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Would you be interested to read something more in-depth about the legal coup in English, after his own column Depression and Democracy, Paul Krugman now published successive guest posts on his NYT blog by his Princeton colleague Kim Lane Scheppele:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 11:43:31 AM EST
I went through the diary again to eliminate typos and such; and added a sentence about the significance of the EU flag (second photo in the protest section).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 12:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The public TV news first reported the protest as an aside, spun the Hungarian Galric Front performance as if it weren't a satire, and showed an empty street as backdrop for a report. The last bit of spin was a bit too much, so they announced that it was an 'honest mistake': their camera team, which followed Orbán around town, supposedly arrived late at the site of the protest and couldn't find a place close enough to set up shop. Except that doesn't explain why the camera was positioned so that even the back of the main stage wasn't visible, why the reporter didn't point out the circumstance for viewers, and how they managed to find takes of the crowds for the morning news show.

(Top screengrab: public TV news, bottom screengrab: one of the commercial TVs)

In the meantime, the public holding behind the public TV asked a web host to remove a site spoofing the public TV news, and the web host complied... YouTube still has one of their videos.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 05:52:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm reading that there was another minor protest on Tuesday, which the far-right wanted to thwart, too. The protest was held at a statue of a national symbol (a bird) outside a gallery exhibiting paintings made to illustrate the new constitution (another silly propaganda measure; Orbán and the public TV news crew were there before the Opera House event). The fascists failed to properly read the announcement, however, and rushed off to a different bird statue miles away...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 06:59:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The news of the day from Hungary is an emergency meeting of the PM, the economic minister, the leader of the talks with the IMF, and the boss of the central bank; with no details released to the public. (Also, Fitch followed th other two ratings agencies in its junk rating.)

The more interesting news of the day is that the crackdown on opponents continues unabated: using the new labour laws, under which union leaders cannot deal with union matters full-time (in fact they can only ue 10% of their time) and employees can be moved at will, the leader of the firefighter union that participated in the protests over the past year was moved to a job in a city far from his home. He didn't accept, and was fired – and obviously the union lost him.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 6th, 2012 at 12:12:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be Arok Kornel, a member of Szolidaritas?
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jan 7th, 2012 at 05:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep. I didn't mention him and his union in the diary because that police union was louder and always took the initiative, but Kornél Árok's union reportedly managed to 'beat' in numbers all other unions in the alliance during the union protests in 2011. [Language note on a mistake of your source: Hungarian is similar to Chinese and Japanese in having the family name first, but in Western languages names are flipped; Árok is the family name, the given name Kornél is the Hungarian version of the Latin Cornelius.]

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 7th, 2012 at 05:16:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the Italian source he is not the leader of Szolidaritàs but a prominent figurehead. What's your take on prospects of the union going anywhere?

Orban is certainly moving faster than the Poles. It took them six years to fire Lech Walesa.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jan 7th, 2012 at 05:35:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say he is the leader of Szolidaritás, he is the leader of the firefighter union, which is one of the unions that joined the Magyar Szolidaritás Mozgalom (Hungarian Solidarity Movement) umbrella group. Checking, however, I find that Szolidaritás has no single leader: Sándor Székely (boss of a truckers' union; shown in the diary as speaker at the protest), Péter Kónya (boss of the much-mentioned police union; also shown as speaker), Kornél Árok, and a fourth guy (head of the chemical industry workers' union) are all co-heads.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 7th, 2012 at 05:57:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Fidesz that is near impossible to convey due to the language barrier is the contempt and arroagance shown in their public communication. But just during the Friday press conference, Orbán did something that may come across just from his facial expressions in the 15-second video clip below.

Orbán is asked whether he thinks he has personal responsibility for the deteriorating exchange rates of national currency Forint. He answers as if the question had been the central bank chief's personal responsibility. The reporter insists that the question is  about him, he repeats the same trick. The third time he answers for himself, then smiles as if he made a jood joke.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jan 8th, 2012 at 08:50:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears that the government planned the confrontation with the Commission and the IMF, but wasn't prepared for how it would turn out. According to the source of a business paper, back in December:

Itthon: ,,Orbán szólt, hogy készüljünk fel a legrosszabbakra" - HVG.huDomestic affairs: "Orbán told us to prepare for the worst" - HVG.hu
,,Megmondtuk előre, hogy minden eszközt használni fogunk, ami csak egy nemzeti kormány rendelkezésére áll. Mivel ilyet nemhogy Magyarországon nem csináltak még, de az EU-ban sem jellemző, csak úgy tudjuk, hogy mik a korlátaink, ha elmegyünk a falig, ez pedig nem megy ütközés nélkül" - jellemezte az Orbán-kabinet attitűdjét az IMF-fel és az Európai Bizottsággal szemben egy kormányzati forrásunk."We told in advance that we will use every means at the disposal of a national government. Since it's not just that such a thing wasn't done in Hungary before, but it isn't typical in the EU either, the only way to learn our limits is to run against the wall, and this cannot be done without a collision" - this is how one of our government sources characterizedthe attitude of the Orbán cabinet against the IMF and the European Commission.

The source was critical of Hungarian diplomacy for not preparing the ground (though that also means that the source ws naive, not realising what is going on in the Eurozone).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jan 9th, 2012 at 02:42:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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