Austrian chancellor in negotiations to move CEU to Vienna

Hungary is replaceable. Budapest is replaceable. While anyone who knows and loves the Hungarian capital would be saddened to see the Central European University forced to go, those of us who have had our fill of seven years of Hungary’s slide into a wildly corrupt autocracy also applaud Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern’s decision to begin high level negotiations aimed at moving CEU to Vienna. According to the APA Austrian news agency, Chancellor Kern has started negotiating with the representatives of George Soros about relocating CEU to the Austrian capital. Zsolt Enyedi, CEU’s Pro-Rector for Hungarian affairs, confirmed that shutting down Budapest operations and moving to Vienna is an option. Mr. Enyedi added that the university still aims to fight the punitive legislation approved by Parliament on Tuesday.

“If political decision-makers have decided that they want to shut us out of the country, then we are left with no choice but to take this option seriously,” noted Mr. Enyedi. He added that CEU is at the centre of an ideological battle, adding that “it appears that Viktor Orbán likes nothing that comes close to liberalism, tolerance or progressive thought.”

Liberal Austrian opposition MP Beate Meinl-Reisinger commented that moving CEU to Vienna would be a “grand opportunity” for the capital city.

As of Thursday afternoon, as the author of this short update awaits his flight at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport, there is no news from President János Áder’s office about whether he will return the bill unsigned to parliament, or send it for review to the Constitutional Court or indeed sign off on it. What we do know, is that Mr. Áder daughter attended an American international school that functions within a legal framework almost identical to that of CEU. The same can be said for Prime Minister Orbán’s daughter, Ráhel, who studied in Switzerland.

CEU students protest in Budapest, calling on President Áder to “veto” the bill.

6 Comments

  1. Vienna would be the safest new home for the highest ranking Hungarian Liberal Arts University. The Christian Right in Hungary, for the past hundred years, has always looked upon liberals as Jews, looked upon liberalism as an invention of world Jewry, an alien creed created by the Jew to suffocate, overwhelm, destroy this Christian nation state. This anti-liberal, anti-Semitic phobia is a real “Hungaricum”, an ancient recipe, concocted well before WWI, by the likes of Hungarian Catholic Bishop Ottokár Prohászka, and consumed today by the likes of Viktor Orbán and his cronies. Anti-Semitism didn’t come to Hungary from Germany, it went into Hitler’s head from Hungary, after he read Prohászka’s pamphlet on “The Jewish Question” in 1920. (The pamphlet was translated into a dozen languages at the time, and gave the impetus to the first anti Jewish law of the 20th century, by the Hungarian Parliament, in 1920.)

    The Hungarian Christian Right’s anti-liberal anti-Jewish hatred is the key to why, a wonderful Hungarian University, founded by a liberal Hungarian Jew, George Soros, is being persecuted. This is why, George Lukács’s statue has been sent packing, this is why, the last remaining bastions of free, and liberal thinking will be shut down soon in Hungary. Hungary’s population either does not want to, or is unable to put up a fight. Mr. Soros may be excused if he moves whatever can be saved to Vienna, to sustain the spirit of liberalism in a place, where the flames of racial intolerance are less likely to burn him and those who value academic freedom, and the tolerance of diversity. May he live and be blessed to complete this migration.

  2. Pingback: Austrian chancellor in negotiations to move CEU to Vienna - Hungarian Free Press | Vienna Informer

  3. Don Hermiston says:

    The Central European University should stay where it is. If George Soros wants it moved to Vienna, it most definitely is a bad idea. Propaganda and disinformation is never a legitimate reason to change anything.

  4. The half educated, sly and maliscious vajda of this gang of thieves is destroying intellectual resources of Hungary by:
    Huge reductions of spending on education <5% GDP.
    Centralizing of the education system, eliminating self government in universities, intimidating their leadership e.g. by threats of liquidation (Corvinus, ELTE Dept).
    Prescribing a narrow and ideologically shaped curriculum, and by
    Denying the choice of school books.
    Reducing the min edu age to 16 years old.
    Channeling many students into antiquated trades education.
    General anti-intellectual and anti-free-thinking propaganda.

    The CEU, one of the greatest international promotions for Hungary is undesirable for this lot, instead Orban has an ambassador for soccer and for Pisgkas affairs (sic!!).

  5. Sorry,

    Puskas affairs (pronounced Pushkash, the famous soccer player of the 1960s).
    This is not a joke folks, this guy was issued a diplomatic passport, etc.

  6. Roderick Beck says:

    Don,

    Soros does not want to move it. But Orbán clearly wants to shut it down.

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