Hungarian Watch

Dueling States of the Union

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm

On February 7th, Viktor Orbán gave his annual State of the Union-like speech assessing the overall health of the Hungarian nation.  Here’s a snippet:

“Ours is a mission similar to the athlete’s that stands before the biggest fight of his life. We didn’t get this chance as a gift, but we fought for this historic opportunity to be able to reshape the country in our own image. To accomplish our mission, we have to bring ourselves to the best possible shape. In order to start the renewal process, we have to know what is good so that we can choose the good rather than what seems to be good. To succeed, we need the knowledge of the entire community.”

The entire community–except for the philosophers, artists, or really, anyone that could be perceived as having liberal sympathies or dissident beliefs.  Those folks can stand on the sidelines in their tattered uniforms.

Former Hungarian prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány gave his own “state of the union” speech this past Friday.  Many say that Gyurcsány has been so utterly disgraced by his actions during his eight years as Prime Minister (complete with a premature exit) that he has no political future.  Others believe he just might hold the glimmer of an opposition movement in his hands.  One interesting thing–Gyurcsány says he will not divide what’s remaining of MSZP, much to Fidesz and Jobbik’s chagrin.  Instead, he’d advocating the unification and reinvention the party.  Below is an assessment of this speech from Politics.Hu:

“The third Hungarian Republic is over, as Viktor Orbán has destroyed it, in order to build a system of despotic rule, former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány declared in his ‘state of the nation’ speech on Friday.


Speaking to 500 supporters at the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, he said the aim of Orbán’s ‘total political war’ is to destroy the Socialist Party and achieve unrestricted power. The party’s job, he continued, is to recover the republic stolen by Orbán.


Outside Hungary, Gyurcsány declared, Orbán has alienated leaders in Brussels, Washington and Moscow.
He said a change of regime is needed in the Socialist Party next year so that it can give an adequate answer to ‘the Orbán brand of arbitrary and hegemonistic rule’.


Gyurcsány called for a new left of centre party building on the merits of the Socialist Party, rather than tearing it up.


Socialist chairman Attila Mesterházy, who was campaigning for a mayoral candidate in Pápa, said he agrees with Gyurcsány’s assessment of the state of the nation.


Fidesz deputy chairman Lajos Kósa said Gyurcsány has again proved that he is a tremendous burden on Hungary.

Jobbik spokesman Ádám Mirkóczi said if accountability operated in Hungary, then Gyurcsány would have delivered his speech in one of the country’s maximum security prisons.”

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