Viktor Orban has silenced the last major newspaper that did not represent the government’s own line.

Mediaworks AG, which published Népszabadság, officially justified the closure with the allegedly high financial losses of the daily paper. A company statement declared that all editorial activities had been suspended because the paper was unprofitable and had lost 74 percent of its circulation in the past 10 years, despite all attempts to make savings.

The suddenness of the closure and its political background indicates that the paper was put under pressure from the highest government circles. Members of the editorial team wrote of a “coup” on the Facebook page of the newspaper, to which they still had access.

Márton Gergely, deputy chief editor, told the Austrian Standard that the editorial office had been lured into an “almost perfect trap” due to a planned move of offices. The paper’s workers “had packed all their belongings for transport,” prior to the surprise decision to close down.

In the past, Népszabadság had reported extensively on the scandals and affairs of members and confidants of the Fidesz government. For example, it recently dealt with the allegations of corruption laid against the head of the central bank, György Matolcsy, who had been appointed to the post by the right-wing government.

Népszabadság, which means “Freedom of the people,” was Hungary’s most important daily newspaper. …

After the reintroduction of capitalism it made a rapid about turn. … In this period, Viktor Orban, head of government, emerged as the country’s “strong man.” His party, Fidesz, which had started out as a socially liberal, anti-communist youth organization, developed ever more openly into an authoritarian, right-wing conservative party with xenophobic and even fascist features.

To secure his rule, Orban systematically took over the media. At the end of 2010, immediately after its takeover of power, Fidesz brought the media under its control with a new law. Now, a state media council, consisting of the party faithful and confidants of Orban, exercises a wide-ranging control over newspapers, television and Internet publications. The media council has broad authoritarian powers, ranging from censorship, to determining content, and the imposition of ruinous fines.

In order to also fully control the private media, the government passed a law in 2014 introducing a so-called advertising tax for the media, which can be used to destroy specific critical media outlets. There are many indications that the government has also directly influenced the editorial line of Népszabadság.

Mediaworks, founded in 2014, sells more than 60 media products in Hungary. The company is controlled by the Austrian investment firm Vienna Capital Partners (VCP), whose owner is Heinrich Pecina, a business partner of the well-known Hungarian media mogul Zoltàn Speder.

Mediaworks recently acquired the Hungarian publishing house Pannon Lapok Társasága, whose acquisition had been prohibited up to now for fears of a monopoly position. Media experts are convinced that the government gave the go-ahead for the takeover in exchange for the closure of Népszabadság .

In a television interview, Fidesz Deputy President Szilárd Németh bluntly indicated that the closure was politically desirable. It was high time that the newspaper was closed, Németh said. The paper, he declared, continued to behave like its Communist predecessor Szabad Nép .

At the end of last week it was announced that another Hungarian daily newspaper, Nepzava, had also been sold. Although there have been no public statements, it is probable that the new owner is the Swiss group Marquard Media, which mainly publishes lifestyle magazines in Hungary, and is likely to discontinue the paper in its current form.

Now, virtually the entire media landscape is under the control of the government. A recent statement prepared by Democracy Reporting International shows that during the campaign for the country’s recent refugee referendum, which ultimately failed due to a large number of abstentions, the state broadcaster M1 supported the government’s line in 95 percent of its broadcasts.

Immediately after the announcement that Népszabadság was to close, thousands demonstrated in Budapest. The European Union also expressed criticism, but without drawing any practical consequences. “We are very concerned,” a spokesman for the EU Commission said, noting that the commission was observing the situation of press freedom in Hungary. The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, tweeted: “The sudden closure of Népszabadság is a frightening precedent. I stand in solidarity with the Hungarians protesting today.”

In reality, the EU largely agrees with the policy of the right-wing government in Hungary.

Eg, Orban’s Fidesz party can continue to be a member of the European Union Christian Democrat party, a major player within the European Union. The leader of the Dutch Christian Democrats has expressed solidarity with Orban’s anti-refugee xenophobia.

Twenty-five years after the introduction of capitalism in Eastern Europe, and the promise of freedom and democracy, the de facto abolition of democratic rights in these countries is not only tolerated, but also serves as a role model for similar attacks throughout Europe.

Hungarian regime censors newspaper for corruption revelations


Hungarians demonstrate against corruption by the Orban government

When media in Turkey expose corruption by the family of President Erdogan, the Erdogan regime reacts with police violence and censorship to these revelations (and to revelations about links between the Turkish government and ISIS terrorism).

When media expose the regime of the ‘Erdogan’ of Hungary, Viktor Orban, Mr Orban likewise reacts with censorship.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Critical Hungarian newspaper closed down after stories about corruption

8 October 2016, 20:25

The biggest left-political newspaper of Hungary is not published anymore. Journalists and opposition talk of a coup, and suspect that the regime of President Orban is behind it.

The owners of the newspaper (Nepszabadsag) say that financial losses forced them to take this decision, but that is strongly doubted. The end of publication follows on a number of critical articles about corruption.

Journalists say they were completely surprised by the closure. “Our first thought was about a coup. You will hear from us,” they wrote to readers on the Facebook page of the newspaper.

In recent years, many media have fallen into the hands of pro-Orban owners. On the sale of Nepszabadsag, with a circulation of 40,000, has been speculated for a long time.

Government corruption in Hungary: here.

‘Stop segregation of Roma schoolchildren in Hungary’


This video says about itself:

Roma living in fear in Hungary

30 January 2012

Roma people have reason to fear for their lives: seven adults and two children died in 49 attacks on Roma communities in Hungary between January 2008 and April 2011, according to the European Roma Rights Centre.

“The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) reported the four most serious incidents during the patrols to police. One involved a woman giving birth prematurely after being harassed by vigilantes using racially abusive slogans. No charges have yet been brought against the militiamen, though a Roma man was jailed for two years after a fight with the vigilantes; a further five Roma are awaiting trial over the same incident.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Segregating Roma pupils should end

Tuesday 20th September 2016

HUNGARY should abolish the “benevolent segregation” of Roma children in schools, experts on the protection of national minorities said yesterday.

A report to the Council of Europe said separate classes for Roma to “catch up” before continuing in mainstream education were ineffective and discriminatory.

It noted a 2015 ruling by the Kuria, Hungary’s supreme court, which “effectively declared segregation of Roma pupils legal in schools run by religious groups.”

The committee said it was “deeply concerned by this development running diametrically contrary to principles of integration and equal treatment.”

Experts also found that PM Viktor Orban’s government had “fuelled xenophobic and intolerant attitudes against refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants.”

Kick Hungarian regime out of European Union, Luxembourg says


This 2015 video is about racism in Hungary.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Kick Hungary out of EU, says minister from Luxembourg

Wednesday 14th September 2016

CRACKS widened in the European Union yesterday when Luxembourg’s foreign minister said Hungary should be suspended or expelled over its attitude to refugees.

Senior officials in other EU countries distanced themselves from Jean Asselborn’s suggestion, made in an interview with German daily Die Welt and which came days before 27 EU leaders meet in Bratislava, Slovakia to discuss the bloc’s future after Britain leaves.

“Anyone who, like Hungary, builds fences against refugees from war or who violates press freedom and judicial independence should be excluded temporarily, or if necessary forever, from the EU,” he said.

His Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto said Mr Asselborn was “a frivolous figure” and accused him of “working tirelessly to demolish European security and culture.”

The spat exposed the growing rift between the original European Economic Community states and newer EU members in eastern Europe.

Holocaust survivor’s daughter protests against Hungarian government


This video says about itself:

Dozens of Hungarian award recipients return orders to protest ‘racist’ journalist’s receipt of same

23 August 2016

Over 40 Hungarian public figures that have received the country’s third-highest decoration in the past have returned their orders in protest of the government awarding it to a controversial right-wing journalist who has been deemed racist by his critics.

Zsolt Bayer, 53, was among several Hungarians who were awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross by President Janos Ader last Thursday. However, the decision to honor the controversial figure sparked a wave of protest among left-leaning recipients of the decoration who see him as racist and anti-Semite, and dozens decided to return their awards rather than be found in the same group as Bayer.

The prominent journalist, who writes columns for the pro-government Magyar Hirlap daily, as well as in his own blog, is notorious in Hungary for his strongly worded comments targeting various minorities, which are sometimes seen as crossing the line.

The newspaper was fined in 2013 over an anti-Roma piece in which Bayer called them “animals unfit for coexistence” … . Years later, the newspaper was fined again for publishing remarks in which Bayer claimed that all refugee boys over 14 are “potential” terrorists. Commenting on Bayer’s award, businessman Andras Polgar, one of those returning the order, said “The state feels it is appropriate to lift racist criminals onto a pedestal… it is impossible to tolerate this with a sober, decent conscience,” as cited by Hungarian Free Press.

András Heisler, leader of Hungary’s main Jewish community organization and another recipient returning his decoration, said Bayer “harbors burning anti-Gypsy sentiment” and that he “pollutes Hungary with ideas that are fit to destroy the nation.”

The headline of one of the articles criticizing the move read: “By mistake Zsolt Bayer received lovagkereszt (the cross of the knight) instead of horogkereszt (the swastika).”

The Hungarian government defended its decision, saying that Bayer had been awarded for his work protecting victims of communist oppression in Hungary.

… Mária Schmidt, who is the director of the Hungarian capital’s House of Terror Museum, said on her Facebook page: “The Knight’s Cross was received by the Christian crusader who does not allow us to lose our values, traditions, sensibilities, and common sense! I congratulate Zsolt Bayer on his Knight’s Cross!”

Bayer has close ties with the Hungarian government. He was among the 37 Hungarian students that founded the now-ruling Fidesz party back in 1988, and is a personal friend of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Both have made critical remarks about the European Union and the way it is handling the refugee crisis.

Translated from Belgian (right wing) daily Het Laatste Nieuws:

Daughter of Holocaust survivor gives back Hungarian award in protest

5/09/16 – 2:29

Katrina Lantos Swett has returned a prestigious award that she received for her work with minorities in Hungary after the country decided to award that same prize this year to writer and journalist Zsolt Bayer. He has written racist texts several times and his work is considered by critics to be anti-Semitic.

Lantos Swett is the daughter of former US congressman Tom Lantos. He was born in Hungary and survived the Holocaust, before he began a new life in the United States. He died in 2008 and was the only congressman in US history who had lived through the Holocaust.

His daughter received the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit in 2009, after she had founded the Tom Lantos Institute in Budapest, which focuses on the rights of minority groups in society.

Lantos Swett hopes the returning of the prize will make Hungary think again about rewarding Bayer, who, eg, has called the Roma community “animals” and says that all Muslims aged over 14 are “potential killers”. He has also written numerous articles that are anti-Semitic according to critics.

Holocaust Museum

The US Holocaust Museum in Washington has called on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban not to award the prize to Bayer. Bayer, himself a member of Orban’s party, received the award for “outstanding journalistic activities”.