Which countries do not hate Hungary?

Poland and Hungary against the West - Europe the other way around

In western EU countries, countries like Poland or Hungary are seen as annoying cross drivers, but they are only too happy to make use of the community's money. But that's all a question of perspective. The East is actually not that difficult to understand.

Change of perspective: The Palace of Culture in Warsaw / dpa

Author info

Norbert Mappes-Niediek lives in Graz and is a correspondent for Central Europe. His new book “Europe's Divided Heaven - Why the West Doesn't Understand the East” will be published these days (Verlag Ch. Links).

How to contact Norbert Mappes-Niediek:

Viktor Orbán spreads his arms over a pile of banknotes with a satisfied look; an engaging gesture. A European flag flutters in the background. “First he takes our money”, it says on the poster next to the montage with the expansive Orbán, and “Now he wants to destroy Europe.” Placed on a low-loader, the propaganda arrangement, accompanied by a few dozen press photographers, drove once across through the center of Brussels, past all the EU administrative buildings. With copyright, of course: “Stop Orbán, #Values ​​first”, and “alde” - the abbreviation for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe, the third largest group in the Strasbourg Parliament.

As expected, the campaign did not go down well in Budapest. “What is he, this Verheugen?” Complained about Mária Schmidt, Orbán's loyal ideologist. "Our money! Is that his? ”She succumbed to a mix-up: of course, it was not the former enlargement commissioner Günter Verheugen, a German social democrat, who organized the move in Brussels, but the liberal group leader Guy Verhofstadt from Belgium. But what were the subtleties? Both vests, both kind of liberal. Both against Orbán, of course, against Hungary.

Markus Michaelis | Sun, February 7, 2021 - 6:47 pm

for that, the amounts going east are far too insignificant (a few billion dollars?) compared to the sums that indirectly go back and forth with Italy, GR and others via the common euro, target balances and other things.

It clearly seems to me to be about ideological things, ie (quote) “values” such as “freedom, human dignity, democracy, equality, social justice, tolerance and cultural diversity”.

For some (elites?) It is simply about European greatness in order to survive alongside the USA and China and not end up as second-class elites. Justified, but not necessary, the concern of the "common man". He might want to defend his values ​​against Russia, China, etc. But if that comes at the price that he should give up his values ​​anyway, what use would he have? Money? For this he can emigrate - as he is now. So where is the benefit?

It's probably about values ​​and the aforementioned canon is initially hollow conceptual bingo. One has to talk about it.

Gerhard Lenz | Mon, February 8, 2021 - 9:20 am

In reply to It's not about the money, by Markus Michaelis

How do you think Europe can defend its values ​​against aggressive great powers?
Do you think, for example, that a Germany, Sweden or Hungary could even come close to raising their voice in negotiations or competitive situations with China or Russia? Ultimately, it is not about the aspirations for great power of some anonymous elites you suspected, but about what comes out of it in the end. And that applies very particularly to Mr / Ms Otto normal consumer.
In addition, the disruptive actions of the Poles and Hungarians are more about values ​​for which the EU stands. And anti-liberal Hungarians and arch-Catholic Poles are trying to cook their own soup, which can be called anti-European.
But the founding fathers of the EU are not innocent either: There was never a clear roadmap, just a vaguely formulated goal of how and what Europe should one day be.
Certainly not just a loosely connected hodgepodge of nagging nationalists.

Dorothee Sehrt-Irrek | Sun, February 7, 2021 - 8:30 p.m.

how much this action repels me, no less than the placement of Soros in Hungary as an enemy of the state and then confirming Eastern Europe also the right to its development.
But am I doing Eastern Europe a favor if they are Europeans, which you can see from how well they can get along and live all over Europe?
No, I'm not doing you a favor.
It would not work, any more than a further separate post-GDR path made sense or was even desired.
How many Eastern Europeans fled to the West from the Red Army?
They were able to gain a foothold and became part of the respective societies.
We cannot wait until the new migrants return to the East and confirm to their compatriots that the Western European states are open societies, but societies are.
Therefore one did not have to agree with a possible Merkel plan about Europe, but one can think about how one gets involved and expands

Kurt Kuhn | Mon, February 8, 2021 - 12:10 pm

Finally there is a knowledgeable author who holds up the mirror to the lying propaganda from the west. This likes to pick on Orban and the Hungarians, but does not see to what extent the international corporations in Eastern Europe are investing in cheap jobs. The necessary infrastructure also costs money that the countries do not yet have.
The great victory in the local elections in Budapest is due to a nasty trick (fraudulent electoral law by temporarily moving large numbers of "good guys").
In our “golden west” the oligarchs are blamed for billions.

Cultural surrender is not as advanced in Eastern Europe as it is in the West. The people there are still aware of their ethnic affiliation, precisely because they had to persevere in multicultural empires and endure arbitrary border shifts and their consequences.
Thank you for the very good contribution, Mr. Mappes-Niediek!

Sven-Uwe Noever | Mon, February 8, 2021 - 9:26 pm

In reply to Finally! by Kurt Kuhn

Hungary has often been betrayed by the German-Austrian Central Europeans; in 1848, the return coach came to Königgrätz in 1867. 1914, the Hungarian Tisza decided not to go to war and was forced by Germany and the Austrian half of the empire. 1944 by late occupation. In 1956, when the Soviet empire was forced to act in the midst of peace, and now the hostility from the Merkelist combat press, of all things. The East-Central Europeans should concentrate entirely on the German government and its propaganda departments. The German arrogance of the local doctrinaires speaks volumes. Fortunately, they hate they also have their own armed forces and cannot cause any military disaster, our red-green-dark-red alarm disciples.

Ernst-Günther Konrad | Mon, February 8, 2021 - 12:39 pm

The idea of ​​the United States of Europe. The individual state biographies and what is called the human race are too different.
"Your goal is for all nations to be equal at some point."
It is precisely against this synchronization that the Eastern Europeans defend themselves completely and rightly. Historically speaking, these peoples in particular have experienced enough phases when they eked out their existence through all sorts of "systems" and gave great blood toll. Every now and then I read the German-language Budapest newspaper. There is also something critical about Orban. Still, a large majority is behind Orban. After the last disaster with the former Eastern Bloc, the Hungarians do not want to go back to any kind of rule. Not even in EU rule. Hungary cannot be bought, just like Poland cannot. Yes, they take EU funds, but as the author correctly describes, they ultimately give more than they take. The East simply protects itself from being equalized.

Norbert Heyer | Mon, February 8, 2021 - 13:03

When the countries behind the former “iron curtain” learned of the secession from the collapsed USSR, they gained freedom and subsequently voted for democracy. They were open to entry into the EU, with the prospect of funding and development funding. However, they naively assumed that they - who had just gained their freedom - could again avoid making concessions to a new “big brother”. Countries like Poland and Hungary have always been oppressed by Turks or their neighbors. They did not want to give up their way of life, their religion and independence again. But the EU - especially pushed by Germany - wants to build the EU state on the bend and break, a huge juggernaut that already has two government seats and has problems to get enough vaccine serum for its residents. The former Eastern Bloc countries don't need that, because they know this mismanagement pretty well from the past

Inka Hein | Mon, February 8, 2021 - 3:47 pm

In reply to The misunderstanding of eastward expansion by Norbert Heyer

But also do not reject this inflated monkey circus EU state in any way. It is only an end in itself and as unnecessary as an ulcer. Can be cut away. The sooner the better. Back to the EU of the nation states.
So maybe I'm a bit from both states after all.

Walter Bühler | Mon, February 8, 2021 - 2:28 pm

... just as deformed as the national parliaments. Due to the flight of the normal population from the parties and the predominance of professional politicians, who only measure themselves by media coverage, they have in many cases lost their democratic functionality (e.g. Italy, France, Spain and now also Germany).

I cannot remember any crisis in the last 20 years in which the EU Parliament successfully contributed to the solution.

The "western, democratic" arrogance against Eastern European states, which is so lamely presented, is mostly unjustified for this reason alone.

Mr Mappes-Niediek's arguments are plausible. We "western" states should first accept differences. Anyway, we don't have the strength to make all other countries happy in our way.

More tolerance, respect and interest, and no talkative pseudo-moral righteousness, that would be good European politics.