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(en) Italy, UCADI #166: Sovereignty in crisis; Hungary (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 19 Jan 2023 08:08:14 +0200

After 12 years of uninterrupted power, the Democracy built by Viktor Mihály Orbán, President of Hungary, seems to be starting to show the first significant cracks . The Hungarian oligarch's political project comes from afar, considering that he was already President from 1998 to 2002 and that he became one again due to the mistakes of his political opponents. Its history and its political strategies should make Italians reflect in consideration of the fact that the current Italian prime minister is an attentive follower of the Hungarian premier, shares his basic values and strategy with a view to giving life to a theory Overall right-wing policy in the 2000s.
It is not a matter of revisited Nazi-fascism, because if that were the case it would be relatively easy to fight it, but of a different institutional political theory which draws some "strong ideas" from fascism and Nazism such as racism, ethnic and racial identity, the pagan cult of Christianity , white suprematism to make it a melting pot that on an institutional level marries with a model that goes beyond the classic division of powers and even keeping alive the rule of law and the so-called liberal democratic institutions from a formal point of view, concentrates power in the executive bodies, sterilizing Parliament, violating the independence of the judiciary placed at the service of the executive, concentrates powers in the hands of the head of the state. In this context, elections are a periodic event controlled through a majority electoral law that excludes participation, marginalizes opposition, sterilizes dissent.
A minimally attentive observer will see many features and aspects of the current political situation in our country and will have to agree that both the center and the left oppositions, such as the extra-parliamentary opposition in Italy, have been so short-sighted and imbecile, incapable and inadequate to deliver the country into the hands of these forces. One by one the defenses of the Republic born of the Resistance were demolished: the extra-parliamentary opposition was defeated and marginalized politically and socially, then it was the turn of the workers' movement, then again the reformist parties. The modification of labor legislation through the Job Act and the passing of a majority law were the seal of this policy.
A careful reconstruction of the parallel and partly contemporary political events that have characterized the history of Hungary would allow us to clearly see the immediate similarities and convergences with the difference that the process, in the Hungarian Republic, is more advanced and is guided by the executive for 12
In fact, Mihály Orbán has governed since 2010 with the "advantage" for us that we can see what is being prepared. At the beginning, the Hungarian premier intervened on the founding values of the country: his mission in the world as defender of Christianity as an ethnic, value and racial bulwark against the rest of the world, the call to mobilize to counter the "ethnic replacement" of the Magyar through emigration: From here the fight against demographic decline, policies to support maternity, the promotion of marriages, especially religious ones, through ad hoc legislation; labor policies of clear support for businesses, also through the imposition by law of free work for businesses. Restriction of civil liberties of the press, communication, assembly, association. Reform of teaching and schooling, as well as educational pedagogy: prohibition of sex education in schools, homophobic and sexophobic gender policies, attack on responsible motherhood and the right to abortion for women.
What is happening in Hungary should make us reflect on the strategic value for the government in charge of politics in some sectors and therefore on what will be the work of the ministries of education and of the university, of the family, of justice, as well as that of work, the economy and all the others. In fact, we perceive the first symptoms and we will deal with them in the rest of these pages, but in the meantime we limit ourselves to pointing out that the indications of the direction of travel, misunderstood by the non-existent opposition, are very clear.

A possible beginning of the crisis

Returning to the Hungarian situation today, after 12 years of the regime, we note that perhaps the first cracks are beginning to be felt at the instigation of the European Parliament which asks Hungary to suspend the funds of the PNRR if it does not adapt to the European parameters on rights, respecting the constitutional freedoms and elections, the independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression, including media pluralism, the rights of minorities, voting a resolution passed with 433 votes in favour, 123 against and 28 abstentions. The European Commission then unanimously voted on the proposal to suspend 65% of the funds of three operational cohesion programs destined for Hungary, because the risk posed to the EU budget in the context of violations of the rule of law "remains", despite the measures promised by the Budapest government to fix the problems indicated by the Commission and the consequent ban on making legal commitments with public interest funds for programs implemented under direct
and indirect management. The value of the funds in question is 7.5 billion euros, about a third of all Cohesion funds destined for the country and almost equal to the sum that Hungary has requested with its Pnrr.
The body is very hard because Orbán's family clan and the FIDEZ associates who surround him live and thrive on European funding by resorting to non-transparent procedures to take over the contracts relating to projects financed with EU funds on which the country's economy depends strongly. It is no coincidence that corruption in the country is a very high proof of this and that the European Commission has insistently asked the Hungarian government to set up an independent anti-corruption authority, reform procurement and other key measures to fight against corruption.
These measures have finally obtained a large majority also due to Poland's withdrawal from support for Hungary due to the ambiguities of the Hungarian government in the Ukrainian crisis with respect to which Orbán not only withdrew from the sanctions but despite having welcomed 250,000 Ukrainian refugees he done by hosting those coming in
majority from Transcarpathia, a region inhabited by Hungarian populations and claimed by Bucharest which distributes their own passports to the population, while the Ukrainians practice a policy of assimilation by closing schools, forbidding the use of the language. It is no coincidence that Orbán presented himself in public, welcoming the refugees, with a scarf on which Great Hungary of the Habsburg times was depicted: a sort of geopolitical manifesto in the style of the sweatshirts that Salvini uses, which is not liked in Poland and the other neighboring countries such as Romania and Slovakia which have Hungarian minorities in their territories: Meloni and Salvini remained to defend Orbán.

A people in struggle

Already at the beginning of the year the economic situation was dire: hence a wave of strikes and wage demands against average salaries of the equivalent of 650 - 700 euros. The disadvantage of school and university workers is particularly serious. A first-nominated employee earns just over 400 euros; therefore, the claims of Hungarian teachers are one of the hottest points of Hungarian internal politics and for years there have been protests against starvation wages and against a system, that of education, which is highly precarious. Funds for education have fallen by 16% since Orbán came to power and this has increased the protest. Therefore the government decided in February, through a decree, to impose a "minimum service" on teachers to be guaranteed in all schools: the time slot to be covered, however, is essentially that of the regular conduct of lessons. The strike, consequently, would have become totally irrelevant: hence the "civil disobedience".
During the year, with the energy crisis and the reduction of European funds due to repeated violations of the rule of law by the government, the economic situation worsened and inflation jumped to 20%: this led to further growth of social disadvantage to the point that teachers and students took to the streets in October to oppose a corrupt system, starvation wages and restrictions on the right to strike. Not only in the capital, in front of Parliament, but in many other cities, marches invaded squares and streets to protest against a decree limiting the right to strike in schools.
Taking advantage of the special powers attributed to it to counter the covid epidemic, the government had in fact issued theGovernment decree - on certain emergency regulations affecting public education institutions, 36/2022. (II. 11.) containing special rules applying to the right to strike in public educational institutions during a state of emergency. The legislation defines the scope of sufficient services required for the duration of the strike, while clarifying that, if an appeal procedure against a court decision on the illegality of the strike is pursued, the court decision cannot take effect until when the decision is not subject to a second instance judgment which can only intervene 60 days after the first instance sentence has been pronounced. It is quite clear that in this way every guarantee of the rule of law on the effectiveness of a judge's sentences is violated.
This despite the reopening of the schools, the strikes resumed with vigor and the education minister announced that several teachers will be fired, because they are guilty of "civil disobedience".
At this point, however, the demonstrations and protests are not exclusively about wage demands, but are also directed against the growing centralization of education. All teachers have been forced to join the National Chamber of Teachers, municipal schools have been nationalised, the Central Authority of Education decides which textbooks are to be used and directors are chosen by the central or at least regional authorities, with a selection of a political nature.
In an attempt to shift the responsibility for what is happening onto others, the government has announced that it is not possible to increase teachers' salaries because the necessary money is blocked by Brussels without saying that those blocked are funds which, in any case, would never have ended up in the pockets of teachers, but would instead replenish the wallets of Orbán's friends. The European Commission - as we have explained - has proposed to suspend 7.5 billion euros of the Cohesion Fund for violating the rule of law in Hungary precisely through those measures that the demonstrators deem illegal. For the Hungarian government, Brussels should stay away from the education system, but it would be up to the EU to pay the salaries of the country's teachers when instead it is known to all that European funds can be used for investments and infrastructures but not to meet the expenditure current (wages). The fact remains that thanks to the gag placed on the press, the media coverage given to the demonstrations is non-existent. Few (or none) traces of protests in newspapers and television news close to the regime, while the silence of the opposition press has now become almost total.

Democracy and rights

To grasp the scope and exceptionality of what we have reported, it is necessary to consider that for the Hungarian legal system the strike is the last resort, and can only be justified by the defense of the economic and social interests of the employees, not by political objectives: the political strike is forbidden. The strike is therefore a procedure legitimate, but that does not mean that it can be used without restrictions. It is necessary to maintain the good functioning of the public administration, therefore the law on strikes severely limits the participation of employees of the state administrations, and this also applies to teachers. In essence, the guarantee of the functioning of essential rights prevails over the right to strike, i.e. of the service, especially that which is public and until there is an agreement between the parties in conflict on which essential services are, it is not possible to strike.
It follows that usually the conflict is resolved with the agreement between the parties and that both public and private employers can bring numerous actions before the courts to induce workers to withdraw from their requests. When the parties do not reach an agreement, the workers can resort to "civil disobedience" but in that case they accept all the consequences of their action which becomes illegitimate and can also lead to dismissal. This provision can be challenged before the judges but the subjugation of the judicial system to the regime leaves no hope of a positive solution to the dispute.
For this reason, the teachers' struggle actions must be seen as a courageous and desperate gesture of taking sides against the employer and ultimately the political regime in the face of unbearable work and wage situations. And therefore as a courageous gesture of breaking the existing social order which marks an incurable fracture with power and is a harbinger of radical opposition to the government and to the entire control structure of society.
This is the world, this is the society dreamed of by sovereignists, even our own, who think of proposing a modern and updated version of a society characterized by the presence of corporations, where social conflict is recomposed in the name of the interests of the nation, interpreted by the government and employer class, whether they are private entrepreneurs or state managers, it doesn't matter.
The mistake is deluding ourselves and cultivating the false illusion that this will not be possible in our country; nothing more false, it's just a matter of time, as it was for the electoral law as it threatens to be with presidentialism, as it should be with education which must educate by exalting merit and practicing humiliation, as it must happen with family policies, with those on emigration, on marriages, on the most diverse ethical values.
Faced with this programme, the only effective response can be to take the defense of our rights and interests directly into our own hands, organize ourselves to fight in every sector, respond blow by blow, first of all driving back into the sewers the false opponents of this project who are , as in war, the collaborators and then the profits idiots who cultivate a facade opposition, punctuated by many convergences, stimulating and seeking alliances with those who in fact oppose this project and above all:

Don't let them work!

The editorial staff

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