Prime Minister, will you also discuss this with the German Chancellor?

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Képernyőfotó 2022-10-09 - 19.37.56The Prime Minister of Fidesz will hold talks in Berlin tomorrow, during an official meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, according to a government announcement, on European, bilateral, economic and international issues, with a focus on the reaction to Russian aggression and “recent developments in this context”. Orbán will, of course, arrive in Berlin in ‘flip-flops’ and do his usual show, while at home he will present himself as a gladiator fighting for Hungarian interests in the arena. The latter is not only ridiculous, but also an infinitely boring lie.
I am sure that the bold and forthright Viktor Orbán will begin the negotiations with the same words he is using to rile up people at home: ‘Guten Tag, Olaf, we will not freeze in winter, but at least you in Europe can give birth as men, “in line with whose government arranged what, right?”” But the bold and forthright Orbán will surely bring it up to Scholz when he compared the German government’s announcement that they were bailing out their own German companies with hundreds of billions of euros to a ‘bomb’, and since Orbán admits that poorer countries are not able to do this, the Hungarian Prime Minister says it is tantamount to ‘cannibalism’ in the EU.
I would be surprised if the bold and forthright Orbán did not also lecture the German Chancellor in Berlin on the same things he is using to rile up his voters back at home, namely that he was deceived when he voted for all the sanctions so far, as they did not bring Putin to his knees, unlike Hungarian families that live on minimum wages. I don’t believe that the brave and forthright Orbán will not charge at the German Chancellor and tell him to his face what he said at a joint press conference with the Serbian Prime Minister, to the effect that “we have always defended the Germans in the crisis, and they have always shot us in the back.” Now is the time for payback, Prime Minister, now is the time!
I am also sure that Orbán will continue to pound the Berlin table in a tough and rebellious manner until he breaks Chancellor Scholz so that he too demands with him the lifting of all sanctions: including the unfreezing of Putin’s assets, the restoration of the free movement of Russian oligarchs, the reopening of Russian fake propaganda and the lifting of trade sanctions necessary for Russian armaments. I bet that the bold and forthright Viktor Orbán will not let the German Chancellor fool him again and suck him right back into the European elite. A fight for freedom, and a victorious fight for freedom that can be proclaimed in advance, that’s what’s going to happen in Berlin, so help me God!
Of course, if the Fidesz prime minister does not want to take the political battle with the German chancellor too far, he could also just quote the proud owner of the number 5 membership card of the governing party, his true friend to Olaf Scholz. So that not only the Hungarian public can benefit from Zsolt Bayer’s thoughts, but also the person they are about. If Orbán is bold and forthright enough, he will surely also confront Chancellor Scholz with the pro-government narrative that the German leadership is driven by a ‘mission to spread insanity,’ that the government is full of ‘anarchist, communist and neo-Marxist assholes,’ that the German government ‘can f..k off,’ and what the German state stood for in 2018 regarding refugees is “a bigger crime than what their great-grandparents perpetrated back then; the very people they are now using as an excuse to do what they are doing.” It would certainly be a meaningful and substantive discussion, so Mr Orbán, may you indeed display that famous Hungarian virility, and by all means, mention these to the German Chancellor, too. Let the Germans finally see clearly, too. Go for it!
But if the Prime Minister of Fidesz would finally come to his senses, and his only political innovation would no longer be constant hostility, anti-EU freedom fighting, pettifogging and sneaky business talk, as opposed to a willingness to compromise and the intelligent but uncompromising representation of Hungarian interests, then we might indeed be one step ahead. All of us.

István Ujhelyi
Member of the European Parliament
09/10/2022

UJHELYI: GOVERNMENT LIES ABOUT LETTER SENT TO EUROPEAN COMMISSION

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7KRKGZGeZEflRvIcsThis is not the first time I have caught the Fidesz government lying and, knowing them, presumably not the last, either. The current case proves once again how infinitely cynical the Orbán regime is and how it is capable of lying to the public without flinching at any time.
The Fidesz government sent a last-minute letter of response to the European Commission at the end of August regarding the so-called budgetary conditionality mechanism for EU funds owed to Hungary, in which, according to the government, it made substantive commitments regarding the EU’s objections. It is true that some of these commitments have since been reflected in the bills submitted to Parliament, but the government is still to this day in arrears in providing Hungarian voters with details of the negotiations, the European Commission’s specific expectations and meaningful information on the government’s actual commitments. Just to be clear: the Hungarian government (which, by the way, claims to consult the Hungarian people on everything – most recently even on ‘sex-changing kindergarteners’) has negotiated with the European Commission on the fate of the thousands of billions of forints due to Hungary but currently frozen without disclosing a single detail. It is quite unprecedented that the Fidesz government has made commitments to the EU that in principle also affect the lives of Hungarian people, but has not given anyone any information about them, has not asked anyone about them, and has kept the letter it sent secret in an outrageous manner.
Related to this, Minister Gergely Gulyás said earlier at the Government Info session that it was not up to the Hungarian government to make the letter public, as the European Commission, as the “addressee”, should decide on this. However, I actually applied to the Hungarian government at the beginning of September with a request for information of public interest, but the Ministry of Justice, responsible for the matter, after a month of deliberation, gave me a completely different reason for hiding the document. In a reply sent to me a few days ago, the Ministry headed by Judit Varga denied my legitimate request for access to the document on the grounds that it was a “preparatory document for a decision” and, as such, was not covered by the Act on the disclosure of data of public interest.
A government that constantly lies and even embarrassingly contradicts itself most of the time is simply discredited. Voters, allies, EU partners or even international markets and investors will not believe them. If the government is looking for reasons for the weakening of the forint, it is best to simply look in the mirror.

István Ujhelyi MEP
Founder of Chance Community
Budapest/Brussels – 2022.10.08.

UJHELYI: THERE WILL BE RULE OF LAW IN HUNGARY WHEN TEACHERS ARE FREE TO STAND UP FOR THEIR RIGHTS!

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kocakIt is extremely sad that once again the rule of law in Hungary was on the agenda of the European Parliament, as there is no other EU member state outside Hungary whose political leadership and state corruption mechanisms have been so much on the agenda of the institution, István Ujhelyi said at his press conference in Strasbourg, which was also broadcast on his social media page. The Social Democrat politician underlined that the “Hungarian debate” in the EP plenary session was basically about corruption and the government’s response to it, which the majority clearly called insufficient. Ujhelyi stressed, however, that “pains him”; that, in addition to corruption, little was said about, for example, the threatening and governmental intimidation of teachers, while the restriction of teachers; strikes and the dismissal of those who express critical opinions clearly violate the rule of law, as does the corrupt use of EU funds.
According to the politician, Hungary will only become a state based on the rule of law when the government shall not steal EU funds for healthcare, Hungarian education, local governments and the Hungarian people, and when teachers have the power to stand up for their own rights and interests. Ujhelyi added that standing up for teachers meant wearing a chequered shirt to today’s European Parliament session and to the debate on the Hungarian rule of law.
At the briefing, the Social Democrat MEP also pointed out that the exchange rate of the forint is visibly and clearly “moving together”; with the developments in the negotiations on EU funds, meaning that when it turns out that the government wants to “cheat the EU”, the Hungarian currency will immediately weaken against the euro and the dollar, which means that if an agreement on funds is finally reached, the forint will also get stronger.
In response to a question, the politician said that today he had sent a letter to the leadership of the Socialist Group in the EP informing them of his resignation from MSZP and that he would continue his work in the S&D Group, both as a member of the committee and as an MEP.

Strasbourg – 04/10/2022

UJHELYI: MEMBER STATES MUST BE PUT UNDER PRESSURE TO IMPLEMENT HEALTH UNION

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 An important item on the agenda of today's plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg is the wider implementation of the European Health Union, including a substantial extension of the EU's competence in the prevention and control of communicable diseases and the management of cross-border health risks. I have no doubt that in today's debate and tomorrow’s vote, the majority of the EP will be in favour, which means that further steps in the health reform package can be completed.
However, as one of the initiators and partial developers of the European Health Union programme, I consider it slow and insufficient that the European institutions are not exerting sufficient pressure on the Member States to minimize the differences in the quality of national public health care systems. The European Parliament has already voted in a number of resolutions on the concept of the Health Union, stating that stress tests should be carried out on Member States; care systems to identify their “white spots”; and that, after evaluating this data, a quality framework should be established which would finally guarantee adequate quality of basic healthcare in all Member States throughout the EU.
Some EU governments, including the Fidesz government, will see it as an intrusion into national sovereignty if they are obliged by EU standards to guarantee their citizens high-quality healthcare. Interestingly, while the government is opposed to the proposal to implement the criteria, Fidesz MEPs have previously voted in favour of all the parliamentary resolutions on the issue.
In my written contribution to today’s debate in Strasbourg, I strongly urged us to put pressure on Member States to fully implement the European Health Union. They must not be allowed to hide behind populist rhetoric in order to escape having to give long-term guarantees for safe and quality healthcare.

István Ujhelyi MEP
Member of the ENVI Committee
Strasbourg/Budapest – 03/10/2022

A Painful Farewell

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farewellSomething is broken beyond repair. I never thought that it would get to this. That so many wounds could be inflicted and not just on me, but certainly also on the body of my community, by a relationship falling apart. I write these lines after a long period of brooding, inner anguish and mourning.

Something is broken beyond repair. I have tried to exist as a fakir on the splinters, but I just cannot go on. After ten thousand six hundred and twenty-three days, I am saying goodbye to the Hungarian Socialist Party. I have tried to give at least as much back to this community over the past decades as I have received from it – I believe I have succeeded. I joined MSZP at the age of eighteen and it has been my second family for almost two-thirds of my life. It is to its members and voters that I owe my political career, and to the movement that I owe the experiences that will stay with us forever. I will never forget all this, how could I? It is not to them that I am saying goodbye, but the mechanisms and blinkered lack of vision of today’s MSZP.

Something is broken beyond repair. My conscience is clear, because the lack of change was not up to me. I have tried to shake up our party community on more than one occasion in recent years, and after the last shocking electoral defeat I outlined our own situation with unsparing honesty and undertook the risky but, I still maintain, only chance of revival built on Gyula Horn’s pillars. Was I wrong to hold up a mirror to ourselves with blunt honesty? Perhaps. But I did so not to the detriment of our social worker supporters or membership, but to the interests of our professional leaders. My proposals were driven by my usual heightened emotions, an unswerving adherence to our values and a fear of the quiet disintegration of the rest of our community. But in the end, I had to admit and accept that, for the umpteenth time, I could not break through the wall of petrification. Instead, I incurred the intriguing anger of some, which slowly suffocated the clear air around me. I know that many people, such as our successful municipal leaders, feel the same way.

Something is broken beyond repair. To those who are disappointed in me now, I offer my hand of friendship asking for their forgiveness and understanding. We have a long life to bear personal grudges. Our common struggle for a free, democratic, European Hungary still awaits us as a team. And in order to represent social democracy and to revitalize its social power, it may well be that our paths, which are now diverging, will cross again in a common movement. Our historic challenge is to ensure the well-being of Hungarian people, to represent our fellow citizens who can barely survive on their own earnings or pensions, to raise the health and education sectors from the left, and to modernize Hungary along the lines of European values. This has not changed, and neither have I.

Something is broken beyond repair, but that does not mean that I am giving up the fight. I am a politician. I have goals, plans, faith and strength to shape the destiny of our common country. The NER (Orbán’s so-called “National Cooperation system”) is not eternal; it will not remain forever leeching off the nation’s neck. I will continue my work in the European Parliament, recognized by prestigious institutions with awards, and I will continue to relentlessly represent the interests of the Hungarian social democratic electorate, but now without being a member of the Socialist Party. I know that my current decision may even mean that I will no longer have the opportunity to serve in this capacity in the next term of the European Parliament, but until then, everyone can expect the same activism and militant work from me that they are used to. By letting go off my party membership, I will continue to build the civil network of the Chance Hungarian Social Democratic Community, and I will continue my fight for Hungarian interests in Europe and for European values in Hungary.

Something is broken beyond repair. The results of my professional work in Europe and the struggle against the NER will provide the bandage for my psychological wounds. Breaking with my beloved community that was a family to me is painful, but it has to be done. I will leave no thorns, open no new wounds, I will not shoot back, just close this period. Until we meet again, my fellow members!

This is an extraordinary Sunday MEP open letter. It’s the only one of its kind. As I have done every week since 2014, I will continue to ring the bells of alarm. Because it is necessary.

István Ujhelyi MEP
S&D Group
Brussels/Budapest – 02/10/2022