Nov 082014

Once again my country of birth, Hungary, made it to the cover of both the North American and Asian editions of The New York Times.

And not for a good reason.

The article laments that, 25 years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Hungary, which was back then at the forefront of the transition from communism to democracy, is now turning away form Western values. That the prime minister, the same Mr. Orban who once played a leading role in that transition, now rejects Western values and preaches “illiberal democracy”, citing countries like Russia or Turkey as worthy examples.

Such criticisms are routinely rejected by supporters of Mr. Orban as “misguided”, a product of a Western media that “only listens to liberal critics”. And this plays well with an audience that is accustomed to the notion of national victimhood. Hungary is seen by many Hungarians as a victim throughout history. The country was a victim of the Paris-Versailles peace treaties. A victim of Germany and national socialism. A victim of communism. And now, a victim of Brussels’ new “colonialism”.

Even the national anthem is all about victimhood: “Fate, who for so long did’st frown / Bring him happy times and ways / Atoning sorrow hath weighed down / Sins of past and future days.”

Maybe one day the focus in Hungary will shift from victimhood to responsibility. For being accountable for one’s actions. Maybe that day, Hungary will no longer be easy pray to populist demagogues like Mr. Orban.

But I am not holding my breath.

 Posted by at 9:41 am
Oct 312014

The once famous Hungarian language broadcasts of Radio Free Europe ceased more than two decades ago, shortly after the end of communism in my country of birth.

Now, however, Radio Free Europe joined the growing choir of voices concerned about the policies of Hungary’s current government, and the country’s slide away from the values of Western-style liberal democracy.

This article, which will no doubt be dismissed by supporters of the ruling FIDESZ party as misguided and uninformed, misled by “liberal propaganda”, provides a nice summary of the events that unfolded in the country in recent years. It is also accompanied by a video report, which details the rising popularity of the ultra-right in Hungary and the dangers that it represents.

I just feel compelled to repeat the famous quotation by the Spanish-American poet, writer and philosopher George Santayana: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

 Posted by at 11:53 pm
Aug 052014

In the 1980s there was a joke I heard on the streets of Budapest. It was in the form of an official-sounding announcement: “In Soviet Union is no illiteracy… on written record.”

Well, there is no racism in Hungary either. At least not on the record. Everything that happens, happens for a sound, sensible reason. When Hungary’s Minister of Human Resources announces that there was no Roma Holocaust in Hungary, as Hungarian Roma were only deported from Austrian territory, he of course speaks the gospel truth. When the third largest city in Hungary begins a systematic eviction of mainly Roma residents, it is just an eminently reasonable attempt to clean up a bad, run-down part of town. And when a state-sponsored film festival in the same city declines to show films on the subject of the Roma, it is an entirely logical decision, aimed at avoiding controversy just before municipal elections.

Everything is based on sound reasoning, everything makes perfect sense. Just as it was entirely reasonable when a small town mayor in Hungary this weekend presided over a symbolic hanging of an effigy of Benjamin Netanyahu, in protest against the “Freemason Jewish terror state’s efforts to rule the world.” No, there is no racism in Hungary. How could there be?

 Posted by at 5:40 pm
Aug 042014

One hundred years ago, the British Empire (and, by extension, Canada) declared war on the German Empire. The War to End All Wars began in earnest.

This reminds me that we have in our possession this small hand-sewn notebook which belonged to my wife’s great-grandfather. He served in the Great War, as a conscript in Austria-Hungary’s army. He fought in the trenches against Italy, alongside the Isonzo river.

His notebook was his diary, written mostly in the form of poetry, during some of the heaviest fighting in the summer of 1915.

I have not (yet) made an attempt to translate any of it into English; the content that is linked above is in Hungarian. But pictures are worth a thousand words: here is my wife’s great-grandfather, with his wife, photographed some time before 1914.

 Posted by at 7:15 pm
Aug 012014

A few days ago, Mr. Viktor Orban (hey, it’s not my fault that we share a first name), Hungary’s prime minister, gave a speech in a Transylvanian town. In this speech, he declared his intent to create an “illiberal” Hungary. His role models: Turkey, China and Russia. No wonder the speech raised alarm bells throughout the Western media, including the not exactly left-wing Wall Street Journal. The Huffington Post described it as a headline that could have come straight from a European version of The Onion.

While it is clear that this speech was primarily intended for consumption by his followers, among whom Orban’s anti-West, anti-Brussels, anti-capitalist, xenophobic populism resonates, Orban is not stupid, and he is choosing his words carefully. The fact that he used this particular phrase makes it clear that his struggle is about more than just preventing Hungary from becoming a “colony” of the EU. He really does want to tear down all the remaining checks and balances of a liberal democracy, in order to enjoy unconstrained power.

In light of this, while others describe Orban’s plans the “Putinization” of Hungary, Newsweek was perhaps not unjustified in borrowing a description of Mr. Orban from the Hungarian left-wing daily Népszabadság: “Hungary’s Mussolini”.

 Posted by at 12:47 am
Jul 262014

I don’t usually blog in two languages but I shall make an exception this time around: you see, my Mom’s and my stepfather’s cottage is for sale, and as it happens to be located in Hungary, the most likely interested parties are Hungarian.

To make a long story short, this is a waterfront property on a side branch of the Danube river not far from Budapest. The plot is about 4200 square feet, the cottage itself is about 500 square feet. It has electricity, running water, and natural gas heating. The property includes a licensed deck. It is accessible from a paved road that is maintained all year round. The asking price is HUF 12 million, or about USD 52,000 at current exchange rates.

Nem szokásom két nyelven bloggolni, de ez alkalommal kivételt teszek, miután Édesanyám és nevelőapám nyaralója eladó, s lévén hogy a nyaraló Magyarországon található, feltehetőleg az érdeklődők is leginkább magyarok lesznek.

Hogy rövidre fogjam, vízparti ingatlanról van szó, a Soroksári Dunaág mentén, Budapesttől nem messze. A telek kb. 390 m2, a nyaraló maga kb. 45 m2. Van villany, víz, s gázkonvektoros fűtés. Az ingatlanhoz engedélyezett stég tartozik. Aszfaltozott úton közelíthető meg, mely egész évben járható. A kért ár 12 millió forint.

And now a couple of pictures – És most pár kép:

My Mom's cottage – Anyámék nyaralója

My Moms’ cottage – Anyámék nyaralója

The waterfront deck of my Mom's cottage – Anyámék nyaralójához tartozó vízparti stég

The waterfront deck of my Moms’ cottage – Anyámék nyaralójához tartozó vízparti stég

The dog and the cat are not for sale; sadly, they are no longer around, as these pictures were made a few years back.

A kutya meg a macska nem eladó; sajnos már nincsenek meg, ezek a képek ugyanis pár évvel ezelőtt készültek.

Further pictures about the property can be seen on the Web site of a real estate agency. – Az ingatlanról további képek egy ingatlanügynök lapján tekinthetőek meg.

 Posted by at 2:20 pm
Jul 112014

My stepfather is an avid angler. He spends his summers in their cottage just south of Budapest, on the bank of a branch of the Danube river. He loves to fish.

Late May, he caught what was one of the biggest fish in his life: a 21.8 kg grass carp.

To be sure, this is not the biggest fish ever caught, even at this particular location. The biggest grass carp that was caught there in recent memory weighed 35 kg; and the biggest anything was a 70 kg wels catfish.

Nonetheless, a 21.8 kg (48 lbs) fish is a respectable catch, which earned my stepfather a place in the local angler society’s record books.

Upload date: 2014.06.03
Species: Grass carp
Name: Tibor Kovrig
Organization: Ráckevei HE
Mass of fish: 21,800 g
Length of fish: 96 cm
Fish circumference: 76 cm
Caught on: 2014.05.27 10:50
Catch location: RSD main branch (13 rkm)
Bait, feed: Sweet corn, puffed corn
Technique, equipment: Shimano 4000 reel, 0.20 Gold Star braided line, #2 hook
Other circumstances: Sunny day, no wind, appr. 30 minutes tackling time

For what it’s worth, the fish was eventually released back into the river; in return, my stepfather was rewarded with a free license for next year.

 Posted by at 12:49 pm
Jun 152014

Freedom House is not happy about Hungary.

According to their latest report, Hungary remains a consolidated democracy, but only barely. The threshold index value is 3.00; Hungary slid from 1.96 in 2005 to 2.96 in 2014. (A lower value means a better democracy score.)

Opponents of Orban’s increasingly autocratic regime point at this report as proof that Orban’s government is undemocratic, or worse. They have a point.

But… the trend did not begin in 2010, when Mr. Orban was elected. Hungary’s index was already 2.39 in 2010. The trend is clearly long term, transcending governments.

Freedom House Democracy Score - Hungary

Freedom House Democracy Score – Hungary

No, it is Hungary as a whole, the country that is turning its back to democracy, listening to populists blaming everything on Brussels; or to radical populists, blaming everything on “international financiers”; or to extremist populists who have no use for such euphemisms and just blame everything openly on the Jews. Or the “liberal-bolsheviks”. Or America (but pointedly NOT blaming Barack Obama; after all, nothing a black man does can be consequential. No, it’s Joe Biden that they seem to be fixated on.)

What a bunch of… Aw, nevermind.

 Posted by at 9:27 am
May 222014

Arguably America’s most prestigious (but certainly the oldest; it’ll turn 150 next year) weekly newsmagazine, The Nation, published a lengthy article titled Hungary and the End of Politics. The topic is the state of politics in Hungary in view of the recent electoral victory of the ruling FIDESZ party and the authoritarian tendencies of said party and its leader, Viktor Orban.

Beyond describing the steps taken by Orban’s government in the last four years to solidify and entrench itself by building a de facto one-party state, the lengthy article (12 printed pages, as printed from the Web site) also puts Hungary’s political transformation into a European and geopolitical context.

Orban's soccer academy in his birthplace of Felcsút, Hungary. The marker indicates the location of Mr. Orban's residence.

Soccer academy in Orban’s birthplace of Felcsút, Hungary. Marker indicates Orban’s residence.

If I have any complaints about the article, it’s that it does not go far enough. For instance, it did not even mention Orban’s pet project, a soccer “academy”, complete with multiple regulation-size soccer fields and a new $17 million stadium with a capacity of 4000, built literally just a few yards from the home of Mr. Orban in his birthplace, a village of only 1800 inhabitants. Or the recent de facto nationalization of tobacco shops which eliminated the livelihood of scores of small tobacconist businesses, while handing these concessions to loyal FIDESZ supporters. Or implementing a degree of central control over the education system that was unheard of even under communism, where school principals no longer have the authority over petty cash to purchase extra chalk or a spare lightbulb.

No doubt this article, like most others published in the Western press, will be met with a well-organized attempt to discredit it. Its minor inaccuracies (e.g., it mentions Hungary’s nuclear power plants, whereas there is only one) will be portrayed as evidence of journalistic ignorance. Its overall tone will be attributed to the systematic “anti-Hungarian” efforts of liberals (or Jews!) bent on destroying Hungarian nationhood.

Nonetheless, no matter how FIDESZ’s loyal supporters manage to fool themselves, it does not change the fact that under the guise of anti-communism and Christian nation-building, a thoroughly corrupt, oligarchic autocracy is being constructed in the heart of Europe. Twenty-five years ago, Hungarians were proud to live in the “merriest of barracks”, the most liberal state behind the Iron Curtain, which found itself at the forefront of democratic transition as the Soviet empire collapsed. Today, all I can hope for is that Hungary’s example will not be followed by other European nations.

 Posted by at 7:33 pm
Apr 082014

Quebec-CanadaYesterday, the good citizens of Quebec sent a clear message to the sovereignist Parti Quebecois: they said no to a possible referendum, and no to the divisive politics of the PQ’s proposed “charter of values”.

The day before yesterday, the good citizens of Hungary sent a clear message to the “Viktator”, Hungary’s autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orban, about his nationalist politics, disastrous “unconventional” economic policies, and systematic abuse of his two-thirds constitutional supermajority to weaken Hungary’s fledgling democratic institutions. “More please,” was the message as voters gave Mr. Orban another strong mandate, possibly another supermajority.

What can I say? Je suis reconnaissant d’être Canadien. Even if my knowledge of French is shamefully limited.

 Posted by at 10:08 pm
Feb 152014

One of the many victims of fascism in Hungary was the poet Miklós Radnóti, murdered in November 1944 while serving in a forced labor battalion.

Radnóti’s wife, Fanni Gyarmati, survived the Holocaust and continued a quiet life in Budapest, in the couple’s old apartment, which bears the name of Dr. Miklós Radnóti on its front door to this day.

Astonishingly, Fanni Gyarmati lived for another 70 years following her husband’s tragic death. She passed away today, at the age of 101.

May she rest in peace. May those who were responsible for her husband’s death never find peace. Nor those who are busy whitewashing Hungary’s history as racism and anti-Semitism are once again on the rise in the country of my birth.

 Posted by at 9:42 am
Nov 182013

When you have a family member who is gravely ill, you may not have the stamina to pay attention to other things. When you have a family pet that is gravely ill, it’s almost as bad (actually, in some ways it’s worse, as a pet cannot tell what hurts and you cannot explain to the pet why unpleasant medication is necessary or discuss with the pet the available treatment options.)

As I’ve been dealing with a gravely ill cat in the past six weeks, I neglected to pay attention to other things.

I did not add a blog entry on October 31 with my drawing of a Halloween cat.

I did not comment on Remembrance Day. I am very fond of Remembrance Day, because it does not celebrate victory nor does it glorify war; on the contrary, it celebrates sacrifice and laments on the futility of war. This is why I am so unimpressed by the somewhat militantly pacifist “white poppy” campaign; in my view, they completely miss the point. I usually put a stylized poppy in my blog on November 11; not this year, as I spent instead a good portion of that day and the next at the vet.

I most certainly did not comment on that furious (and infuriating) wild hog of a mayor, Toronto’s Rob Ford, or for that matter, the other juicy Canadian political scandal, the Senate expense thing. That despite the fact that for a few days, Canadian news channels were actually exciting to watch (a much welcome distraction in my case), as breaking news from Ottawa was interrupted by breaking news from Toronto or vice versa.

I also did not blog about the continuing shenanigans of Hungary’s political elite, nor the fact that an 80-year old Hungarian writer, Akos Kertesz (not related to Imre Kertesz, the Nobel-laureate) sought, and received, political asylum, having fled Hungary when he became the target of threats and abuse after publishing an article in which he accused Hungarians of being genetically predisposed to subservience.

Nor did I express my concern about the stock market’s recent meteoric rise (the Dow Jones index just hit 16,000) and whether or not it is a bubble waiting to be burst.

And I made no comments about the horrendous typhoon that hit the Philippines, nor did I wonder aloud what Verizon Canada must be thinking these days about their decision to move both their billing and their technical support to that distant country.

Last but certainly not least, I did not write about the physics I am trying to do in my spare time, including my attempts to understand better what it takes for a viable modified gravity theory to agree with laboratory experiments, precision solar system observations, galactic astronomy and cosmological data sets using the same set of assumptions and parameters.

Unfortunately, our cat remains gravely ill. The only good news, if it can be called that, is that yesterday morning, he vomited a little liquid and it was very obviously pink; this strongly suggests that we now know the cause of his anaemia, namely gastrointestinal bleeding. We still don’t know the cause, but now he can get more targeted medication. My fingers remain crossed that his condition is treatable.

 Posted by at 9:34 am
Oct 112013

Hungary once had a proud national airline, MALÉV. I once worked for MALÉV, at least indirectly, when I built software simulators to calculate take-off distances and later, CO2 emissions for MALÉV’s fleet of Tu-154 aircraft. Sadly, MALÉV is no more: in early 2012, after the European Union declared that MALÉV received illegal subsidies from the Hungarian government, the airline went bankrupt and was liquidated.

Earlier this year, we saw some encouraging news: a private group of investors were trying to create a new national airline, designed to compete at the high end of the market. Their initial announcements were received with hope by some, with skepticism by others. The airline hit some bureaucratic hurdles as it was trying to get its newly leased small fleet of used 737s off the ground; their inaugural flights were repeatedly postponed.

But now, we learn that a prospective investor from the Middle East withdraw from the project, and as a result, the airline is unable to pay the salaries of its 70-odd employees for the month of September. In other words, for all practical intents and purposes, it is bankrupt. And this is probably a world first: a national airline that goes bankrupt without ever getting a single scheduled flight off the tarmac.

 Posted by at 11:37 am
Sep 032013

szabad-radioI am reading a letter of resignation, written by a journalist who worked for the newsroom of Hungary’s public radio network until July this year. Unlike many of his colleagues who began their carriers in communist Hungary, Montreal-born Janos F. Antal was a Radio Free Europe correspondent. Here are some experts from this disturbing letter, in my rough translation:

“I was already working on the restoration of national sovereignty when many of you were still standing at stiff attention, listening to the Internationale […] At the time of ‘regime change’ I did not need to switch sides or become a turncoat, I just continued what I began much earlier, at Radio Free Europe…

“I am a spectator, not a participant; a chronicler, not an evangelist. A journalist – not a politician.

“All came to a head, however, when one day someone appeared behind my back and over my shoulder, staring at my monitor, began giving instructions to move this news item up, leave that one out, insert thit one, rewrite that – just like that, in such a tone.

“Moreover, this censorship brings about the growth of manipulative, propagandistic content. Once again the ‘repertoire’ includes production news of the type for which real demand existed only in the Kadar era.”

Yup, that’s Hungary’s national broadcaster in 2013.

 Posted by at 11:22 am
Jul 032013

Fundamental rights in Hungary

Yesterday, the European Parliament discussed a report by the EU’s Civil Liberties Committee on fundamental rights in Hungary.


The report was accepted today with 370 votes for, 249 against.

The result was dismissed in advance by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who basically claimed that this was a vote by “socialists, liberals and greens”, “against Hungary”.

It wasn’t. It was a vote of concern regarding the policies of Orban’s government and party. Mr. Orban should know better and remember how it was a habit of the communist leaders that he so despises to dismiss criticisms of their regimes as the work of enemies of their nation.

 Posted by at 10:35 am
Jun 092013

John Feffer, writing for the Huffington Post, expresses his grave concern over political developments in Hungary in recent years. He suggests that Hungary may be symptomatic of a cancer that is spreading across Europe: a rejection of liberal values, a rise of nationalism and xenophobia, combined with a growing distrust in European institutions.

I wish I could argue that Feffer is wrong. But he isn’t. Not only is some of the political rhetoric coming from Hungary frightening, but so is the attitude of ordinary people towards the country’s Roma minority, towards Europe, towards Western values.

Yet as Feffer notes, Hungary is not alone: similar sentiments are also on the rise elsewhere in Europe. And unless the EU manages to get its economy under control, things will get worse. Indeed, I have a feeling that the worst is yet to come, and that things will get a lot worse before they’ll get any better.

 Posted by at 3:56 pm
May 272013

Even as the Hungarian ultra-right is seeking closer ties with the Arab world, in search of an ally against a common enemy (Jews), none other than the English edition of Al Jazeera aired a half-hour documentary about the rise of the right, the rise of anti-Semitism, the plight of the Roma, and the increasingly authoritarian nature of Viktor Orban’s government.

Meanwhile, the Franco-German cultural channel Arte broadcast a 50-minute German-language documentary titled “Ungarn – Demokratie oder Diktatur?” (Hungary: Democracy or Dictatorship?) expressing similar concerns, but also providing more historical background.

Of course, apologists for the Orban government will dismiss these, like they dismiss all criticism, as liberal propaganda produced by naive (or worse, corrupt) Westerners who know nothing about Hungary, do not speak the language, and were duped by traitorous liberals, former communists, or Magyar-hating Jews. Yes, and pigs fly, too.

 Posted by at 8:33 am
May 252013

As I was watching the news unfold about the gruesome court case of an Ottawa husband who is accused of first abusing and then torturing his wife to death by scalding her and then denying her medical treatment, I was reminded of an award-winning Hungarian commercial about spousal abuse.


There are uncanny similarities between some of the details of the Hutt case and this commercial.

 Posted by at 11:54 am
Apr 132013

So pretend for a moment the following: In Moscow, the French ambassador gives an interview to a local French-language TV program that is broadcast to the expatriate French community in Russia. As he speaks, you notice that the flag behind him is not the French tricolor but Quebec’s flag, the Fleurdelisé. How would you interpret this? Exactly what is the ambassador trying to say?

Of course France’s ambassadors are generally more diplomatic than that. Even if they were to support Quebec’s independence from Canada, I doubt they would do so in such a crudely undiplomatic manner.

So then, when Hungary’s ambassador here in Ottawa gave an interview to Magyar Képek, a Hungarian-language television program broadcast on OMNI TV throughout Canada, why did he choose to do so standing in front of not Hungary’s tricolor, but the flag of Székely Land (also known as Szekler Land, or Székelyföld in Hungarian, a territory in Eastern Transylvania inhabited by Hungarian-speaking ethnic Székelys)?

I cannot help but wonder about the thinking behind this.

 Posted by at 10:27 pm
Mar 292013

This article appeared today in Hungarian in HVG (World Economics Weekly), a Hungarian news magazine. I felt compelled to translate it into English and publish it here in my blog.

Belated message to former young democrats from a young democrat

March 29, 2013
Author: Nóra Köves

An essay about the quarter century old Fidesz [Alliance of Young Democrats] party by one of the student protest participants. The author was overcome by a strange sensation while standing in the courtyard of the party’s headquarters, with a copy of the party’s 1989 program pamphlet retrieved from the trash.

Fidesz and I are roughly of the same age. I barely learned to speak when Viktor Orban gave his memorable speech during the reburial ceremony of Imre Nagy [Hungary’s prime minister during the failed 1956 revolution, executed in 1958 and rehabilitated in 1989], in which he stated that “in the sixth coffin lies not just a murdered youth but our own next twenty or who knows how many years.” Back then nobody thought that nearly 25 years later the last nail in this very coffin will be hammered in by the same enthusiastically orating young man. On June 16, 1989, as my parents were listening to this young man in their small highrise flat in the town of Zalaegerszeg, they most certainly did not believe that nearly 25 years later their daughter would be fighting for that free and democratic Hungary which they thought was a done deal as they leaned back in their armchairs. They did not think that the very same young democrats who fought for the freedom of a country with many others back then will attempt to take it away a quarter century later.

A few years ago I would not have thought either that my knowledge of international human rights law, which I spent long nights studying, will be used not in Africa or the Middle East, but I will have to stand up for human rights in Hungary. It did not enter my mind that one day I’d reach the point where, within the rules of active civil disobedience, I’ll be using my own body to defend democracy and a lawful constitutional state, because no other means remain at my disposal. And I certainly would not have thought that one day I’d be protesting in the courtyard of the party headquarters of Fidesz, or that I’d be sitting in pouring snow on the stairs of Parliament, demanding a constitution, democracy, and rule of law, accepting the consequences of civil disobedience with both acts, because I see no other way to save the country in which I would like to live and raise children.

Because I dream of a Hungary in which the rule of law and human dignity are fundamental values, in which all people are created equal, in which families are tied by love and not by the government’s conceptual framework. Where our homeless neighbors receive compassion and real help, not police harassment and misdemeanor fines. Where disadvantaged children can look to the future with hope, knowing that they have a chance to become what they would like to be. That this is now only a dream is a result of the fact that those one-time young democrats who 25 years ago fought for similar values forgot it all by now, and wasted away our recently acquired freedom with their tyrannical lust for power.

As I was protesting as a young democrat in the courtyard of the one-time young democrats, carrying the party’s discarded 1989 pamphlet, it occurred to me that in their one-time party office Orban and others must have felt the same gratifying excitement that we did. They must have felt that they were doing something for the rule of law, for the country in which they wanted to live. I stood there and failed to understand how this feeling, which thoroughly permeates a person and leaves a lasting memory, could have disappeared so without a trace and what may have replaced it. I did not have to wait long for the answer: it suddenly appeared in the form of several large, muscular, especially intimidating “security guards”, who were exactly like the ones who hired them: demands for “constitution, democracy, and the rule of law” meant nothing for them because they only believed in force and brutality, and considered money more important than freedom.

But I know that I have nothing to fear. I need not fear from muscular security, from the stick-wielding participants of the “peace march” who frightened others with acid, from the threatening letters, or even from the groundless accusations of the government’s smear propaganda. I do not have to fear because my trust is infinite in my own generation, in those youth who already tasted freedom, and I know that even if sometimes they awake late, in the end they won’t allow freedom to be wasted away. In this country, we will not permit the strong to oppress the weak, or to dismiss as criminals those who are poor or are different from the majority. We will not permit our universities and cultural spaces to be subject to the state’s tyranny. We will not permit them to trample on our Constitutional Court, we will not permit them to steal our future! And let there be no misunderstanding. Given enough time, no generation permits this. Members of Fidesz think that freedom is not important to the people. I think they are wrong. Voters may not appreciate the significance of specific steps, but when they feel on their own skin the harmful effects of this government, the shackles of the fourth amendment of the constitution, their attention will no longer be diverted even by reduced utility bills.

Fidesz and I are approximately of the same age. We are of the same age as this fragile democracy, which they right now are doing their best to tear apart, just so that they can stay in their comfortable velvet chairs longer, forcing onto us their misguided fantasies. I repeat, our generation as democrats will not permit this. We will respond to the government’s infinitely violent and aggressive, exclusionary and legally depriving policies again and again with determined – ever more determined, but nonviolent – action and we will show that freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance and love are the only way to lay down the foundation of a functioning, democratic, lawful state. In 1989, Fidesz also knew this. This is why I promise that we will continue showing them a mirror until the Hungarian people choose to replace them, or until they acknowledge their former selves and ideals, and the fact that they betrayed every single one of them.

 Posted by at 11:20 pm