Category Archives: Hungary

(EUobserver) Poland to veto EU sanctions on Hungary

(EUobserver)

  • President Andrzej Duda: ‘Europe that left us to be the prey of the Russians in 1945’ (Photo: Kancelaria Prezydenta/flickr)

Poland has vowed to protect Hungary against EU sanctions, one day after the Polish president belittled Europe in a speech.

“Poland will vote against any sanctions on Hungary in the forum of European institutions,” the Polish foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday (12 September).

The European Parliament’s vote, earlier the same day, to trigger a sanctions procedure against Hungary over its violations of EU values and rule of law, was “disturbing” the Polish ministry said.

“Every EU member state has the sovereign right to implement internal reforms that it considers to be right,” it added.

The statement comes after the European Commission last year launched the same punitive procedure against Poland for the same reasons.

It means Budapest and Warsaw will both face detailed EU scrutiny on a host of issues ranging from judicial reforms, to free press, civil society, and minority rights.

But Poland’s intervention also means that the process is unlikely to end in sanctions – suspension of voting rights in the EU Council – in either case, with Hungary having promised to veto such a decision on Poland and, now, vice versa.

Duda speech

The Polish ministry’s remarks came one day after Polish president Andrzej Duda, an ally of the ruling Law and Justice party, attacked the EU in a speech in Lezajsk, a town in the south-east.

The EU was an “imaginary community from which we don’t gain much”, he said.

“They [the EU] should leave us in peace, and allow us to fix Poland, because that’s the most important thing,” he said, referring to the EU sanctions procedure.

“Of course we have the right to have expectations towards Europe – especially towards the Europe that left us to be the prey of the Russians in 1945 – but above all we have the right to rule ourselves here on our own and decide what form Poland should have,” he added.

His words attracted opprobrium from opposition politicians.

Duda’s words were “irresponsible” and intended to “harm European unity”, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Poland’s former president said in an open letter on Wednesday.

“If they came from momentary emotions, I would urge greater thoughtfulness. If they came out of some deeper strategy, I must warn that this goes against the Polish raison d’état,” he said.

“The president’s words … were shocking and harmful,” Grzegorz Schetyna, Poland’s former foreign minster said on Twitter.

“They isolate Poland and, above all, they demoralise our young generation, which knows that our membership in Europe is an epochal achievement,” he said.

Meanwhile, if the EU sanctions procedures risk hardening anti-EU forces in central Europe, they also risk pushing Hungary into a deeper alliance with Russia.

Hungary’s foreign affairs spokesman, Peter Szijjarto, said on Wednesday that Orban would meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow next Tuesday to discuss energy supplies and infrastructure investments.

“[Our] long-term gas supply deal with expire at the end of 2020 or already at the end of 2019 – we will see the Russian position on that,” Szijjarto said.

“We have to find a way in order to minimise our losses … which were caused by the regime of the sanctions in the last years,” he added, referring to EU sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

(EUobserver) European Parliament adopts censure measure against Hungary

(EUobserver) The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted triggering the so-called Article 7 procedure against Hungary, calling on EU member states to examine the state of Hungary’s democracy, warning there is a “clear risk” of breaching EU values by the government of prime minister Viktor Orban. The move was adopted by two-thirds of MEPs, 448 for, 197 against and with 48 abstentions.

(EuroNews) Microsoft faces U.S. bribery probe over sales in Hungary – WSJ

(EuroNews) Microsoft faces U.S. bribery probe over sales in Hungary – WSJ

Microsoft faces U.S. bribery probe over sales in Hungary - WSJ
@ Copyright :

CARLO ALLEGRI(Reuters)

The U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are probing how Microsoft sold its software such as Word and Excel to middleman firms in Hungary at steep discounts, the report https://on.wsj.com/2w5AUXm said.

The intermediaries then sold those software to government agencies there in 2013 and 2014 at close to full price, the report said.

Investigators are looking into whether the middleman companies used the difference to pay bribes and kickbacks to government officials, the WSJ reported.

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.

+++ V.I. (BBG) Orban Scores Crushing Hungarian Victory in Boost to EU Populists

(BBG) Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban scored a crushing election victory to clinch a fourth term, in a boost to populist forces that are challenging the European Union’s multi-cultural, democratic values.

Orban’s Fidesz party was on track to repeat the two-thirds majority it won in the previous two elections, giving it limitless power to change laws. Driven by an unbridled anti-refugee campaign, he outperformed his own party’s stated expectation and shattered hopes of a potential upset among the fractured opposition, which has decried his government’s authoritarian tilt. Anti-establishment and euroskeptic parties from Poland to France hailed the result.

“We want to call out what’s ailing this continent,” Orban told Echo TV after claiming victory late Sunday. “We don’t want to go against Europe and the EU, we want Europe and the EU to be strong and successful. But before that we need to be honest about what’s hurting us.”

The win opens the way for Orban, 54, to become Hungary’s longest-serving prime minister and, if he finishes his term, to rule the country of 10 million for half of its post-communist existence. A supermajority may embolden policies that have included cracking down on civil society, squeezing media and the courts, and haranguing his peers with anti-Muslim speeches that have made Orban the black sheep of Europe.

“A big and clear victory for Viktor Orban in Hungary: the change of values and the mass immigration extolled by the EU have again been rejected,” French National Front leader Marine Le Pen said in a tweet Monday.

Fidesz won 133 of parliament’s 199 seats, according to results with almost 99 percent of votes counted, the same as in 2014. Defeated leaders from across the opposition offered to resign, including Gabor Vona of the runner-up Jobbik party and the leadership board of the Socialist party.

Orban’s warning that Muslim immigrants would “overrun” Europe follows populist gains in the past year by groups including Austria’s Freedom Party and the League and the Five Star Movement in Italy. Hungary, like its other central European peers, has no significant Muslim or refugee population. The European Parliament is set to vote later this year on whether it should strip Budapest of its EU voting rights over backsliding on democracy.

Orban, who is one of the EU’s strongest supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, also pledged to hold opposition parties “morally, politically and legally” responsible, following reports from media outlets and non-government organizations alleging state graft. While the ruling party has denied the accusations, Hungary tumbled to 66th place in Transparency International’s annual survey of perceived corruption in the past four years, from 48th, the second-worst in the EU.

‘Our World’

“The path to reform is never easy,” Polish Premier Mateusz Morawiecki, who has spoken of his dream to “re-Christianize” the EU, said on Twitter. “Support from a majority of society shows that the effort makes sense.”

After building a fence on Hungary’s southern border to keep out refugees, Orban focused his campaign on billionaire George Soros, saying the pro-democracy campaigner led a global network working to let immigrants take over the West. Orban’s cabinet has vowed to approve a “Stop Soros” legislation package after the election. Soros rejects the accusations and his Open Society Foundation said the measures would “criminalize” civil society.

“We want Hungary to remain a Hungarian country,” Orban said. “This is our world, our culture, our lifestyle. These are our life principles. We want to defend these and we don’t want others to change them.”

That has done little to dissuade investors, with bonds rebounding and the forint showing modest gains against the euro on Monday. Still, many had rooted for only a slim Orban victory in the hope it would lead to economic stability. A supermajority, which will allow him to change the constitution, may encourage him to deepen his conflicts with his European peers and further overhaul Hungary’s democratic institutions.

“The margin of the victory is a potential source of concern,” said Adam Bakos, who manages 2.5 billion euros ($3.1 billion) as head of fixed income at Aegon NV. “It opens the way to clashes between the government and the EU.”

(Politico) Orbán wins the migration argument

(Politico) Suddenly most EU leaders echo the Hungarian prime minister.

No one in Brussels wants to say it out loud, but Viktor Orbán is winning the migration debate.

The Hungarian prime minister may be much maligned in European capitals for his anti-immigrant rhetoric, his opposition to the EU’s refugee relocation policy, and for building a border fence.

But look closely at how EU leaders now talk about the issue and the policies they’ve adopted since the 2015 crisis, and it’s clear Orbán’s preference for interdiction over integration has somehow prevailed.

There was an echo of Orbán’s long-standing call for tougher border controls in Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s claim in his State of the Union speech this week that “We are now protecting Europe’s external borders more effectively.”

At other points in the speech, it could easily have been the Hungarian premier speaking, as Juncker emphasized efforts to stop migrants before they leave Africa and return those who reach Europe’s shores. “When it comes to returns: People who have no right to stay in Europe must be returned to their countries of origin,” said Juncker.

While Hungary and Slovakia recently lost their fight against the EU’s relocation scheme at the European Court of Justice, the facts on the ground show that the legal victory for Brussels was hollow.

“Germany was quietly looking for common ground with the Visegrad and several aspects of what they were proposing were incorporated into the discussion” — Milan Nic

“Nobody will admit it in this town, but yes, Orbán’s narrative is prevailing,” a senior EU official said.

From French President Emmanuel Macron gathering the leaders of Germany, Italy and Spain for a migration conference in Paris at the end of August, to Juncker’s shout-out to Italy’s “generosity” in his speech this week, the EU has made great efforts to emphasize solidarity, particularly with Rome and Athens, which bear the brunt of migrant arrivals.

But the actions by European governments, including Italy’s effort to crack down on NGOs and the EU’s push for accords with African governments, fit neatly with Orbán’s long-stated positions. He has called for stronger protection of external borders as well as for opening up migration reception centers in Africa and a tough line on NGOs, especially foreign ones.

At the meeting Macron hosted in Paris, the four EU leaders — who were joined by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini — gave their blessing to a shift in the way Italy has been dealing with migration, which critics say also goes Orbán’s way.

Macron hosts the leaders of Germany, Spain and Italy in Paris for a migration conference | Yoan Valat/EPA

After the closure of the Western Balkan route last year, migrants kept on arriving in Italy. But figures this summer were unexpectedly low as Italians outsourced the solution to Libyan political powers and accused NGOs of colluding with smugglers, forcing them to accept an EU backed code of conduct.

“For a center-left government like in Italy, this is dangerous because what they are doing is not different from what the far-right is asking for,” said Gerald Knaus, chairman of the European Stability Initiative, a think tank. Because an alternative plan has not been agreed, he said, “The debate is completely moving in Orbán’s direction.”

Applause from the right

That the migration debate might shift toward Orbán’s view is not necessarily surprising. German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a brutal political backlash in September 2015 after she decided to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees. In many ways, European leaders have been backtracking and side-stepping ever since.

With Orbán and other Eastern European leaders resisting the compulsory relocation policy, EU leaders found it easier to agree on toughening control of external borders, which had grown lax over the years.

Answering the calls for stronger border protections from the Visegrad Four — Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic — offered a way to bridge the deep divisions and project unity at a time of serious discord, said Milan Nic, senior fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations. “Germany was quietly looking for common ground with the Visegrad and several aspects of what they were proposing were incorporated into the discussion,” he said.

Orbán’s stance was even more hard-line, calling for refugees to be allowed to request protection only from outside the EU.

Two years later, at the Paris meeting, Macron pushed for the creation of migration centers in Niger and Chad. The proposal is opposed by humanitarian groups who insist it will not work, but whether it is implemented or not, it’s hard to dispute that the French president has partly adopted Orbán’s approach.

“It’s just that first we had to show things are under control, then we can work on better ways of managing flows” — EU diplomat

Rights advocates also fear that migrants will be treated badly, as is the case now in migration centers in Libya, where humanitarian groups have documented terrible conditions. The far-left GUE group in the European Parliament called the plan “racist and a fundamental breach of human rights.”

By contrast, the same plan was immediately greeted with satisfaction by the leader of Brothers of Italy, a far-right party. “Wasn’t it a xenophobic idea?” Giorgia Meloni, the leader of Brothers of Italy, wondered on Facebook. “Time has proved we were right.”

‘Managing flows’

EU officials and diplomats insist that the apparent alignment with Orbán is just a case of the Hungarian prime minister’s views reflecting basic common sense in certain areas. But, they said, the EU leadership remains committed to policies of openness, and especially to encourage legal migration — a point Juncker stressed in his speech.

“Europe is and must remain the continent of solidarity where those fleeing persecution can find refuge,” he said.

A train with migrants is stopped in Bicske, Hungary, in September 2015 | Matt Cardy/Getty Images

One EU diplomat noted that Hungary had taken actions that were in violation of international law or EU policy, while Brussels was working to develop legal solutions. And the diplomat insisted that any seeming agreement with Orbán was temporary at best.

“It’s not a matter of being in line with Orbán,” the diplomat said. “It’s just that first we had to show things are under control, then we can work on better ways of managing flows.”

Orbán has been insisting for months that he’s winning the argument. When discussion of opening refugee camps in Africa resurfaced among EU leaders last December, he told journalists: “Earlier this was seen as a proposal which could have come from the Devil himself.”

He added: “Our position is slowly becoming the majority position.”

+++ (Politico) Viktor Orbán: Make Europe (but not the EU) great again

(Politico) Hungarian prime minister says EU is a ‘regional power’ on the decline.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called on EU countries to adapt U.S. President Donald Trump’s slogan and “make Europe great again” — but he wasn’t talking about the European Union.

Orbán, speaking on Thursday at the Brussels offices of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the political foundation close to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said Europe should adapt to the new world order rather than denying it exists.

“There is a saying: whatever exists is possible,” Orbán said, adding this was his “number one principle in political leadership.” But he said many in Europe would ignore the “new paradigm” of a world with “multiple centers of power.” He listed the U.S., China, and Russia but not the EU.

Orbán called on fellow EU leaders to acknowledge that the bloc faces multiple crises — weak economic growth, aging societies, poor foreign policy choices and a lack of trust among the electorate — and forecast the EU’s decline from being a “regional power” today to having even less influence.

His recipe to reverse the decline? Leaders should get rid of  “a utopia called supranational Europe.” If Europe wanted to become competitive again, it “must abandon the illusion of federalism,” Orbán said. “We’re interested in a strong Hungary in a strong Europe.”

“Europe was never strong when it was directed from one strong center, but when there were multiple centers,” Orbán said.

“Europe itself must become multipolar,” Orbán said, and seek a newrelationship with the United States “instead of the doomed free trade agreement,” must deal with China and “place the issue of Russia back on the agenda.”

“In my opinion, a nation or a community that is unable to reproduce itself does not deserve to exist … This problem and this crisis cannot be solved or treated with migration, with migrants, with guest workers, or with common tricks.”

Such a “community does not believe in its own future, and therefore there is no place for it in the future.”

(Times) Hungarians snub leader over EU migrant quotas

(Times) More than three million Hungarians rejected European Union quotas for refugees in a referendum yesterday but the vote ended in farce, with a low turnout rendering it invalid.

A majority of voters stayed at home leaving Viktor Orban, the prime minister, significantly short of the 50 per cent turnout required to give the outcome any legal standing.

Mr Orban nevertheless welcomed the verdict of those who did vote as “outstanding” and vowed to press on with controversial plans to change the constitution to give parliament powers to block the EU.

“Brussels or Budapest, that was the question,” Mr Orban said, “and the people said Budapest.”

More than 3.2 million voters, or 98.3 per cent of those who cast valid ballot papers, rejected the EU scheme to force Hungary to take a share of asylum seekers. Turnout was 43.9 per cent but about 4 per cent of the votes were spoiled, driving down the number of valid votes to 39.8 per cent. Mr Orban presented the outcome as a success and made clear that he would not abandon his opposition to the EU policy of distributing 160,000 asylum seekers around the continent, 1,294 of them to Hungary.

“Brussels cannot force its will on Hungary,” he told supporters in Budapest. “Thirteen years after a large majority of Hungarians voted at a referendum to join the European Union, today Hungarians made their voices heard again in a European issue. We have achieved an outstanding result because we have surpassed the outcome of the accession referendum.”

However, Mr Orban’s humiliating failure to win a legal mandate could weaken him in his battle against the EU’s approach to the migrant crisis. The far-right Jobbik party called on him to resign. Interior ministers from the 28 EU member nations pushed through the quota scheme last month despite votes against it by Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic. National leaders were due to thrash out the final shape of the plan in December.

The low turnout was not what Mr Orban had anticipated when he called on voters to “send a message to Brussels”. His spokesman had spoken earlier this week of the referendum being politically binding even if it was not legally binding.

The referendum will come and go. But the hate will stay

The Hungarian government spent £30 million on anti-migrant publicity, with billboards asking provocative questions such as: “Did you know that the Paris terror attacks were carried out by immigrants?” Accusing the authorities of xenophobia, the satirical Two-Tailed Dog Party raised money by crowdfunding to post alternative questions, including: “Did you know that a tree might fall on your head?”

The government’s campaign literature warned of no-go areas in parts of Europe with high immigrant populations, including in Britain.

Opponents of Mr Orban also accused him of setting a loaded referendum question. It asked: “Do you want the European Union to be able to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of parliament?” Most opposition parties called for a boycott.

“We will not be taking part,” said a young couple sipping coffee at an outdoor table in the last of the autumn sunshine in Budapest yesterday afternoon. “We are ashamed that Hungary is not welcoming to refugees.”

Others voiced fears that the issue would cause long-term damage to Hungarian society. “The referendum will come and go,” Zoltan Mezo, a teacher, said. “But the hate will stay.”

Laszlo Andor, Hungary’s former EU commissioner, told The Budapest Beaconthat the government had tried to stir panic with anti-migrant propaganda. “Hungary is a country without a history of immigration but this should call for some kind of government campaign to inform, instead of generating animosity, if not hatred, of Muslims and Arabs, as if all of them would be terrorists or terror suspects,” he said.

(Politico) Luxembourg foreign minister: Hungary should leave EU

(Politico) Country treats refugees almost like ‘wild animals,’ Asselborn said.

Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign affairs minister, said Hungary should be kicked out of the EU over its stance on the refugee crisis, Die Welt reported.

“We cannot accept the founding principles of the EU being violated,” Asselborn told the newspaper in an interview published Tuesday, just days before the informal EU summit in Bratislava on September 16.

“[Those] who build fences against refugees like Hungary does, or who violate press freedom and judicial independence, should be excluded temporarily or forever from the EU,” Asselborn said, adding that was “the only way to preserve the cohesion and values of the EU.”

Asselborn added that a treaty change would “be helpful” in order to allow EU membership to be suspended without the required unanimity. If it had to apply today, Hungary would not stand a chance of joining the EU, he said.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government had made serious mistakes and treated refugees almost like “wild animals,” Asselborn said, pointing to a fencethe country has built to prevent asylum seekers crossing its borders.

+++ (MTI) Szijjarto: EC chief sees people as threat to democracy

(MTI) – European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker sees the people as a danger to democracy, Hungary’s foreign minister said on Saturday. Péter Szijjártó reacted in a statement to an interview Juncker gave to Austrian daily Kurier in which the EC leader said that legal security in the European Union would be endangered if member states held referendums on ever decision made by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Juncker also reiterated that the EU’s migrant quota scheme was based on the principle of solidarity. Szijjártó said: “The mandatory migrant quota scheme is based on ‘the principle of stupidity’ and the Hungarian people have a right to voice their opinion on pivotal questions.” They especially have the right to voice their opinion when “terrorist attacks and murders” committed by “migrants who are unable to integrate” into society have become everyday occurrences in Europe, the minister added.

+++ V.I. (NYT) Hungarian Leader, Viktor Orban, Says Donald Trump Is Better for Europe

…I am sure that, if elected, Mr Trump will not forget this support…

(NYT) The antiterrorism proposals of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump make him the better option for Europe and for Hungary, said Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, on Saturday.

Mr. Orban, who has ordered border fences built to stop migrants, said that the ideas of the “upstanding American presidential candidate” about the need for the best intelligence services and his opposition to “democracy export” were also applicable in Europe.

“I am not Donald Trump’s campaigner,” Mr. Orban said at an event in Baile Tusnad, Romania, an area with a large Hungarian population. He said he had listened to Mr. Trump’s proposals to stop terrorism, and “I myself could not have drawn up better what Europe needs.”

Mr. Orban, who returned to power in 2010, has often been criticized by the European Union, the United States and others for his efforts to centralize power, control civic groups and increase his influence over the media.

In 2011, while she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton visited Hungary, and expressed the United States’ concerns about government corruption there and the independence of Hungary’s courts and its press.

Mr. Orban, whose speech was broadcast on Hungarian state media, blamed the West for what he saw as failed interventions in countries such as Egypt and Libya. He added that Hungary was not “indifferent” to political and human rights in Turkey, but that its stability was most important.

“If I’m asked what is Hungary’s strongest expectation regarding Turkey today, we will put stability first,” Mr. Orban said. “If Turkey becomes unstable, many tens of millions of people from that region will hurtle toward Europe without any sort of filtering, screening or control.”

Mr. Orban was critical of the European Union’s leadership in Brussels, and said that individual countries in Europe should have more authority to make its own decisions on specific issues, such as migration.

“We have to make it clear that our problem is not in Mecca, but in Brussels,” Mr. Orban said. “The bureaucrats in Brussels are an obstacle for us, not Islam.”

(Le Temps) Pour la Hongrie, l’UE sans le Royaume-Uni n’est plus qu’un «acteur régional»

(Le Temps) C’est un changement «dramatique» pour le premier ministre hongrois Viktor Orbán, qui participe à une réunion du groupe de Visegrad et accuse la politique migratoire de la Commission européenne

Le Premier ministre hongrois Viktor Orban a affirmé le 21 juillet à Varsovie qu’après la décision du Royaume-Uni de quitter l’Union européenne, celle-ci n’était plus un « acteur global », mais « régional ».

Il a qualifié ce changement de « dramatique », intervenant devant la presse avec ses homologues polonais, slovaque et tchèque du groupe de Višegrad, réunis pour préparer leurs propositions communes de réformes de l’UE en vue d’un sommet informel à 27 prévu à Bratislava le 16 septembre. Ces propositions visent essentiellement à un renforcement du rôle des parlements nationaux au détriment de Bruxelles.

« Que ferons-nous pour retrouver un rôle global ? », a demandé Viktor Orban, estimant que l’UE a « perdu » la Grande-Bretagne parce que « la Commission européenne a pris les pires décisions possible en matière de migrations » et qu’elle « ne dit pas clairement quels sont les objectifs de sa politique migratoire ».

Tant Viktor Orban que la Première ministre polonaise Beata Szydlo ont affirmé qu’ils n’avaient pas de problème avec l’UE, mais avec les institutions européennes.

« L’Union est une valeur, mais dans sa forme institutionnelle actuelle elle ne répond pas aux attentes des Européens », a dit Beata Szydlo.

Interrogée sur les réformes que le groupe de Višegrad compte proposer, Beata Szydlo a dit qu’elles devaient rendre l’UE « plus forte ».

Pour le moment, a-t-elle expliqué, les quatre pays ont arrêté leurs « orientations » : le respect des « quatre libertés » fondamentales défendues par l’UE, celles du marché unique (libre circulation des biens, capitaux, services et personnes), et le renforcement du contrôle des parlements nationaux sur les décisions prises par l’Union.

« Notre position commune sera précisée dans les semaines qui viennent », a dit la chef du gouvernement polonais, dont le pays préside actuellement le Groupe de Višegrad.

(Gaceta) Orbán: ‘Hay una conexión obvia entre la inmigración ilegal y el terrorismo’

(Gaceta) El primer ministro húngaro denuncia la dejadez de la Comisión Europea para afrontar la crisis migratoria y sostiene que negar su conexión con los ataques islamistas es ”menoscabar la seguridad de los ciudadanos”.

Viktor Orbán ha denunciado la ”relación clara” que existe entre la inmigración ilegal que está llegando a Europa y los ataques terroristas perpetrados en el viejo continente. “Si alguien niega esta relación clara, entonces estará menoscabando la seguridad de los ciudadanos europeos”, ha afirmado el líder húngaro.

Y es que los datos están encima de la mesa, no son una invención del líder Magiar. De los terroristas que atentaron en París el 13 de noviembre, al menos tres se valieron de la ruta de los refugiadospara entrar en Europa. Entre ellos está Salah Abdeslam –permanece detenido en Francia- que llegó a recorrer ese trayecto hasta en dos ocasiones. Qué decir del demandante de asilo que se lió a hachazos con varios pasajeros de un tren en Alemania.

”Está claro que dos y dos son cuatro, y está tan claro como el agua que hay una conexión obvia (entre terrorismo e inmigración ilegal)”, ha asegurado tras una reunión en la que el Grupo de Visegrado ha acordado la necesidad de reformar la UE después del “brexit”. Orbán ha decidido anteponer los intereses de Hungría, su pueblo, de quienes le votaron, de aquellos que le han dado el mandato de protegerles, a los dictados de Bruselas. ¿Qué le ha valido esto? Críticas de líderes europeos –muchos de ellos han terminado por reciclar su discurso-, de la progresía, medios de comunicación…Para todos ellos el líder magiar es un xenófobo.

Para el primer ministro húngaro Bruselas hace mucho tiempo que ya no mira a sus ciudadanos. Y como todo, eso conlleva unas consecuencias que Orbán tiene bastante claras: ”la situación de crisis europea se ha producido principalmente por las malas decisiones de las instituciones de la UE en materia de inmigración”. ”El mayor problema es que la Comisión Europea no explica claramente cuál es el propósito de nuestra política de inmigración”, ha señalado. El descontrol, con el que quiere terminar el húngaro, es el detonante de sucesos como los acaecidos recientemente en Francia y Bélgica.

La devolución de la soberanía territorial y el control de las fronteras es una de las demandas principales del Gobierno húngaro. Pero no está solo, junto a Polonia, Eslovaquia y República Checa –conocido como Grupo de Visegrado-, ha decidido emprender la batalla contra Bruselas.

Visegrado pasa a la acción

Polonia se ha puesto como meta ser el principal impulsor de medidas para devolver Europa a los europeos. El país ocupa la presidencia rotatoria del Grupo de Visegrado y desde ahí espera promover las reformas que las instituciones comunitarias necesitan.

La primera ministra polaca, Beata Szydlo, ha asegurado que Visegrado tiene “una estrategia común para fortalecer la Unión Europea” y quiere impulsar un plan de reformas para “devolverla a sus orígenes”. “Todos estamos de acuerdo en que la Unión Europea debe volver a sus orígenes, centrarse más en los problemas reales de los ciudadanos y menos en cuestiones institucionales”, ha comentado Szydlo después del encuentro en Varsovia con sus homólogos del grupo.

Según Szydlo, “el ‘brexit’ es una señal de aviso para la UE y el Grupo de Visegrado quiere tener un papel “muy activo en el proceso de cambio” de la unión, porque “está claro que la Europa de las instituciones no ha cumplido con las expectativas de los europeos”.

“Si queremos ser un actor global, la UE debe de basarse en el buen funcionamiento y la cooperación común de los 27”, ha explicado la primera ministra polaca, quien ha criticado a las instituciones comunitarias porque “no pueden imponer indiscriminadamente su voluntad” a los parlamentos nacionales. El nuevo Gobierno polaco, al igual que denuncia Orbán, defiende la soberanía de los Estados miembro en temas cruciales como la defensa de las fronteras.

La jefa del Gobierno polaco ha expresado la preocupación del grupo eurooriental por la salida del Reino Unido de la UE y ha adelantado que tanto Polonia como el resto de socios de Visegrado aprovecharán la cumbre europea de septiembre en Bratislava para plantear algunas propuestas de futuro. “Coincidimos en destacar el hecho de que la UE es un gran valor para nosotros los europeos, un valor que debemos desarrollar, pero que también tenemos que cambiar”, ha añadido.

(Reuters) Hungary to hold referendum on mandatory EU migrant quotas on October 2

(Reuters) Hungary will hold a referendum on Oct. 2 on whether to accept any future European Union quota system for resettling migrants as Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government steps up its fight against the EU’s migration policies.

Emboldened by Britain’s shock vote to quit the European Union, Orban is forging ahead with his own referendum which he hopes will give him a mandate to challenge Brussels. A massive pre-referendum campaign has already been underway.

Orban took an anti-immigration stance during the migrant influx to Europe last year. Hungary was the main entry point into the EU’s border-free Schengen zone for migrants traveling by land until Orban shut the Croatian and Serbian frontier.

President Janes Ader said in a statement posted on his office’s website on Tuesday that the vote will be about the following question: “Do you want the European Union to be entitled to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of parliament?”

Hungary is already fighting an EU relocation scheme established during the height of the crisis last year, which will set quotas for each EU country to host a share of the migrants over two years. Along with Slovakia, Budapest has launched a court challenge against the plan.

But the EU is also discussing a change to asylum rules that would require member states to accept a quota of refugees or pay a penalty for them to be housed elsewhere.

Antal Rogan, Orban’s cabinet chief, said on Tuesday the flow of migrants had to be stopped.

“The Hungarian government asks Hungarian citizens to say no to mandatory resettlement and to say no to the immigration policy of Brussels,” Rogan told reporters. “Only Hungarians can decide with whom we want to live in Hungary.”

Rogan also said Hungary has doubled troops patrolling its southern border with Serbia, where 6,000 to 10,000 policemen and soldiers will be deployed from now on.

More than 17,000 migrants have crossed into Hungary illegally from Serbia so far this year, according to the government.

Rogan said human traffickers had begun to use drones to monitor the movement of Hungarian border patrols, adding Hungary would inform Serbian authorities about this.

Orban’s anti-immigration measures have been popular at home but criticized by rights groups. As of this month, a new law has taken effect which allows police to send back to Serbia illegal migrants detained within eight kilometers (five miles) of the border, drawing criticism from the U.N. refugee agency.

(IBT) Germans move to ‘Christian’ Hungary to flee migrant crisis

(IBT)

Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton has been a popular holiday resort for Germans since the 1960s.

Increasing numbers of German’s are moving to Hungary to flee the refugee crisis, German public service broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk reported.

Estate agents in the picturesque Balaton area in western Hungary said there had been a surge in Germans looking to move to the area since September, after millions of refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East and Africa entered Germany.

As well as the good weather and large German community, one estate agent told the station that the new German arrivals were attracted by the fact that the majority of Hungarians are Christians and “there are hardly any migrants” in the country.

Millions of refugees and migrants entered Europe in 2015, many travelling on foot through eastern and central Europe to seek refuge in Germany, where German chancellor Angela Merkel granted asylum to refugees from the Syrian Civil War.

Hungarian Prime Minister has criticised Germany’s refugee policy, refusing to accept the country’s EU quota of asylum seekers and authorising the construction of a razor wire fence to seal the country.

Germany received the highest number of asylum applications in 2015, followed by Hungary, according to Eurostat.

+++ M.P.P./V.V.I. (FT) Hungary referendum throws Brussels migrants plan into disarray

M.P.O./V.V.I.

Unfortunately my predictions are becoming facts.

The EU is in total disarray over the migrants problem , and I can see no way of this major, major problem being fixed in the near future.

Or the future full stop, for that matter.

And I cannot see anyway of stopping the various individual or collective actions by the various EU Member States by now involved.

The EU seems to have forgotten, that in some Central Europe States, this issue is crucial and vital.

The resentment against Germany, essentially caused by memories of WWII is there and pretty much alive.

And now, obviously much enhanced by Germany’s dominance of the EU.

I wrote several times that the Peoples of Europe would never ever accept a German dominance of the EU.

Whether we feel it’s reasonable, or not, it is a fact of Life.

There is no way it is going to be accepted…

Never, ever…

Money or no money…

And Germany, which was very carefull for decades, seems to have overlooked this…

Please take a look on what I  wrote back in September 2015…

+++ M.P.O. (FT) Europe will fail the values test on refugees – Gideon Rachman

 

I quote myself:

«I don’t know what the solution is, in order for the EU to be able to cope with the hundreds of thousands of refugees, with horrific stories,and in an appalling situation, trying escape death and misery in their own Countries.

But one thing I think I know.

And that is that this historic migration is of proportions never seen in the EU, or Europe for that matter, since the end of WWII.

And with the current set of rules, it is not going to stop any time soon.

We all have humanitarian values, and certainly feel the obligation of trying to help, and ease all this suffering.

The Schengen agreements make it in a way that, by arriving in one EU Country, in practical terms anyone more or less gains the right to go to any Schengen Country.

And in time, the Governments will became split between their humanitarian values, and the duty to respect its Citizens opinions.

And this is a current trend around the World, from Australia to the U.S. .

Major imbalances will increase in Europe, as a result of the influx of people whose values have very little to do with our own.

And the obvious consequence will be the abolishment of free circulation in the current Schengen area.

Let’s be realistic.

As long as the Schengen Treaties are in place, this will never stop.

And a lot of people, that are not really refugees, will take advantage of this situation.

There is no way around it.

And if nothing is done, more and more extremist political parties will appear in various Countries.

And that is unacceptable.

I repeat.

I don’t know what the solution is.

But to take in , which Europe must, the current wave of refugees and not changing the rules, will only make matters worse, and we will arrive at a situation in which we will not be able to take any more people, regardless if we want to, or not.

And if the EU does not act quickly, it will be it’s end,in the current form, and with the current rules.»

End of Quote.

Coming back to our problem…

And it is only surpassed by resentment against Russia in the Countries that have been occupied by the Soviets.

Any one that has travelled to Central and Eastern Europe should know this…

Even in the symbols in buildings…

Anything that could be associated with the Nazis or the Soviets has been meticulously removed…

And what do we see today…?

+++ P.O. (Reuters) Germany wants extension of Schengen border controls: paper

I quote myself again:

«Quod erat demonstrandum!

As per my P.O. of September 8, 2015, and others, the Schengen Treaty is dead, and dead for good.

Whether one likes it, or not, the concept of free travel, in the Schengen Countries, without controls, is incompatible today’s terrorism and the migrants.

Yes migrants, because the large majority of them are not refugees at all…

They don’t even come from anywhere near the war affected Countries…

Eventually the concept of free travel, with border checks, for legal residents of the Schengen Countries might eventually be retained.

But things being what they are, even this light version is a problem.»


And…

+++ V.V.I. (BBG) Dutch Populist Wilders Says EU Finished, Netherlands Must Leave

And…

+++ V.V.I. (FT) Gideon Rachman: Mass migration into Europe is unstoppable

And…

+++ P.O. and V.V.I. (FT) Refugee influx threatens fall of EU, warns Dutch PM

And…

+++ P.O. V.I. (FT) EU migrant tensions rise as Sweden seeks to join relocation plan

I quote myself again:

I told you so…

“So far, only 116 people have been relocated out of the proposed 160,000, and member states have offered just over 1,000 places for asylum seekers.”

and…

“Only €30m of a proposed €1.8bn “trust fund” to help African countries stop the flow of people has been delivered. Likewise, a planned €500m aid package for Syria has so far received just €50m from EU members.”

and…

“EU diplomats gave warning that allowing Sweden to join the EU relocation process would open the door for other north European countries facing vast numbers of asylum seekers — such as Germany — to join the scheme.”

and…

“Berlin’s participation would prove particularly contentious as Germany heaped diplomatic pressure on its neighbours to support the scheme, in the face of vociferous opposition from Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.”

and…

“German handling of the refugee crisis has been attacked by its neighbours, who have argued that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming attitude has made the situation worse and encouraged people to try to make the trip.”

Of course it has made the situation worse, I say.

And…

None of this has any legal base, and is not enforcable, I say so…and not just me:
«Lawmakers on Tuesday passed a resolution stating that the European Commission “has no legal ground” for implementing a system of mandatory migrant quotas.

The resolution, which says that the quota system violates the principle of subsidiarity, was adopted with 141 votes in favour, 27 against and 1 abstention.
The resolution stated that the implementation of the quota system would establish a “centralised procedure” that bypasses both the European Council and consultation with member states. The EC has failed to prove that the quota system would result in a more efficient handling of migrants or that it would offer any “added value” for the EU, it said.»

in +++ V.I. (HNW) Parlt says EU has no legal basis to implement migrant quota scheme

End of quote.

(FT) Brussels Briefing: The Vienna Insurrection:

(FT)There are 20 European ministers in Vienna today for one of the most extraordinary meetings of the migration crisis – and there have been some pretty extraordinary meetings.

Austria has convened nine countries along the so-called western Balkans migration route. That sounds reasonable enough. Foreign and interior ministers will be present from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Missing from the guestlist, though, is the main migrant entry-point (Greece) and the main destination-point (Germany). That is either a rather big oversight – or an act of mutiny.

It caps a week where the dominoes have begun to fall in south-eastern Europe. Austria’s renegade policy – imposing asylum caps while waving through Germany-bound migrants – has triggered other national responses down the line. Vienna is even considering deploying troops to the Macedonia border. It is shaping facts on the ground that are fast eclipsing the prospects for a “European solution”, if ever it were possible.

Once all-powerful German Chancellor Angela Merkel seems almost sidelined. Austria and Slovenia, combined population 10m, did not even bother to inform her before their abrupt policy shift last week. Werner Faymann, the Austrian chancellor, seems cornered by coalition politics at home and immune to criticism from Brussels or Ms Merkel. Meanwhile a very agitated European Commission is warning of ahumanitarian crisis, fearing disorder as thousands of migrants are trapped in Greece or along the route. The UNHCR is warning of “potential chaos”.

From Vienna’s perspective, there is little choice. Mr Faymann could no longer hold the line for Ms Merkel. As Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the centre-right interior minister, explained in a letter to the Commission: “Since the common European solution is still pending, Austria must take all necessary measures to handle the migration flows”. Given the collapse of the rules around asylum and returns, she said Austria was simply “contributing to European solidarity in the best possible way”.

In conclusion, I would argue that only by revoking free circulation can the EU stop the internal implosion that has already started.

It is very sad to see the 20th Century’s best idea come to an end.

Due, in my opinion again, to the Franco-German dominance.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(FT) Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, has announced a referendum on whether the country should be forced to resettle refugees, sending the EU’s response to the migration crisis into further disarray.

Mr Orban claimed Brussels’ refugee plan was an attempt to redraw Hungary’s cultural, religious and ethnic landscape and said the EU had no right to impose a German-led EU scheme to share the burden of hosting asylum seekers.

“Introducing resettlement quotas for migrants without the support of the people is an abuse of power,” he told reporters in Budapest on Wednesday, arguing only Hungarian MPs could approve such a plan.

“No one but us, the elected representatives of the Hungarian parliament, can make this decision.”

Mr Orban’s gambit further complicates an EU’s response to the refugee crisis that has fallen into confusion in the past week as member states opt for unilateral — and often contradictory — policies. Meanwhile, Brussels and Berlin, which have driven the bloc’s migration policy, have seen their control diminish in recent weeks.

While Mr Orban was announcing his plans, Austria met nine countries in Vienna to discuss ways of curbing the flow of people heading to the heart of Europe on a Balkan route that more than 100,000 people have travelled so far this year.

“It is important and necessary to stop the flow of migration along the Balkans,” Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Austria’s interior minister, told reporters. “We need measures that can be implemented together with the Balkan states.”

But Vienna pointedly failed to invite Germany, Greece or the European Commission — to the fury of diplomats in Berlin, Athens and Brussels.

The Austrian meeting came amid growing worry that clampdowns imposed by governments along that route in recent days could create a dangerous backlog of migrants in Greece that would overwhelm local authorities. The commission has dispatched staff to Greece to try to ward off a possible humanitarian crisis.

The unilateral blockages have also irritated Germany, whose chancellor, Angela Merkel, is banking on a Europe-wide response to the crisis in which Greece is a key participant.

In one indication of the growing discord, Austria and Slovenia did not inform Ms Merkel before their abrupt shift to tighten borders late last week.

In a call with Ms Merkel on Wednesday, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, expressed “intense disappointment” at the EU’s failure to live up to its commitment.

The Hungary referendum would be the fifth time in a year that a member state has called a popular vote on EU policy, adding an extra layer of complexity on everything from the Greek bailout to the bloc’s relationship with Russia.

Last summer, Mr Tsipras launched a referendum on Greece’s bailout package. In the Netherlands, an anarchic Dutch magazine campaigned for — and won — the right to a referendum on the EU’s trade deal with Ukraine, which will go ahead in April. Denmark held a referendum on whether it should be able to “opt-in” to the EU’s justice and home affairs policies; an idea the Danes rejected.

Meanwhile, the UK will vote this summer on whether to remain in the EU at all. Nigel Farage, a British MEP, dubbed it “referendum season”.

Mr Orban said referendums were “a part of European politics” and urged others to follow his lead in putting the issue to a vote: “That is why in good spirit we recommend this to others.”

Hungary is legally bound by the EU plan, which was agreed by the bloc’s leaders in September after considerable pressure was applied by Berlin. But in practice, Brussels has few immediate ways of enforcing its policy if Budapest resists. A large popular vote rejecting the policy would further complicate the situation for Brussels.

Mr Orban did not say when the vote would be held. But already analysts have questioned if the proposed wording for the referendum — whether voters want to allow the EU to impose resettlement of foreigners without parliamentary consent — is legal under Hungary’s constitution.

Hungary had already filed a legal challenge against the plan to resettle refugees in member states, agreed by EU leaders at a tense meeting in Brussels last year.

The announcement of the plebiscite follows on from a publicly funded multimillion-euro public relations campaign in Hungary against immigration and the so-called “refugee quotas” last year. An official government website warned Hungarians that decades of migration into western Europe had created “hundreds of no-go areas” in cities such as Paris and London.

Mr Orban has made his hardline opposition to migration the key issue of his third term in office, a move that rescued his party from a slide in domestic support last year. He has positioned himself as the defender of Hungarians threatened by Islamic immigration, saying that migration leads to terrorism and violent assault.

The radical rightwing Jobbik party, which first suggested a referendum on the refugee plan last year, remains Mr Orban’s largest domestic rival.
çoki

+++ (BBG) Hungary’s Orban Says ‘Making Progress’ Toward EU-UK Deal

(Bloomberg) Britain can’t set limit to EU citizens working in the country and can’t discriminate against EU nationals on benefits, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
says in state radio interview.

* Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia working on joint
position on EU draft plan granting concessions to Britain to
avert its exit
* British demands to reform EU are “overall” good for EU and
good for Hungary
* NOTE: East European Leaders Signal Gaps in EU Draft to Avert
U.K. Exit

++ (MTI) UPDATE – EU weaker than ever, says parlt speaker – paper (adds Egyutt)

(MTI) The European Union has become weaker than ever in economic, military and political terms, Parliamentary Speaker Laszlo Kover told daily Magyar Hirlap on Monday.

Although at the turn of the millennium it stood close to becoming a strong and independent community, “Europe has proved to be a fiasco”: its euro has failed to become a global currency and it has not become a sovereign community in economic terms. Nor has it developed fruitful economic relations with Russia and devised a common defence policy, he said.

“The EU’s dissolution, however, would make things even worse. The Visegrad Four cooperation and Britain’s efforts to explore new directions within the EU show that the problems can be discussed and resolved reasonably. They demonstrate that there might be another, viable European Union,” Kover said.

Europe’s current leaders fail to notice or take it earnestly that they have lost public confidence, a crucial precondition for long-term cooperation, he said.

Kover stressed the need to halt “stealthy Brusselsisation”, a trend of gradually depriving member states of their decision-making rights. As an example, he mentioned that, instead of supervising the European Commission, the European Parliament focusses on limiting the member states’ true parliamentary democracy based on popular representation and direct control.

The opposition Egyutt party said Kover’s words lack credibility because all throughout 2015 it was the Hungarian government that “did everything it could to weaken the EU” and hamper the bloc’s attempts to manage the migration crisis. The party said it is not the EU but rather the policies of ruling Fidesz that threaten the survival of the Hungarian nation and state. Egyutt said the EU should be given more competencies in order for it to be strong, otherwise more and more governments “like those of Hungary and Poland” would try to tear apart the cooperation that is key to establishing freedom, a strong middle class and European prosperity.

+++ (AP) The Latest: Hungary Leader: EU a Battlefield Due to Migrants

(AP – click to see) BUDAPEST, Hungary — The latest developments as tens of thousands of people make their way to Europe and across the continent, seeking safety and a better life. All times local.

6:05 p.m.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban lashed out at EU leaders who reject his call to keep migrants out of the bloc, which he described as “weak, unsure and powerless.”

Orban told delegates at the ruling party Fidesz’ congress on Sunday that the “continent looks like a battlefield and the worse is yet to come. How many more will hit the road, heading for Europe? I believe it’s millions, or tens of millions.”

Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty have arrived in Europe this year. Hungary erected a fence at its border with Serbia, and since September has effectively shut its doors to new arrivals.

On Sunday, Orban was re-elected as president of Fidesz with a landslide victory: out of 1,177 party delegates, 1,174 voted him as president again.

+++ V.I (MTI) Level-headed EU leaders seeking national solutions to challenges, says Fidesz

(MTI) Europe’s “level-headed” leaders, seeing the EU’s helplessness, seek national solutions to the bloc’s challenges, hopefully without having to restrict the free movement
of European labour in the UK or any other member state, the ruling Fidesz party said on Friday.

Fidesz responded to remarks made by Democratic Coalition MEP Csaba Molnar in which he said Prime Minister Viktor Orban had “betrayed” Hungarians who had moved to the UK to find work when he did not speak out against British Prime Minister David Cameron’s
plan to block EU migrants from receiving any benefits until they have worked in the country for four years.

The ruling party said that a new illegal migrant, whom European authorities know nothing about, enters Europe every 12 seconds and therefore it is “completely understandable” if the EU’s “level-headed” leaders look for national solutions to the
continent’s challenges.

The growing migration pressure and threat of terrorism have led the British prime minister to consider stricter rules against illegal workers in Britain.

Fidesz said Europe needs to change its migration policy and protect its borders from illegal migrants so that member states are not forced to restrict the free movement of labour.

“The Hungarian people, both at home and abroad, were betrayed by Brussels and the European Left who left Europe unprotected, invited millions of illegal migrants and decided on implementing mandatory migrant quotas,” Fidesz said.