Give chaos a chance

The refugee crisis is the major humanitarian and political issue in all of the European Union, including Hungary, and it will probably remain so for quite some time. However, life goes on. The Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, János Lázár has, for example, submitted to Parliament a Bill about the establishment of a new ministry: the Prime Minister’s Cabinet. Continue reading

The anatomy of state sponsored corruption: a concrete case

2010, a few months before parliamentary elections: Mahir, the outdoor media giant owned by Lajos Simicska, a close friend of the Prime Minister’s and financier of Fidesz, approaches one of its competitors, ESMA, in order to discuss the potential merger of the two companies. The Chairman and CEO of the partially Spanish owned ESMA is István Bleuer, who is said to be close to the Socialist Party. The special value of ESMA is that it owns the exclusive rights to place advertisements on lampposts. The deal falls apart as Mr. Simicska is not prepared to pay a market price for ESMA. Continue reading

Can the wolf turn into a sheep?

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán celebrated his 5 years in power by giving a speech at a conference dedicated to this topic. The undoubtedly most often quoted sentence of the conference has since become the headline in almost all media outlets:

”In the past five years power was the keyword of governing. From now on it is going to be attention, attention to people and everyday life.”

The content of the speech was otherwise quite predictable: Continue reading

Mr. Orbán’s son-in-law says farewell to public procurement

The son-in-law of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, István Tiborcz sold all his companies that have been or would be subject of public procurement tenders yesterday, according to Napi Gazdaság, the daily closest to the government these days. He did so because of the permanent attacks against him and his family, according to the paper.

Mr. Tiborcz, who married Mr. Orbán’s daughter, Ráchel in 2013 (images here) has been on a lucky streak since 2010. Starting from scratch, his various businesses have won EU funded public procurement tenders in the order of many million Euros. Continue reading

Democracy FIDESZ style – Prime Minister’s answers shown but questions not

Today Fidesz’s web site – Fidesz.hu – published yesterday’s question time in Parliament; however, for the fun of it, only the answers of Mr. Orbán are shown. The questions are missing. And it seems some of the answers are missing as well, as the recording starts with a half sentence of Mr. Orbán saying something about the development cabinet. So the question must have been about the debate started by former US Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis by quoting a former minister in her book, saying that she and Mr. Orbán decided week by week who the winners of development tenders should be.

We don’t know who asked what and how. Parliament’s web site has not published the recorded proceedings of yesterday’s session in the House until the writing of this post. Continue reading

Why would Mr. Orbán run for president?

We are relieved. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has announced this morning in Székesfehérvár that he does not intend to become president when the term of the current President, János Áder, expires in 2017. We would be even more relieved had he also declared that he would not want to become prime minister in the future either. However, he did just the opposite and announced that in 2018 he would like to run again for his current job. To achieve this, this November he will also “compete” for the presidency of FIDESZ again. Continue reading

The Lázár – Rogán dream team

Something is brewing in Fidesz. Several newspapers and portals reported independently that Prime Minister Orbán wants to create the position of Chief of Cabinet or Chief of Staff and appoint faction leader Antal Rogán to the job. It has been reported too that the new job would also result in the establishment of a new cabinet, a small government within the government, which would enable the Prime Minister to closely control all departments and get his agenda across effectively. Continue reading

Some Hungarians are by Nature Politically Correct

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gave his 17th Annual Evaluation on Friday, or, as the official translation says, State of the Nation speech. Yesterday we showed some pictures; now let’s say a few words about content. First of all, you can read it for yourself here. Continue reading