April 20th, 2011

Orbán spokesman says Germany must not interfere with Hungary’s adoption of new constitution

Hungary finds it unacceptable that any country – even Germany – should interfere with the process of creating its new constitution, the spokesman of Prime Minister Viktor Orban told MTI on Tuesday.

Peter Szijjarto referred to critical remarks by German minister of state Werner Hoyer made on Monday, and said that an “intrusion attempt” like that was not in line with Germany and Hungary being in the same alliance and contrary to diplomatic protocol.

“Hungary had to tolerate being instructed what to do or what to include in its constitution from the capitals of other countries for long decades. That era is now over,” said Szijjarto.

Earlier in the day, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry voiced shock over the German minister’s statement and termed his remarks “inexplicable and unacceptable”.

The Hungarian ministry had made it clear that the constitution would not curb minority rights or restrict constitutionality, and it would not harm but strengthen common European values, State Secretary Zsolt Nemeth said.

On Monday, after the Hungarian parliament approved the new constitution, Hoyer said Germany was “watching developments in Hungary with great attention and not without concern.” The German minister’s statement referred to Hungary’s earlier media law, and said that the new supreme law had not dispel but even increase worries associated with that package.

The ruling alliance of the Fidesz party and Christian Democrats approved Hungary’s new constitution with a two-thirds majority on Monday.

The opposition Socialists and green party Politics Can Be Different (LMP) boycotted the vote. President Pal Schmitt is expected to sign the new supreme law on April 25 and it will come into effect on January 1, 2012.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    Hungary finds it unacceptable that any country – even Germany – should interfere with the process of creating its new constitution, the spokesman of Prime Minister Viktor Orban told MTI on Tuesday

    Well the German Government is of course the Government for all German-speaking people, even for them in Hungary
    The German-speakers are the biggest National Minority in Hungary and similar to Hungarians abroad they swear their allegiance to *their* Government
    So, of course the German Government has the same right as the Hungarian Government to have an opinion over how a foreign Government are treating their people

  • vdx

    If Fidesz had some international allies till this moment than it has lost them now in a way the new party’s constitution was passed.
    http://euobserver.com/9/32208
    It’s obvious that tolerance for partisan politics in Europe is lower than it was at times when Iron curtain was torn down. Country which tasted 20 years of democracy is apprarently expected to behave differently from the times when it has just emerged from totalitarian regime.
    The fact that Fidesz passed the supreme law without seeking broader concensus from the country’s opposition and not giving much consideration to its international obligations, will be perceived very negatively abroad.
    Just as Fidesz politicians took sworn oaths on the former constitution, although not having much intention to obey by it, other parties from now on won’t find it very binding to obey the law which was passed without their consent. This might as well turn out to be Fidesz fatal mistake in passing this law.

  • roger

    Pure paranoia once again on the part of VO. Germany did not “interfere” at all in the process of passing of the law. The more “fighting back” he does, the more attention is drawn to the issues upon which people are fully entitled to comment. People are watching the trend of developments and feeling uneasy. Budget overruns, nationalised pension funds, retrospective tax changes all add to the general feeling that Hungary is seeking isolation within Europe. That isolation is there for the taking but the Hungarians will be the losers from it. Small wonder that more and more of them are looking to leave.

  • Elle

    ‘The more “fighting back” he does, the more attention is drawn to the issues upon which people are fully entitled to comment.’ roger at April 20, 2011 12:49 PM.
    There is no ‘fighting back’ here. There is a well placed and well deserved ticking off of an insolent German politician who presumed to interfere in a Hungarian domestic matter. The rest of what you say, roger (these fly-by-night handles are so irritating!), is just the usual cant, and has nothing to do with the point to hand.
    ‘The fact that Fidesz passed the supreme law without seeking broader concensus from the country’s opposition’, vdx at April 20, 2011 11:56 AM. Did you not notice that two of the three opposition parties, MSZP and LMP, simply walked out of the consultation process? And how the devil do you imagine consensus might be sought ‘from the country’s opposition’? (Do look up the meaning of ‘consensus’.)
    the German Government has the same right as the Hungarian Government to have an opinion over how a foreign Government are treating their people Viking at April 20, 2011 11:16 AM
    The German government, like any other government, has no business interfering in the construction of Hungary’s domestic law. Nobody has ever heard any suggestion of mistreatment of Germans in Hungary (except by the Rákosi commie criminals in the 1940s). But then, this is just another characteristically stupid ‘argument’ of yours.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    The German government, like any other government, has no business interfering in the construction of Hungary’s domestic law
    Elle at April 20, 2011 1:15 PM

    Alter ‘elle junk’s’ statement into:
    * “The Hungarian government, like any other government, has no business interfering in the construction of Slovakia’s domestic law”
    .
    Or, is it always different with Hungarians?
    Is that the ‘Hungarian Arrogance’ one German paper referred to recently?

  • TiborB

    the spokesman should have been more diplomatic. It was completely useless and backfiring statement.
    Anyway, constitution is another orbans failure. Was it really that difficult to add some polish to the constitution, to listen to objections from abroad and quietly incorporate them?

  • Leto

    It’s the German bastard who should have been more diplomatic.

  • vdx

    Did you not notice that two of the three opposition parties, MSZP and LMP, simply walked out of the consultation process?
    Elle at April 20, 2011 1:15 PM

    So was it not that the opposition walked out from the “consultation process” after Fidesz dismissed pretty much every proposal they had made?
    That Fidesz opted to inquire Venice Commission of the 3 questions ripped out of context, instead of proper consultations, or that later on they sent out a questionnaire with even more infantile content and called it the “national consultations”, says a lot of the approach Fidesz has chosen from the beginning.

  • Gandi

    A WARNING TO ALL GLOBALISTS…..
    DO NOT INTERFERE IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF HUNGARY, AS A SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC NATION, WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONDUCT OUR OWN AFFAIRS…WE HAVE NOT BROKEN ANY INTERNATIONAL LAWS..WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO OUR OWN SELF-DETERMINATION OUTLINED IN THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER OF RIGHTS.
    GOD BLESS HOLY HUNGARY!

  • Leto

    “proper consultations” … blah-blah… Do you really believe this? :)))
    The sole interest of ALL the opposition parties was to try to have themselves noticed by the electorate since they are hardly visible compared to Fidesz-KDNP. So no matter what Fidesz-KDNP would have done, no matter what concessions they would have provided, the opposition parties would have behaved this way. The boycott by MSZP and LMP was on phoney reasons and so was Jobbik’s ‘no’ vote.
    Fidesz-KDNP had the will and the strength to make a new constitution and they’ve done it. The big majority of Hungarians are either happy or fine with this or they are not interested. A very small majority is crying (wolf) and that might give some fuel for all those nasty bitching in the media. It’ll die away soon like in the case of the media law. :)))

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    It’s the German bastard who should have been more diplomatic.
    Leto at April 20, 2011 2:16 PM

    Something to think about when Hungary comments on the situation in other countries
    The other side may not share the same text-book and become very upset

  • vdx

    “So no matter what Fidesz-KDNP would have done, no matter what concessions they would have provided, the opposition parties would have behaved this way.”
    Leto at April 20, 2011 3:28 PM

    It might have been so, but that we’ll never find out as Fidesz didn’t make any concessions. It was both in Fidesz’s interest and within its responsibility to obtain at least some consent from the opposition. Constitution is supposed to set up the framework for all political parties. Now it seems that Hungary will have a portion of its political elite that won’t be in accord with the framework and with the rules of the game set up by one party and intended to favor that party.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    The boycott by MSZP and LMP was on phoney reasons and so was Jobbik’s ‘no’ vote

    It’ll die away soon like in the case of the media law
    Leto at April 20, 2011 3:28 PM

    1) And Szili Katalin’s NO-vote was also “phoney”?
    She was the only non-Fidesz MP in the preparation committee…
    .
    2) Well, as can be seen, the New Hungarian Media Law comes up more or less every week in Hungary’s international relations, so it has *not* died away
    Also it fuel many Constitutional Court appeals and appeals to the European Court of Justice for years to come
    But we will remind you now and then on your statement

  • Leto

    Fidesz did try to make some concessions early on. And then it became obvious very quickly that it’s simply not worth pissing off hardcore Fidesz-KDNP supporters because of the above political reality and rationality: the opposition would not cooperate anyway. It would have been in Fidesz’ interest to obtain at least some consent from the opposition indeed but it wasn’t in the interest of the opposition not to behave like they did.
    This has been a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma with the usual outcome.

  • Leto

    addressed to ‘vdx’, of course

  • vdx

    Leto,
    by scrapping such ultraconservative nonsense as the protection of foetus since its conception, Fidesz would have maximally pissed off clerical staff from KDNP (with 3-4% popular support).
    If it was the consent and the support of the people for their cause what they looked for, than they would have informed people beforehand, not announce after the elections that the constitution will be replaced. The fact, that the preferences of Fidesz has been steadily falling ever since, probably reflects a lot of how much they esteem the opinions of the people who voted for them.

  • spectator

    @Gandi
    - You really need to take that pill, dear.
    Hope, you’d get better soon!

  • Leto

    “ultraconservative nonsense” for you and those I hinted at, the militant left-liberal hardcore who showed themselves in the streets of Budapest (a couple of thousands) or Szeged (a couple of tens).
    Other people are either don’t care or they are fine with that like me.
    They sought the consent and the support of the people by that questionnaire. Those who furiouslz scrapped it, like you, don’t matter because they are not to be addressed, they’d stay hostile anyway. On the other hand the response rate was about 25% (about 4 million households, about 900 thousands replies) which is smashing success for a direct marketing letter.
    If you saw the latest polls of Szonda Ipsos today then you can see that Fidesz support is still amazingly high (54% vs. 20% for MSZP, 17% for Jobbik and 5% for LMP). So it’s all fine, I’m quite pleased with this and I look forward to consolidating the new Constitution by the cardinal Acts and other measures. :)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    They sought the consent and the support of the people by that questionnaire

    On the other hand the response rate was about 25% (about 4 million households, about 900 thousands replies) which is smashing success for a direct marketing letter
    Leto at April 20, 2011 7:18 PM

    That questionnaire contained leading questions and did not really address all new aspects with the new Constitution
    .
    All previous official records of how many questionnaires were sent out stated 8 million, giving a respond-rate of 11.25%, meaning even not all Fidesz-voters bothered to answer
    I remember several questionnaires coming to our house, so each eligible voter could answer
    Or does ‘leto’ really mean that only The Patriarch was suppose to answer?
    That would though go in line with the KDNP-Fundamentalists, who just removed the right for Hungarian women to decide over their own bodies
    This is all gearing up as a looming war of ideologies in the EU the coming year, where Religious Fundamentalists from all religions are pushing different proposals that affects women’s right to their own bodies, regardless it concerns belittling rapes, limiting aborts, or making it possible for surrogate mothers (who of course should not be able to terminate a surrogate pregnancy)
    We will see much more of this in Hungary when all these new laws that will need 2/3rd majority to be implemented are taken. The new constitution was just the first step

  • DoubleH63

    @Viking “Well the German Government is of course the Government for all German-speaking people”
    Tsk-tsk, Viking, not nice to say things like that. Some people might take you for a Hitler supporter :))
    “how a foreign Government are treating their people”
    Yes, we all know, in Hungary the German minority is oppressed even more than the other minorities.

  • DoubleH63

    @TiborB “to listen to objections from abroad and quietly incorporate them?”
    Are you nuts? Why would any country listen to – and even obey to foreigners – when they are writing their own constitution?

  • DoubleH63

    Leto
    The only phony thing about the new constitution was the Fidesz/KDNP ‘national consultation’ ploy.
    On that account vdx is right. [He is btw a neighboring foreigner along with TiborB – not from our bordering country of Poland (geography class for some Americans) – so; it’s very unlikely he furiously scrapped a questionnaire.
    But in my opinion the new constitution should have been discussed much more in Parliament and with the Hungarian people: and eventually should have been voted on by the whole nation, not by the MPs.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    Yes, we all know, in Hungary the German minority is oppressed even more than the other minorities.
    DoubleH63 at April 20, 2011 11:20 PM

    The point is not if any foreign criticism is ‘correct’ (normally not the case the receiving end will say, regardless if it is the Slovak or Hungarian Government)
    The point is that “the spokesman of Prime Minister Viktor Orban” rejected criticism on a conceptual basis – ‘Others May Not Criticise Hungary!’
    So, why should then Hungary criticise Slovakia for their Language Law?
    The Slovakian Language Law is a typical example of “internal matters”, so where is the logic?

  • Leto

    @Double:
    Referendum on the Constitution? I don’t think it’d be a good idea. It would be about anything else but the Constitution… just look what the szadobüdöskomcsik are doing right now. Anyways I just cannot see the heaps of signatures quickly piling up.. there must be a reason, aren’t I right?
    So what’s your specific problem with the Constitution exactly? Hungary still a republic instead of a kingdom? I think that’d be a way too big step now but I think it’ll happen in my life (and I’m middle-aged) :)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    Yes, we all know, in Hungary the German minority is oppressed even more than the other minorities.
    DoubleH63 at April 20, 2011 11:20 PM

    Another point to this:
    The Swab I personally know and who are active in the German-speaking Minority organisations and its parliament, etc, do feel that with “Jobbik”‘s entrance on the political scene, the German-speaking Minority feels targeted, even if they have lived here as long as any Magyars
    One small example is of course “Jobbik” Vice-President Elöd Novák’s proposal to stop funding to German-speaking theatres
    This is of course something that has not been missed in Berlin, so of course Berlin is “watching developments in Hungary with great attention and not without concern”
    You know, Berlin is The Capital for all German-speakers

  • DoubleH63

    @Viking
    You were the one defending the criticism of German politicians of the Hungarian constitution based on Hungary’s treatment of the German minority.
    At least when the Hungarian government criticized the Slovak language law they had some reason to do so.

  • DoubleH63

    @Viking “Vice-President Elöd Novák’s proposal to stop funding to German-speaking theatres”
    No Viking, his proposal was to fund all theaters (Hungarian or minority) based on equal standards.

  • DoubleH63

    @Viking “You know, Berlin is The Capital for all German-speakers”
    Here you go again with your Hitler supporting ideas :D

  • DoubleH63

    @Leto “I just cannot see the heaps of signatures quickly piling up”
    In my opinion there shouldn’t be the need for signatures in this case; that’s how it should be done.
    “So what’s your specific problem with the Constitution exactly?”
    The way it was done.
    Fidesz/KDNP relied on their majority in Parliament. The outcome was obvious even before the whole thing started. They could easily reject any proposal by the opposition.
    I think, all proposed points should have been put out there by all Parties and voted on by the people one by one; and the winning ones are written in the constitution.
    Then it truly would be a constitution of the Hungarian nation.
    This way it looks more like a basic law of a Party (just like the 1949 one – even if it’s better for Hungary than that one was.

  • Leto

    No signatures = no popular interest.
    The last thing we need is a referendum which would be invalid because of the low turnout.
    Fidesz can produce hundreds of thousands of verified signatures in a few weeks for pretty much anything, can’t they? :)
    Fidesz-KDNP certainly relied on their majority, that’s why I gave them. :D Like I wrote above, there’d be no new constitution at all if didn’t do so. War logic. There’s been a cold civil war going on in this country since 1990 in case you didn’t notice. MSZP-SZDSZ must be, and will be, destroyed.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    You were the one defending the criticism of German politicians of the Hungarian constitution based on Hungary’s treatment of the German minority.
    At least when the Hungarian government criticized the Slovak language law they had some reason to do so.
    DoubleH63 at April 21, 2011 12:44 AM

    The German Government has of course the same *right* to criticise the Hungarian Government as the Hungarian Government has to criticise the Slovak Government
    It is not normal that the Government on the receiving end agrees to the criticism, but that has no relevance to the *right* to criticism
    You either have it or not, no double standards

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    @Viking “Vice-President Elöd Novák’s proposal to stop funding to German-speaking theatres”
    No Viking, his proposal was to fund all theaters (Hungarian or minority) based on equal standards.
    DoubleH63 at April 21, 2011 12:51 AM

    No, the aim was to remove support for Minority language culture, then changing the rules to the “Jobbik”-version of “equal standards” would clearly disadvantage the Minority institutions, then they are just that – in Minority
    99% (or more) speak Hungarian and can enjoy an Hungarian language event
    Just a few % speak any other language who can enjoy any other language. This means more work has to go into mobilising these few persons for these Minority institutions and the funding should reflect this disadvantage
    Also it is harder to keep any Minority language talents, then there are just fewer people that can pay to enjoy them and this is another aspect the funding should reflect
    That is more “equal standards” for Minority Cultural Institutions and what is you would demand for Hungarian language institutions in the neighbouring countries

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    @Viking “You know, Berlin is The Capital for all German-speakers”
    Here you go again with your Hitler supporting ideas
    DoubleH63 at April 21, 2011 12:57 AM

    So when Fidesz speaks about MEPs from the neighbouring countries are representing Hungary (instead of Slovakia, Romania, etc), Fidesz are stating “Hitler supporting ideas”?

  • TiborB

    @GANDI:
    DO NOT INTERFERE IN THE *INTERNAL* AFFAIRS OF HUNGARY
    This consitution was presented as constitution of all magyars or at least magyars citizens, and not of teritory of hungary. So it is questionable how “internal” this constitution is.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    No signatures = no popular interest.
    The last thing we need is a referendum which would be invalid because of the low turnout
    Fidesz can produce hundreds of thousands of verified signatures in a few weeks for pretty much anything, can’t they?
    Leto at April 21, 2011 1:51 AM

    There is no reason to collect signatures before the National Election Committee has approved the Question, after that there is a specified time to collect any signatures
    .
    Fidesz was not even able to collect the Questionnaires about the New Constitution from even a majority of its own voters
    Even if the questionnaires contained leading questions, so even a Fidesz supporter would understand how to fill it out
    .
    If only 10% send back the questionnaires, how can that, by any standards, be seen as a *not* “be invalid because of the low turnout”?
    In a referendum we do have the demand of 25% in support for a certain question (or 50% voter turnout), but that rule does not apply to these questionnaires that has no legal meaning in Hungarian Legal Tradition and is not described anywhere in any Hungarian Law

  • Deutsch Land

    I demand that Germany start a war with France, or else I’ll be forced to express my concerns about the way it’s governed.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU Viking

    Peter Szijjarto referred to critical remarks by German minister of state Werner Hoyer made on Monday, and said that an “intrusion attempt” like that was not in line with Germany and Hungary being in the same alliance and contrary to diplomatic protocol

    Did Szijjarto borrow that statement from the Romanians?
    -
    http://www.nineoclock.ro/opposition-condemns-hungarian-parliament-speakers-statements/
    -
    “FCRCHM considers that such a statement represents “a brutal intervention” in Romania’s political life and such a practice runs against diplomatic customs and relations between the two neighbouring countries that are NATO and EU members”
    (March 15th, 2011 at 9:00 am)
    -
    They obviously take their protests from the same text-book

  • American in Budapest

    Elle and Gandi,
    You are losers. You Hungarians are not superior to other cultures and are certainly not exempt from criticism. Hiding behind ‘internal affairs’ is typical refuge of totalitarian governments. It is ironic to see you and Fidesz embracing such language.

  • Leto

    Our culture in general is certainly superior to your McDonald’s culture. I mean your culture, personally. Can you tell north from south on a map of Europe, Yankee asshole?

  • http://www.allhungary.hu Erik

    @Leto: I reckon if you actually lived in Hungary you
    might know better than to say that: Above all,
    Hungarians love McDonald’s. :)

  • Leto

    (Erik, unfortunately you’re too right about that. There are too many bloody McDonald’s in Hungary :(
    However that’s not really nice of you that you ruin my fun with such petty details when I’m lashing out at this idiot… :D )

  • Scone

    Erik. That’s why all the lángos houses have closed down!

  • Leto

    @Scone:
    Every cloud has a silver lining: “lángos houses” could not be used as public toilets which is the true function of a McDonald’s “restaurant”.

  • Molehandle

    Leto. I couldn’t agree more. I hate McDonalds.
    It surprises me that they get so much custom.
    I can buy fresh meat (Hungarian), freshly baked bread from the local pekseg, and homegrown vegetables and fruit, washed down with palinka and wine, bought from the neighbors, at competitive prices!
    Most people go to Tesco for convenience, get ripped off with inferior products at inflated prices.
    It doesn’t make sense because the options are there. Unlike a lot of other euro-countries of the one-size fits all mentality.

  • Leto

    @Molehandle:
    You’re damned right!
    BTW, Tesco is another thing in Hungary which I absolutely despise. (For some reason, Tesco in the UK is not such a disgrace to mankind.) But I understand that business is business and they do only what they are allowed to do, by customers’ expectations and/or by regulations.

  • Leto

    That was no way to praise Tesco UK.

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