They chose paprika (an update) (updated)
So December 6 has come: Hungary vetoes 🇪🇺 aid to Ukraine. It could have been otherwise. What did they expect?
The online virologist/warfare expert masses slowly learned this year, contemplating the chance for peace in Ukraine, that the only viable path for an agreement is one where both sides can save face.
Yet, Brussels decided to just say fuck it when it comes to Hungary’s EU dole, even though Budapest, unlike Warsaw, still holds — at least — two powerful cards:
What Finland's NATO membership has to do with Hungary's EU dole?
Nothing. NATO and the EU are separate institutions.
There are two things Hungary is blocking right now:
The approval of an €18 billion EU support package for Ukraine
Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO-membership
Orban is perfectly fine with both, whatever.
And to recap a recap from the Budapester Zeitung interview:
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.
— Orban and the Germans: Budapester Zeitung interview highlights
Which leads to the safe prediction in my original post, that Viktor will make himself difficult, should Brussels continue with the fuckery regarding the dole.
Brussels did, and Orban is sticking to his guns.
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And why not make himself difficult? Why give in? Hungary is not dealing with benevolent paternalism, they want to punish Orban, and if so, this obstructive detente will stay in effect:
Hungary vetoes Ukraine aid, EU seeks alternative solution
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has chosen to play hardball, using the need for his approval for Ukraine aid as leverage to secure his share of EU recovery funds.
What other choice did he have? Give everything Brussels want, and hope for the best, ass naked?
The EU has sought to hold back some funds destined for Budapest because of rule-of-law breaches.
Tuesday's Hungarian veto meant that decisions on all other files on the finance ministers' agenda — a minimum corporate tax rate, which Budapest is also blocking, the Hungarian recovery plan and connected €5.8 billion in grants, and the decision to freeze €7.5 billion of EU funds for Hungary over corruption issues — were postponed.
Viktor would be one happy cat, if the implementation of those 17 demands were met with an okay, and the money would be on its way. We all know this is not about rule of law or corruption, Hungary is Eastern Block Switzerland compared to Southern Europe in that regard, we’re a fucking German colony, nothing happens here without the knowledge of the Kraut industrial elite, and the probing of our collective anus didn’t start yesterday, all the skeletons that Orban ever had in his closet has already been featured on the front pages of the Western political press, over and over again, long ago.
They could have had a happy cat, they chose to have an angry cat. A spoonful of paprika.
What other choice did they leave Budapest, especially after demonstrating through Poland that zero leverage for a dissident member state means zero mercy from the metropole? If you can think of one,
As a bonus, Viktor is pursuing throwing Hungary’s share of the EU aid money at Kiev on his own, regardless (keyword being: bilateral). It costs the same that the shared glory:
The Hungarian government has quietly made an important gesture: it is intended for Ukraine and the EU at the same time
The government calls on the finance minister to ensure that €187 million share of Hungary of the €18 billion loan from the European Union to Ukraine is secured by the country.
Finance Minister Varga Mihály is in charge of the task, and deadlines are to be met as they arise.
Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has been given an immediate deadline to start negotiations with Ukraine on Hungary's behalf on the financial assistance required under the previous point.
There’s only one more question, important if you’re a Swede or Finn who has nightmares of alcoholic Russian pensioners invading your country riding a rusty Buhanka that has “Z” painted on its side:
Brussels’ (just treat it as a blob, Council, Parliament, finance ministers’ meeting, whatever) ultimate deadline to decide that the 17 measures were implemented properly by Hungary is the 6th of December.
The National Assembly plans to vote on Sweden’s and Finland’s acceptance into NATO on the 7th of December. And you bet they’ll vote yes. It’s a great idea!
Update: the Ministry of Finance claims that the aid to Ukraine wasn’t part of the talks at all, no veto happened.
Did Politico stop being a reliable leaking medium for Brussels?
Update: yes and no. Maybe there’s a de facto veto that made the discussion of the issue be postponed. There must be vicious bargaining going on in the background right now, as deadlines are reached.
Scholz and Macron are named as heartless pragmatics trying to advocate for Hungary by the klaunpresse, just yesterday.
There’s chaos, each side interprets it as they prefer to, see this Colonial Maverick egg (pls never hatch):I think this tweet should be videly reported as piece of #disinformation. @Twitter should also consider suspending the guy for spreading #fakenews.1/3 Today’s news was all about Hungary vetoing financial assistance to #Ukraine. This is fake news. Hungary is ready to give financial assistance to Ukraine, on a bilateral basis. No #veto, no blackmailing.Orbán Viktor @PM_ViktorOrban
(can’t the German Marshall Fund pay for a blue checkmark? It’s $8/month!)
Machine translated from Polish:
The PiS MEP draws attention to the new element, which is the case of Hungary:
Hungary paves the way for us, it is such an icebreaker. At the Council of Finance Ministers on December 6, an impasse is drawn regarding the funds for Hungary (…) it is like a tug of war through this mythical Brussels and Hungary. On the other hand, these two sides threaten to freeze each other, sometimes with money - this is Brussels, and sometimes with vetoes - Hungary. At the moment, two camps have formed among the member states, one is 12 countries, including France, Germany, Spain and Italy, which want to make a gesture towards Orban. The Germans are very keen on unlocking the 18 billion-dollar package for Ukraine, because they are under the pillory that even Ukraine does not get money, France depends on the corporate tax. They suggest that these new actions and commitments of Hungary be taken into account and, as it were, revise the intention announced by the Commission to deprive Hungary of 7, €5 billion based on rule of law conditionality regulation. Also gesture for gesture. A kind of carrot and stick method.
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski believes that if Hungary succeeds in this tactic, it will be very difficult for Brussels to be stricter towards Poland than Hungary.
Update (Dec 13)
According to Politico:
EU strikes deal with Hungary, reducing funding freeze to get Ukraine aid approved
Viktor Orbán’s tactical vetoes succeeded in getting EU countries to lower a proposed funding suspension.
According to Fidesz: they won, but really the EU won, right, because we wuz EU! 🇪🇺
According to Little Fideszers: wait until the money is here before celebration.
I’d also advise caution.