About a misuse of the media in the service of the challenged “Political Class”.
The international press and the TV stations that serve the world are full of news that pillory an otherwise neglected Hungary. These reports bemoan that country’s new 2012 constitution. The charge is that this legislation creates a dictatorship. It is alleged to empower permanently a two-third majority that is the product of a free election.
The accusations emphasize only a few themes. One is the lowering of the retirement age of Supreme Court judges. The second issue is the fusion of the directorate of the National Bank and of the organ, which controls financial institutions. Third, the document holds that life begins at conception. Fourth is that, marriage involves a male and a female partner. Fifth, the size of the national debt and the budget’s deficit are capped and a flat tax is imposed. In sixth place is the preamble of the fundamental law that causes most of the indignation.
There is outrage due to the non-PC nature of the legislation, and opposition to some formulations that are judged as improper is formulated. Encouraged by Hungary’s leftist opposition, the EU is contemplating action against Hungary. The investigation and the pre-programmed finding might lead to the suspension of Hungary’s membership in the EU. That conforms to the demand of the Socialists, the Greens and the left-Liberals. Their sister parties happen to be the losers of the elections in Hungary and find that the new constitution impairs their privileges.
Indeed, some provisions are not necessarily suitable to be incuded in a constitution. Furthermore, a reasonable person can also criticize some provision that make sense by other standards. Nevertheless, some “concerns” are exaggerated. An example is the case of Mr. A. Simor who is the Socialist-appointed head of the National Bank. Mr. Simor will keep his job, but the NB that makes monetary policy and the institution that supervised commercial banks will be merged. Not without reason.
Part of the country’s historical inheritance is too much bureaucracy, too many officials, too many offices. The job Mr. Simor holds will disappear in its current form. The case is used to loudly deny Hungary credit guarantees and to justify other sanctions. Ironically, the payments owed are to service a debt caused by the politically motivated and financially careless extension of credit. With it, the Socialists covered the costs of palliative payments to their clientele. The denial of stand-by guarantees reduce the credit worthiness of the country whose government wishes to finance itself from the market and not through international givers. The refusal depresses the value of the Forint and makes hard-currency obligations more expensive. The intention is, of course, economic “check mate”. That would be followed by “imposing” a new government.
Lastly, to that “Fascistic” preamble that is used to raise the charge of authoritarian and chauvinistic rule by reactionary revisionists. The text is slightly edited and is presented so that the reader can render his own judgment. Occasionally, explanations are added in parentheses.
God, Bless the Hungarians!
(This is the opening phrase of a very old anthem that even the Communists have used.)
We, the members of the Hungarian nation, bearing responsibility for all Hungarians, declare:
We are proud that our King St. Stephen has, a thousand years ago, placed our country on a firm fundament and that he has made our nation (through his conversion) a part of (Western) Christian Europe.
We are proud of the survival of our country, of its freedom and our ancestors that struggled for her independence. (For long, the Hungarians were called “the rebel nation”.)
We are proud of the outstanding intellectual achievements of Hungarian individuals (such as 14 Nobel prizes).
We are proud that our people have fought to defend Europe (from the Mongols and the Turks) and that it has, through its talent and diligence, contributed to our shared (European) values.
We acknowledge the nation-preserving role of Christianity. We also appreciate the various religious traditions represented in our country. We promise to preserve the spiritual and intellectual unity of our nation that has been torn apart by the storms of the past century. The ethnic groups that live with us are part of the Hungarian political community and are therefore nation-forming factors here.
We accept the obligation to protect and enhance our inheritance, our unique language (Magyar is not an Indo-European language) Hungarian culture, the language and culture of Hungary’s national minorities as well as the nature-given and man-made treasures of the Carpathian Basin. We have a responsibility to our descendants. For that reason, we maintain the conditions of existence of the generations that will be following us through the careful use of our spiritual and natural resources.
We hold that our national culture amounts to a rich contribution to a multi-faceted European unity.
We affirm our respect for the liberty and culture of other peoples and wish therefore to cooperate with all other nations.
We affirm that the foundation of human existence is respect for the dignity of man.
We affirm that personal freedom can only be secured in cooperation with others.
We affirm that the decisive framework of community is the family, and the nation, and that the fundamental values of our sense of community are loyalty, faith, and love.
We affirm that the foundation of the community’s strength and of the honor of every individual is labor and the achievements of the human mind.
We affirm the obligation to extend help to those in need.
We affirm that the common goal of the state and the citizenry is the good life, security, order, justice and the unfolding of liberty.
We affirm that people’s sovereignty is present only where the state serves its citizens and when it handles their affairs without prejudice, abuse and with fairness.
We pledge to honor the achievements of our historic constitution (1222) and the Holy Crown that articulates the continuity of Hungary’s state system and the nation’s unity.
We do not recognize the conditions created by the suspension of our historical constitutional order by foreign occupations. We deny the applicability of a statute of limitations in the case of the inhuman crimes committed against the Hungarian nation and its citizens during the National Socialist and Communist dictatorships. (This provision is likely to be the Left’s main reason to resent the document.)
We do not recognize the Communist constitution of 1949 because it has served as a foundation of tyrannical rule. For this reason that legislation is hereby invalid.
We agree with the first free national assembly (after the formal abandonment of Socialism in 1989) that has proclaimed that the new freedom issues from our 1956 revolution.
We choose to regard the restoration of the self-determination our homeland that had been lost on March 19, 1944 to have been restored on May 2, 1990 with the first freely elected popular assembly. (The date in 1944 refers to the occupation by Germany.) We consider this date to mark the beginning of our country’s new democratic order and of its constitutional democracy.
We avow that a spiritual renewal has become indispensable since the last century’s developments had undermined moral values.
We have faith in a mutually determined future. We believe that our children and grandchildren, through their perseverance and spiritual strength, shall make Hungary great again.
Our Fundamental Law is the foundation of our legal order. As such, it is a contract among the Hungarians of the past, the present, and the future. It constitutes a living framework that expresses the nation’s will and it determines the shape of the system within which it wishes to live.
We, the citizens of Hungary, are prepared to base the public order of our country upon the cooperation and consent of our nation.
The independent evaluation of the foregoing should suffice to let the reader render his own judgment in the case “Hungary vs. EU”. This being the case, an evaluative conclusion, even if it is tempting, should be avoided. Therefore this piece of writing can end with the observation that, whatever the opinion created, there is something seriously wrong with one of the contending parties of the dispute.