January 10th, 2012

Former PM Bajnai publishes assessment of current situation

After a year and a half of right-wing government, Hungary is characterised by the destruction of democracy, an economy drifting towards bankruptcy, society marred by divison and a country getting further away from Europe, former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai said in an assessment published on Monday.

Bajnai said in a blog entry on the website of the Patriotism and Progress Public Policy Foundation which he had founded that the path Hungary currently follows must be changed radically and without delay.

A change of the government, however, would only make sense if the current destructive governing practices are also changed, he said.

“A new government must have a programme readily at hand that can be applied without delay: a programme that promotes the republic, reconciliation, and recovery,” he said.

The programme for the republic must be an action plan that restores constitutional democracy and the ability to govern, he said. A programme of reconciliation is needed in order to achieve social consensus on basic national objectives spanning over government terms, he added. Finally, the programme for recovery must enable the crisis-stricken economy to quickly recover and strengthen by way of concrete government measures and reforms.

Assessing the period since the change of the government, Bajnai said the ruling Fidesz had abused a historic opportunity granted by its two-thirds majority and drove Hungary in a direction that went against all the objectives of the past twenty years.

In response to its 2002 defeat at the polls, Fidesz now demonstrates an approach that the way to maintaining power is not through good government but by taking total government control, and even party control, over the public administration and election systems, as well as the media.

The government is facing a simple choice today: either it asks for a stand-by loan with strict conditions from the IMF or state bankruptcy will be unavoidable.

But an agreement with the IMF will only be possible if the government implements structural reforms in public spending, corrects its faulty measures in order to generate growth and provides institutional guarantees, Bajnai said.

Visit www.hungarymatters.hu to receive Hungarian news agency MTI’s twice-daily newsletter.
Topics
Share
Please note that due to a large volume of trolling and false abuse flags, we are currently only accepting comments from logged-in users.
  • paul

    “Hungary is characterised by the destruction of democracy, an economy drifting towards bankruptcy, society marred by divison and a country getting further away from Europe”

    Incredible, but true. A perfect text which is the essence of the situation in Hungary right now.
    Incredible but true that there is so few opposition against this failing government.

  • Leto

    This bastard Bajnai is probably the candidate for “their men” like the installed puppet prime ministers in Italy and Greece.

    • Sophist

      Shouldn’t think so, it will be somebody acceptable to the majority in parliament.

  • Viking

    “A new government must have a programme readily at hand that can be applied without delay: a programme that promotes the republic, reconciliation, and recovery”

    So universally true and so alien to Hungary…

    • Ironjack

      I believe the most important word in that sentence is RECONCILIATION.prove me wrong.

      • Viking

        ronjack says:
        January 14, 2012 at 11:46 am

        I believe the most important word in that sentence is RECONCILIATION

        Agree

      • Leto

        Ceterum censeo MSZP-DK delenda est. It’s pest control.

        • Viking

          Leto says:
          January 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm

          Ceterum censeo MSZP-DK delenda est

          How is DK the legal successor to MSZP?

          There is no organisation connection, no assets have gone over, no legal bodies have swapped owners, etc

          Should we start call Fidesz for MDF, then most MDF-MPs went over to Fidesz?

  • justasking

    “A new government must have a programme readily at hand that can be applied without delay: a programme that promotes the republic, reconciliation, and recovery,” he said”

    Why wasn’t this done when they were in office?

    You read how democracy in Hungary is eroding. Did they (average citizen/opposition, whoever)or did they not, hold a protest against Orban/Fidesz the other day?

    If democracy was supposidly eroding…would they have been able to protest? No. The cops, in full riot gear, would have been sent out. But that would NEVER happen in a Democratic country like Hungary right?

    Orban, just like Obama, inherited a mess so great, that the actual extent of it was only truly realised once they got into office. And you want both these guys to turn everything around in 5 minutes.

    Viking’s whining about the retirement age for Judges being set at 65. So what? They should retire…let somebody else have the job. It’s not like they won’t be retiring in comfort…why be so greedy.

    How democratic is it to throw out a freely elected Government and put in those who will do what you say?Hypocrites (EU)…they could give 2 shits about Hungary.

    How many posters on this site have been going on and on about how irrelevant Hungary is in Europe? If that’s the case…what the hell does the EU care about whats happening in Hungary?

    No, this issue is, Brussels demands complete and utter control over it’s members…Bajnai and Feri gave them that…

    The Canadian Government…I think last year (maybe the year before) got the names of those Canadians with off shore accounts. They asked them politely, to voluntarily pay the back-taxes owed to Canada by a certain date. If they didn’t, our Government would go after them.

    If the Government was forced to go after them…not only would they have to pay the taxes that was owed, but any legal cost accumulated by the Government, fined and possibly jail sentences.

    Why doesn’t Hungary do that? I could just imagine the money they would get back…

    • Leto

      Well put, justasking.

      BTW, there’s a “off-shore account amnesty” in Hungary right now till the end of the year (I think), similar to what the Italians did a few years ago (you pay the income tax and no question asked). It’ll be the same as in Canada when this would be over.

    • Viking

      justasking says:
      January 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Viking’s whining about the retirement age for Judges being set at 65. So what? They should retire…let somebody else have the job. It’s not like they won’t be retiring in comfort…why be so greedy

      You totally missed my point that was *totally* clear

      Fidesz lowered the mandatory retirement age to 62 (sixty-two) from January 1, 2012
      This means 270, mainly top, judges are out of work today

      I do not care about them as persons, they will survive, but Fidesz reason for doing this is that Fidesz do not respect the Judges integrity and independence, then many of these older Judges are not so interested in running around with Fidesz collar on them

      This is very much shown with then simple fact that Fidesz has already decided to *raise* the mandatory retirement age for Judges to 65
      Why?
      Like with the case of the internationally renowned top Judge, Andreas Baka, who had 17 years as Judge in the European Court of Justice, Fidesz creates laws that removes people who do not lick their boots

      It is up to you what you want to call this behaviour, but it has nothing to do with giving young people work
      If it ever was about that, the retirement age would be lowered to 65 and not first 62, to kick out the unwanted, to be raised to 65

      • justasking

        @Viking,

        “You totally missed my point that was *totally* clear”

        No it’s not…it’s skewed. So, you have a mandatory retirement age…so what?
        ————
        “but Fidesz reason for doing this is that Fidesz do not respect the Judges integrity and independence, then many of these older Judges are not so interested in running around with Fidesz collar on them

        Is it specifically geared towards a group of people, or are you letting your imagination run wild with you and assuming that it does?

        Does the law state ‘that retirement is only mandatory to those individuals who are left leaning and will not lick our boots’? OR…Is the law written in such a manner, that regardless of ones position, sex, political affiliation, etc, you must retire by 65?

        If your answer is in-fact no to the first question, and yes to the second…you have a fair and just law…a non prejudicial law if you will. BUT…if you answer yes to the first question and no to the second…I think you would have a case of a democracy in danger of being eroded.
        ————-

        “This means 270, mainly top, judges are out of work today”

        Will all these positions be filled or will there be cut backs?
        ———-

        “This is very much shown with then simple fact that Fidesz has already decided to *raise* the mandatory retirement age for Judges to 65
        Why?”

        I don’t know…it does seem a bit odd. I wonder if the judges who were retired under the 62 year law, would have an option of returning til 65, since that is what it has been raised to? I’m sure if there was a case to be made, they would be the ones to know the in’s and outs of it better than you or I.

        Has there been a ‘class action lawsuit’ by these judges towards this law? If not, and they’re not worried about it…why are you?
        ———

        “Like with the case of the internationally renowned top Judge, Andreas Baka, who had 17 years as Judge in the European Court of Justice, Fidesz creates laws that removes people who do not lick their boots”

        What an asshole! What he is essentially saying is, that his peers in Hungary can be bought Are not impartial in a court of Law. Is he suggesting, that in the past up-teen years, it was stacked with judges who had the same political affiliation with those in power and used this to their own benefit?

        I would question the rulings from this judge throughout his career…was it based on the laws, or directly tied to his kickbacks?

      • Viking

        justasking says:
        January 11, 2012 at 4:28 am

        What an asshole! What he is essentially saying is, that his peers in Hungary can be bought

        Pls try to read that post of mine one more time, then the paragraph on Judge Andreas Baka, you invent things about him
        I am the one who is saying that Fidesz invents laws that manoeuvre out Judges that do not agree with Fidesz policies
        You make that into a thing Judge Baka are accusing his peers for being corrupt, so Baka must be corrupt… (priceless)

        Just remember ‘leto’s comment when Bakas disapproval of Fidesz new Kuria (new Supreme Court) went public:
        * ‘This was his letter of resignation!’
        So not even the Chief of the Hungarian Supreme Court is allowed to voice his opinion about new laws, that affects the Supreme Court
        That is Fidesz Hungary, the most democratic nation on the surface on the planet (but which planet?)…

        Normally you cannot fire a Supreme Court Judge, so they can keep their independence
        What Fidesz did was to introduce the new Constitution, the new Kuria as the Supreme Court and write in the rules that the Chief Judge need to have 5 years on an Hungarian bench

        Judge Baka have 17 years 1991-2008) in the European Court of Justice as the Judge representing Hungary. As you can see he was appointed by the old MDF, so is hardly an old ‘commie’, then the first free Government 1990-1994 was hardly in the business to promote ‘old communists’
        As being born 1952 Baka was 39 years at that time

        If Baka would have had 5 years on a bench, Fidesz would have written in the law that 6 years was needed

        Baka was in his 4th year of 7, when he was replaced by Fidesz, that always supported Baka until Baka spoke out against Fidesz new laws

        I speak about principles here, not if I like Baka or not, then I do not know him. The idea that a political party can do what they want with top judges is disgusting and I think you would agree if the party doing this had been MSZP

        Regarding the mandatory retirement age, I have no problem with such a limit
        It always existed and it was 70 years before
        Today it is 62, but scheduled to be raised to 65
        The speed of this raise will most likely be pending some pro-Fidesz judges can stay on longer

        Hungary’s courts are burdened under too many cases and removing 270 experienced judges, replacing them with younger ones, will hardly make the court system work faster and increase quality of rulings
        This was just a stunt to remove old, senior and hence Judges who tend to be more independent (end of the carrier, only the ‘pride’ left)

        • justasking

          @Viking,

          “I am the one who is saying that Fidesz invents laws that manoeuvre out Judges that do not agree with Fidesz policies”

          So I miss read you post…I still think he would have been an asshole if he were to have said it.

          Now that I know you did and I like you…I’ll chalk it down to simple you having a brain-fart. :)
          ——–

          “You make that into a thing Judge Baka are accusing his peers for being corrupt, so Baka must be corrupt… (priceless)”

          Well think about it…you have 270 vacant Judge positions…I miss read, thinking Baka said Fidesz gets rid of people they can’t ‘count on’….translates to me…getting rid of the ‘old guard’ to make room for the ‘new guard’. Would you not get the impression that those new Judges were anything but impartial?
          ——–

          “As you can see he was appointed by the old MDF, so is hardly an old ‘commie’, then the first free Government 1990-1994 was hardly in the business to promote ‘old communists’”

          If you want to believe that MDF was not a product of the ‘pre-89′ clan…than that’s what you’re going to beleieve…I think different.
          ————-

          “Baka was in his 4th year of 7, when he was replaced by Fidesz, that always supported Baka until Baka spoke out against Fidesz new laws”

          So…your saying that Fidesz rewrote a law to get rid of 1 guy? Right…and you know this to be true…how?
          ———–

          I don’t see the big deal in introducing a new cap on the amount of time a Judge can sit on this particular bench, nor the age of mandatory retirement…because it applies to all people and not just some people.

    • Viking

      justasking says:
      January 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Brussels demands complete and utter control over it’s members…Bajnai and Feri gave them that

      I would formulate it like this:
      * Brussel *will* demand complete and utter control over it’s members for areas that can affect other member states or their citizens
      (what is left?)

      So far Orban has not been able to deliver that
      The terms and conditions both to become a member and to stay on as a member are getting tougher, much tougher
      And that is Good, because every country was built with law and order, and there is not enough of that between the member states

      • justasking

        @Viking,

        “Brussel *will* demand complete and utter control over it’s members for areas that can affect other member states or their citizens”

        Okay…how does the media law in Hungary affect the citizens in Latvia? And ‘restoring the central banks independence’, would affect Poland how?
        ———–

        “When I was in Cyprus over the holidays now, they told me that there are 10.000 Hungarian off-shore companies in Cyprus. I cannot vouch for that, but maybe these Hungarians understand something I do not do”

        I heard that too…what do you want me to say…these people are raping Hungary out of existence…and the Government allows it. Shame on them.

        • Viking

          justasking says:
          January 11, 2012 at 5:22 am

          how does the media law in Hungary affect the citizens in Latvia? And ‘restoring the central banks independence’, would affect Poland how?

          EU member states signs up to follow certain principles
          * Free and multiple media
          * Independent Central Banks
          are just two of them
          These principles are written down in treaties that all member states have agreed to

          Any citizen can take any member state to court (European Court of Justice)for violating these principles

          The EU Commission (EUC) should also evaluate if member states violate these principles and if so, start infringement procedures against them
          This is what the EUC is doing all year for this and that, but not since Austria was ostracised in 2000, any country has been on the EUC’s menue

          If one member state is allowed to violate these principles, other member states will follow suite and that is why it affects citizens of other member states

          In the case of the Hungarian Central Bank it can even have a negative effect on the Zloty, the Polish currency, so here we can maybe see a direct link

        • Viking

          justasking says:
          January 11, 2012 at 5:22 am

          these people are raping Hungary out of existence…and the Government allows it. Shame on them

          Well, in the EU we do have free movement f capital as one of the founding principles and Hungarians of today is utilising that founding principle when they have started to move their savings from banks inside Hungary tobansk outside Hungary, as can be seen in this article (linked from RealDeal also)

          -http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/01/11/hungary-some-savers-take-cash-to-austria/#axzz1j94sDcvR

          So, would you call “Anna Kovacs (not her real name), a 27-year old account manager at a Budapest public relations firm” a ‘rapist’?

          People do this then:
          “Bank accounts are “private contracts” Orban said at a press conference on Friday, and as such, the state has “no business” dealing with them.

          But many no longer trust such assurances – pointing out that the private pension funds were also agreed by private contract – and Orban’s government had no compunctions over nationalising them”

          When the people trust their leaders, when their leaders make the country go forward, very few people will see a need to move their savings abroad
          It is not the people that are wrong, it is the taxation and ever-changing policies that are

          My problem is that my money is tied down in real-estate here in Hungary, which of course have slumped
          I have yet not found a way to deposit real-estate abroad
          But I am looking…

          • justasking

            @Viking,

            “So, would you call “Anna Kovacs (not her real name), a 27-year old account manager at a Budapest public relations firm” a ‘rapist’?”

            No. I wasn’t talking about the average individual…I was talking about people abusing their position when in power.

    • Viking

      justasking says:
      January 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      those Canadians with off shore accounts

      After 9/11 it is much harder to move money around
      The EU has also for many years pressured and finally got the nearest off-shore countries to give information for taxation

      Normally it can be enough to pay tax in the off-shore country, then most countries accept the error with double taxation

      In EU it is not a crime to have money abroad, as long as you pay the proper taxes in at least one country
      I and my Mother pays taxes in Sweden for the small income we have there, not in Hungary
      On the other hand I pay taxes in Hungary on the income I have in Hungary

      When I was in Cyprus over the holidays now, they told me that there are 10.000 Hungarian off-shore companies in Cyprus. I cannot vouch for that, but maybe these Hungarians understand something I do not do…
      This is not automatic cheating, just tax-planning, which is not illegal

    • Viking

      ustasking says:
      January 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Orban, just like Obama, inherited a mess so great, that the actual extent of it was only truly realised once they got into office. And you want both these guys to turn everything around in 5 minutes

      The most of the problems were known and not even Fidesz complained that the actual hand-over was in May 2010, so let us say 10% was new, but that is rather expected, then any Government has and must have secrets

      My problem with Orban regarding the finances, is that he did exactly *everything* wrong
      I am actually rather disappointed on Orban, even if I am a ‘survivor from the 1st Orban-regime’

      I honestly thought Orban would concentrate in cleaning up the economy, fix all these very big structural problems Hungary have and keep the Forint strong
      I even gambled on that and took out a small Euro loan at 272 Ft/Euro in May 2010, but boy was I mistaken

      Instead Orban started to play politics with the economy and that has never succeeded, especially when the country does not have any real leverage, like oil or gas

      So, I did not believe Orban would have fixed anything in 5 minutes, but I expected that Hungary would be on a good path in a financially sound direction after Orban had been PM for 5 minutes, yes!

      As Bajnai wrote above:
      “A new government must have a programme readily at hand that can be applied without delay: a programme that promotes the republic, reconciliation, and recovery”

      Hungary’s problem 2002-2010 was that the MSZP-MPs in the Parliaments were never interested in that
      (Bajnai was never an MP)

      Hungary’s problem 2010 and onwards is that Fidesz is also not interested in that

      • justasking

        @Viking,

        “I honestly thought Orban would concentrate in cleaning up the economy, fix all these very big structural problems Hungary have and keep the Forint strong”

        Here you have me agreeing with you…I thought he would of done things differently as well.
        ——-

        “Instead Orban started to play politics with the economy and that has never succeeded, especially when the country does not have any real leverage, like oil or gas”

        Again I agree, and can not for the life of me, make hide nor hair of his thought process. Unless he is on a deliberate path of destruction? I don’t really understand him.

        But, it’s not for me or anybody else to say..let the people of Hungary decide.
        ————-

        “Hungary’s problem 2002-2010 was that the MSZP-MPs in the Parliaments were never interested in that”

        I disagree…Hungary was screwed up in 89′(actually since 45 but that’s another discussion) and for that moment forward…it’s been a free for all.

    • American in Budapest

      You are so stupid. The retirement age of judges was lowered so that Fidesz could appoint Fidesz party members.

      You claim to be a Canadian resident, yet what you know about Western democracy is next to nothing.

      And by the way, demonstrations are perfectly consistent with weak democratic institutions. Russia is a perfect example.

      • justasking

        @Ugly American,

        “You are so stupid”

        Oh…oh…yeah! Well…well…you have a lisp!!!

        ————

        “The retirement age of judges was lowered so that Fidesz could appoint Fidesz party members”

        And you know this how? Gut feeling? Evidence? Over hearing of conversations at cafes?

        Yes, I can picture it…you sitting at a table, pretending to read a newspaper, wearing a trench coat and fedora? You sexy thing you!!!

        ———–

        “You claim to be a Canadian resident, yet what you know about Western democracy is next to nothing”

        What…your version of western democracy?

        Mazel Tov to that!

        ————
        “And by the way, demonstrations are perfectly consistent with weak democratic institutions. Russia is a perfect example”

        And their ‘perfectly consistent’ with strong democratic institutions as well. Hungary is a perfect example.

  • PC 45

    Viking. If it wasn’t so absurd, and you so protectively naive about the 10, 000 Hungarian businesses registered in Cyprus we could spit feathers laughing! . And, as you have correctly pointed out previously, half of Cyprus is part of Greece and does have EU status… so I would be careful if you are one of those dodgers that consider it safe to put your money there.
    As for dodgers in this country…well, look at where good ol’ MNB governor Simor Andras was hiding his stash/cash? Yes. Cyprus! Until told to return PDQ when caught out!!
    And, Gyurscany had money all over the show (allegedly). Everywhere except..yes, you’ve guessed it, Magyarorszag.

    • Viking

      Given the current financial situation the worst place to keep money is:
      * “yes, you’ve guessed it, Magyarorszag”

      I agree with the strangeness about Cyprus
      We were over for a few hours on the Turkish side, pissing off border guards on both sides, trying to the same things when I was in Berlin walking in the no-man zone
      It was really a deja vue from the time of the Berlin Wall

      It is sad that the two halves could not agree a few years to sign the unification and join the EU as one country
      Cyprus is really lacking the spirit of Cyprus, it is more Greece and Turkey, sadly

  • Jennifer Goodman

    This Bajnai guy seems not to be welcome on the right

    http://budapost.eu/2012/01/bajnai-back-on-the-pitch/

    • Leto

      “The left-wing daily thinks Bajnai has shown the way out of the present crisis”

      They certainly mean licking IMF/EU boots and themselves in power. That’s their way.

  • Leto

    No surprise at all that the Bajnai project is being financed by Hillary Clinton’s circles.

    -http://hetivalasz.hu/itthon/az-uj-kormanynak-nem-lesz-ideje-kiserletezni-44750

    • Viking

      Leto says:
      January 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      No surprise at all that the Bajnai project is being financed by Hillary Clinton’s circles

      There is no secret that Bajnai’s foundation has the following international partners:
      * Bertelsmann Stiftung
      * Center for American Progress (CAP)
      * Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)
      * Policy Network
      * Terra Nova

      Just go to their About-page and check. It is totally public

      -http://www.hazaeshaladas.hu/nemzetkozi_partnereink.html

      All in all this probably make ex-PM Bajnai have better relations with the US Administration, than what the current PM (I think his name is Orban?) has
      Wonder what is best for Hungary?

      In these times it is understandable why ‘leto’ and Heti Válasz tries to make this public info into an issue of secrecy
      Nothing else have worked for them so far

More content from Hungary's leading foreign-language media network
About Politics.hu | Become an All Hungary Member | Newsletters | Contact Us | Advertise With Us
All content © 2004-2013 The All Hungary Media Group. Articles, comments and other information on the All Hungary Media Group's network of sites are provided "as is" without guarantees, warranties, or representations of any kind, and the opinions and views expressed in such articles and columns are not necessarily those of the All Hungary Media Group.