September 6th, 2012

Are Hungarians really ready to pay the price of a full-blown “freedom fight” against the IMF?

Well, this may be a first in the annals of international financial diplomacy: Viktor Orbán just used his Facebook page to tell the IMF and EU that his government will walk away from bailout talks unless the fund drops certain demands it supposedly made in a letter leaked to the media earlier today.

While it’s hard right now to know what exactly is going on – Index.hu has just reported that the actual letter doesn’t include some of the demands supposedly made – one thing that is clear is that Orbán has decided not to allow his chief negotiator (former prime ministerial chief-of-staff Mihály Varga) any “quiet time” in talk with the country’s would-be saviors in the coming weeks, as was earlier expected.

Another thing that is quite clear is that, if the full list of supposed demands is real (and that’s still a pretty big “if,” since there would be a powerful motive to have it look like Budapest had wrangled a series of heroic concessions) the government will have a very, very hard time selling it to its supporters and other voters. Any one of the items on it (cutting pensions, scrapping the flat income tax and bank tax, introducing a value-based property tax) would be painful enough, politically-speaking, for the government to swallow, given the repeated assurances that no such measures would be taken. Taken together, it is hard to imagine a more epic humiliation.

The question is whether the government and the Hungarian people really have the stomach for another exhausting international confrontation – or “freedom fight,” if you prefer that way of looking at it – and one that could carry a very concrete price, in the form of a crashing forint, soaring interest rates and sudden, radical spending cuts? It’s hard to say, but one indication is that in his video Orbán himself didn’t look very enthusiastic. It may be a long, hot autumn…

Erik D'Amato (@erikdamato) is publisher and editor-in-chief of the All Hungary Media Group.
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  • Francois

    Orban shows his true face. He’s just a dumb clown who is not even able to understand the basics of economy and international politics and who hopes that the public will not notice that he sucks in everything if he pulls enough tricks – in this case throwing pies to everybody around.
    What a hopeless loses, I nearly feel pity for him.

  • MagyarViking

    There is a good question why now?
    Why the rush to weaken the forint for MasterPimp Whorban?
    Can it be His old dogma:
    * When In Trouble – Go To War?

    Maybe the AXE-Gate is giving Him too much trouble?

  • Aloof

    The scariest thing is that OV isn’t really sure what he’s going to do next either. He’s been called and the IMF knows that he doesn’t have a winning hand or any cards. So his arrogance and ego has finally caught up with him.

    You win Vik and Fidesz you’re not a colony, hoo fuckin’ rah.
    Now you can start enjoying your isolation.

    It’s going to be a lousy Christmas in the kingdom…

    • Anonymous

      @Aloof: Do not and I repeat, do not concern yourself with Hungary. Problems Hungarian are for Hungarians within Hungary – for them to solve. Instead, watch baseball, read a comic book, visit a bad neigborhood in your favorite city, step on a banana peel or stand outside in a tornado – you know, all those fun things but forget this site, forget Hungary and Hungarians.

      • Aloof

        Who in the hell are you? I’m married to a Hungarian, have over 100 family members that still live there, I lived there over 17 years and most of all I am a Hungarian. That’s just great coming from some asshole who calls itself “anonymous.”

        • Anonymous

          To Aloof: Well then Aloof you should be ashamed of yourself for writing the crap you write. I doubt you really are Hungarian and you have fabricated a story about 100 family members still in Hungary, living in Hungary 17 years and being mostly Hungarian. Say, not being entirely Hungarian, only mostly, which part of you is not Hungarian? Excuse me, stupid question for I know, prick!

          • Aloof

            @ Anonymous says: September 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm

            Guess I’ll have to say it again: That’s just great coming from some asshole who calls itself “anonymous.”

            “Excuse me, stupid question for I know, prick!”
            You said it not me asshole…especially from the same Anonymous that makes the absolute IDIOTIC comments over at Ambiance.hu

            You’re a friggin’ jerk…

      • Anonymous

        Not true. Humanity is not a collection of islands. Hungary is part of the EU and has consistently violated EU laws. On top of that Hungary owes the rest of the world a lot of money and poses a threat to regional stability and democracy.

  • spectator

    Must be The AXE Effect!
    All those chicks all over him…

  • Leto مؤدّب

    It will be a long, hot autumn. Is that any surprise?

    • Leto مؤدّب

      Oh, sorry:

      Ceterum censeo MSZP delendum est.

      • Leto مؤدّب

        Oh, sorry:

        post-commie bastard blah blah blah blah blah bastard blah

  • Anonymous

    Guys, stop posting stupid comments. Dumb, dumb, dumb !

  • Vidra

    The European Courts ready to strike down his discriminatory taxes and other stunts, the IMF telling him he must revert to economic orthodoxy or no financial support; wouldn’t wonder if the latest line in Carry On Orban is “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me.”
    Hej, Fidesz rent-boy, I think you need a new mantra or your punters will be as much part of history as MSZP

  • John

    This Orban guy is on heavy drugs. Do you know any other sane person licking his lips like a snake?!
    youtube.com/watch?v=-g7XNeP7v9I

    • Anonymous

      Do not concern yourself with Hungary.

      • Liz Aucoin

        It is so pathetic, this is an english site, for Hungarians in other countries, sorry if it doesn’t fit in with the bullshit you are fed in Hungarian news. I concern myself with whatever I want, I have all my family there and I wish to get real news, not the fluffed up version for Hungarians only. Telling us not concern ourselves with Hungary, just because your rediculous arguments are not convincing anyone.

    • Leto مؤدّب

      It’s not a joke, the IMF gave Orban tardive dyskinesia.
      Ceterum censeo IMF delendum est.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t concern yourself with Hungary.

  • Anonymous

    A list of conditions daily Magyar Nemzet reported are attached to a credit arrangement Hungary is seeking from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union are not accurate, a source close to the EU told MTI late Thursday. “The list does not reflect accurately the issues discussed. Some of the reforms on the list were not even mentioned, while others were discussed in a different context,” the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity

    VO is a liar.

  • Anonymous

    HS
    So, what are the specific suggestions that the IMF made in July? When the ball was then in Hungary’s court? There were three items: (1) an exemption of the Hungarian National Bank from the financial transaction tax; (2) phasing out the special tax on banks and telecom companies; and (3) a restoration of the rights of the Constitutional Court in dealing with budgetary issues.

    Most urgent:
    a restoration of the rights of the Constitutional Court in dealing with budgetary issues.

    • Aloof

      Thanks Anonymous (you must be the coherent one).

      Just to further clarify in addition to what Anonymous said:

      Overall, the IMF/EU want to see the same measures they have been urging for years:

      * Expenditure cuts (mostly social spending)
      * Simplified tax system that burdens the private sector less
      * Incentives to boost employment and economic growth (partly via the tax regime)
      * Lower burdens on companies and banks so that lending may start to grow
      * Regaining investor confidence
      * Transparent and calculable medium-term economic policy and regulatory environment.
      * And, of course, there is a need for reforms (public transport), the curtailing of local government spending.

      • Anonymous

        Aloofusz neked te nagy buta.

    • Leto مؤدّب

      Constitutional courts usually don’t deal with budgetary issues in other countries.

      Countries where there exist separate constitutional courts:

      -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_court

      Let’s see what they do in Germany:
      -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Constitutional_Court_of_Germany

      or in Felvidék:
      -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_Court_of_Slovakia

      or in South Africa:
      -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_Court_of_South_Africa

      Ceterum censeo MSZP delendum est.

  • Gloves off

    This was a top-level PR stunt serving the interests of speculators close to Orbán’s spin doctor, Árpád Habony. To become credible, even the PM had to play his pathetic role. Habony’s friends shorted the HUF and OTP in the futures market the day before and then pocketed the well deserved billions within half and hour yesterday. The case is very similar to the artificial HUF panic created by Kósa and Szíjjártó in the summer of 2010 when they compared Hungary to Greece, creating an immediate 10% drop in the HUF. That alone must have resulted in tens of billions of HUF in windfall profit for this gangsters. This game is simply about extra profit for the organised criminals

    • Viking

      Gloves off says:
      September 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      This was a top-level PR stunt serving the interests of speculators close to Orbán’s spin doctor, Árpád Habony

      The end of this article in the Economist mentions this person:

      “What about opposition within Fidesz? The more enlightened members of the party’s leadership, such as Tibor Navracsics, the deputy prime minister, have been co-opted and remain silent. Zoltan Pokorni, a forward-looking former education minister, has been sidelined. “Viktor has been the boss for 20 years,” sighs one party insider. “Nobody has ever told him what to do.” Mr Orban’s two closest associates appear to be Arpad Habony, a mysterious communications adviser who has no party or government position and who is credited with manufacturing the prime minister’s cocky man-of-the-people image; and the hapless Mr Matolcsy, who is charged with implementing Mr Orban’s (or perhaps Mr Habony’s) ideas”

      (-http://www.economist.com/node/21542422)

    • Leto مؤدّب

      Did you invent this conspiracy theory yourself or read it from another postcommie bastard? :D

      Ceterum censeo MSZP delendum est.

      • right wing local yokel puszta ranger

        Postcommie conspiracy theories are usually invented by J@ws, and only repeated by postcommies.

        • Aloof

          Glad you like your new handle there Magyar but you can’t thank me yet because you need to add Racist at the beginning of it for it be valid.

          Are there any honest or tolerant people in Hungary? All I hear here every day is that ALL Liberals are post commie scum, Fidesz are j*wish loving lying country bumpkin gangster thieves and Jobbik’ are racist neo nazi anti-semitic gypsy hatin’ maniacs. Romanians are hairy hoof footed cavemen, Slovaks are scum, Balkan people can’t be trusted, USA and Canada suck including the ex-patHungarians that live there and the of course EU sucks but now Asia all of a sudden is just the cats meow.

          Ahhhh… democracy Hungarian style, bitter, frustrated and paranoid.

          • Leto مؤدّب

            “All I hear here every day is that… Fidesz are j*wish loving lying country bumpkin gangster thieves ”

            Oh, so you hear yourself when you type this every day. Interesting.

            Ceterum censeo MSZP delendum est.

          • Leto مؤدّب

            Okay, you leave out the “j*wish loving” bit.

            Ceterum censeo MSZP delendum est.

          • Anonymous

            @ Aloof Keep on with your stupid, irrelevant, childish claptrap. “Ahhhh… democracy Hungarian style, bitter, frustrated and paranoid” are the lessons you learned well in Hungary and which you continue to spout, for you can’t shake it off, even in uncle Sam’s paradise. God bless Hungary, Hungarians within Hungary and world wide! Isten ald meg a magyart!

  • Focus on the bigger picture

    The above string is pretty good folks. Mostly contextual pragmatic debate.
    Reading between the lines and the always convoluted money trail. A mini insider Budapest/Wall Street trading.
    The problem here is that there is more consistent money being made betting on the lows rather than the highs. The day traders must be having a blast.
    On another note, what the IMF/EU set as qualifying measures, as asterisked by Aloof above – We all know that that would be a perfect world scenario – dream on. Generations.

  • Paul

    @ Aloof
    Thanks Anonymous (you must be the coherent one).

    Gloves off….Anonymous…Paul…who cares…just a name…I am sure Leto/Cogito are not registerd like their real names either. Anything to protect my friends and family from om a bunch of corrupt Fidesz criminals is okay.Best wishes!

    Again:
    This was a top-level PR stunt serving the interests of speculators close to Orbán’s spin doctor, Árpád Habony. To become credible, even the PM had to play his pathetic role. Habony’s friends shorted the HUF and OTP in the futures market the day before and then pocketed the well deserved billions within half and hour yesterday. The case is very similar to the artificial HUF panic created by Kósa and Szíjjártó in the summer of 2010 when they compared Hungary to Greece, creating an immediate 10% drop in the HUF. That alone must have resulted in tens of billions of HUF in windfall profit for this gangsters. This game is simply about extra profit for the organised criminals

    • Leto مؤدّب

      First I never used the name “Cogito”. Second the best thing to “protect your friends and family from om a bunch of corrupt Fidesz criminals” would be to move all of them in the Netherlands so that you can visit those coffee houses and enjoy such postcommie conspiracy theories together.

      Ceterum censeo MSZP delendum est.

      • Paul

        The best thing to “protect your friends and family from a bunch of corrupt Fidesz criminals is what we are doing right now. “coffee houses”?…..restaurants you mean. conspiracy theories?…yep like fake horror lists.

        • Leto مؤدّب

          So you’re moving all of them? Great!

          Ceterum censeo MSZP delendum est.

          • Magyar

            He should also take gypsies with him.
            I am not racist, BUT Hungary would be much, much better if there were no gypsies. Don’t you agree Leto?

            We should encourage them to leave and find better lives somewhere else.

            Or maybe you would miss the cultural enrichments of gypsies?

            Btw, whats your Fidesz view of immigration into Hungary?

          • Leto مؤدّب

            No, I don’t agree. And I told you about my views about immigration, so I’m not going to repeat it.

            Ceterum censeo MSZP delendum est.

          • Paul

            I am not racist, BUT..LOL

          • Magyar

            Did you?
            I haven’t seen it, do you remember which topic it was?

          • Magyar

            Btw, if all of the gypsies wanted to leave on their own, would you stop them? And if they did, would you miss them?

  • Paul

    from om a bunch
    Typo…sorry…must be about me being angry like hell.

  • Leves(Laci)

    The polgarmester set up in Hungary is an abomination which, in short, leads to gross inefficiency and widespread corruption.
    Many Hungarians share the same view of what I have stated but remain powerless to do anything about it.
    The 45+ age group in various administrations across the board are locked into a post-communist time warp which holds the country back from ever achieving success.
    Twenty five years since the commies went and very little has changed because they are still here in mind and body. As I have found out to my cost over a number of years!

  • spectator

    “Twenty five years since the commies went and very little has changed because they are still here in mind and body.”

    – In mind next to nothing, in body quite substantial, while in clothing not a thing!

    At least, that’s what happened with my favorite post-communist administrator, a certain Viktor Orban. Here you can see, what I mean:
    -http://kepviselofunky.blog.hu/2012/08/31/orban_kedvenc_inge

  • wolfi

    @Maygar:

    When was the time the Hungarians had a king – a real Hungarian (Tiszta Magyar …) king I mean, not some “bloody foreigner” aka Austrian e g ?

  • wolfi

    Sorry, this somehow jumped to the wrong thread …

  • Laci Leves

    King Orban? Kiralysag? The Troika move round the world lending money to failing countries and their woeful economies. Why should Hungary be any different? The ECB buying up all the bad debt of the Eurozone without ever standing a chance of getting it back? Greece is finished and so now is Spain. Merkel is trying to hold the thing together with the forthcoming elections looming, and all that…Look what happened to the nitwit Sarkozy? The French are not that stupid. They kicked him out…Germans should boot Merkel into the Rhine, too? Unless they wish their hard-earned tax to keep going to these lazy, olive oil ne’er-do-wells.
    In Orban Viktor’s case, it is the tramp going to the soup kitchen and demanding champagne, and caviar, and getting a right royal boot up his ar*e for the trouble as far as the IMF and EU are concerned.

    • MagyarViking

      Laci Leves says:
      September 10, 2012 at 1:49 am

      Look what happened to the nitwit Sarkozy? The French are not that stupid. They kicked him out

      …and now the rich will get a tax of 75%
      Think if France just had have PimpMaster Whorban instead, then they would get 16% flat tax instead…

      Is not life a bitch?

  • SoupoftheDay (Laci)

    Orban is a puppet with a big mouth and a supreme example of the tail wagging the dog. In the background whispering in his ear day and night are the same old commie-trained idiots with a shit-for-brains mentality and megalomaniac tendencies. And as far removed from reality as the medication allows! From the day Erik launched this site the problems have remained the same in this country. Poor administration, no reform, amateurs taking the country to rack and ruin; resulting in foreign investment pulling out by the wagon load. Morale is at an all-time low and the begging bowl is out once again.
    Incompetence and corruption on a level that makes the Indian model look positively ‘sound’ and ‘righteous’.

    • justasking…

      Good post, pretty much sums everything up in a nutshell.

      My question is, what kind of dramatic event, needs to occur, to get the average voter interested/motivated enough, to start demanding better quality politicians? Holding them accountable?
      ———–

      ‘Incompetence and corruption on a level that makes…’

      Hungary is not unique in this…if people are happy, satisfied with their lot in life, it only natural, not to pay too much attention to what your Government is doing…only noticing ones surroundings, with the threat of it all being taken away.

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