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Here is an anecdote about the inner workings of the new oligarch economy. As many of you know, I work for the state railways. One day, we got a strange request from one branch of the company for an expert opinion on the design of a track component. Strange because the design was obviously dangerous and against specifications, so it should have been rejected without much thought.

After much prodding, I got them to reveal the background. The bad design was a cheap solution which the biggest construction company of Hungary wanted to use. This company belongs to one of the Fidesz oligarchs through intermediaries and grew fat by receiving the majority of government contracts. So when the railway's engineers said that that solution violates specifications, sometime later the railway's managers told them to approve it unless they can prove that it's a bad solution. (At this point, even my Fidesz-voting far-right colleagues called bullshit. I wonder how many of them switched to Jobbik today...)

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

by DoDo on Sun Apr 6th, 2014 at 09:52:46 AM EST
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Here is one of the more bizarre results of Fidesz rule. Orbán loves football, and thinks it could also serve propaganda. So Fidesz leaders and oligarchs got control of several top clubs and the government and the government-funded oligarchs gave a lot of money for stadium construction and other uses. (So far without results: Hungarian clubs and the national team keep failing at qualification level in international tournaments.) Including the team Orbán's oligarch-funded "private charity" founded in his home village Felcsút (population: 1,841), which got a covered stadium with 3,500 seats (which mostly stay empty). The whole facility with training pitches is almost as big the village itself (air photo from Index):

The Felcsút team was named Puskás Academy, in honour of Ferenc Puskás, a footballer who was first a top goalscorer of Budapest Honvéd FC and the 1954 World Cup silver medallist national team and then for Real Madrid (when he didn't return home after the 1956 Revolution). Recently, the team had a match with Puskás's former team, Budapest Honvéd FC. When Honvéd fans unfurled a banner with Puskás on it, Puskás Academy dignitaries had security guards take it down because it is their team's name! You can't make this up.

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

by DoDo on Thu Apr 10th, 2014 at 03:32:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like something straight out of SimCity2000.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Apr 11th, 2014 at 10:31:31 AM EST
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SimCity or Sin City?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 11th, 2014 at 10:39:53 AM EST
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