Orbán bans Fidesz politicians from attacking George Soros

The international alt-right, which has come to view Viktor Orbán as a beacon of hope, will be sorely disappointed this morning. According to the conservative Magyar Nemzet daily, Fidesz party headquarters issued a directive to all government politicians expressly prohibiting them from posting negative commentary about George Soros on social media. Viktor Orbán’s decision to end a two-and-a-half year long relentless verbal and occasionally legislative war against the 87 year old American-Hungarian billionaire comes merely two days after Fidesz lost one of its strongest bastions, Hódmezővásárhely, after holding the city for twenty years. Magyar Nemzet notes that since Sunday night, George Soros, previously attacked incessantly by the pro-Fidesz media, has “magically vanished” from the government press.

The online news site Index surveyed the postings of Fidesz politicians on social media Wednesday morning and discovered a 180 degrees shift. Politicians who before posted furiously about Hungary’s national boogeyman have now decided to focus on happy, positive and sometimes inane news. Fidesz MP Mrs. Judit Bertalan Czunyi takes the cake. This morning she posted photos of her snowy front lawn and driveway, writing: “This morning’s work-out was modified to include snow shoveling. And in a short one and a quarter hours, I get to start it all again. I love living in a village!” The three sentences included three emoticons. When Index posted its article on this sudden change in heart to Facebook, it included an English-language caption: “Everything is awesome!”

Hungarians deface a government anti-Soros billboard. It now reads: Don’t let there be a line-up at the toilet. Vomit from the government propaganda at home!”

The one place where anti-Soros hysteria still lives is in Parliament’s National Security Committee. The opposition wanted to discuss the OLAF report on systemic Fidesz corruption, but Fidesz’s Szilárd Németh and his colleagues did not permit this discussion to proceed, referring once again the Bernadett Szél as a Soros lackey.

Fidesz is scrambling to adopt a new strategy less than forty days before national elections. It intends to focus on a more positive campaign and message, promoting what it feels are all the achievements of the past eight years. It would appear that the intensely negative campaigns of the last years, particularly the increasingly absurd anti-Soros campaign, irked Hungarian voters, including those who previously cast ballots for Fidesz, and motivated them to vote against the governing party. The anti-Soros campaign reached its surreal apex just days before the Hódmezővásárely election, when Hungary’s Minister of Agriculture,  Sándor Fazekas, suggested that Mr. Soros and his “plan” would destroy Hungarian gastronomy and promote the consumption of insects and grilled scorpions in Hungary.

The day after the election defeat, Fidesz publicists like András Bencsik and Zsolt Bayer broke ranks with the party and publicly demanded an end to the hysterical anti-Soros campaign, which had become the butt of jokes. “I think this elementary school level Soros campaign has to stop. This was cute, but Hungarian society is more intelligent than this,” said Mr. Bencsik.

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Republikon published the results of its February poll today–data was collected after the Elios corruption scandal broke, in which the Orbán family is directly implicated, but before the surprise opposition win on Sunday. According to this poll, Fidesz support has dropped by 9 points since December, while the Hungarian Socialist Party – Párbeszéd alliance (MSZP-P) gained 6 points during the same period. In fact, every opposition party, including Jobbik, the Democratic Coalition and Politics Can Be Different has seen a rise in its fortunes, while Fidesz appears to be on a downward trajectory.

Here are the results (compared to January figures):

  • Fidesz: 48% ( -5)
  • Jobbik: 19% (+1)
  • MSZP: 17% (+3)
  • DK: 6% (+1)
  • LMP 5% (+1)

Republikon poll. February 2018.

Gábor Török, a conservative political analyst previously with close ties to both Fidesz and Jobbik, commented that Fidesz has entered its period of decline. He predicted that on 8th April, Fidesz is likely to win between 95 and 110 seats in the 199-seat parliament. He calculated that the opposition must win between 40 t0 50 electoral districts to rob Fidesz of a majority in parliament. What seemed impossible just a few years ago is no longer science fiction. “The ball is no longer in Fidesz’s court,” remarked Mr. Török, adding that Fidesz has no viable strategy other than to mobilize its well-organized camp–a camp that it appears unable to grow, particularly when faced with a suddenly emboldened opposition.

8 Comments

  1. On Fidesz message, I have to agree. Don’t really understand why it is not highlighting more of the economic revival since 2010, as opposed to this crap.

    Take employment numbers for instance:

    https://bbj.hu/economy/fewer-men-but-more-women-unemployed-in-nov-jan_146015

    4.44 million people employed now as opposed to about 3.6 million in 2010. Fostered workers in decline, foreign-assigned workers in decline, overall labor participation rate significantly up, unemployment rate down to 3.8%, and last year average net wages were up over 10%. The fact that huf-Euro exchange rate was stable, also means that Hungarians earned 10% more in Euro terms than they did a year ago.

    Also, government debt/GDP down to about 72% from 82% in 2010, and a lot less of it is FX. Consumer debt is also down from 40% in 2010 to about 20% now, and it is also mostly converted into huf. Economic growth has been above former communist peer average in the region and double EU rate since 2013. And yet, they keep doing “stop Soros” campaigns. Not that I don’t think that his political meddling through his NGOs is not wrong and it should not be checked. I’d be fine if it were all about helping the disabled, or the Rroma with integration, and things like that, but let us face it, they get involved in a lot more than that, which crosses the line as far as I am concerned. But stoping Soros and his attempts at political & ideological influence can be done more quietly.

    Fidesz is running an atrocious campaign, and yet I think they will win quite easily. That is a reflection of the quality of the opposition more than anything!

  2. PETER:
    Just how would you “integrate” the Roma citizens of Hungary? and into what ?

    • I don’t know! But I think that Hungary has done better compared with regional peers (Romania, Slovakia) already, based on what I saw, and I do believe that it is an essential part of securing the country’s future. Perhaps put together a team of economists, anthropologists as well as others and find a way to get around the culture of “us versus gadje” on one hand and majority prejudice on the other and find a place for these communities and individuals within the community, within wider society & the economy. Not easy! Just look at natives in Canada, where the government spends twice as much on average native compared with general population, yet look at their condition.

  3. Yes, FIDESZ will win quite easily and if you don’t live here, don’t critique or preach to the people that do because their opinion is the one that holds the Aces. Others’ all wise and all knowing opinions don’t have that advantage, thank the good Lord and they don’t count. So keep on preaching from outside the window. I couldn’t care less. I love my country and FIDESZ does too. My life is beautiful here in this small slice of heaven. Keep beating that useless drum of yours with your crap while I laugh all the way to the voting booth in April. You know who I’ll be voting for, right? The party that works to keep me safe and happy and loves their country. Hell yeah! Soros’ rhetoric has no business here. His interest is not the people of this country. His business is stirring up dissention where he can boast his money no matter the effects of his sick actions. We are none of his business plain and simple. He was not elected here or anywhere so he has no right to try and force his will on anyone. No one asked for it. He just is able to buy certain people to cause the trouble he wants to achieve. If he didn’t have all that money, no one would give him the time of day. He is “The Brain” from the cartoon “Pinky and the Brain”. Hilarious from where I stand. Have a great day!

  4. It is always advised to make it clear that the author is using the left wing Republikon poll data and also that Gábor Török has nothing to do with the conservatives, he is a strongly Jobbik backed and influenced analyst.

  5. StrandedinSopron says:

    Edie,
    Ever heard of the paragraph break?
    Otherwise, sounds like a rant.

  6. StrandedinSopron says:

    Regarding:
    “Orbán bans Fidesz politicians from attacking George Soros”

    Back to business as usual today, Orban has spouted hatred not just the refugees but also the Miskolc Roma. Considering his own background, it is even more despicable playing this card. And the EU sits back and let’s this neo-nazi rob it and the Hungarian nation blind…..I give up.

  7. I don”t want to be a party killer but Median says today in HVG that Fidesz is actually gaining (the poll was taken after HMVH) and the opposition is stagnating. This Kósa story will not even reach rural Vas county or Bács-Kiskun or Zala there Fidesz will have 70% or more. 20 years ago Fidesz could get the entire country gobsmacked with its handling of the Tocsik case, this Kósa story is just for Budapest-dwelling middle-class and the opposition is silent.

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