||Re: That peaceful, queasy feelin' (mind)
|| 22 sor
||This bloody media... (mind)
|| 63 sor
||Brilliant idea (mind)
|| 12 sor
||Hungarian foreign policy? (mind)
|| 32 sor
||Re: Brilliant idea (mind)
|| 31 sor
||Re: Brilliant idea (mind)
|| 16 sor
||BOMB DAMAGES HISTORIC BUDAPEST CHURCH (mind)
|| 25 sor
||Horn and democracy (mind)
|| 23 sor
||Free sample of international business newsletter (mind)
|| 20 sor
||Re: Horn and Bekesi (mind)
|| 19 sor
||Re: Unicuralism (mind)
|| 54 sor
||Re: Horn and democracy (mind)
|| 11 sor
||Racism. Re: (Unicuralism) (mind)
|| 30 sor
||Re: Horn and Bekesi (mind)
|| 12 sor
||Re: Unicuralism (mind)
|| 15 sor
||Cashing In (mind)
|| 41 sor
||Re: Hungarian foreign policy? (mind)
|| 67 sor
|+ - ||Re: That peaceful, queasy feelin' (mind)
> Thanks for the timely analysis. It shows that Hungary would be better off
> either without any government-run media or, say, at most something like the
> BBC (gov't-supported), or PBS (a non-profit), in addition to more private
> stations. The more media sources, the better, IMHO.
I'd also like to see a BBC-like arrangement, but short of a
comprehensive Media Law I don't see how government supervision could be
avoided. Especially since they are also publically funded. Not to
mention the fact that the collection of Radio/TV fees is also enforced
by the government. (Those fees, BTW, could become a hot issue with
proliferation of private broadcasters.)
> BTW, I wouldn't compare Hungarian TV & radio to the USIA. apples & Oranges.
Well, since USIA is the closest thing to a government agency here that
is in charge of broadcasting (though for foreign audiences), that's why I
used it. ABC, NBC, etc. after all are private companies. So they cannot
be compared with, either.
|+ - ||This bloody media... (mind)
I have been bored too long with the media subject, blown out of all imaginable
proportions. It is seldom that I comment Hungarian internal policy issues,
partly because I feel little moral rights to be involved, after living abroad
for so many years. This time it is an exception. So, let me bore you, for a
change, with the followings:
1. If the state owned or state controlled media units each shall have a single
person at their top, it is inevitable that the men might have political
colours too, and this fact must be accepted. This is not a typical media
problem but a general one. There are other positions, e.g. the head of
state, the top figure of the National Bank, etc, where a single person is
in the chair, instead of a carefully balanced committee. However, the
media is the most visible and every layman has the illusion of being an
expert in that.
2. Since political colour can not be avoided anyway, it is cardinally
important that the top figures of the media are selected from
professionally competent people. This is, of course, true for any job in
any organisation, so the entire statement is redundant. Unfortunately, the
above principle - applied to the media - has not been observed by the past
government and thus it caused a great deal of damage.
3. The problem with the now dismissed media controllers, as I understand, has
been twofold: They were professionally incompetent and they abused their
administrative power to achieve political goals.
4. True, that a single person at the top is the most efficient form of leading
the day-to-day operations. There must be, however, a) a charter to lay
down the basic principles of that operation and b) a committee to verify
that the single leader stick to the rules. The prime minister (however
political he might be) as "first servant" can not ignore the constitution
and if he would, there are committees enough to bring him back to the line.
Does Hungary have these sets of rules (for the TV, Radio, Nat Bank, etc) that
govern good behaviour? I hope, she does. These are there in other countries,
as Marc pointed out, e.g. at the BBC. The president of the BBC (or whatever
title he bears) is probably a Conservative, still Labour does not complain
about partiality, because there is a carefully observed political balance - as
far as they can make it and as far as I can sense it - in the BBC's programs.
The balance is there in the Dutch and Danish "state-controlled" TV and radio
chanels and I assume the other countries' media is similar but I don't watch
sufficient French, German and Belgian TV programs for being autentic on those.
What Hungary needs is hard working talented professionals on one side and
political, ethical, moral, etc watchdogs on the other, who will keep the
leaders on the right track, according to the codex of good behaviour. There
is nothing wrong with a strong political statement, if there is room and
opportunity enough for the opposing view too. Dilettants too, should be
allowed to perform (or have a slot for their columns), if there is a chance to
criticise them at the same platform. Privately financed media can, of course,
do as it will (almost!).
I guess - well, I just hope - the new media bosses are professionally competent
people (if not, they are the wrong guys to the job at the first place). Nobody
should pay attention to their political colour (religion, sexual preference, or
whatever else), these are their private matters. But we should re-read and, if
necessary, amend the rules that govern the governors. Watchdogs we have enough
at the free press. And it is absolutely immaterial whether Horn spent a week
or just a minute to appoint these men, nor if there were agreement between the
coalition parties, BECAUSE THESE JOBS ARE NOT POLITICAL. Neither in Hungary,
nor in other civilised countries. We should stop pretending that they are!
|+ - ||Brilliant idea (mind)
> Before you make deep conclusions from the existence of email aliases to
>Clinton & Gore, it should be noted that as far as anyone knows they don't
>read it either; and whomever do they do not answer electronically, only
>send snail-mail - a form letter perhaps...
First, I know all the above but I also know that there are people hired
(maybe not quite enough and therefore the process is slow) to read and answer
them. Judit Juhasz didn't read them herself, and didn't hire anyone to read
them. Second, the population of Hungary is just over 10 million--like New
York City. I think it would be a little easier to read the e-mail there. I
wonder what compels you to defend everything the Hungarians do. Eva Balogh
|+ - ||Hungarian foreign policy? (mind)
The following exchange took place between Zoli and myself:
>> We all get the same news from Hungary via
>> Internet and the quotation Zoli picked contained the phrase, "he [meaning
>> Horn] would work toward an affirmative vote on both issues [association
>> the European Union and NATO]." I read this passage myself but I didn't
>> it terribly seriously in the light of Horn's earlier admission that "he
>> himself has doubts about Hungarian association with NATO."
> Oh well, so you histo-scientifically chose the report that omitted the
>crucial point of his support over the one that clearly showed his
But the problem is, Zoli, that these reports don't cover the same utterances.
They are reportig on different statements at different times by Horn, pretty
much in the order I quoted them. The one you quoted was the last one on the
subject. Considering that all the foreign ambassadors in Budapest
"misunderstood" his first speech in Innsbruck, sometime in the middle of
June, is already suspicious. Then, he goes to parliament (on July 8?) to
announce the formation of his government and the program of that government,
including the government's foreign policy. And finally, there is the
statement "at a 15 July international press conference" (the one you quoted)
where he was talking about going to Trieste to a meeting on July 16. So, it
is not, as you claim, that you picked a version which is fuller, while I am
so mean spirited when it comes to the Horn government that I pick the version
which is the least favorable to Horn. Sorry, you still pick and choose as it
suits you. Eva Balogh
|+ - ||Re: Brilliant idea (mind)
> > Before you make deep conclusions from the existence of email aliases to
> >Clinton & Gore, it should be noted that as far as anyone knows they don't
> >read it either; and whomever do they do not answer electronically, only
> >send snail-mail - a form letter perhaps...
> First, I know all the above but I also know that there are people hired
> (maybe not quite enough and therefore the process is slow) to read and answer
> them. Judit Juhasz didn't read them herself, and didn't hire anyone to read
> them. Second, the population of Hungary is just over 10 million--like New
> York City. I think it would be a little easier to read the e-mail there. I
> wonder what compels you to defend everything the Hungarians do. Eva Balogh
Nothing does compel me and I am not defending ;-) - as a matter of fact
I found it is unacceptable to publish the spokeswoman's address and then
leave her email unanswered (although I also think that serving 10M+
potential correspondents is not so easy as your 'just like NYC' remark
would indicate - I have yet to hear of the mayor or his staff to handle
his public email, but that was not my point here). My remark was meant to
be a mere technical aside pointing out that "you can email Clinton" is
largely mythical. The address did not even connect to the White House,
it's only a mailbox on some big commercial carrier (maybe AOL?!),
even though they have their own email. From what I heard the staffers
assigned to handle it do not regularly answer (and it appears the
process is designed to be slow otherwise they'd use electronic rather than
paper mail) only make some summary for those higher up in the line - a
daily '% yes/no' sheet reportedly reaches Clinton's desk (where it's fate is
|+ - ||Re: Brilliant idea (mind)
As luck would have it, the very next email I got after the Hungary
piece just replied to was from the "Bits N Bytes Distribution List
>", with the following passage:
>CEOs and other VIPs are suffering from e-mail overload, and some are
>requesting to be contacted by more conventional methods, because they
>no longer attempt to handle their e-mail backlog. "E-mail is a powerful
>tool to promote communication and flatten hierarchies. But what nobody
>wants to admit is that people in an organization have different amounts
>of power and status. And that those who are better off want to restore
>a degree of isolation," says Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Langdon
Appearently this applies to the country's chief executive who's the Most
VIP after all. But it would be nice if our smaller nation would have
more accessible PM, of course :-)...
|+ - ||BOMB DAMAGES HISTORIC BUDAPEST CHURCH (mind)
If you have any info about the latest bomb attack in Budapest, please
BOMB DAMAGES HISTORIC BUDAPEST CHURCH. Early morning on 23 July a
bomb exploded at the Matthias church, one of Budapest's most
treasured landmarks, MTI and Western news agencies report. No one
was hurt but the blast destroyed a back door of the church, part
of the steps leading down to the crypt, and valuable stained glass
windows. The Matthias church dates back to the thirteenth century,
and served as a coronation site for Hungary's monarchs over the
centuries. Damage to the building is estimated at around 30-35
million forints. Authorities posted a three million forint reward
for information on those responsible for the bombing. The
explosion was the third bomb attack on an historic building in
Hungary in less than two months. Police said that they cannot rule
out a possible connection between the Matthias church blast and
the other two bombings. Interior Minister Gabor Kuncze was quoted
by MTI as saying that "there are certain signs which point to
|+ - ||Horn and democracy (mind)
Gabor Fencsik writes in connection with the events at the Radio and TV:
>Why could he not allow the
>six-party consultations go on for a few weeks? Who knows, they might
>even have come to an agreement. Negotiations have their own logic, and
>the opposition may actually have settled for a mutually acceptable set
>of candidates. If that was not possible, Horn could still have allowed
>the negotiations to fail, and paint the opposition as a bunch of
>obstructionists. Or he could have arranged a walk-out by the opposition
>and show the entire world he was bending over backwards to be
>accommodating. Then, he could have named his guys anyway. The fact
>that he did not even bother to go through the motions is what I find
>alarming. It shows the man has little patience for democratic niceties.
>Very bad sign.
Democratic impulses in Hungary have not been terribly strong historically and
the last forty years made them practically nonexistent. One needs schooling
in democratic principles which for somebody not immersed in it may find
baffling at first. I found that many of my Hungarian acquaintances didn't
have much idea about the principles of democracy as practiced, for example,
in the United States. If this is true about the population as a whole, it is
even more so with the former ruling elite, from whose ranks, after all, Horn
comes from. Eva Balogh
|+ - ||Free sample of international business newsletter (mind)
Recommendation: WORLDWIDE BUSINESS PRACTICES REPORT - an excellent
source of information on international business practices, customs, negotiating
marketing strategies, safety and travel tips. All kinds of information on just
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Latin American and the Pacific Rim.
For a FREE sample, and gives an Internet address:
Send a message to:
In the body of the message specify: WORLDWIDE BUSINESS
PRACTICES REPORT FREE SAMPLE NUMBER 19, your name and a mailing address.
|+ - ||Re: Horn and Bekesi (mind)
On Sun, 24 Jul 1994 wrote:
> Attila wrote:
> .Laszlo Bekes, the Hungarian Finance Minister announced that Hungary will
> >NOT reschedule the debt.
> >More moves like that and I convert.
> Yes, this is what I mean about grand confusion. Members of the cabinet
> contradicting each other. It does look bad--I think, it's bad. Eva Balogh
I got the info directly from the Hungarian Foreign Ministry as a
P.S. Calling the Minister Bekes instead of Bekesi is my mistake.
|+ - ||Re: Unicuralism (mind)
> But surely it is not obvious how it will cause problem, or else my
>repeated basic questions on this wouldn't have gone unanswered ;-(. Since
>you are, just like Paul, referring to some trends, let's look at a
>numerical example. Let's assume that the immigration rate is going to be
>sustained at a level of say 1% in every 5yrs; to round out the doomsday
>scenario (and simplify the 'rithmetic) let's also assume a negative
>growth for the home-bred Hungarian stock of -1%/5yrs. Then 100 yrs down
>the line in the worst case we'll have about 8 million
>'real-biological-cultural' Hungarians and 2 million presumably
>unassimilated 'alien elements'. Where exactly the alleged threat to our
>culture is coming from, and what is getting lost?
Dear Zoli. I agree 100% percent with your above statement. I do not beleive tha
at this moment Hungary has serious problem with emigration. I did not express
> Surely 1/10% or 1% group of new immigrants, does not cause a serious
> problem. But but it is also obvious, that at a certain point, it will cause
The above statement meant: Surely 1/10% or 1% or 2% etc. does not cause problem
There will be a problem at a certain level.
I also did not refer to current trends in Hungary, since as we are relative
most people will tend to move to the richer countries. As for the chinese, I
their dilligence, and family cohesion, characteristics which will help us.
My remarks come from impressions I gather from USA, Canada etc. and they refer
the Hungary of the future, when I am sure, we will have more problems. Since I
believe, that when the economic conditions will improve, there will be a very
pressure from third world contries, who will have overpopulations, and want to
to less populated area. Here as a human being, I am selfish. But I feel, and no
catholic from me, that every nation is responsible for their population density
though not for drought and some unexpected natural disaster. Therefore when
at immigration, one should always look at the well being of ones own people
in the short and long range, and then help much as practical.
P.S. I feel, that what makes us hungarian, is our language, the love of our
forefathers (Petofi, Szechenyi, etc) and the sharing of love and sorrow betwee
Except for the language and some of our music, there no great significant
difference between us Center Europeans.
|+ - ||Re: Horn and democracy (mind)
Eva Balogh writes:
> Democratic impulses in Hungary have not been terribly strong historically and
> the last forty years made them practically nonexistent.
Yet, at the same time, they insist they know better and resent the
advise of those of us who have gone through that schooling in democracy
in the West. So it's pretty hopeless perspective. At least for the
current generation, anyway.
|+ - ||Racism. Re: (Unicuralism) (mind)
>Racism seems to appear with mass unemployment (e.g. UK, Germany)
>the classic lets blaim the victim and not the system. Eva Durant
I agree with you. The problem is that the human race is full of faults, and
beings seem to improve only when they are well off. As for the system, there is
system which makes everybody happy all the time. There will be always racism an
in some man's heart when things become worse. And since the there will be more
fighting for the same goods, it only will get worse. I feel that therefore a
homogenous group is better off during hard times, then a mixed group, just
the fault in human nature.
Ps: True captalism is heartless, socialism is not built on human nature. In its
pure form neither is good, both are static. (On paper socialism looks better).
The optimum system is in between, dynamic, and should be changed according to
external circumstances. Since the correct control is usually not known,
the system very often is in fault.
P.S. I hope I am wrong and you are right.
|+ - ||Re: Horn and Bekesi (mind)
>>Laszlo Bekes, the Hungarian Finance Minister announced that Hungary will
>>NOT reschedule the debt.
>Yes, this is what I mean about grand confusion. Members of the cabinet
>contradicting each other.
But NOT rescheduling the debt was what they've been saying all along.
Contradiction arose only with those reports that interpreted as request
for general debt relief when Horn asked about *specifically* the debt in
relation with the former East Germany (which, I'm guessing, is a special
case due to its overnight change from soft to hard currency zone).
|+ - ||Re: Unicuralism (mind)
>P.S. I feel, that what makes us hungarian, is our language, the love of our
>forefathers (Petofi, Szechenyi, etc) and the sharing of love and sorrow
>Except for the language and some of our music, there no great significant
> difference between us Center Europeans.
--Pardon me for butting in. Your music is wonderful, but don't forget
that your food and wine is wonderful, too. And the Hungarian soul is
unique. I think that there is something magic about being Hungarian.
Even your arguments are wonderful! It should be a matter of some
pride to have Hungarian roots.
Charles Atherton, non-Hungarian!
|+ - ||Cashing In (mind)
Andras Kornai suggest that the aggressive moves of the Horn government's
first days are like the actions of the short-term profit takers on Wall
Street, quickly cashing in while the going is good. On Wall Street,
the short-term profit-takers sometimes find that they have sold short
after all. Similarly Horn, and the people surrounding him, may find that
the long-term cost of these quick power grabs may outweigh the any short-
term advantages. The costs may be intangible (a general souring of
the political mood, spreading distrust and cynicism), but they are real
costs nevertheless, making governing much more difficult in the long run.
All may not be lost. If the press and the public are sufficiently upset
about these shenanigans, then the overall effect of the episode may be
sobering to Horn and his advisors. There are some signs pointing in
this direction. There is a convoluted story making the rounds, which
says Horn did not really intend to go ahead with the appointment of the
new heads of the state radio and television. Supposedly, he signed the
papers, just to play safe, before leaving on a trip. He left the papers
in the hands of his staff with instructions to hold on to them. In this
version of the facts, the announcement of the new appointments was a
mistake by Horn's staff. The story sounds fishy, but it is a sign that
someone is trying to backpedal very fast. Blaming mistakes on the staff,
like blaming the press for "quoting out of context", is one of the oldest
tricks in the book for a politician trying to wriggle out of a tight spot.
>From the standpoint of impeccable democratic procedure, what Horn should
have done is to announce a timetable for the adoption of a Media Law
(90 days sounds about right), and appoint acting heads of the state radio
and TV for a provisional 90-day term. This would have concentrated
the opposition's mind on questions of principle, instead of the old
question of personalities.
The fate of Mr. Bod, the central bank chairman, may show whether Horn's
action was a fluke, or part of a trend. A few weeks ago there were some
confident noises from the Socialist headquarters about rigging the law
in such a way as to force Mr. Bod's retirement two years before the
expiration of his term. Talk about this seems to have subsided for now.
That could be a signal that Horn may be a bit more careful next time.
|+ - ||Re: Hungarian foreign policy? (mind)
Let me try to elaborate on this a bit more, risking that it becomes Yet
Another Thread from Hell ;-). I think you are forcing your interpretation
of a Horn about-face on the VoA piece, which rather summarily relayed the
news of planning a referendum; this was actually a rather old idea and in
no way implicates your assertion Horn's would be "a foreign policy
> But the problem is, Zoli, that these reports don't cover the same utterances.
> They are reportig on different statements at different times by Horn, pretty
> much in the order I quoted them. The one you quoted was the last one on the
But as I said, VoA not so much covered Horn's utterance itself, rather
offered a half-sentence evaluation by them of what he was saying. And it
shows right in the next sentence that the doubts are related to "many
Hungarians", not Horn himself! Your interpretation of the VoA formulation
rests on the assumption that a referendum would mean questioning rather
than confirming the move toward NATO.
>>>Text: Just hours after taking up his post, Mr. Horn offered a broad look a
>>>Hungarian foreign policy, saying that he himself has doubts about Hungarian
>>>association with NATO.
>>>Mr. Horn told reporters that many Hungarians were happy when Hungary left th
>>>now dissolved Warsaw Pact, and do not want to join another military block.
>>>He said his government plans to hold a referendum on whether Hungary should
>>>seek NATO's membership."
You don't like what I quoted from later, where RFE detailed what he
meant, so let's try the same theme from earlier - a Jan. interview from
the Hospodarsky Noviny of Prague (shown in FBIS-EEU 11 Jan):
[Zizka] You proposed recently that the Hungarian parliament begin
discussing the issue of entry into NATO. At the same time, however, you
emphasize that this must be decided in a referendum.
[Horn] I suggested this because many people doubt that joining NATO would
be beneficial to our country and even consider it to be a bad move. It is
not true that there would be a nationwide consensus on this issue. I was
intent on making sure that parliament considers this issue. It does not
only depend on the people understanding what NATO membership will mean.
It is such a serious matter that it is impossible for any government to
request admission without the prior agreement of parliament. As far as a
definitive, official request for admission is concerned, in my opinion,
it has to be preceded by a referendum.
[Zizka] What is your party's view on possible entry?
[Horn] I, for example, am definitely in favor. [...] I think many people
do not realize what NATO membership actually means. It is necessary to
clarify this in parliamentary discussions and to consider the commitments
and rights arising from it.
So I just can't see any ambiguity or wavering in any reports that
actually showed what he said. You have to read an awful lot into that
tiny VoA paraphrase to conclude that he changed his mind beforehand as
well as afterward. One also has to remember that the MDF voting machine
threw out his motion from the previous parliament's agenda, so there is
one more reason for him to guidet this through as the populace's as
opposed to the parties' decision. Now the whole issue is only symbolic
anyway, since the NATO de facto rejected Central Europe (code-name
"Partnership for Peace")...