An example of entitlement and impunity in the Orbán family

Littering is frowned upon in Hungary, through much of Europe and in North America. Today, the Hungarian media is focusing on a story that is pretty mundane and even tawdry on the surface, but speaks perfectly to the sense of entitlement and impunity that exists within the Orbán family. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s eldest daughter, Ráhel, was photographed in Croatia tossing a soiled diaper on the side of the road, even though a garbage can was well within sight. Croatia is a favourite holiday destination for Hungarians. In just the first seven months of the year, 338,800 Hungarians visited Croatia and this number will almost certainly exceed 600,000 before the end of the year–meaning that close to 7% of Hungarians will take a trip to the Adriatic country.

The chances of a Hungarian recognizing the prime minister’s daughter as she littered in Croatia were high. The Nyugati Fény news site first published the photos sent in by one of their readers, which were picked up by dozens of news sites in both Croatia and Hungary. Croatia’s Jutarnji List daily newspaper contacted the Prime Minister’s Office with questions, but has yet to receive a response. Former Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, a conservative, called the incident “horrible.” Meanwhile, we learn that Serbian and Bosnian papers are also covering what on the surface is a very tabloid topic.

Source: Nyugati Fény.

Source: Nyugati Fény.

Why this merits any attention at all is that it is an easily comprehensible way for Hungarians of all political stripes to understand the nature of the arrogance that is rampant among Hungary’s rulers and the immunity from any consequences that they enjoy.

Naturally, Hungary’s public broadcaster, the ignominious propaganda mouthpiece of the ruling party that it is, reported on the story differently: they attacked former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. The news site that published the photos is closely aligned with the Democratic Coalition, which Mr. Gyurcsány continues to lead. A certain Károly Pósa, writing on the public broadcaster’s site, opined that the opposition has no better topic with which to attack Mr. Orbán than by going after his littering daughter.

Everyone and anyone should know better: civilized people do not litter, period. We protect our public spaces, and perhaps especially when are guests in a foreign country. Ms. Orbán, who works in the tourism sector, should know this most of all. However, she does not care much, because members of the ruling family are entitled to do as they please.

The state broadcaster can be as sarcastic as it likes, and turn the attention to the opposition instead. Fortunately, a growing number of Hungarians reject government propaganda by tuning out. A more interesting story in Hungary than “diaper gate” is the rapid decline of Lőrinc Mészáros’ massive media empire in rural and small-town Hungary. Today we learned that The Fejér Megyei Hírlap’s readership (based on the number of print copies sold) fell by 18% this year, while the readership of Mr. Mészáros’ other county-level publications fell between 10% to 17%. In contrast, the demise of the conservative Magyar Nemzet has boosted the fortunes of the left-centre national daily Népszava, which now sells 21,000 copies per day–up from 19,900 three months ago.

14 Comments

  1. I am surprised that it wasn’t a nanny who did the tossing. But yes, big shame.

  2. Robert Morrison says:

    ” rapid decline of Lőrinc Mészáros’ massive media empire”
    Jegenyefák nem nőnek az égig, még Magyarországon sem!
    Poplar trees do not grow to the sky, not even in Hungary!

  3. Seemingly shameful and uncivilized behavior to say the least! Having said that, this article extrapolates the heck out of it, by claiming it is something done out of a “sense of entitlement”. Also, at least from pictures it is not entirely clear that a garbage can was “within sight”, but clearly it is a very dirty area overall, with thrash all over the place, so perhaps facilities not as available as being assumed.

    As for the real news about Hungary today, in my view it is the continued robust growth in real wages that Hungarians are enjoying, in addition to very low unemployment levels and high employment rates.

    https://bbj.hu/economy/gross-wage-growth-reaches-112-in-june_153830

    The news about Orban’s “paraszt” daughter is really just tabloid stuff. She should have known better, even if it seems that littering is not out of the ordinary in that spot, given the evidence available in those pictures.

  4. StrandedinSopron says:

    Disgusting.
    “Naturally, Hungary’s public broadcaster, the ignominious propaganda mouthpiece of the ruling party that it is, reported on the story differently….”

    What do you expect from the Orbanist zombies? A simple apology from Princess Rahel would have sufficed. Now every lowlife scumbag who dumps their unwanted washing machine in the Pilis has been basically been given the go ahead to continue with their good work.

    • Robert Morrison says:

      StrandedinSopron on August 22, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      No, “every lowlife scumbag” should know that it is an unacceptable behavior. Just because Rahel is the daughter of the HU PM doesn’t make it a precedent to follow. On the other hand it is also not an “entitlement” rather a deplorable public display of un-EU way of disposing one’s garbage. Unfortunately it is not a rare occurrence in Hungary, which is not along any party affiliation line. What’s more disturbing is that for the younger generation it seems to be acceptable (e.g. look at the newly redeveloped part of the banks of the Danube in XIII. District).

      All in all projecting this event on the “Orbanist zombies” doesn’t further the issue, but some just cannot resist to use every little moment of life to push their political views.

      It would have been an “entitlement” issue if she was charged (and I hope she will be) for the public display littering by the Croatians police and she tried to invoke some privilege to get out of it. I trust that will not happen if for no other reason Victor will not allow her to soil his reputation.

  5. Im an ultra right-wing person, Orbán voter, and feel ashamed since i fight against littering very adamantly. Yes, i also live in Pilis Mountains and this is close to an unforgivable crime. Here is also strongly littered but nowadays a big board says, you will be fined up to 100 000 HUF ( approx. 350 EUR) if you’re caught during littering…
    A honest apology at least would do something…

  6. Nicholas Molnar says:

    This is really a big news. It is great that the Hungarian Free Press has nothing
    more important to write about

  7. Robert Morrison says:

    It has nothing to do with “entitlement” and “impunity”, rather with the cultural under-development of the person involved. Looking at her demeanor one cannot expect too much and she might even underperformed it. While it is a “sensational news” for some media in this “cucumber season”, there are much more news worthy events that deserve to be explored. At this moment I am working with two homeless men to write their story about how they ended up on the banks of the Danube.

  8. This time, the Orbán family fortunately landed abroad rather than hauling them out at home.

  9. …’civilized people do not litter, period.’ – but plebeian people do !
    These two pictures clearly display the Hungarian prime minister’s daughter’s shameful ignorance – the crude and vulgar reality of this family !

    • Robert Morrison says:

      Well, as everything this one also have a different angle to it. The pictures and the original “discovery” came from the infamous Nyugati Fény that is anything but trustable. What they “accidently” forgot to show is a garbage bin on site full and even overfilled with garbage. And that might change the story. Not that I like it as is but ….

  10. StrandedinSopron says:

    “All in all projecting this event on the “Orbanist zombies” doesn’t further the issue, but some just cannot resist to use every little moment of life to push their political views”

    Robert Morrison,
    I agree the dumping of all kinds of rubbish in Hungary is a national epidemic and I wouldn’t claim that the despoiling of the natural and urban environment is the sole preserve of the Orban family and Fidesz supporters. Obviously.

    The Orbanist zombies are the pro-state regime journalists some of who m have gone so far to deny that this is even Orban’s daughter and even if it is, then so what? In this particular case, this is my problem with the Orbanist zombies.

    As I said, a simple apology would have been enough for me. Instead nothing and a “whitewashing” (sorry for the kind of pun) by the afore-mentioned walking dead.

  11. Phil S. Stine says:

    Hungary is a nation of litterers. In the early 90’s we spent a year in Europe, basing ourselves in Hungary. If you traveled to Austria (a country where even their dirt is clean) and stopped at the first rastplatz after crossing the border you would find the liberal supply of bins that is common in Austria. Unlike the rest of the country the bins were mostly empty with litter everywhere, most of it identifiable as Magyar szemet, Sopiani and Kossuth cigarette packs, Dreher beer bottles etc.

  12. This newspaper uses all methods to propagate hate and attack against Hungary. How dirty was the place or there was NO trash basket was NOT IMPORTANT! How disgusting method!

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