Re: [Slovak-World] The Goulash Archipelago
- Naaaa. The ones who don't want to work w/ just go north across the border.
From: Ron <amiak27@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 11:11 AM
Subject: [Slovak-World] The Goulash Archipelago
An extensive report from Der Spiegel. Just part of part 1 is reprinted here.
Part 1: EU Remains Silent as Hungary Veers Off Course
Part 2: A Purging of Editors in Hungary's Public Media
Part 3: 'What Is Now Taking Shape Here Is an Operetta Dictatorship'
Part 1 in full at
Supporters of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán say he has a strict leadership style, while critics warn of the threat of forced political conformity, Jew-baiting and labor camps. Meanwhile, the European Union is saying nothing, apparently accepting the fact that a member state is getting out of control.
They set out at seven in the morning, carrying spades, axes and scythes, and climb one of the hills above Gyöngyöspata, a wine-growing village in northern Hungary: Forty gypsies and their supervisor.
This group of dark-skinned men and women, consisting of old and young people, teenagers and widows, represents the advance guard of a massive undertaking currently underway in Hungary. Under Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's plan to promote national renewal and moral rearmament, more than half of all the unemployed nationwide are to be put back to work.
The 40 gypsies from Gyöngyöspata, who don't even use the more acceptable term Roma to describe themselves, have been assigned the job of clearing hibiscus bushes and undergrowth for four months. They are among 300,000 Hungarians who will soon be performing "community" work under a new law, which dictates that anyone who is out of work for more than 90 days in a row forfeits the right to social welfare and membership in the social insurance system.
Are "forced labor camps" being created here, in the middle of the European Union, as the Hungarian daily newspaper Népszava wrote? Are unemployed people from remote villages being housed in worker camps on large construction sites? No one has to work against his will, but everyone who does show up for work is paid the legal minimum wage, says Karoly Papp, the state secretary in the Interior Ministry in charge of the program.
The government is still searching for projects to put the army of the unemployed back to work, at a monthly wage of roughly €290 ($418). There is talk of building dikes, planting trees and collecting herbs. The crew in Gyöngyöspata is "de-bushing" 16 hectares (40 acres) of overgrown community land to make way for the planting of "real Hungarian oaks," as the local mayor, a member of the radical right-wing Jobbik Party, puts it.
He is happy to have any work at all, because he needs the money, says a 59-year-old man named Pál, as he swings a scythe up on the hill. As a skilled forest worker, he adds, he also knows that it will take at least 80 years to grow a real oak forest. But the fruits of the hibiscus plant, the roots of which the crew is in the process of pulling out of the ground and chopping to pieces, could already fetch €0.50 per kilogram today -- if they were harvested.
A Top-Down Coup D'Etat
The things Prime Minister Orbán and his friends in the Fidesz Party are prescribing don't always make sense. However, there is no mistaking that they are in a hurry. The package of laws, ordinances and guidelines to define labor policies, which Orbán got off the ground in only 15 months, reads like the minutes of a top-down coup d'etat.
the rest is at the link above, also with links to Parts 2 and 3.
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