ESOTERIC WORLD

 

 

Non-profit journal

for education and information

 

 

 

(Established: 15 July 2004)

 

 

 

Editor: Ákos Kun

E-mail: info@kunlibrary.com

 

 

 

 

 

Motto: „The less developed life is,

               the narrower the boundaries

                                that surround it”

 

 

 

 

Update: 01. July 2021.

 

 

 

 

This is a machine translation made with DeepL Translator.

To accurate the text use Microsoft Translator:

https://www.bing.com/translator or Google Translate:

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This translation does not contain pictures. Due to editing  difficulties, images and caricatures can only be found in the Hungarian version, in Word and PDF format.

 

 

 

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7592 songs in this collection, in more than 51 322 versions.

 

 

 

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The Esoteric World is illustrated with caricatures,

Word for reading version and PDF for

platform-independent printing version

can be downloaded from the following website:

 

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The Word version is useful for those who wish to edit the text file or enlarge the images. (Click on the image and use Ctrl + C to copy it to Clipboard. Then open Paint and use Ctrl + V to send it to the image editor's worksheet. Finally, save it in JPEG format.)

PDF is the best format for reading. This version will appear exactly as I edited it. Unlike the different versions of Word, it doesn't scroll, and the images don't get jammed at the bottom of the page. (Each version of Word edits the document differently. This is because the separation utility is constantly being updated. As a result, a 600-page document edited in Word 2003 will be more than 20 pages shorter when opened in Word 365, with the result that the original text box will be completely broken up. But the PDF document remains the same and can be opened on any computer or even tablet in the world. Unlike Word, there are no font problems as this format carries all the fonts used with it. It is not, however, suitable for highlighting images at full size and for enlarging text boxes without limit. However, URLs can be activated in PDF, so you can click on web addresses and connect to the Internet without any problems. It is also worth downloading the compressed folder containing the Word and PDF versions, which also con­tains help material that will make the book much easier to use.

The PDF version should not be used for reading as it does not contain any pic­tures. This deprives you of a significant amount of additional information and aesthetic pleasure. In this version, which is designed for Google search, footnotes are also only used in a roundabout way (endnotes). A significant part of the text formatting is also lost, making the text difficult to read. It is also not easy to find individual chapters in the bulk text file, because the page number fields in the table of contents do not work. All in all, this version does not provide the experi­ence of reading a book and is a strain on the eyes.

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

I welcome our readers to the launch of my new magazine "Esoteric World". The creation of this journal has been inspired by the success of my books "Esoteric Panorama" and "Eso­teric Fulfill­ment" and "Esoteric implementation". I started writing these works 15 years ago, and during this time I have gained access to a lot of information that is not closely related to the subject matter and so has not been included in my books. However, it would be a shame to leave them unused, as they contain a wealth of useful information on the subject. I will pub­lish this additional information in this form. It will also be the place where I will publish the interesting factsheets and testimonials that my readers send me. If time permits, I will also reply to letters of public interest in the columns of this journal.

But the main task of the "Esoteric World" will be to keep you informed about the state of esoteric developments, the latest news. Since the breakthroughs that many had predicted have not yet been made in this field, and technical developments have not yet taken off sufficiently, we will not be too full of news for the time being. I am convinced that this process will not take off on its own, and I am therefore using this magazine to help the first steps to be taken. I hope that my efforts will soon find a following, and that more and more people will take the salvation of our civilisation to heart with their useful advice. Once this process is under way, there will be plenty to write about.

This journal is not yet in print. It is a well known fact in this profession that to start a jour­nal, you need at least. 100 million forints, and even then success is not guaranteed. Because of the dec­line in living standards and increasing poverty, even esoteric journals that are already in operation are becoming stagnant and could go bankrupt at any time due to the rapidly dwindling circulation. Since it is impossible to know in advance how much material will be collected at any one time, or even when, this publication will be published occasionally. With this expansion, previous articles will not be lost and will continue to be available. This method of publication may cause some in­convenience for readers, but it has one good side: there is no rush to close the page and there is no need to fill the required volume at all costs. As a result, I am not forced to cram the Esoteric World with boring articles and meaningless information, which ensures high quality. This journal has been put on the Internet in A/4 format so that it can be easily printed out if necessary. To ensure that all characters appear in their original form, download the "Fonts" file from the Kun Electronic Library and copy the fonts it con­tains into the Fonts folder of the Windows operating system.

In order to increase the content and quality of the Esoteric World, an editorial team should be set up exclusively for this purpose. As non-Hungarian speakers would also like to have access to the information contained in the magazine, it would be necessary to translate it into different languages. Since my financial situation does not allow this, I am looking for sponsors who would be willing to support my objectives. Anyone who would like to contribute to the effective operation of the Esote­ric World, to help it become an Internet world journal, can send their support to me by paying into the following account number. Thank you in advance for your contribution.

 

Budapest, 15 July 2004.

    

Unfortunately, nothing has moved forward in the process of bringing the Esoteric World to the general public. There are still no sponsors willing to contribute to the printing costs. Since in the increasingly difficult economic situation it is not expected that this journal will be published in print, I have prepared a PDF format and put it on my website. This version is especially useful for those who use Linux and Open Office. These free software programs are not able to handle Word's complex formatting perfectly, so the text is fragmented. The PDF version is simply sent to the printer. Everything will appear exactly as I edited it.

Be sure to print it double-sided, because it will still be about 2 cm thick and weigh nearly 1.5 kg. If your printer doesn't have a page turner tray, print in two steps. (Print the odd pages first, then the even pages. Open the File menu of the free Adobe Reader program, select Print, and set the Print input bar to Odd Pages Only. Then flip the pages and continue printing by issuing the Even Pages Only command.) Then take it to a bookbinder, or we can staple it together as described in Chapter II of my Text Editing Skills. This version will certainly not fall apart or fall on its pages. The steel clips will last until the sheets are worn out. When binding, place a blank sheet of paper in front of and behind it, then glue a cover folded from coloured cardboard.

 

Budapest, March 2006.

                                                                                                                                        Ákos Kun

 

 


 

Life images

 

Browsing through magazines and newspapers, we can read several articles that give a typical picture of our times and the current state of our society. It is a pity that these articles are soon forgotten. The next day, new news arrives and old issues are consigned to the waste paper basket. Many people think the three-day daily is no longer worth picking up. But that only applies to the day's political events. The really valuable articles are as timeless as books. It's just that no one collects them or draws attention to them. And very few people are willing to read through 36 pages of daily newspapers, the size of a sheet, going back months or years to find a single meaningful article. Nobody has the time for that anymore. So these articles are forgotten over time, lost to fu­ture generations. To avoid this, let us highlight some of the most interesting articles so that posterity can learn from them. Let us begin by highlighting one of our most pressing concerns: the con­se­quences of our modern educational principles:

 

The little boy is barely five or six years old, and he is bawling at the top of his voice. His tears are flowing. His mother drags him by the hand out of the supermarket. As soon as they get out the door, the kid throws the chocolate against the wall. This is not what I wanted, he yells. I want the other one I saw on the TV commercial.

  You threw away the chocolate, now you can't have ice cream, his mother tries to discipline him. But all she manages is to get the child to pull his bike out of the wheel brackets and throw it to the ground. Then he stomps on it where he can. Future-goers smile, shake their heads. Otherwise, the event is worthless, as it's practically a daily occurrence.

(Zsuzsa Koblencz - Népszabadság, July 7, 2004 (page 10).

[

The tram rushes along the Nagykörút in rush hour. The vehicle is crowded. On one of the seats facing each other, a kindly old lady is huddled, on the other a woman is sitting with her child in her lap. The little boy is swinging his legs and kicking the aunt's knees. The old woman backs away, waiting to see when the mother will call the kid. But when that doesn't happen, she politely add­res­ses the mother:

  Sorry to bother you, but your little boy keeps kicking my leg. Please, tell him.

  What do you want? the mother snaps, I'm not going to restrict my child's personal freedom because of an old woman! Mind your own business, not mine!

  Everyone on the tram watches the scene in shock while a typical rocker (steel-toed boots, tar hair­cut, tight pants, leather jacket, metal music blaring from the earpiece) takes the gum out of his mouth and gingerly stuffs it into her hair. Then he says:

  I wasn't restricted as a child either!

[

Indulging our children has become a cult. Even the people concerned are allergic to our child-centred attitude. Iván Bächer sheds light on the current situation in a very witty article:

  Take a look, Doctor! The child is all ready. He hasn't slept all night, he cries non-stop, he barely eats anything, he's got a bad stomach. What's wrong with this child?

  Let me see. Yeah. Sigh. It's... Open your mouth now. There you go. Now, that's perfectly obvi­ous. That's my fourth one today.

  What's the matter?

  Wait a minute. Now, little Lalika, tell me nicely: would you like Santa Claus to come again? No need to cry, no need to shout, Lalika, calm down, Santa Claus isn't coming, he won't be co­ming for a long time. You see, madam, it's obvious: a case of Santa Clausitis.

  What is it?

  Santa poisoning. Typical symptoms. Insomnia, crying, vomiting, diarrhea.

  Oh, my God!

  How many Santa parties has the kid been to this week?

  Well, he had Santa in kindergarten once, right. And then I took him to work, his father took him to work, because we were divorced, you know, doctor. And the next day his stepfather took him to the office Santa Claus.

  That was the step Santa Claus.

  That's right. But there was another Santa Claus for friends, you know, the old gang got to­gether, there's two or three kids everywhere now. And then we went to my parents' house...

  Mummy Santa.

  You could say that. Daddy dressed up, and it was a miracle, the kid didn't recognise him! And then, of course, in the evening, the real Santa Claus came, the one from home.

  That was the main Santa Claus. Oh, yes. I see. And heavy. One Santa Claus is a lot for such a small child. He doesn't know what to think or where to put it. But with so many Santas, he gets confused. Not to mention that the streets are full of Santas...

  You don't say, doctor.

  There are Santas wandering, marching, and flocking everywhere. You can't move for all those Santas. Santa Claus bumps into children on the tram, in the shop, in the park.

  How do you know that so well, doctor? Imagine, the child didn't even want to come out into the street.

  And as many Santas as there are Santa Clauses. You see, you've had a Santa Claus, a Santa Claus, a Sub-Santa, a Santa Claus, and I bet there'll be a Santa Claus.

  Two, doctor, two.

  You see, ma'am. There are a lot of Santas. They're multiplying out of all proportion. You don't know how many Santas I've had in my practice. There's been a House Santa, a Wild Santa, a Sub-Santa, a Twin Santa, an Art Santa, a Rubber Santa, a Wandering Santa, a Serial Santa, a Stray Santa, a Party Santa, a Deep Hundred Santa, a Social Santa, a Different Santa, a Tarzan Santa, a Stretch Santa, a Mall Santa, a Santa Claus...

  That's nothing, Doctor, but we had an Alternative Santa Claus this year. A pretty young girl in red boots and a short skirt. She had to take the kid home, she was crying so much.

  It was awful. By the way, most Santa Clauses themselves scream like an ox in the face of the poor child, thinking it will give them more prestige.

  And because he can't hear well with cotton wool. Most of them also grimace, don't know whe­re they are, forget and mix up the kids' names, hand out presents all over the place.

  He mixes up the slips of paper on which the unfortunate parents have written the information. And so Pisiste becomes Ferike, who plays the flute very well, even though she has never seen one, but is very good at gymnastics, but it is not she who is praised, but Nicolette.

  Because most of the Santas also do a little sponge in front of her. She's trying to compensate for the lack of lights. And then it smells like a distillery.

  No adult could stand it, let alone a child. Most of them get sick of the Santa Claus season. You get Santa poisoning.

  What can you do about it, Doctor?

  Please, you'll need a very strict course of Santa withdrawal. Nobody wear red, nothing red in general. The child needs calm, quiet, dim light. The best thing to do at this time of year is to retire to a remote village for a few days. If there's a bearded one in the family, you'll have to shave him...

  That'll be a problem, Doctor. My master has a very large beard. And his name's Nicholas, but you can't talk to him now. Imagine, he found a game on the Internet, on the website of a Da­nish soil company. You have to find something between six and seven in the afternoon, so as soon as you arrive you sit down at the computer, because whoever clicks first gets a prize, and he's already won a beautiful faience or something. If you play every day, you can win somet­hing big. He's completely infatuated with this quest. He found out that there are similar search games on other sites and now he is browsing through them. Often he's blind in front of the machine until after midnight...

  And what is there to search for?

  What do you mean? Well, little Santas. The last one he found was in the financial accounts of a Danish company. He was very proud of himself.

  Ma'am. This is where science stops. We have no choice but to wait.

  For what, doctor, for what?

  Well, Easter, ma'am. Then the bunny will come.

  And everything starts all over again?

  Well, yes.

  Well, thank you, doctor. And what do I owe you?

  Whatever you think. Throw it in here, in my puttony.

Népszabadság Weekend supplement, 13 December 2003 (page 11)

[

I don't wish anyone to be an Easter Bunny. Because I am one now. That's what my uncle said when I was born:

  Oh, you poor thing, it's a pity you turned out so pretty and white, because people are obsessed with giving their children bunnies like you at Easter!

You were right, it was my turn on a beautiful spring afternoon. I was playing with my brothers and sisters in Aunt Julika's garden near Pest, when her nephew with spiky hair came in and they whispered for a long time. (I mean, my dad has a nice smooth coat and doesn't burn like he's been electrocuted...) Then Aunt Julika nicely picked me out from my brothers and sisters and handed me over to "Spikehead". To her credit, she added:

  Zsoltika, I love my rabbits, take care of them! And I look forward to seeing you in two weeks!

I'm not a cowardly rabbit boy, but I was scared, my nose was shaking, my legs were trembling, everything was shaking. I didn't know where I was going. Let's start with the fact that Spikehead was even dumb enough to give his kid a real surprise. On Easter Sunday morning, so when we got home, he immediately put me in the middle of the biggest room and shouted triumphantly:

  What do you think?

I shivered even more, and then in fright - how shall I put it...? - little balls came out of me. Yes, I pooped. And my little balls rolled all over the place. His wife - who matched him, because she didn't have normal hair either, she wore red hair!

  Are you crazy? I've been cleaning all day and you bring me a pooping rabbit!

  You ruin everything! - Spikey yelled back, then said a bunch of horribly nasty words, and Red Riding Hood yelled even nastier ones, and then Spikey slammed the door so hard it burst open.

By this time I was shaking as if someone was shaking me from the inside, while Red Hair was sweeping my balls all over me, crying. That calmed me down - they're not killing me, they're killing each other - and I spotted a little girl with a dimpled face in the corner of the room. She was small like me, and just as scared as I was. And "Dimples" should be used to her parents' frenzy by now. During the week I spent with them, I noticed that they either didn't say a word to each other or they fought. Believe me, there is no family of rabbits that would take them in! This is not our standard. Let's see Red Hair first! He cried a lot - at first I felt sorry for him, later I didn't - and he was bully­ing everyone. Because only he knew what was right. On the second day he wanted to stuff a big carrot in my mouth, but I rebelled and ran out into the garden. While he was chasing me, I was in a good mood - I was the quicker one - and I thought to myself that I was a bunny with a loving family and a mind of my own. It's not enough that I've been brought here, this overbearing female also wants to regulate my vital functions. If she could, she would dictate what I think. Well, no! Red Hair treats her daughter the same way. She bought silly and expensive toys for Dimples, but if she wasn't happy enough, or if she didn't eat her cooking, or sing and recite when she had her kitten friends over, she would yell at her like Spikehead. Who, on the other hand, talked only of money. He ate a lot, he drank a lot of beer, but mostly he sat in his room when he was home now and then.

When I wasn't so scared anymore, I'd sneak into his sanctum. Imagine, he would sit in front of something that looked like a television and look at all sorts of aunties and then write long letters. Probably to the aunts... But the two of them never cuddled up together like my uncle and uncle did in the evenings to have more little brothers and sisters! That's why Dimples was alone. That's why he sat in front of the TV forever, bored with all his toys. Anyway, I can't watch TV, even though I tried. I had a headache, and I couldn't sleep because of all the horrible things. Dimples came out to the terrace at night and tucked me in. I loved him! He stroked me with his tiny hands, took me in his lap and fed me. Poor little thing! I've only been here a week, but my stomach hurts. It must be some neurotic thing that only humans have. Anyway, I'm happy because Red Hair hates me and has yelled at Spikehead many times that you have to take the "poop machine" back to the old girl on Easter Monday. That way I don't get dumped in a grove or a forest or on the side of a highway like many of my fellow queens. I'm going back to Aunt Julika - who is as good as a rabbit - and my beloved fa­mily. Only this dear, sad Dimples... What will become of him among men?

Ildikó V. Kulcsár Nők Lapja, 27 March 2013 (pages 20-21)

[

This snapshot was taken in a shoe shop in Budapest, but the person who captured it would have experienced the same thing in any country in the Western world at the beginning of the 21st cen­tu­ry:

Shoes are beautiful and damn expensive. They have pointed toes, they are comfortable, they ha­ve soft, supple leather. The price is 18,000, 20,000 to 24,000. I quickly decide not to buy any­thing, but I do try on a pair of burgundy stilettos. Damn, it looks good! But when I look at the price, I put it back as if it would burn my hands. That's when I notice the teenage girls standing in front of the shelf. Heavy makeup "jet black" dyed hair, branded stuff, cell phone around their necks. The most expensive, now fashionable type, you can send a photo with it. (I'm looking forward to the inven­tion of a soup spoon that lets me take a photo of my family at lunch, or at least plays the Ode to Joy. Anyway...) The shorter girl is whistling at her shoes, fiddling with her cell phone instead. You're probably familiar with the blank expression on some people's faces in company, in mee­tings, in the grocery store, wherever as they press tiny buttons for long minutes. Well, she does the same, then shouts in a harsh voice to her friend: "Bloody hell, there's a text message, but only about the tariffs! It's 5:30, nobody's called since 2:00! Gas, huh?" Her friend shrugs and she bitterly drops her phone.

I can see in her eyes that she is in a very bad mood. - Poor thing! Did you "eat" the commercials?  Didn't anyone ever tell you that an expensive mobile phone is not enough to make you a caring, true friend? Didn't anyone tell you that emotion and relationships are not embodied in objects? I thought as I continued to watch. She looks angrily at the shoes - seeking comfort and what does God do? It's the burgundy beauty I put back on the shelf a few minutes ago that is her remedy. He tries, he likes it, he's soon on his way to the checkout. But there is no joy on her face. I feel sorry not only for her, but for her parents.

Ildikó V. Kulcsár Nők Lapja, 5 November 2003 (page 37)

[

The (Z) Zombie Generation

It is true that the advent of a fantastic generation that would be born in the near future was mentioned in the early 1970s, but it was only in the early 2000s that this "miracle generation" was most often mentioned. They were described in various rather positive terms: indigo, crystal or rain­bow children. According to the theories popular in esoteric circles in particular, it is this generation that can bring about a fundamental change in the life of humanity and it is they who will be the ones who will achieve a higher quality, a higher spiritual level, thus setting the course of civilisation as a whole in a positive direction. Many of the parents rightly boasted that theirs was an indigo child, with above-average intelligence, intolerant of authoritarianism and generally a harbinger of a better future, a forerunner of a higher order of humanity.

Then came the great disillusionment, and we find that in our present age, the arrival of a gene­ration with almost prophetic qualities is somehow lagging behind. The cult of indigo has quietly died out, and now there are hardly any people who seriously believe that children born around the year 2000 can redeem the whole world and the future. In fact, the opposite is becoming increasingly true, and once-proud parents are sad to see their children out of touch not just with themselves but with reality. If anything in this indigo myth was true, it is that the generation known as Generation Z (I will call them Z's for simplicity)[1] has very different, generalisable characteristics from their pre­de­­cessors. They are more self-aware, it is true. If we define willfulness as self-consciousness, then by all means. The same applies to greater self-confidence, but in my humble observations this is more a disguise, a kind of armour behind which lies a serious identity disorder.

Indigos have often been reported (still around 2000) to reject fossilised, outdated social norms, such as not liking being forced into any kind of agenda-driven lifestyle, and not tolerating in the long term being burdened with unnecessary things (such as learning within the school system) to their otherwise great intellect. This is indeed typical of Generation Z, as we can see and experience today. But let's be clear: unfortunately, these characteristics have not at all emerged and prevailed as positive, constructive values in a society of 'child prodigies' who have now become teenagers and young adults, but have instead become the hallmarks of a more introverted, not only reality-denying but also almost hateful, and unfortunately incapable of creating and demonstrating values, and of a peculiarly confected mind. The indigos, crystals and rainbows have proved to be a very good raw material for mass brainwashing projects, as they have moved as one person from reality into virtual space, where they have become zombies, engaging in the most useless activities possible.

The great and beautiful hopes of the future have thus suddenly collapsed, and our children, who for all previous generations held the promise of a better and brighter future, have now become the depositaries of a lack of future, of general apathy and of an increasingly dangerous level of indiffe­ren­ce and dumbing down. But how did this happen? Well, it would be very foolish to blame Gene­ration Z alone for what they have become, and for the increasingly grim and threatening monstro­sity that is our civilisation's vision of the future. We, the parents ourselves, have contributed vehe­mently to this, since Generation X (the ones who largely became the parents of Z) cannot boast, for example, of having developed excellent educational principles and applying them consistently and unwaveringly. The X's surrendered to the increasingly dehumanising zeitgeist, did not rebel, did not have a major revolution or world-wide movement, but rather conformed to the challenges of the times (e.g. globalisation, the spread and diffusion of Americanised confectionery culture), thus cont­ributing massively to the imposition of an elite-driven civilisation on a world order and the global dominance of this trend.

Their children were more or less abandoned, and in the pursuit of money and material goods, they were hardly ever at home, but rather languished in second and third jobs. Education was ent­rusted first to television, then to the Internet. This has now proved a fatal mistake. We know that television is a weapon of mass destruction. It can dumb down and dehumanise masses on a massive scale, its brainwashing nature is indisputable and we are also aware that television is in fact one of the most successful tools of the elite in its project of social engineering. It turns hundreds of milli­ons into zombies without the victims even noticing as it slowly erases their real selves and replaces them with a confected, uniformed, almost completely empty, joyless, almost robotic pseudo-personality. This is what happened to the abandoned Generation Z. While daddy-mummy was running after money all day long, the Z-child was watching TV all day long, almost hypnoti­cally, and thus assimilating the values that the "CHILD" was beaming into his mind for hours a day. This is a dehumanised world view that teaches you to ignore the really important things, to chase the easy pleasures and of course has created a need for a vile celebrity culture, or undemandingness.

If the TV was the nanny for the Z's, the internet became their tutor, their teacher. The Internet in­troduced them to life with a capital "L", that is, to a poor copy of life, made up of bits, pixels and smilies, likes. Chat-based communication has eroded the desire, the need and the demand for both writing and reading, and this generation has expressed itself and continues to express itself in abbreviated expressions and primitive figures, briefly and concisely, of course, because that is what is appropriate. But this has also affected their thinking, and short, simplified sentence structures have become schematic and have become commonplace in everyday life. Furthermore, because the Zeds usually talked to each other in virtual space.

I used to notice myself that when I took videos or photographs of my family, I was actually out­side the events, and although I was physically present at these events, I was experiencing them through a mediating medium (camera, still camera, more recently smartphone), if I was experiencing them at all. Sometimes, when I realised this, I would put the device down and feel the wind of actual re­ality blowing. The phenomenon has now become a global problem. A few years ago, it became very fashionable to broadcast everything instantly online, to share photos and videos instantly, in the now fashionable word. On an excursion, on a trip, or at any social event, a lot more appropriate articula­tion has become a kind of luxury in their circles. Imagine the impact this can have on the general intellect. In addition, while the Z's spent a sea of time watching TV and surfing the web, they almost imperceptibly abandoned activities hitherto considered essential for spiritual development.

For example, they forgot how to read and, at the same time, how to interpret text. They have not been introduced to the great stories of Verne or other classics. Indian stories and juvenile novels have been neglected. And because they were not influenced by them, they did not become curious about the curiosities, the wonders, the great landscapes, the nothingness of our world. They show no interest in history, art or nature. They think it is all nonsense. And it's a waste of time, because in­stead of reading a book, it's more fun to pass the time playing computer games where you can kill virtual opponents in house-sized piles in an hour. It's great fun, it develops your reflexes and your decision-making mechanism. And it severely overwhelms everything else. Of course, it's not the ga­mes that are the problem here, as they can do no harm whatsoever to a healthy personality, mai­ntaining an equally healthy balance between reality and virtuality. But in this case, the Nanny (i.e. TV) has handed over a generation with a well-prepared, smoothly polished mind to the Educator, i.e. the World Wide Web. Thus, these children were already abnormally vulnerable and fragile when their pale faces were first illuminated by the flickering light of the screen.

Parents nowhere, no rules, no regularity, no serious expectations, the current almost desperate si­tuation has almost given way. The Z's have become indifferent to everything that cannot be expe­rienced through a screen (for example, there were some expressions from the children describing parents as too slow, too old-fashioned, too offline, too hold on tight!...) Serious psychologists are constantly sounding the alarm (perhaps too late) and trying to prove that the normal future of our abandoned and TV- and internet-dependent children, and with them our civilisation, has become highly uncertain. And what is the situation now, what is society's reaction to this warning? Practi­cally nothing. Parents are helpless, they really don't have the time for all this (systematic education, being there and together), and why should they deny their children the use of the great gadgets pro­vided by modern technology. Because, after all, if we can't have it, at least they can have it.

It is almost instinctive for the Zeds to deny the developmental and pedagogical principles that are traditional. We find them rebelling vehemently against the school system, against what they have to learn, saying that they need much more practical knowledge than that in the society of the future. Because in the Brave New World, it will no longer be trendy to be literate, informed, to acquire ba­sic knowledge. In this Brave New World, ruled by the elite, we will need to know how to earn as much money as possible in order to buy as much junk as possible, which will become obsolete in no time, thus expressing and carrying the symbols of our status in the social hierarchy, because "you are all you have". I mean in numbers and in terms of amounts. Literature? Arts? They can't be mo­netized, they don't make me a cool car, phone, tablet (okay, tablet), they don't make me pretty or cool.

The people who are against the school system are demanding more free time, a reduction in the number of lessons, because they are overloaded. Star Wars and Justice League comics instead of Stars of Eger. Because that's the trend now. They are easier to digest because they don't have any intellectual nourishment. The required reading has become old junk and they simply refuse to chew through it. If you will allow me a personal example: in my daughter's school, there is no longer any compulsory reading in the eighth grade. It has been abolished. The literature teacher says that it is because, and I quote her, 'they don't read it anyway, and if they do, they don't understand what they have read'. Just as handwriting is being eradicated from society (it is an important personality trait, so it really needs to be done away with), so too is the ability to understand texts and to do basic arith­metic.

The US teacher college entrance exams no longer present students with insurmountable obstac­les, so no more written exams! What would Generation Z prefer to study instead of the cur­rent curriculum? History, for example, could be a subject that could teach them about the creation and rise of Facebook. Literature? Well, it's a tough nut to crack, but we can do it: Harry Potter in Brief, 54 pages, spread over the whole school year. Geography is completely unnecessary, as I have my GPS on my phone. Maths is not necessary, for the same reason. Physical education? Come on, I move around enough in virtual space! Of course, this seems like a deliberate exaggeration, but rest assured that I'm not far from reality, or what the Zeds think it is.

But of course, it's not all the fault of Generation Z, at least not entirely, and not even the fault of Generation X who may or may not be raising them! It is a zeitgeist, and an artificial, invisible, intangible anti-culture, engineered at the highest levels and administered as a kind of lethal serum in a meticulously worked-out project. In tiny drops, each drop causing further deterioration and deg­radation of the organism. The mixing of different cultures, the spread of Americanised lifestyles and thinking around the world, the rise of liberal philosophies and all the processes associated with globalisation have combined to have a combined effect on our children's lives and bring out the worst in them. And they are no less capable than we are, or their grandfathers and grandmothers were, in fact! They mature noticeably earlier, their minds open earlier, they are intelligent, open-minded, tolerant and empathetic for a long time.

As long as they are at this age and are not hit by the first wave of the digital swamp, we could really hope that they would be different, and in a good, positive way. The great thing is that the much-cursed school system under the great liberalism has been almost completely transformed, becoming more permissive, giving students more freedom, and as a result they were home after 2 p.m., as afternoon classes were virtually abolished everywhere. At best, Mum and Dad would only get home from their daily drudgery around five or six in the evening, tired, frustrated and exhaus­ted, and by then, for three or four hours, either the television or the computer, including the World Wide Web, had rearranged their little ones' minds. We had very little say in this. But because the elite will need a mass of people who are incapable of complex thinking, who are locked up in their own little world, who are content with shallow things, in order to implement the New World Order without any particular resistance, no programmes have been prepared at national level to deal with the measurable and perceptible dumbing down, the addiction to gadgets.

In fact, the opposite has happened. Mountains of advertising targeted the younger generation, flashing them the latest smartphones, and hit movies subliminally propagandised the greatness of the 'live for today' philosophy. They have created a 'me-me-me-me-me' mindset, teaching our child­ren to care about nothing but themselves. Besides, almost all of today's heroes are antisocial psyc­hopaths. They have no real friends, they live in seclusion, they have denied the world, and of course they no longer have a library room, just a MacBook on their desk that they bury themselves in day and night.

Of course young people fall for these subconscious suggestions! And we are too tired, too busy, too impatient to somehow at least try to balance this gigantic influence. So the powers that be are deliberately raising Generation Z zombies because they need them to become easily bought, de­tached adults, prisoners of ever more advanced virtual technology. In the meantime, they can do whatever they want in the real world. No one will care. Our children will be in one of the millions of VR worlds where they can do anything they want, even make believe they are rich and famous when they are not. A whole generation will be put in front of VR devices that will actually make them blind and deaf, and in the little time they spend in reality, augmented reality contact lenses will make their otherwise beat-up, bottom-level existence magical. And when they realise how ble­ak non-augmented reality is, they flee hand and foot back to the VR world, where they can even get their work done, because everyone else is there! What a prize for the Elite to have such a now almost perfectly flushed generation!

Right now, at this very moment, they are kidnapping, stealing our own children from us, loose­ning family and any other kind of emotional ties, through them chopping up and destroying tradi­tional and proven community systems. What will happen after them? Of course, this is only the first generation of the Brave New World, for the next will come, our grandchildren, the generation now marked not by a letter but perhaps by a number, who are supposed to be raised by the Zee. The Z's who have never learned what it is like to live in a real family, what expectations to have of a child, how to treat them, and even how to raise them, having themselves rejected all such things. What kind of generation will be raised by a generation that is heavily addicted to gadgets and the internet, that spends years in VR worlds, that is devoid of empathy, that is totally dumbed down and ignorant of the world? It's scary even to think about it, and maybe it's better not to.

Perhaps it will be the Armageddon generation, the children of the end of the world, the last ge­neration. It is already inconceivable that today's young people, when the time comes, will be able to govern responsibly, to solve and manage serious global problems, or to come up with the physically tangible innovations that will guarantee the further dizzying progress we have made so far. What about their children? They will be the ones who have never even heard of books, and from their parents will only see them spending their days with a gadget on their heads, chasing momentary pleasures, perhaps injecting themselves with the necessary nutrients, lest they die of hunger or thirst during the unbridled and endless VR fun.

I am not writing this for nothing, because there have been an increasing number of cases recently of young people who have been engrossed in internet and computer games and have turned over dead after 48 hours or more because they have simply become dehydrated. One couple in the Far East had a few-month-old baby who simply starved to death next to them because they forgot to feed him every now and then while he was playing on the computer! So this is a very real danger! What will be here in 20-30 years? - we ask the question in growing desperation, and the experts ha­ve no answer. The course of evolution or degeneration is unpredictable, there are too many uncer­tainties.

It is possible to hope, of course. On the one hand, there is the hope that Generation Z will sooner or later be forced to get serious, so to speak, as they leave the Mama Hotel (the name given to the parental background and home where young people can still get by in their late twenties) and enter the world of work, where they will inevitably have to get to grips with the reality of their sur­roun­dings. This is the optimistic attitude. The more pessimistic view is that the Z's are just missing out on the most important stages of intellectual maturation and are becoming a different kind of adult. Infantile, emotionless, who continue to turn inwards into artificially created worlds. In 20 to 30 years' time, this generation will find itself in the antechamber of the New World Order, and that is the big­gest problem. They will not have any major problems with this. They will not even know that they are prisoners of an oppressive system. There, in virtual reality, they will be free to be themselves. But only there.

 

 

 

Trendy-fascism

You know why every 12-year-old now has a smartphone? It's because if they don't have a model that's at least more or less cool in their own little community, they become a target. They are ridi­culed, excluded, eventually ruined and sometimes driven to suicide. The Zék have developed their trend-fascism to an astonishing degree of perfection, which does not tolerate any deviation, any deviation, any difference from the average, which is a system of norms based on brands, brands, con­fectioned, without any uniqueness. The perfect recipe for the uniform man. Have such and such a brand of shoes, such and such a dress, a phone, such and such a hairstyle, and such and such an ex­pression. Love this celebrity and hate that celebrity.

Every single moment of this generation's life is rigidly self-regulated, and you simply cannot deviate from that, because you will be instantly hated by the public. Always be online, like, share, nothing else matters. It has become so pervasive that today's teenager now finds it unthinkable to spend even a few hours without a mobile phone! Because then you are cut off from the bloodstream, you don't receive notifications of your friends' activities, you can't express yourself, you can't give ot­hers any sign of life, and it's as if you're dead!

György Körösztös Hihetetlen magazine, April 2018 (pages 9-14)

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Our sea of troubles is compounded by our rapidly growing alienation from each other. Everyone is becoming numb, concerned only with themselves. On the street, on the bus, on the tram, we cast cold glances at each other. We tell our fellow human beings, even unspokenly, „I don't care about your fate in the slightest. I don't care how you are, and it would be best if you weren't.” The reason for all this is the modern society we have created. The consumer society really consumes you. This attitude of treating everything and everyone as a commodity has led to the emergence of the post­modern type of man, whose main characteristics are „emptying of the self” and „ultimate aliena­tion”. Even the strongest bonds, the deepest human relationships (parent-child-spouse) are rapidly weakening, and we treat everyone with increasing harshness and rejection. In the frenzy of consu­merism, indifference, distrust and indolence have crept into our lives. We love only ourselves, and less and less. We do not listen to each other, we do not live with each other, but side by side. Often we do not do this deliberately, but the spirit of the times dictates this behaviour, forces it upon us. It is somehow „in the air” that we have to do this now. We do not have to, but we obey this impulse.

Because of this, we are afraid and we dare not face the truth. There are countless forms of run­ning away from ourselves: overindulging in sex, partying, shopping frenzy, or burying ourselves in work. Whatever it is, as long as it keeps us constantly busy, leaving us no time to meditate, to reflect on our situation. In doing so, we would realise that we are on the wrong track, that our whole life is a series of useless substitutes. We are not doing what we should be doing, we are not behaving as we should. We are not even willing to accept the occasional instinctive help from others. Árpád Pünkösti's article in Népszabadság describes the current situation in a snappy riposte:

After a torrential downpour in the street, you can only cling to hope and your gloves. In front of me, a young lady marches. Her scooter shoes are not for this fight. Her jacket is down to her hips, and caution and fear play back and forth on the muscle fibres that tighten at the buttocks. As if the pavement were being pulled out from under him, his feet fly, his hands flap, his black trousers, which were just flapping gently, touch the ground, and the wings of his jacket flap. I slide beside him. Her face is even more beautiful. Her hair is brown, her eyes are closed.

  Did he hurt you? Did you break anything? I ask.

Her blue-green eyes are blushing. He looks at me. I look at him. Two strangers. He moves his head to indicate that nothing is broken. I hold out my hand gently. I take off my gloves to get a better grip. Holding on to me a little, he deftly rises to one knee, stands up. Right hand still holding left hand. We brush each other's cheeks, and when his grip loosens, they stumble, and I'm flying. I roll sideways and smile compulsively up at Amarillis. He's already giggling, as if he knows the name he's been given in this flying baptism. He pulls off his gloves, reaches out his hand for me. The look is more clingy than the hand.

  Arm for leg, leg for arm! I shout at the top of my voice. How did I just think of that?

We're already standing next to each other, holding hands, and he laughs and repeats: kohlrabi![2] There's mirth in those sparkling eyes. It's as if it makes her shiver, and we're slipping, falling, tipping over again. I lift my head. He does the same. He tries to get up, and when I reach out to help him, his eyes glance at me and hiss: go to hell! We get up separately, and when he gives me another angry look, I shudder with rage: stupid bitch, she kicked my leg!

Népszabadság, 28 December 2002 (page 7)

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The lady in her thirties got into her car, I could see she was in a hurry because she had thrown the bags in the back seat. She started immediately, but the car was foggy, you could hear the dead battery moving the engine, but it was so weak that she couldn't start it. The woman's face flushed with horror, she raised both hands and dropped them on the steering wheel. Then she put her head on it, rolled down the window and said: "This can't be happening." It happened in a shopping centre car park, I was standing next to my car. I like this situation very much, waiting and not going in is very good. Not because I have any aversions to this kind of shop, I have long since got over the dilemma of Hungarian product cheap product, and since organic yoghurt, which used to cost 60 fo­rints, now costs 300, I always end up with the latter.

I stepped away in the direction of the lady who was on the phone to her husband. I went to her to persuade her to stop trying, to stop completely skinning the old battery.

  We decided yesterday to buy a new battery, she said with sincere desperation as I leaned over to the window next to the driver's seat. And she added: she had already told her husband to go to the nursery to pick up the child. She's going to leave the car here overnight, she has no money to call a trailer. Nor is it possible to go back to the store and buy a "bull cable". And by the time she had sor­ted all this out, she was getting her shit together.

  Wait a minute, don't rush, I suggested, because I found what he was outlining very compli­cated.

  I looked around because I couldn't move the car on my own.

  Excuse me, I need some help I said, approaching a middle-aged man, but to my dismay, the woman walking beside him immediately quickened her pace and the man turned his back on me.

In another case, almost exactly the same thing happened. I looked at myself, wondering what could be so alarming about me that I would immediately shy away from anyone I turned to. But I found nothing that would frighten me myself. Then I waited some more. I couldn't tell the grand­mothers pushing their shopping trolleys with their grandchildren. Then I failed a third time, even though I was more sophisticated. I pointed to the woman sniffling in her car and said there was a problem with her car. The third person I spoke to said she was sorry, "let's call a mechanic", her husband had a spinal injury, she couldn't let him push her around.

While I was hunting, I remembered an earlier scene when I myself was standing helplessly - in the same place over the bonnet. The alarm went off, blocking the ignition. It was evening, it was already a bit dark, I was huddled inside my car, the siren was blaring. One by one, the shoppers pas­sed me by. No one came up to me and asked what was wrong. If only to make sure I hadn't accidentally stolen the car. It took me at least fifteen minutes to figure out where and which button I had to press to get going. In that time you can merrily untie a car I thought to myself at the time and the dog won't even notice.

What happened? What could be the cause of the widespread use of the now quite familiar eva­sive gestures? There is something in the looks that go beyond a simple refusal to help. In addition to the averting, there is an indefinable antigest, behind which lie inexplicable fears, grievances and disappointments. "Sure, I'll push your expensive car, but if I need something, hospital, school, of­fice, candy, huh?" Or: "Come, come, Charles, be careful, you might get knocked down trying to help." Or: "Everybody solve his own problem!" Or: "I'm busy, can't you see I'm running?" Or: "Damn it, we're not changing change, why can't you understand that!" Or: "I don't know, I'm not from here." Or: "Get lost, fucker, you're taking up the whole lane."

The fourth person I spoke to was happy to help. It took a few seconds. We pushed the car out onto the straight stretch, then turned it into a sloping area. We told the lady in trouble that if she made it, she shouldn't stop. She meant it literally, because without a wave back, without any special thanks, she stormed off in the blink of an eye.

László Rab - Népszabadság, 4 June 2005 (page 5)

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Everyone well, almost everyone has a weakness. Sometimes you don't even notice it your­self, but fortunately there is social control: sooner or later others will point it out. As I got older, I thought I knew my bad habits which I will refrain from listing for lack of space but there was one that I had to face up to now. I was staring at people. I always knew, of course, that I was inte­res­ted in them. People, I mean. I should have suspected that this was not normal. So I just kept on loo­k­ing at whoever came along. Some people returned my gaze - mostly babies and old people - but most didn't even flinch. My interest did not disturb the young people listening to the walkman, the schoolchildren with heavy bags on their backs, kicking gravel, the trash collectors walking briskly with large bags, and least of all the well-dressed young people hurrying with determined steps, car­ry­ing a mobile phone in one hand and a briefcase in the other, hurrying towards their car, and - although there is no third hand! are setting off their alarms from a distance. So I've checked them and the others, and so far no one is bothered.

But this spring my fellow human beings seem to have run out of patience. I sat alone in a hos­pi­tal corridor waiting for some paper. I had already read the newspaper, all the leaflets, signs, posters. Then a pretty young cleaning lady appeared at the end of the corridor, washing the stones with quick, expert movements. So I looked at her. When she came up to me with the mopping razor, I willingly put my feet under the bench. And he, without looking up from the wet stone, murmured:

What are you looking at? I hate being stared at!

He kicked the bucket with his foot and the water splashed out. He must have been in a bad mood. I tried to forget him. In the summer, another signal came. I ran into the homeless woman on the street, who usually hangs out in front of our house with her companions. It occurred to me that I was going to take some clothes to a collection point, so why not give them to her? So I took a closer look to see if my size would fit. He noticed my look, snorted at me:

  What are you looking at? And he spat at me, but he missed.

  Still, I decided to go to the Maltese Relief Service. Then: a mafioso in a sporty suit drives around our street in a brand new car. When I pass him, he's studying the dashboard. He looks at me pier­cingly:

  What are you looking at, Mama? Don't tell me it's yours!

  A teenager skateboarding on the pavement. He's heading straight for me. I jump away.

  What are you looking at? - He's whining at me. Afraid I can't brake?

  Same with a car. An SUV pulls onto the sidewalk at almost a right angle. I cower in horror.

  What are you looking at? I need somewhere to park too!

  In the sunny street, something crashes down on my head. I grab it, my hair is covered in ci­garette butts, crumbs, crumbs, paper galaxies. I look up. On the second-floor balcony, a wo­man with a voluptuous figure, braving the chilly weather, shaking a dirty blanket in her bra.

  What are you staring at? - she whispers down at me. - Don't you ever clean?

  A drunk man presses an intercom. It's no use. He shakes the gate, then kicks the stained glass. Ratt­ling, of course I'm looking.

  What are you looking at? - he asks menacingly. You mind your own business, bitch.

How right you are. The others come and go in the street, ignoring him. No, I promise I won't stare at you anymore. I won't even watch TV. Not those current affairs talk shows. I don't want anyone to call me off the screen and ask me:

  What are you looking at?

I'd rather mind my own business. I'm looking at my flowers. They love them.

Éva Janikovszky - Népszabadság, October 2000 (page 26)

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What makes a writer great? Gábor Görgey Gábor's answer to this question, which is valid world­wide, is. As soon as he dies, he grows taller and stands taller, like an eagle's nest, before his mour­ning contemporaries. It does not grow slowly and gradually, as one might think, but suddenly, by leaps and bounds. Like a bolt of lightning, there he grows, suddenly a great writer is born. All it takes is for him to die. The moment he is laid out, he becomes a giant. The writer lies on his coffin, and his life's work grows rapidly, one might say mindlessly. He doesn't have to lift a finger. At one time he had to fight for every single marker. Now he needs neither ballpoint pen nor typewriter. It's so simple, you could have figured it out sooner. All you need for a great work of art is to be pub­lished. Of course, it would be nice to live that life's work. To bask in the success, to gasp at the accolades. It would be nice to enjoy what a great writer he has become. But that's impossible. It's against the laws of nature and nature's nature.

And then the funeral, the eulogy, and the mourners go home. The explosion of talent also stops. Slowly they forget what a great writer he was (for a few days, until he is buried). The ghostly pall of the dead man who has grown large begins to shrink. When it is small enough, it shrinks back into its place, into its disintegrating earthly shell of dust. And waits. For what? For it to suddenly start gro­wing again. The talent in him. In a moment or two, it turns out how many people in his life have known how great a writer he is. And that he'd opened a new chapter in literature. When that moment comes, even his philologically tidy daily shopping bills, the receipts he used to throw into his basket at the corner grocery store, will be collected into volumes. And they will publish every line, his entire oeuvre. Which is this moment? The centenary!"

Népszabadság - Weekend supplement, 6 March 2004 (page 10)

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I sit on the uncomfortable plastic chair, watching the cold, desolate corridor crowded with people serving as a waiting room. I listen. A woman sits next to me, watching the crowd. She waits in silence. Every now and then a door opens, we raise our heads in hope, but it's always someone else. After an hour, the woman looks at me and suddenly speaks. There is no emotion, no sentimentality, no self-pity in her voice, she tells her story in the most concise, short sentences. Or rather, the skeleton of the story. No details, no fancy words. He does not even say what he and his little daugh­ter were doing in Ukraine in the spring of 1986, only that they went on a trip to a place near Cher­nobyl. They took their little basket of snacks prepared at home, and had a peaceful snack. They had no idea that the tragedy of the century had taken place at the nuclear power plant. The woman had undergone six operations since then. Cancer. She now has organs that have had to be replaced with plastic. That's the story. And now she sits in a deserted corridor, waiting. Patiently, like someone who has plenty of time.

We live in a world of lies. In the case of Chernobyl, for example, the star was denied from the sky. Only little by little, after a long delay, did they admit something, but they also tried to trivialise it. Famous scientists gave their names and faces to this, scientists whose statements we still sometimes see on television. It has been a good 18 years since the Chernobyl tragedy, but even now there is little or no talk of the consequences that are likely to be felt in the future, which will cer­tainly be far more serious than those of 1986. Because this sad story is not over yet, that is for sure. At the same time, in our everyday lives, we hear and see on posters, leaflets and in the media that we should live and eat healthily. Many people are trying. The trouble is, we don't know what's in the water we drink. We don't know what's in the air we breathe. We don't know what toxic substances are being released into our rivers and small streams, and what has built up in the bodies of the fish caught in them. We have no idea how much and what chemicals are in the vegetables and fruits that look so pretty on the market. The seller says of course nothing, which of course can be true, some­times. As has recently been discovered, even air freshener can have carcinogenic effects. And what else? What else is being found out?

Older people in particular are desperately trying to read the needle-head list of ingredients on the packaging of various foods in shops to see if they contain substances that are harmful to the body. But these labels are written for the eagle-eyed. The examples could go on. One point: in a world of lies, economic interests have become more important than people. We sit with the Chernobyl night­mare woman in the uncomfortable plastic chair in the cold, deserted corridor that serves as a wai­ting room, glancing hopefully towards a door, hoping to be called. But no. There are so many pati­ents. We keep listening. Then, as if remembering now, the woman starts talking again. It turns out that her little daughter, who was so unsuspectingly and deliciously munching on her basket of snacks near Hell in 1986, is now 21. You could say, and rightly so, that she is in the prime of her li­fe, ready to start a family. But we can't say that, because there's a problem: she's gone into meno­pause.

Lajos Körmendi - Metro, 1 December 2004 (page 3)

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It happened in Budakeszi at 5.30 on Saturday morning. We were waiting for bus 22, early risers. There were six of us. A young couple without luggage, probably on their way home from a party. An elderly man with a rocking horse under his arm, probably for his grandson. An elegant, middle-aged lady with a fine brown leather travel bag. Finally, I myself, cold as a dog and sheltering from the icy wind, ducked into the doorway behind the bus stop. The unkempt, rumpled man emerged from the post office with a hefty bat on his shoulder and strode across the dirty pavement. The huge shopping bag must have been all he had, it was easy to tell. The wind blew in and out of the slits in his thin coat, his shoes were bound with duct tape, and he wore a cap of indeterminate colour and shape on his head. He stopped at the bus stop, put the dirty bag on the ground, spread his legs, folded his arms behind his waist and spoke in the most natural way in the world:

  At ease! and then, pacing up and down, he turned to the man on the rocking-horse, and add­ressed him, to the genuine astonishment of us all, with impeccable manners:

  Major, did you correctly assess the situation when you entrusted the defence of our troops to the cavalry? The old man said nothing, stepped back, and shyly drew his rocking horse close to him. The homeless-looking man did not stop:

  The most important thing, my sons, is to close the southern ridge lines he declared in a raised voice, pointing to the grocery store opposite the bus stop. He then gave the order of the day and set out the protection tasks for all of us.

  You, Lieutenant, will prevent enemy troop movement to the flank. This will buy us time to organise a counterattack by the armoured battle group on the right flank of the division. Am I understood?

I did not answer, for I was cold at hearing the reply. The man of about fifty-five or sixty presen­ted himself as a competent senior officer, but the fact that he was hanging in rags was astonishing. After I did not respond to the operational order, he asked the question again:

  I didn't hear you confirm, Lieutenant. Do you understand what your mission is?

He leaned in close to me, his wet eyes conjuring up images of a world in turmoil: A young man stretched out on the officer's deck sometime in the mid-1970s. Among the spectators, a proud grandmother, a pretty bride claps her hands. The rows of guests are full of young skilled workers, waiting for a Trabant and a telephone, travelling to Várna or Lake Balaton on summer holidays, a horde of workers who have "moved up" from the countryside to the József Attila, Óbuda or Békásmegyer housing estates. To win, together with the young officer, a battle that at the time seemed just about winnable. And, together with the young man who has chosen a military career, he accepts the offer of the times: a little is more than nothing. Who would have thought at that time that the factory would be over, the military would be over, and the moment would come when, after twenty or twenty-five years of service, a man would be thrown away like a second-hand rag. And how many, but how many, people in this country still cannot explain how it is that they are not needed when they were once so much needed?

The shabby general's eyes flashed as he repeated several times in succession:

  Do you understand?

I nodded, apparently satisfied. He turned back to the "unit" standing at the bus stop. He remarked that he would like everyone to understand that artillery action must be preceded by a divisional strike.

The bus still hadn't come, and there was time to explain the rest of the details of the attack. Our broken general drew a ruler from his satyr and addressed our troops in an encouraging tone. The general became excited, and kept pointing towards the settlement of Makkosmária. After all, it was logical, I thought to myself, it was morning, everyone was asleep, we could attack Budaörs beyond Makkos without any problems. We shouldn't be more than two or three kilometres away as the crow flies. It's half past five now, my train leaves at seven, that's an hour and a half round trip. With today's modern military technology after a pre-emptive strike it would take an hour to force the unsuspecting Budaörs to surrender. Our general could advance all the way to the M7 motorway line at around half past six and take the best fighting positions. The battle, of course, was cancelled. When we (as fleeing privates) boarded the 22, the captain did not come with us. He kept waving his ruler like a sword in the sky. I also saw the well-dressed woman wipe a tear from her face.

László Rab, Népszabadság, 4 March 2006 (page 4)

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The newspaper pages were yellowing, the black and white photographs were crumbling. The miner once hailed as a hero of labour - whose name in Nógrád County was associated with the final chapters of an era of industrial history feels like a living legacy of the past. And yet it was not so long ago that the Drexler brigade broke its own previous production record in the mine shaft of the Nógrád Coal Mines. It was just sixteen years ago that 26,507 tonnes of coal were brought to the surface in just one month. If a single train had been required to transport this amount, it would have gone from Pásztó to Salgótarján.[3] This achievement, which is difficult to estimate today, was achieved by the 54 men led by Károly Drexler, who worked 14-16 hours a day without rest days.

Károly Drexler was once referred to as a "crazy miner", who would walk at a depth of 300 met­res to avoid wasting time on foot, and who, when he could no longer carry the beam in his hands, would drag it behind him with his legs tied behind him. Who went in on Sundays and Christmas, when he thought others needed his help. He did all this at a time when the decline of the Nógrád Coal Mines was becoming apparent and closure was only a matter of time. Károly Drexler was a striking figure in a disappearing workers' legend. The Stakhanovist miner had lived in a two-room apartment on the fifth floor of downtown Salgótarján for more than thirty years. Stepping out of the lift, we are confronted by a broad-shouldered man with huge hands and short hair. This is the look you see in gyms nowadays, although we don't know if he can keep it up to the age of 61.

  He could lose a few years, we try to say something polite, but he just shrugs.

  On the rare occasion I leave the house and meet someone I know, he starts by saying how well I'm keeping myself fit, he says. But look! There behind the armchair is the ventilator. I've had sev­eral operations to remove things from me, because I've spent so much time in cold water, so much time working up a fever and freezing to death, that I've damaged several organs. When the cold front comes, my hands and feet shake, my head throbs and then explo­des. I felt something similar when I was young. In Salgóbánya. In the deeper cuts there was so little oxy­gen that the carbide lamp went out, we had to take the bulb off the end of the tube to relight the flame. At home, I had dinner in the garden and lay down on the grass be­cause I couldn't stand the air in the room, my head hurt so badly. This pain is coming back now, during a cold front. But never mind, I don't want to complain.

During our conversation, Karoly Drexler repeatedly says that he does not want to boast or hurt ot­hers. The former is difficult because, if he just lists the dry facts, it might appear to the average per­son as boasting. Charles Drexler stood out among the miners for his work ethic. When he had to pick and shovel, he worked twice as much ground as the others. When it came to sorting the coal heaps, he alone pushed three or four, while the others pushed one or two. He says that when they came to the surface, his clothes were the dirtiest because he always worked in the hardest places. He's been where the mud has broken through, crawling into the tightest holes to shore up machinery that has sunk into the soft soil. He was at the scene of accidents, helping to get out a man and others who had been crushed by a chipper.

In 1985, when the first youth socialist brigade was formed, many people were only willing to join the new brigade if Károly Drexler became the brigade leader. Then he tells us that he grew up in Salgóbánya and spent his childhood in the mine yard. He was ten when his father was electro­cuted in the mine shaft. It never occurred to him that he could have chosen another profession. He enrolled as an apprentice, then became a soldier and married. He worked in Salgóbánya, in Szilváskő in the Forgách mine, in the Tiribes mine near Nagybátony and then in Kányás. As one mine after another was closed down, it was always transferred to a more distant mine. He speaks disparagingly of his accidents. Even today, he rarely goes to the doctor, sending his wife to prescribe his medici­nes whenever he can. It's as if he's ashamed of the diseases he picked up in the mine.

  We didn't have showers in Salgobánya, he says. And as soon as we came out, sweaty and drenched from the flooding, we walked home, winter and summer. More than once I went to work with a fever and pneumonia. I just concentrated on not fainting before the end of the shift. Then, when the others couldn't see, I'd go to the doctor for an injection. My blood pres­sure would some­times skyrocket, but I managed to hide it. Maybe I shouldn't reveal that today either. Isn't that like bragging?

  No, we'll ask you about your accidents.

The first one was partly due to his own carelessness: he looked behind him while pushing the five hundredweight of coal. A bump caused one of the handles to open and pinch his thumb. Though he pulled his hand back, the iron stripped the skin and muscle from his finger to the bone. We were about to ask him about the next one when he added two distinctive details to the story. One: he looked back to urge the others on. The other: his supervisor asked him if he wanted to make the accident statistics worse with this little scratch? He said no. He did not go to the doctor, the incident was not reported. They just bandaged his finger and he went back to work. In the evening his mother sewed him a one-fingered glove to stop dirt getting into the wound, but it still took a long time to heal. Years later, a stone slipped out of the tárnok[4] and broke his wrist. Another broke his ankle. He takes care of it with a flick of the wrist.

  In many places today, even hitting your fingernails is considered an accident, he says. In my day, it was not an issue. If the jolt of the drill pressed your hand against the iron or you pinched your finger while sharpening, you scratched your head, said a little something and got on with your work.

But the production competition was more than just a contest between brigades. Coal was always in short supply and production had to be increased by political order. Under normal circumstances, it took two years before a new front was opened for the water to flow out of the coal wall prepared for extraction, while production was being made from another front. However, there was no time to wait at the mine, where the front was prepared and the coal was milked wet. The miners had to work hard in the face of crumbling sand and silt. In the waterlogged ground, entire machine lines often sank, and the coal wall had to be loosened by additional drilling and small explosions. As they used to say in the mine, "you had to provoke it", because in many cases the machinery was not enough.

  In 1987, the 42 front was opened, he says. It was an 87-metre wide, 1 metre 70 centimetres high coal mine. Plant managers said the conditions could be suitable to break the production record. They entrusted us with the task. We did it. Everyone worked overtime for 31 days, no Saturdays and no Sundays. We worked 14 hours instead of 8. We set a record. We were re­warded with a week in the Soviet Union. It was the first time most of the boys had ever been on a plane, and probably the last.

The following year there was a serious accident: a scraper had torn off the leg of one of his subordinates. Karoly Drexler himself was involved in rescuing the wounded man trapped by the plane. The young man was younger than his son. The accident was very traumatic. He became ill. The illnesses he had been fighting for a long time had broken out. When he went back to work, he was teaching apprentices. At 47, after three decades of working underground, he was invalided out. A year later the last coal mine in Nógrád closed. Today, Károly Drexler lives a reclusive life. He rarely leaves his home. When he doesn't have to look after his two grandchildren, he prefers to go to the market and his plot.

  I watch TV. What could I do at home? Most of the commercial channels, or as we say in my country, the garbage TV, make me nervous, he says. I don't want to talk about politics beca­u­se, unfortunately, I still often get sucked into it. I don't know who's happy in today's world, I really don't find my place in it. People are hostile, everyone is looking out for their own inte­rests. Our money is worthless. If I run into an old acquaintance, I don't dare ask if I can buy him a glass of beer, because I might not be able to pay for it. The old working pubs have clo­sed, and I won't set foot in these shiny, glittering bars. We used to go out from the shift to watch the local football team play. Even if the team lost, we'd watch the football. Now there's no football. This town has changed, but I don't know many people who are happy with the way it's become. All right, I don't want to offend anybody. It's just nagging. The grumbling of a disgruntled old man.

Tamás Romhányi, Népszabadság, 25 September 2003 (page 9)

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In the spacious bourgeois apartment, guests ate caviar sandwiches and praised the precious paintings hanging on the walls. In the kitchen, an old samovar was peacefully snoring away.

  Tata brought it when he came back, said the host, adding, Fifty years ago.

  In the hall, TV people, film-makers, actors and all sorts of writers sat around a table laden with ca­shew nuts, Dutch cheese and slices of foie gras. The male members of this well-heeled group were surrounded by elegant ladies. Everyone was talking about themselves, and ever­yone was full of complaints. The director was unable to scrape together two hundred mil­lion for his dirty cinema, the actor was berating his director, the TV editor, slightly tipsy, said at the end of each „speech”: every­thing was covered in shit, let him run for his life. Mean­while, the sandwiches were all gone, the bottles of Piedmontese wine were emptied one by one. From time to time, the host went round, dragging with him the „new salutations”: a first prize-win­ning draughtsman, a newly decorated cho­reographer, a prolific memoirist who is pro­ducing a series of otherwise unreadable works. When­ever he came in, he always leaned over to the old man huddled in the corner of the room, leaning over maps; as it turned out, his 96-year-old grandfather.

  What would you like to drink, Tata? - he asked, but the old man smiled and waved him away.

  He neither asked for food nor said a word, but listened with interest to the flood of complaints from the company. He was evidently amused by all the petty tales of woe. I could see him chuckling when a new guest, the experimental physicist, threw his mobile phone to the ground in a rage and shouted: what kind of a shitty country is it where even the reception is so bad?

  He was mining gold in Magadan the host nudged the old man.

  Really? squealed a self-actualised lady with a mango and a signed memoir in her hand.

  Where is that Mega... or whatever?

  He hasn't spoken for three years, said the host. Magadan lies on the banks of the Kolima River, in Siberia, under the Arctic Circle, near the Arctic Ocean. In winter, minus 50 to 60 degrees is not uncommon.

  Am I right, Tata?

  The old man nodded cheerfully.

  Wow, how exciting laughed the little lady, and continued to ask questions. What was your   your daddy was doing?

  He was playing the slave, said the host. Meanwhile, her toes had frozen several times, and she had plenty of time, when he wasn't being beaten to a pulp, he sometimes starved to death. Am I right, Tata?

  The old man winked at his grandson with sincere amusement.

   Luck and connections, dear father, the increasingly snooty TV editor thundered. That's what the to prosper. Everything here was rotten to the core.

  The team continued along this trail. With the country „infernally” ill, relations „terribly” confused, it's all about „how you lick, what cliques you fall in with, and whether you're there when the cards are dealt.”

  It's no longer possible to live here either, hissed the actor with sincere disgust. I can't breathe. To stay on my feet, I run around like an animal. Theatre, TV, film, whatever I can fit in. I need the money for the kid's scholarship. I'm killing myself.

  What's your daddy done to the fire? the mango woman, who turned out to be a cool, in­terior decorator.

  He was in the wrong army. He was a prisoner of war in the Gulag. He served ten years, lucky to get forty grams of bread a day. Is that right, Tatas?

  The old man clapped appreciatively at the grandson who spoke for him.

  You can't live like this in your right mind, trumpeted the Buda property expert, who usually only deals with foreigners. If you open a shop, the state will come and take over, and you'll pay like cattle. You have to emigrate.

  More sandwiches slid down bitter throats, the tablecloth was stained red with wine - as if some­one's blood had been spilled. The gloomy members of the party headed home.

  Easy for you, old man, the director said to the old man, as a farewell. What's the matter   have you in life?

The old man waved his hand cheerfully.

Népszabadság, László Rab 4 February 2006 (page 4)

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Late in the afternoon I was on my way home with two cardboard boxes. Large, open-topped paper boxes, favoured by antiquarians because they are handy for transporting books. But I carried them empty, as I only needed them for the fire. I discovered that our tiled stove is particularly fond of cardboard when it is lit. I went to Füredi út in Debrecen to get the boxes and then walked back ho­me. It was a long way, but I didn't want to take the car, if I have time I walk everywhere. I marched merrily on the crunching snow. I might have whistled. Halfway I would have checked the time, I wanted to know how far I'd walked, but I forgot to take my smartphone, and I didn't even put on my favourite wristwatch. So I walked up to the first couple I saw to ask them what time it was. I opened my mouth and took a breath to say hello, when the male member of the couple accelerated, drag­ging the woman with him, and I stood there with my mouth agape. What's got into them? I looked after them. Then I shrugged, thought I'd try the next passerby, and soon I was addressing a woman in a fur coat.

  Excuse me, could you tell me... I began, but she choked on the word.

  Leave me alone, don't bother me! She snapped at me, and without looking up, hurried away. His shoes knocked.

  Has he gone mad too? I muttered.

The next person I saw, I did it again.

  Sorry, could you ask... I began, but I couldn't finish.

  I don't have any change a man in his fifties shouted at me, but I shouted back:

  Why are you bullshitting me? Because I don't have a watch?

  He looked back at me and said:

  Buy your own.

I was shocked: what had I done to incur the wrath of the world? But when I got to the shop on Simonyi Road, and saw myself in the window, I suddenly had an epiphany. I looked like a homeless man. My antique dealer had warned me beforehand that the boxes were dusty, so I put on the wrong leather jacket and old, torn jeans. In addition, my face was covered with a winter beard, my cheeks were uncut, and I was holding the two paper boxes. I looked like a poor man who had been a garbage man. I used to see people like that, poor people with bitter faces, gypsies and non-gypsies, going from bin to bin collecting usable things. I looked like them.

Damn the world - that's what I heard, like the sea, when I started walking with my head down, and then I didn't speak to anyone. When I reached home under the beautiful plane trees, I turned straight to the garage to chop firewood. I had an axe in my hand, and then I finally let out all my anger. Do you have any change? No?! I hit, I cut, I screamed...

Zsolt Kácsor Népszabadság, 13 January 2015 (page 9 - excerpt)

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Győző is fifty-one years old and still remembers the moment thirty-eight years ago when he first got his hands on the Derszu Uzala[5]. He could not put the book down. He rushed through it in a row, then read it again, and again, and then dozens of times. The wonderful figure of Derszu Uzala slowly came to life in him, even though he was a boy from the suburbs who had only ever seen trees in front of the ABC store, three of them to be precise. He lived in a flat with his parents, on the eighth floor, and after meeting Derszu Uzala, he never took the lift again. He wanted to train, to prepare for life in the woods. When he told his father that he was going to Mátrafüred to study forestry after finishing primary school, his father beat him up terribly, shouting at him that 'my son will not become an alcoholic woodcutter'. His father wanted his son to become a telephone repair­man. He argued that a telephone repairman was a "gentleman". A telephone repairman, according to his father, "can wear a tie and jacket to private customers".

But Győző did not feel that telephone repair was worthy of Derszu Uzala, and went to Mátrafü­red to train as a skilled worker. True, he soon realised that his father might have been right. His classmates in the dormitory drank vodka in the evenings, so Győző got hooked on the drink and cigarettes. Out of curiosity, he immediately smoked a Worker's Punch, thinking that Derszu Uzala would nod his head in agreement. But he only lasted one year at the school in Mátrafüred, after which his father's wish came true, and Győző enrolled at the industrial vocational school as a telep­hone repairer. But why? Győző bangs his head against the wall and laughs at his father afterwards. The old man thought he was a wise guy, so here he is. He didn't foresee that an old-fashioned telep­hone repairman would not be needed in time, and he talked nonsense into his son's head. He used to say that he could have learned to copy codex on that basis. He was a victim of the 'communications explosion', his profession was hit by the mobile phone, and he has not recovered since.

But it was his wife who threw him out, not the company. Everything else followed. According to his ex-wife, he had been drinking and setting a bad example for their two children. But he denied it. He didn't drink any more than anyone else, was his defence. He never thought his wife would kick him out of the flat. Nor did he think his eldest son would be able to lock the door in front of him. His older son of all people. His favourite, who always looked at him with adoring eyes when he took him hiking in the Bükk. And then how he slammed the door in his face. He'd just slam the door and it was over.

But in the park, where Győző sleeps nowadays, there are quite comfortable benches with giant oaks leaning over them. As he used to say, "the giant oaks", as it were, "fall over him". He gets to know all the trees, this one is a vibrating poplar, that one is a small-leaved linden, and this one is a maple. Whenever he was asked his name, Győző would say that his name was Derszu Uzala. But they don't understand. The name has no charm for non-readers. The other day, a policeman asked him, "So you're Romanian?", to which Győző shook his head and replied, "Oh, no, no - I'm just an alcoholic woodcutter.

Zsolt Kácsor - Népszabadság, 22 October 2015 (page 9)

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The man must have fallen a few minutes before I got there. He was lying there on the work­benches of the Jászai Mari Square park. He was face down, his crutches beside him. His bloody nose indicated that he had not merely rested because he was tired. Meanwhile, someone comes up and touches his carotid artery. He has a pulse, he says. I call 112. They quickly connect the ambu­lance. I tell them what I saw and where it happened. First question: how are you dressed? I expect this, I lie, he's a well-dressed, middle-aged man, because I know that you don't rush to the homeless. Then I waited, but no help came. I called 112 again, and the dispatcher broke the line to urgent. Meanwhile, the minutes ticked by. Then a "doctor bystander" came along. After getting rubber gloves from a nearby pharmacy, he examined the man. "He has no pulse," says the doctor. But when the ambulance arrives, maybe they can help. With that, he moved away.

It's almost 30 minutes. I try 112 again. But sir, you've already spoken to them twice, let's not bother them, says the operator, and then he hangs up the phone without connecting me further to the ambulance. Everyone has left. The two of us are standing there with my friend and the man who is turning purple. The ambulance arrived 33 minutes after the first call. Three tired people, two men and a woman get out. They have been on the road since 8 a.m., the woman explains. They will immediately start resuscitation. One of them explains that he fell because he had died before. A pulmonary embolism. But when I called, he still had a pulse, I try to reason.

We contacted the National Ambulance Service. We asked them to explain the circumstances of the case and to answer the following question. Is it true that the caller is informed whether the injured person is homeless? If so, what is the reason?

The ambulance service replied to our enquiry. Generally speaking, there is no "normal time" for the ambulance to arrive on the scene. The rule is to get to the patient as soon as possible. In three quarters of emergency cases this is achieved within 15 minutes, but in a few percent of cases,   usually due to the momentary occupation of ambulances in the area help can arrive in a longer time than average. The main aim of our improvements is to reduce response times. One of the core values of ambulance services is to provide an equally high standard of care, differentiating only on the basis of urgency and severity of illness. The aim of the questions asked by the ambulance dis­patcher receiving the call is to assess the health of the patient in need of help and the dynamics of the disease process, i.e. the urgency of care.

András Boda - Népszabadság, 06 January 2015 (page 4 - detail)

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Mother's Day musings... 

 "I'm going to be like my mother" is every woman's nightmare, and men suffer from perpetual mother-in-law phobia while their chosen one cooks like mum at home. We have a somewhat contradictory relationship with the one person we cannot deny; however she may have given birth, raised us, or at least tried. But what do we expect from a mother today? Is the smell of meat soup and Sunday cake enough, or are we prouder of a hot fifty? Do we need a girlfriend, Mother Teresa or Mother Teresa, a successful businesswoman, an influential success story, with or without an ixed suitor by her side? It's a tough question; to each his own.

She was little, she didn't want to cause anyone any trouble, to get in anyone's way. He'd stoop down and tear up the weeds in the yard, and then take the green to the chicks. He picked nettles for tea, because they cleanse. Dirt under her fingernails, blisters on her hands, bumps on her skin, and her skin was cracked, even though she was young. He rides his bike, he comes on his bike, in all weathers, even if it's poured from a basin. Now he's cooking. Standing in the steam. His neck's red and his cheeks are red with sweat and broth. He chews parsley. Her clothes smell of home. She buries me between her breasts. She ruffles my hair to comb it. She braids her hair into bows. She smoothes my skirt. Of course, that's not true if I'm a boy. Then he folds a handkerchief into a handkerchief and folds it over my head. She makes a little girl, or a rooster. When I pick her flo­-wers, she smiles. When I come home later to buy a bouquet, he sighs that he shouldn't have. She puts them in a vase and then tells everyone as soon as I get in the car.

On summer afternoons he makes sandwiches. He pours tea from a ladle, sometimes he pours it beside you, smears the sticky mess with his clothes-tail in a septi because we're late for the beach. He doesn't want us to be late. We have to catch the sun. As a family. But then maybe he'll come later. We should go. He'll come. We'll take the luggage. There's a candy corn under the tree. It's good, it's ripe, let's pick it. Let's take it. Sugar pears are sweet. Like mother and mother tongue. It's getting old here, I don't know. If he breaks his hand, he cries, but that's only because he's got nothing to do. She can't even peel an apple for a pie, which only she can do properly. Like his mother taught him. He spins the ribs for hours to get them nice and red, just right, cupping, sticky all over. Just the way we like it. The kid has the best bite, and my dad and I fight over it when we have to. He'll take a bite out of his own mouth if he has to.

He sweeps the snow in his boots and is greeted in advance. Then he adjusts his scarf and supp­resses a throaty coughing fit. And in the spring, he'd straighten the world out if he could, just so no one would notice when he did it. She carries several bags in her hands at once, crochets with several needles at once, picks up everything for me when I'm renting. I live off him for weeks. He's always around me and I can never find him: he leaves nothing for anyone else. Sometimes I look in the mirror to see what he's doing. He's my age, but his eyes are more circular. Even when she goes out, she puts on make-up and high heels in vain.

When she's ill and in the hospital, she'll only see people in the garden. He's a flower-picker, a weed-puller. He's in a cape, slippers on his feet, and he doesn't need what I brought. He'll die young, whatever happens. He's been around as long as I have, and he's grateful to me for being a mother. But I haven't really done anything for her: I am. I'm fine, I assure her on Mother's Day, we're fine; I smile too and she gets two kisses. I know it really matters to her.

Vágó Mariann kulturpart.hu 05. 05. 05. 2019.

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I met Márton on a cold winter evening. I was hurrying home through a nearby park when suddenly he stepped in front of me and asked for a light. After digging matches out of the bottom of my bag, the man plopped down on a bench and started smoking. The bench he was sitting on was covered with cardboard, with a torn plastic bag at one end and a dirty blanket at the other. Even in the early evening gloom, the weeks-old stubble covered a young face. To my amazement, the young man introduced himself in a fitting manner and told me that he was in fact a mechanical engineer. His job had ceased three years ago. He was involved in a car accident last year. He was nursed for months. He was discharged from hospital a few weeks ago, but was unable to go home. His crippled wife wouldn't let him into their flat. A casual acquaintance of mine was freezing on the bench for a few more weeks, numb and lifeless. Then I didn't see him for a long time. Later, I learned from his comrades-in-arms that Márton had died. He had been taken away by loneliness, compassion, a terrible feeling of superfluousness, the hardness of womanhood. Yet he must once have been a ho­peful young husband. He nestled and hoped for lasting happiness with his chosen mate. I know that not all men with broken lives end up on the streets, and not all of them die a natural death of cold. But the 'devalued', the dispossessed, the childless, must have been loved once. But for some, love lasts only until the first problem.

Ildikó T. Puskás Tina, issue 1996/3 (page 2)

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Newspaper article: Forged public documents university diplomas, language exam certificates, high school graduation certificates seized by police in Sopron. The certificates, which appeared to be authentic, were presumably obtained from a printing press, then filled in with the customer's de­tails and stamped with a seal. The customers paid between 80,000 and 150,000 HUF for the do­cuments.[6]

  Oh my God!

  Have a nice day! Have a seat! We are delighted that Your Lordship has honoured our humble institution with your trust. As I was informed in advance, you are in need of a diploma. May I ask what career you have in mind?

  I do not know.

  Choosing a career is not easy, it is a very painful and responsible task, in which we have to reconcile our desires and talents with our potential. As Attila József says in the idiosyncratic language of poetry.

  Not wild animals!

  Of course, of course, I was speaking figuratively. I forgot that your master's occupation is not pastoral, but sheep-herding. May I ask when he finished his schooling?

  At noon.

  Forgive me, but I think the dear customer might misunderstand...

  I said noon! I went in at noon, I finished at noon. Somehow it didn't seem right to me.

  But you know the letters!?

  Of course. Only not by name.

  Oh... Of course, we don't mind that sort of thing. For example, I've just passed an exam in Banyamulenge. "Won't you be caught not knowing a word of this language?", the customer asks. I reassured him: there is only one other person in the country who speaks Banyamulenge, and he graduated from my school. Hehe. Now, let's get down to business. In such cases, I usually suggest choosing a profession that is close to the original profession. You could be a vet, for example. You know other animals besides sheep, don't you?

  Yes, I do. I know a goat. Only in passing, of course.

  In passing?

  He always runs away from me.

  Oh, I see. You could be, say, a people doctor. A surgeon or a gynaecologist. Tell me, do you have delicate hands?

  I don't know. Bodri likes it. He's a very gentle animal. He always eats out of my hand. He ate half of it already.

  I'd rather suggest something less dangerous. You could be a philosopher.

  At what?

  You're thinking.

  Oh, I've got a headache.

  You know what? Be a traffic engineer. They don't think. I don't want to brag, but almost all the people in Budapest graduated from my school. So did the road engineers. I've given degrees to whole generations. And just look at it: the M7 was still a bit of a mess, the M5 was just rippling, and the M3 was just cracking.

  Cos they're cracking on it!

  There you go!

  Can't I be a politician?

  You don't need paper for that, you need a face. And I'm not selling that.

  Couldn't you somehow? God knows I'm stupid enough to do anything...

  Then there's only one profession I know: economics.

  But that's embarrassing. What would my sheep say?

  Sir, I'm sorry, if you're that dumb, I have nothing else to offer. How do you want your degree, cum laude or summa cum laude?

  Well, if that's what it costs, let it be summa cum laude.

  Next, please.

László Karcagi - Népszabadság, 9 October 2004 (page 9)

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The round head of the mopey man in the shabby suit with the Jávor moustache widens even more as he smiles from afar. As soon as he gets closer, he wishes me a loud "happy birthday!", spreads his arms wide as if to hug me, but then, sensing I have nowhere to put it, he doesn't hug me, just holds out his right hand to me. I accept the parole, but when I pull my hand back, his big soft palm won't let go.

  You don't recognize me, do you? he asks, looking me deep in the eye.

  Sorry, I'm really in trouble apologise.

  Think about it, he encourages me kindly.

  I'm afraid I can't remember, I shake my head in shame.

  Shall I help you? - he winks at me.

  I wouldn't mind.

He waits a long time, then he lets go of my hand and cuts out the answer:

  I collect the garbage on your streets.

  I sigh, and now I know he's pulling my leg.

  Well, you got it, didn't you?

  Yes, I nod in acquiescence.

  What street do you live on? he looks at me, searching his memory.

  On Kolozsvár Street, I say.

  Of course, in Kolozsvár Street! How could I forget! Since we've met, I'll tell you that you can ask me for anything you want, and if you have any rubbish that shouldn't go in the bin, you can just throw it in, I'll sort it out.

I grumble something in greeting, he continues:

  You, listen! I have a problem.

  What is it I say, with an inquiring face.

  I left my wallet at home. Can you help me out with a thousand? I'll drop it off tomorrow.

  A thousand?

  Or a five hundred will do.

  Okay, but the problem is I live on Semmelweis Street.

  Don't worry, my crew collects garbage on Semmelweis too.

  But I live on Spring Street.

He'll realize I'm teasing him, he'll change:

  Okay, I'm not the garbage man, he admits. You can still give me a hundred.

  I will if you tell me who you are.

  Why should I tell you who I am? - He asks back.

  So I know who I'm giving a hundred bucks to.

  If I tell you who I am, will you really give me a hundred?

  Then I will.

  All right, I'll tell you who I am, but give me 200 instead.

  Okay, I will.

  All right, I'll tell you who I am. I'm a bum.

  I don't believe it, I shake my head.

  But, believe me, I am. I make my living fooling suckers. What I get, I spend on booze. Even the two hundred you give me. I'm a bum! A good-for-nothing bum!

  You can't be a bum.

  Yes, I am!

  If you admit you're a bum, you can't be that much of a bum.

  Okay, I'm not that much of a bum. Sometimes I'm nice. So I get the 200?

  I'm gonna hand him two hundred bucks.

  Thank you, he says, bowing and saying goodbye.

  I look him up. He walks with a cheerful stride, firm and poised. Just before he disappears aro­und the corner, a middle-aged man comes towards him. He opens his arms as if to embrace her, but seeing that she has nowhere else to put him, he doesn't embrace her, just shakes her hand.

Tamás Ungár Népszabadság, 5 November 2004 (page 11)

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It is not by chance that it is said nowadays that man is not descended from the monkey, but beco­mes the monkey. We have reversed the direction of evolution:

The tiny old woman hurries towards the pier in Fyre. You can tell she's seen better days. Her face is delicate, her pale blue summer dress is made of good material, a small hat is perched on her head. Across from him a loud-voiced party marches, the boys holding beer bottles. They are drinking and drinking, shouting and laughing at the trees of Tagore promenade.

  Some foolish Chinese or Indian planted this one of them shouts.

  How did that idiot get here when you can't even pronounce his name? shouts the other.

A bald guy jumps up to Salvatore Quasimodo's tree, looks at the sign and kicks the trunk.

  Must be a communist, he looks at the others, laughing.

  The tree of a Nobel Prize-winning Italian poet, a genius who did a lot for Hungarian artists, you poor thing the auntie snaps at him, out of her shell.

The boy is embarrassed by her temper and asks with a stuttering tongue.

  How do you know, grandmother?

  Because I read his poems in Italian, you dolt, and translated more of them. Because at the time I thought that young Hungarians should learn the values of world literature!

  All right, old girl, stop stuttering! stammers the drunk boy.

  Shut up, let's get out of here the tallest boy snaps at him. A zero for culture she says, and then bows to the lady, who adjusts her hat with a delicate gesture and walks on with surpri­singly youthful steps.

Ildikó V. Kulcsár Nők Lapja, 1998/34. (page 13)

 

There is also a joke to be made here, which proves that we are becoming monkeys:

An elderly lady is clinging on to a tram because none of the young people are willing to give up their seats to her. She is standing next to a girl who is tattooed from head to toe. She takes a good look at her. He is particularly interested in the Chinese pictograms on her neck. As he looks at her, she grows more and more nervous at being stared at so intently. Finally she says:

  What's the matter, Mama, haven't you ever seen a tattoo? Wasn't it fashionable in your time?

  The aunt replies patiently:

  I used to live in China for decades as a seconded scientist at the Academy. Then I spent years back home teaching Chinese to the diplomats on secondment. I just don't understand why it's written on your neck: keep frozen!

[

There was poverty in the past, and it was often the case that an elderly pensioner could not pay for the milk and bread he had bought. In such cases, a well-off person in the queue would either wave to the cashier to make up the missing few forints, or reach into his wallet and hand over the missing amount, almost apologetically. Let's see how the new generation deals with such cases:

"There is a long queue at the checkout in a grocery store in a large town in the lowlands. The young lady at the checkout is working fast, but the queue is slow a lot of patience is needed for weekend shopping. Some people don't fill their shopping baskets. In front of me is an elderly lady. She's bought 0.5 litres of milk, 1 croissant and some Parisian pastries. The cashier mechanically tells her the price: 165 HUF. She hands him the carefully prepared money, with lots of change. The cashier counts the change while sorting it in quick movements. In the end, it turns out that she has given 4 forints less. The cashier in uniform then says nothing, but keeps his hands on his hands. Literally.

  I'm sorry, but I don't have any more money she says, frightened. Apparently, I miscalculated how much I bought. Please take the croissant back!

The young cashier grimaced, not liking the extra work. He's about to do as he's asked when a young man in a leather jacket in the queue speaks:

  Mama, don't hold up the line, here's your 4 forints, then take your croissant. Just get the hell out of here! The people in line watch the scene in silence. Only the sound of the cash register can be heard."

H. S. Népszabadság, 29 November 2004 (page 10)

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The prophecy of our great 20th century poet, Endre Ady, has now come true: "He who has much goods can rob more; He who has little can rob a few."

 

Wallets, jewellery, computers, washbasins nothing is safe in hospitals today. Thieves are almost daily visitors and institutions are helpless.

  Auntie Ilonka, are you here?" a young man scans the ward from the doorway and then, without waiting for an answer, moves away.

A little later, he loiters in the corridor, watching with a second eye. The next thing he sees is a neighbour, an elderly patient hooked up to an infusion, searching in a small closet next to the bed, startled by the strange noise.

  What are you doing? he says, perfectly helpless, and the uninvited visitor, with the fresh bag in his hand, disappears in a moment.

By the time the nurse arrives in the room and the security guard is alerted, the intruder has disappeared into the hospital by the time the policeman arrives. The patient may not have realised the danger he was taking when he made the call. But he has certainly learned that the only person who can protect his valuables is himself.

The hospital director can remember only one specific case where the culprit was at least tracked down. The thief, who had been a thief with a knife, was chased through the courtyard by the institu­tion's designated guardian. In the end, it was the security door that helped the criminal: he climbed out through the lower, open opening, where the well-endowed guard had wedged himself in. In another case, the thief arrived as a patient carrier, wheeling a wheelchair in front of him, with the explanation that he was taking the patient for an X-ray. He pushed the old lady out into the garden, stripped her of all her jewellery, and carefully pushed her to the front of the building, where he left her. The hospital is the easiest place to commit theft, and the staff and managers of the institution know a variety of theft stories. The perpetrator is out of sight, uncontrolled, free to walk around the wards and, if someone asks who he is looking for, he simply gives a name.

  At night it may be easier to unmask the uninvited visitor, but during the day it is impossible. Usually there are at least two of them 'on the move', keeping an eye on the ground and up to all sorts of tricks, says the head of one institution. - Sometimes they move around the wards with sports bags, disguised as vendors, even though this kind of selling is forbidden. Yet they go in and put everything in the bag while their partner watches outside.

More recently, coffee machines are being looted, broken into and emptied every week says another hospital in the capital. According to György Harmat, director general of the Madarász Street Children's Hospital:

  The pillows are also being ripped out from under the children's heads. They take everything that can be moved. From the toilet, the tap, the seat, the toilet paper; all kinds of appliances, jewellery, wallets, ID cards.

The manager, who says it's almost hopeless to detect the intruders. Especially on an on-call day when there are a hundred to a hundred and fifty children.

  Perhaps if there was a guard at every entrance, the situation could improve. But the hospital does not have the money to pay one or two million forints a month for this. And when they had a few dog people, they still stole. According to Ivan Golub, director general of the Uzsoki Hospital, the same gangsters "work" in the hospital as in the vehicles, but here they are safer.

  Sick people, people who have fallen, people waking up from anaesthesia, people recovering from surgery are very easy for them to deal with.

All hospitals agree that the situation has deteriorated in the last ten years, with thieves becoming more brave and unscrupulous. Many places have strict rules on "access", but this does not offer any real protection.

  If, for example, visiting hours were limited to two hours a day and staff were on standby to watch everyone without exception, it would certainly be possible to spot anyone who wanted to steal says one manager. But this would probably be immediately protested not only by relatives but also by the Ombudsman. So for the time being, the warning on patient information notices remains: everyone should protect their valuables.

Kun J. Viktória Népszabadság, 12 July 2004 (page 9)

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Leaflet warns of danger: recently, several elderly people have become victims of so-called trick theft in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county. Thieves have been using a variety of pretexts to ring gates to pick the pocket of the host's money at a careless moment. At the request of the Mezőkövesd police station, the pastors of the neighbouring villages recently drew attention to the dangers to the elderly at the end of Sunday services, and the local crime prevention foundation published 20,000 copies of a bulletin with advice on the subject. In the Mezőkövesd area last year there were one hundred and fifty crimes against people over sixty, and in the first four months of this year there have been more than fifty. According to a statement from the communication office of the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Police Headquarters, a number of elderly people have recently become victims of so-called "trick theft".

The perpetrators have used a variety of methods. Some of them posed as people from a utility company, others pretended to be sick, knocked on the door to ask for water and then robbed the unsuspecting homeowner. János Fodor, head of the criminal investigation department of the Mezőkövesd police station, said that the perpetrators of such crimes are usually well-dressed, well-mannered people. They usually knock on the door claiming to have brought money or prizes, but before they hand over the gift, they have some related costs taxes, fees paid. They then watch where the host takes the money from and, pretending to be sick, ask for water or medicine to keep them company for a while. According to the head of the department, many people in the Mezőkövesd area still keep their funeral money hidden in their bed linen or in a drawer in the kitchen cupboard, where unauthorised persons can find it at a moment's notice.

  There was someone who approached an elderly man with the offer to buy an iron barrel he saw in the yard for 10,000 forints, but he only had 20,000 for it the lieutenant colonel says, turning the pages of the minutes. Some people pretended to be employees of the pension office and rang the bell to say they had to write down the serial number of the last 10,000 they had received. Others got in by saying they were from the municipality, had drawn lots at the com­munity centre and had brought their winnings. Some left with 60,000 forints, others with 200,000. A group of three people walked along Cseresznye Street in Mezőkövesd, ringing the bells of the flats to say that the residents had won a woollen blanket. Some people were incredulous at the news and did not even let the newcomers in, but the seventy-six-year-old István B., who lived in the middle of the street, left with 60,000 forints.

  In the afternoon, I was lying down in the summer kitchen, a stranger woke me up and told me she had good news for me because I had won a woolen duvet in a raffle, and she took my hand and pulled me out to the car, where two others were waiting. They told me I would get the prize if I bought another set, which would have cost a hundred and twenty thousand forints, but now I could have it for sixty thousand forints. I didn't want or need new bedding, but they were so pushy that in the end I just gave them the sixty thousand, which I had saved for a colour TV. When they left, I ran over to my neighbour's house to see what she thought, and she said that they sell quilts like that for five thousand at the market.

Three men approached Mrs G. Joseph with the complaint that she had received a pension of HUF 54,000 less than she was entitled to the previous year. All they asked was that the elderly woman show the ten thousand she had received with her last pension, because the serial number of the banknote had to be written down. The elderly woman took out the box in which she had kept her and her son's savings along with important documents. Then one of the men asked if there were any walnut trees for sale, because he would like to buy the ones he saw in the garden. While the host accompanied one of the men to the garden, the box was lost.

We live a block from the police station, I never dreamed this could happen says the elderly woman. We slept with the window open, we left our tools outside in the garden, we were not at all afraid that someone would try to harm us. Now we lock everything, but it's no use, all our money is gone.

The Tiszaújváros police station distributes a leaflet of crime prevention advice to elderly people receiving social meals in twenty-four municipalities. In Tiszaújváros, seven hundred people over 60 will receive the practical information, in Mezőcsát, one hundred, and in the smaller villages, ten to forty. In Sárospatak and Enc, local police stations distributed leaflets with police recommendations for the protection of the elderly. And in Szerenc, police officers reminded members of the pensio­ners' club of the dangers they face.

Tamás Romhányi Népszabadság, 3 May 2006 (page 2)

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In a village near the Ukrainian border on the Tisza, most people live on public works or unem­ployment benefits. Some people go to work for small and large companies in the surrounding villa­ges. But there are also poachers who sell fish caught secretly at night to innkeepers at a low price. Local jobs are provided by the general store, the second-hand clothes shop, the two pubs, the school and the mayor's office. Life is not easy in this village, which has two entrances. In front of both, there are already the respectable old Mercedes pulled over to the dry ditch bank. You can see that the cars had been washed before they left for Paris, only the dust from the lowlands had taken a little of the shine off. After a short wait, one of the cars "checks in", which means it rolls briskly through the village. It doesn't honk, it doesn't squeal on the brakes, it doesn't splash the accelerator - it just drives slowly, to keep the car running.

These black cars appear here at every aid distribution, a symbol of the inevitable, of fate. Today, the municipality is distributing aid, which is used to pay the interest on the usurious bills to the collectors in their Mercedes. There are no objections and no respite. The villagers, most of them Roma, are standing in front of the newly-plastered mayor's office. A woman in a camouflage with a baby in her arms. Most of the men are wearing old-fashioned, worn trousers. Few of the women are dressed in the traditional khaka, preferring to wear the solid-coloured skirts that others have discarded, given to them by the local foundation. The impatient stompers are surrounded by a ragged crowd of kids on rickshaw-pink bicycles.

At the edge of the village, the money collectors are visibly bored. They sit in the car, silent, so­metimes turning on the air conditioning, yawning, one of them lighting a cigarette. Bald and broad-shouldered, as they should be. Grumpy and sleepy. Maybe even tired. They lack the enthusiasm and interest of owners, which is no wonder, since they don't work for themselves. The money they collect is taken from them to the last penny. They receive a monthly wage, out of pocket, in the black, employed by people who are a thousand times better off than they are. And who treat and talk to them the same way they treat and talk to the Roma they belong to. Everyone has his own collector. That is how the world is put back in order. They wait until the last Roma has pocketed the money and then they take to the streets. The villagers wait for them at the gate, as if they were relatives. Without a greeting or a thank you, the drivers fold the five thousand into a black waiter's tin. No receipt, no register.

An agitated, thin Roma man like something out of one of Kusturica's films bargains a little:

  My brother, give me some paper, my wife is in hospital, they might even cut off her leg, she'll think I gambled away this little money.

He's pushed in the chest, then he makes a noise:

  You're right, my brother, may the devastation take away my suspicions, but leave me somet­hing until tomorrow, I owe money to the metal collectors, and they're so good they'll shoot me on sight, if I don't pay you, then you can come and get your money, the guardianship won't let you have my house, and I'm being eaten by fishes at the bottom of the Tisza, and I can't pay you interest and loans from there...

He's dutifully babbling, he knows he'll never get a chance, but at least he's trying. Of course, there's no big problem, because in three or four days the collectors will come to the village again, and then they won't take, but bring. They give out loans from the bar, at a much higher interest rate than before, but somehow you pay them back. If you don't have the money on time, you get it from someone else. He's got to, because these bald guys are gonna beat it out of him anyway. But you have to think about today, you can't think about tomorrow with that kind of money. What's left over after the usury interest, you have to pay the shopkeeper a little of it, so that next time he can give you bread and parizier on credit. The few forints left in the pocket would not be enough for anything other than a cosy, raucous evening in this mosquito infested autumn. And tonight the village is merry.

And the collectors are already on their way back to the capital in the early afternoon, everything in order, everyone has paid, on the way they might think of stealing some of the tobacco, but they don't dare, because these bald guys are afraid. For fun, they invite a few prostitutes from the road to join them, they also belong to the boss's circle of interests, and although the "free ride" is not available to the collectors, the girls are willing, one could say they are in solidarity - they help each other out. The girls wave, the collectors step on the gas, they have to get home for the evening, the nightclub opens and they are the bouncers. Almost every night there's some kind of trouble, with an average of two fights a week. It's a tough business.

Ferenc Hajba, Népszabadság, 28 August 2004 (page 9)

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The technique of crime is also improving. The newest method is for thieves to send each other messages by writing on a wall. Before going on holiday, it is not enough to check the doors and windows: the fence, the walls and the front door casing must be inspected for signs. Chalk, pencil, whatever. Literally written thieves' language is common in Europe's burglary circles. The Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure has published a dictionary that watchers use to send a message to the burglar:

For example, a drawing of a comb warns the "professional craftsman" of a biting dog. The X is the most dangerous sign: this is where you should and can come. Why? For example, the diamond shows the burglar that the house is empty, and the triangle tells him that only an old lady is usually at home. But if it's a rectangle, it's a waste of effort: it's already been burgled and there's nothing to take. It's not worth going to work in a place marked with a paperclip, there's no real loot here. The worst warning sign is a ladder: police may be watching the area. Vertical lines drawn side by side indicate the number of children in the home being watched, women by semicircles, men by elon­gated twins. The loop indicates that the apartment has an alarm. The pebbles indicate that there is a lot of cash. If, on arriving home, you notice three oblique brackets, you can call the police; this tells the burglar that a colleague has been here and the "job" is done. In Belgium, it is not only the neighbour who is informed, but also the police if you go on an extended holiday:

  Officer, look in that direction once in a while. He does look, and even collects the newspapers and letters that have accumulated, and also checks to see if there are any chalk marks on the walls.

Oszkár Füzes - Népszabadság - Online, 1 August 2002.

[

"It's terrible how much life costs.

The sum is surpassed only by death.

Doctors and lawyers take the bribe,

And the church's peace is at a high price.

It's against the law to murder,

But it'll tolerate being robbed!"

(Helen G. Ansley)

Leather football bounced between cars parked on the sidewalk. Boys in shorts and half-naked kicked the ball on the sidewalk in Gutenberg Square, Budapest's 8th district. Sometimes the leather ball bounced on a car, sometimes on a bare leg. An elderly man with sparse, slicked-back hair and thick glasses stepped out from under the arcades of the house in the middle. He carried a heavy bag in one hand and a broom under his arm. He opened the small Polsky in the middle of the parking row and unloaded all sorts of tools, including a hammer, onto the front seat. When the bag was empty, he looked around the car. Its well-kept, pale green bodywork showed no rust. Then he raised the hammer and banged it against the window. The guys passing stopped, the leather football bouncing away under the arcades. The mother of the little girl swinging in the middle of the square turned around in surprise, but caught her gaze immediately. A barefoot boy ran up to the man and looked at him with his mouth agape. The man put down the hammer, used the broom to pull the broken glass away from the child's feet. Then he smashed the other window, put on gloves and started cutting the roof of the car with a bare saw blade.

The police car came to a screeching halt next to the little Polski. Two policewomen got out and asked him: what are you doing with the car? The man replied: he was converting it into a con­vertible. He said it in Italian, convertible instead of convertible, but the policewomen understood. The ageing man quickly added: he was wrecking his own car. The policewomen checked the traffic and then one of them called the control centre to say that there was nothing at the scene. The man continued sawing, but the cut line was no longer straight. Before he could finish, another police car came along. Two men arrived in it, they were detectives.

  Do you know what you're doing is criminal damage? asked one of them.

  Why is it disorderly conduct if I smash up my own car? The old man with the glasses asked back. When you hit another car in the parking lot, isn't that a crime?

  It's a criminal offence because it disturbs the peace by smashing the windows continued the detective.

  You're breaking this car up too loudly here.

  Where is the peace and quiet here? the old man sneered. Come back tonight and listen to the disturbance. When they stuff paper in the exhaust pipes of cars, when they remove a complete bumper from a car. Because that's how they bargain for cars, you know? Some young man comes, says we'll buy his car, we'll give him twenty thousand forints. I say it's not for sale, but it's worth 150,000 anyway. The next day the wheel is punctured, the oil is leaking from the clutch. The young men come again and say the car is not worth 150,000. One mor­ning there are homeless people sleeping in the car with the doors open, the next day the ga­soline is leaking from the AC pump that has been punctured with a nail. That's how they bought the four-stroke Trabant of a fourth-floor tenant. Well, my car is not for sale.

  You'll still have to pick up the glass fragments from the driveway, said the detective in a more conciliatory tone.

  I was a lathe operator, I had to leave the machine clean at the end of my shift.

 

While the detectives were getting into the car, he pulled out a dustbin and started shovelling the splinters into it. He used a file to remove the rough edge of the cut roof line, taping the sharp edges with duct tape. He then punctured all four wheels. He came back in the afternoon and removed the two lights. He looked at them for a while, then used the saw blade to cut through the steering wheels.

  Whose wreck is this? Is it yours? the uniformed traffic warden stopped beside him.

  I'll take the plates off and pour a few buckets of water on the seat, then it'll be ready. Because I'm just finishing what the boys from the square started. Now it'll be completely ready.

  Your car isn't the only one these hooligans keep messing with said the public spaces in­spector. 'Wouldn't it have been easier to give them two slaps to get them off your car?

  I'm sixty-five years old the old man said. I've never been a brawler. I tried to be polite with them too. I went up to them and asked them to leave my car alone. I explained that my wife was ill, I was taking her for radiotherapy, that's why we still had a car. They nodded and said sure, nothing would happen. The next day the door was open, someone shit on the seat.

  I would have slapped them said the man in uniform but you have to remove the wreck within 30 days or you'll be fined. But if you give up the wreck, we can take it away.

  Of course I will. I've given up more than that. The last one was six months of employment. I was checking fire extinguishers. One day, the boss said Let's decide who to let go, me or the colleague. I had six months to retirement, if he fired me, my pension would be less. If you put my colleague, a 35-year-old breadwinner with three children, out on the street. There was a long silence, I was the first to speak. I gave up that six months. And a lot of other things.

  Here's the address where you can report the removal of the wreckage the public land inspector handed me a slip of paper.

  Just to be on the safe side, I'll make a note of the registration number: AYJ- 436.

The old man packed up his tools. One of the parking attendants sitting on the bench stood up and walked over to him.

  Why did he do it? he asked, puzzled.

  Why? the old man looked at him. Am I supposed to let myself be intimidated and humi­liated?

Tamás Romhányi Népszabadság, 16 July 2003 (page 8)

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There are many things that are embarrassing, but nothing is more embarrassing than the Hungari­an motorist. Of course, we could talk about the "Coke Olympics" in Athens, where five Hungarian athletes achieved podium finishes, significantly enhancing the country's reputation, that our gold-medal-winning Olympians are considered a medical miracle because they carry the urine of two people at the same time. (It's not hard to guess where the other one was hidden in a small bottle.) But let's stay with Hungarian motorists who like to park in handicapped spaces (for free, with a fake ID). Compared to the average motorist, who is too stupid and too brutalised to be able to drive, this is nothing. The average Hungarian motorist's favourite area of aggression is the pedestrian crossing, the zebra crossing, which is interesting because there are no police officers to both spot and sanction the obvious violation. As in Europe, the zebra is striped and protected, yet everyone cros­ses it. According to linguists, "pedestrian crossing" does not mean crossing on foot. I've taken the Highway Code off the shelf: "Pedestrians crossing at a designated pedestrian crossing have the right of way over vehicles." In fact, even "in the absence of a designated pedestrian crossing", the pedes­trian has the right of way over vehicles turning off (except for police cars using differential signals, e.g. escorting megastars).

So important is the inalienable right of pedestrians to cross that the Code reiterates it once again, in a later paragraph on motorists: „At a designated pedestrian crossing point, a vehicle shall give the pedestrian the right of way.” Half a paragraph later, it says: "The place where the pedestrian has priority shall be approached by a vehicle only with extreme caution and at moderate speed, so that the driver can fulfil his obligation to give way, including by stopping if necessary." The satisfaction is as follows: the average motorist approaches the zebra crossing. The zebra is striped or not (in this case, just a road crossing; but, as we have seen, it doesn't matter), with pedestrians at either end. They are standing. They are waiting. A lot. If you let them through, they thank you. The pedestrian, with a stolid, grey face and a Kádár-era attitude of "I'll just bear it quietly, we'll all die in the end anyway", waits for the average Hungarian motorist to get the hell out of his way so he can cross to the other side. (Note that the average pedestrian is like a cat: he always has urgent and unimportant business on the other side of the road.)

And the motorist, instead of stopping, accelerates, speeds across the crosswalk, and if the pensioner dares to step in front of him, he either rages or curses from behind a rolled-down window. If he happens to be polite and slows down, he'll be bawled at by the jerk behind him. More recently, school drivers have also stopped allowing pedestrians to cross the zebra crossing. They are taught to do so in driving school. The pro-hit-and-run atmosphere in Hungarian zebra crossings is unique in Europe. This degree of barbarism is simply unthinkable there. Even in Eastern Europe, pedestrians are not terrorised by motorists everywhere. In Romania and Slovakia, local citizens cross the road with such a calm self-consciousness that motorists are seriously afraid of them. I would immediately add what the solution is: respect for the existing traffic laws and preparing the police for a slow and steady criminal war. The law should be enforced, not the law.

László Seres - Népszabadság, 2 October 2004 (page 3)

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It happened on Saturday, December 3, in a small alley in the 3rd district of Budapest. I was jogging home from a Santa Claus party in my car, and I turned into the little street from Bécsi út. It's a new street with fancy houses and expensive driveways. Name plates are not fashionable in this neighbourhood. Suddenly I found myself behind the New Courtyard shopping centre. There were cars parked on both sides of the alleyway, with only a median to pass. This is quite common in Budapest. It is up to the motorists themselves to decide when to pass in the narrow lane in the middle, with those in jeeps or tractor-like vehicles being the more daring. The traffic in the small street was paralysed, which was unusual, as this area is not congested on Saturdays, and it is easy to sneak past even on weekdays. I was forced to stop because, right in front of me, a violent scene was unfolding between two fellow motorists. It happened so fast that I didn't even have time to get out. Before I knew it, and started to think about intervening, the two drivers were already fighting. One pushed the other into his car and tried to smash his head into the windscreen, but miscalculated, because the other came to life and charged back, landing regular, straight blows to the head of the motorist who had started the fight well. Finally the two of them formed a big ball together, lying on the ground, punching and punching, and when they stood up, panting as they wiped the blood on their clothes.

The scene was witnessed by six or seven other people besides myself, but no one intervened like me. I was a little ashamed of myself, I should have stopped them from treating each other so badly, but it was too late. The fighters were tired and were just pointing at each other, while one of the brawlers' cars was occupying the whole width of the lane in the middle of the road. The people behind me started honking their horns and waving at me, asking me why I wasn't moving. All I need now, I thought to myself, is to be dragged off the road. To avoid any further misunderstan­dings, I got out and went to the motorist in the middle of the road, who was on his mobile phone to the police station with blood pouring from his nose. I asked him, politely and firmly - while making sure he had no energy left to spare to pull over a little and deal with the matter, so that we in­nocent bystanders could get on with it. I'm calling the police, he said, gasping for breath and almost in tears, while I could see him as the winner after all. He might as well step aside, I told him, and I could see the ominous possibility had passed over him: if he resisted, there might be another sequ­el. And he would be completely vulnerable against a rested opponent. That is why he could say re­adily: he would step aside immediately.

This was the moment when I could ask him the essential question: Why were they fighting? The answer was that he could not turn left into the garage at the bottom of the building. Because his other car was blocking his way. That's not a good enough reason to fight, I remarked quietly, and the man said: that's why what happened happened. Meanwhile, the other motorist, who had started the fight well but then lost, was also pointing his bloody head into his car, encouraging his opponent to try to start his vehicle, which was otherwise loaded with building materials. It was not his fault that his immobiliser had locked up. But he didn't care about this side effect. All he wanted, he said, was to be able to turn into his garage. The car that prevented him from doing so, he insisted, had somehow got there. And this guilty stop must have happened when there was nothing wrong with the immobiliser.

There the scene ended. The other motorists were allowed to drive on, and these two just talked, taking turns on the phone and wiping their bloody faces with their leftover tissues. They were unbe­lievably pathetic, tired, sickly-faced, tired, fatigued city men, tired of hard battles, and now faced with the fact that they had beaten each other bloody, but after a punch or two their arms went limp, their legs shook with nerves, their blood-pressure-laden hearts pounding wildly with sudden exci­tement. They knew, they knew very well, that what would come next police, prosecution, court would wear them down a thousand times more than the slaps that had gone wrong. But none of them could undo this typically unremarkable incident.

László Rab Népszabadság, 17 December 2005 (page 5 - excerpt)

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Lately, we can't even have fun anymore. I watch my fellow human beings. They are becoming more and more withdrawn. There is never a smile on their faces, except when they are mocking. Fun for many is work, a struggle. They don't enjoy what they do, they suffer it, and they can't wait to get revenge on someone for it. They are also compulsive participants in New Year's Eve revelry. They only go out on the streets because they know it is the global custom. It's the way to celebrate, and that's why he screams, trumpets and explodes firecrackers. With both lips up, he tries to make a laugh, but it's just a grin. The night is breaking and breaking, and he's having a good time, but he can't. To celebrate, to have fun, you need a carefree or carefree, but in any case a happy, free spirit. Without it, it's just a must. And yet we used to be a notoriously merry nation. If we had no reason to rejoice, we reveled in our sorrow. That is why foreigners visiting us were shocked to hear us say that 'the Hungarian is weeping'. Lately, however, it has not been any consolation at all.

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The very dangerous tasks are planned and carried out by professionals Lilu reminds us at the beginning of RTL Klub's high-toned programme "The Degree of Dread Where Fears Become Reality". Are they insured? from now on, we know that the skill exercises are just as dangerous as bungy jumping: not at all. Minor injuries can happen, but you can break an ankle walking. So, when the six competitors are up high, tied up on swings, we get as excited as a grandfather at an amusement park watching his grandchild on a merry-go-round. But while the old man may get dizzy if he's circling his head himself, the fear of heights doesn't come through on the TV, I can tell you that for sure. Of course, the players then go on to tell me how terrified they were. It is only fitting that they should do so, given the title of the programme. The stakes are five million forints. Each of the players talks about how it's a challenge, how they've come to win, how they're counting on themselves, how they're proving themselves to themselves and to their mum. It's important information, but it doesn't make much sense. If only someone would say: this is not a challenge, I am not here to win and prove myself, but because I got to Buenos Aires for free.

After completing the first task, one of them swore a swear word and didn't get booed. But the best part came after that. We'd seen it before, eating maggots and keeping a spider in your mouth, but then I thought of the kids who shovel stuff in the sandpit they have to try everything, they don't know what's good yet. And the joke about the guy who eats a piece of shit on a bet, but the loser takes it to win it back. In the end, they find out they both did it for free. Although the winner was declared after a car skill competition, the 'dangerous' eating was also the same: a cocktail had to be wolfed down, consisting of such things as bull's blood, beef brains, eyes, intestines, liver, fish guts and pork liver. Things that we eat, even if not raw. And things we don't even eat: bile, eye fluid. The first girl threw up a lot, then sobbed - dramatic moments. Attila, the eventual winner, swallo­wed, the next girl just cried, the fourth boy gagged and spat, and Lilu didn't dare look. So why are we watching this?

The terrible thing is that during prime time, a vomit was the highlight of the production. What's really interesting is what the play says about our culture. I wonder why in this part of the world it is commendable to drink and then vomit and be patted on the back by the company with an indulgent smile. The parents of the girl vomiting strawberries must be proud: their daughter would take a shit if she could. The point is that there is no longer a taboo, and it doesn't change anything, that one can use and drink one's own urine, for example, for healing or in certain emergency situations. If it is not taboo to drink the substances listed above, then there is no point. At most, it's a matter of de­aling with your stomach. Such a task would carry weight if it went against the whole culture. But it does not, because anything goes here, so there is no taboo-breaking. We condemn dog-eating, because little Buksi has grown close to our hearts, but I suspect these players would eat their own pets for a good sauce for the TV. Want to prove a point? Prove what to whom?

György Szerbhorváth - Népszabadság, 4 June 2005 (page 16)

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Another sign of our animalism is that we are now competing with animals in the field of art. In our age, the more primitive a work of art, the more valuable it is:

Congo's monkey[7] art sold for 18 times its estimated price, £14,750 (nearly 5.5 million forints) at an auction on Monday night. At Bonhams[8] auction house on New Bond Street, however, neither Andy Warhol[9] nor the titans of the Britart movement, Damien Hirst[10] or Jake and Dinos Chapman[11], reached the threshold of art lovers and the minimum acceptable price.

Born in 1954 and dying of tuberculosis in the mid-1960s, Congo's paintings were encouraged by the well-known animal behaviour expert Desmond Morris[12]. The monkey was a frequent guest on the TV show Zoo Time[13]. Two telephone callers fought a "hand-to-hand" battle for the colourful ab­stract images. The California collector emerged victorious. The 36-year-old telecommunications professional said his friends suggested a cheaper solution: "buy a chimpanzee, put it in a room with paper and pencil and wait". Howard Hong[14] says Congo's style is most reminiscent of Kandinsky's, a pity he failed to give his work a title. Paintings by the world's most artistically inclined chim­panzee are part of the collection of connoisseurs such as Picasso, Miró and Prince Philip of Edinburgh[15]. The chimpanzee was not only talented but industrious, with 400 drawings and paintings to his name. The price at Bonhams auction was a world record, if only because it was the first time a chimpanzee's work had ever been hammered. The Times quotes Congo enthusiast Salvador Dali as saying that he understood his colleague: „The chimpanzee's paw is madly human and Jackson Pollock's[16] hand is perfectly animalistic”.

Veronika R. Hahn - Népszabadság, 22 June 2005 (page 22)

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Zsuzsa is tall and slender, with a delicate make-up on her pretty face. She is full of cheerfulness. Her little son the fifth laughs as much as she does. A well-balanced baby, says Zsuzsa.

I can't be sad, because he'd feel it. So every morning we get dressed up, go for a walk, rejoi­ce that the sun is shining, that the trees are green, that life is beautiful and that all troubles will come to an end. I got married at twenty and had my daughter at twenty-one. My husband worked as a prison guard, not a model husband. Friends, drinking, slot machines. Many times he gamb­led away his whole salary and I was there with the four kids without a penny. Eighteen years we were married, eighteen years I never went anywhere, I lived for the kids. That's no complaint. I think I was happy despite all our problems. And then one day my husband shot himself in the head at work: he wrote four suicide notes, one to his parents, one to the children, one to me, he even wrote one to my parents. But none of them explained why he did it. He just said he was sorry and that he was to blame.

I was widowed at the age of thirty-eight. My youngest child was ten. I was desperate to be alone for good. The small town I lived in watched people like me with a wary eye. A beautiful widow with four children should be reduced to loneliness: that's what decency demands. I didn't want to wither away. Six months after my husband died, I met a man. I fell in love. He was from Pest, divorced, two children with their mother. Sometimes he brought them with him. While I was cooking lunch in a big pot, I watched them laughing and fooling around in the garden. We barely fit around the table. We met in March and she moved in with me in May. I didn't care what people said. My kids didn't want to accept it. And he kept nagging me to do something to make them like him. At least respect him. He'd tease them to death. That was the first sign I should have seen. But I couldn't see, I couldn't hear, I was blind. The children moved in with my mother because they couldn't stand him. Then my mother turned against me. I lost everyone I loved. She said she couldn't get a job until she had a registered address. I let her check into my house permanently. She said she had found a job and she went out every morning as if she was working. I gave him money so he could buy lunch.

But he didn't work, he sat in the pub all day. He kept demanding more and more money. It be­came hell. He started having fits of jealousy. He kicked me in the street for going to the hair­dresser. He got into my clothes, my make-up. If I got home from work five minutes early, I'd be told that my lover must have driven me home. If I arrived later, that's why. I never knew when I'd be home. He took all my money. I didn't even have three thousand forints left to pay for the vision when he hit me in the face with his fist. I didn't know at the time that if I pressed charges, I wouldn't have to pay for the sighting. I never had the job against me. I have a degree and I'm a chemical engineer. But I've also worked at the deli counter in supermarkets when there was nothing else. I learned English, did a computer course to improve my chances. I worked for years in local government. That's when I met him. Anyway, he always beat me so that he wouldn't le­ave a mark. He used to tear my hair, box me on the shoulder, wouldn't let me go to bed. He burned my clothes in the yard. He smashed the kitchen furniture. When I locked myself in, he broke the door down. Sometimes I'd jump out the window to get away from him.

I called the police, but if there was no blood, they did nothing. And they couldn't send him away because he had the right to be there, according to his permanent address. This little one is his little boy. The light of my eyes. She expected me to get pregnant, get fat, get skinny. The baby was just a trump card to hold me even closer. But she didn't believe it was hers. Every day she accused me of being someone else's. I was four months pregnant when it happened to me again. I was terrified the baby would get hurt, I climbed out the window and called the police from next door. I knew they wouldn't take her in, that they wouldn't even take a report. I just asked them to come into the house with me while I packed my things. My little boy is named after me. He will never have anything to do with his father. Of course I was in court. I was told to write a letter of notice to leave the house within five days. If he doesn't move out despite the notice, I can start the lawsuit. I did. I talked to a lawyer; he said it was a civil suit, by the time a decision was made, my infant son would be in school.

That house legally belongs to me and my children. It is our property, our home. But he lives in it one by one. Just because I let him check in. I didn't think it could be like this. Neighbours say he's never there during the day, he only dares to sneak home at night, because he's afraid of his creditors. When my little boy was born, I sent him a picture of him. I don't know, for some rea­son I really wanted him to see it, even if it was just a photo. It was Christmas. He called me. He begged us to go home, wherever we were. He said he loved me and he'd change. He said if it was hard for us to travel with the baby, he'd come, just let him see me. He said he bought us pre­sents. He begged me to tell him where we were, I had no idea what to do. He asked me so nicely. He had such a sweet voice. I said I didn't know. I'll have to think about it. "What do you have to think about, you fucking bitch?" He still doesn't know where we are. I reported him to the police for selling my belongings. The jukebox, the TV, the furniture, the rest of my clothes, eve­ry­thing. All that's left are the bare walls. I also reported him for assault. But they said it wasn't a crime, just a misdemeanor.

If you're not living in the house for a long period of time, I could ask for a forced eviction. But there's nothing I can do. I'm ashamed that this happened. My mother doesn't want to know about me. My father told me to go back to where I was. They don't want to see the youngest grand­child. Only my granddaughter talks to me. You know, as time goes by, sometimes I think maybe she didn't hit so hard. Maybe I should have stuck it out. Maybe I should have stayed and en­dured. In the mornings, we get dressed up and go for a walk with my little boy. I look at all these pretty little houses. Mine is so beautiful, it has a garden, lots of flowers, trees: that's our home. My five children and mine.

Bernadett Vág Nők Lapja, 2008, issue 29, pages 24-25.

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At the beginning of the 21st century, we still do not know how to behave in a civilised way. We are unable to control our male chauvinism, we see women as sexual objects, as walking sex organs. Many jerks cannot distinguish between sluts who dress and behave provocatively and decent women. I wonder what they would say if they were harassed in this way every day:

"Lately I've been thinking more and more often that either I'm crazy or the world is. I'm a twen­ty-three-year-old graduate and I have so much life experience that I have to strive for quality. I'd rather have a few grapes than a whole bunch of rotten grapes. I have no friends, only three true friends. I had my first man when I was eighteen, because I waited for the one who deserved me. I'm fastidious about my appearance, though everything is natural. Imagine a tall, thin woman with long hair. If I don't wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I can look very good. Now here's the problem. Because no matter how solidly I dress, I am daily inundated with filth disguised as compliments, insolence, disrespect (primitive manifestations of males who cannot be called men). Last year I wo­re a tight skirt above the knee, this year jeans with a closed top, but they still won't leave me alone. I can't get from the car park to the shop without hideous nips, winks and comments. They stop in front of me, size me up, then say a big dirty word. I'm teased by the clerk, the security guard, the bouncer. If it happens to women who show up in neckerchiefs and belly shirts and »sexy girl« la­bels, it's okay. But why can't they leave the subdued, solid women alone?

I told a girl about being chased by bullies. She laughed at me. I suggested we go for a walk. Af­terwards she said it was rude. And I don't talk to strangers! To me, the bloodshot look and alcoholic comment of a family man loitering near a buffet is not a compliment, it's a humiliation. I can't stand cigarette smoke, drink or drugs. (But I love cheese, chocolate and books.) And I hate men more and more. My principle used to be that no one could degrade me to the point of making me hate them. But now I avoid men. What can I do to stop them from trying to climb on me, from drooling on me? Why doesn't a man look you over before he makes a comment about a woman? It's not my biggest problem, but it's the one I can't avoid or solve."

Readers' letter Nők Lapja 2004 No 32 (page 47)

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Half of all people living with HIV worldwide are women. The UN AIDS programme says the only way to halt the epidemic is to focus on protecting women. Today is the World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The new face of AIDS: young and female that's how one of the leaders of the UN AIDS programme (UNAIDS) summed up the essence of a report produced jointly with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and published recently. The number of adults and children living with HIV worldwide has swelled to 39.4 million. Half of all people living with HIV are women. According to UNAIDS, the only way to halt the epidemic is to put women's rights and protection at the heart of the fight against AIDS. Beyond the mere medical fact that women are twice as likely as men to be infected, violence against women is a major factor in the spread of the disease. If governments want to fight the disease, they must tackle another global „epidemic”, violence against women says Amnesty International[17].

Mass rape, known as a by-product of armed conflict, is a major contributor to the spread of the HIV virus and AIDS. In the Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia, for example, tens of thousands of women have been raped. This could also happen in Darfur province in Sudan, warns Amnesty International. In some conflict zones (e.g. Haiti or East Timor), rape is often used to re­taliate for sympathy with the enemy. In this way, male members of the enemy and their women are humiliated. Their undisguised aim is to use this 'biological weapon' to eliminate the capacity of the community to rebuild itself. In Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide, two thirds of the women who suffered rape were infected with the AIDS virus.

Women are also often denied the right to property, inheritance and work, making them econo­mi­cally vulnerable to men. In this unequal situation, women are unable to defend their gender and the­ir health. Because of poverty, sex is often a mere means of payment. Lack of education not only dep­rives women of the opportunity to work, ignorance is a partner in the epidemic. In Ukraine, Moldo­va and Uzbekistan, for example, 80% of girls aged 15 to 24 know no method of protection. In many places AIDS has moved out of brothels and into the marriage bed. In Thailand, for example, half of the infections are found in the wives of men who visit prostitutes. The sub-Saharan Africa region has only 10% of the world's population, but has registered nearly 60% of the infected (25.4 million). The majority (60%) are women, with 76% of girls aged 15-24 years. Young women are almost an endangered species in Southern Africa," UNAIDS chief Peter Piot told Reuters. The proportion of women infected has risen around the world. In East Asia, 56% more infected women have been diagnosed in the past 2 years. In Eastern Europe (where the study focuses on the two most infected countries, Ukraine and Russia), the rate has risen by 48%.

News Agency Report - Internet, 26 November 2004.

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The man of our time has reduced sex to the level of animal trafficking. Nowadays, anyone can have sex with anyone after a few minutes of getting to know them. Nowadays, marriage ads have also disappeared. Instead, advertisers are looking for the occasional sexual partner.

The internet is good because it's fast, safe and anonymous says Tibor. Something always works out. If not a relationship, then sex.

  I've been hiding in Hungarian dating sites for two years says Angéla. I wanted to have a serious relationship. It didn't work out. Then I advertised on foreign websites - with success. Now I live in the Netherlands with my husband.

The spread of the Internet has fundamentally changed human relationships, especially courtship rituals. What was commonplace in our fathers' time is now obsolete, and our grandfathers' con­quests are now simply embarrassing. Stalking and acquisition operations have been transformed and simplified. To watch someone with eager eyes, to use tricks to get to the person you want, is now considered an understatement. To send flowers is almost ridiculous. The other day, on the tram, a twenty-year-old boy turned to an unknown girl - without a blush - at the sound of my ears:

  Hello, do you have a boyfriend?

  Yes.

  Do you have a lover?

  Yes, I do.

  Can I get in third?

Phone text message finders don't make things too complicated. Once you've registered, you just enter the details of the person you want to find and you're ready to go. Potential partners are contacted after one or two messages.

  Age?, Lax? are the two most common questions.

In case you can't make sense of the above: the dating service is looking for the age and the place of residence of the target person. If the answer is correct, the date is on. Which for the experienced ones at least is prepared with due diligence. They choose a meeting place that is visible from several points. Then they hide in a place where they can keep an eye on their date. They call by phone to make sure of identification, and if they don't "like" the person, they leave him or her alone. The real pros use the web to connect. The Internet offers hundreds of dating sites for everyone. There are separate websites for serious and casual people, for Christians and non-Christians, for gays, for socialists and social democrats, for Greens. The various dating sites use different kinds of "bait" to attract guests. Some sites, for example, include links to a hit list alongside the matchma­ker's name, others offer Ady's love poems as a bonus. But there are also websites where you can read the headlines and the profiles of the people you are looking for at the same time, or even browse the pages of the Independent, Reuters, Adevarul or Magyar Szó with a click. And you can even make a bank transfer or two.

For those who prefer a chat, the so-called text chat[18]. With the person of your choice, you can retire to a separate "room" a virtual space invisible to others where you can chat away. Lightning speed is an important factor here. The meeting can be conducted in "private" or in company. People who choose social networking are mostly looking for friends, curiosity, "chatting" about a certain topic or looking for group love.

Meeting people online is the most purposeful and human way to connect nowadays says Tibor, 30, who has been addicted to cyber love for twelve years. If I go online, I'm sure something will come up. Especially if I know what I want. Sometimes I just join a website out of boredom. I do this at work, for example, where I don't have time to get seriously involved with girls. When I'm done with my job and I've read the news, I go to a dating site or chat room and if I "stumble" on something juicy, I join. At home usually from late afternoon until dawn I'm constantly socialising. I browse dozens of dating sites and forums at once. If I find someone I like, I ask for their number and we chat on the phone. The date decides what happens next. If it works out, we snuggle, if not, that's it. I've found that one or two girls in ten phone numbers get together for a few nights.

I think being pushy is one of the keys to success. I recently approached a girl on a forum. "Hi, are you from Budapest?". "Yep", she replied. "What's your phone number?", I tried. She shouted me out, i.e. shooed me away. I "clicked" twice more, and the third time she gave me her number. I cal­led him immediately and spent the night with him the next day. I know I sound pretentious, but that's standard cyberromance. That's why it attracts crowds. A 19-year-old girl from Miskolc told me who I also met online that a few weeks ago she got in touch with a 28-year-old guy from Budapest. They corresponded for a long time and fell in love. Virtually. Then he visited her a few days ago. She managed to get about three sentences out of him in ten hours. She was bored to death. But he slept with her anyway...

Tibor says that a wide variety of people visit online dating sites for a wide variety of reasons. For example, Aaron called me on one of the chats when I tried to find out about Tibor's experience myself. He is happily married, said the twenty-eight-year-old, but he needs excitement in his life to be inspired by his creative work. "My wife also benefits from it when I'm turned on by a strange woman," explained Aaron, as naturally as possible. Don't be like a Jordanian couple who, according to the web, are getting a divorce because they found each other on a discussion forum where they had fled their marital problems. They quickly spotted each other. They started a long correspon­dence, which ended in a bitter divorce. They were already making serious marriage plans. Finally, they decided to meet in person. They looked at each other in a bus station in Amman. Since then they have not spoken to each other.

I've chatted to MPs, actresses, businesswomen, teenage girls and women who read electric me­ters says Tibor. Last Friday night, six thousand eight hundred people were on one portal at the same time. This is an astonishing figure, as I remember that last year at this time only two thousand people were usually corresponding at midnight. But it also makes you wonder why on a Friday night, young people choose to be bitter instead of social. And it's even stranger that on New Year's Eve, more than eight thousand people were hiding out with me on the dating site. The allure of online dating is that you don't have to struggle he continues. After all, no one these days likes hopeless courtship and alibi-mongering. If someone doesn't work out, someone else will find a replacement. So losing a partner is no longer a stake. It's harder for me when I'm with a woman of strong character. You have to give it your best shot, and even then you're not guaranteed success. But if a guy's got a good line, he's got the girl. And if a lady logs on to a dating site, she's almost guaranteed to be seduced. For someone, anyway.

I, for one, rely on my patter. Even though I'm handsome, I'm only 165 cm and I can't get anywhere without a line. I've tried to meet people in discos and bars, but I've never been noticed. Girls look right through me. Where the first glance is decisive, I don't even get the chance to im­press them. In online matchmaking, it's the other way round. I type in my parameters honestly, but no one cares, they fall for my line. With teenage girls, for example, it's pretty easy. They like to col­lect scalps. Today, a teenage girl is cool if she "collects" a lot of guys. Women in their thirties and forties, although the most exciting, are a bit of a problem, because they are mostly disillusioned and therefore more reserved. Many women in bad marriages escape here, and cyber-romance is a sure-fire success for them too, and discreet too. Tibor has recently expanded his profile. Since he's lear­ning Russian, he's also "chatting" over there. He recently arranged a date with a Russian wo­man. He doesn't really care if he really comes here, because if he doesn't, he's still the winner, at least he's practised the language.

I have the names of seven hundred and fifty women on my mobile. I keep a separate record of who I met on which website. I pay a lot of attention to this, because girls don't like it when I mess with other girls. "You're the first" I tell them, and it makes them melt. Or at least they pretend to. Since 2001, I've been installing SMS messages on my computer and archiving them. It's important because I meet two women a day on average I need to remember everything about them to be successful. Thanks to the World Wide Web, I've dated at least 1,500 women, none of them the right one. Yet I have faith that the one and only will click.

Angéla was also looking for a serious relationship, which is why she spent two years browsing Hungarian dating sites and forums. She was unsuccessful for a long time. After many months I ca­me to the conclusion that it was hopeless for me to try to find a marriage on Hungarian websites, I couldn't find a man with serious intentions here at home. So I started looking on German and English matchmaking sites. I met several foreign men, both in Germany and in my home country, but nothing developed with them. They weren't frivolous in fact, they were downright disinterested and polite in their courtship - but there was no mutual sympathy or attraction, we weren't each other's type. About a year ago I logged on to a new online dating site I soon received a reply from a Dutch man. At first I thought it was hopeless because of the distance, but he came to Budapest for me without hesitation. Then I came to visit him. Six months later we got married. Since then I've been living in the Netherlands, learning the language, happy, feeling that he's the one. I often think that without the Internet we probably would never have found each other.

Edit Agyagási Népszabadság, 12 February 2005 (page 6)

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A 26-year-old businessman complained about women today. I was struck by how pretty, quick-witted, and with a lot of guts she was. Perhaps a little too much so. On the first night she made it quite clear that she was ready to come up to my place. I hadn't expected that at all, so I walked her home, but I asked for her phone number. A few days later, I was with a group of friends at one of their holiday homes for an official barbecue. As I had no other partner, I thought I'd ask this girl out. We ate the meat, chatted with friends, and then the girl and I slipped off to one of the empty rooms. Of course, we immediately hit it off, and when I felt the heat coming on, I reached into my jeans pocket for a rubber. She looked at me in amazement and asked, "What's this?" I said, "Condom, rubber condom, cotton. like they do." "I don't like it at all." she said. "No, I can stand that kind of thing!" I wondered. "It's not a matter of liking it, it's a matter of safety. I want to look after you too." She scoffed and told me to stop preaching because she had never met such a bore. "Now, do I want it or not?" I got angry and shouted at him to get it through his head: it wasn't my nutter. I'm just doing what any sane man would do in a situation like this. The girl yawned and asked if we could do it orally. True she added wistfully, she can't put a rubber on her mouth. That's when I was really put off by the whole thing. I got dressed and went to sleep in the other room. In the morning the girl was gone.

[

Little girls in thong bikinis, fishnet stockings, push-up[19] bras, red lipstick. They were competing, making them compete - who was prettier. Six is the smallest, twelve is the biggest. The majority are not beginners: they have come here with modelling courses and beauty contests behind them, for the national pageant called "Miss Mini". Mum and Dad in the audience. Parents who understand what the game is all about. Or do they? It's dress rehearsal:

  "What do you look like? Pull yourself out, boobs out!" the mother sitting in front of me scoffs as she pulls the panties off her chubby eight-year-old child in the auditorium of the suburban com­munity centre. The little girl protests as much as she can, but if she's left unclot­hed, she at least puts her hands in front of her and looks in horror at the illuminating uncle passing by.

  "Look at the others, they're not shy!" his mother's friend becomes encouraging, and gestures towards the other naked bodies in progress.

But it's time to run for the stage: the hostess calls the contestants one by one, by name, age and, of course, number. Trixi, Cintia, Klarissa and Melody come forward. It's all here: restrained curt­sies, 'sweet' kissing and shockingly girlish, professional hip gyrations. The shy little girl from before is called: her hands now pressed even tighter to her bare tummy, staring at the floor, sideways into the spotlight.

  "I've had enough! I'll tell her if she doesn't pull out, we won't come tomorrow! And we're not going to McDonald's either!" plans mum irritably.

A few rows away, a dad is pulling his lip:

  "No good! It's like you have to go to the toilet. Do it like this!" He stands up and demonstrates his feminine stage curtsy. The child tensely tries to imitate. Still can't do it. The little girl is getting scarier, the daddy more nervous. But he persists. He shows again, and again. The next day, you can't go wrong... And the kid loves it..."

Today's the big day: today will decide who is the most beautiful. Jenniferlove's sexed-up or Sophia Loren's dolled-up mini princesses are running around and crowding the narrow dressing room. An hour later, the little ones start in evening gowns. Mums are busy working on the children. In the toilets, a few seven-year-olds are weighing up the odds: „You can go Ec-pec... Who will be queen?" They laugh. For now...

  "Sorry, you're new, aren't you? Looking for faces?" A mum asks me, but there's another lady. She tells a true career story: her daughter was born with "shoulder-length curly hair"... Later, she was constantly stopped on the street, asking why she didn't take her to beauty contests. Then, when she was four, she finally had the courage:

  "Since then we've been in four modeling contests and she's been in commercials... And the kid loves it," she says proudly. And he does love it. "They said she wasn't that ugly, and we thought we'd try her out." - explains a well-meaning mum, placing the lacquer reticule on her eight-year-old daughter's shoulder. "But of course, she'd already done a modelling school three years ago, along with her sister. And she was on TV. And last year she was also in a competi­tion, there in a form-fitting velvet gown.”

  You liked it, didn't you?

  "Not really... " he says.

But Mum will explain what "Not really."

  Do you like dressing up?

The kid's a little unsure:

  "Whiii...? Yeah... I love it."

And mum is already dreaming of today's placement: "We'd like to be courtiers at least!"

Then a smiling, almond-eyed eight-year-old tells us: it's her first competition too. Actually, her sister wanted to come, but the organizers said she wasn't pretty enough.

  "I really want to win! And from now on, I'll always go to competitions like this! Why? Because I'm beautiful... A lot of people say that."

This is where mum and pedagogy come in:

  "But tell me, what will you do for a living? Not from your beauty, but from..." After a mo­ment's thought, the little girl is already grinding out the lesson:

  "My... brain. And my brain!"

Mum is pleased. Who wins today? We're about to start. The contestants are backstage, it's bustling.

  "At home, my dad did my choreography, then he videotaped me and corrected my mistakes," says a blonde girl.

Everyone agrees that it's not the dress that counts. The preschoolers are the hardest to deal with: one of them, a beautiful curly-haired girl, keeps running around asking why she's here, what to do and how. Her grandmother is already crying, she doesn't seem to know either... She's just pouring out her complaints, pointing at the little one:

  "Now look how awful this child is... His mother didn't come with him because she'd only embarrass him... "

The little one looks at her with wide eyes:

  "But Mama, why am I so terrible?"

Grandma doesn't answer, she just explains to me:

  "They said you were beautiful... But we can't see it because we're always looking."

The procession in evening dress goes down. The one with a lot of relatives gets more applause. But you misunderstand that at eight years old. The first signs of disappointment appear behind the curtain.

  "I only got a little applause," murmurs a petite girl.

Then the round-faced one calms herself:

  "My mum said I'd never win anyway, because I always win in advance..."

The almond-eyed one is still hopeful:

  "But it would be so nice to be first!"

A minute later, everyone is screaming for their mothers: it's time to undress, the bathing suit pro­cession is on. A fleshier girl, about ten years old, is already ready, her thong showing through under the shawl tied around her hips. She stands motionless as her mother sprays half a bottle of hairspray on her head, while she pulls her stomach in so tight that her body is almost shaking. The bikini-clad girls wobble around the stage, then choreographically parade first in front of the jury and then down the auditorium aisles. This gives everyone an even closer look.

Then the judges are announced. The almond-eyed one is no longer laughing, he's alone behind the curtain. He looks at me and says quietly:

  "Too bad I won't win... Because I'm ugly."

And he really doesn't win. But she's not ugly, she's beautiful. But now anyone can tell her that. True, she'll get the "Prettiest Smile" certificate, but as someone in the audience said, "Just because they're small doesn't mean they're stupid." It was one of the little girls backstage earlier, when one of them boasted about her former "Sweetest Eyes" title, who said, "It's nothing anyway; because everyone gets some kind of eyes..." According to the directors, "Everyone wins today." And indeed, the presenter can't stop listing the thirty-five titles: the friendliest eye, the sweetest eye, the prettiest eye, the most radiant personality... The naughty little one also gets a certificate and a stuffed animal: she proudly and a little accusingly shows them off to her grandmother in the audience.

In the end, most of them are disappointed and teary-eyed as they clutch their little gift bags. No one is laughing anymore, except the winners and the toddlers, who don't know why they've been brought here anyway. Of course, everyone here meant well. As did the father who responded to an article on an internet portal about the competition by saying: "Please also write that not all children received the same gifts.” My daughter, for example, didn't get a pet, while many (but not all) re­ceived ladybugs or yellow ducklings. My child asked, "So I'm nothing?" No, you are not nothing...

Sarolta Dobray - Nők Lapja, 15 June 2005 (page 30).[20]

[

Boutique babies behind the counter:

  "I'm ugly," says Erika.

Erika is 28 years old, of average build, a commercial college graduate from Pécs. Men don't turn around after her, women don't discuss her clothes, hair, make-up or movements.

  Okay, maybe I'm not ugly, but I'm just not striking, not interesting says the woman, who hides her surname, softening her previous statement. But I think I'm a good salesman. I've worked in furniture stores, hardware stores and hardware stores, and they've all been happy with me. I'm currently employed in a grocery ABC, but my dream has always been to work in a fashion store. I've applied a hundred times, been turned away a hundred times. I was always told that they thanked me for my application and would let me know. I've been waiting ever since.

Edit Laskovics is a 22-year-old, sexy, rounded, smiling, direct creature. She was recruited last Octo­ber to work in one of Pécs' most popular boutiques in a shopping centre, and since March she has been running the shop that employs five ladies. With one employee having recently left, Edit is currently "recruiting" in her capacity as store manager.

  Fourteen people have applied for the job, she says confidently: All applicants work for us for a trial period, and then the best one is hired for a one-month trial period. If they pass, they can stay. It's a tough business here. The business is owned by Greek entrepreneurs, who expect us to have an oriental salesman's style. The buyer can't leave without the goods. If the size is not right, we offer something else and make the customer realise that it actually suits him better than what he was looking for. If you're not good-looking, you're not suitable.

I look at Edith and her good-looking colleagues with favour, and note that there is a certain re­semblance between boutique employees. Most of them are in their twenties, well-formed, regular-faced girls. Underneath, their clothes whether they wear smooth trousers, short skirts or shorts brazenly reveal the curves of their thighs and buttocks. Their short, tight, possibly cleavage-baring T-shirts reveal their bellies, suggesting the size, shape and texture of their breasts. Almost without exception, salesgirls dye their hair. The most popular colours are light blonde and bronze. Brown hair dyes are in short supply. The demand for tanned skin is all the greater: even creole-skinned people go to tanning salons. There is a demand for a lot of make-up, nails, jewellery, body jewelle­ry, tattoos.

Shopkeepers advertise that they are looking for pretty, young, experienced girls. Zsanett Pusztai, who works in a watch shop, confirms the former. The word pretty often comes first in adver­tising, because beauty is more important than practice. Calmly spoken, Zsanett's blue eyes, thin nose, delicately lined lips, dyed hair, wolfish figure, posture and gait stand up to any criticism. In the two-sleeved gap between her trousers and blouse, her slim waist, muscled by running and aerobics, is visible. The 23-year-old does mention, however, that you can't make a living on looks alone on this track. She is about to tell us how to fall for the intentions and the closed wallet of a customer who walks into a watch shop. Zsanett inspects the customer's clothes and jewellery, ob­serves the type and price of watches he spends more time with, and asks him about his work and habits, and from all this, she gets an idea of which watch is worth recommending to him.

The girls in their early twenties serving in the brasserie are not yet very concerned about what will happen to them when they turn thirty. Andrea is an exception: she is now 31. She works in a leather shop in the shopping centre and is forced to think about her future. It's not as if there's an age limit on her employment here, and it's not as if anyone thinks the blue-eyed lady with the unruly blonde lob is old. She exercises her lithe body for an hour every two days, and her jet-black dress is reminiscent of the Arabian Nights. Andrea has little trouble with the passing of time, but she knows: change while you can, not when you must. And like almost all employed salespeople, Andrea dreams of one day owning her own business.

  I certainly don't want to grow old as a salesperson Andrea admits.

  But perhaps there is no such thing as getting old in this career.

  This is increasingly the opinion of Mrs Sándor Tóth. The 43-year-old woman works in a shop selling branded jeans in the centre of Pécs. When Mrs Tóth stood behind the counter a quarter of a century ago, she thought she would retire as a trader. Today, she is worried about the future:

  For now, I'm keeping up with fashion. I'm still keeping up with fashion, perhaps partly beca­use I have two daughters and I watch what they look like and what they wear. I have two daughters and I'm looking at their clothes and I'm watching what they're wearing. I might have to change. Unfortunately, our family doesn't have enough money to open an independent shop. However, I would like to remain a trader. When I get out of the fashion business, there will be other things - home textiles, furniture, chandeliers, crockery, food. Sándorné Tóth rarely meets her old colleagues, but she has heard that most of them have left the profession.

  Today, a shop assistant can hardly find protection if she is dismissed or not hired because she is not young or pretty enough. I don't know if the union can do anything about that. I don't know if they can, if only because I left the union years ago. Every shop worker used to be a member, they automatically deducted dues from our pay. Where is that now? Most of the workers in boutiques and department stores today don't even know where the union is. This last statement is confirmed by Gyula Fenyősi, the secretary of the Baranya County Trade Union of Commercial Employees. The man, who runs a restaurant in a pedestrian street in Pécs, says that barely 10% of commercial workers in Baranya are affiliated to a trade union, and the same is true in other counties. Yet the profession employs hundreds of thousands of workers. According to Fenyősi, it is not easy to recruit either boutique workers or employees of large supermarkets. It is difficult to keep the boutique workers in the same union, while the multinationals try to prevent the union from being set up.

  No one has ever complained to us that they can't get a job in the retail sector because of their age or their disadvantaged appearance says Gyula Fenyősi. But it's clear that the professi­on is very young, and boutiques mainly employ pretty girls. And in hypermarkets, there are few middle-aged and older employees because people with families cannot work the hours dictated by the multinationals which do not take into account weekends, holidays and nights. The latter is not sustainable for young people either, which is why there is a huge turnover in hypermarkets in Hungary. However, Gyula Fenyősi does not regret the fact that the retail sector has become younger. But he is sad that the majority of shop workers do not see any career prospects and accept that they cannot survive until retirement.

  It's bad enough that the shops are full of young people asks me one of the entrepreneurs from Pécs, who has several shops in the county. Maybe "Mummy" from the State Store, with her 100 kilos, her high heeled, lace-up canvas shoes, her limbo-like gait and her panting breath? How do you think it's possible to sell thong panties with a Mami chorus girl? And how does Tata offer a computer or a survival knife?

Most of the lessons boutique employees learn from each other. Even if they don't go out together, the young people of a city's merchant community get to know, watch, check and analyse each other over the course of a few years. They usually know who is where they come from, where they have worked, how much their job is worth, how much they earn and what their plans are. They know who has lived and is living with whom, who their boss has had eyes on, who has moved on their boss. They know who does what sports, goes to which discos, which is their favourite whisky, if they smoke weed, who had their breasts enlarged, who had their nose straightened, how much the plastic surgeon charged, and whether the partner who pays the bill likes the change. Of course, the boutique employees also know who their colleagues are married to. Because that's one way of looking at it. The 32-year-old woman from Pécs, who used to work in a local shopping centre and has been looking after children in England for the past ten months, lets me in on the next secret:

  My ex-girlfriend worked in a boutique and married her boss out of interest. I remember she told me that she wasn't in love with him, but that she thought it was the best way. I shouted it all down, but she just shrugged it off. She had a baby, got a car from her husband, then a boutique. And then she divorced. She became an entrepreneur, which took her a marriage and a divorce. I tried so hard to talk her out of that marriage. She kept telling me it was the right thing to do. He said: I can still do it now, I'm still beautiful.

Tamás Ungár Népszabadság, 1 June 2000 (page 8)

[

In the cursed times[21], if a woman didn't work, she was called a housewife. Then time passed, and as a result of the economic changes of the modern age, an entrepreneurial class became muscular; for the men belonging to this class, the representative woman became a status symbol, in addition to the car and the mobile phone. In time, it became „embarrassing” to go to a party with a strapping wife or to go to a meeting with a girlfriend over thirty. So there was a demand for girls with a good figure who were easy to find, and slowly the supply grew. These „girls” are usually aged between eighteen and twenty-five, in the vast majority of cases with dyed blonde hair, and always dressed in black, form-fitting clothes that look good on tanned skin. If the entrepreneur has a family, he rents an apartment for his mistress and buys her a car. And the girls slip into the golden cage and take note of the motto: be pretty and keep your mouth shut!

Dora was the girlfriend of a well-known pop musician for two years, but the golden cage became too small for her:

I was nineteen when I met Zoli, fifteen years older than me, in a disco. We looked at each other and then he came up to me. He gave me a martini and when I was well intoxicated, we arranged a date for the next day. He was waiting with a huge bouquet of roses. He took me to the most expensive restaurant in town, where everyone knew him, and they all jumped around like he was the emperor. I was mesmerized by it all, I don't know if I fell in love with him or with his money, his cars, his apartment, the jewelry he bought me. I was also impressed by his famous friends. He greeted all the celebrities with handshakes. I shopped at the coolest boutiques, we went to the Canary Islands for winter, we appeared on TV shows together, and all my high school classmates were jealous of me. Then, after two years, I started to feel like a nuisance: that I had nothing else to do but be beautiful and be able to listen. I never knew where our money came from, what dubious deals were going on almost in front of my eyes, but his mobile phone rang at three in the morning. I was not allowed to see my old friends, Zoli even banned me from seeing my parents because he said they were not from our circle.

We had a big dinner and I had had enough. We were with our supposed "friends" in a Chinese restaurant. While the boys were drinking, we girls tried to make conversation. But with the other "golden girlfriends" we could only talk about tanning beds and artificial nails, nothing else in common. Suddenly, I didn't understand what I was doing among these empty-headed tanning beds. Then I decided to quit the whole thing. The next day, I packed my bags and moved back to my mother's one-and-a-half-room apartment. Zoli threatened to ruin me for life and beat me up several times, but he hit me "only" once. He yelled at me, what do I want, stupid bitch, I can't do anything without him. Now I'm working, trying to get by on fifty thousand forints. And I feel like I'm not just a dumb-ass doll, I'm appreciated at work. I've done well out of it, but there have been girls who couldn't get out of the mafia-loving role. She wanted out, she wanted to start a new life, but her Ukrainian-born "lover" wouldn't let her. He couldn't hide from her, he paid her friend a million dollars to tell her where his former partner was hiding. Then he found her and it all started again. In the end, the 20-year-old girl committed suicide: it was the only way she could get out.

Twenty-five-year-old Imola, on the other hand, wants nothing more than a man who will take her out of work and support her. Imola is not a bombshell, but she certainly has an effect on men. We chatted about the subject in a well-known pub while she lit a long cigarette and ordered a drink called Sex on the beach[22]:

  You know, it sounds strange, but I've never been in love. One of my girlfriends says it's because I'm so selfish that I only care about myself. Maybe. The truth is, I mostly want a guy with a lot of money. I wouldn't even care if he was homosexual or old. I could find a lover. I've never wanted a career, I don't enjoy my job, I don't like going to work. But I do love shopping. I know myself well enough to know that I will find the person who will give me all that. And I don't give a damn what people say. I'm going to have a good time, and that's what matters.

Patrícia Szabó - Nők Lapja, 1999/14, (page 8)

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Anett is waiting, the brunette, slim, brunette ex-wife in her forties. Today, twelve hours a day, for four hundred forints plus VAT per call. She has a limp wound on her abdomen from an operation a week ago. It's still hard to moan. But he can. At home, in a yellow kitchen smelling of cooked meat and tobacco, she "orders" by phone. Three lines ring on the counter, next to two boxes of bargain cereal: "Grandma", "Extreme" and "Domina". Sometimes alternately, sometimes simultaneously. Sometimes not at all. Like in the movies...

  Stray, where the hell did you take the whip again? Anett suddenly thunders at the big Ger­man Shepherd dog, and chokes out a cigarette butt that has been smoked almost to the point of spontaneous combustion. The phone line marked 'Domina' beeps insistently.

  I'm quitting... Since the operation she nods apologetically at the full ashtray and locks the dog out of the kitchen. Now I have to serve.

  Hello!" he growls sharply into the receiver What the hell do you want?!.... What do you mean, hello? Are you banging a lady? You called Domino's, you piece of shit! On your knees, slave!... What torture equipment did you use? And now for the rough stuff. Obscene, ordenary terms flying through the air. For about four minutes. First call since I got to the apartment in the seventh ward.

  Okay, that's gone. He's got it. Or his wife came home... grimacing. They usually call back when she's asleep. That's what they do. They don't get what they want at home. Although I wouldn't dare do all that perverted stuff in person...

  He's got a painful grip on his stomach. Plastic figurine of a grinning chef begins to gently rustle on the table.

  Oh, the Győzike![23] That's just what I call him, he's got a big head... It rings every hour to re­mind me not to forget to grease it. I must, my wound. It won't heal.

  She takes a tube out of the fridge. Phone. It's marked "extreme". Anett is now pushing her voice high, almost deafening, but nice. She grinds it:

  Hello... Hello, darling, my name is Suzanne, I'm blonde, one hundred and seventy centimetres, fifty-five kilos, one hundred bust, round bottom. Tell me, sweetie, what do you want? while she rubs the stitches on her stomach with a painfully contorted face.

  How can you not? Then what do you do, my dear? Well, you will now! Let yourself go... Anett is almost motherly this time. Two minutes. More or less. Then she pushes an erotic magazine in front of me.

  That's me. Three ads, three pictures, three women, three phone numbers. "Of course" none of the photos are of Anett. "Call me and serve me," says one, "Live your wildest desires, call Suzy." - on the other, and "Sexy granny waiting for your call!" - on the third.

Anett is divorced, has two grown sons and lives with their father. She doesn't want to talk about it. She's been making sex calls for about two years, ever since the day-care centre where she worked closed. So she earns 70,000 a month as an employee of the company that runs the service. Net. Of course, the more calls, the better. She works a "shift" every two days. He says his other "company titles", contract prohibits him from talking about it. An acquaintance asked him at the time if he would like to do this. He had. He loves sex anyway.

  So my job is my hobby he winks wearily. Of course, freshly operated, it's hard to really enjoy it... She lights another cigarette. On the packet: Smoking can kill you. He shrugs.

  Death? Boom... My mum and dad won't let me have any. I was raised that way. And then when I got out of the house and came up to Pest, I went on an avalanche... I was twenty-eight. I tried all kinds of things. But not much good came out of it. When you've been fooled by a guy for the tenth time... And my husband... he's fading. - So it's not a happy life, is it? But sex helps. It's just as obvious... And conversation. I like it when they want to talk, not just moan and pant. But when they want it, they get it. I can't talk about anything else: Sometimes it's just about time. That can be fun sometimes. "Sick of the world!"

A stray scrapes furiously at the kitchen door from the outside. We'll let him in. Anett feeds him. Chicken smell mingles with the tobacco smoke.

  You have to lock it out when there's a phone. Poor thing! He can't understand the screaming, he thinks he's being hurt. ...he's always trying to save me. But I have to be sensible too. There are all kinds of tools here... She pulls a little blue bucket from under the chair.

  I pour the water from the glass into it. Toilet effect... A lot of people ask for this. If that's what they want, that's what they get. Now, the dog is crazy about that whip, he loves it! He always steals it... And then I can whack it with the mop when the nice caller orders a spanking! laughs.

  He must be a pervert too... Like a dog. Suddenly he gets serious.

  No, animals are taboo in my house! That's what I never do, although many people want to. I like the extreme, I usually enjoy it when people ask me to do kinky things. Otherwise it would be impossible to do this job. But some things make me sick to my stomach... She waves me on.

  Come on, let's find that whip. He gets up with difficulty and we walk towards the narrow living room. We look for the whip. Inside, the TV is on, showing bloody dog carcasses. Anett is wearing a green sweatshirt. She's about a hundred and sixty centimetres tall, with a tight figure. Her brown hair is cropped to the nape of her neck. She's on the loose:

  I'm not always this "torn", it's just that now, because of the illness... Sometimes I even wear make-up. For work... I know, it's stupid because no one can see me. But somehow it feels different. Sometimes I make up stories. All sorts. Because people are curious, people ask me questions. About my life. And then I'm blonde and tall and my kids just went to camp... And then I'm a beast... Demon sex goddess! she smiles to herself. A small lamp is dimly lit in the bedroom, and Anett talks and talks.

  See; I don't put this out at night. I tell you, I'm afraid alone. Sometimes I dream about work. The bad part. You can't imagine what kind of aberrations can call... I'll give them what they need. Because it's a service, that's why. But it's all in the back of your head somewhere... But there is an exception: paedophiles. I hang up on them right away! I can do that. There are people like that. It's a sick world, believe me... The whip's nowhere, let's leave it. No calls for a long time. On TV, they're beating the crap out of Bettina Csábi, but she's winning. The pho­ne rings into the yogurt commercial. Kitchen's closed, dog's gone. A young voice on the other end of the line shouts: "Dirty bitch!". And he slams her down.

  Kids... "Have fun!" says Anett. "If it's worth it to them for four hundred extra VAT...!

A mobile vibrates on the table. Anett has a friend. The "dude", as she calls him. She's talking to him now. The guy knows what his job is, but he doesn't mind. Anett says she "simply" makes love to him. No perversion. Now it's about carrying up the Christmas tree. The guy helps with the practical stuff. But they'll celebrate separately. The guy with his wife and kids. Anett with the "callers". He says it's a busy time.

  Be spruce! You know, for the smell. At least it smells... Sorry, I'll hang up...

  He's on one of the 06-90s[24]. "Grandma" line. Auntie, hoarse, caring.

  Hi, sweetie, it's Erika; one hundred and sixty centimetres, seventy kilos, red hair down to my waist. Just like the lady in the photo of the granny ad. And I don't shave "there"... she adds matter-of-factly.

  Why not? - comes from the other end of the line.

  Why...? - Anett's voice is impatient.

  I'm sorry; how old are you?

  Sixty-two, sweetheart. You called a grandfather Anett said.

  Not me! Lesbit...

  Why, dear, are you a woman?

  No, I'm not. But I'd like to be. Anett's gonna split. She's not in the mood. Another call. She's all over him, like a sex machine.

It's midnight. Anett's washing up. The TV next door is blaring. Anett is ventilating. The white light of a street lamp hits us in the face. Telephone, Domina. But professionalism here, professionalism there, Anett no longer has the energy to be brutal.

  Hi. Hi. It's a domino line. What do you want?

  What are your options? the person asks back. Anything. Torture, beating, slapping... he lists in a tired, monotone voice.

  "Wait, that's not authentic," the young man complains.

  Too nice? Okay. On your knees, slave! You shit!" tries Anett wearily, and carefully closes the window. It's getting chilly. No effect at the end of the line. She continues softly:

  I don't think you're looking for torture. Do you even like being tortured?

  Not very much... - is the sheepish reply. Then a question:

  And do you like doing this job? A short silence.

  Do I really have to answer that? Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I hate it.

I say goodbye to the former kindergarten teacher around 1:00 in the morning. I thank her for her honesty. She says she doesn't care anyway. I'm waiting for the elevator when suddenly she calls after me:

  "How about if you write that she's really pretty, tall, blonde, big-breasted...? - He shoots me down.

  Á! I'm an idiot. Totally stupid...

Sarolta Dobray - Nők Lapja, issue 2006/1, (page 48)

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I was embarrassed when my little boy laughed when he showed me porn pictures of his teacher on the Internet. I could hardly believe my eyes! Aunt Zsuzsa's face was clearly recognizable, which I thought was a cruel prank says the mother. Then, a few days later, I heard the news that Zsuzsa had been dismissed by the school board. I met her. She didn't deny it, she was in a place and in a pose that was unbecoming of a teacher... 46-year-old Zsuzsa is receiving me at her home. On the wall, certificates of appreciation for her work, drawings of her pupils, birthday greetings. She is correcting her daughter's homework. On the child's desk is her report card; it shows that her mid-term report card has been an A. The mother also boasts of her son, who will graduate next year and wants to study to be a lawyer.

I don't know how I'll finance it...

She won't give her name or face because of her children. Although she knows that everyone in the small town is buzzing about it.

I divorced my husband four years ago. He ran off with a 20-year-old bombshell, won't even look at the kids. I get child support on minimum wage. I knew I had to get my knickers in a twist, so I started looking for second jobs immediately after the divorce. As a history teacher, extra lessons were not in demand. For a while I typed theses. One weekend, I worked behind the bar in a pub from seven in the morning until late at night, as long as there were customers. I was paid ten thou­sand forints, I wasn't really helped out... Later on I decided to pick rosehips, boil them down into jam and sell them to people I knew. I made a hundred and twenty forints a jar. I knitted and knitted, but I just couldn't make ends meet. I also wanted a partner. I tried to meet someone on the Internet, to see if I could find a man in "similar shoes".

However, men my age are looking for a partner up to the age of 40. I received a lot of letters from guys between 20-30 years old, of course with sexual offers... I never replied to them. If I didn't get in touch with a hundred men on the net, I didn't get in touch with one. 70 percent of them just wanted me for sex. The rest wanted me to move in with him and be his housekeeper, sometimes his concubine. I had a couple of relationships, but after a few weeks of knowing them and sleeping with them, they all said we could run into each other occasionally, I was good in bed. I was also unsuc­cessful in finding a job. I wanted to do some work. I found a newspaper advertisement that looked like a good one. I paid about 25,000 forints to register, and then I realised I had fallen victim to a scam.

Finally I clicked on the erotic job. I took a job in a massage parlour. I did not have to provide any services other than oral sex. I earned fifteen thousand forints an hour. Of course I felt sick, nausea and all; but it was better money. I went once a week and I didn't have to worry about how I was going to pay the rent. But after a few months the salon closed. Again the lack of money came, I was nervous, I couldn't sleep. Then I clicked on erotic filming. I never thought I'd get offers at my age. It turned out that in porn, young men and older women were in demand, and natural nudes were in high demand. When I fell into bed late at night, tired, my mind was racing, asking myself: where have I got to, what am I doing? Sometimes I vowed, "No, never again!” Then I got the pay slip at school: 95 thousand forints. I earned less than the month before. In winter, my apartment rent alone was 40-50 thousand.

Then my mobile rang. One of the producers was looking for a job. I immediately said: I'll be there! I've been filming for two years, sometimes after school, sometimes on weekends. I told my kids I was an extra in a commercial. Now it's natural that I live from my body. Anyone who thinks that's a lecherous pleasure is sadly mistaken. It's terribly tiring, hard work. It's a mixed bunch, some of them young girls from university, some 72-year-old old ladies. The guys are all muscular, well-built. The more extreme the film, the better it sells. I'm not squeamish: I'll do oral sex; anal sex, my specialty is "deep throat". On the set you have to come with a fresh HIV test, because there are no condoms here... However, the cost of the test is paid by the company. After make-up and set-up, we immediately start the poses according to the script. Poor guys don't get it up after the third round, then they get stiffening injections. Girls, on the other hand, have to use lubricant frequently.

I had to reckon with the fact that everything would come out at some point. And it did. The webmaster was very nice. I sent him an email and five minutes later he downloaded my photos. Still, when I walked into the school, I could feel the strange looks as I walked down the corridor. The kids were all huddled behind me. It was natural, I didn't wonder. Then the school administration called me. They asked if I was really on the erotic pages. I didn't deny it. They told me I didn't have to go to class the next day. I agreed with their decision. But I still don't understand how I ended up on the net, since my contract says that the films are only distributed abroad. It was a difficult night for me, I had to sit down with my children. When I got home, they already knew the address of the website. I asked them not to look at it. They understood why I did that. I also told my elderly mother, as we live in a small town where the news spread like wildfire. I didn't want her to hear about it from anyone else.

I would not go back to teaching, but not because of the children, as I loved my job. I now work in a massage parlour because filming is as precarious as a dog's dinner I have no partner, I have no one to answer to but my own conscience and I have done that. Now I'm more balanced, in a better mood. My stomach doesn't shrink when I go shopping at the weekend, and I don't have a nervous breakdown when kids put chocolate in the basket. Last year we went to our first premiere at the National Theatre, the triple. 36,000 forints for a ticket I couldn't have afforded before. I don't think it's just my fault that with more degrees you can manage your body better than your brain.

Bernadett Berta - Quarter, issue 21/2007, (pages 50-51)

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Mónika opens the door in a towel. Wrapped around her lithe body, the soft white terrycloth re­veals her shapely, long thighs, her beautifully curved shoulders, her flawless skin.

  Go into that room he kindly ushers me in I'll be right back, but I have another customer to say goodbye to. I hope you don't mind my calling you by your first name, but I'm not very good at it.

After five minutes, Monica, now dressed in a long linen dress, sits down opposite me and lets me question her. I ask the dyed blonde, regular-faced creature without a robe. There's not much time, Mónika has taken the interview for money.

  I charge 9,000 for an hour, 5,000 for half an hour she told me on the phone. If you just want to talk, it's a bit cheaper.

Although Mónika charges by the hour, she doesn't delay. Her answers are quick and to the point. She tells me that she is 23 years old, from Pécs, and that her parents are fashion merchants. They go to the fairs, and he often goes with them at the end of the week. The fair is a hobby for Mónika, just as university is nowadays. Mónika started her studies at the University of Pécs four years ago, but even now she is only postponing her second-year exams; in her heart she feels that she is unlikely to graduate.

1998 brought a big change in Mónika's life. She married a trader whose business soon went bankrupt. It was then that Mónika came up with the idea of trying prostitution. Her husband at first protested in an outburst. But the next day she convinced him. I reassured him that I was doing it not only for him, but for myself. I was tired of not having the money to buy a better dress, a car, an apartment, a holiday, or even to go to a restaurant. I told him I wanted to live with him, but at a different standard. I also told him that I refused to sleep with anyone. Only clean, cultured guys. If I don't like someone, I won't do it. My husband finally told me that it was fine to try, but if I couldn't take it, to stop immediately.

  So you can...

  I'm fine. I never see more than four or five people a day. It's just the usual couple lovemaking and franchising, nothing extra. I mean, my extra is that I'm intelligent, you can talk to me about anything: family, business, politics, movies, history. I can go to a high society, act like a gentleman and give authority to whoever pays me. So what I do is not sex, it's gymnastics and role-playing.

Monika has 35-40 regular clients. Of these, 15 to 20 come every week to her one-and-a-half-bed­room suburban apartment in the suburbs, the others every month or two. Mónika is occasionally taken out to dinner by her partners. In Pécs, she is not willing to "flash" on anyone's side - because of her unsuspecting relatives and acquaintances. So she takes herself to nearby Pécsvárad or Köves­tető, where they have dinner in a hotel and then go to bed. From seven in the evening until seven in the morning, the price for Mónika is fifty thousand forints. For the above amount, you get a maximum of two "sex marches", but the dinner and the obligatory gifts for such a marathon intercourse can double the customer's expenses. It is true that Mónika, through her Bt., invoices for almost any­thing: partner placement, consultancy, hosting and commercial services, event and advertising ma­nagement, guiding, transport, childcare. Over time, some of Monika's clients have become ex­tinct, underdeveloped, impoverished, even sexually.

To prevent turnover from jeopardising a reliable business, Mónika's weekly advertisement in a local newspaper reads: „University girl looking for a leisure partner”. Thanks to this, new guys are always dropping in, but Mónika prefers the old ones, the persistent ones whose strengths and weaknesses she knows. Take Béla, for example, who takes a shower after only a few minutes of caressing. Roland's strength is his attentiveness, he enjoys doing what Mónika asks him to do. Endre's charm is that he doesn't want to cheat on his wife. The man from the capital travels down to his company in Pécs every month, and always visits Mónika. He lists his successes, his joys and his problems, but he never wants to make love. "István embraced me with touching love," confesses Mónika, but István is a man of unattractive appearance, in his fifties, and almost sexually help­less. He made his living in the embrace. Then he started making plans to divorce, abandon his child­ren and marry me. Then I told him I was married, and he demanded the car and jewellery back. I didn't give him the jewellery, I asked him not to take it because it would remind me of the good times. Mónika shows me the dozen gold hoop rings with tiny brilliants (worth seventy thousand fo­rints), and I stare:

  Did you believe this tale of remembrance?

  I did. Because he wanted to believe it.

Look, I don't enjoy being with any of my customers. But I pretend that I have the most wonderful time with them. I scream when I have to, purr when I have to. It's what's expected of me. They expect me to do it even if there's no act. Stephen feels that his tight embrace is the pinnacle of plea­sure, so I let him believe it. Endre thinks that talking to him is a godsend, and I confirm him wrong. The men who come to me think they are some kind of chosen beings; to whom special respect and attention is due. They don't get the care, recognition and praise they need at home. I, on the other hand, play what they lack and want to believe, and they are satisfied, determined and proud. Monica says she is happy. She is in love with her husband, they cuddle daily and she enjoys sex with him. They are financially straightened out, they both drive a new car, eat out at restaurants and have more than half a million for this year's Greek holiday. She wants to do the job for two or three more years, by which time she hopes they will have enough money to open a bar where they can meet moneyed men with girls who know how to behave. Maybe they're students, Mónika meditates, not mere prostitutes like their roadside colleagues, but attentive or pretending to be attentive to the intellectual desires of the client.

In the newspapers of our university towns, we always find classified ads like the one Mónika places. Almost without exception, the college and university girls who advertise themselves, or who may have already graduated, can be reached on their mobile phone numbers, and usually welcome men in their sublets for dating. They are cautious and only go to the houses of reliable clients, but they are very fond of exclusive nightclubs and dinners: most refuse to comply with unusual re­quests. However, if the ad says "College girls seeking partners", advertisers are likely to be more "open-minded". This can be inferred from the fact that girls are looking for a partner in plural num­bers, and such an ad promises in layman's terms that it could be a sex party with a lesbian ele­ment. Eva is already a graduate and is advertising with her girlfriend. The 24-year-old girl from Pécs doesn't deny that there is no obstacle but there is a price to pay for group sex.

Éva joined the queue three years ago, when she was studying at the accounting college in Zalaegerszeg.

  I had nothing to eat, nobody helped me she sums up her reasons briefly on the phone, because she refuses to meet me.

  Now that he has a degree, he could find a living I point out.

  Don't be stupid! her voice cracks. Should I leave for a hundred thousand a month?

  How much can you make?

  On average, one million, two hundred thousand. Four hundred thousand goes to expenses. Sixty for the apartment, a hundred for my car payments, fifty for clothes, and the rest for restaurants. I'm used to being well-off.

  Does a degree, an education, help you in this business?

  I can keep the jerks away from me. Of course, I still have to swallow enough jerks, because anyone with money has a license to be a jerk.

  Do you think if you hadn't gone to college, you wouldn't have become a prostitute?

  I would have been anyway, it was written for me. I love money, and I quickly realized that there was little money to be made in a legal job. College deprivation was the final push, but college didn't make me a prostitute.

  Didn't college reveal what you do for a living?

  Some people guessed. But I didn't care. I loved the wealth, it gave me peace of mind, the wealth made me forget my pain. I'm still like that today.

Zsófia has recently graduated from the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pécs, majoring in social policy. (Zsófia asked that only her first name be included, for fear that someone might read her article carelessly and accidentally classify her as one of the people she wrote her thesis about.) In her thesis, the newly graduated social policy student spoke out about a 25-year-old girl studying economics in the capital. We quote from this interview:

"I was a sophomore at university when one of my classmates told me about this opportunity. I, too, had a serious problem paying the rent, and at the same time, creating a standard of living that every young intellectual woman of our time spoken or unspoken aspires to. At first I was reluctant, but after much deliberation I decided to go ahead. Since then, I have spent my evenings in the company of men of good looks and manners and money. They make me think twice about what I spend. I don't feel the least bit humiliated and helpless. By default, I have to perform a representa­tive function with men. It's important to look good at dinners and receptions, to have good commu­nication skills, to speak English and German, and to know which of the utensils on the table to use to tastefully eat a crab." The university student, defined by the author of this thesis as an "intel­lectual prostitute", claims that a businessman's negotiating position is enhanced by the presence of a pretty, intelligentwoman at his side. But the partners across the table are well aware of the fact: she is only there to help his casual employer succeed. She's there, as are her employer's air-conditioned car, elegant clothes, jewellery, villa, favourite restaurant and circle of friends.

The woman interviewed stresses that sexuality is not important in this job, but it is clear from her words that her working hours do not end at the reception. She does not want to continue in this profession after graduation and hopes that the business people she has met so far will be a positive influence on her career. The interviewee says of her own career: "I have no regrets, I have had a good life, I have tried myself in different situations and I have succeeded". Zsófia spent her internship at the police station in Pécs, where she got the idea for her thesis. On the other hand, Zsófia herself had the opportunity to experience the dizzying opportunities that university girls have. This is how she talks about her own temptation:

  I tried to earn money while I was at school. I used to work as a newspaper delivery boy, leaf­leter, hostess and often interpreter. Last year, an entrepreneur from Pécs took me to the Net­herlands to interpret. The middle-aged, average-looking man with a family came to me with open offers from the very first moment. I closed my mind in vain, but he kept promising more and more. An apartment, a salary, and eventually a car: He was incredibly tenacious and refu­sed to accept failure for a long time.

A particular form of prostitution, reminiscent of a marriage of convenience, where one has only one client. Here is a story about it:

  I fell in love with one of my classmates on the very first day at university, an extremely good-looking girl from Somogy County, recalls a lawyer acquaintance from Pécs, recalling his love affair many years ago. We were together all the time, but after half a year she asked me to let her have a night out every now and then because she needed the solitude. I didn't object, because even then I could do with some time alone. Then I noticed that on these days off, he would come home to college in the morning. He cut himself off to sleep over at one of his girlfriends' houses. Later on, he went home to his parents' house more and more often for two or three days and wouldn't let me call there. Eventually I found out that she had a restaurateur boyfriend who was twenty-five years older than her and that she spent her days off with him. He wouldn't admit he was doing it for the money, but it was obvious. We broke up. He later replaced the restaurateur with a boutique owner and her with a Hungarian businessman retur­ning from abroad. I have not heard from him since.

Similar stories are rumoured in almost every faculty of almost every university. Let's add: not just girls, boys too. (The author of these lines also had a college classmate who, during her studies, sup­ported herself as she put it: for two dives a week with a rich woman twelve years older than herself.) Mónika believes that the entry of students and graduates into prostitution will improve the quality of this despised profession. Maybe. Somehow I'm still not happy.

Tamás Ungár - Népszabadság, 15 July 2000 (page 32))

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A huge, dark-coloured Audi arrives at the appointed place. The evening street is almost empty. A man pulls down the window, wearing a hat with sunglasses and a hat with a brim. He apologizes for being late: There was a problem with one of the "outside places", but they'll sort it out. Z. has been taking girls abroad for ten years. It used to be all about bar dancing, but now Z. and most of the dancers have realised that prostitution is much more rewarding for all of them. Since then, girls have been turning up in droves, looking for money, cars and glamour, and willing to "work" for it.

She asks me to sit in the back. As soon as I close the door, her mobile rings. He gets free, picks it up. "Exactly as you say. A family of musicians in Genoa... Of course we sent her out... She taught English to a six and an eight-year-old boy... The boys love her... They want Kata next time..." After she hangs up, she explains the situation.

  One of the girls had a boyfriend. He was suspicious why his girlfriend was going abroad for ten days. There's always a prearranged scenario for these cases. It's their choice who they tell what they're doing out there. Most of the time, the story is that they go dancing, modelling or - as you've just heard - babysitting. The people around them usually have no idea what they are doing, but many of their friends know about it and even enjoy the benefits.

  So it's not forced, it's voluntary, it's singing...?

  Bingo. These girls usually don't have much of a family background either. Their parents are nice people, just not very rich. They just want more. They want to make a lot of money in a short time. Some have graduated or are graduating from college or university. There are also people who work in advertising, have several degrees and speak four languages. He, for example, earns 300,000 HUF a month at home, but decided that this was not enough for him. Now he brings home 1 to 1.5 million forints after 10 days away. I do not send out street pros­titutes. Many people have no idea how many of them are the wives and daughters of famous people, fashionable models, popular media personalities. By the way, a lot of this money is also used to help their parents. Many of them have small children they could not otherwise support, Besides, how would a young girl have any prospect of an apartment or a car here? Often they want to start their own business, they need the money. This is the way they find their way, because they love Hungarian girls out there. There's a huge demand for them. They say they have fire in them... The fact that they are increasingly pushing for this job is a sign of the state of Hungarian society.

  And then when they have everything, they stop?

  Usually not. While they're out, they count every cent, but as soon as they get home, they're gone in a matter of days, they eat it all up. Then they cry, "Oh, I don't have any money!" and they're off again. They reach a certain standard of living and they don't give up. The more they earn, the more they spend. There were people who had to go out even at 35 because they never saved. Of course, at that age, it's hard to get someone in the 20-year-old "colleagues" to work. I note that all these girls spend the millions they earn abroad at home, so they are a serious benefit to the country!

  Approximately how many are there? Many, many! There are a lot of intermediaries, so it's hard to give an exact number, but there must be thousands. It would be more accurate to ask how many of the girls we see in the expensive nightclubs or the fancy gyms have not had anything to do with this. If they are better looking than average and spend a lot on themselves, their salaries cannot cover the horrendous prices of various services. Unless they come from a wealthy family or inherited a large fortune, this is how they all generate the money needed to live a luxurious lifestyle. Hence, there is a great demand for this work from both the „guests” and the girls who need the money. This has been the case since the world began.

  Yes, but it used to be much simpler to formulate the motive of who and why becomes a prostitute. Now it's as if everything has been turned upside down. "I go abroad for ten days, I do x amount of rounds a day, and I have my designer clothes, perfume, plasma TV..." That's it?

  Ten a day on average, or twenty at best.

  What?

  A round. That's a hundred, two hundred people in a ten-day tour. Anyone who's not up to the job will drop out on their first trip. We don't "test" the girls personally. You go out to work, and then we see if it works. If she doesn't do well, she can always come home. There's no pressure here. Each girl takes what she wants to take. Of course, if someone works well, makes a good turnover, everyone benefits. And if you can make more money, I'll give you another job sooner. It's as simple as that.

  How do they even know there's such an opportunity?

  I've never advertised, yet two or three girls call me every day saying they've heard about the opportunity from a friend or acquaintance and would be interested. I only meet people who refer me to a friend. We sit down, I have a chat, I find out how reliable she is or how proble­matic she is. If everything goes well in the face-to-face meeting, we can discuss the details. The first question is almost always how much money you can earn, and the second is when you can start. This is when I tell you that there are rules that must be followed for their own good. For example, you are not allowed to drink or take drugs while you are out and you are not allowed to have two people in the apartment at the same time. There are set working hours, after which you are free, but you can't go out late at night because there is usually trouble. It works like a normal workplace. If they follow the rules, there should be no problems and they are safe. Here the girls are very careful not to cause any problems because they know they can't go to work anymore. And that's something they really don't want. After ten days they come home as if nothing had happened and they have a lot of money.

  How much of it is yours and your partners'?

  I wouldn't say a lot compared to the investment and the risks.

  Isn't that what they call a "pimp"?

  If I'm a pimp, then the girls are whores, and they don't want to do it. It's about something else anyway. We provide jobs for the girls who ask us for them. Unlike us, they have nothing to lose. They get in the car, which takes them out for 100 euros. Then they arrive at their place of work: a clean, sophisticated apartment, which we maintain, and we do the advertising and publicity. Who among them would invest 20,000 euros in a business that the police could close down at any moment? Nobody. We need organisation, supervision, order - and everyone does their job. It is purely business. I'm not really impressed that I'm breaking the law, but that's just a momentary situation. In a few years it might not be illegal, which it is now. Besi­des, who hasn't broken a law in their life?

  Aren't you afraid of getting arrested?

  Of course I'm afraid. If the girl confesses, tells us she'll give us money, they'll take us away... But they won't talk anyway.

  You sure about that?

  Almost. Because if we go to jail, they won't have a job. Then they can't make any money. And that's the most important thing.

  So, how did it start?

  I started about 10 years ago. I used to place dancing girls in Austrian bars. There was still mo­ney in it then. But after a few years, I started to run out of dancing and the working conditions became more and more disgusting. Sooner or later everyone had to take on a little 'extra'. After a while, many people asked me if there was any other job where the situation was cleaner. So I started to organise this current line, and I realised what the girls had realised: this straight­for­ward work means a lot less hassle and a lot more money for all of us. By the way, a lot of film girls work this way. Many of the porn stars say that filming is good for their reputation, but they can't make a living out of it. They think that this activity will have no impact on their lives at home, so they don't consider themselves whores. And I don't consider myself a pimp.

  Do you like doing this?

  Absolutely. What man doesn't enjoy having a bunch of good girls look up to him and respect him? Suppose a very rich guy sits down next to me and offers the girl who works with me 1 million forints. But if I don't want her to go out with him, he'll drive her away because he knows she's worth a lot more than that money if she can work for me. That is a huge power. When I had an agency overseas, the most famous stars begged me to give them girls because they knew that whoever worked with me would not talk to the tabloids the next day.

  How long do you plan to keep doing this?

  As long as it takes, until I get tired of it. I don't know.

  Family?

  I recently had a baby daughter, and I have an older son from an older relationship. The little one's mum was also a working relationship at first...

  Didn't it bother you that your partner was also with a lot of men...?

  Not at all, in fact! With her, I was happy if she could work well. That's the normal world for me. I know the average person doesn't think that way. But when we see people standing at the bus stop at dawn, we say: "Look at all these idiots, they're going to the cafeteria to line the pockets of politicians!"

  How would you like your daughter to do the same?

  I wouldn't like that...

Before we say goodbye, I'd like to ask you why you've been spreading your cards to a journalist. He says he wants people who talk about coercion and exploitation to understand: this is about free will and business! Official bodies are ignoring this situation. They bury their heads in the sand and continue to spout their rhetoric. In order to convince me of the perversity of this situation, you will tell me everything I want to know. At the end, he unexpectedly offers me to go out and live with the girls in that particular flat for a week and see what he's been talking about. "We'll say I'm her relative and just need a place to stay for a few days. It's quite a big flat..."

Sarolta Dobray, Nők Lapja, No. 30, 2004 (pages 28-30)

 

What can you say to that? Not only women are prostitutes, but also the society we live in. Ex­tract from the position of the Equal Opportunities Government Office: „The prostitute is always a victim, who never voluntarily, but only under duress, and most often as a victim of violence, sub­mits to the transformation of her personality into a commodity for consumption. Sexual service is nothing other than a serious violation of the right to self-determination." It is time to create a new definition of those who prostitute themselves not only physically but also psychologically. More­over, they do so voluntarily and of their own free will. Not only in sex, but also in other areas of life.

 

A later newspaper report:

A prostitution ring employing 500 Hungarian girls was busted in Florence. The call-girl network advertised that applicants earned hundreds of thousands of euros in two-week tours. They are the aristocrats of prostitution. The network was organised by a Hungarian 'madam' in her thirties. She advertised regularly in a Budapest newspaper. He promised the girls who applied "light physical work". As a hostess, she was paid 200 euros a day for her services. Sometimes the madam herself would join in the carnal service. She would sometimes charge up to €1,000 for a half-hour's shep­herding. Clients could choose from a "database" of Hungarian girls on the Internet. It took the Italian police a year and a half to unravel the network.

Képes Újság, issue 2005/17 (page 10)

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Report I:

Standing on Móricz Zsigmond square on a May morning. It's drizzling a little, I've already taken the kids to the nursery and kindergarten, then the text message arrives on my phone, which I'm looking forward to. There's only one license plate number in the message, the one I'll have to look for in the parking lot of the Keleti train station in an hour and a half when I board a bus full of prostitutes to travel long hours crammed in with a bunch of women who are going to Germany to earn money by having sex with foreign men. I soon find my flight to the East, a comfortable and clean Mercedes minibus with two drivers, in accordance with passenger transport regulations. Apart from my colleague and myself, all the passengers are prostitutes (or, as the rights activists call them, sex workers), returning from their two or three weeks' holiday at home to their jobs in Germany.

There is a street in Bremerhaven, Germany, where practically everyone is Hungarian. This is the city's nightclub district, where more than a hundred prostitutes work under the leadership of a Hungarian madam, are watched over by Hungarian security guards and eat Hungarian food in the local restaurant. We spent days with them. They will stay for four to six weeks. For a 20-minute deal, as they call sex, they get 30 euros. This includes oral sex and one-position intercourse, with all other extras such as kissing, breast touching, dominatrix sex, no-rubber sex and anything else by agreement. Commercial promotion of prostitution is a criminal offence in Hungary, but legal in Germany. Elizabeth runs a whole red light district in a northern German town. What she does is legal there, yet the Hungarian authorities have issued an arrest warrant for her.

This is not the only bus in the car park here today that is clustered exclusively around young women, I hear the names of German and Swiss towns being mentioned by the other bus drivers. We are travelling through Slovakia and the Czech Republic via Dresden, Leipzig, Hanover and Bremen to Hamburg. "These whores are bloody unreliable," says one of the girls, indignantly, when it turns out that we are waiting in vain for two passengers. They had booked their seats on the phone, but now they are unavailable and never arrive. The reason for the indignation is that our journey, already scheduled to last 12 hours, is going to be delayed. A suitcase, freshly laundered, oversized fake hair, pointed, chirpy false nails, comfortable sportswear for the journey, branded sports shoes. This is how the average sex worker travels to work in the West, without make-up, sleepy and exhausted. My youngest travelling companion is 19, the oldest 27. - someone asks as soon as we get on, and someone else has a mum's salami sandwich in her mouth. We are locked together in the minibus, but it's hard to start a conversation, everyone is quiet, the people at the windows stare out. So the atmosphere is not so different at first from a class bus excursion where the class teacher has devised some unexciting cultural programme.

At the first stop, the experienced driver tells us that while the women are always relaxed and cheerful on the way home, they are quiet and tense on the way to work. "On the way home, the girls are happier. I think they are happier to go home. Obviously not for nothing, I guess not everyone is meant to do this for the rest of their lives," she added. One girl says she even threw up in the mor­ning before leaving. This is a completely legal bus service, based on a system of carpooling, and all the passengers are prostitutes. I receive an invoice for the 21,000 forints fare, a much cheaper fare than flying or taking the train, so with the inconvenience of bus travel, it is more suitable for sex workers than any other form of transport. Absurdly, it's like a school bus for prostitutes, they take everyone home, only the house is a fancy building in the entertainment district.

A couple of hours later, the atmosphere is much more relaxed, we're talking about who's been doing it for how long and why. "I've been going out for three years, before that I worked in Hungary and Switzerland. I was very, very shy at the beginning. You wouldn't think it was me, would you? The first time I went out with a guy and he told me to take my bra off, I said I definitely wouldn't take it off. Now I'm not shy at all. The guy comes in, gives me the thirty euros and I'm not wearing anything. I'm very fast, super, super fast. I have older customers, I talk to them, they tell me about their lives, I even ask them why they come to see me if their wife is there," says Zsaklin, who I knew from my earlier days reporting from a nightclub in a northern German town. "What does he say? I ask. "They come because a lot of wives don't suck," comes the obvious reply.

We stop at Tesco's on the Hungarian side, pile chips, chocolates and yoghurts into baskets, pee and spend a long time browsing the stalls in the mall's lobby. One of my travelling companions buys a faux leather solid handbag at an unrealistic price of seventeen thousand. "At least I have the experience for this trip," he looks at the bag. She dropped out of a reputable rural high school a few years ago, and her family understands that she travels away from home for four to six weeks at a time because she works as a kitchen maid in a big hotel in Budapest.

The Sex Workers' Interest Protection Association is the only Hungarian organisation that protects the rights of people who work as prostitutes. In an earlier conversation with their leader, Ágnes Földi, I learned that sex work abroad has been a continuous trend since EU accession, but in their experience it has been the last four years that have seen a real upswing. From now on, a police officer can fine a prostitute on the spot if she does not pimp in the designated area (previously only the court could do this). "In cases of on-the-spot fines, the control of the courts, the presence of a defence lawyer, the presentation of evidence, the possibility of hearing witnesses, expert witnesses or appeals has been removed, reducing the infringement procedure to a simple check-writing procedure," said a press release. The amount of spot fines imposed varies from 10-20,000 forints to 300,000 forints, it is up to the police officer.

This is why many people cross the border to countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland or Germany, where prostitution is regulated more liberally and they can work legally under controlled conditions. Moreover, there are some women who make a living from sex who wait out the two-year statute of limitations on misdemeanour fines abroad. And although the drivers say that's not why they travel this route, the minibus industry is very much based on sex workers. "We don't ask the women what they do for a living, but we do see them asking for rides in red-light districts. We were once approached by the police because there was a man who was running girls and giving us rides. They questioned us, they wanted to know if the man had sent money home from the girls to himself," says the owner of the bus company.

My fellow travellers all say they work for themselves, they only go abroad because the money is much better than in prostitution here, and it's easy money to get used to. But then in the red-light district, where I spend long days after the bus ride together, I find out that most Hungarian women work with a man and share their earnings with him. They do this for various reasons: either because they are in love, or because they have a child together, or because the man helped her to go abroad to work.

Somewhere in the Czech Republic, I dare to ask about things I've always wondered about, like what people think of the cafeteria. "Well, what? The guest doesn't even know I have it. There's a sanitary sponge upstairs. It's heart-shaped, you have to stick it in really deep, it soaks everything up. But you have to be careful with it, I had a friend who had a guy with a really big cock and he had the sponge up there. He didn't know what to do, and he had a really long fake nail. I told him to spread his legs so he wouldn't get hurt, and then I helped him." The other woman says she doesn't use the sponge, but folds up a wet butt wipe and puts it in her vagina. The others are upset by this, they think it's disgusting and a risk of infection, and the girl admits to having got vaginitis once.

We stop at the border, the driver buys a sticker, we stand next to the minibus, the men in the cars near us stare at us blankly. It doesn't feel good. I ask the women about the dangers, and it turns out they have an elaborate code system to make the woman working in the next room hear if something is wrong. They never lock the door with a key and never blare music so they can hear a possible scuffle. If they feel in danger, they drop something and someone is there immediately. Or so they hope. They fear different things from what I had previously thought, for example, none of them take time to relax during the four to six weeks they work 10 to 12 hours a day. "'Why go to a disco, they'll put something in your drink and then kidnap you” says one of them, and I can't tell if he's joking or if he's serious about being afraid of that, not of locking himself in a room with a strange man to have sex. The journey continues, everyone trying to relax, more and more bags of chips empty.

 

Report II:

In the red light district of Bremerhaven, late in the afternoon, the unsuspecting onlooker might imagine he is in Hungary. When we arrive, there are two Hungarian boys playing football on the roadside, practically all passers-by speak Hungarian, and the only pizzeria serves Hungarian dishes on a Hungarian menu. Hungarians are the prostitutes, who don't really like having sex with stran­gers at all. The cleaning lady, the cook in the pizzeria and the security guards who look after the mainly Hungarian prostitutes are also Hungarian. In the closed customer car park because there is one in this entertainment district there are several cars with Hungarian plates, a Hungarian woman organises the prostitutes' work, and a Hungarian private bus company from Budapest regularly shuttles workers around the only legal, large red-light district in the German city.

One example is 27-year-old Sonja, who has four underage children at home, raised not by her but by foster parents in state care. The first was born when she was a teenager and taken away from her when she was 16. She says it was because eight of them lived in a small house and were too poor. "Where we live, there is only public work, it's only for a month, but you can't live on it. There are my six brothers and sisters, the children, the electricity, my sick mother. On top of that, there were times when we had to go out stealing to make ends meet. When the second little girl was born, we had so little money that we couldn't even afford diapers, so I had to make her clothes. I thought I'd go into this because I couldn't bear to see the child have nothing, and my family had nothing. That's how I started this job, unfortunately. Back in Hungary. There, you had to work on the street, there are designated zones, and you have to do it in the car, you can't even wash up. And I went with at least five or six people a day. In the end, we had to go with people to get a sack of potatoes, some fat or flour," he says.

Sonja and all the other sex workers here say that in Hungarian prostitution circles, it's common knowledge that there are jobs abroad, and she has been offered more places to go for the bigger money. She has been to Holland, Switzerland, other German cities. She has had several run-ins with the police, is currently being questioned in Hungary and has been jailed in Stuttgart. He says it's because he was pimping in an illegal place and had no money to pay the fine. "I got a fine of €3,600, which was originally €500, but it has been accruing interest for six months. And I thought it would go away, but it didn't. It was still in the computer." She was then back on the streets of Hungary after being bailed out of prison by her relatives, and was brought to Bremerhaven, a legal nightclub district, last March, where she stands 12 hours a day in her panties and bra in a lit window that doubles as an opening door.

Alongside Sonja, around eighty Hungarian women work in the Bremerhaven tolerance zone. Harry Götze, the local police chief, told the German daily Taz three years ago that there were between 170 and 200 sex workers in the city, and said that most of them were Hungarian. In early March this year, local police press officer Frank Schmidt, speaking to Index, said that in the legal tolerance zone, or Lessingstrasse, "there are currently about 125 prostitutes working, almost two-thirds of whom are from Hungary." There are about fifteen large tenement buildings on the street, each with six to eight shop windows at the bottom, where the almost-naked women are writhing around, and the business is booming: you can't arrive on the street at a time or in the middle of bad weather when all the windows are empty.

"There's always a girl working, but really at weekends the street starts at ten to eleven at night and lasts until seven in the morning. Someone comes before entertainment, someone after. It's 6am to 8am before work. These are the people who can't get away from home, so they leave early because of work. On weekdays, there is a flurry of traffic even at lunchtime," says Erzsébet Schmitz, the Hungarian woman who organises the work on the street, and whose activities here certainly fall under the Hungarian Penal Code's definition of fencing, which can carry a sentence of up to 10 years' imprisonment. She is under investigation by the Hungarian National Bureau of In­vestigation, and her case is described in detail in this article. His case is a complicated international criminal case because the work he does legally as an employee is punishable in Hungary. But not in Ger­many, where he claims to do it exclusively. Although he is aware that a European Arrest Warrant has been in force against him since 23 December last year, the German authorities have not (so far) extradited him to Hungary.

In the street behind the shop windows, we saw about ten of the six to eight square metre cubicles inside, clean and tidy, with a wide couch, a shower, a sink, a bar stool, some well-developed stuffed animals and kitschy pictures of the furnishings. With a valid rental contract, the women pay 60 euros a day for the cabin, which serves as a workplace, and another 20-30 euros for the apartment, for a total of 24-28 thousand euros a day, or 720-840 thousand forints a month.

This includes utilities. According to Veronica Munk, a Hamburg-based expert from TAMPEP, an advocacy network for sex workers' rights, this rent is quite common in brothels in Germany. Accor­ding to sex workers, there are no hidden costs here, while in other brothels there are. For example, Zsaklin left his job in Zurich because he had to give 40 percent of all his earnings to the owner. Twenty minutes with a client brings in 30 euros (about 9,200 forints), half an hour 50 euros (about 15,000 forints), an hour 100 euros (about 30,000 forints). During the weekend peak period, clients pass the doorknob to each other. We see a whole sports team arrive in the association's van, a wheel­chair-bound disabled person is wheeled into another cabin, and we even meet a local politician who has been going to the street for sex every week or two since her divorce ten years ago. Alexander Niedermeier, a representative of the extreme liberal and pro-transparency political party, the local Pirate Party. "I am ashamed to come here. I have to admit it, but as a politician I have to be honest, so I talk about it. When I choose women, I look at their faces. If they look unhappy, I don't go in because it's clear to me that they don't like doing it. And then I don't have to. I think they do it because there are no other jobs for them," says Niedermeier. His party wants to open an infor­mation office in the area to help prostitutes. They want to find other local opportunities and other jobs for them.

The 20-minute, €30 basic service includes condom oral sex and condom fucking, with any extras above that agreed individually between the sex worker and her client. Extras include anal sex, fetish games, sado-maso sex, dominatrix role play, and sex without a rubber, but there are also very special cases. Diamond, one of the Hungarian sex workers, told us about this:

"Sometimes you have to spit in her mouth, she brings a huge vibrator and you have to fuck her with it, and she leaves a lot of money. And sometimes you have to take the used condom out of the trash can and squirt it all into her mouth. And then he might not give you 40-50, but 400 euros. And at least you don't have to be with him. I'd rather let him do anything to me than let me do anything to him," she says. This attitude is quite common among the prostitutes in Bremerhaven, and there was not an interviewee who did not mention how much she hated and felt humiliated by what she was doing. They play a role in making the client think they enjoy their work. That's how they talked about it:

"Other than the money, what's to love about this? The fact that strange men touch me? Or that I have to work until 5 or 6 in the morning?".

"I have a role I've made up for myself, and I play it even when I'm in a bad mood or I don't feel like doing anything."

"Sometimes they smell so bad that you have to ventilate for an hour and a half and a whole bottle of perfume goes out."

"My parents don't even know I come out, and I don't like it. But I get my money's worth out of it".

"I treat the guest like an object. To get what you pay for and get what you pay for as soon as possible. I've been working for seven years, if I average out, I've had 12 customers a day. No one has ever moved anything in me."

If you count only the basic services (condom oral sex and fucking), you get roughly 2-3 clients per day of the sex worker's take, i.e. the rent of the property. In principle, this might sound like a great salary, but as we will discuss later, the rest will not (necessarily) all go to the prostitute.

Nine of the apartment buildings on the street are owned by a company called Feda Ug., owned by two Dutch men, Jan Engel and Jeroen Pols. Their employee is Elisabeth Schmitz, the manager and madam of the nightclub district. (The other buildings are owned by German owners.) According to German company records, Feda is in the business of renting out apartments and commercial units. It's not in the company records, but in this real estate business, all the tenants happen to be prostitutes.

Since January 2002, the German prostitution law has been in force, and since then the German federal legal environment has accepted and allowed sex work within a regulated framework. The law has also regulated the legal and social security status of prostitutes, who are now entitled to pensions, health insurance or unemployment benefits. The law promotes the free choice of prostitu­tes to decide independently on their performance in providing sexual services, and therefore the exploitation of prostitutes remains prohibited (ergo: the operation of pimps is banned). The prostitu­tion law does not set general standards or guidelines, and is therefore interpreted and applied quite differently by the official bodies of the 16 German federal states. In some, street prostitution is ban­ned, in others sex work is completely illegal in certain parts of the municipality. Some pay a tax on prostitutes (€10-15 per month), others, such as Bremerhaven, do not. The law also allows prostitutes from EU countries to work, with the proviso that immigrant prostitutes, including Hungarians, can only work legally if they have identity documents.

"German law is quite liberal on this issue, the only stipulation is that this activity must take place in designated areas," says Jeroen Pols. Pols, who works as a property lawyer in the Netherlands, says he and his partner did not come to Bremerhaven in 2008 to work as prostitutes, and says it was not by chance. "At the time, it was very difficult to find buildings in the Netherlands that were sui­table for reinvestment and then made a reasonable profit, so we started looking in Germany. Somebody recommended Bremerhaven, so we went to see it and we were quite surprised because we didn't know that it was a building where prostitution was going on. We had no experience or intention of doing prostitution, but we ended up buying the building and owning this brothel."

The company enters into a real estate contract with the sex workers, which does not include any information about the sexual services provided or the working hours. According to the German prostitution law in force since 2002, it cannot be included, the sex worker cannot be forced to work, he works when and as much as he wants. "They can do what they want, they can have bridge nights if they want," says Jan Engels, one of the owners of the company. "The contract can be terminated by either party no later than the first working day of the week following the following Saturday. This does not exclude the right of extraordinary termination with immediate effect," the contract says. So the woman cannot be kept there against her will, but the document does not specify the possible grounds for immediate termination, so it seems rather arbitrary. This is an important excep­tion to traditional tenancy agreements. So the contingent relationship is strong in the wording of the contract: the landlord can terminate the lease at any time - for practically any reason - and the working woman will be out on the street. What also distinguishes it from the usual landlord-tenant relationship is that the rent is collected daily or weekly by a security guard.

But these same security guards are also the ones who protect the girls, and this is not a standard service in many brothels. All of our prostitute interviewees speak gratefully of the importance of the guards' effective protection. "He was Russian, he was drunk, I let him in, he started choking me," says Amanda, without emotion. Her life depended on moments and the fact that the Hungarian security guards heard the scuffle and pulled the Russian off her. It's dangerous work, and not just for the clients, for the pimps too. Although the German prostitution law, in force since 2002, supports the free choice of prostitutes to provide sexual services, and prohibits the exploitation and coercion of prostitutes. Yet, with few exceptions, Hungarian women here arrive with men they call their boyfriends, husbands or relatives who look after them. This relationship can sometimes be a love affair, sometimes financial dependence, or coercion, often starting as a love affair and ending in exploitation, says Piroska, who was a prostitute for seven years but is no longer standing in the window because she has been with a security guard. They had a baby and Piroska got out of the sex trade. Her former partner made her become a prostitute. "I met her the year before graduation, she told me to try it. Then she managed my money. Every morning when I went home, she took the money out of my bag."

According to another sex worker, the relationship between a pimp and a whore always follows a similar scenario. "There are couples who are half in love with money, but it is more common that the girl comes from the wrong side of the tracks, meets the man, falls in love and everything is frothy at first. A lot of times he'll make her have a baby on purpose so he can blackmail her with that too. Then, after a few months, the lack of money becomes more and more frequent. And then the guy says, just a little while, just until we get ourselves together, get back on our feet, try to have a more normal life, and then you stop. And it's all bullshit. Because once the girl starts, there's no stopping from there. The girl's not going to get more out of it than she eats or picks up anyway."

It is not an easy situation for the authorities, because women often do not report to the police even if they are forced into prostitution or severely abused by their partner because of love or dependency. Several sex workers told stories of women who reported their abuser, but then with­drew their allegations a few days later. The local police chief spoke about this difficult situation in an earlier interview: "Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get reliable witnesses. Many of the people involved cannot read or write German, and above all they are terrified of revenge. Moreover, their children live in their home country, where they do not bring with them the experience of trusting the authorities” said Harry Götze.

The TAMPEP sex worker network report also points out that the situation of prostitutes coming to Germany from abroad, such as Hungary, is more difficult than that of Germans because they are under much more pressure to support their families back home and even to pay higher German costs than at home. In addition, although German law clearly recognises independent sex work without a pimp as legal, in practice it is very common, according to the report, for a prostitute to be heavily dependent on someone. Eighty per cent of migrant prostitutes share their income with someone else, according to the document, and on average they can keep only thirty per cent of their earnings for themselves.

In any case, for the moment, Bremerhaven's red light district is peaceful. Frank Schmidt, press officer of the local police, told Index: "Lessingstrasse is a priority area for the local police in Bre­merhaven and is therefore frequently checked. The checks are aimed at investigating the situation of prostitutes and preventing crime. Despite the fact that some crimes have come to light, including trafficking and forced prostitution, we have to conclude that Lessingstrasse is not currently a crime hotspot," he said.

The local police did not answer whether Hungarian victims were involved in these earlier cases of human trafficking and forced prostitution, but no Hungarian-related cases were found in the archives of local newspapers. We also interviewed shelter providers who shelter domestic traffic­king victims from abroad and their statistics show that there have been no victims from Bre­mer­haven in the last five years. "It's still possible that family support and victim support service provi­ders have come across someone, but it would be extremely difficult to unravel," said Renáta Toszeczky, head of a shelter run by the Baptist Relief Service. So the local police do not consider the comfort quarter to be particularly crime-infested, while the Hungarian police are investigating, although no Hungarian investigators have been there so far, according to Erzsébet Schmitz. The Hungarian police, apart from confirming the investigation, did not give any details about the exact case they are investigating against Schmitz. The Bremen prosecutor's office was also contacted, and prosecutor Mathias Glasbrenner replied that as Erzsébet Schmitz is not a public figure, he would not comment.

"I have been informing the local police since January because this is my official, registered job. And I understand that in the European Union everyone has the right to free movement. But I don't. And everyone has the right to freedom, but my freedom is restricted," she says, referring to the fact that she cannot leave Bremerhaven at the request of the local police. She says she was told verbally by the police here that she would not be arrested until her case was cleared. She complains that the Hungarian police have not contacted the European Legal Aid Service. This legal institution ensures the effectiveness of investigations between two European countries on the basis of international treaties, for example by allowing interrogations to be carried out without the need to travel witnesses.

The woman, who is a qualified accountant, has been carrying out her work for months despite the investigation and the arrest warrant that has been in force since December, which she claims does not in any way extend to Hungary. "In Germany, I handle the calls from people who are inte­rested, I arrange the contracts for the girls, I help them with everything if they don't speak German, I collect the rent, I organise the cleaning. In Germany, this is a completely official job and in Ger­many I have to follow German law. It is also strange that I am under investigation, but my two Dutch bosses are not. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, what I'm going through," he says. She is very direct with sex workers, not a simple landlord status.

The condition of the three flats and about ten cabins we visited was very good, with sex workers working in a cultured environment. The company started to renovate the buildings in 2010, which have apartments on the floors, where the sex workers who work on the streets live, surprisingly many with children, husbands and partners. According to Commissioner Götze, no other German city has such a large red-light district for its size. That's why the local police have a special sub-division for red light districts, whose staff are constantly dealing with street cases. While we were there, we saw police cars three or four times a day. Our sex worker interviewees welcome the watchful eye of the company's own security guards, as well as the authority of the authorities.

Bremerhaven, population 110,000, is a northern German port town among the poorer German cities, and locals say prostitutes have been working on this street, which is a comfortable walking distance from the port, for at least 150 years. The large crews of ocean liners and the tens of thou­sands of crews from the huge US military base deployed here during the Cold War have provided the comfort quarter with a sufficient clientele despite the poor economic situation. A few years ago, the US base was liquidated, marking the end of the golden age of prostitution, but the owners are not complaining now.

Munk Veronika - Index, 28.07.2016.

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Vivien Szalai's book "Fake Pleasure" is based on the recollections of a Hungarian luxury prosti­tute. The book tells us what happened to her in Dubai as well as how many Hungarian celebrities have also experienced the same hell. Young, inexperienced girls think Dubai is the land of dreams, unlimited opportunities and fabulous wealth. Every year, thousands of young women, known and unknown, secretly embark on the great journey to make a lot of money easily, abandoning their sense of shame and moral restraint. Month after month, girls with a degree, living in respectable circumstances, get on a plane to earn the starting share of a car or, for the luckier and braver, even an apartment, in the week or two they spend out there. They don't consider themselves prostitutes and they don't tell anyone about the trip. They have a loving family and a fiancé or a serious rela­tionship waiting for them at home, and they know nothing of the girls' adventures in earning money. In the eyes of those around them, they are decent, intelligent, moral girls, and no one would think that they would allow Arab men to act out their violent desires on their bodies. And then of course there are the famous and infamous Hungarian beauties, models, presenters, singers, beauty queen candidates, who vehemently deny ever having bought a visa to the Arab world, but who still board the plane from time to time and try their luck as accomplices, holding hands.

The first day is uneventful, they let you believe you've really arrived in a fairytale world, and it's not as bad as you've heard from time to time. Then you realise the reality is much worse. The first real surprise came when I was getting dressed in the morning on the second day. I had to realise that the beautiful clothes we had been given in the palace were really worthless, we would have to be naked for the whole time we were here. The servants woke us up early and led us out like animals from a pen into the palace's vast, rounded garden, which was enclosed on all sides. There we stood, naked as a mother, before a group of clothed Arab men who, like horses at a fair, scanned us. Several sheikhs and high-ranking men were about to play golf. After staring at us, they turned away and, as if nothing had happened, started to play. Obviously used to the sight, they were not put off by the group of naked women. Who knows for how long we stood there, naked and speechless, when one of the middle-ranking Arabs in charge of showing us around the palace said in English: 'Go and pick up the ball!'

We could not say no. As many of us as there were, we set off and, naked and with every inch of our bodies inevitably exposed, we began to bend over and pick up balls, while the Arab men laughed loudly at us and deliberately hit the golf ball so that it would hit us in the chest or buttocks. The girls and I did not look at each other or speak. We were silent in our hatred for the men who had so blatantly humiliated us. Then we all stopped being women. We were helpless animals whose will had been broken. We began to fear what was in store for us.

My roommate knew exactly what was going on, it was her third time in the palace. He told me that the next day the sheikh would choose a few girls who would please him, but that these girls would not only be his concubines, but they would have to sleep with all those below him in rank. For this, of course, they receive a large sum of money, but they have to work hard for it; sometimes forty or fifty Arabs take a fancy to them in the course of a week. Those who are not chosen by the sheikh are better off, because no one can touch them, but they get their money just the same, even if it is somewhat less. I put it to you, we came here to make a lot of money, and it can't be that terrible for those who are chosen.

My roommate replied that I'd rather not make sure. She had heard the cries of tortured and exploited girls many times and knew of a foreign model who had not survived the cruelty of the Arabs. He advised me to keep my head down and to be inconspicuous, so that the sheikh would not find me even remotely pleasing. The Arabs in the palace are tough and very violent lovers. Opposition heats them up, and the acting out, or not so much acting out, of rape is a subterranean pleasure for them. They like to take pleasure in the female body in special places, causing almost unbearable pain. In addition, they have unprotected sex with countless prostitutes, thus creating a high risk of infection.

The next evening was the selection. We were all ushered into a huge hall where food and drink were served. We ate naked, chatted while the sheikh and his friends gazed at us. One of the girls whispered something to me, and I smiled to myself for a few minutes before I realised I had made a huge mistake. I had been chosen. Later that night I had an appearance in the sheikh's bedroom. They washed my hair and painted my face to make me look as beautiful as possible. But when I looked in the mirror, all I saw was a frightened woman. I didn't know what was waiting for me, I just wanted to get it over with. The sheik was an ugly, thin man with a big nose. He greeted me with a smile when I entered his room. There was no courting, no conversation, no drinks, he got straight to the point. He kissed me fiercely and then pushed my head down to do my business. He came four times, four very different ways, using every orifice in my body. It hurt, but I could take it. Hell came next. I was moved to another room where the Arab men came in and out. The first day was seven. All big, violent and cruel. Everything hurt and I sobbed for hours. I felt I couldn't take it anymore, that death would be my salvation.

The next day, the sheikh's chief servant came in and fell on me from behind, full force. I felt the crack of my flesh and the warm blood as it flooded my buttocks and lap. I felt nothing after that. In retrospect, I don't know how many hours passed after that, or what exactly happened, but I woke up in my room, dressed, with my luggage around me. I was with a servant who explained that the doctor had attended to me and that I must leave immediately. He put an envelope in my hand and helped me up. I was dizzy from the painkillers, but my lap and bottom still hurt terribly. I could hardly walk. Before I left, I checked what was in the envelope: it was ten thousand euros. For a moment I was happy. Two hours later I was on the plane to Budapest. The physical pain was almost overwhelmed by the joy of the money. I fell asleep on the plane, racked with fever. My brain was trying to process what had happened. I was in a very deep sleep, only to wake up to the stewardess shaking me. I felt a hot wetness under me, the blood flooded again. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital from the plane.

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There were already a lot of articles in the press about prostitutes and luxury whores. Now let's get to know the life of a Hungarian callboy. This article is not just about the ordinary career of a sex worker. The story of the pretty boy, nicknamed Tonio, is also a typical portrayal of post-regime society:

I met Tonió a few years ago at a house party. A few years ago, I met a young man in a party in Tönió, a town in the Tonió area. The handsome guy in jeans sat quietly off to one side in one corner. He didn't think much of the intellectual and sexual junk market either. He wasn't a conspicuous figure, but the women flitted around him like stupefied muslins. His ponytailed hair, his dreamy blue eyes, the strange gleam in his being attracted the opposite sex. At the end of the party, of course, he did not leave alone. A few weeks later, when we ran into each other again, over a beer, he told me the secret: he makes his living as a callboy, with the keys to the locks of a woman's soul. I met Tonio again recently in a social gathering. I hardly knew him. He arrived in an Audi, elegant, charming, confident. Only he didn't introduce himself as James Bond, but with a mysterious smile he said he was an ent­repreneur, a businessman. When I asked him what the mysterious title meant, he said: 'I'm still a sex worker. I'm doing what I did in the last century, but I've learned the trade in the meantime."

Then he told me: When we first met, I was finishing college and looking for a job. I grew up in the country, but when I moved up to Budapest, I was on my own. My parents were among the „vic­tims of regime change”. My father, the chief engineer, sold the factory from under me, and my mother, who had been a bookkeeper on a boarding school, quickly found herself on the street. My father was also a party secretary, so they drank their brains out with the peace of mind of the underdog. I buried them both long ago. For them, and for many others of their generation, the change of regime was the turning of the Don. Depression, stress, financial and moral bankruptcy, devastation. So many people died in it, but those who survived changed too! I set off without even a scone baked in ashes. I had nothing from home that I could use. No money, no example, no experience! I had to start all over again.

At first I studied like crazy, because I thought: I will show you! If there is capitalism, the better, the stronger, must win. Let us be lions and then we will eat the gazelles, the buffaloes, the giraffes. I came to Pest as Rastignac[25] came to Paris, thinking that I would fight the God of the Fatherland. Wow, what slaps I got! A country bumpkin who suddenly found himself in an enchanted castle whe­re nothing and no one is what they seem. Where the laws are quite different. There are bastards, mates, rip-offs, rip-offs, rip-offs. Even in college. It's a real death match, but the rules are different than I thought. It's not enough to be a lion here! Because it's still Eastern Europe with multinatio­nals and shills, bureaucracy and corruption, loopholes and big politics, politicians for a living and gangsters. I had a lot of experience, and starved to death in the process. I waited tables in the sum­mers and took on all the jobs during the year. I was a safecracker, a trollop, a model.

After three years I got fed up with everything, but I still thought traditionally. Integrity, drive, validation these were the concepts I had in my head, but I realised that in the school of life, they were not going to get me anywhere. But then what about me? What should I do with my life? Should I be ruined too? Should I whore myself away for a bowl of lentils? At that point I was fighting with myself and I still couldn't (dared not) decide. Then a coincidence changed my life. It was a childhood dream of mine to sit on the steps of Piccadilly Circus[26], in a real English pub. I thought I deserved it and flew to London. It was a great weekend, and then back at the airport, waiting for a taxi, I met a woman and we drove into the city together. When we stopped outside her house, she invited me for coffee. I knew what she wanted, but I went along with the adventure. She decided to go for it right away, and she didn't spare my energy. Then, while puffing, she remarked that I could go far with that kind of performance.

On the way home, I thought about what she'd said and made up my mind. If it's a fight, let it be a fight, but I choose my weapon. So I became a sex worker. She became my first customer, but I ne­ver asked her for money. Then she passed me on to her girlfriends, and business took off. One day, one of them promised to talk me out of it over coffee after our dates. They paid me well and all they asked for in return was sex. I wasn't part of their circle, and they once made that clear to me. I had the pride to walk away. But I couldn't resist the easy money. I started the industry."

From then on, Tonio didn't bother with other work. He advertised his services in sex magazines and, taking advantage of his exceptional talents, built up a clientele. His slogan was: "Call me, I'm coming, and I won't leave too early!" He used his "fee" to buy clothes and cosmetics, and soon moved into a new apartment in the city centre. He dropped out of college and continued to study for his paper. He believed that a degree still had prestige in society and that the status (knowledge) that came with it could be put to good use later. To his surprise, he passed the exams easily without studying and the cost was no longer a problem. Initially, he was not selective about the customers he received because he needed the money. "This market is like a wildflower meadow. You just have to pull the flower stems. The phone was ringing day and night. Single people in their twenties, divorcees in their thirties, panic-stricken 40-somethings, merry widows in their fifties. There was a huge demand, the market was open," he says, and he made his first million in a few months. Then came the second and third "milo" easily, because he worked "for volume". He also took on 10-15 customers a month, who he visited more or less regularly.

"My favourite at the time was a contractor's wife. The rich guy was a buyer in the countryside and the wife was at home watching TV, pooping dog poo and having fun. When she called me, she said she didn't want to have an affair, she needed company. I figured she was another mentally ill, neglected luxury house. But I was wrong. She was a cute blonde chick, Monroe type. Bombshell looks, depressive personality, unhappy childhood. She spent long evenings "confessing" to me, and all she really wanted to do was talk. I felt sorry for him. Once I found a gun under his pillow. He said his daddy gave it to him to protect himself from the bad guys. He gave me a tenner every now and then, which was good money in those days. Then one morning he called me and told me not to come back. I forgot my lighter at his place, and he found it. He beat me so badly, we had to call an ambulance.

I also remember an interpreter in her fifties who was an elegant lady and a seven-trying-out whore. Round pretzel told me that she liked S&M, and the roughest kind. I took her up on it, and I was like a wild animal every time. He loved it, but at the end of the show, he'd kick me out. He gave me twenty rupees an hour, which was not a bad hourly wage in the last century.[27] I also had a schoolteacher at the time. She was barely forty, a pretty woman who didn't want to get married because of some family defect (daddy beat mommy?) but she loved sex. I went up to her like a maid. I always had to wash the dishes before sex, vacuum the living room and she watched. It was foreplay. Then, when he got hot, he'd take me down in a flash and rape me. But we never did it in the bedroom, because that was the clean room. He never showed himself to me in the street. He treated me like a servant, and I was roasted, but he paid me for my services. I had him removed from my paying harem."

This epoch lasted two years in the life of Tonio, who had become a „pretty boy”. He was called, he went; he was not choosy. And the women were hungry for him, because anyone who tasted his „brew” once would want a second or third helping. But there was a limit to his performance. So the "Casanova of the boulevard" gradually moved from quantity to quality, and instead of "adventu­ring", he developed a stable clientele, an "exclusive portfolio". His clients were drawn from the "better circles" and then from the art world, and soon the "clever playboy" became famous. She was passed from hand to hand, and men began to take an interest in her services. After another year, she was driving an Audi, wearing an Armani suit and renting an apartment on Rose Hill.

The narrative continued with a broadening of the „genre”: 'In recent years, extreme sex has beco­me fashionable in some high society circles. It's what the papers write about, it's what the stars do, it's what the media promote. Beckham's mistress is bisexual, the leading Russian pop duo is lesbian, artists are pot-smoking. And if this is the pattern, then of course others should try it too. The vibra­tors can go in the drawer, the riding crop, the leather mask, the ice pick in the trash, let's go for fresh pleasures! And if that's what you want, that's what you'll get! But what's new to me, too, is that more and more "gays" are applying for my company. There's a huge demand because a lot of people want to try the feeling. And what's even more surprising is that there's interest from the business community. But here the demand is still "hidden", because there are serious risks of being caught.

Last year, for example, one of my partners took me hunting in Africa. He shot a few antelope, paid a small fortune, but was able to indulge in both his passions undisturbed for at least ten days. Since then we have been abroad several times, but we always travel separately. At home, he has to keep his attraction a secret because it's a taboo subject in his circles. He'd be ostracised if he found out. He even keeps a girlfriend for money, of course to cover up his tendencies. Of course, he cavalierly pays for my „friendship”, but he has already had two nervous breakdowns because of the tension of keeping secrets."

For the past two years, Tonio has kept in touch only with wealthy and high-profile clients. Women and men alike. Today she can afford to have only wealthy partners. She exploits the discreet charms of the new bourgeoisie: the bankrupt relationships, the impotent husbands, the marriages of convenience and interest, the propaganda marriages. He says that behind the social scenes, there is now a billion-dollar sex market that caters to every need. "Everyone does it differently, everyone wants it differently!" but according to Tonio, there are very few real sex magicians, so the good ones are employed and appreciated.

"Behind the surface, an invisible empire is being built. When I used to model and waitress, I was often invited to receptions, cocktail parties, galas, house parties. Showing up in a suit, tuxedo depending on the occasion. We dressed, bowed, waited on and served. Then we got the money and goodbye! Now I experience the same thing in the sex market, at the sound of which everyone thinks of the people standing by the roadside, the coachmen. But I am talking about the market that re­mains hidden. Where the clients are politicians, media and pop stars, mafia bosses, gangsters, top managers, businesswomen. Where bodyguards in cars costing tens of millions of dollars escort lu­xu­ry ladies to residences, end-of-the-week hunts and receptions. Where you can choose from photo catalogues of little boys and big girls, where »congress tourists« have black women as well as ori­en­tal beauties at their disposal. Total discretion everywhere and at all times! A handsome fee. Oc­casional »industrial accidents«. But this is an area where landmines can explode. So far and no further!"

Tonio has been in the industry for ten years and, although he knows the ins and outs of the sex market, he prefers to remain private. She has her partners, her relationships work, and as she has no intention of taking over anyone else's business, she thinks she can sustain herself for a few more years. "As a good businessman, you have to keep an eye on the trends, the habits and wishes of the elite," he says. If I see that someone can afford a 500 million dollar mansion, a 200,000 forint Boss suit, a Prada suit, 200,000 forint Cartier[28] glasses, a 100,000 forint Mont Blanc pen, a 300,000 forint Rolex watch, a Nokia premium phone or a BMW 7, then I have to make him believe that he is indulging in pleasure with a branded man in bed. I'm not heartbroken. Sometimes I'll go for 50 grand, but sometimes I'll take half a million from the guy I'm in bed with.

This circle, if it accepts me, will pay, because it flatters itself. And, of course, he wants the best. Well, you'll get it! Last summer, I spent a few weeks on a cruise ship with the wife of an entrepre­neur for ten million. For that amount of money, of course, I had to provide "full service". The hus­band wasn't with us because he was busy, but he handed over my cheque. He and the wife are in a marriage of convenience, because the dark secrets of wealth will probably bind them together for­ever. In our country, too, many people made their first million from dirty deals. I am different from them in that, since I had no other option, I used my physical gifts. It worked, and never, ever, let anyone ask what the price was!"

Tonió still lives alone in his luxury apartment in Buda. She has no permanent partner or life partner. She doesn't take strangers to her apartment, she always goes to the address given. In her spare time she plays golf, rides horses, travels, builds relationships, goes to the gym, to the beautician, to the doctor, and has regular Aids tests. He wants to work in the industry for a few more years, then start a family. A new place, a new environment. "Maybe somewhere in Europe." His wife and children can't know anything about his past. He will start his life afresh with a clean slate and a big bank account.

János Sebők, Népszabadság, 12 June 2004 (page 7)

 

Sensitive topics

 

The accumulation of karmic debts is a frequent cause of social conflicts and various forms of retaliation. There are countless examples of this cause-and-effect relationship in history. However, most people ignore it and see the occurrence of punishment as a bloody retribution against various dictatorial regimes. But the creators and rulers of these regimes are nothing more than instruments in the hands of fate. According to an angelic message, wars are necessary in the history we have shaped, but "woe to those who start them". Those who take the role of the sledgehammer will face a terrible punishment in hell. This is what Jesus said at the Last Supper: "For the Son of Man will go as he has been commanded, but woe to him who betrays him."

 

As the media increasingly focus on excesses and abuses committed by certain ethnic groups, it is important to draw attention to the fact that the current situation is eerily similar to the anti-Jewish mood of the 1930s. It happens to be the Roma, or gypsies as they are now called, who are at the centre of the anti-minority sentiment. Add fuel to the fire that in democratic societies there is not­hing to stop abuses being brought to light and negative manifestations being discussed. Let's look at some examples from the daily press:

 

"Since the European Union removed Romania from the list of countries subject to visa require­ments, the number of Romanian visitors to Western Europe has skyrocketed, but a significant part of them do not generate tourism revenues. In particular, there are problems with individual and group 'tourists' of Roma origin arriving on Romanian passports. According to respected Romanian newspapers (e.g. Adevarul, Evenimentul Zilei and Libertatea), Roma who have migrated to the West usually quickly find their place, if not in society, then alongside it. But Roma migrant workers in Rome were in for a nasty surprise on a recent Sunday. Police used chains and padlocks to cordon off a public area known as the "Romanians' Park" at Anagnina metro station. The area around the station has been a haunt of Roma settlers in Rome since last year. The »Romanians' Park« in Anagnina Square is in fact a parking area of several hundred square metres next to one of the most beautiful and modern metro stations in Rome. Every Sunday, hundreds of Roma flood the square, reconciling the pleasant with the useful. While drinking beer, miccs and manele, they hand over their luggage to their friends who are taking them home. (Miccs are physical nourishment, manele are spiritual. The beer sold black in the park costs 2 euros, although in all the other bars in the area the price does not exceed one and a half euros.

The closure of the square has been greeted with indignation not only by the miccs and beer sellers, but also by the exorcism of pirate CD dealers who claim to be trying to make the Roma homesick by evoking the 'sweet home'. To reinforce this, a huge poster next to the manel vendor proclaims »EXTRÉM Romanian Disco Manelomania Girl Riding Open all seasons«. The »Romanians' Park« was founded around 1990, after the first Roma groups appeared in Rome. According to one of their veterans, in 1991 they were still gathering in the Cinquecento square near Termini station. From there they were chased away by the police. They allegedly urinated on the trunks of trees until they died out. In 1994, the »Romanians' Park« moved to Sette Sale square, two steps from the Colosseum, which was soon rumoured to be off limits to Italians and tourists alike. However, there came the vans that picked up the luggage of those who had left the country and took it home to Romania.

But last year the authorities intervened again. They confiscated the vans, handed out fines of over EUR 1 000, and arrested and deported some 60 people. The beer sellers then again looked for another place to sell their beer, and of course their clientele. »They're the ones who set up the meeting place, gather the clients« says one guest worker. »In 2002 we took over Anagnina Square with beer, munchies and seeds. In the beginning we were chased away by the police on Sundays, but then they left us alone for a while. Two months ago they started warning us again that we were occupying public space. Then they started to beat us up here too. Now we have to find another place to live again, « complains B.G.

Roma criminals in Romania are also active in other wealthy countries of Western Europe say the Bucharest papers. Despite the fact that Romanian refugees living in Britain do not have work permits, most of them live very well. Taking advantage of the generosity of the British administra­tion, they are making a lot of money without lifting a finger. One of them, Gabi, was given a house in Smethwick when she applied for asylum. She broke the law and immediately rented it to other refugees for $500, and you moved to London. He drives a new luxury BMW from the capital to pay his rent. Gabi also receives social assistance of around $250 and works in the black economy. »There is no other country like this in the world. They are stupid. If they give it to me, why shouldn't I take it? « shrugs Gabi.

A group of Romanian Roma »guest-working« in Spain have the »glory« of developing new theft tactics. Working around Barcelona and Madrid, the groups rob buses with the help of children packed in suitcases. The Roma board the long-distance buses with three suitcases, two of which are empty, and a purdah in the third waiting to get to work. On the way, he emerges from his hiding place and, flashlight in hand, combs through the other passengers' suitcases, picking up anything of value. He stashes the loot in the other two suitcases and then climbs back into his 'own' suitcase. At the end of the journey, the Roma take their luggage as if nothing had happened, and the other pas­sengers only realise they have been robbed much later. The robbery is impossible to prove because, in theory, no one can access the luggage during the journey.

In France, Roma criminals now operate an »official police force«, i.e. thieves who, disguised as police officers, steal tourists' purses to check their documents. At the same time, they have found the best way to bring back the stolen jewellery. They send home-made tinned beef jars to the »unfortunates« left at home. Rings and gold chains are hidden among the meat in each consign­ment, but no-one takes the trouble to inspect the contents of the »tins« because of the hideous stench.

Recently, Italian police officers arrived in Bucharest to coordinate with local law enforcement officers on the issue of migrants arriving in Italy from Romania. Romanian State Secretary for the Interior and Administration Toma Zaharia said that the Italian police took the decision after 200 Romanian Roma settled in central Naples. They had been forced to take action against them by the local authorities due to the outcry of the population. Zaharia admitted that several groups of Roma »causing problems« had travelled to the Schengen area. Their numbers are not very large, but they reinforce the prostitution and begging mafia. The Secretary of State added that in the future, county police stations will regularly consult local Roma organisations to make travellers abroad aware of the importance of respecting the law. Gheorghe Raducanu, the president's adviser on minorities, said that the Roma problem was not the biggest obstacle to Romania's accession to the EU. Howe­ver, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Peter Schieder, in a speech to the Romanian Parliament, warned months ago that large-scale Roma migration to EU member states could jeopardise Romania's hard-earned visa-free travel within the Schengen area."

József György Farkas - Népszabadság, 29 July 2003 (page 7)

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"Treasury in the poultry yard. Belgian police have found 80 kilos of gold - the buried treasury of a gypsy clan - in the backyard of an old castle under a poultry yard near Charleroi. The Belgian press reported the unprecedented haul on Saturday. Investigators found 63 kilos of gold coins and 17 kilos of gold jewellery, worth around €400,000. The site was first searched in August, when 25 kilos of suspected stolen jewellery, watches and expensive perfumes were unearthed from behind the castle. In September, the police raided the mansion and an adjoining villa, which the clan had bought for cash. They also freed a young girl, who had been locked up by male members of the clan, but had broken her arm. No arrests have been made, and only the leader of the clan, Vucasin Dinic, who is currently wanted internationally, is still wanted by the police. On Thursday, the police arrived with 35 investigators and excavators, and after several hours of excavation, they found several sacks full of gold and other valuables at a depth of several metres. The main valuables were exhibited at Charleroi police station: 4,100 gold coins minted in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, worth up to €100 each; a violin worth €5,000 stolen from an instrument antique dealer; dozens of vases by Val Saint-Lambert[29], the most famous Belgian crystal glass maker; various pieces of brilliant jewellery; gold Cartier[30] fountain pens; a valuable grandfather clock; a sextant and a high-value HiFi set. The only relative present at the search was the clan leader's partner. She claimed the treasures as family heirlooms and gifts. The investigators released him after questioning."

Népszabadság, 23 December 2003 (page 19)

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Thousands of Roma have rioted in recent days in the southwestern Romanian region of Oltenia. Rumours have spread among them that the Austrian state will pay 150 million lei (or nearly 1 million forints) to each Roma who vows not to visit Austria for five years. The necessary docu­ments and forms can be obtained in Craiova and Targu-Jiu. The rumour was spread by enterprising "businessmen". Everything was organised. They downloaded from the Internet the forms which, until the end of last year, had been used to claim compensation for those who had been taken to the Nazi death camps, and photocopied them. The forms were sold for a good price (between 60,000 and 80,000 lei) to the Roma who had been set up. However, many of them were illiterate and therefore unable to fill them in. The well-meaning organisers had also thought of this. For two hundred thousand lei, they filled in the forms for them. Then they told the gypsies to put their re­quests in envelopes. Envelopes could also be bought on the spot, but at an extra cost. There was an extra charge for addressing, and even the return receipt forms, which were given out for free at post offices, were sold to them for almost a dollar each.

The scam came to light when hundreds of Roma turned up at post offices in Craiova, Targu-Jiu and other towns and started posting their letters with forms. As one of the customers had not yet stuck his envelope, the postal worker inspected the documents. But despite telling the Gypsies that they were for a different purpose and that the deadline had passed, the Roma from Oltenia insisted that the post office forward their letters. Never mind that they were 200,000 lei poorer. Cornelia Popescu, the postmaster of Gorj county, says her institution is helpless. She has to forward her cus­tomers' mail. How much confusion will this cause in Austria? Well, it's not the Romanian postal service's fault. The Gypsies say that there were some of them who bought the forms for all the members of their families. The authorities, of course, were able to track down the crooks, who left the area in a few days with a profit of at least USD 20 000.

Tibori Szabó Zoltán Népszabadság, 5 June 2004 (page 3)

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Not only the Roma were cheated in the compensation case. They also cheated Austria. Their leaders cheated the Austrian state out of hundreds of millions of forints:

So far, three suspects have been arrested by the Győr-Moson-Sopron County Police Headquar­ters in a case of Roma compensation fraud. The suspects include minority self-government leaders. Since November last year, the county has been investigating the abuses on the basis of reports from citizens. It is well known that the Austrian Reconciliation Fund provided compensation to Roma who were deported to ghettos in Austria in 1944 and 1945. It has emerged that many of them had wrongfully received various sums of money and had obtained false declarations to justify their deportation. Lieutenant Colonel Imréné Kiss, press officer of the county's main police station, informed our correspondent that according to the investigation, so far, a total of HUF 200 million has been transferred to 250 claimants, most of whom received the money without any right. The case is under investigation against 11 suspects. Ferenc L. has already been remanded in custody, while Attila H. and József B. have recently been arrested. The police did not reveal the public func­tions of the suspects, but according to our information from other sources, one of them is the deputy head of the Győr Roma minority self-government and the other the president of the Roma minority self-government in Tatabánya. There are reasonable grounds to suspect that they have committed fraud causing substantial damage, committed on a continuing and commercial basis and committed multiple counts of forgery of private documents.

From our colleague - Népszabadság, 3 November 2004 (page 22).

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This article also sheds light on the real cause of poverty:

Rumours have spread among Roma living in Gilvánfa, Baranya county, that the Varga settlement is to be closed down. But no one has made any concrete promises to do so. Just because there is this European Union, nothing will change, and there will still be rich and poor. We will always be poor. We will never have enough money to build a house. Never! But what will happen to us, where will we go if these houses collapse, don't ask me! They'll collapse, in a few years they'll all collapse. Marianna Ignác, 29, lives in Gilvánfa, in the Varga settlement. Gilvánfa, with its 400 Roma inhabi­tants, is one of the poorest settlements in Hungary. Unemployment in the Baranja village is 80-90%. The most miserable part of the village is the Varga-telep, where 22 brick houses with kitchens and rooms are lined up. The smallest porch here is barely 10 square metres, the largest is two chairs. The Varga Settlement was built in the 1950s and 1960s for the Roma settlers from the forest, and was named after the then chairman of the village council. These hovels, surrounded by overgrown gardens, with no comfort, sometimes with earth floors and furnished with dirty beds and rickety chairs, are usually home to families of 4-5.

No one has a job in the Varga slum, where only family allowances, child support and social assistance provide a secure income. Residents are resigned to their situation and, when asked if they have tried to look for work in the last ten years, admit that they have not. They do not even apologise for not being able to find a job because of the colour of their skin. At most, they mention that they have no profession and it is difficult. Some supplement their meagre incomes with casual work, but many admit to not doing day jobs. Marianna Ignác lives in one of the houses in Varga with her partner and two children. Wearing dazzling white trousers and a blouse, and dyeing her short hair blonde, she says she has never had a job and doesn't even go to day jobs because she can't stand it.

Marianna Ignác brought up the issue of building a house because there is talk of the Varga farm in Gilvánfa being closed down. The rumour stems from the fact that László Teleki, State Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office, has repeatedly stated that the government is preparing a programme to eliminate gypsy settlements. This information was passed on by word of mouth in Gilvánfa, and it was firmly established among the villagers that the Varga camp would be dismantled. Yet no one has made any concrete promises to do so. Marianna Ignác, however, is not hopeful. She thinks that the settlement will be liquidated when their huts collapse. There is a chance of that. Three houses became uninhabitable in the mid-1990s, and the same could happen to at least half a dozen shacks at any time. The occupants of the collapsed porticos have moved into a long porch farmhouse that was once the home of a well-to-do farmer and later served as the village library. The village council never gave the squatters a written eviction order, but the village authorities gave verbal permission for the families without a home to stay in the former library.

The people who moved in from the settlement have used up the once showy house to its utmost, and now this building is also crumbling. Sixteen members of three families currently live here. Mrs István Balogh lives in one of the three rooms of the house with her partner and four children. The 4 × 5 metre room is crowded with beds and is not only a living room, but also a kitchen and bath­room. The latter is just a plastic bath for the children, which is filled with water from the courtyard if anyone wants to take a bath.

  "I understand that the state is building us a house," Mrs Baloghné shares her hopes with me. We have no money, we live on benefits and family allowances. My partner is working as a day labourer. In the summer she goes three times a week, earning three thousand a day. But in the winter there is no day job, it's harder then.

There is little doubt that the people in Varga-telepelep cannot find a decent home on their own. However, it is also a fact that the people of Gilvánfa who have built their own houses would disapprove of the settlers „just getting” a place to live. They believe that people only value their house if they have done something to get it. No one knows when the Varga settlement will start to be dismantled. Nor do they know what kind of sacrifices will be expected from the penniless, une­ducated residents who have been out of work for a decade and a half. The people of Varga are waiting for a miracle. The question is whether the crumbling houses will hold out until the miracle comes.

Tamás Ungár Népszabadság, 12 July 2004 (page 11)

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Long lines of Roma rattle empty buckets in the Luník ghetto in Kassa. And they curse. They are berating the government, especially the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Ludovít Kaník, who has cut social benefits drastically since last year.

Two years ago, we were receiving much more than ten thousand crowns (sixty thousand fo­rints) a month. Today, unemployment benefit is only paid for six months, after which it is just five thousand kroner (30,000 forints), plus 50 a month if you need to see a doctor, whatever the size of your family. "You can only starve to death on this little money," shouts one woman. The response is loud approval. The housing estate, built in the 1970s and now in a state of complete disrepair, has become a horrifying reflection of the serious social problems of the Roma. In late autumn, the gas was turned off because of accumulated debts. And last week the water tap was turned off. The elect­ricity company is preparing to do the same.

  We will only give you water again if you pay at least half of what you owe! a manager of the water company in eastern Slovakia blared into the phone. For five days, the only place to get water has been from a tanker outside the district mayor's office. Not for much longer sighs local mayor Ladislav Sana. Pavol Cunderlík, the Public Health and Epidemics Officer, steps out of one of the doors, gasping for breath.

  The stench is unbearable even in the corridors. Many people are already taking their needs to the nearby lake or the beach. At any hour, a serious epidemic could break out, he says. Zuzana Bobríková, a spokeswoman for the mayor's office in Košice, explains to the journalists who have gathered:

  The 666 flats in the housing estate officially house 807 people. However, there are many more than that, because last year many homeless people from Kassa and Eastern Slovakia came to stay with relatives. And only twenty-two families pay the bills. On Tuesday, a crisis unit will be set up to carry out strict monitoring. Anyone who does not have a valid tenancy agreement and is not registered will have to leave. We'll even use force. And for water and electricity we charge a thousand euros per family per month. If everyone pays, we can collect as much as the service providers ask for as a deposit. The city also helps from its limited budget. Anyone who doesn't give enough is moved into emergency housing he says in a tone of uncompromising support. His words are greeted with a huge outcry.

  We're not going anywhere, except to protest, but the politicians are making that bitter! We contacted Klára Orgovánová, the government commissioner for Roma affairs. She is surpri­singly critical of the Dzurinda cabinet.

  I would list some encouraging examples if they did not hide behind the serious livelihood problems of most Roma. The bottom line is that drastic and insensitive social reforms have hit the unemployed, and the Roma most of all. Their homes are being snapped up by the pro­fiteers. They renovate them and sell them at a high price. Our politicians are playing with fire. There could be an explosive situation in eastern Slovakia helyesírás-ellenőrzés replies with palpable concern.

József Szilvássy Népszabadság, 23 April 2005 (page 9)

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The existential situation of Roma society did not turn out this way by chance. Whether said or unspoken, everyone knows that it is their avoidance of work that has put them in this situation. After all, it is easier to take social assistance from the state than to hold the handle of a tool. In addition to changing attitudes to work, it is vital to promote learning and education. Without quali­fications, it is no longer possible to get a job. Despite this, many Roma families do not send their children to school, or they drop out of primary school after only a few grades. The role model for the child is the parent. If the parent is lazy and jobless, how can he expect his child to go to school and study.

There are also many problems with the deviant behaviour of Roma children, which makes teaching impossible. Since the parents of these pupils do nothing to control their children or to bring them to their senses, the indignation of Hungarian parents is understandable. Most parents send their child­ren to school to learn, but those who do not want to learn make it impossible for them to attend. They also intimidate and constantly bully their teachers. They take advantage of the fact that the Hungarian education system strictly forbids segregation, the segregation of pupils of Roma origin. As a result, there is more than one school in the country where teaching has stopped or is being disrupted and teachers are unable to carry out their duties. For a stigmatised minority, this behaviour is not the best way to win the goodwill of the majority. This behaviour only increases the antipathy towards Gypsies, which will later turn into hatred and outright vulgarity towards their plight:

 

According to the teachers, a 17-year-old girl has become a nightmare at the Széchenyi István Tra­de and Hospitality Vocational School in Kaposvár, and the entire teaching staff is powerless to deal with her. The situation in the classroom of this deviant child has reached the point where the teachers cannot teach, and five of the best students have been sent to other institutions by their parents says Imre Tóth, the school director, showing their helplessness. The girl has not yet been transferred to another school and cannot be expelled from her current one until she is 18. According to teachers, the girl has repeatedly applied make-up during lessons, eaten breakfast, made phone calls, teased her peers and teachers, talked rudely and tried to intimidate those who did not sympat­hise with her. She spat on one teacher and threw a red tampon at another. He set a fellow student's hair on fire.

The girl was disciplined the previous school year, with the support of the local authority, which initiated her transfer to another school. However, this was challenged by the girl's father, who succeeded: the court annulled the decision on formal grounds. In January of this year, disciplinary proceedings were brought against the girl again, seeking a change of school, but the local authority's clerk asked the institution to issue a new, more legally sound decision. The school also sought the help of the Education Ombudsman in the case. According to the headmaster, the Parliamentary Ombudsman has confirmed, citing the law, that a child under 18 can only be expelled in cases of serious disciplinary offences and physical violence. Many say that it is easy to rant from the heights of politics, but even minority rights campaigners would not enrol their children in a school where gypsy pupils are in the majority. 

  This legal situation leaves teachers completely vulnerable and powerless, while children are becoming increasingly undisciplined and aggressive said the headmaster, who is calling for a change in the law. He added that the teachers concerned had told him that if they failed to expel the deviant girl now, they would no longer teach in the class she was in. The girl's father admitted to our correspondent that most of the acts his child had been accused of had taken place, but added that he believed that nothing was unprovoked. His child was "alienated" from his teachers because of the door being slammed, his hands being twisted, and the doctor's certificate being called a forgery.

  We live in a different world today, adolescents behave differently than they used to, and this old, inflexible teaching staff cannot adapt to that said the father. He says the accusation that five children have been expelled from the class because of his daughter is unfounded. He denied that anyone had been threatened by him or his daughter, and said they were the ones who had been threatened. He forbade his daughter to give her report card to her class teacher, who, he said, wanted to write in absences, spitting and the like after the fact. The father says it is proof of the hostile atmosphere that while his daughter is taught by 10-11 teachers, the enti­re teaching staff of 70 signed the latest resolution to remove her.

According to the headmaster interviewed in yesterday's Somogyi Hírlap, the 17-year-old girl's fat­her also cited the child's Roma origin as a reason for the conflict. However, the father told our cor­respondent that this had no role in the case. Yesterday afternoon, an education meeting was held, in the presence of the local authority, to discuss the new disciplinary action against the girl. The city representative offered the school board legal assistance and an expedited process.

Török Tünde Népszabadság, 28 March 2008 (page 4)

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Livelihood shenanigans:

In the world at large, Hungarians are said to "survive on ice". Maybe, but there are more food-loving people than us. We could learn a lot from the gypsies about how to live off others. According to Internet news sources, in some municipalities the Roma population is using the following trick to pull money out of the state's pockets:

There is a gypsy couple. There's a gypsy couple, neither of them works, they live on benefits. The wife gives birth to 5 children in 5 years, who are placed in state care because of problems in making ends meet. The authority goes out, squalor, filth, poverty - they take the children away from them. A few months later, a godfather, brother, sister or other relative (everyone is a relative) con­tacts the authority to say that he would like to continue to raise the children of the "unfortunate" family. The authority is happy to get rid of the children in state care and is happy for someone to foster them. They even pay the carers. A monthly salary. So the adoptive parent takes the children out. Then the five children are unofficially returned to the original family, they are relatives, why shouldn't they be there. And they continue to live there as if nothing had happened. The state pays the foster parents a net amount of 80 000 HUF per child. This is a net income of 400 000 HUF. On top of that there is the family allowance and social assistance. This gives them a monthly income of 600,000, whereas if both parents went out to work, they would earn only a third of this amount as minimum wage. So why should they work? Even if the two "families" share the money, they can live well on it. Everyone lives well and laughs in their face. There's money for pubs, slot machines, booze, cigarettes. They can even buy a second-hand BMW, because it's a big family. And Hungarian taxpayers support them.

Internet - 5 May 2008 (joke 3044) http://www.hoxa.hu/?p1=forum_tema&p2=32&p4=593

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Seeing, hearing and experiencing all this, the antipathy towards gypsies is becoming more and more intense. Their unflattering image is made even worse by their boorish attitude, shoplifting, market looting and bar brawls, which are also on the agenda here. All this is compounded by the embezzlement of gypsy leaders and politicians. Their representatives in parliament and local go­vernment work for their own pockets, and the public money entrusted to them disappears without trace. People's patience is wearing thin. Almost every day we hear people exclaiming: 'Others work hard all their lives to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads, while these people just pick a few purdahs and then the state gives them a flat and millions in benefits. Then they pick up and burn the floor of the free flat and set up a bonfire in the room. Where is the justice in that?" If Gyp­sies receive state support simply because they are Roma, not because they are poor, this is nothing other than an ethnocentrisation of social problems.

Many people talk about how the state lets 'disadvantaged families' off the hook or takes over years of accumulated utility debts, while others 'bite the bullet' to pay their water, gas and electricity bills every month. But supporting the Roma has not achieved its aim, it has only served to further deepen prejudice. According to those who fear for our cultural heritage, "Nothing is sacred to them. They drag them out of the parks and melt down the bronze statues of our national heroes. When they run out of statues, they cut and pull the postal, railway and electricity cables from the canals and melt the copper wires inside them." The smouldering atmosphere is not offset by the self-congratulatory minority advocacy of career diplomats who ride the coattails of the increased sym­pathy of democratic societies for the weak and try to get ahead in politics as champions of human rights.

However, these declarations and resolutions in favour of minorities are worth little. They can only keep tempers from flaring for a while. Only those involved can reverse this process and pre­vent the situation from escalating. It's not too late to see that they are going in the wrong direction, and those who are behaving obnoxiously can still get back on track. If this does not happen, a new Holocaust is likely in a few decades. The various far-right and fascist groups are already ready to pounce to play the role of „God's whip”. We will not even notice the beginning of this. The show­down will mostly only become apparent after the events have taken place and the fact-finding talks have been held. During the Second World War, no one knew what was going on in the Nazi „labour camps”. If anyone heard about it, they did not believe it or did not want to believe it. Only after the concentration camps were liberated did it become clear what was happening. By then, however, 13 million people (6 million Jews, 5 million Gypsies and gypsies of other nationalities, 2 million ho­mosexuals and cripples) had already been shot, gassed and destroyed in the crematoria. The „work education camps” set up in remote areas can very easily become death factories.

To begin with, even the masterminds of genocide on a global scale do not arouse suspicion in people. Let us not forget that Hitler did not start his career as an Antichrist either. In 1932, the Na­tional Socialist Party came to power through democratic means. They won a majority in Parliament in free elections. In 1933, Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor in response to his growing popularity. He became a nationally celebrated hero, and Germany, emerging from the Great Depression, saw him as the saviour of the country. His international reputation was also very good. In 1938, Adolf Hitler was Time Magazine's Man of the Year. (In 1942, Stalin was named Man of the Year.)

Let's not forget that the test from the forces beyond is ongoing. Not only individuals, but also the behaviour of different peoples and groups of peoples are constantly being watched, and if the scales tip in the wrong direction, there is nothing to be done. Punishment, a showdown, is inevitable. The powers that control us do not care that we do not believe in their existence. They do their job re­gard­less. The punishment may be pronounced by God on those involved, but he does not carry it out. He entrusts this task to the Evil Powers, who are happy to carry it out. Since they have no physical body, they select from among the people those who, on the basis of past or previous grie­vances, harbour an immense hatred of the layer of people they are destined to destroy and blindly obey the forces that manipulate them. They also conducted World Wars I and II, which brought about the fall of the aristocracy.

But to carry out such large-scale punitive actions requires superhuman skill, which we do not have. Nor are we entrusted with it. While Satan and his black angels are invisibly controlling events from the background, demons are actively taking control of key individuals. This is what happened to Hitler. Adolf Hitler (or Schicklgruber at the time), the corporal of World War I, was a talentless galley driver in civilian life. His entire oeuvre consisted of a few unremarkable oil paintings. The gifts of his own soul would not have enabled him to win over huge crowds, to command the large-scale operations of World War II. It was not he who provoked mass hypnosis in his audience, which occasionally numbered in the hundreds of thousands, but a far more advanced evil spirit that possessed him for this period.

Eyewitnesses also recall that Hitler was certainly possessed by a demonic being when he gave his speech: „Then a satanic light was kindled within him”. The insignificant figure with the small, ridiculous brush moustache turned into a black angel. With his staccato voice, spilling over into de­magogic cadences, he hypnotised and mesmerised everyone.[31] At the end of the speech, the demon vanished and Hitler was transformed back into a small, grey, ordinary man. He stared at himself with a weary, glazed look, as if he did not understand what had happened to him. During his speec­hes, the highly evolved satanic being gave him a magnetic attraction that no one could resist. His face was filled with a veritable infatuation. He was in a kind of psychic trance. Hitler himself had alluded to the metaphysical power that possessed him. He often mentioned to his generals that he was guided by an „inner voice”, and once remarked: „With the precision and certainty of a sleep­walker, I follow the path that has been set for me.” The poor man had no idea what or whom he was following, or where that path would lead.

 Once the verdict was given and the executioner found, nothing could be done. For it is im­pos­sible to remove these persons. Hitler was assassinated more than 40 times. He escaped all of them, practically without a scratch.[32] Hell's angels protect their messengers not only from intentional accidents, but also from accidental ones. In 1917 Hitler was only a corporal in World War I. In fact, he was only a corporal in World War I. Yet the beings of the afterlife kept a constant eye on him. One night he found himself buried in molten metal and earth on the battlefield. He woke from his sleep and ran out of the trenches. Seconds later a bomb destroyed the bunker where he was sleeping. Nor did Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein succeed in eliminating him by dropping a bomb on his palace. His family members were killed, but he survived every attempt to destroy him. These people are under Satan's protection, so they cannot be harmed. This does not mean, of course, that they will never be punis­hed. They will receive their just punishment in hell after their natural death or suicide. When the evil forces no longer see their usefulness, they will no longer protect them. They will then also be punished for all their sins, and with interest.

Unless the people concerned are willing to change their behaviour, do something to change their perception, a bloody showdown or deportation (repatriation to India) from the country will inevitab­ly ensue. It is the politicians who should make the people concerned aware of this danger, because if they do not open their eyes, they themselves will not see that they are rushing to their doom. If things get worse, people will take „justice” into their own hands. Sooner or later, anger will lead to individual acts of retaliation. Hooded, masked, stone-throwing, Molotov cocktail-throwing punitive actions become commonplace. Later, Roma are set on fire in their houses. And those who escape from the burning houses are shot dead and slaughtered. Revenge, of course, is not delayed. The backlash, accompanied by threats of "it is not only the Roma's house that is on fire", deepens the ethnic divide in the country. Then, at the opportune moment, a "saviour of the nation" arrives and, taking advantage of the government's impotence, seizes power. The cattle cars will then be put on standby again.

All this will be done with the tacit, even active, consent of society. The current world economic crisis is placing an ever greater burden on the people. They are looking for a scapegoat for their desperate situation. They are looking for a defenceless minority on which to vent their anger and release their pent-up tensions. During the economic crisis of 1929-1933, the Jews were the scape­goats. It is no coincidence that the first Jewish laws were passed during this period, initially restric­ting university enrolment to students of Jewish origin. But this process did not stop at restoring proportionality. Later, the employment of intellectual Jews was also restricted, followed by stigma­tisation and bans from restaurants and cafés. Then their very existence was threatened. The scenario is also eerily similar to the present one. At first, there were only articles in the press that were hosti­le to Jews, and then more and more Jews were subjected to atrocities. In Germany as well as in Germany, beatings of Jews, looting and burning of Jewish shops were on the agenda. Even then, the governments did nothing to stop the process or to ease tensions. Then came the fascist dictators, who then fulfilled the punishment of karma.

There are already signs that forces are preparing to take on the task of „cleaning up”. Is this real­ly what we need? In the 21st century we will have to live through fascism. The new Holocaust will be even more effective than the last one. After all, during the Second World War, many people felt sor­ry for the Jews. Therefore, many people hid them, and foreign diplomats provided Jewish fami­lies with passports. But the Gypsies have become so self-loathing by their present behaviour that they cannot count on society's mercy. No one will take in persecuted Roma and shelter Roma fami­lies. Europe's 10 million Roma can count on no one. The Roma pogrom that preceded the massacre has already begun:

 

Mafia death squads in Naples burned down a Roma camp because a Roma man driving a BMW ran over two girls, one of them the niece of the local mafia boss. After the pogrom, the Roma fled Naples. The Camorra leader's hired men first smashed up and then set fire to the tents and caravans in which the gypsies, who had immigrated from the former Yugoslavia, were living, using Molotov cocktails. The attacking gang of about 50 people prevented the authorities from putting out the fire. It was a miracle that there was no tragedy, because the gas cylinders used in the caravans exploded one after the other. Only one four-year-old child suffered smoke inhalation. However, the remaining gypsy community of around 200 people in Naples packed up their remaining belongings and fled Naples „for good”. Their convoy was escorted by police cars to the gates of Rome. According to the local police captain "it was just the spontaneous anger of the population against the gypsies who were living by begging and stealing." However, human rights organisations and mafia experts say that such a well-organised anti-Gypsy pogrom could only have taken place in the southern Italian city on the orders, or at least with the approval, of the local mafia boss.

Népszabadság, 21 June 1999 (page 21)

 

Later, it was not only the mafia that persecuted the Gypsies. In 2010, the Italian government decided to dismantle Gypsy camps across the country. After Italy, Gypsies were repatriated from France to Romania and Bulgaria. If they don't change their behaviour, they may well be sent on to India after a while. If the public mood deteriorates, the dismantling of Roma settlements and depor­tations will also begin here. Citizenship will not protect them against this, because if a far-right par­ty comes to power, overnight they can pass a new law stripping citizenship from those who refuse to integrate into society. And stateless people can easily be expelled from the country. Exile, banishment, has been a common practice in world history and will be used again if necessary.

Unfortunately, all warnings have been in vain and there has still been no positive change in this area. In our country, a parliamentary committee of inquiry has found that since the change of regi­me, all the programmes aimed at integrating the Roma have failed. And a large part of the billions allocated for this purpose has been embezzled. The head of the Roma municipality was arrested for this. Over the past decade, 120 billion forints have been spent on inclusion programmes, to no avail. Public money has disappeared hand over fist. And EU funds for ghetto eradication and educational integration have remained unused. The environment for which they were intended does not allow them to be used. The efforts of government and society are in vain if the people concerned do not­hing to integrate themselves. Faced with this hopeless situation, individual justice has been brought to bear. In September 2010, in Slovakia, a middle-aged man with a serial shooter wiped out a gypsy family living next door with a gun. The massacre left 8 dead and 15 wounded. The main reason for his actions was their loudness and intolerable behaviour.

After the incident, the Slovak National Party put up posters depicting a Roma man with the slogan: "Don't feed those who don't want to work." The Slovak police did not consider this to be racist and took no action to remove the posters. It seems that even the authorities are helpless. The staunch defenders of minority rights protested: „This shows that xenophobia and racism have taken root in the police.” It is typical of the public mood that no one organised a demonstration of sympat­hy in defence of the Roma. Public opinion is best characterised by blog posts on internet forums, one of which in the daily Népszabadság reads: "Keep an eye on Pozsony... well done!"

There is no shortage of testimonials either: "In Nagybánya I saw two multi-storey houses, probably built in the 1980s, where there were no more windows or windows and no combustible materials, because the people who lived there had burned everything. Back home, in my home village, a street of old servants' houses was burnt down by the Roma who had moved there, and when they burned the last one, they moved on." Others shouted at politicians: "Take that, you liberal idiots, all you need is to legalise drugs!" But these were just the snide comments. In place of the ironclad comments, this was a moderator's statement. "Comment deleted." A brief comment, howe­ver, was left of the extreme suggestions. One commenter suggested "bullet spray" as a solution to the gypsy issue. Politicians also see the situation as hopeless. In their speeches, they continue to stress the need to integrate Gypsies, but only until a far-right government moves a Gypsy family with six children into their flat and shows them how to live with them.

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The skinheads, the hungarists and other neo-Nazi organisations will not spare homosexuals and other groups with deviant behaviour. At their last demonstration they also held banners proclaiming "Be different elsewhere!" The extreme right-wing forces are also embracing the fight against people with sexual aberrations because it allows them to rally a lot of sympathisers. With governments doing nothing to combat moral decay, the majority of society sees the only way out of the current "malaise" in the heavy-handed action of the extreme right. When parents with several children, who have grown old in decency, hear that more and more countries are allowing homosexuals to marry, even granting them widows' pensions and adopting children in the name of liberalism, they involuntarily look for the force that can stop this process.

This is why there are a large number of young women at far-right demonstrations who are not at all accused of anti-democratic views and who want nothing more than to live a normal life in a normal world. Given the current trend, they fear that they will not have that opportunity. As a sign of their displeasure, the signs they carry with them read in red letters: „We don't want a pederast, we want a decent husband and children”. For emphasis, they are dressed in black from head to toe. They fear for their future children from the adopted children of homosexuals, from sexual abuse, from the lack of a father figure. While they plead Christian morality, the loudhailers marching under the Arpad's banner, shaven-headed and wearing boots laced to the midfoot, shout at the top of their lungs, "Let the dissent move elsewhere!" The more educated chant: "In ancient times, such people were exterminated with atomic bombs!"[33] The lyrical ones put their protest into verse: "Why are you different, you faggot?" The less eloquent simply shout, "You filthy faggots!"

In the summer of 2004, few people marched on Heroes' Square on "cold pride day" to counter the gay pride march.[34] But the number of protesters and supporters is growing by the day. Let us not forget that this is how the National Socialists started in Germany in the early 1930s. Then, before the world knew it, Hitler had declared war on Poland. Without the support, or at least the tacit approval, of the German people, the world's largest genocide could not have taken place. As we know, the balance of World War II was 50 million dead. Among them, 6 million Jews and 200,000 gypsies were burned in the crematoria. But before that, the SS 'cleansed' society of the mentally handicapped and homosexuals. Hundreds of thousands of people were sterilized and sent to death camps under the pretext of racial cleansing. Those who dared to protest soon found themselves among them. The genie out of the bottle can no longer be recycled. Democracy can only be sustained as long as citizens believe in its staying power. If they see that this path leads to ruin, chaos and moral annihilation, it is only a matter of time before they give it up and hand over power to the heavy-handed enforcers. People value their security more than their freedom.

Our politicians believe that by banning demonstrations, by tightening the law, this process can be stopped. But arresting the speakers, the extremist leaders, has the opposite effect. In prison, the he­sitant, indecisive „nation-saving seedlings” become determined, angry beasts, eager to take revenge on their persecutors after their sentences are served. It was also in prison that Hitler matured into a dictator, his imprisonment sobering his soul and giving him enough time to devise his plans for world conquest. After his release, he knew what he had to do, and there was no stopping him. The leader of the Hungarian Arrow Cross party, Ferenc Szálasi, trained as a "national leader" in the Csillag prison in Szeged. Those who fear democracy should not fear far-right groups, but the masses who sympathise with them. Hand-wringers and extremists have always been and always will be, but they can only cause trouble if they have the support of the majority of society behind them.

Our policy makers should reflect on the reasons for the rise of extremism. Why have we not heard about them until now? Is it not the fault of an intemperate, permissive government? The wild proliferation of libertarianism is increasingly irritating people and is reviving and strengthening the forces of balance. The reaction to this phenomenon is also wrong. Dictatorship is not avoided by persecuting those who hold right or left views, but by winning over society. In democratic societies based on free elections, it is the little people who decide what future a country, the world, should have. Policies must be pursued that suit them, and then they will not seek refuge in the extremist tendencies that preach order.

Instead of ranting against neo-Nazi and ultra-left groups, they should be concentrating on raising living standards and sorting out the increasingly depressing economic situation. The National Socia­lists won the 1932 elections because Hitler promised to lead the nation out of the Great Depression of 1929. He kept his promise in his own way. In the run-up to the war, huge building projects were launched in the country, manufacturing industry boomed and arms production took off, absorbing a huge army of unemployed. Poverty was lifted and the German people regained the confidence they had lost in the war. Who cared that they were in the service of a world-destroying ideal. The people only grumble when things go wrong. They put up with it for a while and then act when the time is right. Unfortunately, angry, desperate people usually make the wrong decisions. Their everyday problems are solved, but extreme power later leads them to tragedy. The situation is eerily similar. After the global economic crisis of October 2008, the political climate is the same as it was in 1929. Thousands of billions of dollars in government bailouts avoided the collapse of the banking system, but the economy has begun to rapidly decline. The number of redundancies is increasing by the day and unemployment is approaching 1929 levels.

There is much that those concerned could do to stop this process. As we know, homosexuality is the result of a genetic disorder. Society perceives this phenomenon as an incurable disease. "Those who suffer from it cannot help it." they say. But homosexuals proclaim that they are not sick, but that they are living a lifestyle that they choose to lead. They used to keep a low profile, but now they are increasingly boasting and flaunting their difference. Street demonstrations are a way to rile up the majority. They are also attracting heterosexual young people to their ranks with their outra­geous behaviour. They are a real provocation to society. And politicians „give them a horse to ride” by accepting and meeting their demands one after the other. They are integrating them into a society based on Christian principles, without acknowledging that the majority of people do not want to accept them. And they do not care at all whether they are behaving in a way that pleases God. Since most atheist politicians believe that there is no God, they need not bother to give a damn. It is fuel for the fire that even leading politicians today proudly admit their homosexuality. It is becoming a shame for anyone who is not gay or bisexual. This kind of behaviour, these measures, shock the masses and increase the risk of a social explosion. Terrorism, impoverishment and pollution, which is becoming unbearable, are already making people's nerves tense to the point of being frayed. Society should not be made any more nervous. It is not difficult to guess who will be the first tar­gets of the outbursts of anger.

Birth registration is the surest way to find someone. In Hungary, the Gestapo's job was made much easier by the first Jewish law in 1938, which required registration of Israelis. After the Ger­man invasion of 1944, the Arrow Cross authorities, collaborating with the Nazis, had no choice but to take out the internal register. The result was the deportation of 700,000 Jews. 600,000 of them never returned from the death camps. Since the various family rescue operations were concentrated mainly in the capital, after World War II rural Jewry virtually disappeared. The technical possibili­ties of our time may further increase the vulnerability of those involved. It is highly likely that ex­tremist groups will obtain this register and post the names and addresses of those on it on the Internet. Anyone could then access this data and launch an arbitrary extermination campaign against those they do not like. If this website is put on a foreign server, it becomes unremovable and cannot be blocked by any authority. Defenders of millenarian morals have so far only launched Molotov cocktail attacks on „gay bars”, but with the lists now public, those who openly claim to be different can expect similar attacks.

For those who think the concerns are exaggerated, look around the world. In Belgrade, on 30 June 2001, 50 police officers could not prevent hundreds of leather-headed and nationalist uni­versity students from bloodying a gay pride march. They kicked lesbian marchers in the head with their boots, shouting "Go home and have a baby!" Others were smashed with broken beer bottles and beaten with baseball bats. In Stockholm in 2002, skinheads threw stones and glass bottles at gay marchers. On 7 May 2004, they were attacked in Krakow's Main Square. Individual actions are not uncommon. In the UK, a gang of hooligans recently beat the customers of a gay bar in London half to death and 37-year-old barman David Morley was beaten to death. Morley was one of the survi­vors of the bomb attack on the Admiral Duncan gay bar in Soho five years ago. Three people were killed and 70 injured in the attack by a racist far-right gang. According to the British authorities, there was a 20% increase in attacks against gay people in the country in 2004. On 6 October 2002, the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, was stabbed in the stomach. This was the assassin's way of expressing bitterness and contempt for gay politicians. Klaus Wowereit, an openly gay man, was attacked by neo-Nazi youths in a side street after taking office as mayor of Berlin. He owes his life to the protection of his bodyguards. On 12 February 2004, Roger Kusch, a German state senator for justice, was stabbed to death by a woman while shouting abuse at his „queer” tendencies.

 

Here on Gay Pride Day, only unprecedented police protection prevented the massacre. But the Hungarists are preparing for a showdown. This is shown by the banners on their parades: "With us or against us, there is no choice." Another sign reads, "Our time is coming, KEEP UP!" Meanwhile, the speaker shouts into the microphone, "Gays are abdicating their right to life themselves, and their disturbed spiritual lives make them enemies of all naturally healthy racial expression." They are already promoting their ideas on CDs. Here's a verse from the track "Death to OTHERS": "We'll burn the rainbow flag; And flesh stain the walls of the house; Let's make a mad massacre at night; Let's put the gays up against the wall." The chorus is not exactly reassuring: "There'll be a race riot in the main show; A pack of hook-nosed goons will watch over them; Let's have a big bloodbath at night."

If anyone still thinks the New Arrows are mouthy, hot-tempered bullies, visit their website. You will soon realise the seriousness of their intentions. Their website states that „Blood and Honour is currently the only registered, mass social organisation openly embracing the spiritual heritage of Hungarism”. Taking advantage of this, they are legally preparing for a showdown. The necessary tools can be obtained from them. Extract from the list:

  SS officer's dagger: 10 000 HUF (while stocks last)

  Makarov 9 mm pistol: 40 000 Ft (while stocks last).

  AK-74 submachine gun: 60 000 Ft

  RPG armour piercing rifle 100 000 Ft

  Russian shoulder launched anti-aircraft missile: 100 000 Ft

Kállai Ákos, Népszabadság, 12 October 2004 (page 14)

 

Since last year, the police have hardened their grip in vain, but the conspiracy and intimidation continues:

Around a thousand people arrived at Heroes' Square early Saturday afternoon. In the early hours of early May, the Hungarists were surrounded by dozens of police officers. When the order came, "Comrades, march!", hundreds marched with military steps to the fences. Dressed in black jackets, jeans and boots, they looked uniform regardless of gender or age. Sixty years ago, German and Hungarian soldiers faced the "red hordes" the commemoration began. Then Ferenc Szentgyörgyi took to the stage to recite his own poem. "When we go on the last assault, we will not even show mercy to the baby suckers!" was the prediction. A German "comrade" shouted to the crowd, "Our fist rests on the gun barrel. We are not yesterday's last, but tomorrow's first!" Endre János Domokos, the spokesman of the Blood and Honour Cultural Association, said that the Metropolitan Court of First Instance had decided to dissolve the organisation. He added: "We are defending Hungarian interests. Our corps is also accused of terrorism. But the acts of terrorism are committed by the proles, the gypsies, the faggots and the blacks."

Edit Agyagási - Népszabadság, 14 February 2005 (p. 8).

 

In the past two years, tempers have flared even more, and the number of far-right organisations and nationalist "guards" has been growing rapidly. At gay festivals, too, extremists are using dif­ferent tactics. Recently, they have stopped storming the marchers. With police cordoned off and video footage of all participants, they are simply observing and keeping an eye on the demon­strators. Then the skinheads disperse into the surrounding streets and pick off the marchers on their way home, one by one. They beat them up and kick them so badly that they have to be taken to hospital. They don't carry baseball bats, as they used to, because that would be too conspicuous, but thick-walled champagne flutes. That way, if someone calls the police, all they find is a rowdy, rio­tous bunch on the scene, on their way home from a friend's birthday party. These parades also pro­vide an opportunity for anti-Semitic manifestations. At the 2007 Budapest gay festival, for example, several ethnic Hungarians of colour and "those who fear for the well-being of their children" chanted "Fags in the Danube, Jews after them."

These manifestations are not the result of chance. Everything that is happening to us now is the consequence of our past actions and behaviour. The First and Second World Wars were primarily a way of paying off the karmic debts of the aristocracy. Secondly, it punished the behaviour of Jews towards their non-Jewish fellow human beings, the internationalised and unequal cohesion of the Jewish lobby and the resistance of Gypsies to social integration. God warned the Jews thousands of years ago that he was watching with a wary eye to see how they would use the talents they had inherited from him: „I have entered into covenant only with you of all the nations of the earth, and I will therefore hold you accountable for all your sins.” Despite the warning, the Jews did not put their outstanding talents at the service of the world, but used them for their own enrichment. They took control of industry, commerce and banking. They amassed vast wealth by exploiting their fellow human beings. They built palaces for themselves, crammed with art treasures, while millions lan­guished around them. However, karma does not allow the exploitation of our fellow human beings, the abuse of power, of our gifts, and so, at some point, the culling that took place, which for the Jews manifested itself in the Holocaust, occurs. Anyone who had no idea why this was happening to him soon realised. For above the entrance to the Buchenwald concentration camp, those arriving to be gassed could read the inscription "Jedem das seine!" or "To each his own!"

Along with their lives, they also lost their accumulated wealth. They were robbed and plundered by the voluntary enforcers of karma's punishment. They tried in vain to save their property, but they could not avoid confiscation. The "golden train" of Hungarian Jews, which had transported the Jewish community's property to the West at the end of World War II, disappeared without a trace en route. It contained many tons of gold and silver jewellery, jewels, expensive paintings, sculptures, carpets and other goods. Its value is estimated at $120 million (25 billion forints). But this was only a fraction of the wealth accumulated by the Jews. Most of it was taken by officers and soldiers of the „liberating” Red Army. The Nazis beat them to the art theft. The primary target of the 'art trea­sure rescue' operations led by Göring were the Jews who had been taken away. The remainder was taken by civilian looters. The communist dictatorship that followed fascism also played its part in the looting. The aristocrats' property was confiscated along with the Jews' factories, banks, shops, the money in their bank accounts, and their paintings and art deposited in museums were nationali­sed.

According to the Shiva priests of India, the two world wars were not in the karma of mankind. God did not condemn us to live through two world conflagrations, to take 60 million lives, to suffer gas chambers, carpet bombings. What happened is entirely our fault. Our blood-soaked history is the result of our actions. The fact that two thirds of the victims of the deaths were civilians is a sign of this. The real purpose of the worldwide slaughter was to avenge the sins of the victims, to carry out a mass massacre. These sins were mostly accumulated in previous lives, making it impossible for the victims to discover the real reason for their punishment. Because we cannot remember our past lives, we are unable to discover the cause and effect. And ignorance adds to the suffering of those affected. They seek the cause of what happened to them, but when they cannot find it, they blame God for their fate.

On the fiftieth anniversary of the defeat of Nazism, a Jewish orator[35] railed against the Creator: "If God is truly God, and therefore omnipotent, then he is guilty of giving a free hand to murderers; if his power is limited, then he is not God." Our souls are aware of the context of what is happening to us, but our narrowed consciousness does not listen to the voice of the soul, the conscience. The­refore, we continue to make the same mistakes as before, learning nothing from history. Even now, huge masses of people are rushing to their doom, making another karmic showdown inevitable. Preparations for this are now underway, with the extremist manifestations we are witnessing every day as signs of the unfolding of another Holocaust.

 

Interesting facts from the world

 

Pink TV is launched. All is set for the launch of the first gay and lesbian TV channel in France. The country's national homosexual TV channel will be launched on 25 October 2004, with leading French audiovisual companies such as TF1, Canal+ and the private television channel M6 as its main shareholders. It is backed by several investment funds. Pink TV will be the world's first na­tional gay channel. It will be available via satellite, cable TV and broadband Internet (ADSL) for a monthly subscription fee of €9. Pink TV has already managed to recruit 180,000 subscribers before the launch. Half of the subscribers were from Paris and the surrounding area. As the viewers belong to the affluent middle classes, Pink TV is also attracting a lot of interest from the country's biggest advertisers. We will therefore not have any financial problems," said Pascal Houzelot[36], the chan­nel's president, confidently. According to the owners, the €12.2 million investment will soon pay for itself. Pink TV has also been approved by the French Audiovisual Council. Although the channel is mainly aimed at gay people, the owners expect to reach a wider audience with a rich and innovative offer.

At the launch of the channel in Paris, the programme line-up was described as eclectic. Accor­ding to the founding president: "Pink TV, with its mixed genres, will be a new face of French cul­tural diversity." He continued, "We have gone from tolerance to equality. A little tiptoe in stilettos is a huge step forward in television. The new channel is launching at the right time because of the positive change in mindset in recent years." (France legalised same-sex partnerships under the pre­vious socialist government, elected an openly different mayor in Paris and the current conservative government plans to punish hostility towards gays with prison sentences.)

The channel broadcasts a variety of gay-themed TV series and soap operas, interspersed with public discussion programmes, documentaries, celebrity interviews, feature films about homosexu­als and erotic Japanese cartoons. After midnight, homosexual pornographic films are shown, double encoded. The porn will be preceded by appeals to the dangers of AIDS and other sexually transmit­ted diseases. After sex, video artists will experiment with their avant-garde works on pink TV until 6 a.m., in which, for example, the "macho" world of sport will be commented on from a transvestite sports reporter's (woman) point of view.

Népszabadság - Online, 29 September 2004.

[

More than 3.5 million people demonstrated against sexism, homophobia and racism in the largest gay pride parade ever in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The event attracted three times as many people as the papal visit a few weeks earlier. The Sao Paulo LGBT Parade, the 11th edition of the Sao Paulo Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parade, was held in Brazil. Under banners reading "Dig­nity for All", "All forms of love lead to God" and similar slogans, the crowd marched in colourful costumes and unfurled a giant rainbow flag. The parade featured music from 23 huge trucks and 900 uniformed police officers.

[

Same-sex marriage has become an increasingly resented issue in society, exacerbated by the desire of far-right groups to crack down on it. Let's take a look at the current situation:

In Europe, only the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain recognise same-sex marriage as legal. In the United States, a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage has failed. In the Euro­pean Union, only a directive and a European Parliament resolution of moderate importance - calls for civil equality for gays and lesbians. Member States, which have different views on the issue, have never adequately fleshed out the EU-level action to end discrimination in this area. So it is up to each country to decide what it will and will not do in practice. Civil partnerships for homo­sexuals were first institutionalised in Denmark in 1989. Last year, the process of ensuring equality for gay couples in social policy, inheritance and adoption was completed throughout (Protestant) northern Europe. A civil partnership contract does not involve an actual marriage before the state or the church, which was first offered to gay couples in the Netherlands in April 2001.

Of course, there is another "battle" to be fought for a literal gay marriage: a marriage celebrant or registrar is needed. In the Netherlands, Muslims have shown the greatest sectarian resistance. The Protestant Church has decided to leave it up to the individual parishes to decide whether they want to do this. As far as registrars are concerned, some municipalities - under Christian Democrat cont­rol - dismiss officials who raise serious conscientious objections. Last year, Belgium - the first pre­dominantly Catholic country also ensured full gay marriage. But there is no adoption. The left-wing Spanish government recently passed a draft law allowing same-sex marriage. This gives gay and lesbian couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt. Parliament is expected to vote on the law soon. Spain, with its strong Catholic tradition, will become the third country in Europe to recognise same-sex marriage.

  I will see the case through promised Noel Mamere, the Green Party mayor of Begles, who in June would have been the first in France to officially declare a gay couple married.

Mamere kept his word by giving his official blessing to the union, but the rest of the affair was nothing but unpleasantness. He was suspended from office for a month and challenged the re­gis­tration of the marriage in court. There is no legal basis for same-sex marriage in France - but the le­gal system recognises civil partnerships between gays and lesbians. This gives them extensive rights, including inheritance, but same-sex couples cannot have children. Surveys show that opposition to gay rights is much stronger in the new EU Member States than in the old ones. The strongest are in Orthodox Cyprus and Catholic Lithuania and Poland - and of the old 15, Orthodox Greece. Hungary ranks in the lower middle of the middle in support for equal rights.

After the US Senate, a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage recently failed in the House of Representatives. The constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of the federal legislature and ratification by two-thirds of the states something that was bound to fail. Gay marriage came to the fore in the US when, following the lead of Canada, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled the ban unconstitutional and the mayor of San Francisco began marrying couples from all over the country. President George W. Bush then proposed a constitutio­nal amendment to make marriage once and for all a union of one man and one woman, and the­refore prohibit the use of the word to describe any other relationship. The majority of American pub­lic opinion is opposed to same-sex marriage but accepts their civil union. This is also the posi­tion of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Gábor Horváth, Tibor Kis, László Szőcs - Népszabadság, 5 October 2004 (page 4)

[

In April 2016, the leadership of the Norwegian Evangelical Church in Trondheim voted in favour of a new regulation that allows gay people to marry in churches. Of the 115 participants at the bishops' conference, 88 believed that same-sex couples should have the right to marry in churches as well as in civil ceremonies. In Norway, same-sex couples have been legally allowed to marry and even adopt children since 2009, on the same basis as heterosexual couples, but the Norwegian Church also allows gay people to be ordained as priests. According to those who support the new decision, marriage is a commitment between two people to each other, and in this union the sex of the parties does not matter.

In America, those who officially disapprove of homosexuality are no longer just stigmatised, they are imprisoned. Kim Davis, a municipal employee in Kentucky, refused to issue a marriage certificate to a gay couple on grounds of conscience and was jailed. She was also scandalised for not marrying a woman and her dog. But that's not all. There's more below. In Western Europe, some groups have started to publicly demand that paedophilia should not be considered a crime, but a form of natural sexuality.

[

In the United States, an ex-husband is now paying his ex-wife alimony instead of alimony be­cause she has become a man. The ex-husband vehemently protests against continuing to pay his ex-wife $650 (140,000 forints) a month to her man-woman surgery. Nemes argues that if a man cannot be married, how can he be paid alimony after divorce?

[

Yoko Ono, 71, has given her homosexual fans a gay anthem that has put her back at the top of the charts. The song that currently tops the Bilboard charts is actually 25 years old. She has made only minor changes to the remix of her former hit. The opening line "Every man's got a woman who loves him" has been changed to "Every man's got a man who loves him" and "Every woman's got a woman who loves him".

Népszabadság, 9 November 2004 (page 24)

[

A sexually transmitted disease that facilitates the spread of the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, has emerged in the Netherlands in droves. The disease, known as limfogranuloma venereum (LVG), was diagnosed in 92 cases among gay and bisexual men in 2003, although it used to occur usually two or three times a year. The rare disease, usually found in tropical climates, has recently spread to continental countries. It causes rectal ulcers in infected people.

Népszabadság, November 6, 2004 (page 20)

[

By not revealing the sex of the baby, we are telling the world: let him or her tell us what he or she wants to be! are the reasons given by Canadian parents whose case has recently made the world press. Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, the parents of the "genderless" child, say it works well for their two older children, five-year-old Jazz and two-year-old Kio. Both boys have long hair and have been wearing clothes of their own choice since they were one and a half: Jazz prefers pink (with painted nails), Kio burgundy.

  They always think of them as girls says the father, adding The boys will decide how to respond.

And I think it doesn't matter what they say: they'll be as dirty as a draft! If a boy dresses up as a girl, that might be tolerated by his peers, but if he can't decide whether to play lightsabers with the boys or Hannah Montana with the girls, that's hardly the case. So these parents are denying their children gender role education. In fact, because they are putting nail varnish in their sons' hands, I suspect that they are deliberately trying to confuse them on ideological grounds. I have no idea what the point of this is, but I suspect that the „gender” philosophy is behind it, that gender identity is a so­cial construct, a forced convention.

This ideology has become so bourgeois that, in 2006, the European Parliament adopted a resolu­tion on homophobia, calling for it to be a criminal offence in European countries to speak with fear „of homosexuality or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with a sense of aversion, because this is an attitude akin to racism, xenophobia or anti-Semitism”. I would like to propose, with courageous agreement, that if biology is no longer a matter of meaning, we should also give children complete freedom to define race! Why is it compulsory to be homo sapiens? It would be fair if they could decide for themselves what they want to be: an armadillo with a pouch, a newt with a newt with a hoof, or a batshit. There is a choice, it's a big enough zoo!

László T. Bertók - Metropol, 8 June 2011 (page 4)

[

Liberal dictatorship?

The vast majority of developed countries, mainly in the West, are liberal democracies. At its inception, liberalism was a genuinely progressive idea, aimed at dismantling the authoritarian met­hods inherited from the Middle Ages, and to which we owe much. It was the first liberals who laid the foundations of democracy and fought for basic human and civil rights, including a parliamen­tary system and women's equality. In the same way, it was the rise of liberal ideas that led to the repression of unbelievable levels of physical and material exploitation, and even to a renaissance in science, where the obsessive bigotry and residualism of the church was finally shaken off, allowing scientists to explore natural laws more freely.

But now it is as if liberal democracies have passed their peak and are turning into a kind of self-destructive, deeply anti-human madness. Firstly, they would challenge the basic laws of human existence, upsetting the relative normality of the few decades after the world war. They would seek to abolish biological and social norms that simply go against nature. Such is the case with the so-called gender course, within the framework of which (if there is a framework) traditional gender ro­les are denied and dozens of new ones are invented. According to gender ideology, gender is not a biologically determined and immutable fact, and how I as a person experience reality at any given moment is part of the fundamental freedoms that everyone else must accept.

For example, if I wake up as a fragile Asian girl, society will treat me as such until I change my identity again, and then I will be free to do so without any boundaries! I can be a cute little cat, ha­ving sex with trees, otherwise undefined entity. I can feel African, Arab, or, at the very least, a non-human being, despite all my physical attributes. According to neoliberals, this is the madness that everyone should accept and, of course, cultivate. Free your mind, be a gender changer, be a race changer, be anything but normal in the traditional sense, because then you will be subject to de­moc­ratic stigmatisation, exclusion, denigration and other retributive punishments, certainly of a very progressive spirit.

We have now reached a point where the traditional family model is being challenged in every possible way, where nationalities are being abolished, and where even statehood itself is now under serious attack. But what is all this madness about? I am convinced that these forces want to wipe out the human race itself, to destroy it in its present form. They want to create an entirely new, de­hu­manised, degenerate offspring race, totally depraved, degenerate, without past, present or future, so that it can be ruled with excellence. Is it not interesting that all ideas with socially destructive potential are promoted by these neoliberals? From the legalisation of drugs to the promotion of abortion and the abolition of nations. What is more, they are trying to make all this almost com­pulsory for everyone by means of an extremely violent, uncontroversial and seemingly endless propaganda campaign.

Liberalism, having lost its original meaning and content, has now become an authoritarian dogma with dictatorial characteristics. Its representatives have an elementary hatred of all traditional values and, of course, an equal hatred of the Maradi majority society. They are not selective in the means they use to achieve their ends. If anyone disagrees with them, they organise a witch-hunt against them and try to make them completely impossible or ridiculous. They are not afraid to use violence. All this, no doubt, in the name of endless acceptance, liberalism and democracy. What kind of future do we face if these madmen's destructive, insane ideas prevail globally? Fortunately, there is growing resistance on the part of the people, many of whom are realising that the self-liqui­dating, empty freedom that is democracy is going nowhere.

György Körösztös Hihetetlen, December 2017 (page 89)

[

The Swedish parliament banned a baroque artwork late last year. GE Shröder's Juno, a painting of a bare-breasted woman, had been hanging on the wall of the Swedish parliament's dining room for 30 years when it was removed in early December on the grounds that it offended the sensibili­ties of feminists and Muslims, the Swedish newspaper The Local reported. Social Democrat Susan­ne Eberstein explained the removal of the picture: "It's exhausting to see naked female breasts when I'm hosting foreign guests at a dinner party. It is especially embarrassing when the guest is a man." The only question now is what the Swedish parliament will do about art history. Will it ban it outright, or perhaps only make it impossible for women and people from Muslim countries to visit museums? The Swedes, by the way, are notoriously ambivalent about tolerance. Recently, for example, they attracted international attention by allowing a man in his 60s, repeatedly convicted of paedophilia and other crimes, to adopt a ten-year-old boy all on the grounds of tolerance.

The modern Swedish male ideal is otherwise a feminist woman's dream. She changes nappies, gets up in the middle of the night to feed the baby and stays at home on maternity leave for at least 60 days. Gender equality is deeply embedded in the Swedish public consciousness not only in the workplace, where it is protected by law, but also in private life. Swedish women do not allow men to pay for a date, but they take it for granted that they will share the housework equally. The idea of abolishing the gender gap (what Britain's 88C calls the „Swedish gender madness”) has long been factored into Swedish child-rearing. Since the seventies and eighties, Swedish television has been running series which inculcate this lesson in their viewers. The intention to abolish traditional gen­der roles goes back to kindergarten, where children wear unisex coveralls, there are no boy or girl toys and they listen to carefully selected stories with bearded dads cooking and changing nappies.

A Swedish clothing brand has eliminated the boys' and girls' sections in its stores, a toy company advertises itself with a little girl with a tractor and a little boy pushing a pink pram, and a new store called Egalia has just opened in Stockholm, where gender is banned, meaning children cannot call each other boy or girl, only friend or the neutral gender word "hen", originally from Finnish. Also on the gender-neutral note, last spring a member of the Swedish parliament proposed a bill to make it compulsory for men to pee sitting down, which the member argued would be a major step for­ward in the fight against sexism. (It would be good to see the detailed bill to see what the idea was. Would the ombudsman stand by every urinal? Would there be fines or jail time for men who urinate standing up? Would there be a government hotline to report offenders twenty-four hours a day?)

And on 6 May 2013, the first neutral gender changing room was inaugurated in a school in Stockholm, so that people who don't feel like boys or girls can change clothes without any prob­lems. The Swedish Social Democrats have taken the initiative to set up gender-neutral toilets so that people in need do not have to define themselves as men or women. And while the Swedish register already contains 170 neutral surnames, the neutralists say that anyone should be allowed to use any name they like, i.e. no boys' and girls' names at all. Meanwhile, the first baby has been born in Sweden, whose parents are trying to keep its gender secret at all costs. A Swedish policewoman arrested a man solely because she found his muscles too big and assumed they were the result of illegal drugs. And from October last year, in addition to the usual age rating, Sweden introduced a feminist classification of films. For a production to be given an „A” rating, it must have at least two named female characters talking to each other, and the subject must not be a man. By way of comparison, the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all the Star Wars films, Pulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter films bleed to death on this test.

In Swedish, „Jatte-dads” are the urban metrosexual men who stay at home with the kids, bake bread and spend most of their day in cafés with other dads, who can now be seen in droves pushing prams in downtown Stockholm on a typical workday. In Sweden, the term „maternity leave” was replaced in the mid-seventies by the gender-neutral „parental leave”, and at the same time the go­vernment launched an advertising campaign to persuade men to take more of it. Swedish weight­lif­ter Lennart Dahlgren was used as a poster boy with a baby in his muscular arms. The message was clear: the real man stays at home. In Sweden, feminists are keen to choose a male politician as Wo­man of the Year, and recently a feminist action group was formed to prevent men from sitting with their legs apart on public transport. In a blog called "Cats on public transport", they encourage readers to send in pictures of men sitting in overly relaxed poses.

Their self-professed aim is to raise public awareness of not only "the symbolic and active rec­reational expression of power, but also the stereotypical expression of masculinity". The question rightly arises: are Swedish women that mature? And are they really so daft that they feel seriously threatened by a man who sits with his legs apart or does his work standing up? Do feminists really see women as unfortunate enough to be traumatised by the sight of a man sitting loosely? And who, if she is disturbed by the way the man sitting opposite her sits, is unable to communicate this to her in a proper form, and instead takes a photo of him in a whisper? Is this the beautiful new world that Swedish feminists dream of?

Éva Csilla Oravecz Nők Lapja, 26 February 2014 (pages 60-61)

[

In the Middle Ages, women competed with each other in matters of virtue and morality. In our time, the aim of competition is to achieve the highest possible degree of immorality. Nowadays, it is no disgrace to defile oneself, even to boast about it. In keeping with the zeitgeist of our times, the Miss HIV beauty contest was held in Botswana. 12 ladies with AIDS took part. According to the organisers, the aim of the pageant is to show that it is possible to live with the infection and that life expectancy can be greatly extended with the right medication. One third of Botswana's population is living with HIV.

[

In Canada, one of the most popular gifts has become the marijuana-themed board game, Be Smart! It costs nearly $40 and the rules are very similar to the classic version: players move through fields, either eating their crops or acquiring more land. What's extra is that there's a wheel of fortune in the middle of the board, which can be spun to get another player's stash of drugs and send them straight to jail. The game, by the way, was invented by a man jailed for drug trafficking in his empty days in his cell, then sold the rights to a game distribution company. And they were hooked.

[

Moral debauchery has become so commonplace in our society that it has even found its way into the development of battle strategy. The New Scientist[37] reports that US scientists have developed a sex bomb at the Air Force's Dayton laboratory. The Sunshine[38] Project is not about dropping para­chute dummies over enemy trenches, but a real bomb. A chemical bomb that explodes over enemy positions and sprays aphrodisiacs (love potions) on the attackers that turn heterosexual soldiers ho­mosexual in one fell swoop. According to weapons developers, this creates a fundamental confusion in the enemy's battle lines, as it undermines discipline in a predominantly male army. The magazine concluded by saying that this is the first sex bomb to explode.

[

A restaurant owner who ordered a lesbian couple to leave after the two women kissed in public has been fined 50,000 Swedish kronor (1 million 350,000 forints) by the Stockholm Court of Appeal. The incident happened in July 2003. The owner told police that he did not tolerate open sexual activity from anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. But the prosecutor said he picked on the two women because they were lesbians.

[

In the past week, a dozen of the 550 men who visited the brothel have already been brought to court in Stockholm. Their names were on the hefty client list of a brothel owner who was already in prison. Their crime: buying sex. The expected fines are similar to those for shoplifters who stole less than €40. The Swedish "sex shopping law", introduced in 1999, is unique in the world. It allows prostitution but criminalises the purchase of sexual services. Other countries allow, regulate or prohibit prostitution. A prostitute is punished if she engages in an illegal activity. In Sweden, howe­ver, prostitution is allowed. Selling sexual services is allowed, but buying is not. On the face of it, this sounds like a law made by comedians. But after a good laugh, it is worth taking the content of the law seriously. That is: is the prostitute a victim?

The madam mentioned in the introduction is not in prison for her services, but for her „substance purchasing” methods. She was involved in a well-established slave trade. He imported an average of four girls a month from Estonia. The girls had left poverty in the hope of a quick fortune, but they were not exactly in paradise. They lived in the brothel, on hand day and night. They were regu­larly subjected to humiliation outside 'work', for example, on the rare occasion they were allowed out on the balcony, they had to be tongue-kissed in return for special favours. The food was almost inedible, and they were paid starvation wages for the hard physical labour of the night. A pregnant 17-year-old girl was woken up at four in the morning by the boss to please a gourmet customer who specialised in pregnant women. This girl then cried through the night and finally managed to escape from the brothel. The brothel owner was convicted of ruthless pimping. He earned nearly 2 million crowns (about 50 million forints) in 2 years.

A Swedish film, Lilja 4ever[39], gives a realistic account of how young victims of the so-called trafficing[40], or international sex trade, are taken. Lucas Moddyson's[41] film was screened in the Swe­dish Parliament and then in the European Parliament to shock politicians. Many girls in Eastern Europe are suffering the same fate as Lilja. We thought that slavery no longer existed in our millennium, but in most big cities you don't have to look long on the street to hire a young, well-built slave with intact teeth. It's a little harder to meet the owner. The extensive sex slave trade shows that the sex purchase law is based on a humanistic understanding. The reason for prostitution is the customer. The sex buyer is not looking for a human being, but for different orifices through which to empty, to satisfy his sexual needs artificially aroused by pornography. Girls are not equal partners in this business, but victims. The perpetrators do not care about the psychological and physical damage they cause. All they care about is to try out whatever the porn industry comes up with in its agony. Whether it is anatomically possible or not.

Since the Sex Purchase Act was passed, it has been attacked by many. Critics say that it is wrong to criminalise it unilaterally, criminalising only the buying of sex and not the selling of it. Not enough time has passed to evaluate the results, but police and social workers report that the number of prostitutes has fallen. Prostitutes are no longer afraid to turn to the authorities if they want to leave the street and get into a retraining course to help them reintegrate into civilian life. Another effect of the law is that Sweden is much less attractive to foreign prostitutes and "sex tourists". In practice, however, strange dilemmas arise. Last month, a professional prostitute caused a storm when she publicly demanded, including on a TV programme, that she be registered as a contractor with the Swedish tax authorities. She wants to pay tax on her annual income of 900,000 kronor (22 million forints). Since prostitution is not prohibited by law here, he succeeded. Her activities are registered under the heading "other services". The question is, how can the income be legal if the customers are paying illegally?

So the law on buying sex is not yet perfect. When two parties freely agree to provide sexual services, it is difficult to prove that the free will of one party is only a sham. According to Margareta Winberg, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister, there is no such thing as prostitution based on free will. This is the official Swedish position. Public opinion in Sweden is already changing noticeably. New thinking is slowly taking hold. In time it will spread to other countries. And hopefully the last slaves in Europe will be freed.

Iván Bogárdi Népszabadság - Online, May 22, 2003.

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The opposite tendency prevails in Russia. In Moscow, it is now possible to apply for a bank loan for sexual services. Any Russian citizen can take out a credit line to visit a brothel. This is advertised by a credit agency, under the heading "Urgent needs, intimate services". If you are over 22 years of age and a resident of Moscow, you can go to the agency, where an impeccably manne­red manager will tell you which salons they are in contact with, what they charge and on what terms they offer the loan. The contract must be concluded at the bank offering the loan. As the mood of the client is also a factor in such transactions, the financial institution will decide within an hour and, in the rarest cases, reject the loan application. It is true, however, that the customer then has to wait three days to receive the min. 10 thousand to 200 thousand roubles maximum. More precisely, the credit voucher, which is accepted in 9 Moscow public houses and some supermarkets. The latter is needed so that husbands with a guilty conscience can use the leftover money to buy their decei­ved wives presents.

The interest rate is 20% per annum and the intermediary company takes the same from the cus­tomer. Still, there are plenty of takers. It is the general experience of banks that no borrower repays a loan as accurately and reliably as a sex worker. This is a big word, because repayment morale in Russia is not the best. Around here, the citizen waits until the lender starts to rush the money, but often even then he still doesn't pay. Not so the sex loan debtor. He hardly dares to risk a personal visit from the debt collector at work, or even to ask at home, at the wife's ear, how: When do you want to settle the bill for the public house?

István Kulcsár, Kossuth Radio 3 July 2005 (Around the World in Thirty Minutes)

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If Bradley Charvet's plan goes through, it won't be long before the guests of his Geneva café can ask for oral sex with their coffee to refresh themselves. What's more, the sexual services would be provided in a very special way. It will be offered not by humans but by high-tech sex robots the local press reported. Charvet, who is also the manager of a Swiss escort service, told the Swiss newspaper Le Matin that the work was originally to be done by the escort ladies, for which he wanted to charge 60 Swiss francs to the men who visited the café. However, local laws did not allow it. Because although prostitution is legal in Switzerland, the laws on the sale of food and drink prohibit the provision of sexual services for money in public catering establishments. Howe­ver, Charvet says this rule can be circumvented by "employing" robots instead of ladies. The entrepreneur says he has already started negotiations with a US company that makes sex robots to buy several "realistic robot women", which cost between $1,800 and $3,000 (500,000 to 800,000 forints).

Source: 24.hu

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A 25-year-old secretary at a police station has had her employment terminated because she published erotic photos of herself in a sex magazine. She then sued her former employer for several million forints in damages, claiming that her right to self-expression under the constitution was violated if she could not have her erotic photos published in a magazine specialising in this area.

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A 21-year-old Chilean girl is putting her virginity up for auction to raise money for her studies. The auction will take place on the Internet, she told the popular Chilean radio programme Cheek Club, one of the most listened to. The advertiser also obtained a gynaecological certificate proving her intactness. The auction will start in a week and the starting price is 990 dollars. According to the student, there is no prostitution involved and she is sacrificing her virginity solely to finish her studies. The auction will be conducted by herself on the Internet, so she will choose the highest bidder.

Népszabadság Online, 17 May 2003.

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Centuries ago, women were considered the most important qualities of honor, steadfastness and commitment to their families and country. They married virgins and stood by their mates through thick and thin. They were not exploiters but supporters of their husbands. Meanwhile, they were not afraid to give up, to humiliate, to suffer. Now let us see what our daughters and wives think is im­portant today, what advice women's magazines give them:

 

Today, millions of women are getting rid of their wrinkles, getting rhinoplasties, getting their bre­asts lifted. Many are also dissatisfied with their more intimate body parts. A large number of modern women today are having their intimate parts reshaped. They ask their plastic surgeon for a smaller pussy, a tighter vagina, a G-spot enhancement, etc. Adult women are not the only ones who may be dissatisfied with their intimate areas. In America, the demand for procedures is also sprea­ding like wildfire among teenagers. The number of labia minora and majora corrective (plastic) sur­geries for teens has increased fivefold in the last 10 years. Nowadays, complete hair removal of in­timate areas (bald pussy) is all the rage.[42] This makes the labia and labia majora perfectly visible. Anything less than perfect (or thought to be) is prompting women to seek plastic surgery.

The majority of women are dissatisfied with the size and shape of their labia minora and majora (they usually find them too large). Of course, this is often a subjective feeling, but sometimes the affected area is asymmetrical or excessively protruding. This can be helped by labioplasty, a surgery that modifies the labia. In labiaplasty, the labia minora can be reshaped and in labiaplasty, the area can be made thicker by fat filling. These operations are performed in the traditional way. However, the doctor now works with absorbable sutures to avoid painful suture removal. After the labiaplasty, the area should be spared for three to four weeks, i.e. sexual activity should be avoided. Labiaplasty can be considered when the epithelium of the labia minora and the vaginal entrance loses its elasticity, becomes flabby and darker in colour due to a decrease in hormone levels. Laser treatment can rejuvenate the surface of the labia minora and labia minora, making the area more elastic, lighter in colour and velvety to the touch. The laser procedure can be carried out on an outpatient basis, and the patient does not have to interrupt their sex life for a short period afterwards.

The vagina can become dilated if subjected to excessive use, frequent changes of sexual partners. But that's OK, because now there is a cure: laser treatment (previously, the only way to solve this problem was surgery, which was risky.) Laser treatment involves inserting a 360-degree mirrored treatment head into the vagina. This device is used to apply a circular laser treatment every centi­metre. The laser beam is absorbed by the collagen fibres responsible for the elasticity of the con­nective tissue. The laser causes the collagen to heat up, constrict and thicken. After the treatment, connective tissue cells infiltrate the treated area and excess collagen production is triggered.) Two treatments of about 20 minutes each are given three weeks apart, followed by a follow-up after three months. The method has been used around the world for three years and has been effective for everyone.

The use of Kegel balls has long been a recommended method for improving the quality of sex life. Also known as geisha balls, they are actually two metal balls held together by a thread. After insertion into the vagina, the muscles of the pelvic floor must be squeezed to hold the balls in place. At first, you only need to keep one ball in place for a few minutes, and then you can insert the two balls together. (This method of vaginal training was invented by Dr Arnold Kegel, an American gynaecologist, to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. "Slowly squeeze your vaginal muscles as tight as you can. After a few seconds, release. Do 10 of these compressions a day to start with, then slowly increase the dose to 50 to 100." The key to success is doing the exercises accurately. That's why it's useful to attend a course where you can learn the precise muscle movements under the supervision of a specialist.)

Plastic surgery and various aids are not inexpensive, but intimate gymnastics is a method of vaginal toning that can be used at home. Squats work the buttocks, core and legs. "Take a light­weight stick in your hand and hold it in front of you in a front to mid position, pretending to sit down. Lower yourself only as far as your thighs are parallel to the ground. Slowly return to the starting, standing position. Do it slowly and only a few times a day." The literature on intimate gym­nastics is quite extensive, and there are now countless gyms where women can do the various exer­cises under professional guidance.

For those who want to boost their sex life even more, they can also ask for a G-spot refill. (For the uninformed, the G-spot is located on the front wall of the vagina, on the abdominal side, about 2-5 centimetres from the entrance to the vagina. It has an area the size of a pea, larger when excited. Like men, its stimulation triggers ejaculatory orgasms in women, which, according to ladies with a competent partner, is heavenly fun.) The G-spot is filled in the same way as the lips: by injecting hyaluronic acid. Plastic surgeons say the procedure can intensify sexual pleasure, even multiplying orgasms. The results of the procedure (like those of lip augmentation) are not permanent, usually lasting for a year, and may need to be repeated later.

Once girls of our age have had enough, they want to get married and have children.[43] However, sop­histicated men want to marry an unspoilt virgin girl, so they need a new makeover.[44] A hymeno­plasty is not a cheap operation, but it can be used to scam the unsuspecting victim. In standard re­con­structive surgery, the remnants of the hymen are reattached (at least six weeks before the wed­ding to allow the sutures to absorb). An implant made of a special material can also be inserted into the vaginal opening if the former hymen is no longer in evidence.

Kiskegyed 3 August 2016 (pages 32-35 - excerpt)

 

Of course, upgraded genitalia should not be "left to lie fallow". If you don't have a partner, don't despair. In this case, another women's magazine suggests a self-creative solution:

 

Masturbation is not something shameful, but an important part of healthy sexuality. Masturbating helps you to get to know your body and find out what works for you. Research shows that women who masturbate regularly experience vaginal orgasms more often during sex. If you're looking for tenderness but don't have a partner (or do but want something different), give in to temptation. Re­member: you can never have enough orgasms.

Diet & Fitness - September 2016 (page 68) - detail

 

This kind of pleasure no longer requires manual labour. Battery-powered vibrators have taken over the role of physical exertion. According to a survey by Cosmopolitan women's magazine, "45% of Cosmo girls say vibrators are their favourite masturbatory device. The most popular are G-spot vibrators, whose curved shape makes them easier to reach the particularly sensitive inner wall of the vagina. Vibrating underwear is now available. This can be used not only in bed, but also in the open street or on public transport. So you can enjoy sex all day long without interruption. This new invention consists of vibrators in the bra and panties of women and in the underpants of men. These can be controlled by an app on a smartphone. Just press a button and you can start petting via the Internet. Meanwhile, you can watch your partner's every move and reaction on the screen.”

There is also plenty of information on how to use it on the Internet: "This device looks like underwear. A beautiful lace lining made of soft material is laid over the pubic mound by a stiffened frame, ensuring that the vibrations generated by the vaginal egg in your vagina are climaxed. The egg, which is barely bigger than a normal-sized tampon, is inflated using a lubricator. A radio remote control in the purse lets you indulge yourself in multiple modes. The vagina egg can also be used on the clitoris. It's guaranteed to bring you to climax. But there's also a special clitoral sti­mu­lator with a suction bell that can bring you to climax in under a minute. It doesn't vibrate like a vib­rator, but excites with a pulsating sucking-sucking sensation. You can charge it with a USB cable, just like you charge your smartphone when you're holding it all day.

The backdoor shouldn't be left out of the pleasure either. The anus also has lots of sensory ner­ves, so it's worth working those too. This is what the anal vibrator is for, available in a range of co­lours and sizes. If you are not satisfied with the size, you can order a pumpable anal vibrator. They even come with gel or lubricating oil. The latest development is the smart anal vibrator. This can be controlled by an app on your smartphone, which is always at hand. It costs five times as much as the normal version, but there is still a demand for it.” In women with too hot a temper, the anal vib­rator with a flange often slides up into the rectum, where it can only be surgically removed. Doctors are no longer surprised. When the patient coyly explains, they just shrug it off, saying: „it's a com­mon occurrence nowadays”.

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But sex is more enjoyable in a couple than alone. Of course, it does matter with whom and under what circumstances. Beautiful, young women require a curvaceous, statuesque body and luxurious surroundings. And the men who hunt them know it. They don't have a hard time. The pleasure-hungry society of our time does not put obstacles in the way of the expression of sexual instincts.

 

The hair sculptor and his muses

"Even at hairdressing school, I was surrounded by lots of girls, so it wasn't difficult to pick out the most beautiful ones," says Adrián (34), owner and manager of a hairdressing salon in the city centre. The easy-going, big-talking hair sculptor has been a fan of the fairer sex since his youth. "I lo­ve and respect women, and I couldn't have found a more fitting profession for myself. Women want more than just professional expertise: they want to feel like a queen in my chair, physically and mentally rejuvenated by my treatments. That's why I not only dream up beautiful hair crowns for them, but also nurture their hearts, I am their spiritual healer", reveals the man who really sees behind the hair: he looks for individuality, uniqueness and a sexy woman in every client. "I love chatting with them, praising them, complimenting them, comforting them if necessary, giving them strength, or just cheering them up with a punch line. And the girls tell me about love, break-ups, work, child-rearing or even financial problems. They'll tell you if their husband is cheating or if they're keeping a mistress, and we'll get to the more slick topics in no time." Many people mis­understand Adrian's kindness and attentiveness, and some people openly tease him. They touch him unnoticed, or gently tilt their heads to his groin. "They're trying to take the measure of my man­hood," laughs the hairdresser.

"But I've been invited out for coffee, dinner, and had people take me sailing on the Adriatic or skiing in the mountains. And one time a dreamy-faced panther-bodied chick thrust a scrap of paper into my hand. It had an address on it. She just whispered in my ear that I wouldn't regret it if I went to her. I now know that I missed out on a fun, private sex party. But I've also been surprised in the head wash room by my guest. But then I couldn't say no. I gently massaged her head, and when I was done washing, she slowly, seductively pulled me to her and began to caress me. I couldn't speak, first from shock, then from pleasure. Needless to say, she left the salon with a hairstyle that really spoke to me. I must admit, I had a few long and short relationships with a few guests before I got married. I love to conquer, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I also love to make women melt. I'm a man as long as they want me. It gives me wings in my work, I don't end the day exhausted and worn out, I end the day in a good mood." Adrián says his intimate salon, decorated with subtle French elegance, like a boudoir, and the atmosphere he creates is what makes women relax and even get excited.

 

Sex also needs a personal trainer

"Broad shoulders, square-jawed, bulging muscles - that's all it takes to conquer, especially if you add kindness and attention," says bodybuilder and personal trainer Peter (38). He believes that the confidence and charisma behind a lean, handsome man's body, built on the successes achieved with incredible determination, is what makes women the most desperate. I wasn't even a hit with the girls, because they went for small, muscular guys. My self-esteem was also at a low after a serious break-up, when I decided to get the pain out of myself. I started going to the gym as a hobby, then became a competitor, then a coach. As my muscles grew, and with them my self-esteem, I was surrounded by more and more beautiful girls," says Peter. The majority of girls go for the deltoid upper body, although there are also fans of butt and calves. But the most attractive thing is the harmony, the calm, confident demeanour and the masculine attitude. I think the easiest place to get chicks is not in the gym, but at shows and in a party environment."

Peter often appears topless in front of 5,000 guests at bodybuilding and fitness competitions and expos. Even a pair of pants would be peeled off him by the longing female gaze. "Many people stop me to take a selfie with me and ask for my name so they can tag me on their social media page. I must admit I can't resist the pretty girls, I always have a kind word for them, which for the more daring ones could be an entry to a sheet tournament. The beach atmosphere in Siófok has been hosting shows for years, and the beach atmosphere here is mainly conducive to one-night stands," says the personal trainer. There are plenty of girls to hook in both national and international competitions. Backstage make-up artists, hair stylists and promoters are the ones who jump on the bandwagon.

"On one occasion, a well-known blonde model with doll's hair was presenting the events. We kept meeting and meeting, but I found out that she was married to a well-known businessman, so I didn't take her seriously, I just pined for her inside. She later found out where I worked and contac­-ted me. She asked me for training advice and then told me that when I was done, she would be waiting for me outside the gym at 11pm. I wasn't going to say no. We drove to their home in Svábhegy, where we had a fight: we went through all the rooms, the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom, the living room. We couldn't get enough of each other. At the end, he said it felt good. I waited weeks for him to come back into the studio. I heard later that she was moving abroad for her hus­band's job. I was expecting a goodbye night, but of course she never came."

 

The Rock Casanova

The best way to get laid is as a guitarist, as the saying goes, and Tamás (46) confirms it. The Jesus-faced, waist-length-haired, cool-looking man who plays in an established local rock band says there are several reasons why the underdog isn't crazy about musicians, especially lead guitarists. "Women love a bad boy, and musicians are perceived as eating life with a big spoon: chasing girls, dorking out, playing the fool. But the hard outer shell conceals a delicate, sensitive soul, without which we would not be able to play an instrument or create. We gain many fans just by being in the spotlight. Chicks don't want a boring, boring, no-bullshit man, they want a macho man who enjoys the flavours of life and whose light they can bathe in. A rock musician offers the hope that you can't grow old with him and that every day is Woodstock, which is obviously not true," says Tamás, lis­ting the reasons for female infatuation. As his band's profile has grown, so has their female follo­wing. Nowadays, after every party, dozens of girls are released into the dressing room to seduce the guitarist and his bandmates.

"No man can say no when sex-starved wildcats jump on him. I married early, I was under twenty-six, but when our band burst into the Budapest night, I threw myself into the unbridled or­gies. And my wife (rightly) left me," says the rock star, who married for love but couldn't cope with the change: from the last musician who didn't get any girls, he's now a popular performer. "At a party, at the last song, three girls came on to me and ripped my leather pants off. After I got off the stage, they pushed me against the wall and started caressing and kissing me. They must have plan­ned it, and I let everything go according to their script. After I was cleaned up, they pampered me all night: we ate, drank and took some drugs, and then we did the scene again. Other times, beauty queens and models ended up in my bedroom, but I've also been with head-to-toe rocker ladies cove­red in intimate jewellery. I've tried the most extreme figures in sex, but I confess I can't remem­ber the faces of any of the girls, only the magnitude, about a thousand women have turned up in my bed." However, most of the women's adoration is not directed at Thomas personally. Rather, it's the fame, the success, the stage, the limelight, to which the butterflies flock without courting.

Henrietta Kiss Nők Lapja Psziché, issue 6, 2016 (pages 70-73) - excerpt

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A man who donated sperm has been hit hard by a court order to pay child support. A few years ago, he donated sperm to a lesbian couple and three children were born. However, the couple soon split up and, in order to maintain their standard of living, the mother turned to the Swedish father for help, but as he refused to pay, she sued him. As the man admitted that he was the father of the children at the time of their birth, the court found that the claim for maintenance was justified and ordered him to pay it.

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It seems that our world is inexorably hurtling towards its doom. Our millennia-old moral values are being trampled underfoot, and nothing can stop the process of statism, of turning in on oursel­ves. At the forefront of this disintegration, this demoralisation, are our politicians, their minds stre­tched by the fumes of liberalism. Let us look at some examples of their unhappy activities:   

 

Crosses have been removed from Christian churches in Norway because the sight of them offends the souls of illegal immigrants. In Sweden, not only the sex of children but also the sex of parents must be concealed. In Swedish kindergartens, mums and dads must be called parent one and parent two. Urinals are being removed from men's toilets in the name of women's equality, and in secondary schools separate toilets are being set up for students who are unsure of their gender identity. In Switzerland, brothels are now being opened for women. In the town of Leibstadt, on the German-Swiss border, five men have opened the first brothel under the name "angels". But the business went bankrupt. Well, not because of a lack of visitors, but because of the inexperience of the service providers. All the whores in their brothels, run by women, know that they have to ask their customers for money up front, because they will bargain or leave without paying. Well, that's what happened to the male whores. The lady customers only paid for the service what they felt was right­fully theirs. It was always below the calculated price. And inefficient operation is not an option in a Europe that has sunk into a moral morass. The worship of money and profit is not frowned upon by any bureaucrat, and the worship of Mammon is nowhere forbidden.

In America, Santa Claus has long brought Christmas presents. In Europe, this role was played by Jesus. But not for a long time. From now on, Santa will bring the gift in most countries of Europe. Jesus Christ is becoming less and less desirable to EU politicians. For example, British Airways ca­bin crew and pilots are forbidden to wear cross-shaped pendants because they may offend the sen­sitivities of employees of other religions. In Norway, a similar ban has been introduced on public te­levision after leaders of the local Muslim community protested when a TV news anchor wore a cross on his necklace. Following an order from the Norwegian Immigration Directorate, NGOs and churches assisting in the accommodation of migrants also removed crosses, paintings of Jesus and all other religious symbols from the reception centres. Where this was physically impossible, Chris­tian symbols were covered with rags.

Also in Norway, the municipality of the town of Drammen has announced that this year's Christ­mas will not be cancelled, but that the name will be changed. It will now be called the Winter or December holiday. A circular has been sent to the town's schools categorically banning the traditi­onal Christmas celebrations, and the words "Merry Christmas" cannot be used on signs, orally or in any other form. In Germany, Christmas fairs have recently been replaced by fairy-tale fairs and light fairs. Santa Claus has also undergone a major transformation. Children's favourite gift was no lon­ger sold in shops as a chocolate Santa Claus, but as a "man in a hat". And the name of St Nicholas was not even hinted at when a child asked who had put the present in his shoe. In 2017, social net­working portals asked people in Western countries to wish each other a Merry December instead of a Merry Christmas. Also in Norway, last Christmas, child protection services took away all five children of a couple who were singing a Christian song at school. Such things are now considered religious radicalism in Scandinavia.

In Brussels, the EU capital, it has been forbidden for years to officially commemorate the birth of Jesus, or Christmas. In response, an Italian school principal banned Christmas celebrations last year. And the Christmas concert was renamed the Winter Concert, at which almost everything could be performed except Christmas carols. In Bavaria, some are no longer content with abolishing Christ­mas and want to ban the distribution and reading of the Bible. Two of their lawyers have formally asked the German Minister for Family Affairs to list the Bible among the books that are dangerous for young people because of their violent content. Christian Sailer and Get-Joachim Hetzel argue that the Bible glorifies God's will while containing passages that would be difficult to surpass in terms of their gruesome content. The book preaches genocide, racism and hatred, and describes the horrific execution of adulterers and homosexuals. More than one of its protagonists murders his own child, and many other perversions are also depicted. Therefore, the Bible should be kept on the list of banned books until the bloodthirsty and human rights-violating passages are removed.

In Germany, in view of the refugees from Islamic countries, dozens of town mayors have deci­ded not to put up Christmas trees. If this goes ahead, the Christmas tree will be banned from the de­partment stores where Christmas markets are held. While the celebration of Christmas has been banned, lawmakers in Brussels find nothing wrong with the fact that in the Netherlands you can pay for driving courses with sexual services. Nor is it illegal prostitution, according to the country's jus­tice ministry. So paying for lessons is not sex work.

Tamás Bolyki Hihetetlen magazine, June 2016 (pages 70-72) - excerpt    

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Recently, another scandal has rattled the nerves of the still Christian population of Europe. In the summer of 2017, Swedish authorities banned children from saying grace and learning abo­ut the Bible in a Christian kindergarten in Sweden, which they say violates the Education Act. The Education Act, passed in 2010, prohibits schools from teaching religious elements. Compliance with the law is monitored by education inspectors, who now also monitor extra-curricular time. Most re­cently, prayer before lunch was banned in a rural kindergarten. According to Swedish natio­nal tele­vision, the inspectors complained that children were praying before lunch. To be on the safe side, the grim guardians of the law simply banned the use of the word „Amen” within the kinder­gar­ten walls. So from now on, children are not allowed to say a blessing before lunch, just a little rhyme thanking them for the day, the rain and the food. To whom? No one, because God's name is no lon­ger allowed to be spoken in Christian schools. At least not the Christian god's.

Education inspectors have also banned discussion of biblical themes, even though religious edu­cation is allowed in religious institutions by the Education Act. They also banned discussion of biblical topics, despite the fact that the teaching of religion and religion classes are allowed by law in religious institutions. The kindergarten is run by an organisation of the Salvation Army. Accor­ding to the head of education in the local municipality, there is no question of banning prayer, only of saying that they do not believe that religious testimony and religious instruction should be allowed in kindergartens and schools. However, the government allows Muslims to pray en masse in the streets and children to watch. Last Christmas, the bureaucrats banned Christmas decorations on municipal lampposts. The reason is that Christian symbols create bad feelings in Muslim immi­grants, which makes them feel unwelcome in the country. The question now is whether Swedes feel at home in such a country. If not, they will start emigrating, like the British from Britain leaving the EU.   

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The first cemetery has opened to accommodate Sweden's growing atheist population. The idea came from Josef Erdem, in the central town of Borlänge. He thought there was a lack of a cemetery where people could decide for themselves what kind of headstone they wanted. The man, who grew up in Kurdistan, applied for and received the plot from the Swedish church, which will maintain it, but here they have jurisdiction over the site. In a statement, Erdem said that everyone could decide on their own gravestone, with the one condition that it must not contain religious or national symbols. The feedback so far is that atheists and religious people alike have been very supportive of the idea. The first applicants are already showing up, which is no wonder, given Sweden's high ranking in atheism. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 76 percent of respondents said they were not religious.

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Austria's Catholic faith is shrinking. According to the latest statistics, the turn away of Austrians from the Catholic Church is reaching serious, almost catastrophic proportions. Last year, the num­ber of people leaving the Church increased by at least 40% that's 50-55,000 people. Missing from the data are the fourth quarter in Vienna and last year's total from the main source of the exodus, St. Pölten. Nor did those who suspected that the Austrians would also take the scandal of the homo­sexual relationship between seminarians and priests in the seminary of St. Pölten to heart. The re­sent­ment is accumulating: in 1995, 44,000 people (instead of around 30,000 a year) walked out over similar cases involving Cardinal Hermann Groer[45] (since deceased). In 1999, the year of the disag­reement between the Austrian episcopate and Rome, the number of those who had become dis­grunt­led was again around that figure, but the current figure of over 50,000 is higher than ever before.

In 1991, 91% of the population still professed to be Catholic, but in 2003 this figure fell to 70%, and since then the impact of the latest scandal has culminated. There are other reasons for the drop-outs, the sex scandal being for many just a dot on the i or an excuse. The zeitgeist is not lost on the faithful either, with many resenting the church's delay in modernising itself, and many more seeing the church as greedy for its ruthless collection of the compulsory contributions in Austria. The younger generation is puzzled why should they pay a monthly fee for what they receive little tan­gible service in return. As their financial situation deteriorates, older people are finding it inc­reasingly difficult to afford the average annual contribution of €70. Nowadays people are "more choosy", admits a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Vienna. They are looking more carefully at which political parties and trade unions they join, even though the church may appear to be just one of them, if only because of the obligation to pay membership fees. In fact, it is the largest in Austria. Except that the church really needs the dues.   

The archdiocese of Upper Austria was the first to sound the alarm bell, publishing concrete figures on the loss. In this province, a deficit of €560,000 is the result of an extra 8,028 (36%) lea­vers. What should Vienna say then, whose archdiocese registered 15,223 withdrawals in 9 months? Although the Austrian Church has immense wealth the forests belonging to the abbeys alone are estimated at €3.5 billion the income from its various holdings, including a brewery, a farm, a tourist farm and even a petrol station, is relatively modest. And not one of its revenues enriches an independent order rather than the church. The bulk of the church's €420 million annual central budget, €350 million, comes from membership fees.

The annual expenditure not only covers the financing of the church's functions and the salaries of its priests, but also the maintenance of its buildings and collections of works of art. There is, of course, state aid for the latter. In Austria, there is a complete separation of church and state, no direct subsidies, but the budgets of the individual resorts include church institutions. The church has now launched a campaign to withdraw the state budget. Leavers are being asked by personal letter about their reasons for leaving, and offered a discussion. They do not sugarcoat the situation. Every single resignation cuts into the flesh, is the official line.

Júlia Szászi Népszabadság, 21 January 2005 (page 5)

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Recently, the world press has been full of so-called harassment cases. Men are being harassed for various sexual assaults allegedly committed in the past. Actresses and other celebrities are coming forward to say that they have been tempted in return for roles, performances, fame and even em­braced by evil, powerful men. With their consent, by the way. What a horror... The ladies, now victimised in retrospect, no longer emphasise the part of their stories that in almost all cases they were given a choice. Or they could have said no - although in this case it might not have been them, but a more resourceful colleague who got the coveted casting opportunity. So in this sense, there is no rape, at most the reprehensible fact that some producers and other men in powerful positions have grossly abused their power by demanding sexual favours and only making the lady into some­one when they have got them.

It is an ancient profession. Some people do it cheaply, others can be had for hefty sums at the height of luxury. The actresses and singers concerned fall into the latter category because, after all, it is a matter of a life situation having presented itself to them and they have finally decided that a quickie can't stand in the way of their perceived talent and therefore their subsequent success. Then, in many cases, it turned out that their talent was very small, and so the breakthrough fame and the millions of dollars that came with it were lost. But even then they remained silent, which is no won­der, as they were ashamed to have given themselves to all kinds of film industry powers for purely financial reasons. Then the demonic urge exploded, harassment cases are coming to light, and for­mer victims are recalling with indignation the male excesses that happened to them 5-10-20 years later... They have been carrying the gallows of the masses. Some have had a single buttocks suck that left them depressed for 10 years. But now it unpacks, and it turns out that most men are instinctive, because that's all they can think about; and that is bloodthirsty and shameful bestiality, the objectification of superior women!

Meanwhile, there are also more and more harassment lawsuits in the grey everyday world. In the US, it is now a criminal offence for a man to look at a woman for more than six seconds. It is also possible to sue a primitive male animal for being polite, for example, by letting a lady in front of him at the entrance to a restaurant, and letting her have a slice. It is really outrageous, it is degra­ding! Treating women as women? The gender sect is already whining at the top of its voice about medieval entrenchments, male chauvinism and, of course, the oppression of the other sex (and do­zens more). We're getting to the point where even courting is not allowed, because it's harass­ment, and no man is allowed to look at a (perhaps not coincidentally) very decorative-looking lady with an appreciative eye, because it's objectification. The poor, vulnerable woman is thus reduced to a soulless tool in the sexual game of men.

You understand, don't you? There are feminists who believe that male-female sex itself is in­tolerable, because the man forces the woman into the role of victim, he penetrates her, he defiles her, he humiliates her. I tell you, they are really incomplete... There is something elementally dark in this approach, something intangible but palpable aberration, as the gender lobby, now finding a new topic (harassment, men's otherwise natural approach to women, etc.) tries to continue to re­gurgitate the issue of gender roles. And now, by finding new tactics, they would end up creating a situation in which no one dares to court anyone, and it becomes unthinkable that a man could even make a clear offer with enough confidence to a lady he is unlucky enough to like. What a disgusting crime, sighs the loudest sirens of the gender lobby, who, interestingly enough, are almost always less than attractive in appearance, so one can assume that they have never really been subjected to either harassment, courtship or instant proposals...

What could be their purpose? Well, to further subvert and disrupt the natural social order.  In order to undermine the institution of the family. For if normal relations between men and women become almost impossible, and men have to fear that their chosen one might sue them for even a misunderstood glance, there is little chance of the old-style relationships being consummated in what liberals consider to be, above all, outdated and primitive structures such as marriage and the family.

György Körösztös Hihetelen, November 2020 (page 95)

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Marriage is slowly becoming an aberration. Marriage is the cause of divorce, say cynical socio­logists. In Western Europe, the latest survey in Belgium found that for every four marriages in the kingdom, there are three divorces. But that's just the average. In big cities, more divorces are now pronounced in a year than marriages. On average, couples spend less than five years together after marriage, from the altar to the divorce decree. Today, more children are being raised in 'broken' or 'reconstituted' families than in the homes of their parents. In Belgium, which was still deeply Catho­lic half a century ago, marriage is now practically no longer considered a sacrament. In fact, the vast majority of those interviewed consider it a mistake or a sin to maintain a marriage that has broken down. The main reason for the breakdown of marriages, according to the researchers, is that women are no longer vulnerable. Like men, they are finding it increasingly difficult and delayed to get mar­ried.

The public perception of marriage as an institution has also changed. It is no longer clearly posi­tive and, under the influence of voyeurism and undemanding 'mass culture', most people tend to re­gard it as an outdated commitment. It is said more quietly that one of the main reasons for men to marry has essentially disappeared. Whereas they were once considered occasional, one-night stands are now a regular, ongoing practice. For those who cannot, prostitution is a more convenient and cheaper option. In Belgium, a country of ten million people, there are at least 40,000 prostitutes, essen­tially free.

There are predictions, still considered exaggerated, that formal marriage as we know it today could virtually disappear or become a rare oddity in Europe by the end of the century. Instead, people will live in so-called equal, pure partnerships (arranged in private law contracts but without the 'blessing' of the state). In the course of their adult lives of about 60 years, couples (including same-sex couples) will have on average four or five different cohabitations of varying lengths. In fact, sociologists no longer talk of cohabitation, but of living with each other. There are even more exaggerated assumptions that some form of polygamy may be returning. Gay people do not have to give up the church wedding either. The Swedish Lutheran Church is already prepared to sanction the cohabitation of homosexual couples.

Népszabadság, Oszkár Füzes, 13 July 2004 (page 4)

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A German survey has put all previous prejudices to rest: no more children are being born in Germany not because women have become careerists, but not even because married couples find it too expensive to raise children. There's a more prosaic reason: 44% of those surveyed complained that they couldn't find a suitable partner to start a family with. Of course, there were also those who complained about ugly material reasons. For example, 40% said that having a child would cause job insecurity, nearly 30% were shocked by the cost, but only 9% said they did not have children because there were not enough nurseries and kindergartens. Yet for years, researchers have been blaming childcare shortages as the main culprit, saying that women are unable to combine work and family life.

Researchers are now at a loss to help citizens organise dates. The German state considers itself very child-friendly. True, it doesn't build many kindergartens, but it spends €150 billion a year on family support. Yet the number of children is falling: the average German woman now has only 1.29 children, and 40% of university graduates have no children at all. Germans are envious of Fran­ce, where they say birth rates are rising again thanks to free nurseries and crèches. But it turns out that financial support alone only brings results for a while: In Sweden, the baby boom that followed the introduction of a one-year income-related childcare allowance was short-lived. In cont­rast, in Ame­rica, there is no free nursery or childcare, yet more children are born than in Europe.

German researchers have concluded that the traditional role of the mother may be a problem. In (West) Germany, as in Mediterranean countries, the mother's place was primarily with the child. The moment a woman tries to change this, she attracts the disapproval of society: if she puts her child in nursery school, she is a cruel mother; if she does not give birth, she is not a woman. And if she stays at home, she is branded lazy. Many people solve the dilemma by not giving birth - especially if they can't even find a suitable man.

Edit Inotai - Népszabadság, 14 January 2005 (page 21)

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In the autumn of 2004, the Westminster House of Commons made a controversial decision. As part of the soon-to-be-enacted Children Act, a vote was held on the beating of children. MPs overwhelmingly rejected a proposal that would have completely banned parents from even the slightest physical punishment. However, the version tabled by the government to prevent any slapping or hitting that "leaves a visible mark on the skin or causes psychological trauma" was adopted. The clarification of the legal definition of child beating was necessary because the existing legislation, which has been in force since 1860, allowed parents who used corporal punishment to defend themselves in court on the basis of the principle of "reasonable punishment". In future, however, parents who inflict "actual bodily harm" could be imprisoned for up to five years.

The parliamentary decision is being attacked from several sides. British Health Committee chairman David Hinchcliffe[46] says the compromise means Britain is in breach of the UN Conven­tion on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights. The police fear that the slightest evidence such as a parent losing patience and slapping a child in the face in a super­mar­ket, causing a blush to appear on the child's face will trigger a flood of reports, diverting ca­pacity away from more serious crimes. Prime Minister Tony Blair[47] has stayed away from the vote, but has previously said that he has spanked his three older children once, but has never punished Leo, now four, with corporal punishment.

Veronika R. Hahn Népszabadság, 4 November 2004 (page 23)

[

British researchers have shown that housework significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer. More than 200,000 women in 9 European countries were included in the study, and it was clearly found that of all physical activities, housework reduces the risk of breast cancer the most. This finding applies to both young and post-menopausal women. The researchers explain this finding by saying that moderate and regular exercise is the most effective in maintaining the body. It is much more effective in protecting health than occasional high-impact exercise.

[

Culture has invaded the Balkans. The other day we were surprised to be confronted with how we should (should) behave in a humane way. We have heard rumours that citizens in Western countries are not only looking after their own welfare, but also that of their fellow citizens. In England, if a citizen notices someone causing harm to others or committing a crime, he or she can act as a police officer and arrest them. You can ask them to follow you and escort you to the nearest police station. In our country, however, people tend not to care about strangers, or even their immediate neigh­bours. It is fine for anyone to harm anyone else; there is no need to fear that anyone will be held responsible. That's why the action of the English man who stopped a lorry in an unusual way caused such consternation.

According to a newspaper report, the English man who stopped a lorry by lying on its radiator was expressing his resentment at the driver's vehicle cutting a cable TV cable. Despite the owner's waving, he did not stop but drove on without acknowledging the damage. On seeing the incident, his English guest took immediate action. As a result, traffic on Route 21 was blocked for about an hour due to the British man clinging to the truck's radiator, as there was no one around for some time who could understand English other than body language. The Hungarian lorry driver passed the house where the Englishman was staying in the town of Hatvan and cut the cable TV cable. Although he noticed the accident, he did not stop to admit the damage caused. He then hopped on his British scooter, overtook the vehicle, which was winding heavily through the city streets, and, unable to persuade the driver to see reason, climbed onto the truck's radiator. Even with the help of an occasional interpreter, the police officers on the scene found it difficult to understand the reason for the unusual roadblock. Then they grabbed a colstok, measured the height of the vehicle and found that he could indeed have pulled the cable down. It was only then that the British man, fired with a sense of justice, was willing to leave his strange abode. The police then prosecuted the lorry driver for criminal damage. However, they were unable to deal with the Englishman. They were so surprised by his actions that, in their embarrassment, they arrested him for endangering traffic.

Népszabadság, 9 July 2004 (page 20).

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Fears of terrorist attacks have led to only half the tickets for the Athens Olympics being sold. Fears were also expressed by officials. Patriot missiles were deployed around the city, and helicopters and AWACS reconnaissance planes circled over sports halls and stadiums. This is where the world has come to. The modern Olympics became a factory of results. Athletes no longer par­ticipate in the Olympic Games. The vast majority of them are not there for the opening ceremonies or the closing gala. They are sent out on the date of the competition and can return in a day or two. The use of doping substances is also a consequence of the drive to perform. We have an outstanding record in this area. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, we won two gold medals in the „doping cham­pionships”. For months, we were the focus of the sporting world. Our shame was compounded by the fuss over the return of the gold medals. This scandal also showed that we can fail, but we cannot yet lose.

[

Stacey Wherman Feeley thought at first that her daughter was just playing. She quickly shared the picture on her Facebook page for her husband to see. Her dad thought the picture of his little girl was just as cute and funny as the rest. Then we found out what was behind the scene. The American mother said she reached for her phone as soon as she saw her daughter balancing on the edge of the toilet seat because she thought it was funny. It was only much later that she found out that the show was not actually cute or even funny. In fact! In fact, it was quite heartbreaking. The kindergarten girl was learning in a kindergarten exercise what to do if an armed attacker bursts into the building and some people are stuck in the toilet. The mother was devastated when she found out why her three-year-old daughter was on the toilet seat. On hearing this, Stacey decided to add to her Facebook post, which was originally intended for her child's father, and wrote:

"As soon as I found out why my daughter did what she did, the innocence of the whole scene faded away. I ask the politicians of the world to take a look at this photo. Is this really the future they want for our children, our grandchildren? To hide in nursery toilets and balance on toilet seats at the age of three? I want those in power to see that their decisions have consequences, that we on this planet are all living our lives by them."

Stacey concluded her open letter by saying that she, as a suburban mom, doesn't know how to solve the world's problems. But what she does know is that she doesn't want her child to have to practice standing on planks in the future.

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The smartest woman in the world can't find work in Bulgaria.

The mother of three has several degrees and three academic degrees. Over the past 44 years she has studied everything from economics to education at Bulgarian and British universities, yet she is not even wanted as a shop assistant. Her education and IQ of 200 recently won her the title of the smartest woman in the world.

[

A Brazilian TV programme featured an illiterate baker who had been accepted to the Rio de Janeiro Law School. Severino de Silva, 27, went to the entrance exam of the private university just for fun, and ticked A, A, C, D and E in different order on the test papers she was given. The bluffing worked, and with the test questions he scored enough to be exempted from the essay exam, where he would have been immediately exposed as a fool. The young man is very proud of his achieve­ment. Buoyed by his success, he decided to learn to read and write. He is now illiterate. He can only write his name. This case clearly demonstrates the value of the test exam. Soon the world will be flooded with incompetent professionals. In 2005, the Ministry of Education abolished university and college entrance exams in the name of 'equal opportunities'. It even banned admission interviews, so that higher education institutions would have no chance of recruiting students with the right quali­fications.

[

Swedish psychologists observed the lives of 423 elderly couples over 5 years. During this time they had to answer a lot of questions. One of them was: "Do they buy presents or help their relatives, acquaintances or neighbours?" Did they look after a neighbour's children, mend his fence, water his flowers in his absence, mow the lawn in his garden. They also had to report whether they had used any of these services themselves. After 5 years, 134 of the 846 people surveyed had passed away. The results of statistical calculations of their living conditions were not different from those of similar surveys. However, one figure stood out from the rest. Of those who never helped anyone, those who only cared about themselves all the time, twice as many died as the group of people who were selflessly helpful. Interestingly, no difference was found in mortality rates between those who neither gave nor accepted help; and those who never helped anyone but accepted the help offered. The researchers concluded that what matters in our relationships with others is not what we receive, but what we give. Being helpful and giving seems to keep people alive for a long time. Maybe God wants them to live a long time, to help the world as much as possible.

[

A man died in shame in Japan. The 49-year-old lone bank employee had a contract that had ex­pired and was not renewed because of the economic crisis. After a year, his savings ran out and he starved to death. When they found him, his fridge and stomach were completely empty. Such deaths are not at all uncommon in the Far East. In Japan, many unemployed people are so ashamed of their marginalisation and exclusion from society that they do not take advantage of public assistance. Instead, they starve to death.

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For a year and a half, a dead man watched TV in Brussels. A 70-year-old man passed away in the autumn of 2002 while watching TV from his bed, according to coroner's inquests. His neighbours thought he had moved into a social home and did not open the door. Her death was discovered when children playing football outside the house accidentally kicked a ball through her window after a year and a half.

[

New Scientist reports that the bear cub is the most resilient creature on Earth. The bear cub, which is less than half a millimetre long, is so named because it looks like a chubby little animal when viewed under a microscope. It has eight legs and looks like it is covered in armour. It has the fantastic ability to survive in temperatures as cold as 270 oC and as hot as +150 oC. It can withstand X-rays, radioactive radiation, vacuum and pressures up to six times that of the deepest ocean. Under normal conditions it lives in roof gutters and cracks in street paving. It is not affected by water shortages. They have been brought back to life after lying dormant in dry moss in a mu­seum collection for a hundred years. This is made possible by the fact that their body volume is reduced to 50% and they are almost completely dehydrated. This prevents viruses, bacteria and various tissue-destroying fungi from colonising their bodies. Once in favourable conditions, their tissues swell and come to life when they have access to water.

[

How is Latin a dead language? Not according to the Catholic Church, which still uses Horace and Cicero's mother tongue as its official language. To underline this point, the Holy See's pub­lisher, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana[48], has published a new dictionary of some 15,000 head­words, in which it has collected the terms of modern life. Those that did not exist when the Roman Empire collapsed in 476. The Lexicon Recentis Latinitas[49], a two-volume Latin vocabulary, prepared as a supp­lement to an earlier dictionary, answered, among other questions, what Julius Caesar would have called, say, the videophone (telephonium albo televisifico coniunctum) [50], doping (usus agonisticus medicamenti stupecfactivi) [51] or rush hour (tempus maximae frequentiae) [52].

The massive opus was only partly intended for translators and linguists who have the daily prob­lem of translating the peculiarities of contemporary life into Latin: the lack of accepted terminology has also greatly hindered the standardisation of the papal encyclicals. The basic idea for the work comes from the Latin Foundation, a language-preserving foundation set up by Pope Paul VI in the 1970s after the Vatican II Council, which led to the change from Latin to the national languages in Catholic churches. The peculiar collection of terms has found its equivalent in FBI (officium foederatum vestigatorium) [53] and Interpol (publicae securitatis custos internationalis) [54], but Latin speakers will no longer be without a guide when it comes to translating terms like video rental or dishwasher. Stakeholders feel that the publication will not be a "liber maxime divenditus"[55] or "liber venditissimus"[56] i.e. bestseller because it will cost €100. The editorial board is not worried, ho­wever, and is now working on a new volume that will bring together a collection of terms related to computerisation.

[

A special way of collecting taxes has been introduced in the Indian city of Rajahmundi. After local contractors owed 50 million rupees (over 200 million forints) to the municipality, the city leaders hired drummers to stand outside the debtors' houses and bang their instruments day and night. They didn't have to beat the drums for long, because in the first week the debt was reduced by 18%. The success of tax collection has prompted other municipal leaders to consider introducing it.

[

This kind of nudge is not unknown in the western world. The British method is for private in­vestigation firms to persuade debt evaders to settle their debts by accompanying them 24 hours a day in distinctive "debt collection" outfits. The two burly men do not physically insult the debtor, but only apply discreet pressure. Since no one likes to be followed everywhere by compromising signs, this method is very effective. The vast majority of customers get their money after a few days, and the debtor settles his debt.

[

In some Brazilian prisons, geese have replaced the electronic signalling system. With great suc­cess, as escapes have been completely eliminated. No prisoner has managed to leave prison illegally since the flocks were introduced in the four institutions in the Paraiba river valley. The fowls are installed right next to the prison wall, and every time someone passes by the wall the geese make a mad noise.

Népszabadság, 2 December 2004 (page 22)

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A Colorado farmer was fined $517 for beating his own wife. Of the total, $500 was the fine for assault and $17 was a "consolation" tax. The farmer bragged in court that he beat his wife for fun.

[

It's not just in America where educational punishment is used. A Uruguayan court ordered a thief who stole 300 kilos of cheese to read 300 books. No snooping is allowed because the guilty party must write an essay on each book and hand it in to the local police.

[

On 6 December 2005, a swarm of anti-theft protesters swarmed New Zealand's capital. On Gol­den Sunday, more than 40 Santas ransacked downtown Wellington. They assaulted security guards, threw beer bottles and even "attacked" a Christmas tree. One shop employee complained to police:

  They came into the shop and said Merry Christmas! Then they started to steal openly.

The official investigation revealed that the shoplifting was an organised operation. The group, dressed as Santa Claus, was protesting against the Christmas sales.

[

A young child in Winnipeg was playing with his home phone. He was frantically pressing buttons on it until he accidentally punched in the number 911.[57] Because the toddler, who was just two years old, couldn't say what was wrong, the emergency call centre suspected foul play. The police were called immediately. When the police officers arrived on the scene and rang the doorbell, the parents were very surprised. It turned out that the child's father was an escaped criminal from prison who had been wanted for a long time. As he missed his family very much, he visited them once. The child was playing with the phone at the time. After the accidental call, it was not difficult to catch him.

[

In a Chinese school, children were scaring each other with ghosts, which led to a tragedy. In Sichuan province, students were walking down the school stairs when the lights went out unex­pectedly. One student jokingly exclaimed that the ghosts were here. Panic ensued and the terrified children trampled each other to death as they fled. The tragedy left 8 dead and 46 injured.

[

Our better-off engineers have developed a stake-like pub sign in Britain. The electronic compass determines the location of the drinker and transmits it to the GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite above, which returns the addresses and contact details of the four nearest pubs within moments. The device also helps you find your way home, which is often more important than showing you the way to the pub. It cannot, however, tell you how many pints of beer the lager is certified for. That's why he may have to walk home on all fours. They can't give engineers any­where else a meaningful reason to do their job. That's why a US research institute has developed special footwear for the prostitutes. Satellite tracking devices have been built into the soles of the toupees so that they can be tracked to see where the night butterflies are "on duty". The Japanese developers must be bored too, because they have recently come up with some useless, idiotic products. One tenth of the development cost of the Rolly could have been used to reconstruct the Tesla converter. In this world, however, money is only available for nonsense and nonsense, and nobody spends a single cent on saving nature. Incidentally, this product is also proof of the mis­placed concentration of humanity's attention. While almost no one is interested in the current dive of our civilisation, this nonsense has been viewed by 16 million people on YouTube.[58]

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Since we cannot or will not progress, we are going backwards. The designers at Lockhead-Martin aircraft have come up with a design for a 4,000 passenger airship the size of two football fields. It will be 270 metres long and 71 metres high. The lower, lightweight section will accom­mo­date passengers or 500 tonnes of cargo. The vehicle will be propelled forward by 2-2 propeller-dri­ven gas turbines mounted on either side at a maximum speed of 100 km/h. Although the Aerocraft is equipped with wheels, it does not require a runway. The engines can be rotated to a vertical position during take-off and landing, so the powered airship will travel like a conventional airship. The lift is provided by helium gas enclosed in a huge balloon above the cabin.

[

If we go ahead like this, the next stop will be the wind sail car. Since it is an environmentally friendly solution, it is possible to apply for public funding to develop it. It is likely to attract custo­mers, as wind is free. Anyone who thinks that this nonsense would not occur to any developer is very much mistaken. Not only did they think of it, they developed the first wind turbine car. Stu­dents at the University of Stuttgart have built a vehicle called the Ventomobil, powered by a wind turbine. A three-bladed wind turbine mounted on the roof of the car transmits the rotating motion of the turbine to the rear wheels via a cardan shaft. This vehicle has already won awards. It won first place in the 2008 Aelus Race. But the report does not tell us what they do with it when the wind is not blowing. Still unable to find something meaningful to do, our developers have invented a clever hairbrush that uses accelerometers and other sensors to measure if brushing is happening too hard.

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Scientists don't believe in miracles because they can only happen if the natural order is upset. Since this cannot happen, there are no miracles. But nowadays, it is increasingly being discovered that miracles are caused by natural laws that were previously unknown. So miracles do exist, and the physical basis of some of them has been explained. Recently, New Scientist reported that two physicists at the University of Tokyo induced a particularly strong magnetic field in a horizontally placed test tube that was not completely filled with water. The water flowed into the ends of the test tube, leaving a dry area in the middle. The phenomenon, discovered in 1994, occurred because water is a slightly diamagnetic substance that is repelled by the magnet. The phenomenon observed has been dubbed the "Moses effect". But the real discovery will come afterwards, when we realise that this phenomenon has nothing to do with magnetism. God didn't use a magnetic field to divide the Red Sea, because that would have required an extremely powerful magnet. The Creator used the law of mutual resistance for this purpose. He used compressed etheric particles to build a wall between the separated bodies of water. He also separated the water with a condensed etheric beam, which observers assumed to be a strong wind. They were not mistaken, because the concentrated aether also acts on the air molecules, pushing the air layers away and moving them.

 

The globalisation of the world

 

The alignment of the West and the East, the equalisation of wages, is taking place with increa­sing intensity. In the decade after the fall of communism, multinational companies relocated their factories to Eastern Europe in droves. But the increased demand for labour has also pushed up wa­ges in this region. As minimum wages rose, multinationals moved to China and India. There, wor­kers are paid half the wages of Eastern Europe. At present, an Eastern European worker earns one fifth of what a Western European worker earns, while a Chinese worker earns one tenth.[59] At least for now. But in ten years' time, average Chinese wages will reach those of Eastern Europe and Western wages will fall. Living standards will level out.

The levelling out of earnings is not to everyone's liking, of course. For workers in western count­ries, it will lead to a significant drop in living standards. But no-one wants to see their wages cut. The Germans are trying to overcome this problem by increasing working hours rather than reducing wages in order to keep their industries in business. They have raised the 35-hour working week to 40. Now they work 5 hours more per week for the same wage. But the German Chancellor does not rule out the possibility of a 45 or even 50-hour working week in the future. In the public adminis­tration, too, the process of reorganization has begun. The 40-hour working week has barely been won by civil servants and is already being abolished. The Bavarian Prime Minister announced that the 42-hour working week would be reintroduced in the civil service from September 2004. Trade unions fear that these two examples will be followed nationwide and are fighting tooth and nail for a 35-hour working week. But their protests are falling on deaf ears. To calm the public out­cry, po­liticians have pointed out that EU legislation caps weekly working time at 60 hours, and that this also applies to Germany.

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So for the time being, European countries are avoiding the path of lower living standards. In America, however, wage cuts are already under way. In Nacogdoches, Texas, and Twin Falls, Idaho, locals are happy to work three shifts for $7-8 an hour, less than half the manufacturing average. The reason is their vulnerability. The area is full of abandoned factory buildings and warehouses, and there is nowhere to find work. Their former employers have relocated to the Far East. The new investors are happy because not only are labour costs low, but productivity is much higher than in India and turnover is low. In these small towns, there is only one job, and there is nowhere else to go. And half pay is still better than nothing. For those who like to work, it saves them from poverty. Sooner or later, European countries will have to go down the same road. As a first sign of this, in 2014 the Swedish electrical household appliances manufacturer Elektrolux told its employees in its Italian factories that they would either settle for half pay or move their factories to Hungary or Po­land.

The French have also received their first slap in the face from foreign investors. The chairman of the US tyre company Goodyear has written a letter to the French government in a lecturing tone, complaining that French workers are underpaid. As a result, their factory in Amiens in northern France will be closed immediately. His decision was confirmed by his personal experience. I have visited the factory several times. The French employees are highly paid, but they only work three hours a day. They have one hour for rest and lunch, they chat for three hours and work only three hours." He also expressed his displeasure to French trade union leaders, who replied that "that's how it works in France". The head of the main union, the CGT, described the letter as a "huge insult". According to him, the president of the US group is already close to 'the asylum'. Goodyear's comp­laint has also reached the government. The Minister for Economic Development declined to com­ment. He explained his silence by saying that he "did not want to harm France's interests". Instead, he suggested that negotiations should be reopened, but the Goodyear chairman ruled out the pos­sibility of a negotiating table to save the factory. According to him, "soon no one in France will be working, everyone will be spending their days in cafés drinking red wine." Goodyear sub­se­quently closed its factory in Amiens, which employed 1 173 people. This is not an isolated incident. In the last four years, 120,000 jobs have been lost in French industry. Leading news stories include a series of closures at PSA-Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Doux, Sanofi, Merck, Kronenbourg and Coca Cola.

The fall in incomes is not leaving pensions untouched. The German government recently cut public sector pensions by 20%. The reason in this case is not the relocation of industrial companies abroad, but the massive drop in the birth rate, the ageing of society, the lengthening of the learning period, the widespread evasion of contributions. The levelling out of living standards also produces extreme cases. In our country, this is most evident in tooth tourism on the western border:

 

"Austrian dentists in Austria, who fear for their patients, constantly accuse their Hungarian col­leagues of using low-quality materials for treatments without sufficient expertise. Hungarian den­tists deny this and suspect jealousy.

  Austrians or Germans? I ask a middle-aged couple browsing a map of Sopron in the dentist's office, where Mozart melodies are discreetly blasting from hidden speakers. They shake their heads.

  We're from London. The couple are visiting a friend in Vienna for two weeks. The Austrians had recommended that, since they were so close to Sopron, they should get a new set of teeth. They lent one of their cars, which the Englishmen use every day for treatment. Their dentures cost less than half as much as if they had visited their dentist in London, including petrol.

  I have gallstones too complains the husband. I might have the stones removed in a Hungari­an hospital.

  We don't have a reference for that she tells him. Of course, in Sopron's numerous dental surgeries, you're more likely to meet Austrian and German patients. But the number of nations interested in replacements has recently grown. More and more people are coming from Italy, Switzerland and the Benelux countries. The English and Irish have recently appeared.

  Health insurance companies all over the world are cutting back on services, explains Dr László Szilágyi, chief dentist and owner of the Pannon-Med health spa in Sopron, Hungary. And patients are counting. If they get the same quality at a third price, they will come to Hungary for it. Chief doctor Szilágyi's career in Sopron is, if not typical, certainly typical.

  Sixteen years ago I came to this region from Kisvárda he says with a laugh. They had the idea of creating a modern dental clinic. The state sanatorium added the doctor. Namely me, who, together with my dentist wife, was lured to Sopron by friends. The Swiss-Hungarian com­pany Dentalcoop provided the technical background, the equipment and the "doxaprecision". This was the beginning of dental tourism in Sopron. Later, the Szilágyi family privatised the clinics of the hostel, and then bought and renovated the hotel.

  How many dentists were there in Sopron then? - I ask János Kienzl, director of Dentalcoop.

  Twenty at most.

  And how many now?

  We must be 200 says Szilágyi. It's hard to say, because the permanent doctors also employ weekend helpers, and for special tasks they bring in doctors from elsewhere as required.

  When you arrived here, how much cheaper was Hungarian dental treatment, prosthetics and dentures than in Austria?

  At that time it cost a quarter of that. Now it is only a third. The director of Dentalcoop - his company also has clinics in Budapest, Sopron, the thermal hotel in Bükfürdő and the spa hotel in Sárvár, among others is quick to point out:

  Hungarian doctors work with materials of the same quality and origin as those used in Austria or Germany. This brings us to the most controversial point of Hungarian dental tourism. Aus­trian dentists, fearful for their patients, constantly accuse their Hungarian colleagues of using low-quality materials without sufficient expertise. Three Viennese dentists I spoke to on the phone claimed that more than half of Austrian patients treated in Hungary later have to have their dentures repaired in Austria.

  This is a blatant lie, a business jealousy the Sopron dentists comment angrily.

  We have a large family and a wide circle of friends who have been coming to Sopron for six years with minor and major dental problems explains a woman from Eisenstadt (Kismarton) in one of the surgeries. - I'm a pharmaceutical salesman, so I have a good idea of what the Hungarians are working with. As for their expertise, next year will mark the 50th anniversary of independent dental training in Hungary. Not so long ago we did not even have a separate faculty for this profession. Moreover, Hungarian practices see patients from early morning until late at night, even at weekends. An elegant man enters the surgery. The gist of what he said was:

  When my dentist in Vienna found out I was coming to Hungary for treatment, he asked to have a look at my mouth he says and he didn't deny that he was looking for flaws that showed Hungarian dentists were incompetent. He said he had three or four such cases. He also coughed at my teeth, but he could not classify me among the »victims« of Hungarian dentists.

  There must be "Alaskan gold diggers" here too, who think that the practice is enough and the money will be there," Dr Szilágyi comments. - But such doctors sooner or later go back to where they came from.

  What I don't understand is that if you use the same material as the Germans or Italians, how can the cost of dental prostheses be a third of what they are in Germany?

  The cost of the material is the same, and the overheads are not much less. We can save a lot on wages.

  A Hungarian doctor earns the same as his Austrian colleague, but works three times as hard interjects János Kienzl. I also met an Austrian dentist in Sopron who works twice a week in a dental practice in a Hungarian town on the border.

  I came to see my patients says the middle-aged man. Five out of ten potential Austrian patients are able or willing to pay Austrian prices. I treat them in my practice in Vienna. The other five go to Sopron, Mosonmagyaróvár or Sárvár. I follow them and fix their teeth for a third of the price in Vienna. So I earn less money, but I don't lose my partner in this fierce competition.

  Wouldn't it be easier to lower the prices in your Vienna practice?

  Yes, but it's not possible. I'd be in the Chamber of Commerce. This is why Hungarian doctors who have moved to Austria are crying, because they thought they would go locally so that Austrian patients would not have to travel to Sopron. Yes, but they cannot work in Austria at the same prices as in Hungary. Border dentistry must not only be at the forefront of professio­nal treatment. If it wants to remain competitive, it must also keep up with fashion.

  The colour white is popular at the moment," says János Kienz, who tells us the secrets behind the scenes, "and young girls often ask the doctors to put brilliant chips in their teeth."

Népszabadság, 7 June 2004 (page 8)

 

Dental tourism continues unabated. Not only from Austria and Germany, but also from England. The Sunday Telegraph in Britain began its lengthy feature on this phenomenon with the following headline.

It has been a well-known fact in the UK for some time that access to dental care within the free British National Health Service (NHS) is almost impossible, as dentists are cancelling their NHS contracts in droves and are only willing to accept patients in private practice. Almost 80 per cent of the UK population now live in areas where there is no public dental care at all, and treatment in private practices is prohibitively expensive for the majority. A recent survey by a specialist revealed that 6 per cent of the population have been forced to have dental treatment in private. Some have used cyanide-based superglue to repair chipped crowns, and some have even used pliers to pull out their own sore teeth. In this situation, more and more people are seeking treatment abroad, and Hungary is a prime destination for British dental tourism.

However, not everyone is lucky in Hungary, according to The Sunday Telegraph. Britain's largest Sunday Conservative newspaper has a lengthy feature on the case of Lisa Hewer, a Portsmouth resident. Hewer travelled to a little-known Hungarian town for tooth replacement, whitening and replacement of old fillings after receiving a quote of £3,500. The lowest price he would have been asked for the same treatment in private practices in the UK was £18,000 (£6.5 million). However, the patient suffered such an acute gum infection after treatment in Hungary that he had to be taken to hospital on his return home. His face was so swollen that he could not open his eyes and he was in so much pain that he even contemplated suicide. Luckily for her, a dentist in Liverpool offered to do the reconstructive work for free after the clinic in Hungary refused to do the same.

However, British experts interviewed by the paper admit that 95 per cent of British dental pa­tients who go abroad are satisfied with their treatment. The article cites the case of Myra Lovett from Essex as a positive example. The 61-year-old woman said her teeth were in "terrible condi­tion" and after a lengthy search for an NHS dentist, she opted for treatment in Hungary. Lovett fo­und a company that would do the preliminary consultations in London and then travel the patient to Budapest, where she would be provided with accommodation. The patient paid £7,400 (2.5 million forints) for three trips to Budapest, including accommodation and treatment, for a complex proce­dure that would have cost her £21,000 (7.5 million forints) at home. Another British patient of the Hungarian company also told the newspaper that he had saved thousands of euros, and that the same treatment that would have taken six months in private practices in the UK was carried out in a week at the Budapest clinic. The Hungarian co-owner of the clinic told The Sunday Telegraph that his company treats around 200 British patients a month. He added that dental treatment is now so expensive in Britain that even middle-class people can't afford it, and that British private dentists only see a few patients a day... and spend the afternoon on the golf course.

Népszabadság, 22 October 2007 (page 20)

 

Dental tourism continues unabated. Not only from Austria and Germany, but also from England. The Sunday Telegraph in Britain began its lengthy feature on this phenomenon with the following headline: "British patients sometimes pay a heavy price for dental treatment in Hungary, which is incomparably cheaper than in England, but in most cases they receive world-class service for the lower price."

It has been a well-known fact in the UK for some time that access to dental care within the free British National Health Service (NHS) is almost impossible, as dentists are cancelling their NHS contracts in droves and are only willing to accept patients in private practice. Almost 80 per cent of the UK population now live in areas where there is no public dental care at all, and treatment in private practices is prohibitively expensive for the majority. A recent survey by a specialist revealed that 6 per cent of the population have been forced to have dental treatment in private. Some have used cyanide-based superglue to repair chipped crowns, and some have even used pliers to pull out their own sore teeth. In this situation, more and more people are seeking treatment abroad, and Hungary is a prime destination for British dental tourism.

However, not everyone is lucky in Hungary, according to The Sunday Telegraph. Britain's largest Sunday Conservative newspaper has a lengthy feature on the case of Lisa Hewer, a Portsmouth resident. Hewer travelled to a little-known Hungarian town for tooth replacement, whitening and replacement of old fillings after receiving a quote of £3,500. The lowest price he would have been asked for the same treatment in private practices in the UK was £18,000 (£6.5 million). However, the patient suffered such an acute gum infection after treatment in Hungary that he had to be taken to hospital on his return home. His face was so swollen that he could not open his eyes and he was in so much pain that he even contemplated suicide. Luckily for her, a dentist in Liverpool offered to do the reconstructive work for free after the clinic in Hungary refused to do the same.

However, British experts interviewed by the paper admit that 95 per cent of British dental pa­tients who go abroad are satisfied with their treatment. The article cites the case of Myra Lovett from Essex as a positive example. The 61-year-old woman said her teeth were in "terrible condi­ti­on" and after a lengthy search for an NHS dentist, she opted for treatment in Hungary. Lovett found a company that would do the preliminary consultations in London and then travel the patient to Budapest, where she would be provided with accommodation. The patient paid £7,400 (2.5 million forints) for three trips to Budapest, including accommodation and treatment, for a complex procedu­re that would have cost her £21,000 (7.5 million forints) at home. Another British patient of the Hungarian company also told the newspaper that he had saved thousands of euros, and that the same treatment that would have taken six months in private practices in the UK was carried out in a week at the Budapest clinic. The Hungarian co-owner of the clinic told The Sunday Telegraph that his company treats around 200 British patients a month. He added that dental treatment is now so expensive in Britain that even middle-class people can't afford it, and that British private dentists only see a few patients a day... and spend the afternoon on the golf course.

Népszabadság, 22 October 2007 (page 20)

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An internet site in Germany has started an animal auction. But the auction job is not given to the highest bidder, but to the lowest bidder. A cleaning job in a private house is currently going for €9 an hour on the website, but there are likely to be cheaper offers. Trade unions criticise the offer, saying that every sector has a minimum wage below which no one should work. The question now is what quality of labour will be obtained in this way. German employers seem to be unaware of the proverb that says: "He who pays with peanuts gets a monkey."

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 "Boss, I want a pay rise. I'm working day and night and my salary is exactly what it was 3 years ago." You know the situation. We've tried this kind of request a few times, sometimes with success. But now these lamentations are not getting us anywhere. In the United States, books are appearing on the vulnerability of workers. Quoting from 7 × 24, the conversation continued: „I am sorry, my dear friend. In the current global economic situation, our company cannot afford to increase wage costs."

The author states that in the age of the Internet and the mobile phone, the employer demands almost all of the employee's time. They need to be on call at all times, so that they can be called to work at any time, and they need to provide information about their work in their free time. This means that they can work from home and, if necessary, wake up in the middle of the night. Today, the average civil servant lives like a doctor: he or she has to be on call 24 hours a day. Of course, no one pays for this kind of overtime. Employers now expect constant attention and preparedness for the same money as before.

If you ask about this particular lengthening of working hours, the answer is usually: 'It's globa­lisation', shrug the bosses. „If you won't do it, I'll get someone in India or China who will happily say yes for a tenth of the pay." If more people grumble, he'll take his tentacle and move his business to the Far East. In this situation, what can the employee do? He takes pills. In recent years, sales of tranquillisers and anti-depressants have broken all records. The book tells the story of a middle-aged woman who, at the age of 40, was diagnosed by doctors as suffering from multiple sclerosis. She was consoled that with proper treatment she could live a long time with almost no symptoms. But they did not take into account the stress at work. As a result, her condition deteriorated so rapidly that she became disabled. Interestingly, bosses are not yet affected by „globalisation”. After all, the world economy cannot be so bad that bosses' salaries are not constantly rising.

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Szilvia B., a 26-year-old resident of Budapest, applied in writing on the same day for two positi­ons: the next examination of a district pregnancy counsellor and a job application for a large in­vestment consultancy. However, she happened to mix up the envelopes at a careless moment.

The answer came quickly from the antenatal clinic:

Dear address, we assume that the letter you sent us was not intended for us. In any case, we would advise you to try to find a job before your belly starts to swell, and even then to deny to your heart's content that you are pregnant, otherwise, in our experience, you will never get another job in your life. Respectfully, Signature.

She had to wait a little longer for a reply from the investment adviser, but then it came one day:

Dear Address, Thank you for your order for an economic analysis of your planned business. From the information contained in your letter, we have come to the conclusion that your investment has already been made and that the plan is currently in the phase of roll-out. We regret that you have not contacted us sooner, as our experts, having carefully reviewed the prospects of the project, have clearly concluded that the current economic conditions and future trends are completely against it. Rationale: We regret to note that your proposed venture lacks originality, which is a key require­ment for the success of any initiative. There are currently more than six billion projects like yours in ope­ration worldwide, and this number is growing. The Hungarian market can also be considered satura­ted, especially considering that cheaper Far Eastern specimens with lower initial and running costs are expected to flood our country. Expansion on the European continent is hampered by various bans and quota systems, which are likely to continue in the future.

We calculate that the construction and operating costs of the proposed venture will far exceed the expected revenues. In particular, one-off, never-recoverable costs are high at the time of project in­cep­tion and during the first phase of operation, while the costs of ongoing operation are relatively low at this stage. The acquisition and increased wear and tear of the capital equipment required for operation impose a very heavy financial burden on the contractor. In addition to the rapidly dep­reciating stock of equipment (e.g. pacifiers, rubber pants, nappies), the operator has to bear an in­describable amount of other expenditure (obstetrician, paediatrician, nurse). In this start-up phase, the business has to take into account the disposal of by-products (poo, pee), which are highly pollu­ting to the environment and which also increase costs.

In the later stages of the project's operation, clothing is the most common non-recoverable in­vestment. As time goes by, training and vocational training costs increase exponentially. Your attention is drawn to the fact that in Hungary today the public support for your project is very low. For example, it does not even come close to the level of central or EU subsidies available in the cattle and pig sectors. Therefore, when preparing your decision, you should have taken particular care to consider the profitability of the various market segments concerned. Please take note of the findings of our economic analysis. We would also like to inform you that the vacancy previously advertised by our company has been filled by a male employee who is obviously much dumber, lazier and less talented than you, but who is much less likely to become pregnant. Respectfully, et cetera, et cetera.

László Karcagi Népszabadság, 4 June 2005 (page 5)

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It is difficult to explain that life is beautiful to someone who cannot be happy about anything. True, it is not a fairy tale, and perhaps there is more bad than good in it. But we see less and less good in it. We pass by its wonders with our eyes closed.

It's spring at last. I let go of the crowded tram and walk two stops. It's nice to walk in the long-absent sunshine. I look at the shop windows, but I'm not thrilled by the stunted t-shirts, sweaters and uniforms that look identical, but are different only in brand. Somehow I don't want them, even though I go into a shopping frenzy every spring. Now I prefer to just stare, as if seeing the city for the first time. It's when I stop and wonder at things I usually pass by without even noticing. What struck me immediately in the spring sunshine was that the women's faces had lost the kind of glow that evokes tender emotions in men. Either they are very flayed, jaded and hopelessly grey, or they are so aggressively perfect that they freeze any attempt at approach. Who wants to sit down in a romantic café with a woman who is militarily determined, competitive in every competition in existence and feels so important that she doesn't even turn off her beeping mobile phone on a date?

One of my male acquaintances complained that the lust for power has completely taken over women's minds. They will walk over anyone to climb up the ladder. I could have said there were exceptions, but I didn't feel like arguing. After all, as a woman myself, I have seen time and time again that the sick desire to show off and dominate has reached almost unbearable proportions. I am not objecting to the fact that women want to do more. It is quite another thing that bothers me. The method. Take Juliet, for example, who can do absolutely nothing. Her education and professional qualifications are lacking, to say the least, but she has a former Italian husband, a language back­ground and a businesswoman's appearance by today's standards. That was enough to get her a job as a manager in the Hungarian branch of a reputable company, where she can bounce around more qualified staff at will. Not that some men don't do the same, but career women are more likely to exhibit the typical female traits of hatred, intrigue, petty teasing and revenge.

A highly educated female engineer with three children complained, "I was fired by my boss because I worked too well. The owner liked my ideas and my boss was afraid I would be appointed to replace her. If this continues, sooner or later she'll kick everyone out of the company, because the typist would be a better manager than her. And he'll put his own relatives in the vacant position." I'm not speaking against women managers, as it is well known that there are far fewer of them in Hungary than in Western countries. How can they manage where even well-educated men cannot get decent jobs. Therefore, women who are determined to assert themselves use dishonest means. The fight is fierce, and the more violent get into the good positions.

This is how the glamorous careers of women are born, giving the impression that the playing field is level. They are, but not in terms of expertise. Anyone can win if they're unscrupulous enough. Why not, if the successful person is not held to account for the methods used. Success is compulsory nowadays, and failure is avoided like the plague. So women are determined to succeed. Or else they die of failure. Since there is no possibility of unbiased competition in professions that are geared to spectacular success, it is easy for the last one to come out on top. As this situation is a global phenomenon, the atrophy and atrophy of skills has reached the point where ineptitude is no longer even apparent. Wherever you go, it's the same, so there is no obvious difference. Quality is deteriorating and, in the general devaluation, the qualities that are not exactly congenial but that promise success are being valorised: ruthlessness, nauseating self-confidence, power madness.

In the shop window, successful women pat themselves on the back. They are determinedly focused. They laugh with their mouths full and hardly smile. All the while, they try to hide what lies behind the window: failed marriages, broken friendships, their convulsive fear of failure. Secretly, they long to be truly successful at something. In a physical task, in their children, in their loves, in their friendships, or even in making a good Sunday lunch. Aunt Hermina, 80, for example, is most proud of the fact that no one bakes a better strudel than her. And Aunt Annus is proud that she is still being asked to marry her at 70. Life is simple and that's what makes it beautiful. We can excel in so many things, even with our own talents. What is the point of fighting for positions beyond our abilities? Why do so many people think that success is measured by the money and positions they have won? The greatest success is self-satisfaction, being able to enjoy spring, summer, family and even the success of others.

Zsuzsa Vadas, Nők Lapja, October 2000 (page 27)

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If there was an international star actress in the 19th century, then Lilla Szilágyi Bulyovszkyné was certainly one. Although no one remembers her today, she was the leading actress of the German-speaking theatre, applauded by crowds from Berlin to Dresden, from London to Paris. Dumas wrote a novel about her, Franz Liszt and the crowned heads vied for her favour, and her novels, plays and novels were immensely popular, making her one of the greatest patrons of her time. Born into the first Hungarian theatrical dynasty, his grandfather and father were both actors, so he was a member of the National Theatre from the age of seven and played leading roles as a teenager. On 15 March 1848, he was only 15 years old when he heard the handsome Gyula Bulyov­szky speak in front of the Landerer and Heckenast printing house. One of the leading figures of the March youths, he married her after six months of courtship "If you love me, you will call me un­faithfully" wrote the groom before the wedding, and thus summed up the essence of their rela­tions­hip. Their lifelong correspondence could be read today as a psychological novel, which is no coinci­dence: after the revolution, he became a successful journalist.

Lilla Bulyovszky was a bursting talent for the stage, and she was well aware of her talent. In 1851, she signed up for the National Theatre, but refused to play second fiddle to the fashionable actresses of the day, especially Róza Jókainé Laborfalvi. Since he did not get good roles, he sought opportunities himself. A few months after the Paris premiere, he translated Dumas's latest hit play into Hungarian. She played the title role in The Lady of Camellia. But not only did he choose the successful foreign plays of his time with a good sense of humour, he also found himself as a writer. At the age of 22, she had already completed a two-volume collection of short stories, which her husband helped her to publish. They are a playful, light, French social literature, with cleverly chatting Marquises and jokers as protagonists.

After a few years, she quit the National and went freelance. A fan, Franz Liszt, suggested that he try his talents abroad. The composer's feelings for her can be deduced from a surviving letter: „I am too old to love a young girl”. Lilla finally travelled to Paris in 1857 and knocked on the door of her favourite writer, Dumas the Elder, unknown to her. She took him under her wing, introduced him to all the important people in the Parisian theatre world, and wrote praiseworthy articles about him in the newspapers. "Beautiful to the point of being novel, and as if he knew nothing of her beauty! This woman is doubly at home on the stage, writing beautiful comedies with wit and the charming charm of her twenty-fifth year” wrote a French newspaper. Lilla kept a travel diary of her expe­riences in Paris and wrote reviews of French theatre for the Pest papers.

She soon realised that she would never learn French without an accent, so she decided to try her luck in Germany. Dumas, then 55 years old, offered to accompany her and together they would look for a German theatre that would employ the actress. Their journey together is the story of Dumas's novel Une averitute d'amour (An Adventure in Love), which also tells of the strange relationship between a sparklingly talented young actress and a middle-aged man who hides his feelings. Dumas did not change the names, so when the novel was published, everyone in Hungary was talking about Lilla Bulyovszky's betrayal. In the novel, she says: „I am a Hungarian actress, and I act in Hungari­an. The audience I can address is only 6-7 million people. I would like to address 30-40 million people, on a German stage and in German." Pál Gyulai, the best-known critic of his time, wrote in the Pesti Napló. It will be too late. You have gambled away three things, each of which is a great treasure: the compassion of the Hungarian public, a few beautiful years that cannot be made up, and most of your strength."

A few weeks later, Lilla was playing the title role of Mary Stuart in the court theatre of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the smallest of the German principalities. The show was a huge success, and the increasingly well-known actress was invited to guest perform in several of Germany's great theat­res. Of the Pest papers, only Nefelejts, edited by her husband, reported on her success abroad. When Mór Jókai published a mocking article about the actress in his own newspaper, Gyula Bulyovszky challenged his former friend to a duel, in which he himself was injured. In the years that followed, Lilla von Bulyovsky was clearly a star of the German-language theatre scene throughout Europe. She has performed in many places from Switzerland to London. She also published a series of ar­ticles about her experiences in her husband's magazine. In 1864, she gave 100 performances in eight theatres in six months, and went on a tour of Norway as a rest. The book she wrote about her jour­ney is part country history, part love story of a Polish girl travelling with her. The German-language book is still regarded in Norway as the first modern literary account of the country. Today, the book is most interesting for its female perspective. "Contrary to the Arab who thanks Allah every day in his prayers that he created me a man, I am a woman to my complete satisfaction." she writes in the Hungarian version.

In 1865, she appeared in the Stuart Mary at the King's Theatre in Munich. The King of Bavaria, Louis II, was present at the premiere, and through his intercession she was able to sign a five-year contract in Munich on terms befitting a world star: high salary, free choice of roles, six months' leave a year, her own theatre carriage, a lifelong pension. Letters from the Emperor testify that he fell in love with an actress eight years older than him. For Lilla, the obvious royal infatuation was both impressive and burdensome, but it helped to make her even better known in Europe. It was in this novel that Dumas wrote the strange relationship between the young actress and the middle-aged man.

She settled back home after 15 years of absence. She went on a national tour, where she was greeted with ovations. But the Pest papers still refused to forgive her career abroad. The returning star was considered a wealthy man, and soon became the owner of several apartment houses and villas in Budapest and a luxury villa in Austria. Much of the proceeds went to charity, supporting orphanages and women's groups, but he was mocked in the press for this too. In 1878, fed up with the attacks, he bid farewell to the public on a country tour and never appeared on stage again. His plays were still performed for a while, but then they too were taken off the programme. In 1883, her "faithlessly loyal" husband, Gyula Bulyovszky, died. From then on, she devoted all her energies to setting up and running charitable foundations. Her acquaintances recall that she remained strikingly beautiful in her old age. She died in a hotel in Graz in 1909, leaving her vast fortune to an orphana­ge. Her le­gacy includes novels and literary translations, love letters written by some of the best-known artists and politicians of her time, and Lilla's coolly ironic replies.   

Actors' Library Lilla Bulyovszkyné Szilágyi: actress, opera singer, writer, translator.

Born: 25 May 1833, Kolozsvár. Died: 11 December 1909, Graz. Her remains were brought home and her grave is in the cemetery on Fiumei út.

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Not all our actresses were as lucky as Lilla Bulyovszky. Our greatest tragedy, Mari Jászai's life was a series of tragedies from birth to death.

 

Mari Jászai: "I never had a worthy partner on stage. Nor in life."

170 years ago, in 1850, Ászár was just an insignificant manor owned by the Esterházy counts. But on a cold February morning, a newborn girl cried in one of the houses, a girl who would later revolutionise the history of Hungarian theatre and make the name of the small Transdanubian village famous. Marika[60] was born as an only daughter into a family of four children, where the fat­her worked as a manorial carpenter. Her mother, Julianna Keszey, a noblewoman of village origin, was famous for her beauty. "On stage I am my father, in life I am my mother” the actress later confessed. The ambitious mother was not content with just that, so she persuaded her husband to move to Győr in the hope of making a fortune. Their plans failed, and in a short time they became completely impoverished. Mari was not even five years old when her mother died of hardship and shame. A terrible time followed. She was starved by her stepmother and often abused by her father. Once, when Marika was secretly attending a performance of a travelling company of actors, her father tied her disobedient child to the foot of a chair and beat her naked back with a hempen bundle soaked in water.

The little girl also had to help out around the house, so at the age of ten she took on childcare as a maid. In her memoirs she did not forget to mention her rat-infested bed.[61] At the first opportunity, he ran away from home to Pest and served for a few months in the inn addressed to the Black Cat. When the Prussian-Austrian war broke out, she worked in a circus and joined the army as a mar­quise. With the 300 forints she received for her services, she bought elegant clothes in Vienna, as she had no secret desire to become an actress. She had not yet turned 16 when she joined a small company, where she was initially given only extra roles. But despite the fact that her voice was deep and fake, and that she had a one-sentence part in her first role, her talents were soon discovered. For a few years, he was able to use his natural talent in Cluj-Napoca, albeit still under appalling con­ditions. "I was always starving. I spent every penny I had on stage clothes, I only had to get my lunch from the usher, some kind of slop. I'd pick up cheese and bread crusts on the street, stick them on pins at home, burn them around and eat them."

Eventually, Mari Jászai's unparalleled stage success caught the attention of the director of the National Theatre in Pest, who personally travelled to Transylvania to pick her up and invited her to join his company in place of Róza Jókainé Laborfalvi, who was retiring. In her debut performance, she played Gertrudis in Bánk bán, but during her lifetime she was seen in more than 300 plays. She has played almost all of Shakespeare's heroines and was the first Eve in The Tragedy of the Man. She shone most in the tragic roles, well suited to the temperamental pathos of the period. He did not go to colour school. He was a natural, and his knowledge was deepened by constant study. He perfected his art to such an extent that he also translated. He translated Ibsen's John Gabriel Bork­man for the National Theatre. (He even learned ancient Greek for the sake of his lecture. He also spoke English, French and German, and took Italian lessons before his trip to Italy.) Writing was his favourite pastime, and he was often published in newspapers. In 1901, he became an honorary member of the National. He also appeared in the silent films of his time (only his 1914 film The Thief, which has recently been digitised, survives). The film is about a maid who is innocently deported. Incidentally, it was the first film Mihály Kertész made in Hungary.)

The stormy success of his career was not followed by a calm and balanced private life. But that is not surprising. While as a marquise she was repeatedly raped by soldiers in the hell of the Battle of Königgrätz, at the height of her success, after a great performance, her fans even took the horses from her carriage. Her marriage to her colleague Vidor Kassai soon fell apart, and from then on she almost devoured men. Sometimes even men many years younger than herself. In her diary she wrote: „Like the Amazons, I was driven by blood to bring home a husband. Then the disgust, the reproach and the punishment began all over again." Among his lovers we find the poet Gyula Reviczky, the playwright Dezső Szomory, the painter Árpád Feszty and the famous ethnographer Herman Otto. The actress, of course, said that all her life she had been waiting for the great love. Alajos Stróbl, who made a statue of her, called her an ugly beauty.

During the First World War, Mari Jászai acted in front of wounded soldiers in hospitals to ease their pain. And she gave gift packages to those fighting at the front. She spent all her free time among the wounded soldiers and all her income on them. He provided them with underclothes, tobacco, sweets, books and recited to them all afternoon. He had no aversion to suffering, to seni­lity, and he would accept neither a word of thanks nor a medal. His apartment was a veritable storehouse. He had bags of charity donations to send to the battlefields. That's how he spent what little money he had saved during the war, even getting into debt.

In his last years, he was given fewer and fewer roles, which gradually undermined his health. He would not tolerate journalists mentioning his age. "An actor has no age!" he said. But he could not fight the passage of time. Although he hated tobacco smoke, which he often said, it was his lungs that were finally attacked by the disease. He underwent several operations and his worsening dia­betes made it very difficult for him to perform on stage. The actress prepared herself thoroughly for death. She bought an empty plot in the Kerepesi cemetery, on which she had a tombstone carved from the granite column of the National Theatre, which had been demolished in 1913. When his illness worsened, he fled from the compassion of the people to a modest, whitewashed, narrow room in the János sanatorium. Refusing to let a doctor near him, he bore his suffering silently and without tears. When she felt the end had come, she turned to the wall so that no one would see her face, and with a deep sigh she said goodbye to the world.

He died on 5 October 1926 in Budapest, in the hospital at 68 Városmajor Street (now the Városmajor Heart and Vascular Clinic of Semmelweis University). The whole country mourned him. His funeral was attended by hundreds of thousands of people, and a grateful posterity named a crater on the planet Venus after him. On her tombstone, a simple inscription commemorates her artistic great­ness: „Mari Jászai was while she lived; here she is, now she has reached her goal.” Her first biog­rapher bade her farewell with a touching thought. A new Hungarian legend about the daughter of the carpenter from Ašari, destined to be a maid, who became a queen, was born." Today, the Jászai Mari Prize, a prestigious theatrical award established by the Hungarian government in 1953, bears her name (the prize comes with a HUF 1.4 million reward, tax and duty free.)

Péter Hegedűs Családi Lap, February 2020 (pages 60-61)

[

A well-known actor once said, "I do not envy you young people, because you are the future."

  Where are you from?

  From my workplace.

  Where are you going?

  To my workplace.

Surprisingly, these phrases are not uttered in family circles, in the conversations of married couples. You hear them at university, more and more often and from more and more students. Many of them are now working several hours a day, even seven days a week. No, they are not young Stakha­no­vites, driven to ever better performance by inspiring ideals. They are not driven by noble work, but by compulsion. Some of them have daily subsistence problems, but that's not why most of them choose to give up their free time (and worse still, their school days) to work. It is a necessity. Per­formance pressure. A compulsion to conform. The labour market is stagnating, and there is a long queue of unemployed graduates at the office. If you want a job in the future, you have to fight for it. The stakes are high, the solution is simple: be better than everyone else, smarter, more creative, more loyal and, most importantly, more productive.

And start your search early: the sooner you decide, apply and get in, the sooner you win. Start working to get known! If it's just a matter of a moment, they'll see you and like you and say the magic word: stay! Then you can sit back and say yes, but it will only be a moment, because you have work to do. It's okay not to have time to think. At least then you won't remember your parents' old saying, recalled with a look into the misty past, "those wonderful, happy university years". Those 5, sometimes 6 years when you still had time to sit out late at night with your friends in cafés and pubs, play football all afternoon or dance until dawn. When you're preoccupied with lofty thoughts, exchanging world views and globe-trotting ideas. Good thing you don't have time to think about that. Because then you'd realize you don't have a choice.

Lilla Gálfi, Népszabadság - Pályakép supplement, 18 November 2004 (page 3)

[

The situation of those working in agriculture is no better. Developing countries have complained to the WTO that huge agricultural subsidies from Western governments have made them uncompetitive. Farmers in Western European countries are selling their produce on the world mar­ket at unrealistically low prices because their losses are covered by huge subsidies. In India, China, Brazil and other poor countries, however, peasants receive no subsidies, and in China they even have to pay a product levy on all goods they put on the market. This means that they cannot even earn a tenth of the income of Western European producers. The multilateral negotiations ended with the World Trade Centre obliging Western European countries to reduce subsidies to farmers on a permanent basis. This will inevitably lead to a fall in incomes in this occupational sector too.

The shrinkage in agricultural subsidies will hit the new EU Member States hardest. Eastern European farmers currently receive one third of EU subsidies. Under the agreements, the subsidy they receive can only gradually reach western levels in three stages. In 2012, the gap between member states will indeed disappear, but not in the way we would like. As agricultural subsidies are phased out in Western European countries, farmers in Eastern European countries will not receive any more subsidies in eight years' time than they do now. We are also falling victim to the world phenomenon of levelling out wages rather than catching up.

[

Each new year brings us more and more uncertainty. Neither the change of regime nor accession to the European Union has brought any reassurance. Insecurity and growing anxiety are slowly eroding the fundamental values on which the free competitive market economy and parliamentary democracy of the Western world are based. Here, these values are eroding without being truly con­solidated. Women seeking work are making anonymous statements. Their very insistence on anonymity is revealing. They feel they have reason to be afraid of their opinions, or even of spea­king out. Now it is not an institution of dictatorship, but potential employers who are taking note of the disgruntled. Younger people say: their chances on the labour market are poor because employers are afraid they will give birth, miss work, have a sick child; that they will not want to work over­ti­me. Some people mentioned that the employer now feels so much ownership of the worker that he wants to get the prettier young women to provide sexual services. This is not protected by the law it is very difficult to prove, and if you succeed, you will not get peace of mind, but guaranteed job loss.

Women aged 45-50 and older are not hired because they are too old. The problem with men is that they are less able to tolerate the sense of excess that unemployment brings, they are not as busy with family tasks they are more likely to drown their anxiety in drink and by the time they might have a job again, they are no longer fit for it. Young graduates are in over-supply; even though they know more and more languages and have more and more qualifications, they are not needed. There is no need for anything at all. But entrepreneurs are even more insecure than workers. The small entrepreneur can only survive if he or she operates in the grey economy for half or a third of his or her activity. This is why he is constantly in a state of anxiety, because the inspectors of the various authorities know this very well: if he does not corrupt them, he will be caught, if he does, he will have to share his black income. But I have also seen a desperate top manager: the deputy of a multi­national company, who is the master of his own subordinates, running like a frightened adolescent to the grass when under suspicious circumstances a high-value public procurement tender see­med to be lost.

Of course, there are many advantages to this new world. Some people are happy that life has sped up, the world has expanded; that there is constant competition, that you can get out. Not only can you lose, but you can also win, win big. There are many who see the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, who feel a thousand times better off today than they did in the Procrustean[62] bed of a level playing field. However, I sense that the majority, the bottom half of society, has become insecure - partly in its own values and partly in the values that allow more and more to be devalued. I do not believe that insecurity releases positive energy in people. Rather, I have observed with envy in my acquaintances in Western Europe that a sense of security makes them serene and confident.

Lately, however, instead of their insecurity spreading to the rest of us, I have seen our insecurity spreading to Western Europe. It is clear that, contrary to the vision of the Lisbon EU summit, employment in the European Union will not be full by 2010. In fact! Workers' rights will be eroded, working hours will increase, real wages will fall, and new attacks will be launched on the institu­tions that provide security of existence. The unemployed parasite gets the Viagra for the SZTK![63] is the demagogic campaign, but the target is not only the unemployed, but everyone whose security has been protected by the well-established legal system. The cracks are already showing, not only in the security of ordinary citizens, but also in their views. In the hyper-liberal Netherlands, extremists are becoming increasingly popular, and the rich net contributors to the EU would like to cut the EU's common budget. Growing uncertainty is also undermining stability in the developed world, and with it the prospects for a decent life.

István Tanács, Népszabadság, 13 January 2005 (page 3)

[

Labour statistics do not show, and politicians are bashfully silent about the fact that a significant proportion of the unemployed do not even want to work. Why bother when you can live without it. How? Like this:

 

Good evening, boss, sorry to stop you, but please help me out with something. I am addressed by a man in his fifties with chubby, bowed legs, who is saying his sermon in one breath on Király Street, the busiest promenade in Pécs.

  What's the problem, why are you so broke? I search the man's humble gaze.

  My little boy is sick. He has cancer. He's in the 400-bed clinic.

  Why aren't they treating him in the children's clinic? I am surprised.

  He was being treated there, but his condition was so serious that he was transferred to the 400-bed clinic. Doctors cost me a lot, a lot.

  I see... I nod. There is a foundation in Pécs that helps the families of children with cancer. If you want, I can put you in touch with this foundation. Let's go to the clinic, let me get to know your little boy, and we'll discuss how we can help you.

  I can't do it with him, because my son is dead. Help me, I haven't eaten since yesterday.

  Do you have a job? I'll keep talking.

  Boss, I'd be the happiest if I had a job, believe me, I'd be the happiest. But I don't have any, I go everywhere, I don't have any.

  How many years without a job?

  Fifteen years, boss, fifteen years.

  Where did you last try?

  Everywhere, boss, everywhere.

  But where?

  I don't know, I've tried so many places, so many places.

  You know what? I'll help you. I know the head of the employment centre in Pécs. We'll go in tomorrow and he'll find you a job.

  Boss, I'll be very grateful to you, I'll be very, very grateful.

  Then I'll meet you in front of the labour centre at nine in the morning. Is that OK?

  Very well, but I don't know where the job centre is.

  You mean to tell me you've been unemployed for fifteen years and you've never been to the job centre?

  Maybe I have, but I can't remember.

  So where shall we meet?

  Well, I don't know he muses, and then says: Maybe in front of the train station.

  All right, I let him go, meet me at the main entrance to the station.

  But boss, in the meantime, help me out with something. I haven't eaten since yesterday.

  I'm going to put a metal ruler in the palm of your hand. He bows deeply and thanks me, then he puts the coin in his pocket. I suggest we introduce ourselves. He bows again, treats me like this as he mumbles his name in my face.

  Tomorrow morning at the station at nine I remind him of the date.

  I'll be there, boss, I'll be there.

The next morning, I'll call the head of the job centre, he promises to help me if I take my man. At nine o'clock, I'll be at the main entrance of the station. I stand for ten minutes, twenty, thirty. Then I give up. Two days later, we meet in King Street. He comes towards me to tell me his begging story, but suddenly realising that he has already had a negative experience with me, he staggers on with his eyes fixed on the ground. A hundred metres away, I am stopped by a young man leading a five-year-old girl by the hand:

  Good evening! he says in a polite voice. We haven't eaten since this morning, if you can help us.

It turns out that he hasn't been able to find work for years. I suggest that we meet tomorrow in front of the job centre at nine in the morning, because I'm sure I can get him a job. He asks me to help him out in the meantime, because his family is starving. I pour the change that rattles in my pocket into his palm and say goodbye:

  Tomorrow morning at nine o'clock, in front of the job centre.

  I'll be there he promises enthusiastically.

  Do you know where it is?

  I'll ask him when I get there.

  In Zrínyi Street.

  Yes, yes, I know he nods.

  Nine o'clock, then.

  Nine o'clock he says readily.

But he's not there at nine. I'll give up at 9:30. I walk down King Street. A man in his thirties stands in front of me. No money, no job. I promise him a job. He says he's busy today, let's meet the next day. But he doesn't come either. I give up.

Tamás Ungár, Népszabadság, 21 February 2005 (page 11)

 

Job agencies also have a lot of experience with this situation. Jobseekers can no longer find wor­kers even for casual work. One entrepreneur, for example, was looking for fruit pickers for summer seasonal work. The receptionist at the job centre was calling jobseekers one by one. One of them asked to go to the orchard. The receptionist reassured him that this was not the case, the cherry trees were delivered to his home.

[

There are a lot of articles nowadays about equal opportunities and the disadvantaged situation of minorities in the labour market. An anonymous author has expressed his views on this phenomenon in a humorous way, in the form of a combined story:

 

The ant and the cricket

 

The original version:

The ant worked diligently through the hot summer, building and rebuilding his house and hoar­ding food in preparation for the harsh winter. The cricket thought the ant was a fool, and worked through the summer. Winter came, the ant was not cold or hungry, but the cricket died in the cold for lack of food and shelter.  

The humane version:  

The ant worked diligently through the hot summer, building and rebuilding his house, and stock­piling food in preparation for the harsh winter. The cricket thought the ant was a fool, and worked through the summer. Winter came, and the cricket begged his way to the sucker ant's house, where he continued his merry-making. And in the process, he used up the ant's food supply.

The modern version:

The ant worked diligently through the hot summer, building and rebuilding his house and stock­piling food in preparation for the harsh winter. The cricket thought the ant was a fool, and worked through the summer. The cold winter came and the destitute cricket was very cold and hungry. He called a press conference to ask how it was that while some people were freezing outside in the cold, others were living like ants. CNN, public television and commercial television channels show­ed footage of the cricket shivering and the ant lounging in the warmth at the table. The world was shocked at the glaring difference. How is it possible in such a prosperous, democratic country to abandon the cricket to its fate? The Ombudsman for Minority Rights in the national parliament has accused the ant of „racial bias” in several news programmes, and has drawn attention to the sad fact that many crickets around the world are victims of this exclusionary behaviour. Kermit the frog appeared with the crickets on the top-rated TV network's evening show and everyone burst into tears when they sang the hit song "That's what good friends are for".

At a charity ball, the Prime Minister and his wife pledged their support for the cricket and pro­mised to give him the kind of benefits he had missed out on in the previous government. The Pre­sident of the Government added emphatically: „So that the winds of the previous regime do not blow again”. In the „Deep Water” programme, which dissected sociological problems, several poli­tical scientists explained that the ant had got rich at the expense of the cricket. At the same time, they called for tax legislation to be drafted to remove this type of income, in the spirit of 'equal public taxation'. Finally, with the help of the Equal Opportunities for Minorities organisation, the ant was fined retroactively for not employing a sufficient number of disadvantaged people during its summer work. As he was unable to pay the multi-million fine, he was taken to court and had his house confiscated by the state as compensation for his tax debts.

At the end of the story, we see the cricket moving into the government-allocated apartment (which until recently belonged to the ant) and the ant, who has been evicted from his home, is hiding in the snow under a dry leaf. Television viewers went to bed satisfied that the authorities had finally done something to end social injustice. A month later, the cricket took his coconut and, ha­ving used up the ant's food supply and completely cluttered his house, went in search of another ant... If anyone thinks that there is any connection between this story and today's Hungarian reality, it is just a coincidence!

Internet, 1 May 2005 (This story was inspired by La Fontaine's poem "The Cricket and the Ant").[64]

[

La Fontaine's story has inspired others, and has been further refined and adapted to the Hun­ga­rian context of today:

 

The Ant and the Cricket (second version)

 

In the middle of a large meadow lived a cricket and his neighbour, the ant. The ant worked hard, knowing that sooner or later the hard winter would come and he would have to live off his food reserves. The cricket? He did not work! He danced, he sang, he had fun. Then, suddenly, winter came. The ant had everything he needed to make a living. The cricket, to keep his chin from getting worn out, turned to the ant leaders for help. They conducted an environmental study and, seeing his plight, decided to declare the cricket underprivileged. Cricket was delighted, so he went to the pub and drank some of the aid he had received, and threw the rest into the slot machine. His children waited at home for food and warm clothes, but to no avail. When the aid ran out, Mr. Cricket turned to the ants again, and again he got help. But now he was short of help. He asked for a handout. He is a full member of the meadow community, so he deserves more! Because he is disadvantaged, the ant community is obliged to provide him with at least the minimum subsistence level.

  Please calculate how much I and my children are entitled to! he said.

The ants heaved a sigh. Trying to be tolerant, they gave the cricket what he asked for. Cricket got drunk again on the way home, and when he woke up the next morning he wondered how he could get more help. Then he had a brilliant idea:

  Whoa! I can't multiply myself... but I can multiply my children...! he cried.

So he began to reproduce wildly and recklessly, for the plight of his children was a good argument whenever he went back to the ants to beg. The ants nodded their heads in surrender and helped again, but one of them remarked:

  Why do we keep giving money to the cricket? Why doesn't he go to work, why doesn't he support his family?

The cricket aggressively retaliated:

  What did you say? Did you call me a cricket? My name is Arthropod violin virtuoso! You'd do well to remember that, my friend! - he said threateningly, and then started on his way.

He went on for days.

  Cricket... I'll make it up... Now they'll know who I am!

He got drunk again, then set off in search of his fellows.

  We must unite, we must defend ourselves against our enemies! he roared in his companions' ears.

And so they did. They agreed to keep watch from now on. If anyone dares to say "cricket", they will be accused of being racist and exclusionary. Their tactic worked. The ants didn't want to be seen as racist, so they offered more and more help. Meanwhile, they worked hard to keep the crickets away. The crickets noticed that the ants were already working at night, but they thought it was to get richer. This was not tolerated.

  While we were miserable, they were getting richer, so let's take what they have.

They attacked the ants coming home from the night shift and looted them and beat them up. The ants then turned to the lawful keepers of the meadow:

  Help us, we've been robbed by a group of crickets!

The lawmen just shook their heads:

  How do you know they were crickets? Did they say they were crickets?

Hearing this, the ants shrugged and went home. They were better off complaining to their friends about how badly they had been treated by the crickets. And their friends nodded, because the same thing had happened to them. Their homes had been attacked and robbed. The rumour of the marauding crickets spread quickly until it reached the ears of the crickets who were having a good time:

  What? Crickets again? Let's teach them a lesson!

This set off an unprecedented wave of violence in the meadow. The crickets unscrupulously robbed, pillaged or beat the ants half to death for the sheer pleasure of it. The media was deeply silent about this, because the cricket advocate was on the alert, whenever a rumour broke, he would shout with foaming at the mouth, "CRISPS!" In response, the extremist ants tried all sorts of things. They formed the Ant Guild, but even their own kind condemned it and disbanded it. No ant would dare defend itself with arms, because in a prison full of crickets it would not have much good to expect. The poor ants had to endure and work, as the upheaval caused a serious economic crisis in the meadow. Meanwhile, the crickets were multiplying, and there were more and more hungry mouths. The ants fed them until they grew into adult cricket criminals. This made public safety even more intolerable. Eventually the crickets took control of the whole meadow. They killed every last ant, using up their reserves, while completely destroying and polluting the meadow. After killing the ants, the crickets partied day and night, dancing and celebrating that they had the whole meadow to themselves. But they still didn't gather food for themselves, so when winter came, they starved to death because there was no one to feed them.

Internet, 11 March 2008 (joke 2823) http://www.hoxa.hu/?p1=forum_tema&p2=32&p4=600  

[

Alongside the negative phenomena, there are also positive aspirations. More recently, govern­ments are taking action against the export of jobs. The move against the global trend was triggered by the scandal in which a Florida company was awarded a $400 million contract by the state of Florida to build and maintain a knowledge centre. But the company outsourced the work to an Indian subcontractor. In response, the California Senate has passed a new law prohibiting US companies from doing work abroad that was awarded a government contract. Prime contractors and subcont­ractors who contract with the state must agree in writing, under penalty of law, to perform all work under the contract exclusively in the United States, using American workers.

László Szűcs, Népszabadság, 19 April 2005 (page 4)

[

There is a gap in labour costs between the old and the new member states of the European Union, according to a survey by international consultancy Mercer. In Western Europe, wage costs and various contributions are on average more than four times higher than in the eastern half of the EU. The only exception is Slovenia, which is in the „top house”. Hiring a full-time male employee in Hungary costs his employer an average of €9,946 (HUF 2.46 million) per year, including con­tributions. It is true that this is the highest in the EU 'bottom house': Czech and Polish workers are slightly cheaper, while Slovak and Baltic workers are significantly cheaper. The front-runner is the Latvian worker, who costs on average just €4752 (HUF 1.17 million) a year. The highest wages are paid to Danish workers: on average more than €45,000 (HUF 11 million) a year, but because of high social security contributions, the most expensive jobs are still those in Belgium and Sweden (€53,577 and €52,800 respectively, equivalent to HUF 13.27 million and HUF 13.08 million).

It is very interesting to compare the figures with the Japanese, American, Chinese and Indian in­dicators. A Japanese worker would be the eighth most expensive in Europe (€45,839 per year HUF 11.35 million), but this is partly due to the wide range of non-statutory fringe benefits that workers in the island nation receive. Also incredible: the US social security contribution is even lower than in Hungary, at just over half a million forints a year. But wages are four times higher. An Indian worker earns very little, the equivalent of 409,000 rupees a year, and only 74,800 rupees in contributions. The Chinese worker, on the other hand, is very expensive: his salary is at least two million forints a year (although he has few social rights and works long hours and with high produc­tivity).

These figures are very instructive for the European debate on competitiveness and the battle against competition. Mercer's survey does not, of course, take into account incomes hidden through the black and grey economies, which are generally perceived to be much higher in the new EU Member States. In Northern Europe, however, they are negligible. This partly explains why the living standards indicators do not reveal such a large difference between West and East. The old EU Member States, on the other hand, rely on official statistics to show their reluctance to remove la­bour restrictions in the twelve Member States, fearing that eastern competition would flood the services market. Hungary's situation is specific. Although it is at the bottom of the table, only Aus­tria and Slovenia have higher labour costs than their neighbours. So, while more and more people are leaving the health sector for the West, for example, it is also exposed to a suction effect. Spea­king to journalists in Brussels the other day, our Labour Minister said that we should not compete on cheapness (we can't compete on that anyway), but on the skills of our workforce.

[

How can you legally cheat on tax? This is the conundrum that the Financial Times explored a few days ago (21 July 2004). In legal terms, of course, this is not how it sounds, but in tax terms, how a company can be cost-efficient in a global world... The key is not to pay it back home. Because it's not just offshore companies that lie about their taxes (those that operate in the US but pay near-zero tax in the Cayman Islands). We've known this for a long time. But now it has emerged that globalisation has opened up the possibility of closing tax gaps between countries. At home (say in England) I would pay 30%. So I sell a few percent of my goods at home, I pay tax on it, but I am still a normal taxpayer. The rest I take to a place where the tax rate is say 15%. I pay that tax there and I have already earned (saved) 15%. Except that if you look at the other side, the English state (treasury) loses 15% tax income. And since this legal game is now a mass (normal) phenomenon, we are in a new situation. The outlines of trouble are becoming clearer.

The end of the 35-hour working week see the German and French workplace reforms - is already a sign of this trend. More work for the same pay. If you don't like it, the multinational will move somewhere east. Because what is happening now is the second act of globalisation. In the first stage of the centre-periphery split, the centre countries have done well. Taking advantage of cheap eastern labour, they exported jobs. They produced cheaper, they made big profits. Today, it is also clear that the host (periphery) countries have also done well, because new jobs have been created, factories built, modernised, know-how and capital imported, i.e. they have emerged from the Midd­le Ages. This was the first stage, which was therefore not just colonialism. The lives of millions of people have been changed for the better, and although there have been great sacrifices, those who now earn two dollars a day instead of one are now eager to work for a third. From the point of view of the centre countries, this was a victory march.

Now, in the second act, the periphery is fighting back. The multinationals that have moved there no longer bring their money home, no longer pay taxes at home, which makes the centre state poo­rer. By moving out (at home) there will be fewer jobs unemployment will rise. For months now, the US Senate has been debating the threat of job displacement - to no avail. In America, of course, displacement is more of an electoral issue for now, but a real threat in the longer term. The more people leave, the less tax revenue there is. How should the government foot the bill for the 'welfare state'? The periphery is already cutting back in other areas. The countries that were 'on the perip­hery' during the first phase have now become competitors of the centre and, as such, are under­mining the position of the centre. China has been flooded with FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) for decades, but now the 'grown-up' Celestial Empire is flooding America (and the developed world) with its cheap textiles and other exports. Everybody is crying, the complaint is loud, but this situa­tion is in part - helped to come about by the centre countries. America taught them how to make a car, and today Toyota is invincibly pushing into the American market.) India is a software power­house today, but tomorrow it will take the place of the expensive companies of the centre countries.

As I mentioned earlier, the periphery is also fighting back by levelling wages. Wages are rising in its countries and the counterpart is that real wages are falling in the centre countries. The end of the 35-hour working week - see the German and French workplace reforms - is already indicative of this trend. You have to work more for the same pay, if you don't like it, the multi goes somewhere east. In Germany, Bosch made a deal like this. It could blackmail because it owned the periphery. Now, in the second act, it is the periphery that will be blackmailed. You can say, don't come here with your factories, we have enough production capacity here now. Buy what we can offer you cheaper.

And the state has less and less say in this restructuring. It can't help because intervention requires money. But the opportunities created by globalisation mean that companies pay less and less tax. So the state has no money to intervene. Furthermore, since it cannot milk the companies, it milks the citizens by raising taxes of one kind or another. But this will also fall short, because once upon a time, in the era of the nation state, welfare spending was based on personal and corporate contribu­tions. And if it is too little, it means that the welfare engine will gradually diminish in output and eventually grind to a halt. And everyone knows that tax increases plus the cancellation of welfare services together is bankruptcy itself, the end result of which is that the government is replaced. But the new government will be just as powerless, because without money the welfare state cannot be sustained. Sooner or later, all the states in the centre will find themselves in this situation. These countries, following the dictates of globalisation, are cutting down the trees beneath them. And they can't say to this or that big business that, gee whiz, you shouldn't play your own country like that. Because everything in the system is legal. There is no fraud, it's just the mechanism of globalisa­ti­­on. You have to get used to it, they say. But it's not that easy. It is difficult to give up acquired rights.

Now, in the second act, the periphery is fighting back: the multinationals that have moved away pay no taxes at home, which makes the centre state poorer. With the move out (at home) there will be fewer jobs, unemployment will rise. In those days the 'welfare state' was not built out of charity. After the war (the experience of Nazism) it was realised that poverty and unemployment fuelled extremist politics and that relative prosperity was a precondition for a peaceful Europe. The Keyne­sian[65] dream may be economically debatable, but its political sense is real. Yes, but in the second act the trap has been sprung. The states can no longer finance this structure, partly for demographic reasons (more dependants) and partly because of falling public revenues. This means cutting back on the welfare benefits that have been the norm for decades. But just as it was easy to grow from poverty to prosperity, it is now so difficult to reverse this development, i.e. to wean people off certain basic services. This task is almost impossible to accomplish without explosions. And this is the dilemma facing Western Europe today.

This second stage of globalisation also includes the weakening of the dollar. Today's economy is driven by the volume of purchases. But it is not only the buying impulse of the US-Europeans, but also of the developing countries. And the latter has exploded in the last two years. Yes, but higher spending requires more money (dollars), which gurus say leads to a depreciation of the greenback. Not sure if this is the case, but the probability is in favour of this thesis. But if the dollar weakens, less money will flow into the US economy. It needs to borrow a billion dollars a day to keep the budget deficit from growing. While the first phase of globalisation has been a huge boost for Ame­rica and the developed world, the second phase is holding back the recovery. The oil price explosion is similar to this paradoxical effect. Oil at around $50 seems to be a temporary phenomenon. Terro­rism, Iraq, insecurity. When this passes, the price will return to its previous level of under 30 dol­lars. It is now well known that the old, beautiful world will not return, because here too the drama­turgy of the second act of globalisation is playing out. The booming Chinese and even Indian eco­nomies are eating up the raw material - one could say sucking the oil away from the 'developed' countries. I will not continue. Trouble is on the horizon.

That's why we are in a world of contradictions. On the one hand, the economic analysts are op­timistic - the recession is finally over, a sustained recovery is here. The data are encouraging, the Fed is optimistic (it has raised its base rate). On the other hand, we see that stock markets (the Dow Jones and Nasdaq) have fallen to two-year lows that is, markets have no confidence in either optimists or forecasts. And this is not only the case in America, but also in Europe. The 0.5 percent improvement is not very convincing either. The business world is waiting. It is waiting to see what the second act will bring. Until then, there remains populism, a political toy based on ambiguity. On the surface, all is well - but beneath the surface there are dangerous reefs. But the biggest problem is that nobody knows the scenario for the second act.

Népszabadság - Weekend supplement, Miklós Almási, 21 August 2004 (page 1)

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Economists, those in charge of the banking world and politicians who profess strict fiscal policy should reflect on this doctrinal tale:

 

A tourist arrives at a small hotel in the mountains, asks if there are any vacant rooms to let and puts a 100 euro bill on the counter. The owner of the hotel is mad because business has been very slack lately, and hands over the key to the best room to the guest. After the guest started up the stairs, the owner took the 100 euros, ran to the butcher to pay off his debt from the previous week and went back to the hotel. The butcher took the €100, ran to the owner to pay for the pig he had borrowed and went back to his shop. The farmer ran to Jenny, the local prostitute, to pay for her services and then went back to his farm. Jenny ran to the hotel to pay for the rooms she had rented last week and put the 100 euros on the counter. At this point, the tourist came downstairs, went to the counter and told her that the room was not suitable. He asked for the 100 euros back and left. In fact, no one did anything and yet everyone paid their debts. So much for the cash flow and the coveted economic recovery.

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Tax evasion is not just for companies. It is also common in personal income tax returns. Nobody likes paying taxes. Whether you are an employer or an employee, or a simple shopper grumbling about high VAT. Nobody is happy that something costs more than it costs. However, there are countries where the majority of people pay their fair share of the tax due to the state. Sweden is one such country. There are of course several reasons for this. The first is the historical and religious background. The head of the Swedish state is the King, as is the Church of Sweden. Since the Midd­le Ages, the local representatives of the Church, the priests, have also been the collectors of state taxes, so it is logical to conclude that anyone who evades taxes by denying their income is not only stealing from the state, but from the earthly vicar of God, the Almighty himself. The conse­quences of this were once terrible: ecclesiastical anathema, excommunication and, of course, impri­sonment.

Taxation through the church is of course a thing of the past, but honour and decency remain. At the turn of the 20th century, the welfare state was born. The socialist governments of Erlander and Palme created a system that used tax revenues to provide complete social security for the population and to modernise the country's infrastructure. Thus a new approach was born: those who cheat on taxes steal from other citizens. It is therefore much easier for the Swedish people to overlook other crimes they may have committed, but they never forget tax fraud. Anyone who does so is entitled to expect social contempt and personal ostracism. And yet the Swedish taxpayer is also a taxpayer whose pockets are deep in the state's pocket. Progressive personal income tax traditionally ranges from 15-50%, and employers also have to pay high contributions. Wages and salaries paid are gene­rally subject to a surcharge of 32-62%. However, VAT rates are very moderate and only a few percent of the price of basic foodstuffs is subject to consumption tax.

As can be seen from the above, the principle of social welfare permeates the whole system. Those who have more should pay much more. What does the average Swedish citizen get for all this? First, a super-modern country. Cleanliness, order, a landscaped environment, well-lit, excellent roads, excellent public transport, the most modern and universal health care. Broadband internet access in even the most remote farmhouse, and an excellent public administration where corruption is almost unknown, and even free funerals. Taxes paid can be reclaimed in annual tax returns for very substantial sums. In total, there are more than a hundred qualifying items for which tax refunds are available. Of course, you need to know the regulations, but this is not difficult for anyone, as a booklet containing the latest information is placed in the letterbox of every home every year, free of charge.

And finally, what does full social security mean? In extreme cases, if someone is completely out of work and their entitlement to unemployment benefit expires after five years (!), the social secu­rity office takes over their case. They pay the full rent, electricity and gas bills, and the family gets 2,000 kroner each for food and living expenses. In addition, everyone gets some money for clothes and furniture from time to time, and if the family is on social assistance through no fault of their own, they can sometimes get some money for holidays. On top of that, the worker is paid a decent wage. So there is no tipping, no gratuity. The state does not keep certain sections of society depen­dent on consumers. In restaurants, you only pay the waiter what the bill says. Hospital care is also really free. Here, it is unthinkable that someone would stuff an envelope lined with money into the doc­tor's pocket to do his job properly. The redistribution of national income is as fair as the payment of public charges. This is the secret of how Swedes live well.

Staffan Perger - Népszabadság, 30 June 2008 (page 8)

 

So the willingness to pay taxes is not only up to the citizens. There are no slick nations. If a country has low tax morale, it is usually because of central control. As one taxpayer put it: "The state asks too much of us and we don't see the benefits." One problem is therefore the high tax rate. The basic reason is that relatively few people pay tax. Because of tax evaders, the cost of running the country is passed on to honest taxpayers. Another problem is the treatment of the taxes collec­ted. Where citizens see public money disappearing hand over fist, where politicians are not concer­ned with the welfare of society but with lining their own pockets, citizens see little point in paying taxes. Where corruption is commonplace, and where embezzlement and bribery cases have to wait years for investigation and then the courts impose ridiculous penalties on the guilty, people cannot be expected to pay taxes willingly. Politicians should therefore first put their own house in order so that they have the moral basis to demand public taxation for all. Where politicians are concerned not with the prosperity of the country, but with their own financial situation, it is not resented that citi­zens also seek to make things work for themselves.        

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During the decades of gulag communism, people were lassoed in the streets because there was such a shortage of labour. Every factory and company had a sign on its door saying that they were looking for workers. It was no problem to find a job. Many people made a sport of changing jobs every six months for a higher salary. The envious called these colleagues 'migrant birds', but then they did the same. It was the quickest way to get a pay rise at the time. The chronic labour shortage was caused by low productivity. In public institutions, in state-owned companies, nobody had to stop working. Working hours were mostly spent drinking coffee and chatting, interrupted only by lunch breaks of at least an hour. In the offices, it was good for employees to work 2 hours a day. The boss could not do much, because if he complained about truancy, his subordinate moved on the next day. With a higher salary, he would continue idling elsewhere.

In the countryside, people took jobs just to relax at work during the week after the weekend. In the summer, they worked all week on the farm during the harvest. They would call in sick to the rather lenient district doctors and then return to work to collect sick pay. Little did we know at the time that it would all come back to haunt us. After the change of regime, we were plunged into wild capitalism and everything turned into a feud. The good world was over. Self-righteous, arrogant workers became wage slaves, exploited, persecuted pariahs. An article by Dr János Nemes gives a taste of the current situation:

 

"I'm sorry I cried. Nothing special happened. It was my turn and I was fired from my job. I was a cashier in the shopping centre for a year. In the morning I stood in line with my hands up. I went in front of the group leader so he could sniff my armpits as usual and then check my fingernails to see if they were clean. And my clothes, because if they're dirty, they send you home. The third time they throw you out for that. On entry, everyone got two changes of shirt, tie, skirt, blazer. No cleaning products, because we had to do the laundry at home after work. Sometimes I only rinsed the collar and armpits. I didn't have the time or energy to wash it all at night. But then I bought a similar shirt in a shop. They didn't notice I was playing with three shirts.

Now the young group leader just said, you can go home, you're fired. By the way, he graduated as a teacher, and he didn't talk to us cashiers any more than the other recent graduates. I asked him why from the back. He didn't even turn around and said it was because of the three shortages and the chair. Because I supposedly had three shortages, between 1000 and 2000 forints. Any deficit over 700 forints is a minus point, and only expires after six months. And I had three in one year. I said I'd pay the thousand, but it was in vain. The turnover is two or three million forints a day. I don't even know how the deficit is created. A computer guy told me: it's no trick to manipulate it. But of course it can't be proved. One thing's for sure, there's a lot of money in the till. It's worth it. It's strange, though, that the deficit is always shown at the end of the month. That's when the strings were pulled, and always for so little money. So I never got a bonus. The group leaders were always watching. Obviously they were being hit. They stood behind us for hours and pulled strings, we got the minus points. They watched how much we smiled and talked. We had to talk to the customer, of course, but we weren't allowed to talk to each other, lest we get into a fight. It was strigula again.

Why the chair? Well, because we had to sit up straight. If not, strigula. We always started the job by setting it up, because we always ended up at a different counter. And that chair was impossible to adjust. It's supposed to be adjustable, but it's shoddy plastic, it breaks a lot, the screws are missing. When we said, "You fix it yourself!" That was the answer to everything. Good joke, how? Plus, I'm tall, I stand and sit hunched over. It's hard to sit up straight in that damn chair. And why should I, we don't sit in a school desk for eight hours a day. So I got several bad marks for that too. I never missed a day, I was never late. I never went to the toilet. You were supposed to be free, but if you went too much, sooner or later you got kicked out. A colleague of mine had a fever, had to run around every minute, and then brought a certificate from her GP, but it was not accepted. She must have paid off the GP? The managers only accepted the hospital certificate. That's not a problem with me. I can go late, I only went to the toilet during the half-hour lunch break. Plus, I always had to carry the cash box. That weighs about eight kilos. You have to drop it off at the main counter first. It takes time, and then you have to pee yourself before you finally get to the toilet. (By the way, with eight hours of continuous work, you only have a half hour lunch break, and you don't get paid for that either.)

But there were some who were rewarded anyway. Especially the ones who sucked up to the group leaders, like buying them presents. With their own money. It was worth it for them anyway. A bunch of expensive flowers, say, or a gift basket worth three thousand forints. In return you get a monthly bonus of 10-12 thousand. That's good money on top of the 70 grand gross. I've got three kids, I don't work to spend on the group leader. I wouldn't be so proud today? Apparently, the competing mall has a short waiting list for a cashier position. But I'm scared. There they are more generous, but only if there is a shortfall of more than two thousand forints, and the team leader is not always standing behind them. They don't have to, because all the cash registers are covered by cameras. But the other day, the police led away in handcuffs a colleague who had been caught embezzling. And she even had to make two rounds of the store with the poor thing as she was, handcuffed, to the admonition of the others.

This was introduced by the head of security. Over a year and a half, dozens of handcuffed cas­hiers were carried around. No one dares to tell him, even the directors are afraid of him. He's God over there. He won't even speak to the ordinary cashier, except to shout. My neighbor told me, but he was fired for "insolence" to one of the managers. She was a grandmother and the manager could have been her daughter. Now it was my turn. Nothing special happened. Out of the one hund­red and fifty people who were hired with me, hardly any of them have been left over the past year. There's a lot of activity in the mall. Now I don't know what to do. Before that I was unem­ployed for months. Well, thank you for at least listening to me. And I'm sorry I cried."

Népszabadság, 31 July 2004 (page 9)

 

The supermarket chain Lidl, known for its cheap prices, is particularly unenthusiastic about its cashiers. Lidl owes its success in the market partly to the inhuman conditions in which it employs its staff; the price of cheapness is paid by the workers. According to a German trade union study, cashiers usually work 10-11 hours instead of 8. They do not do it voluntarily. It is expected and overtime is rarely paid. One of them complained that when her labour seemed too expensive, she was accused of embezzling 12.5 euros from the till. He was threatened that the police would be called immediately if he did not resign voluntarily, so he ended up leaving without any severance pay. Other examples show that such humiliations are almost commonplace. Lidl's management deliberately employs few people in its stores, who are often given an impossible task, especially if they seek grounds for dismissal. Cashiers have to clock in at least 40 items a minute, but in the meantime they have to be careful that a customer does not sneak something out of the shop. This is checked by test shoppers who, for example, hide a can of coffee between two cartons of milk or a more expensive one between a cheaper carton of shower gel. There are two possibilities: either the employee is fired for not noticing the theft or for being too slow. The search of staff members' bags and cars is a daily occurrence, and they are constantly suspected of having stolen something from the shop. Lidl staff are not allowed to talk 'officially' about workplace matters, they are required to take a full 'vow of silence' when they enter.

According to more than 100 Lidl employees, no other company in Germany intimidates its emp­loyees to such an extent. They constantly tell their workers that they can be replaced, that there is always a cheaper, more efficient and younger workforce to be found. In an empire of 600 units, they have managed to create a complex company structure in which trade unions cannot penetrate, leaving employees in a vulnerable position. In only 7 out of 2500 shops is there a works council that more or less represents the interests of the workers. The authors of the study found similar working conditions in Lidl stores abroad. In the Czech Republic, Lidl stores reportedly gave menstruating workers a headband, otherwise security guards, who also had to work continuously, would not let them go to the toilet. German experience also shows that virtually no breaks are allowed during working hours. Some people spend 6 hours in a row at the cash desk. To check this, secret cameras are installed in many shops. The workers hope that there will be a change and that they will now be treated as human beings. In the wake of the newspaper scandal, Lidl's management gave an inter­view to German public television channel ZDF and took out a one-page paid advertisement in the tabloid Bild to try to save the company's 'good' reputation.

Edit Inotai Népszabadság, 11 December 2004 (page 14)

 

The vulnerable workers of our time, exercising their rights only on paper, could have countless similar stories to tell. But the current situation has one advantage. The multinationals have taught their employees how to behave. During the decades of the one-party system, the carelessness of their subordinates has been surpassed only by their arrogance. In the past, customers were regarded as intruders and troublemakers in the shops, so they were not thanked. They would give him a disdainful look if, after a quarter of an hour's wait, he finally dared to address one of the salesmen who were talking to each other. But the shop assistants were not to be disturbed for long. If a customer inquired about a particular item, they would simply say: "shortage". The unfortunate man could have wandered off one store away. There, too, he usually received a similar welcome. Usu­ally, even if the requested goods existed, they would not be served, you would just have to go to the warehouse to get them. It was easier to say that it was a shortage item. No one was offended by this, because shortages of goods are common in dictatorships.

But now the counters are overflowing with goods. One shop after another, on every street corner there is a supermarket. But the most surprising thing is that they are now saying hello to the customer. Not by choice, but by necessity. It's an obligation imposed by their employer. Customers are finding the new situation hard to get used to. When the cashier greeted them in the queue, they kept turning back to see if she had spotted someone they knew. But no, the mimed greeting was for them. As a result of the streamlining and massive cutbacks that ministries have implemented from time to time, even in the offices, people are now saying hello to customers. The constant redun­dan­cies are making everyone fear for their jobs. But do not expect a warm welcome. They are probably thinking of wishing us to hell, but they are already talking to us. Occasionally, our affairs are taken care of. At this rate, we'll slowly be joining the ranks of the cultural states. All we have to do now is wait until we are actually welcome to enter a restaurant or shop in one of the tempting shops.

 

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Good morning, my dear lady the market vendor greets his regular customer with a flood of joy: a beautiful woman who feels that elegance and discreet make-up are essential for shopping, and who also places a bunch of parsley in her basket with a delicate gesture that no one else in the place can match. Uncle Imre, who bunches the dill and parsley in the neighbouring village at night to bring fresh ones to the market at dawn, takes the lady's address seriously, takes it for granted - as does the lady herself. No one is offended, no one who hears it grins or grumbles. The beauty, the wife of a well-known entrepreneur, has such an existence that she deserves her greatness. Only Juliska Szabo twitches at the sound of it. She mumbles to herself, wondering when the dignitaries will come. Juliska Szabó's grandmother was a servant in Pest, to certain chief engineers who must have had a name, but in the family legend they are known only as „the chief engineers”. Their daughter Pötyike and their son Bojszi were mentioned by their grandmother in the same line with the saints, and she always felt it was a miracle to be part of the lives of these extraordinary creatures above her. Grandmother was a love child, and therefore had no more value in the village at that time than a worn-out shoe. To be a city maid was an elevation. At home, her fortune increased and she was able to marry.

Juliska Szabó's mother became a servant to the apothecaries when she was twelve. At thirteen, she was already kneading pastry like a dream, the pastry didn't break under her hands, and by the time she was sixteen, she could have passed the most stringent cooking exams. But he couldn't - he was a maid, not a cook's apprentice. Even though she made the best custard, it was still her job to empty the apothecaries' chamber pots every morning. She remembered this until the day she died, even though she had earned her pension as a cleaner in a metal cooperative. Juliska Szabó herself could have been a trainee cook by then. She did, and was highly valued in the factory kitchen. She was delighted to be invited to weddings, where she could enhance her reputation while gaining a few perks. When it became clear that the company kitchen was no longer needed, because the company itself was no longer needed, Juliska Szabó had a herniated disc from lifting 20- and 50-litre pots. The varicose veins in her legs were swollen, and by the time she was entitled to unem­ploy­ment benefit, she had already lost her percentage.

After that, it was a succession of problems. Mr Szabo was gripped by a midlife crisis and ho­pelessness, from which he clung to a young widow in a neighbouring village in the hope of escape. Soon afterwards he suffered a stroke and his first invalid pension was delivered to him by the postman in a miserable lodging. Juliska Szabó had several operations, but somehow she managed to get back on her feet. That winter, when it became clear that she could not heat the house on her 34,000 forint pension and she did not want to turn to the children, both of whom had their own problems she accepted an offer from a neighbour who had been calling her to clean for a long time. You'll see she said to Yuliska Szabó how much these busy lawyers and doctors appreciate honest work. That evening, an old Hungarian film was shown on one of the TV channels. What kind of sarsi are you wearing here in the castle? the groom asked the pretty girl, who duly replied that she was an internal servant for the Count. Then Juliska Szabó thought of her grandmother and mother, and burst into tears. But she went to clean up the next day, and has been rushing on the train to Pest four times a week ever since. True, one of those trips is spent regularly emptying the mail­boxes of the couple, who are spending the summer abroad, for ten thousand forints a month. Wherever he cleans, they are happy with him. But they couldn't pay me enough to call someone "madam", says Juliska Szabó, her determination showing. Today.

Zsuzsa Koblencz Népszabadság, 30 July 2004 (page 11)

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The film industry is still churning out Superman films. Their protagonist is a special man who uses his superhuman abilities to save helpless people in need every day. He can fly and has the strength to stop a train with his bare hands. Sometimes I think that I should write a screenplay who­se protagonist is, for once, not Superman, but Superwoman. Like Superman, she keeps her identity a secret and has a civilian job: an eight-hour administrator for a company. At work, no one suspects that she has powers that allow her to leave the office every day on a mission to help the helpless and needy. After work, she turns on her superpowers and does the following: she shops at the grocery store at the speed of light, then rushes to school, then to the kindergarten, then crosses town with her two children and bags in her arms, battling public transport. At home, while her husband is on his smartphone, she turns on another of her superpowers: simultaneously studying her school-age children, playing with her kindergartener brother, unloading the washing machine, laying out the sheets and cooking dinner.

In the evening, after bathing and putting the kids to bed, she patiently listens to her husband mo­nologue about his problems at work while she does the dishes. Then, in the bathroom, she trans­forms into a sexy woman, seduces him and spends half the night pampering him. In the morning, she is again fresh and energetic as she prepares breakfast and dresses the children for nursery and school, and finally arrives back at work among her unsuspecting colleagues. But Superwoman hides her talents in vain, and in time her exploits will become known and admired the world over. I am afraid that no Hollywood producer would fall for this scenario, because it is a very ordinary story, except that no one in real life celebrates women who demonstrate their superpowers on a daily basis as heroes. They live among us, but they carry out their mission so naturally, so inconspicuously, that people don't even notice that there is actually a superhero at work in their midst.

Norbert Nagy Editor-in-Chief - Elixir magazine, June 2015 (page 3)

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Austrian women are threatening a strike at the domestic work table.

"I'll bring the stars down from the sky for you,

We often swear to the beloved wife.

At first, for later she asks in vain,

If it's up to us, the coal stays in the cellar."

This edifying poem is the work of a self-critical man, and can be found on the website Hausfrau­enrevolution.com. The movement may at first glance seem ridiculous, but in Austria it is gaining ground and the ladies are quite militant: they are now threatening to strike.

There is no honour in housework, but women who devote their lives to it deserve the attention and care of society, says Marie Therese Relin, the leader of the revolution. She is an actress by pro­fession (daughter of Maria Schell), but as a wife and mother of three, she has a different story to tell. For almost 12 years, from the birth of her eldest child until last autumn, she was a full-time mother and housewife although she had previously achieved considerable success, especially in films. Then, one fine day last September, the duster stopped in her hand. "Good God, what future do I have?" she asked herself. "By the time the kids grow up and fly out, I'll be out of the world. No income, no pension, no prospects". It was then that she decided to mobilise her fellow citizens and try to make a difference.

What do you mean? Society and politics need to value domestic work. It would be essential to pay housewives on this legal basis. Better reconciliation of work and housework, and social security for housewives, are also essential demands. The revolutionary lady did not discover the Spanish way, because others had already thought of it. What is new, however, is the idea of giving greater weight to these demands by means of a work stoppage. If millions of households suddenly stopped cleaning, washing, cooking and ironing, men would soon give in and we'd get what we want says Marie Therese Relin, who has already taken part in the first international revolutionary rally. Eighty like-minded women from all over Europe came to Bavaria, and although there are 22 million active housewives in Germany alone, she is encouraged by the response to the initiative. For now, the most important thing is propaganda: getting the information out there. The website is visited by 15,000 people a day. The number of contributors is increasing, so that slowly but surely the strike is developing.

In Austria, too, there are millions of housewives. They spend 197 hours a month each on house­work and childcare. The value of their work amounts to €49 billion a year. In addition, the 1.6 mil­lion women who are employed do almost all the housework themselves, since although the Austrian Family Law Act makes some vague reference to the spousal obligation to share the housework they can essentially expect little help. If the idea of a strike has not yet been mooted, there have been bold attempts to capture the crown of creation: around 1996, the then Minister for Women's Affairs tried to legislate for the obligation to wash the dishes. It failed. Three years later, the then Minister for the Economy, Martin Bartenstein, who was in charge of the ministry, did indeed introduce the obligation to share housework into the Family Law Act as a spousal obligation, but it was already clear that the women concerned would find it difficult to enforce, and that it would be more relevant in the event of divorce and the division of property. He himself has five children, and as the owner of a pharmaceutical company, which has been transferred to his wife since his time as minister, he is so wealthy that the question of „who does the washing up today” is probably unknown in his home.)

In principle, therefore, Marie Therese Relin has a million camps behind her, and if she can over­come the organisational problem of the strike, such a movement could be equally convincing. Of course, there are many unanswered questions. For example, how long would the domestic work stoppage last? And, more importantly, whether the result is a success or a failure, who will clean up the accumulated rubbish, wash the dishes, remove the accumulated laundry once the strike is over?

Júlia Szász - Népszabadság, 14 August 2003 (page 16)

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I am sitting next to an old classmate in his brand new car, listening with dogged patience to how much power his "warship" has. He introduces me to the heated seats, the automatic gearbox, the sunroof; the anti-theft device and the footrest for the comfort of the back seat passengers. I'm bored, but I try to look interested, while thinking with indulgent affection: men are like children: they love their gadgets like little boys love their matchboxes.

  Mum, why don't you get going? he suddenly shouts, driving me out of my loving thoughts, and then he honks aggressively, flashing at a girl in a mini-car. The victim can't be more than 25 years old. He starts off really slowly at the lights, but then he tries really, really hard to „squeeze” the poor thing from the inside lane into the outside lane. We drive on in silence for a while.

  Why are you so quiet? asks his lordship at the Buda exit of the Árpád Bridge.

  You're "beating up" a girl much younger than you, flashing, shouting! I burst out angrily, to which he replies with inimitable authority.

  Remember the famous phrase from the 1990s? You would have liked to make a revolution...! Well, you would have liked to stay in the kitchen! If this lassie and all her lady raisins are venturing out on the roads, pick up the pace! Then realize that this is a tough, dangerous business!

  Courtesy? Respect for women? I ask sadly.

  You've killed that out of us with your damn equal rights! he announces confidently.

Ildikó V. Kulcsár, Nők Lapja, 2005/18 (page 47)

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Graduates would go back to school to learn a manual trade because they are faced with the fact that their higher education is not needed in the labour market. This year, for the first time, graduates approached the Ady Endre Secondary School in Szekszárd to learn a trade. Mariann is 30 years old and graduated as a teacher from the local college, but she could not find a job as a teacher. Years of unemployment had been weighing on her, but she couldn't take on just any job because she was raising three children. She looked for a profession that she thought was compatible with her life­style, so she became a cosmetology teacher. She says she finds nothing wrong with a degree in faci­als or leg waxing. Two other women, after a job search that seemed hopeless, became interested in training as building technicians. One has a degree in health and the other in social work.

Zoltán Babai, director of the Ady Endre Secondary School, said that they had never before been confronted with such a demand, so they did not know exactly at what age, under what conditions, and to whom they could offer full-time and part-time courses. János Jakab, Deputy State Secretary for Vocational Education and Training at the Ministry of Education, said that under the Public Education Act, the last day of full-time education at secondary schools is when a person reaches the age of 22. This can be extended by one year if they started school at the age of seven or eight, or if the chosen course is longer than two years. The Deputy Secretary of State added that those who enrolled in a secondary school in or before the 1996/97 academic year could continue to attend full-time education until the age of 25. Asked why there is no age restriction at all, and why people cannot decide how and when they learn a profession, Mr Jakab said that the current regulation is linked to the normative financing. Under the law, the preparation for the first and second vocational qualification in the form of full-time education is free of charge, i.e. it is financed by the state. After that, there is adult education, which is subject to reimbursement. This can be done in or outside the school system. He added that the Ministry of Education sees adult education as a way of ensuring lifelong learning.

According to the experience in Szekszárd, only women applied for post-graduate vocational training, Zoltán Babai said. According to him, the reason for this is that men who have graduated do not even think about this possibility, although, as he says, they can be offered marketable professi­ons both immediately and in the long term. These include mechanics, mechatronics, car electronics and domestic engineering. The director noted that there is such a shortage of skilled workers in the services that, in time, graduates may be the ones who install the heating, the car or the gas stove. Zoltán Babai also said that they were starting to look into whether there was a future for vocational training for graduates. They realised that this could be justified not only by the difficulty of finding a job, but also by other needs. For example, he said that if you have a degree in electrical enginee­ring and later start a company, you will certainly benefit from having a good knowledge of assemb­ly. Therefore, in addition to primary and secondary schools, it is planned to inform graduates at the local college about what their institution has to offer. This is very timely, given the growing short­age of labour in certain professions, while at the same time the number of teachers and social wor­kers leaving Szekszárd College and unable to find a job is steadily rising.

Katalin Mácz Népszabadság, 24 September 2004 (page 11)

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Every week they say goodbye to someone. Young graduates who can't find a job leave for "Europe". They are not going for adventure, not even to good places. They can become a dishwa­sher, a waiter, a babysitter a kind of graduate maid. A friend of mine in Szeged tells me: he adver­tised a job as an education organiser and almost 300 people applied. Young people with better and better skills. The job wasn't good, it didn't pay much, it didn't last long, because it was only linked to a project that had won a tender but it was a job. It was something very small, a fixed place in the world to cling to for those who feel every day that they don't need it. There is no place for him: he doesn't need anywhere. To this situation they say: what is it that there is no place for you? There is as much room as you can carve out for yourself. How many people started from scratch: they were clever, they were lively, they were hard-working they did well in a free world. If there was one who made it, there was another who could have made it. Then you are to blame, it is not society that is badly set up.

But, just because someone did well, it does not follow that anyone could have done well. Es­pecially not that everyone. Let's just scratch the itch: good ability alone was not enough if it was not coupled with violence and unscrupulousness. But not everyone is like that. There were a few lucky years when students graduated on time, so the changes opened some doors for them. With the same amount of knowledge, you could have been a head of department eight years ago as you are now permanently unemployed. The certainty that the knowledge acquired might be needed somewhere is gone. The first time you hear about over-qualification is when you are confronted with it yourself - until then it is treated as jargon rather than a real threat. By the time the word has „matured”, the objectivity has worn off, and the bitter conclusion remains: there will be no knowledge-based soci­ety here. For those who saw things clearly, it was all cynical babble; for those who meant it, it was illusion.

The choice is between hanging around here, waiting for a job to be advertised again in a month's time, or leaving. But where to? To what? In Western Europe, unemployment among young people starting out on their careers is even higher than here. We don't really need anyone there either: may­be if they know a lot more and can get by with a lot less than the people there. But not everyone is really fit to leave. That is the other big disappointment: that globalisation will create opportunities in the sense that if you know enough, you can find a job anywhere in the world. Capital is more global than work. As a ruthless manager you might be able to go to the other side of the world, but not as an engineer or a teacher. And of course, personality doesn't always lend itself to that. Most people are too strongly attached to places, culture, community.

This is felt not only in Szeged, not only in Hungary, but also by the majority of today's young generation: they set out into the world from Serbia, Romania. There is also something bitterly ridi­culous in the fact that those who in this country reduce their helplessness by knocking down the gravestones of others will be rootlessly, hopelessly matched with those same others on the crew of some South Sea cruise ship as cheaply paid cleaners. Only one thing is certain, says one of the vo­yagers: you have to drink a lot at the farewell dinner.

István Tanács Népszabadság, 12 October 2004 (page 3)

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Globalisation is accompanied by labour migration. Today, people are still mostly driven abroad by the need to make a living, while the host country is driven to take in foreigners by chronic labour shortages. However, the encounter of different cultures and the problems of integration create seemingly insurmountable tensions among the mixed population. Germany is the largest host count­ry in Europe, employing the largest number of guest workers. They are therefore also the country where these problems are most evident. The global economic crisis, falling living standards and rising unemployment are fuelling antipathy towards migrant workers. This lack of tolerance leads to mutual recriminations on both sides and raises serious concerns among globalisation advocates:

 

"The Turks are the cause of all the problems. They come here, they take jobs away from ordinary Germans, and if they don't work, we keep them. They don't even want to learn German properly, they smuggle in Islam, they wear headscarves. Why don't they go back to where they came from?" Horst, a retiring engineer from West Berlin, moans.

The mentality of blaming everything on immigrants is not uncommon in the upper-middle class neighbourhood, where you rarely see a Turk living in the area. The only one is the kebab man on the corner, and he works hard. Stereotypes about Turks, on the other hand, are that immigrants live on welfare, essentially siphoning off German taxpayers. Husbands bully their wives, don't give a damn about the values of the majority society, don't want to fit in, and nothing shows this better than watching Turkish TV, reading Turkish newspapers, befriending and marrying Turks. They send their children to Islamic education, which is known to be a prelude to terrorist training. There are clichés on the other side, of course. The Turks say that Germans are cold, selfish and intolerant, but are increasingly lazy, unable to make real friends and terrible cooks.

Clichés are hard to fight. When I tell the story of Raziye to German acquaintances, they are usu­ally incredulous because it does nothing to support their ideas about Turks. Raziye, a young Turkish woman, arrived in Germany from Anatolia at the age of sixteen. She was chosen as a wife by the family of a second-generation Turkish man already born here. They got on well, and after a year their first son was born, and seven years later the second. In the meantime, however, Raziye's hus­band fell ill, was demobilised and could no longer work because of epileptic fits. The young woman took matters into her own hands. She learnt German, took a job as a cleaner and for years she has provided for the family of four. She hardly ever complains, and the other day she enthu­siastically announced that at the age of 34 she had finally learned to ride a bicycle. What fun it was when he first wobbled around in the park on his two-wheeler, then suddenly found his balance and was whizzing through the trees! Even his sons were proud of him.

But Razyie is happiest when he can find a job for the weekend. That's when he takes his children with him, so they can earn a few euros. Recently, they measured coffee in one of the tents at a pa­rade in the city centre, and at other times they help with the sausage frying. There's not much time for rest, they have a lot of visitors on weekends, relatives, friends and acquaintances, as is the cus­tom in a Turkish family. The wife cooks, serves and listens attentively to the men. Her father-in-law and his friends are enthroned on the sofa, the guest (in this case the writer of these lines) is seated in an armchair, the husband finds a chair, Raziye brings tea and cakes, and then, for lack of a better word, she curls up on the floor.

  Germans could be world leaders in racism, assures Ilyas, a family friend who came to Ger­many as a butcher in 1966.

He originally came for only two years as a guest worker, but like the others he was "stuck here". He worked as a journalist, set up a Turkish-language radio station and got involved in local politics.

  I came here during the Ludwig Erhard economic miracle, when they were literally recruiting guest workers, there was such a need for our labour. I didn't want to stay here, I just wanted to earn some money to start my own business back home.

The first group of Turks, two thousand five hundred people, came to German soil back in 1961, when the train journey from Istanbul to Munich took seventy hours. By 1969, one million Turkish guest workers were working to boost the German economy.

  Typically, it was the social democrat Willy Brandt who first promised to send us home in his election campaign, but we were needed in the 1970s, so we stayed. After a few years, the family could come after us," recalls Ilyas, whose confidence in the Social Democrats was first shaken then.

The quieter Nebi, Raziye's father-in-law, adds only:

  We can't really be accused of laziness. We came to earn money, alone, without family, and worked hard on the construction sites. We were all foreigners. I remember once a German came, tried to keep up for a day, then gave up. It was too hard work for him, he said, and we never saw him again. Let's not sugar-coat things, we did the work that the Germans were no longer willing to do. Now they'd just send us home?

I have lived in Germany for almost forty years, I have four children, six grandchildren, all living in the area. I would love to go home to Turkey, but I wouldn't move back for the world. The German governments have tried many things. In the early 1980s, for example, a „repatriation bonus” of 10,000 marks was paid to anyone who returned to Turkey with his family. Not many people took up the offer. According to a recent survey, 61% of Turks consider returning unthinkable, while 10% may be considering it. According to a young comedian born in Frankfurt, if the Turks were allowed to take part in building Germany, they have a right to take part in destroying it. This is not a flat­tering riposte to German politicians, suggesting that they should be more concerned with fixing the economy rather than immigrants.

  'It's a strange world adds the more belligerent Ilyas.'I've never been a colony of the Germans, I've always paid my taxes, I've paid all my contributions, I've never been fined. But I'm still a „shitty Turk”. Just because I don't fit in with the Germans. I have a different skin colour, a different accent, different habits. They always come to me with integration. But you know what? They really want to assimilate me. To be like them. If they had helped me to learn the language back then, one hour a day would have been enough, so that we wouldn't have to struggle, make mistakes, trying to learn German on our own. They still don't know what to do with us. They are benign as long as they assume I am poor. But as soon as I get a little better, they start to pat me on the head. It's as if they want the foreigner to be poor, but still be able to make a living. In other words, in no way to endanger the order here.

There are 7.3 million foreigners living in Germany today, 9 percent of the population. Some people think this is too many. The most populous group is made up of Turks and people of Turkish origin. They number 2.5 million. The first generation of immigrants were simple workers, but the second generation now includes 60,000 entrepreneurs who provide work for more than 300,000 people. A third of the latter are German it is not true that Turks are only doing the "dirty work". Turkish entrepreneurs paid €30 billion in taxes last year, they account for 1.4% of Germany's GDP and it is wrong to claim that they have bankrupted the social security system. Last year they paid more than €3 billion in social security contributions.

There are already Turkish success stories. For example, film director Fatih Akin's film Head against the Wall won the Grand Prix at the Berlin Film Festival this year, the first time in 18 years that the Germans have managed to keep the Golden Bear „at home”. Akin's film, however, is not about German-Turkish coexistence, but the opposite. A closed Turkish community with virtually no contact with the outside world, where marriage is arranged between two second-generation Turkish youths simply to free the girl from the stifling environment of her home. The Germans play at most an episodic role in this story, and this is often the case in reality. The stereotypes here are dange­rously close to the truth.

  Friendships and loves are inevitably forged within the Turkish community. Nebi's four child­ren have all chosen Turkish spouses. It was not a parental wish, but simply the way things tur­ned out. Friendships like ours are rare among Germans. Love works differently, too. I remem­ber once a German colleague, who I once thought was a friend, came to stay with us for a week in Turkey. He stayed in our house, we drove around the countryside together, my wife cooked for him, and we listened to his every wish. Needless to say, I didn't take a penny from him, because that's how it is with us. He thanked me gratefully for my hospitality, flew back to Berlin, and I never heard from him again. Not once did he call me, even though he doesn't live far away, just here in Berlin, near Alexanderplatz.

Raziye brings grilled chicken with salad, he hasn't said much so far, but he smiles now.

  The difference between people is not whether they are Turkish or German, but whether they have a heart he says simply. Still, he has learned that Turkish customs are sometimes miles away from German ones. He regularly came to one house at noon to clean, and because he was hungry, he always took two cakes with him: one for himself and one for the hostess. It was just a courtesy so that the other one wouldn't have to watch him eat. To this day, she accepts the gift, but has never once thought of offering Raziye a glass of tea.

In the meantime, Raziye's two sons arrive from the football match in the housing estate: the older one answers the men's questions seriously in Turkish, but the younger one prefers to speak in Ger­man.

  I can't keep so many languages in my head. We also learn English at school, I speak German to everyone, Turkish is difficult for me he complains with a shy smile.

The little boy is no exception: more than half of immigrant children aged between five and eleven already speak German with their friends, and this is slowly transforming family communication. Pa­rents still speak to their children in Turkish, but they are now responding in German, and even sib­lings are now preferring German between themselves. Raziye was surprisingly firm on one point: she did not want her sons to receive an Islamic education. Although the German press loves to sound the alarm about the popularity of Koranic schools (especially in these times of terror), in reality only 10% of Muslim parents send their children there.

  I myself am Muslim, but I would never dream of sending my children to a school with teac­hers in headscarves. Let them learn about the other religions and then later choose the one they like.

At first, men seem liberal too, but then we hit a slippery slope.

  Can you wear panties, but not a headscarf? Let him wear a headscarf if he wants to! What's wrong with that? German women practically run around the streets in their underwear in the summer, and that's not forbidden either. Everyone has the right to their religion and their cul­ture, and it is really an exaggeration that everyone who is a Muslim is now suddenly being seen as an Islamic terrorist. I'll have some of that! Ilysar, a former journalist and left-wing politician, gets involved in politics. It's much simpler than that: as long as there are oppressed, exploited countries, there will be terrorism, but it has nothing to do with religion.

Ilysar and Nebi nod eagerly, Raziye banishes herself to the kitchen with the dishes. I make a cauti­ous attempt to paint a slightly more nuanced picture. Useless. We get into a brief discussion about poverty in the oil monarchies and the well-off families of some terrorists, and whether the West, and the United States in particular, is really responsible for all the misery in the world. The positions are not converging, but the tension, like so many clichés, remains. Wherever I come from, I represent the white world on terrorism. The rich."

Edit Inotai Népszabadság, 14 August 2004 (page 4)

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The European Union seems to be getting fed up with illegal immigrants. It is no longer just Belgium, Austria and Britain that are loading up immigrants on planes, but Italy too:

"The coast guard escorts illegal immigrants to a port in southern Italy. The Italian authorities are escorting illegal immigrants from the coastguard in southern Italy to Libya. Further deportations were considered yesterday. The airlift marks a change in Italy's attitude towards 'boat people', which has so far allowed it to consider the reasons for migrants arriving from the African coast. The im­mediate reason for the deportation was the landing of some 2,500 migrants in the last five days on the tiny island of Lampedusa, Italy's southernmost point, overwhelming the refugee centre, which can only accommodate two hundred people. The unprecedented action has sparked strong protests from human rights organisations and the Italian opposition. Critics of the deportation claim that the authorities did not even investigate whether any of the deportees were people who could have legi­timately claimed political asylum.

In the summer, 37 illegal immigrants were immediately expelled from Italy, but they were found to have lied about their origin and not to have come from the crisis zone of Darfur, as they were told. A new agreement between Italy and Libya - the main transit country for emigrants from Africa and the Middle East - came into force on 15 September, under which the two countries are to jointly patrol the area in an attempt to stem the flow of refugees to Italy. Rome has been pressing the EU to lift sanctions on Tripoli as soon as possible so that it can provide the Gaddafi regime with the means to guard its 7,600-kilometre border. In Libya, an Italian-German initiative is to set up a filter station to control migration to Europe."

Demeter Pogár Népszabadság, 5 October 2004 (page 4)

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The admission of illegal immigrants and their mass resettlement is due to the spread of neo-liberal views suggested by Satan. Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész cannot be accused of not being a humanist thinker in the extreme. Yet he expresses similar concerns when he writes: "Multicultu­ralism has failed, or perhaps it never worked, it never existed." And he accuses Europe of "suicidal liberalism", claiming that "democracy is misinterpreted to such an extent that it ultimately leads to the destruction of democracy. This is always the end: civilisation reaches an over-bred state where it is no longer not only incapable of defending itself, but no longer even wants to defend itself when, in a seemingly pointless madness, it worships its enemies. Moreover, this cannot be said publicly.

European Union politicians justify the indiscriminate admission of refugees on the grounds that the ageing continent will need the labour of immigrants. But this is a fallacy. In fact, the opposite is likely. In future, less and less live labour will be needed. Already, human labour is increasingly being squeezed out of factories by robots. In a few decades, we will be at the same level as aliens are today. They say their factories are fully automated. They don't let humans into their factories be­cause it slows down the workflow. The scrap rate would also increase because humans sometimes make mistakes, but computer-controlled robots never do. The same is true in agriculture. There too, all the work is done by programmed machines. This has freed their civilisation from the soul-destro­ying conveyor belt. They no longer have trained workers, or as I now call them in our multina­tio­nals: operators.  

But the spread of robotisation is only a small contributor to global unemployment. Our civilisa­tion is now facing a threshold, the crossing of which will open up limitless horizons for our deve­lopment. An unprecedented prosperity will greet the world after the upcoming paradigm shift. By harnessing the possibilities offered by the ether, by harnessing the universal energy that fills everything, we will not lack for anything. The abundance of food will end hunger and poverty, and everyone's livelihood will be assured. Our short-sighted politicians are oblivious to all this, so they make foolish decisions by the scruff of their neck. To pick a few of them, they continue to push for the construction of nuclear power stations. The justification is that nuclear power is the least pol­luting. This is indeed the case. But in future, electricity will be produced by the consumer, at home, for free. There will be no need for any power stations, high-voltage transmission lines, electricity suppliers or electricity distribution facilities.

Another ill-considered decision is to build dozens of new hospitals to improve health care. Huge sums are being invested in building well-equipped hospital complexes at a time when the existing ones will not be needed. The reconstruction of Royal Raymond Rife's frequency-specific germ-killing method is imminent, which will eliminate infectious diseases on Earth. (This was recently announced by the US President.) This method will not only cure viral and bacterial diseases, but also cancer. Once and for all, we will be rid of this disease that claims the lives of 9,5 million pe­ople every year. Therefore, in the future, only accident victims will require hospital treatment. A single hospital will be enough for this purpose.

There will also be no illnesses, because the meridian harmonising oscillator, which Tesla inven­ted to emit 28 kHz soliton waves, will be able to eliminate the diseases that develop. The doctors, nurses, paramedics and other support staff that will be freed up will be the biggest boost to un­employment. The booming construction industry could absorb some of them, but retraining sur­geons to become masons, carpenters, tilers or plumbers will be problematic. There will also be no need for pharmaceutical factories, because in the future diseases will be cured energetically rather than with chemicals. In the changed labour market situation, even „fugitives” who leave their count­ries in search of a better deal will return home. Many of them would like to stay in their new count­ry, but they will not be needed. Due to huge unemployment, migrant workers are being sent home from all countries. They won't have jobs at home either, but at least they won't be turned away.       

But until general prosperity comes, our world will be in a mess. In this changed situation, neo­liberal countries want to get rid of the millions of immigrants they have taken in. But this will not happen. The illegal immigrants who have come here in search of a better life will not even think of going home. They don't like to work, but they like to live well, so they have invaded Europe's richest countries to support themselves in luxury. They don't want to work, they don't want to learn a language, and they don't want to integrate culturally. In fact, they want to impose their own culture and religion on the peoples of Europe. To this end, they do not shy away from violence and acts of terrorism.

Now that this situation has been recognised, the rich Western countries are also keen to send immigrants back. They believe that by herding them onto cargo ships and warships, they could be massively resettled back to where they came from. Until then, they should be kept in closed camps. But organised repatriation is not an option because indecisive politicians refuse to take decisive action. They push the issues to different levels in the hope that they will resolve themselves. But they will not. Seeing this, the population is taking the increasingly urgent situation into their own hands. One violent clash after another, armed confrontations. Eventually, the whole of Europe becomes a battlefield of gunfire and explosions.     

In view of the imminent danger, the politicians of the European countries should call a referendum on whether the people want large numbers of foreigners to be allowed into their countries. Politicians are elected by the people and they govern the country on behalf of the people, and some of their representatives govern the European Union. When they were elected to these positions, illegal immigration into Europe had not yet started. In view of the changed situation, it would be necessary to know the will of the people. If they refuse to call a referendum on this crucial issue, it is an open admission that they are running the country against the people, against the population. This is nothing less than a dictatorship. Our current politicians are taking their country to its grave with their nation-destroying policies and tearing the European Union apart.

And the most vehement supporters of immigration without a cap could be brought to their senses by a new law. It would oblige them to accept an immigrant family with several children into their homes. Show them how to live with them. Not at the expense of others, on the backs of the popula­tion, but in their own homes. Start distributing the immigrants themselves. At the same time, they should be obliged to take the refugee family with them when they leave home. That way they would not be able to escape the law. They would not be allowed to move out to their holiday homes or rent another apartment for themselves or the family they are sending. This decision would not be puni­tive, but part of an experiment. If they can prove that it is possible to live with them, to integ­rate them into society, then their experience and their suggestions could be widely applied. Our liberal politicians should not just rant about immigration from the parliamentary pulpit, but should also demonstrate the viability of this policy through action. It is easy to talk, but harder to act, and harder to prove it with action. And the leaders and members of NGOs must be moved to 'no go' zones so that they can feel the impact of immigrants on majority society first hand.

These measures are not anti-migration, but help to end the current chaotic situation. The Blue Card should be introduced as a matter of urgency to put an end to illegal immigration. After that, those wishing to immigrate will only be able to apply for a residence permit at the embassy of their EU country of origin. This will enable the administrator in the country of destination to check the identity of the applicant and decide whether they need it. To ensure that this procedure is strictly enforced, it should be made law that anyone who arrives illegally in any EU country should never, ever be granted a residence permit. And the issuing of Blue Cards should be left to the discretion of each EU country to decide for themselves who they want to live with.

[

Our politicians, who do not care about the livelihoods of their citizens, have no idea of the dangers of unemployment, which is passed down from generation to generation. It is easy to get people out of work, but it is harder to get them into it. And for young people not used to work, it is impossible. Since they have to make a living, they are bound to become criminals.

"I don't want to talk about Géza, but let me start with him, because without him the story is un­manageable. So, Géza is a forty-nine-year-old man, eight years old, in relatively good health, with a family, who has been out of work for fifteen years. His last legal job was as a labourer in a construc­tion company in Pécs. The man, who lives in a village in the south of Baranya, has been living on benefits and a daily allowance since the construction company closed down. He usually has a hundred or ten days a year of casual work, and he is also good at collecting snails and herbs, which also bring in a little money. He fishes and mushrooms for a living, but not always regularly. If you add up all of Géza's financial resources, he earns roughly the same amount of money per year as if he worked for a company for minimum wage. Géza's wife also graduated from eight elementary schools. Despite her obesity, the woman, who is agile and often sore on her back and has a sliced tongue, worked longest in a poultry processing plant in Pécs. But the company was liquidated and she has been unemployed for fourteen years. Since then, she has worked forty days a year for the melons and accompanies her husband to collect herbs.

The couple has not tried to find a permanent job for more than ten years. It is also uncertain whether they really tried ten years ago? They say they'll make it to retirement. They admit that now they would not be able to adapt to the demands of a factory, the bosses' orders, the commuting. Besides, dozens of people in the couple's village have settled into a similar lifestyle to Géza and his wife. But I do not want to talk about Géza and his wife, or about their fate, but about the children of the couple living in the village in Baranya. The Gézas have two sons and a daughter. The older son is 23, his younger brother is a year younger. Neither of them has studied a profession, but they both follow the same life strategy as their father. The average monthly income of the brothers is between 40,000 HUF. The daughter is eleven years old, and if someone asks her what she wants to be, she says: a megastar.

Even that is not the answer we get from Géza's two sons when we ask them what they would like to be. They don't quite understand the question, because they feel they have already become somet­hing. The two young men do not keep in touch with the job centre, they say that they could not be offered a suitable job anyway, and they do not want to study. They could be trained, their strength and manual dexterity would make them suitable for a wide range of professions, but they have no desire to go to the city every day and endure the discipline of the classroom. The brothers' words and gestures suggest that they too want to somehow make it to retirement. Meanwhile, of course, they want to get married and have children. The younger son may soon be married, having been with a girl his own age for two years. His partner is pushing for marriage and children. Besides, Géza's future daughter-in-law has not studied any more than his future wife, she is unemployed, just like her mother and father. When Géza's son, who is considering marriage, is asked how he will be able to provide for his child, the young man shrugs and replies: 'I will provide for mine. Géza takes over and says that they will help when the grandchild comes. Géza's wife adds: we are a close-knit family, that child will not go hungry. I agree, I'm sure they won't, and leave Géza's ramshackle port.

Psychologists and sociologists have said more than once that the social danger of long-term unemployment is particularly great when people who have been unemployed for years are also responsible for looking after minors. It is not just financial scarcity that increases the dangers, but also the fact that if a child finds that his or her parents are somehow struggling without a steady job, this becomes the example to follow, or at least the acceptable example. Over the last decade and a half, hundreds of thousands of children have grown up in families where the parents are permanent­ly unemployed. In Western countries, there are young people who are third generation unemployed. Their fathers and grandfathers were already on benefits. For young people socialised in this way, regular and legal work is not a necessity. Most of them are not even reached by the increasingly varied employment programmes. They are content with what they have learned from their parents. And even if they are not satisfied, very few are able to change. If society cannot find a way to reach them, if it cannot provide them with an attractive example, they will pass on their miserable life situations in the form of life strategies. To their children and grandchildren."

Tamás Ungár Népszabadság, 21 September 2004 (page 10)

[

It is now a world phenomenon that the chances of people over 50 getting a new start and finding a job are virtually nil. Anyone who stops working after the age of 50 has effectively ended his or her career, because they are not being hired anywhere. It can put a crimp in your career. But this should not be the case at all, because a labour tax would solve this problem too (see "Executing Esoteri­cism", Chapter I, Preventive Tax Policy). Their employment is guaranteed up to the age of 80, and their constituents are left to suffer and miserable. Yet the solution proposed here would not impose any additional burden on society. It would cost neither the budget nor employers anything. After all, payments and income would eventually balance each other out and all sections of society would participate in the labour market in proportion to their numbers. Neither young people starting their careers nor the older generation would be thrown into the 'scrap heap'.

For the time being, however, the over-50s have only compassion and consolation. In France, for example, barely a third of people work after 50. Not because they are lazy or tired of working. They would work if they were allowed to. But our age, which worships appearances, also looks for good looks in the workforce, and values a young body. Whereas previous generations emphasised life experience and wisdom in selecting those in positions of responsibility, what counts now is what a worker looks like. As they are getting worse over 50, they are not in demand. So the melancholic sorority sisters have started a movement to keep them together on the web and, of course, keep their spirits up. If they can't get a job, at least they can support themselves. The most common grievance is that most places don't even welcome them. One of those made redundant lamented, "I am 53 years old. I have had 10 CVs returned to me with no justification. Instead of an explanation, the date of birth was circled in red.

And what does the government do in this situation? - many people ask. Of course it says it is not going to let the matter go. But what does this mean in practice? Fifty-year-olds looking for a job are herded into a room and consoled by a psychic: "Don't despair! Do not despair! There is still hope! Then they look at each other and fall into depression. These gatherings are like meetings of alco­holics anonymous. We, as job seekers, tell them why we failed... But that doesn't get us a job, and everyone is guaranteed to feel worse afterwards. It's not just the lack of money that causes dep­ression, it's also the fact that people over 50 feel they are not needed. But the older generation is much more valuable than the younger generation in terms of work. They are more industrious, more experienced and better problem solvers. They are also more loyal to their employers. They don't immediately walk away if they get a better offer somewhere. Once their children are grown up, they are not absent from work as much as young people with families. The reason for their neglect is the current foolish fashion wave. Young people are happy about this, of course, but not for long. Time flies fast. They too will be 40 or 50 years old tomorrow, and if they do nothing about it, taking ad­vantage of their current decision-making position, they will suffer the same fate. Their employment will be terminated when they are at their most effective, when they could be contributing the most to society.

[

János Kovács was woken up at exactly 6 am. by his watch (made in China). While his coffee maker (made in China) dripped his morning coffee (product of Brasilia), he took a shower, dried his hair with the hairdryer (made in Taiwan) and shaved with his electric shaver (made in China). He put on a T-shirt (made in India) and jeans (made in Singapore). She covered her feet in sneakers (made in Korea). He ate toast from his toaster (made in Philippines) for breakfast, then checked his day's tasks on his managerial calculator (made in Hong Kong). He set his watch (made in Switzer­land) by the radio (made in China), got into his car (made in Germany) and, as he had been doing for months, started looking for a job. At the end of yet another fruitless day, John went home, put on his slippers (made in China), grabbed a bottle of wine (made in France) and turned on his TV (made in Japan). While watching the Brazilian series, he wondered why he hadn't found a Hungarian job today...

 

This is not the case everywhere. In Switzerland, for example, the local market and domestic jobs are protected to the hilt. This policy is prohibited by the international trade agreements concluded in the name of globalisation, but Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, so they cannot be held responsible.

A Hungarian teacher who had emigrated to Switzerland said that when she was accepted by the local school, the headmaster gave her the distinction of being able to arrange for the purchase of the equipment the school needed. Of course, she wanted to prove herself and compiled a list of the best quality and cheapest goods available on the world market. He was excited to present the results of his internet research. The director took one look at it, then said that as bad as it was, it could be rew­ritten. Seeing his puzzled face, he explained good-naturedly:

  First, we have to see if this article is produced in the city? If so, it should be bought, because it is the cheapest, as it provides work for the people of the town, and later quality problems are excluded. If not, you have to see if it is made in the province, because it is the second cheap­est, and you should not expect any quality issues here. If it is not produced in the province, we will check if it is produced in Switzerland. If so, it's ready.

Finally, the question arises: what to do if it is not produced in Switzerland?

  Then we have to sit back and wonder, with our eyes closed, whether we really need this shit.

[

It is hard to get over racial prejudices. Almost everyone knows the coloured world star Tina Turner, who many people call 'rock grandma'. Her fame is surpassed only by her wealth. She has lived in Switzerland for twenty years and recently got married. To mark the occasion, she thought she'd freshen up her wardrobe. While looking for accessories, she picked out a 35,000 franc (10 mil­lion forints) crocodile skin handbag in a luxury shop. However, she was unable to buy it because the salesperson advised her against it. She looked at it and said it was too expensive for her. After the incident was reported to the press, the manager of the luxury chain Trois Pommes was quick to apologise to the artist, saying it was a misunderstanding.

[

In our country, mothers with children make up a significant proportion of the unemployed. Everywhere they are shunned for employment, saying that they cannot be counted on. Often the child is ill or on a school holiday and there is no one to look after it. So they are always absent from work. The other problem is that women are not able to work full-time because of the problems of bringing up children and the busy schedule. However, these difficulties can be easily overcome. In Western countries, "twin employment" is a well-established method. For an eight-hour job, two mot­hers of equivalent professional competence are hired for 4 to 4 hours, and then divide the time bet­ween them. If one of them has a sick child, they take over for the other. They stay on for 8 hours if necessary, working shifts to help each other out. The employer doesn't even care how many hours each person works. They have to sort it out between themselves. This benefits the employer, beca­use one of the two workers is always on, and it benefits mothers with children, because they have a job and can work for half the pay. Not only do they add to the family coffers, but they also gain pension rights.

[

Because of its success, some have suggested that this scheme should be extended to the whole of society. They believe that the most effective and simplest way to tackle unemployment is to introduce a 4-hour working week, which would double the number of jobs. Everyone would have a job. Half the wage would provide people with a modest standard of living, but it would ultimately have a positive impact on the world. The low purchasing power would eliminate hoarding, mindless spending and indulgence. It would even prevent the phenomenon of morbid obesity that is so typical of the welfare society. Less wages buy less food. No one would starve to death, and the lack of money would free people from excess kilos and reduce the damage caused by addictions. Modest living conditions would protect individuals from many of the evils and temptations into which wealth and indulgence lead.

[

The educated tobacconist:

  Good afternoon.

  Good afternoon!

  Are you the tobacconist?

  Me. I... was.

  Yes, you were. I'll be.

  How's that?

  I won the concession for this tobacconist.

  Congratulations. Congratulations.

  Thank you. Thank you. But only from July...

  I know, I know.

  I have a request in this regard.

  Here you are.

  How many years have you been doing this?

  Twenty-four years I've been here. I took over from my father. And he's been doing it since he got back from the war labour service.

  Yeah. Yeah. He was a soldier.

  Well, almost. Anyway, I was almost born into it.

  That's great. I have a proposition for you.

  I've got a proposition for you.

  Teach me a little something. I'd come in here in May, June and see how it's done.

  What do you like to do so far?

  I was in local government. I've been helping out with this and that. So you could train me a bit and I'd pay you for it. It'd be good for me, and it'd be easier for you to start a new life.

  I see. So...

  Is that all right?

  It's all right. But I have one condition.

  Yes?

  I'm going to read you a little scripture, and you're going to listen to it.

  Writing? It's all in writing. Look...

  No, no, not that kind of writing. It's fancy writing. A little wallet.

  A wallet? What's that?

  It's like a short story. Only simpler. This was written by Ernő Szép. Fifty years ago.

  That long ago?

  It wasn't that long ago. Now, sit down, there's a stool in the back.

  Stokes? Yeah, this. Is this the most comfortable chair you've got?

  No.

  I'll get one.

  Sure, there will. But until then, just sit here and listen. I've prepared this for your reception. I was expecting you. "Wife of a high-ranking military officer, a dignified woman, a beautiful wo­man, elegantly dressed. She got her hats from Margit Roth's shop, the most exclusive hat shop in Pest, in Váci Street. One fine day, at the age of thirty-nine, she went to see Margit Roth (she told me about this visit afterwards). He went in, tried on a couple of hats out of habit, then sat down, smoked a cigarette and asked Roth Margit to sit at that lacy, flower-flowered table. Sit down a moment, my sweet Margitka, I want to talk to you about something.

You probably haven't heard, because it's not yet public, that the Jews are being put out of business. Yes, my Margitta, and believe me, it pains my heart to have to tell you such news. When? Well, my dear, it's only a matter of a month or two. They're just beginning to prepare the bill at the Home Office. It's unfortunate enough that you're Jewish, Margitta, that you're of Jewish origin, but in this case, evasion means nothing. So, my dear, they're going to take your nice business too. And since that is the case, which I regret from the bottom of my heart, you know what a good friend I have always been to you, my dear Margitka, I immediately thought that I would claim your business. We have four children, and my husband gambled away his inheritance when he was still a captain, so this hat shop will be a wonderful present for me.

Now I'll come to it, Margaret, I've come to you with a small request, I'll be here every day from ten till eleven thirty, I think that's the best time for you. Teach me the secrets of hat fashion, the art of selling. The shop will certainly be mine, my lord has already taken steps in that direction, and it will do you good to have me to deal with, and to have me as your heir, and not some unknown person. And I shall never forget my beloved Margaret. Well, my little snookums, we're all right. I think I'll start my studies tomorrow. 9:30 already? Sure, I can come, how nice of you. I'm off to the hairdresser's, I kiss you, you're lovely, see you to­morrow, bye."

  Hm. Interesting. I don't know why she read that to me. You're not wearing a hat. Anyway, you're an educated man.

  I'm not educated. I just read sometimes.

  You're an educated man. But that won't do you much good here. Anyway... I'll come tomorrow. 9:30 would be good for me, too.

  Please. I'll wait.

  Bye. Bye.

  Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye.

(Iván Bächer - Népszabadság - Weekend supplement, 27 April 2013 (page 11)

[

The state of our society depends mainly on the quality and skills of our leaders. A bad leader cannot deal with the people entrusted to him, cannot get the maximum out of them. Under the cur­rent selection system, we cannot expect any improvement in this area. Today it is appearance, appe­arance and communication skills that determine who becomes a leader. Talent, efficiency and effectiveness do not matter:

 

It's easier to get a job, easier to become a boss, and it's certainly easier to earn money if you're good-looking. Research has shown that appearance, tone of voice and even smell have a decisive influence on a career. As the ancient Romans said: "good luck, nothing else..." And real luck, it seems, even in our supposedly enlightened age, is to be born beautiful. It is not surprising that at the dawn of history we were guided by our senses and instincts. Appearance, sound, smell were „messages” about health, strength, fertility. What's interesting is that we still think of beauty today as we did tens of thousands of years ago: symmetry, smooth skin, a slim, tall build, the right hip-to-waist ratio for both sexes. Anyone who starts life with all these external qualities has a winning case.

According to a study in the October issue of the Labour Review, this helps more than personal connections or membership of a particular interest group when it comes to getting ahead in the workplace. A similar result was found in a survey of Hungarian companies by the Hungarian subsidiary of Neumann and Partners. 93% of HR directors in 1,300 large US and UK companies said that "nice kids get better grades in school and nice people find jobs easier" in a survey by professors at Syracuse University in New York. The situation in Europe is no different. Since 1986, researchers at the Hamburg University of Economics and Business have been testing company managers to see how much they think appearance plays a role in career development. It seems to be getting bigger, because by 2003 the proportion of people who said appearance was important had risen from 5% at the beginning to a majority. But it may also be that this difference in magnitude is due to the fact that bosses have become more honest.

It's not just good looks that can get you up the ladder faster. There is also a monetary reward for beauty in the same position. Good looks are associated with around 5% higher earnings. The US university has even shown that companies with more attractive-looking employees have higher turnover. There is also a correlation between education level and height. German university students are on average 3 centimetres taller than their skilled counterparts of the same age. According to a researcher at Guildhall[66] University in London, those over 182 centimetres have an earnings advanta­ge of 6%. The male managers who responded to Neumann's survey in Hungary were all over 180 centimetres tall.

All these experiences in the world of work are primarily about men. Because for women, at least when it comes to advancing in the workplace, beauty or, more precisely, feminine appearance - is not necessarily an advantage. Full breasts, a heart-shaped face and long, blonde hair are enough to put you at a big disadvantage when it comes to fighting for a higher position. Even HR managers themselves have admitted that a feminine woman will automatically be cross-examined, while her brown-haired, pointy-chinned competitor will be left to talk at length about her successes.

The tone of voice and tone of voice that „wins” in the workplace is also a testament to masculi­ni­ty. And this is very important because, as attractiveness researchers have shown, it's not what so­meone says that matters to our ears, but how they say it. Thus, 38% of the impact depends on the quality of the voice, 55% on gestures and only 7% on the content of the words spoken. And in business, a deep tone of voice is desirable and inspires confidence; so it's typically a man's voice. Ho­wever, in mastering this tone, care must be taken to ensure that workplace communities perceive leaders who do not change their tone of voice as trustworthy and confident. So women who want to get ahead should start to train their voices early, not just when they are in a position. One more piece of advice: men are trained to use three tones in speech training, which allows for a more emotion-free expression, because it fits the male lead stereotype. Women are taught to use five voices. More melodious and expressive speech suggests less authority, but does not contradict the image of women. Big people are also favoured because their voices are more mature, which also makes the message more powerful.

We have another sense that guides our judgement of people: the nose. Men are more influenced by scent than women, but we should be careful with perfume. An American fragrance researcher - because there is such a thing, apparently - has been studying the effects of scents in interviews. This revealed that the male interviewers found the scent of cologne, which was described as pleasant by all the subjects before the interview, irritating on the women during the interview. More attractive and intelligent were the candidates who did not use any fragrance. Interestingly, for female inter­viewers the result was the opposite. Women's more developed sense of smell even influences their decisions towards their female colleagues. And if the results of decades of experiments in many different nations were to be summed up, one thing is certain: we are a long way from success being determined by talent alone.

H. Sz. Népszabadság, 2 November 2004 (page 3)

[

In the future, the right people will be appointed to key jobs on the basis of recommendations from invisible advisers in higher spheres. Employers will get two hands after souls with a great deal of experience who have come down from the fifth or sixth level. They have advanced skills that will enable them to take their place anywhere. It is not appearance, connections or pedigree that will determine who you become, but your level of spiritual development. The usefulness of the work­force is already being judged on this basis. Since reincarnation is still officially a subject of the tobacco industry, it is not the level of development that is being examined, but rather the talent, which is in fact nothing more than the sum of the experiences of previous lives. The „war for ta­lent”[67] strategy developed by headhunters has revolutionised recruitment. This is how WIFI Hungá­ria's senior consultant summed up the essence of the current selection strategy:

 

Twenty years ago, all it took to get a job was to have the right qualifications. Today, they also try to thoroughly map out their personality. It used to be a virtue to work eight hours honestly, but now companies reward efficiency. Leading multinational companies define their recruitment and selection strategy in three short words: „war for talent”. On the other hand, the saturation of the labour market and high standards often force jobseekers to make a seemingly hopeless effort. The question is: is the situation really hopeless or even a struggle for jobs?

In the past, it was usually enough to have the right qualifications, and if there were no other dis­qualifying factors, you were hired. A CV, a short interview and you can sign the papers. This has changed radically in the last ten years. Today, sophisticated interview methods are used alongside CV analysis. Special selection tests have appeared and the "big gun", the so-called survey-centred technique, is increasingly being used for certain positions says Tibor Juhász, senior consultant at WIFI Hungária Training and Development Institute, summarising the methods of recruitment.

There are three main forms of interviewing. In the past, the "exploratory" interview method was common. The other method is the short, "focused" interview, which is nothing more than a narrow professional knowledge and skills test. Today, the most effective interview format is considered to be the "structured" interview, in which a predefined skills profile for the job is tested. The compi­lation of a skills profile requires a high level of expertise on the part of the HR professional. Broad­ly speaking, each profile consists of four main areas: professional skills, business skills, human (people) skills and behavioural components of attitude. However, experts agree that even the most carefully constructed sets of questions are only 70 per cent reliable.

To increase reliability, a variety of personality and ability tests have been widely used since the late 1980s. Initially, clinical psychological tests were used. These included more than one question that violated the personality rights of the candidate, who was coming to the company for a job and not for advice on his psychological problems. In addition, these tests do not provide the company with relevant information on job-related skills. Nowadays, such unethical and inappropriate ques­tions are beginning to disappear from the practice of recruitment tests, and fortunately there are effective tests on the market that are built from the world of work and measure real competences. The use of the aforementioned survey centres is a recent practice in the selection of middle and senior managers. In this process, typically conducted by highly qualified professionals, candidates are observed in real-life simulated situations, in addition to interviews and tests. During group, pair and individual exercises, observers record their scores on an evaluation sheet, which are discussed at an evaluation conference after statistical summaries. The recommendations and decisions made at the evaluation conference have a reliability of over 80%.

Nowadays, every company must strive for objectivity, but it is also worth being wary of appro­aches that conflict with personal or labour law," says the WIFI expert. In this way, they cannot discriminate against candidates on the basis of age, gender or ethnicity, to mention just the most well-known ones. These are two aspects that larger companies are already paying particular atten­tion to. On the employment side, applicants are advised to take as much time as possible to prepare for the recruitment process. Of course, it's not just a question of "pretending". The company's HR specialists will see through the pretence sooner or later. It's like the top-floor facade of some ba­roque buildings that has nothing behind it, only the appearance of a palace suggesting a wealthy owner in high places. Then, of course, a different angle, a side view, reveals the folly. Instead of ac­ting, the applicant should show his real, authentic self, his real abilities, so that the company's managers can be sure that they are dealing with a motivated, conscious person. It's even worth ad­mitting what you can't do, because this will greatly improve your chances against the "know-it-all".

Of course, it's not a crime to "spice things up" a bit before the interview because of the high expectations, but it's a mistake to show off skills you don't have, because this can jeopardise your future success. To fight or not to fight? One thing is certain: in war, one side is bound to lose. In the labour market, the well-prepared have a better chance. And there is help available that is worth taking advantage of," concludes Tibor Juhász, Senior Consultant at WIFI Hungária.

Népszabadság - Állástrend supplement, 10 August 2004 (page 3)

[

In Eastern Europe, too, more and more people are recognising the potential of the "connecting bridge". The majority inhabitants of nations that have been at enmity with each other for centuries are slowly realising that living together has advantages as well as disadvantages. It is to this realisation that Mária Kadlečiková, currently head of the FAO's Central and Eastern Europe office, owes her high position. Even though she has a degree in agricultural economics, this alone would not have been enough to get the job. She was appointed as the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's Budapest office because she speaks perfect Hungarian. But he is not Hungarian. He is of Slovakian origin. His parents were repatriated to Slovakia in the 1947 "population exchange". But during their years with us they learned Hungarian. They passed this knowledge on to their children. Setting aside their grievances about their ethnic persecution, they spoke Hungarian with their daughter in Slovakia, and she learned our language with ease.

When the FAO decided to set up its 19-country Eastern European office in Budapest, it was clear that it could only appoint someone who spoke Hungarian. This narrowed the pool of possible candidates enormously, as not many FAO staff speak the languages of small nations. In the end, a Slovak professional was chosen to fill the post, rather than a native Hungarian, on the basis of professional qualifications. All that was needed for this success was for the parents to speak to their child in a language they already knew. The brain's capacity for receptivity is greatest in early childhood. This is when everyone learns through play. Later on, our brains become more and more blunted. It is impossible to learn a language perfectly as an adult. And nowadays, perfect mastery of a language, especially a rare language, is the equivalent of a degree. You don't even have to go to school to get this "diploma". Nor does it cost money. You just have to make use of your family's talents.

 

The mazes of bureaucracy

 

  Hello, I'm here to renew my expired passport. Here's number 234, the old passport, the identity card.

  Eegen. Name, address, birth in order? Uh-oh, there's a problem. You're listed as a doctor in your documents, but there's no record of it in the central database.

  Maybe you should look more closely. I'm a junior doctor. Quite small.

  Is the citizen joking?

  Sorry, sir. I think it's a simple matter to resolve. Forget the doctorate, I never used it anyway, I never gave it to the cafrangos. Just put my name on the passport.

  Nana! It's not that simple. You're either a doctor or you're not a doctor. Unfortunately, I can only issue your new passport if you bring me a certificate of your doctorate.

  Look, I've been working on it. I didn't want to go through this bloody line again, so I brought all the documents you could possibly need. Do you have my vaccination certificate, my birth certificate?

  A birth certificate is a good document! What name is it under? Uh-oh, this is getting compli­cated. One document says doctor, one doesn't... Suspicious!

  Unfortunately, I was born at an age when you couldn't be bullied into being born a doctor. Damn it, I forgot my doctoral thesis at home!

  And without it, I can't do it. The law is the law!

  Which reminds me, I'm not really a doctor anymore. If I remember correctly, in 1993 a decree was passed to convert university doctorates into PhDs, which had to be applied for. I did not apply for it, so I automatically ceased to be a doctor. You could say that I became a doctor. It is as simple as that. Can you fill in that passport now?

  Nana! The situation is even more complicated than I thought! What if you're really a doctor, but you want to deny it? The best thing to do is to bring an official certificate that you're not a doctor.

  Who would give me such a certificate?

  Well, that's a problem. But you see, your case is not exactly realistic. You must have invested a lot of time and effort in getting the title, and then you just let it go to waste?

  It's very realistic. There was a very pretty lady who worked in the university's studies depart­ment at the time, and she happened to be in charge of doctoral matters. Today they would say I was after her.

  And did you succeed?

  Summa cum laude!

  I didn't mean the doctorate...

  Jesus, was I supposed to bring a certificate for that too?

  It was a joke. So this is how love makes a doctorate go away?

  You are so wrong. True love is eternal, but she changed jobs and I had to concentrate on my state exams. I brought these by the way. Unfortunately, she's since changed jobs again, so now I'm studying theology.

  Everyone has their cross to bear.

  To sum up, if I bring in my doctorate tomorrow, will things be resolved?

  Partially. Because I will be forced to report you to the authorities on the grounds of a well-founded suspicion of attempted deception, since, as you said, you are no longer a doctor, but you are attempting to prove that you are. Anyone who wants to deceive the authorities must get up early! Now, if he is arrested, he will not get a passport anyway because of his criminal record, and his problem will be solved for the time being.

  No way out of the trap?

  Look, if you came to us one day and told us that you had lost all your documents, it would simplify matters, as it would remove the discrepancy between your existing documents and the central database.

  I will still fight for a legal solution! If necessary, I will even go to the international court in Strasbourg!

  Nana! Without a passport?

dr? László Karcagi Népszabadság, 20 November 2004 (page 9)

[

Uncle János was not to be trifled with. Every morning at 7.40 a.m. the old pedellus would stand at the gates of the Vác gymnasium with the key to the huge oak gate in his hand. At 7.45 a.m. he would close the school gate, turn the lock, and then neither go in nor out until lunch. If you were late, he'd write your name down and hand it in to the teacher. Uncle John was a constant violator of the constitution in the 1960s and '70s. He was fortunate that there was no ombudsman at the time to write to him saying that his activities "violated the principle of human dignity of students as enshri­ned in the Constitution, because they unnecessarily, disproportionately and arbitrarily restricted the general personal rights and freedom of action of students". I was reminded of the figure of Uncle János when Albert Takács, Deputy Commissioner for Citizens' Rights, wrote a letter the other day to the school in Nagykanizsa, where a chip-card access control system, better known as a truancy barrier, was introduced for the first time in the country this spring.

The lines quoted above are from this letter, in which Albert Takács recommends to the school's management to abolish the truancy barrier, as it is a gross violation of the human dignity of the pupils. The Ombudsman's position is clearly legally sound. But the teachers and parents of the students at the Kanizsa vocational school continue to insist on the use of the truancy barrier. The reason: the system is very effective. The school has seen a 30-50% drop in unauthorised lessons in recent months. In addition, thefts have almost completely stopped, and the secure building is far from being invaded by thieves. Schools are increasingly using modern technical means to monitor students. Some schools use breathalysers, others send parents SMS alerts about students' grades. Various rights groups and authorities are not happy with these innovations. They recommend that teachers continue to use traditional methods of disciplinary control.

Albert Takács, for example, suggested to the headmaster of a school in Nagykanizsa that instead of using an impersonal truancy barrier, teachers on duty should be allowed to enter and leave the school. However, the Ombudsman failed to take one thing into account in his legal position: there are huge differences between schools. What is a burning disciplinary problem in one institution is an unknown phenomenon in another. There are elite schools where no doorman, no pedellus, no access gate is needed to get pupils into lessons, while in others even a strict iron fist is not enough to enforce the rules. In the Kanizsa institution, the installation of a truancy barrier was in fact an admission that traditional pedagogical tools were no longer able to maintain discipline. However, if they were to comply with the Ombudsman's recommendation and dismantle the access gates, they would restore the students' "freedom of action" and their "human dignity". Only, once again, the number of unauthorised lessons would increase. What would Uncle John say to that?

Péter Cseri, Népszabadság, 20 November 2004 (page 3)

[

It is gratifying that we are making more and more progress in reducing smoking in line with the European Union's directives. But we should not "throw the baby out with the bathwater"! Recently, a book publisher was fined 400,000 forints for showing the author of one of its books smoking in advertisements and on the cover of the book. The case was not without precedent: a few months earlier, a scandal had erupted over a poster of a singer known for his hoarse voice. The singer of the song "Ice with double whisky" had committed no less a crime than advertising his new concert in a cigar smoke: As for this latest case, the General Inspectorate for Consumer Protection has ruled that, although the journalist is a well-known smoker, the portrayal of him with a cigarette in his hand not only endangers his health but, by following his example, could also encourage young people to smoke. This view is shared by the National Smoke-Free Association, a 'company' which has been serving an obvious purpose for a decade and a half in trying to prevent the public, espe­cially young people, from smoking regularly. Which, by the way, you are absolutely right to do; because it is easy to smoke, but harder to quit. But what their spokesman recently said on a radio programme was, to put it mildly, over-zealous. The otherwise distinguished man claimed nothing less than that 'smoking' scenes should be cut from films that many people watch, even from classics.

I try to imagine Katalin Karády holding a piece of muesli in her hand instead of a burning cigarette end; but a „smoke-free” version of Casablanca would also be interesting. And, to put it pestilentially, it would also be something if the anti-smoking activist were to wring the cigar out of Lieutenant Colombo's hand in cinematic terms, cut it out. It's true, the detective in his crumpled balloon, almost chain-smoking, with his battered car, is sympathetic to many - but it's hard to belie­ve that young people would get used to cigars after seeing his example. Before anyone deliberately misunderstands, smoking is indeed harmful and dangerous, so every effort should be made to redu­ce the number of smokers. But by over-zealousness we are not setting an example, we are making fools of ourselves, and if we do, an otherwise well-intentioned effort will, to put it stylishly, have more smoke than flame.

Peter S. Föld Metro, 9 August 2005 (page 4)

[

News: the parliamentary clean-up service occasionally dumps 10-20 bags of rubbish after MPs. Soot peelings, used chewing gum, empty bottles, plastic cups, banana peels, orange peels, apple peels, paper waste, rubber condoms on the benches and under the benches - that's what the parliamentary horseshoe looks like after a sitting of the House of Commons.

Soot, empty bottles, banana peels, these would be fine. You can even swallow an apple core. But the rubber condom! Not that! What is going on in the Hungarian Parliament that requires a con­dom? Citizens do have the right to know what their elected representatives are doing in the count­ry's house! A long time ago, I used to linger like a sweet mammary of democracy over the television broadcasts of the Parliament. Then, as soon as I found out that the quality of the sittings was barely approaching that of a kindergarten class, I gave up on Parliament. Maybe I should get back into the habit again. Because given the composition of the rubbish that comes out of the House of Commons never mind the laws that are passed! interesting things can happen in the chamber. Could we be the victims of a capitalist deception? While above the benches there is more and more astonishing, disgusting shenanigans, under the benches there is piccicking and chimichangas? Could it be that we have two parliaments: what is public is the upper house, and what goes on in secret under the benches is the lower house? Could it be that what the public thinks of as parliamentary bickering is nothing more than the banter of secret lovers? Perhaps we should change the wording of the official address and start speeches with 'Honourable Public House' instead of 'Honourable House'?

I have carefully read the Rules of Procedure and the Statute for Members. They set out in detail the rights and obligations of Members, but not a word about the relations between Members, in particular with regard to spousal obligations. In the light of the above, the fact that television cameras have been banned from Parliament is seen in a different light. So far, we have known that this is because keen-eyed cameramen have been filming Members blowing smoke in the corridors, where smoking is otherwise prohibited. Could there be other illicit goings-on in the backstreets of the parliament's cramped corridors? And if we were to be more careful, would it not be a fox or a rabbit, but a mother and father coming out of the green-leafed underpass? Make no mistake, I have no problem with our fathers and mothers wearing condoms when they go to House T. In fact, I am anxious that they use them, because if they were to multiply, it would be a disaster!

László Karcagi Népszabadság, 6 January 2007 (page 5)

[

The business going on in the "Honourable House" has already inspired comedians. A six-minute video clip by the group L'art pour l'art, entitled Parliamentary Broadcasting, has so far been viewed by 60,000 people.[68] Web address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAOw7vjHsFk&feature=related  

[

Goedendag! ID, please! - is a phrase the Dutch will hear more often this year. Under the new law, anyone over the age of fourteen who fails to hand over a document proving their identity (identity card, passport, driving licence or residence permit) when asked to do so can be fined up to €2,250 (HUF 550,000). The law, which came into force on 1 January, has provoked a rather mixed response from the public in the Kingdom because until now only people who went to crowds, such as football matches or to the metro, carried their ID cards. The right-wing government justifies the move on the grounds of strengthening security. Since the assassination of radical Islamophobic film director Theo van Gogh last November, there has been no need to go into more detail in the Net­herlands, once considered a liberal model state.

The 'previously' clause is increasingly justified: the Balkenende cabinet is making 755,000 of the 16 million Dutch citizens subject to citizenship and language tests in the future. Not necessarily just immigrants, but anyone who has been in the Dutch school system for less than 8 years (except for citizens of other EU countries and people over 65).) Anyone who fails to take the test within 5 years will face a fine of at least €400 and, if they are not a Dutch citizen, expulsion. The Hague govern­ment is doing nothing but running away. The electoral list of the former liberal, now radical anti-Islamist Geert Wilders is polling ahead of the Christian Democrats, the leading governing party, by December. There are 900,000 Muslims in the Netherlands and a 27-year-old Dutchman from Morocco is accused of murdering Theo Van Gogh.

László Szőcs - Népszabadság, 3 January 2005 (page 4)

[

The new employee wrote the note about the spam, printed it, stamped it, dated it, signed it, later had his office manager see it, stamped it, dated it, and finally hurried to the filing room where he had it received, filed, stamped, dated and signed again. Erika was on her first day at work in the foreign affairs office of the local government when a woman in her fifties, with red hair and glasses, appeared at the door, waving a stamped piece of paper in her hand and saying in a sharp, uncomp­romising voice:

  'I have brought you a letter in English, in the Internet, for further action. Where shall I put it? Where do we put it?

But Erika didn't know where they put English-language Internet letters here, so she just shouted „I kiss you”. She nodded with the knowing, all-knowing expression of a decades-old bureaucrat and added:

  We haven't met yet, hello, I'm Marika from the budget. I'll put this document in your box. That's the way it is here, my dear.

Erika had already jumped to look at the letter she wanted to make a good impression on her first day at work but when she glanced at the paper, she froze:

  "But it's spam she said.

  "What?" raised Marika's eyebrows.

Erika laughed in relief:

  "It's spam. An e-mail advertisement. Why did you want to print it out and bring it here, Marika?

The woman made an offended face.

  Why did I print it? - It came to our office e-mail address, it's in English, I think it's your business!

Erika blinked apologetically:

  But this must be deleted immediately, Marika. This message is about buying Viagra cheap. Marika looked coldly at the new workforce and said:

  "I don't speak English, and I can't delete a single letter without reading it.

Erika shrugged:

  I'll erase it, okay? And we'll tear up this paper.

  Marika pulled the letter out of Erika's hand and screamed:

  Tear it up? But I've already sent it, filed it and officially transferred it to you!

  So what do I have to do with it? Erika wondered, and the woman sighed and began to ex­plain:

  You make a note of it and write that the case does not require any further action. Then sign, date and stamp.

That's all?", Erika said, and Marika shook her head:

  What did they teach you at the College of Public Administration, sweetheart?

  Well...' Erika pursed her lips, and, looking at the paper, wondered how much this Viagra was worth in Hungarian money. The spam had given the price in dollars. But Marika continued unperturbed:

  If you're happy with the note, you can get your office manager to sign it.

  My office manager? Why?, Erika paled.

  Because the letter can only go to the archives with her knowledge. File, file, signature, date, stamp. Understand?

  Oh my God, Erika groaned involuntarily, and Marika looked at her and asked:

  What's the problem? That's the way it is here.

Erika wiped her forehead:

  But if we erased it right at the beginning...

Marika cut in:

  You wouldn't be happy about such an easy case! At the end of the year, in the civil servants' evaluation, this will be counted as a case handled! - she said, and walked away with the dig­nity of a prom queen. The new employee then wrote the note on the spam, printed it, stamped it, dated it, signed it, later made an appointment with her office manager, had the document seen, stamped, dated, and finally hurried to the filing room where she had it received, filed, stamped, dated and signed again. And his first day went by nicely.

Zsolt Kácsor Népszabadság, 5 May 2010 (page 5)

[

Látlelet a magyar egészségügyről:

The landlord's mobile number

I had to go to a clinic for a minor operation, and I wasn't surprised that I had to leave the ward before I could go to bed. After all, who needs to be talked to like a dog. The doctor doesn't say hello back, even though you're two metres in front of him, loudly, to his face? Every day. Several times a day, in fact, whenever you see him. Your doctor speaks to you with a condescending, phlegmatic, and condescending manner, as if he were your landlord and you were his last serf, who must wear your hat before his high countenance. Why, why wonder at that too. You seek the doctor in vain at the surgery, though you have half an hour left of his appointment. Of course. His assistant hisses at you that he's gone. He's in surgery. You ask him why he left if he had half an hour to spare, and you're here on time, to which he replies with a bored shrug: we're short, dear sir, come back tomorrow. You are standing in the ward where you are supposed to lie down, and the nurses do not even look at you. And when one of them takes pity on you and orders you to the head nurse, who is chatting with a friend in the corridor, you can hear them in the distance, chatting about their oh-so-fast-grown children and their retirement years as loudly as if they were sitting in a café with a frothy cappuccino. And you stand there, shaking with nervousness about your operation, thinking you could have asked for a raise.

Of course you could have. You know a lot of people in this town who are so-called "heads". They would have helped you. But no, enough of that once. You have already resorted to this round­about way of expediting an investigation a few years ago, but you regret it, because you cannot suffer favouritism. Since then, you've told no-one, no clinic, no private matter. You didn't call anyone this time, even though you had a mobile number for the right landlord. You wonder why, when the head nurse finishes her trot, she looks at you like a garbage bag full of rubbish, long overdue for emptying. What do you want, she asks, to go to bed, you reply, to which she replies with a wail. Ayayayayay, the head nurse says. You ask him, irritated, and he says he's busy, he didn't miss you. You crumple up the papers in your hands, wondering whether you should crumple up your findings into a ball and throw it in his face now. Or later. And tell him that a chief nurse can't talk to a man waiting for surgery like that. But then, of course, you shut up. You always shut up, you Hungarian serf, you've been flattening yourself with your humbly removed hat in your hand for centuries.

Then they make you wait for a few hours in the corridor, where there is no seat for you, and when they don't even look at you, despite their promises, you leave them, you leave them, damn it. There will be no surgery. Not here. You didn't ask for protection, and you got it: if not in the ward, you've slipped into the real world. You run away, upset, and in one of the corridors you hear an old, bearded patient asking for a drink from a woman in a white coat sitting behind a counter. "I'm dying of thirst, I need a glass of water," she says, literally. The woman in the white coat snaps, "No, I'm not giving you a glass, I only have one glass", he says literally. Then he tells an ambulance man that this man should be discharged because he smells. The paramedic shakes his head: no, I'm not discharging anybody. You thank him. Then you look at the woman in the white coat and wonder where the honey of the human soul has gone. That thirsty man has no water. And no cell phone number to a landlord. Poor people are dying.

(Zsolt Kácsor Népszabadság, 2 April 2013 (page 11)

[

After the regime change we were the role model, the economic transformation started most dynamically in our country. Then, in the last twenty years, we went from being the front-runner to the leader. This is all the more incomprehensible because the new bourgeois government reduced business tax to an extremely low level and personal income tax was reduced to a uniform 15%. At the same time, the Parliament has fought a relentless battle against corruption. Despite this, foreign entrepreneurs are not queuing up at the Hungarian border, and their loss-making factories at home are not being relocated to our country. Why? Because of bureaucracy that surpasses corruption. While in America, officials are looking for ways to help citizens and entrepreneurs as efficiently as possible, here, bureaucrats are almost frantically looking for ways to create more obstacles. Al­though the current government has set the fight against bureaucracy as one of its flagships, it will be an uphill battle. Envy, ill-will towards each other, the 'if my cow is dead, so is the neighbour's cow' attitude cannot be banished from the psyche of a people. The following article is a good illustration of the way our visceral urges are manifested:

 

Our protagonist, a lawyer by training, goes to the deeds office of a town in the lowlands and in­forms them that their public association has bought a car which they would like to transfer from the name of the former private owner to the association. He also presents the documents he has brought with him: a recent court extract on the existence of the association, the articles of associa­tion of the association and a power of attorney for the transfer signed by the association's president and two witnesses. Since the transfer of a car is free of charge for public associations, our prota­gonist is taken aback when the employee at the document office informs him:

  It will be fifty-six thousand forints.

  No way, the customer shakes his head, "we don't have to pay for that sort of thing.

  Where do you get that from? The clerk asks.

  I don't buy it, the law says so.

  The document office clerk nods:

  Okay, then bring me a certificate!

  What? our protagonist's eyes widen. I have to get a certificate for a law? Where from? From Parliament?

But the administrator cannot be embarrassed:

  Get it from the APEH[69]!

  Madam, I am a lawyer replies the client and I know very well that the tax office will not give us a certificate for the law that guarantees our exemption from tax.

But you cannot convince the employee at the document office. Our protagonist goes to the tax office, where he is smiled at and told that they cannot give him a certificate of exemption from duty.

  However, they are happy to confirm that the association in question is a charity.

  But no certificate is needed, the client argues, because the fact of the association's public bene­fit is stated in the court transcript.

  If not, then no replies the tax office employee but if you do need a certificate, submit an application and we will certify that your association is a public benefit within 30 days.

  Oh dear, that would be too late says our protagonist because the car registration has to be settled within fifteen days. So he goes back to the registrar at the tax office and is told that the tax office cannot issue a certificate for a law.

  If not, he says, then you should bring a specimen signature from a notary public to prove that your power of attorney was signed by the president of the association.

  What? asks the client. Then why the two witnesses whose signatures are on the power of attorney?

Our protagonist argues in vain. So he has the signature made and happily returns to the document office. The clerk looks over the documents and says:

  Okay, but the transfer is only possible if you pay the HUF 50,600 fee.

  But we're exempt from duty! Our protagonist snaps, and the clerk at the document office shrugs:

  Pay it, or you'll have to claim it back from the tax office!

The customer looks around pensively, nods his head and pays. But two weeks later, he receives a letter saying that the document office has reported an offence to the local police station for excee­ding the fifteen-day deadline for vehicle registration. Our protagonist is then summoned to the police station, where he defends himself by saying that the association wanted to transfer the car within fifteen days, but for some strange reason the process was delayed. The police are under­stan­ding and will terminate the procedure. A week later, the association receives a letter from the tax office informing it that the state will immediately refund the HUF 50,600 it has paid. Reasoning: for public associations, the transfer of vehicles is free of duty.

Zsolt Kácsor Népszabadság, 1 December 2010 (page 5)       

[

We should move towards simplicity and clarity, not complexity. If there is a fire in a building, how can we save our lives? By rushing out of it. If we clutter the escape route with obstacles, unnecessary belongings, or if we build a long and winding route, we will certainly not get out. Un­fortunately, in the world today, the opposite trend is happening. We can no longer use our computers quickly and efficiently because Microsoft has so over-complicated its operating system and Office suite that we have to have a computer scientist on every machine to manage it. The unified menu system of Office programs has been broken up into strips, so that you have to search for hours to find the individual instructions and settings windows. When editing text, you have to jump back and forth between the ribbons to get to the instruction you need. This also wastes a lot of time.

Developers who go down the path of over-complication drive users crazy and greatly reduce the efficiency of their work. Everything is now controlled by the computer. If something goes wrong, you have to act quickly and efficiently. But you can't do that with a complicated operating system that bumbles through unnecessary utilities and functions. The result of rushing, of fidgeting, is that the computer freezes. If this happens en masse, the economy will grind to a halt and total bank­rupt­cy will be in store.

[

For the time being, instead of understanding and cooperation, there is only discord and ethnic hatred between the neighbouring countries of Eastern Europe. Even selfless assistance is being used as an excuse, as an opportunity to smear each other. The most recent manifestation of this was the flooding in Banjac in the spring of 2005, when the Timis River overflowed and covered an area of 50 square kilometres, 350 bridges were washed away and 4 000 houses collapsed or were damaged.

The Romanian press yesterday exposed Romanian politicians and journalists who have sought to nationalise the flooding disaster in the Banat region in recent days. The controversy, which has been going on for several days, has been sparked by the pumps lent to Romania by Hungary. First, Deputy Prime Minister Gheorghe Seculici said that Romania had similar pumps, but that a lack of communication between the authorities and administrative inefficiency had made it impossible to identify their exact location. Minister of Environment and Water Sulfina Barbu argued that no one in the country had offered equipment with the same capacity as the Hungarian pumps, which is why the Hungarian equipment, provided free of charge by Minister Miklós Persányi, together with expe­rienced experts, was welcomed. Then a specialist company from Bucharest, Aversa SA, came for­ward, whose director said that their pumps were better than the Hungarian equipment and had a hig­her capacity. The Romanian media repeated the news, creating a veritable pump hysteria, adding that the use of Hungarian pumps had worsened Romania's credit. Timis Prefect Ovidiu Draganescu cool­ed the debate. He said that in addition to the pumps, the Hungarian side had also brought machinery for locating and setting up the equipment. He added that the Hungarian experts would work for free.

In the meantime, the 100 Hungarian experts who arrived in Banat have been working hard to install the 25 pumps on the banks of the Béga. By Tuesday evening, the first high-powered pump had already been installed at Ótelek, and since then several units have been in operation. Evenimen­tul Zilei, denouncing nationalist hysteria, pointed out: Romania has made a mockery of its decent neighbours who came to its aid. In the meantime, it turned out that none of the rumours about larger and much better Romanian pumps were true. The equipment offered by Aversa for a hefty sum was of much smaller capacity, useless in the circumstances and could only be delivered by the Bucharest company after ten days. According to Evenimentul Zilei, the "national pens" of the Romanian press were seriously offended by the Hungarian experts instead of thanking them, which the guests sadly acknowledged and then continued working.

Népszabadság, Zoltán Tibori Szabó, 13 May 2005 (page 10)

 

Modern Bible

 

Even within the Catholic Church, many people are calling for the Bible to be reformed, and for the omissions to be incorporated. However, this is unlikely to happen in full. In that case, the Bible would be little different from a UFO textbook. The inclusion of the omitted details would reveal, even at the very beginning of the Bible, a hair-raising interplanetary cooperation that would horrify Christian believers. The exploration of the „ascension” of the prophets Ezekiel and Elijah, and the accurate account of their lives, would rival any science fiction novel, and would give those who have an aversion to esotericism a nervous breakdown.

For example, the secret Jewish document, the Book of Cain, reveals that, in addition to God, extraterrestrials played an active role in the creation and subsequent building of Paradise. According to the ancient scrolls, nine extraterrestrials arrived in the Garden of Eden in a spacecraft. Adam was mourning in paradise when, amidst great thunder and lightning, a celestial chariot unexpectedly landed. A beautiful red-haired woman stepped out of the vehicle, whom Adam named Lilit (the woman of the windstorm). He gave her this name because the huge spacecraft in which she had arrived had created a veritable windstorm in Paradise when it landed. She did not come alone. He had an escort and a crew of seven to pilot the spacecraft.

The old Hebrew texts mention in several places Sarapi, the daughter of Asher, who also "arrived alive" in Paradise. But it was Lilit, the red demon, who gained the most fame and wasted no time. She cast her net on Adam as soon as she arrived. The ancient father could not resist the beautiful stranger, who bore him a son named Cain. After a while, however, Lilith grew tired of Adam, or Paradise on Earth, and returned to her heavenly home. The ancestor father grieved bitterly for her. Then the Lord took pity on her and created Eve to ease her pain. Eve was also given a son, the se­cond-born Abel, whom Cain then killed. But the Bible is silent about the real reason for the frat­ricide. The Old Testament only tells us that the Lord did not accept Cain's sacrifice. The Book of Cain, on the other hand, says that the origin of the feud was that the two brothers fell in love with the same girl from another world. This Hebrew "legend" has not been completely forgotten. Despite being omitted from the Bible, it has continued to spread by word of mouth. In the early 20th century it came to the fore in a strange way. The suffragettes, considered to be the champions of women's equality, put Lili's name on their banner because of her courage in abandoning Adam. They also looked to Lilit as a role model in the fight for divorce.

Nor does the Bible tell us what Adam and his family did in Paradise. Like the natives, they baked their bellies in the sun, and when they were hungry, they plucked a fruit from a tree. As we know, they could eat the fruit of any tree except one. However, according to ancient records, Paradise was not a reserve created in a subtropical climate. It certainly had an advanced infrastructure, because it was even possible to write in it. Eighteenth-century scholars discovered that Adam wrote 12 books in Paradise. These are. Book of the Atonement of Adam, The Testament of Adam. Eve also wrote two. One is the Gospel of Eve, the other is the Prophecies of Eve. Even Lilit composed a work, which he stylistically titled "The Book of the Stars".  

[

In the proto-Gospel of James, we read that at the birth of Jesus, time stood still and the world was at a complete standstill. When Joseph went in search of a midwife, he experienced the follo­wing phenomenon: "I went Joseph, and yet I did not go. I looked up at the sky and saw that he was motionless. I looked up and saw that he was watching me with admiration. I saw that the wings of the birds of the sky were not flut­tering. And I looked down at the ground. I could see the ladle, the workers lying beside it, their hands outstretched towards the ladle. But they did not eat the food they had put in their mouths, nor did they lift the morsel they had taken from the bowl. The hand brought towards them did not swing to their mouths. Each of their eyes was fixed on the sky. I saw them herding the sheep, but the sheep did not move. The shepherd raises his arm to urge them on, but his arm remains aloft. I looked down at the river, I saw the goats. Their mouths were up to the water's edge, but they weren't drinking. Then suddenly everything started moving."

 

The proto-Gospel of James also shows that Jesus was not born in the stable of an inn, but in a cave. The midwife arrived late, so there was little need for her. On the way, Joseph informed him of Mary's immaculate conception, which made him very curious. As he attended to Mary, he thought he would examine her. As he began to feel her body with his finger, his hand was "consumed by fire". The midwife cried out: "Curse my wickedness and my unbelief! Why have I tempted the living God?" After she repented of her sin, God had mercy on her and gave her back her hand. The angel of the Lord stood before him and said: "The Lord Almighty has heard your plea. Reach out your hand to the child and take him in your arms. In him you will find your salvation and your joy." As the little Jesus drew near, his hand materialized again. By the way, the proto (ancient, original) gospel was still considered by the ancient Jews to be complete. So seriously did they take it that when the prophet Jerome attacked it vehemently, he fell from grace.

[

Little is known about the Saviour's childhood and youth. The years he spent in Egypt are only vaguely recorded in the New Testament. But the Gospel of Thomas gives a detailed account of how Jesus, like the other children, was not exactly an „angel”. On more than one occasion he abused his parapsychological abilities, which were the result of his high spiritual development. When he was 5 years old, he would play at the ford of a stream, diverting the water into small pits. Then, with a single word, he would turn the muddy water he stirred up into clean water by commanding it to be clean. Then he formed 12 sparrows from mud. But it was the Sabbath, and when Joseph saw the great work being done, he called out to him: "Why do you do such things on the Sabbath?" Jesus slapped his palms together and shouted at the sparrows, "Go away!" The mud birds took wing and flew away chirping. With the other children, Annis' scribe son was playing by the brook. To his loss, he used a willow branch to drain the water that Jesus had collected. When the little Jesus saw what had happened, he became angry and cried out: "You wicked, wicked, and foolish man! What have the pits and the water done to you? Behold, now you too are withered like a tree. Thou shalt bring forth neither leaf, nor root, nor fruit." The child immediately dried up completely. The dead boy was lifted up by his parents, and, lamenting his youth, they took him to Joseph, accusing him of having such a son who would do such things.

On another occasion, the little Jesus was hurrying through the village when another child bumped into his shoulder. Then Jesus cursed him, "You will go no further on your way!" The poor boy immediately collapsed and died. The passers-by, seeing what had happened, asked each other questions in fear: "Where did this child come from, that all his words were realized deeds?" Beca­use of his divine origin, Jesus' words had creative power, both good and bad. The parents of the dead child also came to Joseph complaining. They threatened that they would not be allowed to live with them in the village if he did not raise his son. Make him not to harm but to bless." The villagers feared that he would kill their children one by one. Joseph angrily challenged Jesus because of the unrest he had caused. "Why do you do these things, that they should suffer? Do you want us to be hated and sent away?" Until tempers calmed down, Jesus was grounded by his father. According to the Egyptian account, Joseph turned to Mary and said, "Do not let him out of the door, for those who anger him will die." Fortunately, the childish wickedness and recklessness of the child was over in time, and the adult Jesus did no harm to anyone. In his walk, he preached the importance of love and understanding.

Later, the Pharisees often accused the Saviour of being a magician whose miracles were the work of evil spirits. But his followers deflected the accusation of magic by claiming that Jesus healed without any magic spell, with a single word. Moreover, he never attributed the healing to himself, but to the faith of the patient and the infinite power of God. Yet magical phenomena accompanied him throughout his life. It is recorded that when Jesus entered Pilate's palace, the Roman imperial busts on the symbols bowed to him. It was not by chance that the Roman governor ordered the guards to bring the „King of the Jews” before him with great respect. When he arrived, he spread the envoy's shawl at his feet to walk on. Pilate did not mean him any harm. He only had him scourged to appease the Jews and avoid his death sentence. But the Jewish people remained adamant. Mass hypnosis, inspired by external forces, ensured that Christ's destiny was fulfilled and the Redemption took place. Without it, Christianity would not have come into being, nor would there have been the faith in God that kept most people from sinning for two thousand years.

[

When King Stephen was in his twilight years, rebellion broke out in the country. His cousin Vasily, seeing that the monarch had chosen another successor, formed an alliance with three nobles and determined to sit on the throne himself. One of the rebels, hiding a dagger under his cloak, sneaked into the king's bedchamber to stab the sleeping monarch, but a bright angel knocked the murder weapon from his hand. At the sound of the blade of the dagger falling on the stone, the king awoke from his sleep and spoke in a gentle voice:

  If God is with us, who is against us?

The assassin was ashamed and begged forgiveness. The generous king pardoned him.

[

There are a number of criteria for canonisation, the fulfilment of which is always subject to strict scrutiny by the Vatican. One of these is the incorruptibility of the body of a dead person. There are many case histories and numerous proofs of this phenomenon. Even today, there are saints who died centuries ago and whose bodies, placed in glass coffins, show not the slightest sign of decomposi­tion. In fact, the bodies of saints smell of roses. As we know from the "Esoteric Panorama", the rose oil produced in their bodies also has a healing, miracle-working effect.

We do not need to go abroad to study this phenomenon more closely. According to contemporary chronicles, King Béla IV's daughter, Saint Margaret, was not short of miracles even in her lifetime. For authenticity, let us quote from the records in the original language:

"And when Saint Margaret had stood thus long in her prayers, the sister who accompanied her saw the flame of the fire of Elena on her head. She was very much frightened, and in fear she said to the self-imposed servitude of the princess that there was fire on her head. Then St Margaret laid her hand on her head and felt it. Pale-faced, she told the sister not to tell anyone of this vision."

Margaret died in 1272, aged 29. She was not buried immediately, for even days later no sign of her deteriorating body was seen. The holy virgin looked as if she were asleep. In place of the signs of decay, those who lay awake beside her experienced something quite different: "The holy Virgin's cheek was stained with a wonderful brightness, and under her eyes was a very beautiful light, as if she had been gilded." When the archbishop of Esztergom, the bishop of Vác and the provost of Óbuda entered the chapel and lifted from her face the veil with which they had covered it, they saw her face shining."

According to legend, touching the coffin set off a series of miraculous events. From a far-off land, sick people came seeking healing and were relieved of their ailments. When they laid her body in the tomb, instead of the smell of corpses, a sweet fragrance emanated from it. Two friars began to question the sisters as to what they had anointed his body with, but they insisted that it was nothing. They added that they had kept vigil over him for a week and had never left him unattended. Two weeks after his death, a huge stone was laid on his grave, and the pleasant smell was still there. Three months later, the blatant stone was removed from the grave mound to be replaced by a tomb carved in red marble. According to the chronicle a very sweet smell of vapour, smoke and fragrance came up from the coffin, as if there had been roses there'. The chronicler also mentions that when St Margaret's soul left her body, Sister Elizabeth, who was beside her, saw a very bright star coming out of the cloister.

[

Saint Rita of Cascia, the grantor of seemingly impossible wishes, "the pearl of Umbria", one of Italy's most famous saints, was born in Roccaporena in 1381. After years of prayer by her parents, her birth was announced by a heavenly voice. He asked that the little girl be named Rita, the true pearl. Her life was accompanied by miraculous signs from her earliest childhood. As a baby, Rita's face was covered with bees, but none stung her. Rita's desire to suffer with Christ was awakened at the age of five. She grew up in modest circumstances, in a loving atmosphere and received a true religious education. Her parents married her to a local mercenary soldier. Rita, although she ima­gined her future as the bride of Christ, soon realized that the Lord had other intentions for her. Her husband's harsh, overbearing nature had broken out. He beat and scolded the gentle Rita and led a life of debauchery and violence. Rita possessed the ability to transform the rude and selfish people around her by her ceaseless example. She tolerated everything from her husband and sec­retly lived like a nun: praying, fasting, making sacrifices and helping wherever she could. Her exemplary life, her gentleness, her kindness, changed her husband completely and he turned to the right path.

Rita then suffered a series of tragedies: the death of her parents and the murder of her husband. In keeping with the custom of the time, her twin sons vowed blood revenge against their father's murderer. Rita prayed constantly that her children would escape their dark fate and that the two great families at war would be reconciled. Subsequently, the sons, reconciled to God, fell ill and, after repenting, died unexpectedly, and the families were surprisingly reconciled. When Rita was left alone, she divided her possessions and wanted to enter the Order of St Augustine as a nun. Although they refused to approve her admission to the order, the miraculous events that took place made it happen. Mysteriously, despite the locked doors, to the great astonishment of the abbot who kept the keys, Rita found herself inside the monastery, and suddenly the bells were ringing and a vine that had thought to be withered was green. On the night of her vows, she dreamed of a ladder reaching to the sky, with Christ standing on top, and beckoned Rita to climb upwards, step by step.

She then lived a life of self-sacrifice in the convent for 40 years. She ceaselessly did penance for others, cared for the sick and sent warmth and light to all those in need. After a long time of asking the Lord to share in the sufferings of Christ, he began to suffer from a splitting headache and the scars of the crown of thorns of Christ appeared on his forehead. These wounds bled for 15 years and lifted Rita to heavenly heights. It is recorded that she was imbued with an indescribable magnetic power: the power of Christ, which manifested itself in countless miracles. After the appearance of the stigmata, she was separated from her fellow nuns and suffered terrible torments for a long time. He endured his torments with joy and dedicated them to Christ. His prayers were regularly an­swered. It is believed that nothing is impossible for him, hence his name as the grantor of impos­sible wishes. Through his intercession, the possessed and the sick were healed. In the months before his death, his daily food was a sip of water and a consecrated wafer at Holy Communion. One snowy winter day, he asked his cousin for a rose, who miraculously returned with a single white rose with a fragrant fragrance. He died on 22 May 1447 in the convent of Mary Magdalene in Cascia. At his death, the tolling of the bell was heard by a large crowd, although no one pulled the bell. His body was never buried, as he was not destroyed. He also emerged unharmed from the fire in which his coffin was burnt to ashes. His body is preserved in the church of St Rita in Cascia. Miraculous physical and spiritual healings took place at Ravatala. To this day, millions of people ask for the intercession of Saint Rita.

Source: Saint Rita Saint of the Impossible. (Etalon Publishing 2007)

[

The driving forces of life

 

There are no coincidences. The events we think of as coincidences are nothing more than carefully orchestrated events planned by fate. The case of Abraham Lincoln is the best example. As we know, perhaps America's most famous president, the man who reunited a divided country, came from a rather lowly line. His days were spent as a simple country farmer. It was only as an adult that he became an educated lawyer. He had never thought of becoming an intellectual before. A „coin­cidence” helped him to do so. The turning point came when he began to feel that he was destined for something more than being a farmer or a craftsman in a small village in Illinois. One day, he met a travelling merchant who wanted to sell him a barrel full of worthless lime. He asked only $1 for the whole thing. Lincoln, instead of shaking the violent cuss off his neck, gave him the money. But he couldn't handle all that junk. He thought the barrel might be good for something. He started cleaning it out. When he got to the bottom, he found a series of law books among the debris. These were the books he used to learn to be a lawyer, and thus began his extraordinary career.

[

Once again, 6 October arrived, the anniversary of the crushing of the 1848 Revolution and War of Independence and the execution of the chief officers who had fought against the Habsburg occupation for four hundred years. Official commemorations were held for the martyred generals and colonels of the Hungarian army fighting for independence. Among the usual eulogies, there is also an unusual one, less flattering for us:

"Half a century ago, in the »ancients«, which is nowadays recalled by many, if a policeman was shaken awake at night, he would recite the names of the seven founding generals and the 13 martyrs of Arad without a mistake, even in half-sleep. 155 years ago, at this very hour, the arbitrary spilled the lives of 12 generals and 1 colonel of the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence. In the early morning, Aristid Dessewffy, Ernő Kiss, Vilmos Lázár and József Schweidel were killed by firing squads »out of mercy« between the Arad battlements. Afterwards, Lajos Aulich, János Damjanich, Károly Knezich, György Láhner, Károly Leiningen-Westenburg, József Nagysándor, Ernő Pöltenberg, Ignác Török and Károly Vécsey were hanged near the castle.

Some of them were aristocrats related to royalty, and others were citizens of the country of simp­le descent. Some of them had German, Serbian, Armenian, Croatian blood in their veins, and not all of them spoke Hungarian. But they fought as true Hungarians and stood by their word to the nation until death." It was not their fault that the Russian Tsar sent 200,000 soldiers to us after the Austrian Emperor kissed his hand and begged for help. The Hungarian army, small in numbers and inadequa­tely equipped, defeated Franz Joseph's blunders, but could not stand up to four times the numbers. Even in this hopeless situation, the Hungarian generals did not give in. "They did not break their oaths, they died as martyrs of their country and of the struggle for independence. In their last hours they showed incredible strength of spirit and calmness. Dessewffy was cheerful. "My conscience is clear," he said. Aulich was reading Horace. Török was studying a textbook on for­tification. It was as if they were preparing not for death but for a new life.

Such classical characters can only be rooted in unshakable faith and unshakable conviction. Láhner played the flute, and Damjanich talked to the executioner, begging him to have mercy on his broken leg and to kill him with little torture. "Your lordship will be pleased with me," said the exe­cutioner. (He lied, for some of the executioners were shorter than the condemned man, and the executioner and his assistants broke the vertebrae of their victim's neck in terrible agony.) The martyrs of Arad were heroes, not politicians. They did not bargain, they did not give in to the "forty-eight". They were not to blame for the nation's eventual reconciliation with the monarch who signed their death warrant, and thus indirectly signed his own death warrant. The Hungarian people finally fell with the empire, against which they had so often rebelled."

 The rulers who started the First World War also received their just punishment. Fate has not forgotten their earlier misdeeds. After losing World War I, the Austrian people dethroned the Habs­burgs. The ruling family was condemned to a total confiscation of their property and driven out of the country. To this day, they have not been given back their possessions and have not been allowed to return to Austria to visit for decades. The Tsarist family suffered even more cruel punishment. The revolutionaries mercilessly slaughtered Tsar Nicholas II and his family. By killing his wife, son and four daughters, the seeds of Tsarism were also wiped out in Russia. Their burnt and acid-washed corpses were buried in two roadside pits so that posterity could not remember them at their graves. Thus ended the disingenuous pact called the Holy Alliance, which trampled on the freedom of small countries.[70]

On 6 October, the vindictive imperial governor executed not only the martyrs of Arad, but also the prime minister of the first independent Hungarian government. Lajos Batthyány was shot in Pest, and government officials and lower-ranking army officers were sentenced to decades in pri­son. Many of them did not escape alive from Austrian dungeons. After a few years of languishing, they were killed by cruelty and disease caused by inhumane conditions. After the defeat of our war of independence on 13 August 1849, it took 141 years for the country to become truly free. But our glorious ancestors did not sacrifice their lives for this Hungary. "Let us put our hands on our hearts: neither the martyrs of 1848 nor the martyrs of the 1956 revolution gave their lives for what is happening here today.

They wanted a representative democracy, not a brothel. Responsible government, not one-for-one privatisation. In our country, freedom has been somewhat misinterpreted as theft of freedom. Those who had the opportunity took what they could get their hands on, and dissipated the state's wealth. Our forefathers wanted equality of rights, not freedom for the churls. Fair taxes, not the poor. Not a „shovel it pigac, you'll get some” sneaky Hungary, made up of "sides" that pretend to be shapeless but behind the scenes grin and smirk in solidarity with each other, of conniving clienteles, of silent criminal syndicates and of huddled, blustering voter supporters.

The martyrs believed that their lives were not lost in vain, their families and orphans wept and suffered in vain. They were knights who sacrificed themselves for their ideals. They did not suspect that in the future it would not be generous gentlemen who would guard their lofty ideals, but slick businessmen who would privatise them, and that instead of the freedom, equality and brotherhood they had dreamed of, a convulsively snorting, explosive Hungarian society would be dragged into the third millennium. For this reason alone, we could put up the black ribbon today."

Ferenc Szaniszló Metro, 6 October 2004 (page 4)

[

I received a letter from László Mészáros from Kápolnásnyék. He wrote that as the commemo­ration of the Thirteen of Arad, the 6th of October, is approaching, he tells a story that few people know today. I myself was surprised to read the story.

"Supposedly, after the execution of the 13 martyrs of Arad and Prime Minister Lajos Batthyány, a paper was circulated throughout the country, in great secrecy. In it, Count Batthyány's widow Antonia Zichy cursed Franz Joseph. The condemnation read: »Let Emperor Franz Joseph know what pain is. Let him not die until his own family has suffered thirteen times his grief.« The curse was laid. According to historians, 13 of the emperor's family members died before his time.

        1.   His firstborn daughter, Archduchess Sofia, died at the age of 27 months.

        2.   Empress Charlotte of Mexico went mad. She lived as an undead woman for another 50 years.

        3.   On 6 June, after long suffering, Archduchess Matild died. Her cigarette lit the curtain and the fire caught her dress. Her burns were so severe that her life could not be saved. She died in terrible agony.

        4.   On 19 June, the Mexican Emperor Nicolas, brother of Franz Joseph, was executed in Queré­taro, Mexico.

        5.   On 30 January 1889, Crown Prince Rudolf, the only son of the Emperor, committed suici­de at Mayerling.

        6.   In 1891, Archduke John Salvator, Rudolf's best friend, disappeared, presumably in a ship­wreck. The Emperor indirectly caused his death by demanding his immediate resignation. The aggrieved archduke set off on his fatal journey in a sudden rush.

        7.   In June 1894, Archduke Franz Charles William slipped from his horse in Baden and died a horrible death. His earlier actions are also memorable for us, as he took part in the suppressi­on of the Hungarian War of Independence as a commander.

        8.   Archduke Lazlo died of septicaemia in Pest in 1895. During a hunting expedition, his gun went off and he wounded himself. Since tetanus vaccination was unknown at the time, the blood poisoning was fatal for him.

        9.   In 1897, Queen Elizabeth's sister, Princess Sofia, was killed in a fire in Paris.

     10.   In September 1898, Queen Elizabeth was assassinated in Switzerland by an anarchist named Luccheni[71].

     11.   In 1903, Archduchess Klotild died of poisoning in Altschút, aged 19.

     12.   In the summer of 1914, Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo.

     13.   The assassin also killed his wife, Archduchess Sofia, who was sitting next to him.

It was only after all these tragedies that the aged emperor died in 1917. His empire was dest­ro­yed with him. Two years later, the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed. »He who takes up arms, perishes by arms!« says the Holy Scripture. Or was the curse caught? This list is no less bloody than that of the Thirteen of Arad. For the mourners it is a satisfaction, for posterity it is a remembrance and a lesson." Those who languished in the dungeons also received due satisfaction from fate. Whi­le they were tortured and made ill by damp walls and unheated, mouldy cells, Emperor Franz Joseph suffered from an incurable disease. His mistress infected him with syphilis, which she pas­sed on to his wife. As there was no cure for this disease at the time, they had to endure terrible torture. Doctors used mercury doses to stop the bacteria from multiplying. It was the only way to delay the final stage: death, between madness and terrible pain. However, the mercury caused seve­re poisoning in the body, causing Franz Joseph to go bald and his teeth to fall out. The beautiful, slender, reed-thin queen, who had given so much to her health, could never forgive her husband for this. She abandoned him and the empire, travelling abroad incognito until the assassination attempt.

Erzsébet Schäffer Nők Lapja, 2003/40. (page 65)

[

Russian politicians say that communism owes its downfall to us. During a visit to the US, Russian President Yeltsin once said that communism began to decline when the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was crushed. The bombing of Budapest, the murder of thousands of revolutionaries and the forced emigration of 200,000 people was a blatant crime that could not pass without consequences.

[

There must be something wrong with what we call the common spirit, the spirituality of a nation or society. Let me give you a convincing example. When we travel in the countries of Western and Southern Europe, we usually find that a village or small town has its own „spirit”, expressed, for example, in the fact that old and new houses are built in more or less the same style. In other words, citizens feel a sense of ownership of the traditions and spirit of the community. In contrast, in most Hungarian villages and small towns, there is a total confusion. In the village where I live, for example, in the outskirts of Buda, in a single street, houses of the following styles have been built next to each other:

A high-rise miner's house

A Tuscan villa with a nun's tile roof

A Mexican hacienda

A Slovakian-style split-level house

A mutt Bauhaus great-grandchild

A post-modernist effort to pull the roof pitch deep into the eye

A Tyrolean farmhouse

A socio-realist mini-condominium

A California house of glass on a green lawn

A neo-baroque palace

A beehive in the style of Kós Károly

A small town house in the Pest suburbs, and so on.

With this helpless jumble, are we trying to break into the Western world? I could go on listing the facts that indicate that there is still a lot to be done about the human factor in Hungary (and in Eastern Europe in general). The current state of wellbeing, sense of life, behavioural culture, values and moral strength of Hungarian society could be a serious constraint on the country's greatest break­through plans. People's basic values and value preferences are slowly changing, and an anachronis­tic value system can be a major obstacle to the country's rapid and successful development.

Elemér Hankiss Népszabadság- Hétvége supplement, 22 January 2005 (page 4)

[

Abroad, people are beginning to realise that what matters is not how much something costs, but how much profit it makes. This means that in times of inflation, the usual price-increasing mechanism is not triggered, but on the contrary, prices are reduced. As everywhere in the world, the German state railways have been in crisis for years. Passenger numbers are low and the cost of transport cannot be reduced because the trains have to run even if only a few people buy tickets. Nor will the cost of maintaining the track be lower if half-empty trains run through it. Nor do the sa­laries of the driver, conductor and ticket collector depend on the number of passengers. In Ger­many, this has led to the adoption of an unprecedented method of making rail transport profitable. Ticket prices were reduced. This decision, which was astonishing for us, has fulfilled our hopes. Suddenly, the number of people travelling by rail increased, which eliminated the loss. Many people returned to using the train because the low ticket prices made it more affordable than driving. Not to mention that it is much safer. As the increase in passenger numbers meant that overheads did not rise sig­nificantly, the extra revenue made German state railways profitable and sustainable again.

[

The old Sufi texts contain many instructive stories about the mindset of the otherworldly beings who determine our fate.

"Three boys came to Nasreddin Hoxha with a sack of nuts and said Distribute this nut among us as if it were God's. Hodja then gave one of them a single grain, another a handful of nuts, and the third all that was left in the sack. The boys stared in amazement. Seeing their puzzled expressions, Hoxha said: Don't they? Good. Then I'll divide it like servants do. He counted out all the nuts one by one and gave them back to the boys, divided exactly into three parts."

[

There was once a young beggar monk who lived on the banks of the Ganges. Being an ascetic renouncing the world, he had only a loincloth covering his body. Every day, he bathed in the foam of the holy river, meditated and continued his yoga practice. After bathing, he left his loincloth out in the sun to dry. One day, while waiting for his clothes to dry, he reflected on how uncomfortable the wait was. "How much time I could save if I had another loincloth!" he thought. As he ponde­red this, he was noticed by an elderly holy man. Having read the young monk's thoughts, he said:

  My dear son! Do not multiply your material needs unnecessarily! Bear the minor inconvenien­ces that come with it, and reserve your time and energy for self-realization.

  What would be wrong with having another loincloth? "It would hardly interfere with my spiri­tual practice," said the young man, and got another loincloth.

The next day, he bathed again in the holy river and left the garment out in the sun to dry. He put on the other one and went happily about his business. When he went to bathe again the next day, he saw that a mouse had bitten off his loincloth. "What should I do? How can I pro­tect my belongings? He wondered. I'll get a cat, it will scare the mouse away from my clot­hes!" So he did. Now he had a cat to guard his loincloth. But when he returned the next day, the cat was meowing bitterly with hunger. "What am I to do now? I want the cat to protect me from the mice, but I have to feed the poor thing somehow! She wondered what to do. "I know! I'll get a cow to give the cat milk!" So he did. Now he had a second loincloth, a cat and a cow. But when it came time to milk, he didn't know what to do, because he didn't know anything about cattle. He collapsed on the ground and, with his head bowed, grieved. When he saw the young ascetic and his crying cow, a passerby said:

  Why don't you get married? Your wife will milk the cow!

The young ascetic took the advice and did as he was told. Now he had a wife. After a while his first child was born, then the second, then the third. So finally he had to buy a house. To do this, howe­ver, he had to get a job, and soon another one to support his family properly. Years later, the old saint passed by again and asked:

  How are you getting on in your realisation?

  Realization? I am so busy! I have to work, I have to take care of my wife and children! I have to milk the cow and feed the cat. I have no time for self-fulfilment. No time, no time!

Lesson: Don't accumulate unnecessary stuff!

[

We all see the world through our own "glasses". We don't just look at people through our own "glasses". The evil, base soul looks for the bad in others and finds it; while the "beautiful soul" looks for the good in people. We are dominated by the qualities we notice in others. This situation is aptly expressed in this Arabic fable:

Once upon a time, a traveller wandered into a small village and sought out the Sufi master, the wise old man of the village. The visitor said to him:

  I wonder if I should settle in your village, so I wonder what kind of people live here? Can you tell me a few words about them? The master said:

  Can you tell me what kind of people live where you come from? The traveller replied that his village was full of highwaymen, cheats and liars, and the sage said:

  Well, you know, that's exactly the kind of people who live here. The traveller left the village and never returned. Half an hour later, another traveller arrived in the village. This one also came to the master and said to him:

  I think I might move to the villages. Can you tell me what kind of people live here? The Sufi master asked again:

  Can you tell me what kind of people live where you come from? To which the visitor rep­lied: My neighbors were the kindest, most charming, compassionate and loving people I have ever known, and I will miss them all very much. The master replied:

  Well, you see, that's exactly the kind of people who live here.

[

Once a young woman went to her father for advice:

  Dad, I'm tired of all this! Everything is going wrong at work and in my personal life. I don't have the strength to cope with the new tasks. What should I do?        

That's all her father said:

  I'll show you!

He put three pots of water on the stove. In one he put a carrot, in another an egg, and in the third a spoonful of coffee. He boiled all three for a few minutes and then turned off the fire.

  Well, you see what happened to them?

  The carrots and eggs are cooked and the coffee has dissolved said the young woman.

The father replied:

  Think of hot, flaming water as a hostile, harsh medium. The carrots, which were hard, softe­ned after a few minutes. Look, I can squeeze it with a fork. The egg, which we know is fragile, became hard after cooking. But if you look at them from the outside, they're both the same as before! But on the inside they're completely different! Now, the same thing happens to you when you're in a hostile environment! Some people look strong, but under pressure they weaken. Others look fragile but become stronger and more resilient under pressure. It literally hardens.

  And what about coffee?

  Oh, coffee is the most interesting! It dissolves completely in the new medium! It loses its original shape, but it turns hot water into a pleasant refreshing drink. There are many people who behave in life like coffee. They can't change their circumstances, but they try to change them. To do this, they have to change themselves. But in the end something new is created!

The girl seemed to be thinking. Her father broke the silence:

  My daughter, circumstances shape us all. You cannot avoid it! But it's your choice how you react to them!

Zöld Újság Issue 2016/10 (page 14)

[

The world doesn't seem to change much, because this 16th century English fairy tale is still very relevant today:

      

Truth and Villainy went swimming together. Cinderella came out of the water first, stole Truth's clothes, took them, and left hers on the beach. Poor Truth was very sad when she didn't find her things, but she said to herself, "I'd rather go naked for the rest of my life than wear the robe of the Ashamed." Since then, the Truth has been naked, and the Ashes walk among men in the robe of the Truth to this day.

[

The great French philosopher La Bruyère[72] did not just regale us with short aphorisms. His wise sayings were often published in longer anecdotes. Although he lived more than three hundred years ago, his parable of the rich man and the poor man is still relevant today:

Giton's complexion is fresh, his face full, his cheeks chubby, his gaze steady and steady, his shoul­ders broad, his belly swollen, his gait calm and measured. His words betray his confidence; he says twice what is put to him, and listens with a droll air to what others say. He blows his nose loudly into his wide handkerchief, spits far away and sneezes loudly. His sleep is as deep during the day as it is at night, and he snores in company. When he sits at a table or goes for a walk, he takes up more space than anyone else, and when his companions are of equal rank, he takes the middle. If he stops, so do the others, and if he starts, the company rushes to him. Everybody falls in line with him. He interrupts the speakers, and corrects their words, but his speech is not interrupted by any one, and they listen patiently as long as he speaks. All share his views, and readily believe what he says. He sits down, that is, he throws himself into his bosom, with his legs crossed; he frowns, and pulls his hat down over his eyes, so that no one need see him; and when he tips his hat, he shows his brow proudly and defiantly. He is good-humoured and sulky, but sometimes impatient, presumptuous, quick to anger, otherwise free-thinking, shrewd, and sometimes secretive in his affairs. He believes himself to be gifted and witty. Giton is a rich man.

Phaedon's eyes are sunken, his complexion is bright, his body lean, his cheeks thin; he sleeps little, and his waking spirit wanders dreamily, and though witty, he looks like a fool. Nor does he tell what he knows, and is silent, though he could tell things; and if he does sometimes speak, his speech is clumsy and stumbling; he thinks he is a burden to men. His speech is dry and short, and does not engage the man, for it has no spirit. At the words of others, he is enthusiastic and smiling, and readily shares his opinions. He runs and flies to do little services to men, and his manner is servile, flattering, and eager. He likes to be mysterious in his affairs. Sometimes he lies, otherwise he is superstitious, doubtful and fearful. His gait is soft and light, as if he feared to tread the ground; he walks with a glance, and dares not look at faces. In company he does not join the conversatio­nalists, but stands behind them, stealthily, to listen to their words, but he departs in haste if he is seen. It is as if he does not take a seat at all, or as if he does not need one. He pulls in his shoulders, folds his coat, and, to avoid being seen, slams his hat over his eyes. There's no crowded street or busy hall where he can't slip through unnoticed. When offered a seat, he sits on the edge of his seat, speaks softly and flawedly, though he is frank about public affairs, justly angry with the age, and justly dissatisfied with ministers and government. He opens his mouth only to reply, but coughs first, and blows his nose under his hat. If he spits, he almost hits himself, and if he sneezes, he waits till he is alone, but if it happens in company with him, no one notices. No one greets him, and he never gets a toast. For Phédon is a poor man.

[

According to tradition, the Romans twice called Cincinnatus from the horn of the plough to help the eternal city: once against the enemy, and again in the midst of a famine. He complied, left his farm, took the title of dictator conferred on him by the Senate, with unlimited power, and solved the problem. Then, renouncing his prerogatives, he immediately returned to his estate as a simple citizen to cultivate the land. The saviour of his country took it for granted that he would give up his beloved activity at the word of the summons. And it was also natural for him, when his task was done, to take up where he had left off. He had no desire for a higher shelf. He knew that the higher you went, the harder you fell. A laudable virtue. "Roman character", his contemporaries said of him almost two and a half millennia ago. The world today has no shortage of saviours and dictators, most of whom need not be called, let alone from the plough horn. They come of their own accord. Only then, the public sends them in vain, and they don't want to go. For some people, „saving” the country is a public vocation, a paid job, a power that gives them benefits.

Ferenc Szaniszló Metro, 30 September 2005 (page 4)

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He would be 80, but he has been gone for ten years. He was a genius, one of those conceived in grace. Those of us who knew him knew it, and we overlooked the quirks behind his kindness and courtesy. Miklós Uzsoky's name is probably little known, although he is credited with, among other things, the development of the first Hungarian television station, or the microwave telecommuni­cations system, which for many years was one of Hungary's finest exports. As a former colleague who achieved world fame in America said of him I knew ten Nobel laureates, but only four or five real geniuses. Uzhoky was one of them... But he never became an academic, because he didn't bot­her to get the basic degree of candidate. Why should he, he knew many times more than the com­mittees. Perhaps, if he had left in 1956, as some of our over-heralded athletes left the Olympics, the­re would be one more Hungarian Nobel laureate today. Uzsoky did not become an academic, nor was he remembered, or at least by few. Students, former colleagues, you could say in a close family circle. No commemoration was ever published, since he was „only” a creative, scientific engineer, who was not associated with any scandal or sensation.

Yes, my country! You do not respect your geniuses! After all, Emil Mosonyi, the scientific engineering giant celebrated the world over, did not deserve a single medal on his 95th birthday. Yet he is the recipient of an international award from a major world organisation, a highly respected expert in more than 40 countries, and his birthday is celebrated by people from far away continents. How many of our great men can we say the same? His adopted country, Germany, is truly honou­red, but our official greats thought that Emil Mosonyi (head of the design and construction of the Tiszalök water pipeline, author of university textbooks, among other things) was not worthy of the kind of award that all heads of department receive on retirement. Truly, my country, we do not treat our intellectual greats well, even though it is their spirit and their work that creates our prosperity. The other day at the Hungarian Academy of Engineering, my colleagues complained that we can hardly get enough publicity for our engineering work and the results we have achieved. It is such a belittling of knowledge and competence that when sensitive issues are discussed, be it climate change or the extension of the operating life of a nuclear power plant, it is not usually experts who are invited or asked, but the protesters who are against everything, sometimes very ignorant, but all the louder.

Scientists are in revolt, they believe that there is not enough money for basic research, that there are not enough modern instruments, and that what there are, they cannot maintain. It is feared that the best minds will leave. It's an advantage if they leave for a few years, because when they come back, they will enrich us with a lot of new knowledge. But if they stay there permanently, if other countries benefit from their knowledge, if they get rich from their achievements elsewhere, that is not a problem, that is a tragedy. Innovation has become very fashionable these days. It is in the top ten of our politicians' phrase books. But innovation and competitiveness will not happen on their own. For that, you need sophisticated people. And keeping them at home and making them feel va­lued is not just a question of money. Of course, it is also not enough for any official to think that the benefits will come without the expenditure! But respect and appreciation are no less important. That is why we should celebrate our creative greats.

Zsuzsa Szentgyörgyi Metro, 20 December 2005 (page 4)

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In 2004, the Digital Literature Academy's website was visited by 6460 people a day. This was the number of visitors who were interested in the works of contemporary authors who receive a monthly royalty of 250,000 HUF.[73] It is likely, however, that the majority of visitors did not down­load 660 volumes by the 63 contemporary authors, but 10 922 works by the 36 classical poets listed next to them. (This figure does not include downloads from foreign mirror servers, which increase this figure by at least 15%.) Despite this, the authors of works uploaded to the MEK do not receive any royalties or subsidies. Their works are free for everyone to use. The library itself is a vegetable. The Ministry of Culture does not help the MEK at all. Last year, the government withdrew 400 million forints from its operator, the National Széchenyi Library. They are already at the point whe­re they cannot even pay their electricity bills. The salary of the administrator who runs the MEK server has not been paid for months.

The MEK's popularity is not due to the fact that it is free, as the DIA's book collection is also free for readers to download. The difference in the number of visitors is due to the readers' value judgements. The average person does not care whether the author is a member of the Writers' Union or has a friend or supporter on the DIA's grant-awarding board. They only care about one thing: the quality of the work, the information content. Therefore, some MEK authors have more downloads of their books alone than all the contemporary authors of the DIA. Meanwhile, this author is des­titute and starving because he cannot find a job and earn a living while working 14 hours a day.

It is typical of the DIA's insularity, of the fact that it is run on a buddy basis, that Imre Kertész was not a member of this body either. It was only after he was awarded the Nobel Prize that he was quickly accepted as a member, and it was only then that Sorstalanság and his other works were in­cluded in this library. He was ignored until his international recognition. In 1973, Imre Kertész's no­vel Sorstalanság was rejected by the publisher on the grounds that "the artistic treatment of the ma­terial of the experience has failed, the hero reacts to events in an incomprehensible, eccentric way." The Hungarian book industry would still be here today if the Nobel Prize committee had not taken a different view of this work.

[

Hungary is a country of reforms. The reforms that do not happen. The reforms that, despite endless amounts of hard thinking and grand ideas, never come to fruition. According to many, we can only talk, not act. The only thing we agree on is that change has to be made by someone else, not by us. Because everyone thinks so, there will be no one left to make the sacrifices that change requires. So nothing happens. The big words are gone and we are left with inertia and inertia. Yet there are so many thoughtful, professional, truth-seeking ideas and concepts that seek to improve the country in the context of its history. Today we are living in an era of great transformation. Social change requires a change of outlook. A transformation of the way people relate to themselves and their environment is inevitable. And society is us, individuals and our variously organised commu­nities. In other words, the process must begin within ourselves, all the more so because history re­cords few comprehensive social changes from above, from outside. There have been many peaceful or even bloody movements, struggles and developments from below: the emergence of religions, the birth of artistic trends and fashions, the transformation of social and economic systems, the emergence and modification of mores, manners and customs, technological changes.

Of course, there have been ideologues, champions and leaders of these changes, but mostly we only know the names of those who have managed to bring about a change in the outlook of the ma­jority of the community concerned, to actively participate, to feel ownership and acceptance of the change. The initiators of the reforms sensed the timeliness and direction of the change and recog­nised how to mobilise the necessary energies, but they did not make the change, everyone who fol­lowed them did. Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, and today Gandhi. Perhaps he best cap­tured the secret of the phenomenon when he said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Successful leaders also practiced change on themselves before seeking followers. And then their followers and disciples did the same before they set about persuading others. Their ideas fell on fertile ground because their audiences recognised that they themselves had to be part of the change, that no one else would „do it” for them. A process of transformation is already underway in the educated, open-minded strata of society, but it is not yet spreading, not yet reaching the masses. It would be advisable to give way to positive initiatives. It would not be a good idea to wait for external pressure to bring us to our senses, at much greater cost.

György Jaksity Népszabadság - Weekend supplement, 14 January 2006 (page 1 - excerpt)

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At the end of the 19th century, Budapest was called the Paris of the East. One after the other, the most beautiful palaces were built. During this period, the most beautiful country house in the world was built on the banks of the Danube, the Opera House, envied by Western tourists, the Ballet Institute, the Museum of Applied Arts, Gresham Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Matthias Church and countless cafés. Among them is the New York Palace, where world-famous writers, painters and artists have soaked up the special atmosphere of the Hungarian capital. Where are we today. The last time this city was bearable was before the fall of communism.

 

I grew up in Budapest, and I loved living here. That was twenty years ago. The city has changed since then. It has become a "world city" and "liberal". And I fled the city. Unfortunately, my job forces me to come back. It always makes my heart sink, but not for the same reason it did twenty years ago. Yesterday, for example, I was walking in the smog on Rákóczi Road, watching Swiss tourists stumbling on the frozen asphalt. I wondered what their opinion of us might be, as they bypassed the urinating homeless man who was squirming under the boarded-up window of one of the broken-down shops, berating them in a growling voice. What do they think of the dog-pee cor­ners, the greasy excrement spread under shoe soles, the street corners that have not been cleaned by janitors for decades? What do they think of the shopkeepers who tolerate scribbles on the walls around their windows? What do they think of the shabby portals of Chinese shops selling cheap rubbish that destroy the architecture of ancient buildings or the air conditioners that ruin facades? What kind of country do we see when we look at public furniture that has never been maintained, subways that are turning into slums, and even the whole environment that is devoid of greenery and is hostile to children, families and the elderly? Everywhere, I get the feeling that even those who still live here no longer love this city. The Swiss are entitled to ask whether the city manager who calls bored teenagers „street artists”, who „self-express” themselves with their spray paint bottles while destroying other people's property, has any idea of aesthetic quality? What impression they must have of a city whose shops are dying even on the Grand Boulevard. Where investor capital, which pays off politicians, dictates the development of the city, and not the urban planning professionals? Where has the city gone that was nice to come home to twenty years ago? When it was still lovable, vibrant and human?

László Bartók Metro, 21 February 2008 (page 4 - excerpt)

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Many people ask the question these days, "where did we go wrong?" In the media, wise econo­mists and financial experts speculate "where did we go wrong?" It has got to the point where they are not blaming the global economic crisis for our mounting woes, because the crisis is affecting all countries equally. Yet other countries are slowly emerging from recession, while we are sinking deeper into the mire. We can only sustain ourselves for a while or two with the help of astronomical amounts of World Bank loans, but no one knows how we will pay back these loans. We can no longer even pay the interest on loans taken out decades ago, so the future looks increasingly bleak.

In the midst of our indecision, few of us think to look to our past for the causes of our problems. We always shape our future in the present, so our present situation is a consequence of our past actions. For decades, many journalists and countless newspaper articles have been about „throwing our best inventions out the window with a shovel”, with no appreciation of our intellectual assets. While the talents of Hungarian professionals are recognised worldwide, we gain nothing from this because we do not allow our intellectual greats to flourish. We cripple, destroy or drive them out of the world. Anyone who does not escape in time is either sent to a mental hospital or to the streets, where they can spend their lives homeless until they freeze to death in a park on a cold winter's night.

But this behaviour is not only bad for ourselves, it is bad for the world. Talent is a divine gift, and squandering it is a crime against our world, and indeed against the universe, which the Creator will never forgive us for. We have continued this practice for decades and now the „tree of deeds has come to fruition. The fruit is ripe", so now we are forced to eat it. Bitter as it is, it is shoved down our throats. We are now being punished for our sins of the past. Let us, as our penance, highlight one of the thousands of wasted inventions, of ruined lives:

 

The story of Dr István Sárvári's family goes back many decades. Like the youngest son of folk tales, the Sárvári dynasty has overcome all obstacles to make its fairy tale come true. But after a promising start, the cold shower came and the story turned into a nightmare. Grandfather István Sárvári had just returned home from being an Italian prisoner of war after the First World War and had started a family in Zsana-pusztá, in the middle of the Great Plain. He started growing potatoes, putting all his heart into it. Being a wise farmer, he soon found out how to produce the best quality seed potatoes and supplied them to all the farmers in the area. From an early age, István's son took a special interest in potato growing, observing everything with a keen eye, and then started breeding potatoes while studying at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Gödöllő.

  My father soon realised that the phytophthora, which regularly devastates potatoes, and the diseases carried by various viruses and pests, were causing enormous damage to susceptible potatoes. A single disease can destroy up to half the expected harvest. But while studying wild potato varieties, he also discovered that it is possible to develop certain resistances, so that the plant can develop resistance to these diseases genetically within itself says Dr István Sárvári, who is the second generation in the family to have developed resistance to these diseases. - He obtained samples of the nine wild potato varieties of his choice from international gene banks and started his experiments despite the fact that academic experts, who seemed much more experienced than he, did not predict much for his future, saying that the world's breeders would have solved the problem of producing resistant varieties in 150 years if it were possible.

Breeding for resistance, i.e. increasing the resistance of plants, had by then been going on for 150 years all over the world, but the desired results had not been achieved. Breeding potatoes is by no means a simple task. A new potato variety is only produced through its flowers, a method known as cross-breeding, and the genetic possibilities are decided at the moment of conception. Later on, they can only be interfered with by artificially induced mutations or GMO techniques. However, because of the potato's fourfold chromosome pool, the potential for genetic fission is so great that if all the world's breeders were to cross-breed with only one parent pair, all genetic variation would be exhausted in about 473 billion years, a hundred times the current age of the Earth.

Breeding projects that take decades usually run into a lack of time. Breeders do not have the active lifespan to carry out breeding programmes that span more than twenty to twenty-five years, because by the time they are in the profession and in management positions they are usually in their forties. Their predecessors see their successors as competitors and do not leave their achievements to them. So with every generation change, you have to start all over again.

The advantage of dynastic breeding, on the other hand, is that the results are passed on to the descendants in full, and they inherit professional skills that are not taught anywhere.

  As a result of the uncertainty of officially supported breeding, private breeding has become our family hobby. We cultivated in private gardens on rented land, otherwise we would have been at the mercy of the donors. My father succeeded in creating the first highly resistant hybrids of nine wild potato species by repeated backcrossing to eliminate the wild traits but retain resistance. In the mid-seventies, multiple backcrossing resulted in the creation of the only potato variety that we managed to get variety recognition for, against a huge headwind and at the cost of a great struggle, under the name „Hungarian Rose” continues István Sárvári Jr.

To understand why it was so difficult to get the Hungarian rose recognised, we have to go back in time to the 1960s and 70s. At that time, the seed potatoes, which were the basis of domestic potato cultivation, were produced using the so-called Dutch pattern, using the stem-rolling technique, as this was the only means of protection against the aphid-borne leaf curl virus. This meant that the potato foliage had to be destroyed within ten days of the aphid invasion to prevent the aphid-borne virus disease from entering the tuber, which would permanently contaminate the propagating material and render it unfit for further propagation. The State rewarded stem-pulling, which resulted in yield losses, with a 25 % subsidy, as it provided growers with valuable and quality propagating material.

The introduction of the „New Economic Mechanism” in 1968, however, created unexpected obstacles for the Hungarian miracle potato, but breeders of other plant species would have much to say about this. The provisions that partially opened up the Hungarian economy meant new markets for Western interests. The Hungarian state administration, for reasons unknown, abolished the deseeding surcharge, with the result that no producer carried out deseeding. As a result, in less than four years, the entire Hungarian seed potato stock became completely sub-standard, killing off the indigenous varieties that accounted for 90 per cent of the country's potato production. Western potato traders then offered to help Hungarian farmers. They provided them with seeds, technology and machinery for their foreign-bred varieties. This provided the helpful foreign partner with a very large buying market, which the Hungarian People's Republic even milked with a 70 percent state subsidy. Almost at the same time as the new varieties were introduced, the Hungarian-bred varieties (gülbaba, Kisvárda rose, etc.) were removed from the variety list. Thus the entire Hungarian potato production became dependent on the new foreign interests. The hegemony of foreign interests con­tinues to this day.

  In such a political and economic environment, we wanted to register our first resistant bree­ding variety, the Hungarian rose, but we kept running into the walls built by the Hun­garian authorities to serve foreign interests, which, interestingly enough, only affected Hun­garian breeding says a leading member of the potato breeding family, recounting the first serious difficulties. Towards the end of the 1970s, they could no longer prevent the registration of our Hungarian rose variety, but the moment it was registered, the attack on us and the variety began to prevent its spread. We fought a windmill battle for three years, trying to comply with all the new regulations, but finally we gave up. We decided that if we were to survive, we had to bow to the odds and go illegal in our own country. From then on, we no longer disclosed any information that would have harmed foreign interests.

The recognition of the Hungarian rose caused a huge panic in the potato market. All the Western-bred varieties known up to then were „susceptible varieties”. In spite of centuries of resistance breeding, susceptible varieties still dominate world potato production today, with huge yield losses of 30-50% after a single year of cultivation, especially in areas more affected by wasting diseases. Based on secure income, no seed distributor had an interest in bringing more resistant seed potatoes to market, as this meant that growers had to replenish their seed potato stocks every year, buying the new batch of susceptible potatoes. Potatoes are a staple food almost everywhere in the world, and there is perhaps no bigger deal than that.

This is being matched by an almost unknown family breeding effort that has resulted in some broad-spectrum resistant potato varieties that are resistant not only to viruses but also to the variable biotypes of phytophthora. They do not need spraying and even have negligible storage losses. This threatened to put the seed potato industry out of business.

  At a time when foreign interests were taking over, I bred potatoes at the request of a Hunga­rian cooperative. By 1982, 510 tonnes of seed potatoes with a zero infection rate had been produced from the virus-resistant variety Magyar rózsa. The Seed Company, which at the time completely dominated Hungarian seed imports, immediately offered the cooperative ten percent of the national distribution of imported potatoes, which the cooperative had been fighting for for years, but only on condition that it destroyed 510 tons of Hungarian Rose seed tubers. The cooperative immediately accepted the offer. They took it out into the forest and left this huge quantity of good quality potatoes to freeze - Dr István Sárvári tells us about the rude attacks they suffered during the communist era.

  Indeed, if this amount of seed had been released from the cooperative's land, nothing could have stopped its success.

In view of the above, there were obviously serious interests involved in preventing this Hungarian invention from being made public. Here the story takes a dramatic turn.

  In the second half of the 1970s, when the Hungarian seed import was due to be renegotiated, in the space of a month my father was assassinated once and I was assassinated four times by unknown assailants, perhaps as a drastic warning that we had miraculously survived. In the potato research institute in Keszthely, of which my father was then the head, the authorities mysteriously found an incredibly large quantity of nematode cysts in all the foil houses, making it possible to destroy millions of hybrid plants which were the starting material for breeding. Interestingly, in each of the houses, which had never had potato tubers introduced from the outside that could have introduced cyst nematodes, the same concentration was found as in the house that had been used for a year as in the house that had been used for ten years. All that was needed was to scatter the cysts on the ground, the rest was up to nature and a vigilant observer.

  Is there more?

  Yes. Last year, a similar incident occurred in Keszthely, after the cultivation of several Keszthely varieties began to gain ground. This time, a bacterium that is also on the quarantine list in Hungary appeared in their seed potato multiplication field. According to the expert, the bacterium was introduced into the potato field by irrigation water.

  Is this possible?

  This bacterium is not native to our country and does not multiply in water.

  Then how did it get there?

  It could have been introduced to the irrigation pump and appeared on the potato table. Is it not interesting that the dirty work is being done by the Hungarian authorities? - Dr István Sárvári asks the rhetorical question.

In the 1990s, comparative trials were conducted in Transylvania between resistant Sárvári and susceptible foreign varieties. Some Scottish researchers were also curious about the experiments. They were surprised to find that all but one potato variety was destroyed by the phytophthora. That one was ours. They asked for samples and tried for two years to find out the secret, without success. At the end of the tests, they found that they had tested the most resistant variety in the world. Then foreign countries offered help again, this time to a private Hungarian company.

  In 1996, a Danish agricultural company, two Scottish individuals and our family business set up a company called Sárpo, or Sárvár Potato, in a one-third to one-third partnership. Our task was intellectual work, research and breeding, the Danes provided financial support and the Scots organised international research and trials," says Mr Sárvári, describing the promising start. He tried to push his Scottish partner out of Sárpo Ltd. by unilaterally raising the capital, and he wanted to take the family's genetic base away from us, but fortunately the amendments to the Hungarian company law at the time prevented him from doing so.

In the internal struggles within the company, István Sárvári's family tried to stay on the scales, as there would have been no chance of survival against any of two much more capital-intensive com­panies, if left alone. As a stop-gap solution to the ongoing funding problems and hostilities, a foun­dation was set up in Scotland to act as a filter in this triangle of conflicting interests. The Sárvár Research Trust operates on a non-profit basis, as originally conceived, mediating between Hungari­an researchers and their co-investors with the help of eminent experts.

  To date, the board of the foundation has not been set up. In retrospect, the only positive aspect of our work is that we have succeeded in attracting Dr David Shaw, an internationally re­nowned researcher in the field of phytopharmaceuticals. Thanks to his work, his experiments, his publications, and his students from all over the world, the Mudfruit varieties have become world famous continues István Sárvári.

However, despite the successes, the internal divisions within the company have not gone away. The Danish side refused to finance the project. However, the experiments could not be stopped during the year, as the genetic stock would have been lost forever. The Scots kept encouraging the family to look for a way to continue the funding, but to persevere. Research that year eventually had to be funded by loans. And the Scottish side forgot to inform the family that they would no longer be funding their work.

  The loans that were taken out under duress are now being rolled over because it has subse­quently emerged that the two parties could not agree to continue and their funding has been cut off. The economic crisis has forced us to sell our farm in order to have enough money to settle the debt and continue says the researcher, somewhat despondently. - Even now, we are struggling because the potatoes we can sell with the effective and selfless help of the Association of Hungarians are only enough to pay the daily bills, but when they run out, we won't have any money for that either. We have had to deprive ten families of their only means of subsistence because we could not pay their wages. We are already several months in arrears with the bank. This year, we have no money to plant next year's crops, which threatens the results of decades of work.

And yet the fancy name of the potatoes of Sárpo, „Míra”, is highly acclaimed worldwide. It is being grown across Europe, experimented with in Africa and even in parts of Asia, and is growing in ever-growing areas. However, the intellectual property rights for its breeding have somehow been lost amidst all the infighting. They need to renegotiate the patent rights, but they don't have the money to sue. A vicious circle.

  Our resistance is fighting against the use of chemicals, which of course also harms chemical interests. We, through generations of sacrifice, are constantly damaging interests by working on resistance breeding. This is why we had to go illegal, and why we are now at the point where nearly 70 years of work could be lost," says István Sárvári, analysing the problem. But the seemingly easier procedure causes more problems than it solves. With such complex DNA structures, it is impossible to foresee the potential dangers. The effects of genetically modified foods on the human body, metabolism, immune system, gut flora are unpredictable. It can take up to two or three generations for mutations or adverse effects to surface. This is why the Sárvár family has always been wary of artificial genetic manipulation. While many people believe that this is the only way to create the right plants, they have worked hard to continually dis­prove the dogma that genetic modification is necessary. There is still untapped potential in conventional breeding, if it is used in the right way.

  We have more than forty varieties of potatoes in the pipeline, and we are experimenting with more than a hundred varieties worldwide. Over the past decades, my family has developed resistant varieties through the selection of 100 million potato hybrids, which are unique in many ways worldwide. Other companies can only test a few tens of thousands a year," he says, doubtfully listing their achievements. But we could have a great career ahead of us, we could bring billions to the country and to Hungarian agriculture. Why shouldn't we be able to control the third world market in organic farming? With these resistant varieties, we could once again be Europe's larder! Why are we ceding the Chinese and Indian markets to others when our potential is so much greater?

But the foreign lobby is proving stronger all the time. And Hungarian politicians do not care about the fate of the country. The chippy-chippy debates and bickering of opposing parties distract their attention from our crucial problems. As the story stands, the work of the Sárvár family for nearly seven decades is at risk. Forced borrowing, backtracking by donors and the economic crisis have left one of Hungary's family businesses with the greatest potential facing one of the country's largest family businesses facing unachievable challenges. Those interested in growing the virus resistant Sárpo potato varieties can contact the breeders at isarvari@freemail.hu

Mobile: +36-30-638 4236 Fax: +36 88-415 278.

Petra Gerhát Hungarian Democrat, 24 June 2009 (pages 16-20)

The article is entitled: Hungarian rose The strange calvary of a potential Hungaricum.

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Dr. István Horváth, a biomedical scientist and doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, has identified an antigen that can stimulate the production of anticholesterol antibodies in the body. If this can stop or even reverse the process of atherosclerosis and thus prevent most cardiovascular diseases, it is a discovery that will affect many. This is what the professor believes the vaccine can do. We spoke to the still-active researcher about why the body needs cholesterol, why immunisation is essential as a self-healing mechanism, and why one of the patients who was cured complained about his glasses:

  For a long time, cholesterol was thought to be the "bogeyman", the trigger for atherosclerosis. Then the formula was refined into good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Now we are talking about cholesterol being an essential part of the body. How exactly is that?

  Until 1980 it was claimed that dietary cholesterol was responsible for atherosclerosis. It was the "Don't eat eggs, ham, bacon!" era. Then came the theory that a bacterium causes inflam­mation in the blood vessels, which is then deposited with cholesterol. Since 2000, the official view has been that high blood cholesterol is the cause of atherosclerosis. However, sometimes atherosclerosis occurs even with low cholesterol levels, and sometimes not even with high levels. This depends on the individual, as does cholesterol synthesis itself. Healthy cholesterol levels are as varied as people's heights.

  In fact, what is the role of cholesterol in the body? Not to simplify the question, but do we need it or not?

  Do we need it! Cholesterol is an important part of the body's metabolism and functioning. Without cholesterol, there is no life. For example, if there is no sex hormone, there is no rep­roduction, because sex hormone is also made from cholesterol. But I could mention the mi­ne­ralocorticoid hormone, which controls the body's mineral metabolism. This is also based on cholesterol. If the amount of cholesterol is not sufficient, minerals and salts are not incor­po­rated into the bones, but are deposited, for example, on the walls of the blood vessels. Red blood cells are completely replaced in the body every 120 days. If there is not enough cho­lesterol, the cell membrane cannot form normally, which causes various diseases. Bile acid, which is also a precursor of cholesterol, is also important. Without bile acids, we would not be able to digest fats, and without the digestion of fats, we would not be able to get the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, B, E, F, K) into our bodies. Cholesterol also plays an important role in connecting brain and nervous system pathways and stabilising receptors. A lack of cholesterol can lead to neurological disorders, as cholesterol is the "hot metal" at the junction of nerve cell extensions. Where there are a lot of nerve cells, a lot of cholesterol is needed. That's why nearly 50 percent of the brain's dry matter is cholesterol, a deficiency that is the cause of many diseases. In addition, there are countless examples of where and how cholesterol is used in the body.

  But when can it cause problems?

  The proportion of cholesterol in the diet is only 5 to 10 percent, the rest is produced by the body. The body constantly produces cholesterol and releases it into the bloodstream in the form of lipoprotein, which is combined with protein. Most of it is made by the liver, but it is also one of the biggest users of cholesterol. In addition, it is always producing more than one type of l