Commentary

The full text of Orbán’s “national consultation” letter on the coronavirus

I have been googling my head off but I still can’t tell how many “national consultation” campaigns Orbán has subjected us to so far. So I am going with eight (it can only be more than that).

There was one against George Soros, one against the EU, there was one against immigrants and one in support of breeding the right kind of people (middle class, ethnic Hungarians). And that’s just the last three years. Disguised as questions, these letters from Orbán to every voting age citizen are designed to tell us whom to hate, fear and envy. They are not meant to be answered, they are not legally binding, we don’t even know how many send them back and whether they had drawn penises on the questionnaires.

If eight is indeed the correct number, then Orbán’s upcoming taxpayer-funded direct mail campaign – called “Your Country Your Voice” – will be the 9th.

Pre-covid, the 2020 wave of “national consultations” was meant to attack ask about gypsies and the legitimacy of courts – the two enemies Orbán pivoted to attack in order to prop up his crumbling support (after the local election defeat in October 2019). Orbán set aside the most breathtaking budget for that.

But then the pandemic arrived  and with it came a new and limitless excuse to clamp down on anyone and anything. So covid it is! Populists are nothing if not adaptive and opportunistic.

Below are the questions without commentary.

“The coronavirus pandemic in the first half of 2020 has put the world in an unprecedented situation. We, Hungarians, have held together and made the necessary measures in time, and managed to stop the pandemic. Doctors and epidemiological experts, however, are warning that preparedness must be maintained, because the second wave of the coronavirus might appear in Hungary as well. The experts agree that epidemiological measures with more public support are the most effective, Your opinion is therefore especially important to us. 

1. In case of a new wave of the pandemic which of these measures would you support? 

  • introducing curfews
  • ordering social distancing 
  • ordering the wearing of masks
  • shutting down national borders
  • closing educational institutions, transferring to digital education
  • limiting events
  • maintaining the dedicated shopping hours for over-65
  • limiting the export of protective gear
  • free parking

2.

The coronavirus pandemic resulted in the collapse of the healthcare systems in many countries in the world. In Hungary, we have managed to slow the spread of the pandemic and thereby won time to prepare our healthcare system. The risk of a new pandemic wave is still present. 

Do you agree that the state of epidemiological alert must be kept in effect as long as the risk of the return of the pandemic exists? 

3. 

During the pandemic, care homes are the most exposed to the spread of the infection. Every fourth victim of the Hungarian pandemic lived in a care home. Hundreds have been infected and many have died in Budapest’s Pesti street care home. 

Do you agree that the epidemiological protection of care homes must be further increased? 

4. 

During the pandemic there has been a shortage of healthcare and protective equipment throughout the world. Hungary has successfully secured these equipment from abroad and started domestic manufacturing. 

Do you agree that the government must make efforts to produce the protective gear in Hungary, to reduce our exposure? 

5.

Due to the pandemic digital curriculum had to be introduced overnight. This measure served the purpose of keeping the students safe without interrupting the school year. It required great efforts from teachers and students and parents alike. Everyone deserves a thank you for the successful transition. 

Do you agree that internet should be free for families raising school-age children and teachers during the pandemic? 

6.

Brussels epidemiological defense organisation (ECDC) has not noticed the approaching danger when the pandemic broke out. The Union’s bureau called the risk of infection “moderate” even on the day of the first death in Europe. The Hungarian authorities, on the other hand, have started to prepare for defense in time. The Operative Body started its work on January 31, 2020 – when Europe hasn’t even observed infections yet. 

According to you, do we need a permanent epidemiological monitoring institution in Hungary in order to prepare for pandemics, realize them in time, and to reduce our exposure? 

7.

To protect the health and safety of Hungarian men and women is more important than anything. This is why the government decided that the defense must not have financial obstacles, and everyone must contribute its part to the burdens. 

According to you, should banks and multinational companies contribute to the cost of defense during self-defense against pandemics? 

8.

The coronavirus pandemic has severely affected every economy in the world. Economic downturn in also expected in Hungary, even though to a lesser degree than in Western Europe. Some believe that in order to revive the Hungarian economy, the buying of Hungarian products and Hungarian services must be incentivized, and Hungarian tourism should be popularized.

Do you agree that the buying of domestic products and domestic services must be incentivized, and domestic tourism should be popularized? 

9.

The global pandemic doesn’t just threaten our health but also our jobs. This is why the government decided to create as many jobs as the virus destroyed. Investment subsidies, education programs and tax reductions serve the purpose of protecting jobs. 

Do you think the government should keep the programs of protecting and creating jobs once the pandemic is over? 

10.

To handle the economic crisis following the coronavirus pandemic, George Soros came up with a new plan. In it he suggests that the member states of the European Union should take out huge loans (perpetual bonds), after which interest will have to be paid forever, through generations. According to experts it would push nations into debt slavery. 

Do you reject George Soros’ plan that would push our homeland into debt for an incomprehensibly long time? 

11.

Many companies went nearly bankrupt due to the pandemic-caused economic crisis. There is a danger that international financial speculators would try to exploit this to get hold of Hungarian strategic companies. 

What do you think? Should Hungary protect Hungarian companies from foreign hostile takeover? 

12.

According to the ruling of the European Court of Justice it is against the law to make illegal immigrants wait in the transit zones on the Hungarian border. According to the decision migrants must be let into the country’s territory even during danger of an epidemic. This ruling coincides with George Soros’ old plan about migration that says that one million immigrants must be allowed into Europe every year, no matter what. 

Do you agree that the government should continue stepping up against immigration and maintain the strict defense of the Hungarian borders? 

13.

Brussels is preparing to attack the Hungarian constitution’s rules regarding immigration. They want to force us to change the rules of our Basic Law banning migration. 

Do you agree that the Hungarian government should persevere in its defense of the bans on immigration, even at the cost of open conflict with Brussels? “

It begs for context so continue reading.

 

 

 

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