We just hate your face
Here's a list of things you should change, Hungary, and another, and, well, just fuck you! It's all about power.
Have you heard what’s going on in Italy?
Asks no one in Western Europe, ever. No one serious.
It really doesn’t matter what pasta-wielding lunatic may or may not get into power, what he or she promises to the Italians. It doesn’t matter what Italians want.
Italy’s nuts are in a financial iron grip, and punishing a dissident Italy would meet little resistance in the EU; they are already viewed as one of the black, Mediterranean sheep for being fiscally irresponsible, it’s entirely by the North’s good will that they hasn’t been squashed like bugs yet.
Italy can choose to try and keep the stagnant, unsustainable prosperity it enjoys with the help of the EU, or attempt to achieve sovereignty with an instant loss of aid and a Brexit-level hostility from the European establishment.
The weak Italian governments always go with the former. Any bravado is zero calorie.
This is why Meloni turned out to be a lemoni. The articles kvetching about the coming of She-Hitler, The Migrant Eater aged like fundamental European values.
But what if your spicy little country is more defiant than Italy?
Have you heard what’s going on in Poland?
Asks no one in Western Europe, because they are relieved to be able to finally ignore the pesky Polacks.
Poland became an EU darling overnight after electing a Colonial Maverick coalition; force-feeding jailed MPs on hunger strike is perfectly fine by the Western establishment.
As it turns out, Poland’s criticism was all about who’s in power, not how they’re doing stuff, what lofty Western ideal these bonehead Slavs might be plumbing over, left without adult supervision. Once the EU’s guys came in, they could go full Bolshevik, Moscow didn’t mind it; pour the concrete wherever you want to, just make the end result gay and subservient. Mostly subservient. But also gay. Just follow the imperial guideline, to the letter, the latest version, and read all future memos!
Calling Brussels the new Moscow and the EU the Soviet Union might be a stretch, but it’s an analogy that we, in the Easter Block, had earned to throw around. Some of these fuckers still erect Lenin statues, today, after all. Let us have this privilege, it’s our colonialism, our slavery!
Anyone who criticises us is racist! I’m👏being👏oppressed👏!
I can’t breathe! That is, not without EU funds! Or can I? More on that later.
January 17: the fundamental value goalposts move
Earlier this month, a somewhat hazy communiqué from the general direction of Ursula von der Leyen arrived regarding Hungary’s withheld dole, which began with the usual “rule of law” excuse, but ended with LGBTQ rights and migrants, as the reason why 20 billion euros of these funds will remain frozen.
Even this DW article can’t really make heads or tails:
Though billions more remain blocked over alleged violations of LGBTQ+ and migrant rights — plus concerns about academic freedom
So, what began as a “rule of law“ thing now mutated into other excuses. The article is all over the place, it’s Hungary bad, bad, bad written on the blackboard over and over by the teacher’s pet. Hungary’s so bad that I’m going to throw some soup at the Mona Lisa!
Stay mad at Hungary by receiving my badly written spam:
Hungary Today interpreted the message as such:
“Every cent owed to Hungary must be paid; ideological blackmail is unacceptable,” Fidesz MEP Balázs Hidvéghi stressed in Strasbourg on Wednesday, after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared that the EU would continue to withhold EUR 20 billion from Hungary due to concerns over LGBTQ rights, academic freedom, and asylum.
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...
This latest, January 17 message is confusing because it’s confusing. It’s axiomatically confusing. What about the 17 or how many points of contention which was the original set of requirements to unfreeze which was frozen because of some bullshit, requirements that we had to and had fulfilled a year ago? What’s with the gay migrants suddenly? Is there any requirement we can meet if the core of the issue is they just hate our face?
The cynical interpretation of the EU’s fuckery is not exclusive to government loyalists: the opposition’s chief sovereignist, whose article about US meddling in the Hungarian elections I was fortunate to feature in English, András Schiffer repeatedly point out:
The funds now being withheld are not handouts, we have paid a heavy price for EU accession. We dismantled our customs borders in the 1990s, too early, we sold off our productive capacity, and we gave up and are giving up development tools that would have been essential to break out of the middle-income bracket.
In another interview:
It was my theoretical proposal that Hungary should not pay its contribution to the European Union's budget. He added that if Hungary stands on the ground of Community law, it cannot afford not to pay its fair share, just like the European Commission cannot withhold EU funds on grounds that cannot be justified by the rule of law regulation mechanism.
They are playing a strange game with the rule of law, said the former president of LMP, who said there are serious problems with the Hungarian rule of law, but it is absolutely true that the legislator is also bound by the law it creates. Schiffer said it was a strange game the Commission was playing when it was taking the rule of law to task in some member states, while it itself was interpreting Community law flexibly.
Member states should form an alliance in order to jointly exercise control over the EU, stressed András Schiffer, who said there was a need to "iron in the rule of law standards". The European Union has no intention of remedying problems of the rule of law, but wants to make it clear that it will reject any sovereign aspirations, any deviation from the Atlanticist centre.
January 28: a Financial Times article drops
Titled “Brussels threatens to hit Hungary’s economy if Viktor Orbán vetoes Ukraine aid“. You can borrow it from my local village library.
It’s written by a bunch of interchangeable swamp journos. What it lacks in credentials it makes up for in audacity. It’s Fidesz paranoia porn, of the most potent kind. The article’s off to a good start:
The EU will sabotage Hungary’s economy if Budapest blocks fresh aid to Ukraine at a summit this week
In a document drawn up by EU officials and seen by the Financial Times, Brussels has outlined a strategy to explicitly target Hungary’s economic weaknesses, imperil its currency and drive a collapse in investor confidence in a bid to hurt “jobs and growth” if Budapest refuses to lift its veto against the aid to Kyiv.
Not very nice. Read the whole article!
Swamp journo daydreaming or not, the reactions make it worthy of a feature, even our prime minister, Big Dick Vik chimed in on it:
In response to the suggestion that a high-ranking official of the European Council denied the allegations published in the Financial Times, Mr Orbán said we have some experience in international politics, “we’re not exactly nursery school pupils.” If the Financial Times publishes a document which details the script of a financial blockade and blackmail against Hungary, there is no doubt that such a document exists, he stated.
In fact, all the government big wigs and alpha journos commented on the piece, except our foreign minister, who was visiting Ukraine the very same day. The FT article managed to steal his thunder a bit.
Big Dick Vik continues:
The latest complaints relate to migration and gender which have nothing to do with corruption or the quality of the judiciary. It is evident that the rule of law is not the real argument against Hungary
the European institutions do not take the rule of law seriously, it is only a means to blackmail countries which seek to preserve their sovereignty and have an opinion of their own. It is important for the European people to understand that if the Member States do not agree on issues such as the war, migration and gender, they are immediately faced with an imperialistic reaction from Brussels and are subjected to a form of blackmail, he stated.
There’s one thing I haven’t mentioned so far: the money to Ukraine, which is the only leverage Big Dick Vik has against the people whose requirements are impossible to meet.
Should Ukraine get 50 billion from the EU?
I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not this way, maybe in no way, not from the EU anyway.
The problem is that the people of Europe are not unanimously behind an answer, not as unanimously as the representatives of the member states are. Even the Financial Times commenters are divided on Big Dick Vik’s stance, some voicing their support.
Back to the article:
While 26 member states have a plan B to send money to Kyiv outside the EU budget, that would require national parliaments’ ratification, causing delays and uncertainty.
Unpopularity, really. Unpopularity at home. The 2024 European Parliament election is happening this June, never mind any national, municipal elections. You bet that Orban’s position is more popular in the electorate of any member state than the 26 to 1 he has going into the summit.
They are in the inverse of the trap of Big Dick Vik’s: he needs the EU funds to keep his popularity at home, so he has to use any leverage he has on EU matters to get it. The others need his vote, to avoid being forced to test the popularity of the proposal back home.
Big Dick Vik and Ursula’s ilk could easily make a deal. We have already established that this fuckery is not about the “rule of law” or all the new, fundamental European values that didn’t exist before 2013. It’s about power, and while the EU, Ursula, Davos, and whatever swamp-dwelling lizard people have Orban living in their anus, rent free, poking it with a fork, certainly have the power to hurt Hungary, it’s a bad look for their pristine, impartial, professional and fair image.
It’s an abuse of power. It makes them look like Moscow. The Soviet one. Or the current, whichever you prefer as a stand in for a blunt tyrant.
It makes them look like Elon Musk! Who bans people from Twitter when they are mean to him! A mean baby with a lot of power!
Not someone you want to have as a boss, as a partner. Not someone you should trust.
We can actually breathe
The FT article states:
Without that funding, “financial markets and European and international companies might be less interested to invest in Hungary”, the document stated. Such punishment “could quickly trigger a further increase of the cost of funding of the public deficit and a drop in the currency”.
So they plan to George Floyd our unruly little fentanyl addict country. But are we addicted, really? Can the knee of Brussels on our neck suffocate the economy?
The market has already priced in total hostility and zero funds from the EU, years ago. They are only threatening a return to normal, as far as we and the markets are concerned. The forint got a huge hit during the worst late/post-COVID period, and since that it kind of recovered. The economy didn’t crash. This austerity even forced Orban’s government to do responsible things like
Postpone a ridiculously overpriced and absolutely inessential airport purchase
Push bonds on the population to finance the deficit internally, in local currency
The biggest hit our economy received in the past few years was self-inflicted, as Fidesz lost the confidence coming into the 2022 election and showered the state-dependent electorate with free money, a very uncharacteristic move from an otherwise fiscally conservative party.
Read the two eurocents’ of Philip Pilkington, who dismisses the article:
Whoever wrote it seems to think that if EU funds are withheld from Hungary, the Hungarian currency, the forint, will collapse. This is the only really meaty threat in the piece. But the forint is determined like most other DM currencies: by Hungary’s relative inflation rate and the central bank interest rate. Throughout the previous inflation, the central bank managed the forint’s adjustment pretty well.
My guess is that there’s some projection going on here. The lawyers that wrote the ‘attack strategy’ are aware that Ukraine’s currency relies on foreign aid - the foreign aid that Hungary is disputing - and simply assume Hungary’s does too. Basic lawyer brain.
Keep your eyes open for the coming summit, we should see how well the “the rule of law” is respected, not in Hungary, but in the EU.
Rules are rules, whether they like your face or not.
Update: Poland’s former PM roars (a bit loo late)
Mateusz Morawiecki, after losing the election, finally speaks up:
On EU decision-making, he stressed that further centralising it "will lead nowhere" and will only help to strengthen the climate of radicalisation in all corners of Europe. He also stated that "there are successive attempts to blackmail Hungary and increase pressure on the country". The Law and Justice (PiS) party supports Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his government in their fight against "brutal blackmailers who are devoid of any rights and violate all procedural norms".
“This is not how the European Union should work" he added.
He’s even open to Fidesz joining their EP faction.
I guess he and PiS now understands that Washington can’t and won’t help them fighting Brussels. A bit too late.
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