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1 Post-communist Hungarian political jokes? (mind)  17 sor     (cikkei)
2 Re: Let's discuss politics! (mind)  13 sor     (cikkei)
3 Re: Let's discuss politics! (mind)  45 sor     (cikkei)
4 The Poltics of Security and Culture? (mind)  13 sor     (cikkei)
5 Re: Let's discuss politics! (mind)  23 sor     (cikkei)
6 FILM - Washington, D.C. (mind)  15 sor     (cikkei)
7 Let's discuss politics! (mind)  31 sor     (cikkei)
8 Re: Let's discuss politics! (mind)  18 sor     (cikkei)
9 A jointly owned company. (mind)  22 sor     (cikkei)
10 From Jane's Intelligence Review (mind)  148 sor     (cikkei)
11 IBUSZ (mind)  6 sor     (cikkei)
12 Re: *** HUNGARY *** #245 (mind)  34 sor     (cikkei)
13 Re: Post-communist Hungarian political jokes? (mind)  10 sor     (cikkei)
14 CALL for votes soc.culture.RUSSIAN (mind)  91 sor     (cikkei)

+ - Post-communist Hungarian political jokes? (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Recently a number of people contributed a series of good jokes about life
in the Communist Eastern Bloc.  I'm interested in hearing more recent
jokes about life in Hungary (or the rest of the Eastern bloc) today.  I'm
particularly interested in political jokes, although if you have others
please post them.

Part of my motivation for asking this is that I'm writing a paper on
post-Communist Hungarian political humor.  If anyone has any scholarly
references that would be a help to me please let me know of them.


myk melez                                       
"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple
secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is
essential is invisible to the eye."
www page: http://www.mps.ohio-state.edu/cgi-bin/hpp/ideology.html
+ - Re: Let's discuss politics! (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

So privatization and and taking away the few benefits remaining
will pay the forein debt. It did not work in the UK in far
more advantageous circumstances. It makes more money for the top
10% to speculate with. Why are you so sure this is the only way,
I cannot fathom. It is far more beneficial and cheaper to
subsidize students than to pay uneployment money for
the uneducated.  A lot of the moneysaving schemes just does
not make sense even in the short term, and ludicros for
the future.  Will you give jobs and nurseries to the women you
don't want to have the stay-home-benefit anymore?  I agree,
it would be a much more creative and stimulating programme,
probably cheaper in the long run as well...

+ - Re: Let's discuss politics! (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Well, I also welcome the chance to find a topic more fruitful than
the change of the newsgroup name, but I'm not sure if politics fulfils that
role. Anyway, let's try!

        Eva Balogh's summary of the last year of Hungarian politics was a
comprehensive but somewhat lopsided overview. I fairly agree with her
criticism of Horn, because he hasn't even lived up to my ratter minimal
expectations as a prime minister and I never for a moment fell for the
deceptive pre-election propaganda of MSZP. On the other hand, some of the
criticism targeting the government at large should address the liberal party,
SZDSZ as well. Pro-liberals (I hope I don't offend Eva with this description
but I have been reading her numerous comments on various HIX-journals for
quite a long time to have an idea about her priorities) tend to neglect the
role of the SZDSZ in the government and blame the socialists for everything.
The question, however, arises: if all the good intentions of SZDSZ are
thwarted by the naughty socialists, why are they still in the coalition or
why have they entered it on the first place?

        If one stops to think about this question, the possible answers can
be guessed at fairly quickly. The SZDSZ (although they had to know from the
very start that their role within the coalition will be a minority one)
obviously had some clear objectives when joining MSZP and if one considers
the fact that they explicitly wanted the Ministries of Culture and the
Interior on the first place, it's not difficult to guess at them. My private
opinion is that the SZDSZ tries to achieve the following things: the control
over the police as long as possible; the complete domination of leading
Hungarian cultural institutions, which is proceeding well under the
leadership of Gabor Fodor, an exemplary "Kulturkampfer"; passing the media
law, which would shield the already existing dominant positions of pro-SZDSZ
journalists and programmakers; perhaps (if they succeed) the change of the
Constitution (absolutely unnecessary otherwise) in favour of the present

        Besides this, it should be noticed that SZDSZ snipes at the MSZP-
originated government decisions in all possible ways, which is not very fair
from a coalition partner and annoys MSZP an awful lot. The SZDSZ media agents
are already trying to distance SZDSZ from its own coalition partner to shift
all government blame on MSZP side and to prepare the way for the break the
date of which is getting closer. My private forecast is that roughly around
the half-time of the present government (that is, a year from now), SZDSZ
will flexibly dissociate itself from MSZP and disown all the muddle which the
government will have created by then in order to present himself as an
oppositional alternative in 1998.

                Charlie Pinter
+ - The Poltics of Security and Culture? (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

C Pinter predicted (sorry I can't quote, I hit the delete button too
soon) that the minority partner would leave the coalition at the half
way point.

He also indicated that they had joined to protect interests in the
media, culture in general, and in the security apparatus.  (I'm
restating, so I may have gotten it wrong--I invite correction.)

I'm curious for CP's opinion on whether the coalition better served the
nation's interests.  Would he have been happier to see the socialists
start governing alone?  Would he prefer the coalition dissolve now?

+ - Re: Let's discuss politics! (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

On Mar 7,  9:55am,  wrote:

>     Besides this, it should be noticed that SZDSZ snipes at the MSZP-
> originated government decisions in all possible ways, which is not very
> fair from a coalition partner and annoys MSZP an awful lot. The SZDSZ media
> agents are already trying to distance SZDSZ from its own coalition partner
> to shift all government blame on MSZP side and to prepare the way for the
> break the date of which is getting closer. My private forecast is that
> roughly around the half-time of the present government (that is, a year
> from now), SZDSZ will flexibly dissociate itself from MSZP and disown all
> the muddle which the government will have created by then in order to
> present himself as an oppositional alternative in 1998.

I think your forecast of an SZDSZ pullout in about a year is probably right
on target. (Horn can no doubt be counted on to inadvertantly give them the
perfect excuse) My question though, is do you think the SZDSZ leadership
planned to pull out at mid-term from the begining, or are they only now
moving in that direction as a result of the political developments of the
last few months?

Heather Olsen
+ - FILM - Washington, D.C. (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

SA'TA'NTANGO by Be'la Tarr

Hungarian filmmaker Be'la Tarr's black comedy about life after Communism.
Will be screened in four episodes (7hrs total) in the

Auditorium (lower level) of the
Hirshhorn Museum
7th Str & Independence Ave, S.W.
Washington, D.C.

On March 16,17,23,24 at 8pm

email : 
+ - Let's discuss politics! (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Greg asks:

>It seems to me that breaking the coalition is the first step to
>the government, so why not favor SZDSZ in the opposition?  Have I

Yes, of course, they would like to see the breakup of the coalition. Thinking
goes along these lines: the MSZP with 54 percent of the seats can govern alone
, and the right-wing parties would play the role of  "constructive
opposition." It seems to me that the current opposition parties can't quite
forgive the SZDSZ for joining the MSZP instead of adding to the weight of the
opposition in the hope that the MSZP ranks might split with time. Even Viktor
Orban, the head of the Fidesz, uses much more stringent language toward the
SZDSZ than toward the MSZP. In his case this attitude is somewhat understandab
le. He looks upon the MSZP as a party which wants to build "democratic
socialism," and I think he is basically right in that. On the other hand, the
SZDSZ wanted to build capitalism, not socialism. So, Orban can't quite
understand what these two parties are doing in one government. The Fidesz
dislikes the SZDSZ for abandoning the middle parties. Turning to the right,
their social program is practically identical with that of the MSZP's left
wing. They don't want to touch the welfare state, they don't want foreign
investments (cause: simple nationalism), and they are not crazy about
capitalism, they don't want extensive privatization, they don't want large lan
dholdings, especially by foreigners. To me, they seem like natural allies.
So, as I see it at the moment, the SZDSZ really can't leave the coalition
because then a left-wing-right-wing economic program might materialize which,
in their eyes, would mean bankruptcy.

Eva Balogh
+ - Re: Let's discuss politics! (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)


: To me, they [left-right] seem like natural allies. So, as I see it at
: the moment, the SZDSZ really can't leave the coalition because then a
: left-wing-right-wing economic program might materialize which, in
: their eyes, would mean bankruptcy.

But for SZDSZ the deluge, eh?  Let us assume they stay in power to
steer policy between Scylla and Charybdis (to mix metaphors awfully),
do they actually expect the voters to reward them for this?

I'm not so sure a body-politic will reward a party whose greatest
achievement was to dilute the poison and lengthen the suffering...

But, that sounds too melodramatic even for me.

+ - A jointly owned company. (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

To all who are interested:

I am thinking of an idea for some time to start acompany
with participants
from Austria,Croatia,Hungary,Romania,Slovakia,Serbia and
Ukraine and by
starting cooperation by working together in some business,
further the
future understanding between these folks.

While my speciality is in the nuclear and pollution control
field, the
possible activities of the company do not have to be
restricted to that
field. Those who are interested please let me know by
direct email. I will
try to respond to all parties, but please be forwarned that
I travel a lot
and it may be some time before everyone gets a response.
Maybe if we work
together we can get along better.
+ - From Jane's Intelligence Review (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

The respected British JANE'S INTELLIGENCE REVIEW, under the rubric
Defense Adequacy-The Hungarian Defence Forces, recently (October
1994) published an overview of Hungary's defense posture. Some excerpts

The practical implementation of Hungary's national defence policy is
based on 'the unity and structural integration of co-operation,
deterrence and defence', in this order. Hence, the troop level and
degree of readiness of the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) have to be
adequate for deterring armed aggression by rendering its outcome
hazardous to any potential aggressor. This means contemplating the
prospect of failure and also of defending the country effectively,
involving counterattacks when necessaryy, if deterrence should fail. On
the other hand, the HDF's defence potential has to be in keeping with
international agreements, such as the CFE and CFE1a treaties. The
overriding constraint is the financial factor.

The HDF's peacetime strength in 1994 is 74000 i.e. roughly 0.7 percent
of the overall population of 10.4 million inhabitants. This corresponds
to the lower end of the norm of other European countries (0.7-0.9 per
cent) and is far below the troop ceiling of 100 000 allowed under the
CFE1a agreement of July 1992. Streamlining is accompanied by efforts to
enhance the performance and to raise gradually the share of professional
soldiers. Thus, the proportion of professional and contract soldiers
for handling highly sophisticated weapons systems has been increased.
While the principles of a conscript army will be maintained, the
proportion of conscripts has declined from 59 per cent in 1989 to 52.8
per cent in 1994. The long term goal of a fully professional army has
been confirmed by Defence Minister Keleti, but seems quite remote in the
current financial situation.

Career prospects for officers and NCOs have been improved, and an Office
of Military Chaplaincy has been created. The period of officer training
has been increased from three to four years, and officers have been
encouraged to participate in training courses offered by NATO countries.
More than 200 HDF officers were sent abroad on NATO programmes in 1993.

However, motivation must be a problem in an army in which 36 percent of
the officers lived below the poverty line in mid-1994, according to a
MoD source. Because of the redeployment of units many officers had to
move, and officers' wives often cannot find employment in the new
locations. The situation has been compunded by an inflation rate of 22
per cent. With more than half of the 1994 defence budget allocated for
personnel costs, an improvement in wages remains a top priority,
according to MoD officials.

The imbalance inherited from the HDF's membership of the Warsaw Pact
membership was both geographical and structural. After the end of the
Cold War, the concentration of forces in the western and southern parts
of the country necessitated a redeployment in line with the needs of
"all-round defence'. The restructuring had to reflect a shift from an
offensive to a defensive orientation for the armed forces.

Although no country is considered an enemy according to Hungary's new
military doctrine, the absence of a directed and clearly defined threat
does not mean that the military component of security can be relegated
to history. In the absence of natural borders, the worst-case scenario
for Hungary would be a co-ordinated offensive by all neighboring

The new situation has been taken into account by the creation of four
military districts, with their headquarters at Tata, Kaposvar, Cegled
and Budapest. Each district would become a corps command in time of war.
In line with a more even distribution of forces, the 5th Istvan Bocskai
Mechanized Inf Brigade has been transferred from Mezotur to Debreczen in
the eastern part of the country. The present deployment pattern was not
to be modified before the end of the decade, but Keleti has announced
that the current number of four military districts would be reduced to
two, one to the west and one to the east of the Danube.

The Hungarian Army was the first of the former Warsaw Pact members to
introduce a corps/brigade structure. Restructuring from the former six
divisions (one tank and five motor rifle divisions) to three corps, with
five brigades each, was completed before 1989. The largest corps was the
one headquartered in Tata (now headqurters of the first Military
District) which had three tank and two motor rifle brigades.

Under the new structure, three types of brigades are deployed within the
military districts. These are: rapid reaction brigades, which are ready
within 1-2 hours; training brigades; and reserve brigades. The
rapid-reaction brigades comprise mainly professional soldiers, whereas
the conscript units of the new territorial defence organization, which
is being established at Nyiregyhaza, while another is being formed. In
peacetime, the territorial defence units will be mainly cadre units; in
war, they would be tasked with halting and attacking the enemy unit
until the arrival of the armoured and airmobile units of the
rapid-reaction forces.

The brigade-sized Danube flotilla is part of the ground forces. In war,
its duty would be to keep the Danube and Tisza rivers clear of mines and
provide support to the ground troops for river crossings.

It is also planned to restructure the paramilitary forces of the Border
Guard, with a functional separation between border policing and border
guarding or defending. So-called 'action groups' are to be specially
trained for guarding and limited border defence duties.

The air force and the air defence units are geared to an effective
'all-round defence' of Hungary's territorial integrity, including its
air space, its population and high-value targets. The two services, with
18 000 troops, comprise: three tactical air regiments; one air defence
missile brigade; one radio locating brigade; and three air defence
missile regiments.

The preponderance of often obsolete Soviet equipment is another heritage
which the HDF will have to live with for the forseeable future. Most of
the Hungarian Air Force's MiG-21s and MiG-23s are beyond regular
servicing. Plans to modernize the tank fleet by the acquisition of
former East German T-72s did not materialize because of the outbreak of
the war in Yugoslavia.

The HDF shares its former Warsaw Pact allies notorious deficiency in the
air defence sector. This has been partly addressed by the delivery of 28
MiG-29s. Reportedly, however, Budapest would have preferred mobile air
defence missile systems to complement fixed SAMs around Budapest and the
nuclear power plant at Paks near the former Yugoslav border. Under a
US$12.9 million project, the Hungarian Air Force will receive modern
American IFF system for its MiG fleet and four ground based radar

The HDF's maintenance shops are still state-owned but they have been
tranformed into nine independent shareholding companies (five technical
repair shops, one laundry, and three forestry companies). They also
perform contract work which preserves their expertise for the armed

While the share of GDP spent on defence has declined from 2.5 per cent
in 1990 to 1.7 per cent in 1994, the decline in real value has been even
more dramatic. In real terms, Hungary's defence expenditures in 1994
were only about half the outlays of 1989. Just over 92 per cent of the
1993 defence budget was allocated to operating costs, 34 per cent of
the budget was spent on salaries and 14 per cent on social security
contributions. The ratio between development and maintenance funds has
shifted from roughly 1:4 in 1990 to 1:12 in 1993.

Hungary signed up for PFP with NATO on 8 February 1994; it handed over
its presentation document on the '16+1' cooperation in May. Although PFP
is short of expectations, it is considered a useful instrument for
attaining the final goal of full NATO membership. Apart from a
bi-lateral British-Hungarian exercise in the spirit of PFP which is
being held in Hungary in autumn 1994, the HDF will not take part in any
multilateral exercises before 1995.

Hungary is also an active member of the North Atlantic Co-operation
Council which provides a useful basis for co-operation on
interoperability, such as access through NATO manuals. Hungary also
authorized overflights of its territory by AWACS from NATO in order to
help monitor compliance with the nofly zone over Bosnia.
+ - IBUSZ (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)


Does anyone out there know the phone number or address for IBUSZ or the
Hungarian Tourist Bureau in the U.S.? Thanks.

Jon Rand
+ - Re: *** HUNGARY *** #245 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

"I may add that the Hungarian population doesn't seem to understand the
gravity of the economic situation. Although in comparison to other
neighboring countries, they are doing quite well, they are dead against
austerity program which would affect them. "

My experiences back this observation. I spent two years in Tolna, a
village/town on the Darnube,  and had every opportunity to discuss the plight
of the country and its people with my Hungarian friends and neighbors.  It is
true that many, in fact most of the Hungarians do not fully understand the
economic situation.  But then, who here in the states understands what the
economic situation is in the states.  It is easy to see from the outside
looking in that the generous social security system can not be supported by
the weakened currency and shattered economy but the perspective changes
considerably when you look through the eyes of a retired textile worker whose
only income is the meagre monthly check from the government (an amount that
remains the same though inflation is eroding prices).  From the outside we
see that the retirement age is remarkably low (especially in US standards..as
Americans have longer work weeks and fewer holidays than any other western
nation) but what the numbers don't show is that men and women don't stop
working at the ages of 60 and 58 (I believe it is that now), but merely
change jobs.  They cultivate the fields, raise the children (because mother
or father are no longer able to give up even 25% of their income), run the
mini-marts, and hold a dozen other jobs that aren't counted in the sensus.
 These are the men and women who feed the workers and their families weekend
after weekend.  Their gardens supply the markets that are the most affordable
form of food available.
This does not mean that action should not be taken.  Much does need to be
done, and Hungarians must "bite the bullet" if their country is to come
through to a healthy economy.  What the politicians need to do, as I see it,
is sell to their constituencies the difficult and painful pill of reform. The
Hungarians, I believe, will rise to the ocasion (whining and complaining
perhaps about the injustices of the world).
+ - Re: Post-communist Hungarian political jokes? (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

In article > you write:
>Part of my motivation for asking this is that I'm writing a paper on
>post-Communist Hungarian political humor.  If anyone has any scholarly
>references that would be a help to me please let me know of them.

Just curious ...
What made you select Hungary?

+ - CALL for votes soc.culture.RUSSIAN (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

                   unmoderated group soc.culture.russian

Newsgroups line:
soc.culture.russian             All things Russian in the broadest sense.

Votes must be received by 23:59:59 UTC, 28 March 1995.

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SOC.CULTURE.RUSSIAN is an unmoderated newsgroup for free exchange of
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