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Orban and the Germans: Budapester Zeitung interview highlights
As fresh as it gets, from yesterday.
Orban did an interview with a German newspaper, based in Hungary, regarding his recent visit to Germany. The Budapester Zeitung made it into the news recently when it suffered an attempt of cancelwaffen from the German public media:
In mid-August, Silvio Duwe, editor of the German public media's Berlin and Brandenburg branch, asked a series of questions about the newspaper to the Budapester Zeitung's corporate clients and advertisers. Among the relatively innocent questions about the duration and amount of the sponsorship relationship, there were two intriguing trick questions: "why would you sponsor a pro-government newspaper that also provides a platform for far-right extremists like David Engels?" and "do you hope to gain better access to the Hungarian government by sponsoring Budapester Zeitung?"
I’m not aware of an official English translation of the interview, so I’m picking highlights and translate them as I see fit, I expect a full, canonical one to drop here, eventually. (The German version is here)
Update (Nov 3): the official English is now available.
The quotes are primarily in chronological order, occasionally grouped for convenience.
This time I had a surprising experience [visiting Germany]. I met a player of the Hungarian national football team in Berlin. It became a political issue. Before my panel discussion, the question arose as to whether the prime minister of an EU country could attend a meeting with the press. The German media were criticised for inviting me. But I was also surprised to see a large number of armed security guards outside the synagogues.
The endless fight about actual anti-semitism. He’ll never give up, why should he? It is true, Hungary is the safest place in Europe where there’s a significant Jewish diaspora present. Too bad the other side doesn’t care, it’s not a weapon that’s supposed to be used against the Left.
Germany strongly supports the abolition of the unanimity principle in foreign policy and calls for a majority rule instead. We disagree with this, because that way no matter what we would do, we’d be unable to form a blocking minority. If this proposal were to be implemented, the new practice would mean that the Germans and the French would be able to impose all their foreign policy ideas against the opposition of smaller countries. This would ultimately result in the surrender of a significant part of our sovereignty.
Assuming smaller countries even dare to oppose them anymore.
This is why the Colonial Maverick capture of smaller states is so tragic: they won’t stand up to this, even if they — on paper — still could. Europe will become de facto federalized, if no government is left willing to step on the brakes that are, for now, available.
A very mild criticism of this cucked small state stance in an answer to an explicit question on the topic:
What about your colleagues in Central Europe?
The rule in Europe is that unity is the greatest value. Therefore, everyone is very careful when expressing an opinion that differs from the mainstream. I don't expect other prime ministers to take a different position from the official EU line without prior consultation. They are much more cautious than us, Hungarians, for example. We also don't like being banned from speaking our minds.
As if anyone does. A passive-aggressive jab at our neighbors. Hey, Slovakians, if you do enjoy being ordered to shut the fuck up like a tiny, submissive colony, which you’re totally not lol, we’re not judging; we’re just different, we like to speak our mind, that’s all. How’s your Mavericks doing?
On German minorities:
Germans living in Hungary are doing well. They can learn German from kindergarten to university. There is no antipathy towards Germans in Hungary. It is rare in Central Europe to find a country where there is more positive than negative feeling towards Germans.
This is also true, our minorities get an exemplary treatment, if not for the kindness of our big, paprika-fuelled, good heart, for a very good, pragmatic reason.
There’s also a reminder in there for Germans that the current Polish indignance towards them is not the exception in Eastern Europe, it’s the norm. Treasure what you have going on with Hungarians, while you still have it!
It is a feature of contemporary German democracy that if we took step towards the AfD, it would affect intergovernmental relations. That is the case in the Federal Republic, and we cannot change that. We therefore have to set priorities. For us, intergovernmental relations are more important than inter-party relations. We are therefore forced to sacrifice relations with the AfD on the altar of the best possible intergovernmental relations.
Euroreactionaries BTFOd once again by Orban. You know that he’s the guy who kicked Richard Spencer out of the Schengen area back in 2014, don’t you?
Do you really expect his eyes to flare up one day and him, with a deeper voice, declaring that “Yeah, I’m ultra-extreme far-right”?
But those East German neo-nazis are just the appetizer for the German Eater Hun:
Do you still see any hope that the left-leaning CDU will one day become a sane, conservative, Kohl-like CDU again?
No, there is no hope in that respect. The CDU is going its own way, which is not our way. From a Hungarian perspective, the CDU is now a left-wing party.
What do you think of the EPP?
It is a left-wing party family. The problem is that it is not only left-wing, but also left-wing by doctrine. The only way it can imagine any cooperation is to have all its doors open on the Left and closed on the Right.
And what about the CSU? [Christian Social Union, the Bavarian CDU]
Exactly the same.
So much for the mainstream conservative hopes of righting the old, Western, Center-Right battleships, as far as Orban is concerned.
Harsh verdict on these three parties!
We have to be realistic. We can only cook with what we have.
Any hope in German politics: gone. (Not all hope regarding Germany, where ultimate power lays outside of politics.)
This is followed by a recap of what he have more or less already said about foreign meddling in Hungary and our historical place in Europe in this recent — and notorious — interview (Cicero), that I’m skipping to get to the juicy part.
This elegant summary — to me at least — is new:
Germans in particular find it difficult to understand that we Hungarians think differently. For the Germans, oppression has always been on a national basis, and liberation on an international basis. In Hungary it was always the other way round. In Hungary, oppression has always been on an international basis, and liberation from it has been on a national basis. It is therefore in our nature to give priority to our national forces. In contrast, we see international groupings as a potential threat first.
That highlighted part convinced me this interview is worthy of a post. That quote alone is worthy of a post, but it needed some context, just like Basil’s goose step. It might even worth a share!
The rest is Brexit, the war in Ukraine, stuff already covered in the Cicero interview on October 11. This is clearly a more refined elaboration on what he said there in front of an audience.
He did however grown a bit more cynical on one issue since early October, the resolution to the ongoing rule-of-law or whatever fuckery process withholding the EU funds that we deserve dammit:
And with the fulfilment of these 17 points, can the current game with EU funds finally be brought to an end?
I am afraid not. I assume that there will be more and more requests after these. Look at the way the Poles are being treated! They have done everything that has been demanded of them, that had been mutually agreed before. But then new demands are put on the table, solely to continue to withhold from the Poles the resources that are due to them. Clearly, this is about forcing a change of government in Poland.
We are now dealing with 17 demands. We will meet all of them. But I bet that immediately after that there will be an 18th, a 19th and so on...
So there is no hope that the EU funds that have been withheld will finally be paid out in full?
I assume that the money we are owed will be released at the end of the year. If this does not happen, it will lead to a series of unforeseeable conflicts.
It’s a lot harsher view on this whole funding mess than the official one, that one is still “we’ll do everything they want by the deadline in November, as we’ve agreed, and all will be good”.
Orban is willing to be a good boy and dance the dance to their tune, but if they start to send us down the same road — endless loop of suck in a forrest of dicks — that the Poles are on, they will get Bad Orban.
We’ll soon see how this turns out.
“Different organizations measure different numbers, but they all agree that in 2020 no more than 70 such events happened, of which only one was physical”
For perspective, in 2021, the UK experienced 2,255 antisemitic attacks. Germany eclipsed its 2020 antisemitic incident rate only ten months into 2021, totaling 1,850. Neighboring Austria went from 257 antisemitic episodes in 2020 to 562 in the first half of 2021 alone—this with a Jewish community numbering between 8,000 and 15,000 people. Hungary, by comparison, has a Jewish community estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000.