Written by Dr. Radko Handjiev; Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront
Hardly anyone now doubts that the Hungarian referendum on October 2016, was the start of the inevitable disintegration of the European Union as such. Just as in October 1956, Hungarians again marked the beginning of the disintegration of the Soviet bloc. Whether the collapse of the EU will be total, or on its remains will form several sovereign interstate associations (Scandinavian, Visegrad, etc.) as the British one already did, depends on the will of the peoples of these countries, and especially on the antagonism between different factors of realpolitik. So let’s not speculate before the White House acquires a new owner …
On October 2, Hungarians had to answer the question: “Do you want the European Union to decide to allocate persons in Hungary who are not Hungarian citizens, without the consent of the Hungarian Parliament?” Democratically through a referendum! As in 2003, also democratically through a referendum they answered that they wish to join the EU. There are few countries whose governments have taken this democratic procedure. The Danes initially rejected the accession. Then they came under enormous political, financial and manipulative media pressure, in order to agree. Norwegians also rejected accession, and today they are not an EU member, but enjoy almost the same advantages as Member States without being subject to the dictates of Brussels.
So, on October 2, 98% of respondents answered “No.” 3,282,723 Hungarians said “No” to the mandatory quotas from Brussels. They do not want the EC to allocate persons who are not Hungarian citizens into their country without the consent of the Hungarian Parliament!
But 56 percent did not show up to the polls. According to Hungarian law, the referendum is invalid, since at least half of those entitled did not participate. What are the real motives behind this mass abstention – we will probably never know. One reason for the low participation is that only 11 233, or less than 2% of the total 274,000 Hungarians living abroad have used their right to vote, says the Hungarian News Agency.
The cabinet, however, hastened to add the will of those over 3 million abstained from voting unto its decision, stating that abstaining from participation does not mean agreement with the policy of Brussels. With a triumphant speech, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced the referendum to be a huge victory for the Hungarian people. “We achieved an impressive success. We outdid the outcome of the referendum on joining the EU, and have a significantly higher score than the last vote for the European Parliament. 98% of respondents declared themselves firmly against the dictates of Brussels.”
Although never mentioning that the referendum is invalid, Orban assured the audience that the government will respond to the popular vote by taking the necessary constitutional changes, because the results of the referendum must be reflected in the Basic Law.
“Today we have a powerful enough weapon vs Brussels – this is the manifesto of universal consent, as 9 out of 10 Hungarians voted on Hungary’s right to take independent decisions. Hungarians thought over things and rejected the quotas imposed by Brussels. The question “Brussels or Budapest?” Is solved and the result of the referendum eloquently testifies that the right decision is the prerogative of Budapest. We can be proud of the fact that we are the first and only EU country in which the Hungarian people could directly express their opinion on the issue of migrants. Moreover, today’s decision is to be established in Brussels, because if 92% of the participants in the referendum of one Member State state that they disagree with a proposal, then the question of whether Brussels has the right to demand it is controversial” said the Prime Minister.
But the situation around Prime Minister Orban could prove to be not so rosy. On the night after the referendum, against him came out representatives of opposition parties and the NGOs of Soros and the European Commission.
“Hungarians today showed, that the multibillion-dollar campaign of lies, Orban’s media distortions and deceptive pomposity is pointless: they will not stray from the European path of development” said the chairman of the Democratic Coalition (DC) and former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany. According to him, the referendum should be invalidated because millions of people have opposed the fear campaign and said “NO” to Viktor Orban.
“Orban bet everything on one card and failed. Both politically, and in a general aspect. In a normal democratic country, he would have resigned tonight.” The chairman of the Democratic Coalition believes that the result of the referendum is a merit of the democratic opposition and its victory. “The Left has expected a real victory for the last 10 years, and it finally happened today.”
Gyurcsany noted that his party was the first to propose a boycott of the referendum, and that judging from the result it can be concluded that the opposition has a chance to win the next parliamentary elections. “Now the task is for today’s victory to give a momentum to unite and strengthen into a force, that is able to change the government in 2018.” The leader of the Democratic Coalition expressed readiness to sit at the negotiating table with the other opposition parties next week, to discuss cooperation during the election campaign.
The Press Secretary of the far-right party “Jobbik”, Adam Mirkochi, even said that the referendum was nothing more than “a poll squandering 20 billion forints (60 million euros), the results of which have been known for a long time, for free.” He also demanded the government’s resignation. Mirkochi pointed out, that in fact “Jobbik” first offered the Hungarians to boycott the referendum. Oddly enough, last week, the far managed to reach an agreement in principle with liberals, environmentalists from LMP ( “Politics can be different”) to vote “NO”. The results show that the agreement was worked.
Oddities in the Hungarian politics do not stop there. For days before the referendum, the far-right “Jobbik” who systematically criticizes Fidesz for not standing up enough for national interests, officially admitted the opposite – “if it is successful, the referendum will be crucial to the fundamental interests of Hungary” and even declared to bring into parliament a proposal for an amendment to the constitution to prohibit the migrant quotas. Which is what Fidesz insists on!
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee were quick to comment on the results: the referendum on the immigration quota had no meaning and social significance in terms of public law because it constituted “an abuse of a key institution of democracy!” In other words, direct democracy is an abuse of democracy! Are we also not witnessing such opinions in our country?
The Helsinki Committee are satisfied, because at the referendum triumphed common sense and humanity over hate and fear … because millions of Hungarians abstained from voting. “They cant endlessly divert attention from the problems of healthcare, education, corruption, poverty and those forced to leave the country, and always brings up the threat of an influx of migrants” stated the liberal newspaper “Nepszabadsag” echoing the Helsinki Committee.
Here’s what the Hungarian Helsinki Committee says in its official communique, which feeds on non-Hungarian funding (George Soros, Western European and overseas foundations) “We Hungarians, today witness the miserable failure of a major and dangerous political ploy. Millions of honest voters responsible to their family and country, have been told that with their “NO” vote they would protect their homeland and send a message to Brussels. With a fraudulently acquired vote, the government is trying to present the referendum as a success. Even more astonishing is that the government appropriates the nonexistent vote of millions of Hungarians, who abstained from voting in order to justify the failed initiative. What is this if not a downright lie!”
“The winded hatred funded with taxpayers money will not disappear, and responsibility for this falls on the government because we all suffer the consequences. Friend confronts friend, activists are attacked and beaten, veiled women are humiliated. With this hatred we can not build a nation. It is time for the government to reconsider the outcome of the referendum, to stop the propaganda of hatred and begin to have a proper sense of responsibility. On the issue of international migration and refugees, it does not make sense to demand restrictive solutions. The current result of the referendum shows that Hungarian voters have comprehended it. The referendum is invalid! Because the government urged the electorate to give a valid answer to an invalid question. But the “NO” addressed to Europe will remain as our indelible stamp.”
As to why the issue of migrants is “invalid” and the issue of EU accession is “valid”, is not clear from the statements of the Helsinki Committee. But within gray propaganda everything is permissible. It is important to impose the stereotype “INVALID” a hundredfold!
The liberal newspaper “Nepszabadsag” cited as a most important lesson of the referendum, that by spending billions of state money, the government has tried to unravel the lowest instincts of people. “But it failed. If until now we had illusions that Viktor Orban will not cross certain limits, these illusions have been dispelled. Reality does not matter for the Prime Minister. His speech was a bravura, but its sad that he did not admit his mistake, he didn’t say: we were confused, we did not received authority from the people to continue our anti-migrant fight against Brussels” stated in the online edition of the newspaper Gabor Bordas.
“Nepszabadsag” sharply criticized the servility of the media, including the state media. “What happened with “Channel 1″on Sunday was the high point of subservience to power. The state television has humiliated us. The internet channel “Origo” did not once say the word “invalid” about the referendum. This channel is a servant of the government and it has no professional integrity. The arrows of the subservient media are aimed against society … ”
The weekly “World Economy” states that although the question of the referendum may seem simple, it affects the fate of Hungary and the European Union. “Hungary has a delicate geographical position, situated in the center of the European mainstream debate. That’s how it was in the 30s, in the 1956, and in 1989 … Now the European Union is at a crossroads between upgrading or disintegration.”
Migrants are not refugees, they only seek a better life in Germany, Austria, Sweden. Victims of domestic conflicts and European liberal policies which imply that they can come here in the promised land. Migration leads to the deterioration of public safety, it has social, health, cultural and economic consequences, states the weekly, referring to different statements of the prime minister.
The daily “Magyar Nemzeti” is adamant that the referendum has achieved its goal. “We poured fresh water into the cup. We found what the will of Hungarians is on the issue of mass migration. More than 3 million Hungarians said “No” to mandatory quotas from Brussels. From now on, the government will not express its will, nor that of Orban, but the will of 3,282,723 Hungarians. For comparison, in 2003 “for” joining the EU voted 3,050,000 million! On Sunday, the Hungarians made their mark in history! For the first time a Member State held a democratic questionnaire on the issue of migrants, on which may also depend the existence of the EU” said Anita Diosh, an observer for the newspaper.
The pro-government newspaper “Magyar hirlop” also points out that with the referendum, Hungarians again wrote themselves in history. “The referendum is the only democratic solution on how to treat the problem of crowds of migrants invading the country, and the Hungarians get to decide who may be settled in the country. Hungarians answered the main question of who has the right to decide this: Brussels or Budapest?”
Immediately after the result the vote, the Centre for the Protection of Fundamental Rights (Alapjogokert.hu) – a nonprofit organization created three years ago by young lawyers and academics, publish on its page a detailed analysis of the legal implications of the statement of Prime Minister Orban, that as a result of the referendum basic law will be amended.
“Changing the basic law can affect the application of EU legal acts, if they infringed on the Hungarian constitutional identity. By joining the EU, Hungary transferred only certain rights stemming from sovereignty to the EU, but did not transfer sovereignty itself. Therefore, any decision that relates to the core of the basic elements of sovereignty, is unthinkable without the approval of parliament. The mandatory change in the composition of the population certainly falls into this category. Therefore, as can be seen from the practice of the Constitutional Court, no law or decision of the EU, which forces Hungary to accept mass migration unwillingly, is compatible with the Basic Law.”
The day after the referendum, in the Hungarian Parliament played out an unbelievable spectacle. After many mutual invective, accusations and remarks which the most famous variety shows in Budapest might envy, from the opposition – Socialist democratic coalition, liberals, environmentalists, to the far right “Jobbik” – all demanded the resignation of Orban. A pressure that is considered liberally fueled by NGOs working for overseas forces and the elite of the EC. Observers suggest, however, that even if it all leads to a resignation, a future vote could be even more convincing in favor of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Those who don’t participate simply don’t count. And judging by the referendum, those participating may again vote at 98% against the EU plan!