Jobbik has broken through the glass ceiling

In a discussion with Hungarians in New York on Saturday, Jobbik's vice president István Szávay talked about the milestone victory in Tapolca, the alleged opposition within Jobbik and a liveable, independent and proud Hungary.

Jobbik's MP spoke at a Hungarian evening in Arpad Hall in Manhattan's 82nd street. It wasn't the first time that the radical party organized a political forum overseas: Gábor Vona met with the local Hungarian community in 2010, while Gábor Staudt visited New York in 2014.

This presentation was just a part of Szávay's 10-day tour in the east coast of the US to get familiar with the local Hungarian community's demands, problems and relations with Hungary. "Now we have entered a stage when we go beyond the Carpathian basin and start collecting feedback overseas" explained Szávay, who met Hungarians in Munich this January and said that other meetings are going to follow.

"Sooner or later Jobbik will win the elections and govern Hungary. Being aware of this responsibility, we are doing our best to assess the needs of Hungarian communities in the US so that when can have the best insight and knowledge when we take over the government. There is a lot of work to do" added the MP.

Szávay also explained that Jobbik's progress has always been commented by such derogatory and disbelieving presumptions that "this is the limit for Jobbik, they cannot grow any further". The reason why the Tapolca victory is considered as a milestone is because the national radical movement has crossed a threshold which political analysts and the media have always communicated as unbreakable for Jobbik. "First they said we can't get into the Parliament, then they were waiting for the bubble to burst, and finally they said we cannot grow any further. The "friendly media" also questioned if we could ever develop into a leading opposition party, and no one believed a few years ago that we can win a parliamentary seat in an individual constituency. Last weekend, Jobbik has broken through the alleged 'glass ceiling'" pointed out the party's vice president.

Fault lines and internal opposition

Many of the 50 participants asked questions, an elderly gentleman wanted to know if Gábor Vona really has an internal opposition against his mainstream agenda, as reported by several media sources. Szávay responded that it would be a lie if he said there wasn't, and he himself belonged to Jobbik's radical platform, but the party president is right saying that the wider groups of voters must be addressed in a calm, civic tone. "The point is that we must remain true to our political programme which advocate a radical change. I believe we have been able to achieve that so far and we should do so in the future, too" he added.

He explained that ever since 2010, the media had been focusing on Jobbik's internal fault lines that might lead to the party's disintegration. The MP believes that it is a conscious effort to divide the party which is currently unrealistic. Another futile and counter-productive attempt is to keep stigmatizing Jobbik as a Nazi and fascist organization. The latest mid-term election clearly showed that it did not work. "I hope nobody believes that the whole town of Tapolca has suddenly gone Nazi!"  said Szávay.

"Liveable, independent and proud Hungary"

István Szávay says this is the best brief summary of Jobbik's political programme. To ensure liveability, we must establish an enterprise-friendly tax policy, which is based on supporting honest and hard-working labour that creates added value. "Jobbik mayors who were elected in their towns in recent years have proven to be honest individuals working hard for their communities. These towns have shown considerable progress and gave home to business enterprises that create jobs locally.

The precondition for Hungary's independence is to stay out of the Ukraine conflict which is the theatre for a bloody geopolitical conflict between the US and Russia. Besides, Hungary should not send soldiers to fight against the Islamic State because it increases our exposure to terrorist threats. By the way, the latter bill was passed by Fidesz, who had lost their two-thirds majority but were aided by the votes from the Democratic Coalition and Together." pointed out Jobbik's vice president.

Szávay added that the spine of a nation can be broken if its history is falsified. Therefore we must learn to remain confident so that we could realize our common goals. "We are a nation with a thousand-year-old state and a much older culture, which the world owes a lot." he emphasized.

In the MP's opinion, the fact that every fourth Hungarian child is born outside the country's borders means a crucial responsibility for the Hungarian state. This issue truly requires reaching a basic political consensus across the aisle, but the government parties decided to monopolize national policy and they fail to show any effort to establish a common minimum in national strategic questions. There are about 150 thousand Hungarian people living in the New York area, which is roughly the number of our fellow-nationals living in the Lower Carpathian region. However, the Hungarian government has no concept whatsoever as to how to approach the Hungarian community in the US, the total number of whom may be around 1 million. "Nobody has taken even an initial step in Hungary in that regard" added Szávay.

Referring to the money-devouring machine of Jenő Szász' Research Institute for National Strategy, Szávay said it should focus on these issues instead of organizing football tournaments and Mangalitsa pig festivals. He mentioned the excellent Polish and Romanian examples of maintaining contacts with the emigration, and said it was never a shame to learn from others.

After the Eastern opening, here's the opening to the West

The Hungarian Evening was also attended by Jobbik MP Gábor Staudt, who will participate in a 5-day NATO conference in Washington and Boston, beginning on Monday. In response to a question in the Q&A session, he said that the only information US citizens and officials have about Jobbik is what they learn from the local media. Corrections are hardly published, the only way to improve Jobbik's image is via personal meetings.

Talking about Jobbik's extremely rapid and efficient opening to the East, he explained there was much less prejudice and misinformation about the party there. "Settling matters" with the West is a much more difficult but inevitable challenge. "Anyone who accepts our view that we imagine Hungary as an independent country and represent the interests of the people living here will find us a reliable partner. We would like to follow the Swiss example and we will kowtow neither to Russia nor the US." stated Jobbik's MP.

Where business enterprises are not punished but supported

At the end of the lecture, there were quite a few questions and complaints from the audience. Many US-resident Hungarians work very hard to be successful but they cannot really progress as they have to wire their savings back to Hungary to their relatives and their CHF-based loans must be repaid as well.

Another recurring question is what the West will say if Jobbik wins the elections, but the MPs agreed that this issue is overrated. Besides, the global growth of patriotic parties has changed the international situation, so no boycott is expected.

As far as a potential early Parliamentary elections were concerned, Jobbik considers it a somewhat realistic yet less likely scenario, but the party does not deal with this issue momentarily as the key goal is to prepare for the work and responsibility involved in governance, and this process is on the right track.

The topics of discussion included the bad Hungarian taxation, which prompts tax evasion and illegal labour. A gentlemen who operates a business in Hungary complained that those who comply with the regulations can hardly compete with the illegal dealings of the competition, and they eventually go bankrupt. He added that Hungary should consider adopting some components of the US taxation system as it supports enterprises instead of punishing them.


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