Filled with Love Torn Apart…

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vaslevI admit that to this day I feel queasy when I hear pro-family propaganda from government officials (and before the media commando extracts this half-sentence and starts a smear campaign, please do read on), not because I have a problem with supporting Hungarian families by any means, but because I find the false piety-soaked narrative that the NER elite are drenching it all in to be infinitely hypocritical and fake.

I find it evil to the core that the Fidesz government is parading as the saviour and supporter of families, when in the last decade they have committed numerous crimes against them. For example, they have torn apart many families with their calculated hatred, which has poisoned the lives of countless people for generations and for which they have not even a shred of shame.

It is the fourth Sunday of Advent. The fourth and last candle is always a symbol of love. With respect to this, I too try to share my thoughts in a restrained yet straightforward manner. But you have to wonder whether the leaders of the NER elite, when they gently light the candle of love in privacy, surrounded by their families and loved ones (and post it like a shop window on their social media pages) think of the families that have been torn apart over the last decade by their exclusionary hate policies?

Indeed, there are many families in Hungary that will not be sitting down together at the Christmas table in a few days’ time because one half of the family has accepted and believes it to be true that the other half are effectively traitors, simply because they have a different view of the world and the fate of the country. There will be no cozy and large family Christmas dinners in many homes because Fidesz, fuelled by infinite and calculating evil, has split this nation in two; it has allowed, and even encouraged, that political affiliation become more important than family ties. They have inflicted wounds that will not be healed for a long time to come and that will not be erased by billboard slogans of false piety and pretentious rhetoric.

It would be a cheap, overused joke to note that Fidesz’s ‘family-friendly’ governance can really only be detected in the way they legislate, take economic measures and divert public assets to serve the interests of the families of the NER elite. A much used, popular reference indeed, but true nonetheless. Meanwhile, as MSZP co-president Bertalan Tóth rightly pointed out in yesterday’s Népszava article, a significant proportion of families have not only received no help from the government, but have been worse off in recent years. The amount of the family allowance, child support, child benefit and maternity allowance has remained unchanged for 13 years, while the poverty rate of single-parent families, for example, has increased by almost a third in two years. Fidesz refers to the family tax allowance, but this is only partly justified, as they are hiding the fact that parents who do not earn enough to comply with the regulation cannot take advantage of this opportunity. Those who earn a lot, on the other hand, are better off. Moreover, the forint has recently become much weaker, with inflation at a rate not seen for 14 years, and Hungarian families have to pay much more for everything.

From the decks of yachts and private jets, I am sure that things look different. But reality always comes knocking, even on carefully curtained windows. Fidesz has turned love into hate, security into insecurity, community into narrow elites, and the nation into sects. I hope that when they light the candle of love this Sunday, they will remember for a moment what they have done to this country.

After the Hungarian Prime Minister’s landmark speech in Tusványos in 2014, proclaiming the illiberal state, I vowed that, as an MEP, I would write an open letter every week to warn the public of the regime’s crimes. For the three hundred and twenty-ninth time, I am ringing the bells of alarm, because it seems necessary. And because, as a radical European democrat, it is my duty to do so.

István Ujhelyi

Member of the European Parliament

19 December 2021

 

Constitutional Court Decision: No Green Light, but Opportunity to Prepare for HUXIT

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jogThere is no question that Orbán’s intention with the Constitutional Court petition on migration was to further increase tensions between the European Union and the Fidesz government.

As I have pointed out on several occasions, the Constitutional Court’s role in the Polish-style petition was not just to settle a legal dispute, but also to prove its independence and prevent the Fidesz government from losing further control. These latter objectives were only partially met by the body filled with government party delegates.

While today’s decision of the Constitutional Court does not call into question the primacy of EU law, and Orbán’s party has not been given the green light to ignore the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the legal loopholes do, and could, provide an opportunity to prepare for HUXIT. The Constitutional Court has in fact given the Hungarian legislature the opportunity (and we all know the Fidesz approach to bending the law to its own interests) to take back certain powers and exercise them itself, if necessary by declaring the EU’s exercise of powers to be inadequate or ineffective. 

This is a much weaker decision than a similar ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court, nonetheless it could give Orbán and his gang a real opportunity for further legal mayhem. It is clear and unambiguous that Fidesz no longer sees the weakening and destruction of the European Union as just as a political game, but also as a concrete objective, guided and financed by who knows what kind of backing power. Orbán’s political rampage, born out of frustration and clearly insane, could well mean the end of our membership of the EU. 

The stakes of the change of government are therefore no longer simply whether Hungary can once again be a democratic and free-air country, but whether it can remain a member of the European Community, which guarantees the security and prosperity of our country.

dr. István Ujhelyi
Member of the European Parliament
Budapest/Brussels – 10.12.2021.

Ujhelyi Expects Hungarian EU Commissioner to Explain Government’s Statements

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Varhelyi_OrbanDespite his request for concrete information on the truthfulness of the alleged pressure exerted by the Hungarian government in Brussels, the MSZP MEP has not received a reply to his written inquiry to EU Commissioner Olivier Várhelyi for more than two months. This was reported by István Ujhelyi at an online press conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

In a video broadcast on his social media website, the socialist politician said, among other things, that Fidesz was making statements and wanting to hold a referendum on issues that had nothing to do with reality.

Ujhelyi recalled that according to government statements, the European Union institutions were punishing the Hungarian government for resisting “Brussels'” efforts to allow LGBTQ activists into Hungarian schools and kindergartens to promote, among other things, sex-change operations to children. According to István Ujhelyi, this is utter nonsense, yet, he added, many people believe “this nonsense” because they are ignorant of the reality of the government’s claims.

The MSZP MEP added that he had written to EU Commissioner Olivier Várhelyi in September to seek clarification of the matter and to inform the Hungarian public. In his letter now made public, Ujhelyi pointed out that Várhelyi’s EU mandate letter also clearly states that the European Commission “operates on the principle of collegiality”, i.e. all Commission decisions are taken jointly and represented jointly. Accordingly, the MSZP MEP pointed out, the Hungarian government’s delegate, Oliver Várhelyi, should also have precise and clear information on this issue.

Among other things, Ujhelyi expects the Hungarian commissioner to answer the question whether, as a Hungarian member of the European Commission, he is aware that the EU body has put Hungary at a disadvantage because, as Fidesz claims, it disagrees with the current Hungarian government’s position on the refugee issue and, more specifically, because the Orbán government does not allow LGBTQ activists into Hungarian kindergartens. Ujhelyi said he would like Várhelyi to confirm whether as a Hungarian member of the European Commission he had supported the negative decisions taken against Hungary because of this issue, and if the Hungarian government’s statements on this issue are, in fact, not true, whether he has indicated to the Orbán government that they were knowingly or mistakenly spreading false information about the European Commission and European processes, thus misleading the Hungarian electorate.

“Unfortunately, Commissioner Várhelyi has not been able to answer these questions for two months now. (…) No one has ever been able to build cooperation on lies, while that is exactly what we need with the EU institutions and the other Member States,” István Ujhelyi added in his online press conference.

Brussels/Budapest – 08.12.2021.

 

They Keep Bowing Towards East, But Flee West

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gyerehazaIt’s the second Sunday of Advent, and hopefully more and more families will be gathering to celebrate the holidays together cosily. Unfortunately, I also know of families in my own environment who cannot be together even at this time of year: some families have been torn apart by government hate politics, others have their young living abroad and are less able to travel home for financial reasons or because of epidemic restrictions. Emigration remains one of Hungary’s greatest tragedies of our time, a new-generation Trianon, which the Fidesz government has treated with its usual arrogance, obnoxiousness and one-upmanship over the past ten years. It is worth remembering when, a few years ago, hundreds of millions were spent on the “Come home, youth!” state campaign but it was cancelled after a while because only a hundred young people managed to come home with that amount of money, including one who was offered a temporary job in the state company that organized the programme itself. And the gravity of the matter is apparently also felt in Fidesz, as even the decreasingly sane László Kövér recently said at forum held in the countryside that 25 million workers have left Central-East Europe for the West in the last 30 years, costing the countries concerned at least a thousand billion euros, and that ‘the retention capacity of the motherland must be increased’. My message to Mr Kövér is that he could start by not promptly declaring those who do not blindly follow Fideszt to be traitors. After all, many people are leaving the country now because they find it simply unliveable: and not just because of the livelihood crises but because of that moldy, stale-air, hate-fuelled social climate that the NER elite has deliberately imposed on our country. “The ‘retention power’ of the motherland would be greatly enhanced if lunatics like Kövér were to retire.

I have been drawing attention to the dangers and serious impacts of emigration for a very long time now: I have repeatedly called on the government to take substantive action on the issue, but despite the fact that I have put the ‘Welcome Home Programme’ on the table, the government has of course continued to reject it with an arrogant, shoulder shrugging refusal.

Yet the problem is still serious, despite the efforts of the NER-celebrities and pocket analysts to pass off the changing trends and occasional positive elements as a long-lasting result. As MSZP co-president Bertalan Tóth pointed out: according to this year’s Závecz Research survey, one in five (!) young Hungarians are planning to move abroad. This is a real tragedy, especially if we add that in recent years around 100,000 Hungarian children have been born abroad, and there have been years when more Hungarian children were born in the UK, for example, than in the whole of Vas County in the same year.

In 2012, Viktor Orbán said that if they were given another four years in the next elections, “in six years’ time, we will have a country where everyone will want to come home.” In reality, all Viktor Orbán and his mafia team have managed to achieve with the mandate they have been given is that even his own daughter and son-in-law have moved to Spain. It is true though that according to the latest Government Info, they allegedly left the country only because “in the six months before the elections, part of the family must have thought it would be easier if they were not in Hungary.” I would just like to add quietly that it will not be easier for them after the elections either, because for every single stolen and embezzled public money-forint, we will be holding everyone accountable, including Orbán’s relatives. No exceptions, no escape.

As for Fidesz’s attitude and the endless hypocrisy behind the national veneer: while they are forging relations with the Kipchaks, bowing and scraping at the eastern ends and frothing on western democracies, they are educating their children in enlightened and prosperous western democracies, as a rule. Interestingly, we do not hear of any Fidesz leader sending his children to, say, Kazakhstan, or Turkmenistan, that gives us our Kipchak tribal leaders, or, say, Moscow, to lay the foundations for their future. The real attitude and callous pettiness of the NER, by the way, is best illustrated by the recent slip of the tongue of Tamás Lánczi, government political scientist and online director of the state-owned public media MTVA, who once was an honourable man. He argued in favour of the “definite advantages” of leaving the European Union, saying that Hungarian young people would then at least not be able to take jobs in Western Europe. Oh dear. Many times you really don’t know whether this is a sign of total madness in Fidesz and its servile court, or whether they really have no idea what is happening in the world.

After the Hungarian Prime Minister’s landmark speech in Tusványos in 2014, proclaiming the illiberal state, I vowed that as an MEP I would write an open letter every week to warn the public of the regime’s crimes. For the three hundred and twenty-seventh time, I am ringing the bells of alarm, because it seems necessary. And because, as a radical European democrat, it is my duty to do so.

István Ujhelyi

Member of the European Parliament

05.12.2021.

MEP Ujhelyi invited to take on special tourism industry related role

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ADZ_20211126_0143-2_focuspointscale_w2204_h1088_fx0_fy0Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi, an esteemed politician in the sector, has been officially asked to be Chief Adviser to the world’s most important network of tourism and gastronomy education institutions. This was announced on Monday evening at the World Travel Market travel industry expo in London. The Swiss Education Group (SEG) that asked the Hungarian politician to be its chief adviser, operates 4 independent higher education institutions on 6 different campuses, all of which (Swiss Hotel Management School, César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, Hotel Institute Montreux, and Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland) are among the top 10 colleges of the QS World Ranking. These institutions have more than 6,000 students from over 100 countries, including Hungary.

“I have been working for the development the tourism industry for 15 years now. I have served as Chair of the National Tourism Commission, as Ambassador Extraordinary to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament, as well. I am committed to supporting a sector that provides jobs for 25 million people in Europe and at least 500,000 in Hungary,” said István Ujhelyi in response to his appointment as Chief Advisor. The European politician added that the pandemic made everyone realize how vulnerable and exposed all players in the service sector are, from the largest enterprises through small, family-run businesses. “I have long advocated that one of the most important tasks ahead of us is to modernize the underlying vocational training systems; to find, educate and prepare the next generation. From vocational schools through prestigious universities, everyone is working to ensure that there is enough high quality human capacity in the industry. The invitation I received came from the top of this realm of education and I was happy to take on the challenge of helping to develop new programmes, train the experts to lead the future of sustainable and ‘smart’ tourism, and take part in talent management,” Ujhelyi said.

The MSZP MEP said he hoped that many young people from Hungary will also get the chance to attend the famous workshops, for which scholarship programmes and sponsor companies are being sought. “Unfortunately, for many in Hungary today it is still a dream to enter the labour market with an SEG diploma,” said István Ujhelyi, whose appointment as chief adviser is for an indefinite period. “This role in shaping the future is not only compatible with my political involvement, but an enhancement,” the MEP added.

Brussels/Budapest – 2/11/2021