Laszlo Csizmadia, chairman of the Civil Unity Forum in Hungary:
Soros stirs up conflict to fish in troubled waters
We always have to be on the alert when the issue is reforms proposed by the billionaire, because his ultimate goal is to profit from it
Lybomira Budakova, Natalia Radoslavova
17 March, 2017
Close-up: Laszlo Csizmadia is the head of Hungary’s most influential non-governmental organisation dedicated to the benefit of the public - Civil Forum for Unity. Its activities are being supported by about 2,000 Hungarian non-governmental organisations, including some operating outside the country, encompassing about 18,000 people.
- Mr Csizmadia, you say that the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Hungary funded by George Soros have set their sights on toppling the government. What do they stand to gain from bringing down Viktor Orban’s cabinet?
- Above all else, this is a political stance. For almost eight years now the cabinet in power has been one that puts national interests, providing assistance to citizens and upholding the Christian values and civilization first. Meanwhile, these organisations have been constantly opposing the cabinet even though they enjoy all kinds of rights, starting with freedom of speech. They attack it on every possible issue and practically reject any proposal. Hungary is a democracy and their dissidence would not have been viewed as a problem, were they not sponsored by foreign powers. They are getting extremely generous funding from outside - to cover expenses for salaries and office rent, not to mention the bonuses from Soros - so their very existence is dependent on this financial assistance. Soros’s idea is to create a neoliberal society in Europe, as evidenced by the actions of these NGOs.
- Do you mean a global society instead of national societies brought together within the European Union?
Above all else, in Soros’s view, there needs to be a federal union, which is in direct contradiction with the vision of the bloc’s founding fathers. The initial EU concept was for an organisation based on the integration of individual sovereign nations carrying their own identity and not for a centralised command pursuing the ideal of neoliberalism and built in the spirit of globalisation. The majority of people in Hungary and the rest of the Visegrad Group countries believe that Europe needs to represent a bloc of national states, meaning a union (so the EU is definitely important) but definitely not a small body taking charge of national sovereignty as part of it. And federal form of governance of the EU is what some powers are seeking.
- The clash between the Hungarian government, on one side, and Soros and his NGOs, on the other, first reared its head publicly when Hungary’s new constitution was adopted, introducing a new economic model and proposals for justice reforms. How did that interfere with the interests of those NGOs and Soros?
- In 2010-2011 the EU blasted Hungary and Viktor Orban in relation to the new constitution and media law. Criticism was so harsh that Orban felt the need to go and personally defend the Hungarian position at the European Parliament, where lawmakers attempted to dissuade him from making the changes. Even though Brussels had no right to demand such things, Hungary considered the proposals that were made there. As a result, the changes were only slightly amended, which had no effect on the spirit of the constitution whatsoever. We must defy any attempt by Brussels to curb Hungary’s sovereignty at all costs. This is the attitude of the Hungarian citizens, who have survived being part of the Soviet occupation as any central- and eastern European country (including Bulgaria) and are therefore very sensitive when it comes to their rights and freedoms. And this is when the true attack against Orban began, at the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, causing a strong reaction from the Hungarian people. In response to the harsh criticism, half a million Hungarians, led by the Civil Unity Forum and the Civil Union Public Benefit Foundation, took to the streets, sending a message to Brussels that they refuse to be colonised again and would stand against such a serious attack on freedom and protect their right to have a voice. I would like to underscore something important - Bulgaria and Hungary have a lot in common and I think we should act only of our own free will and not under duress. It should be pointed out that the opinions and stances of people living in the European Union differ drastically from those of the administration in Brussels.
- But how did the constitutional changes and the new economic model threaten the interests of Soros?
- Let us go back to 2010, when Orban won the elections with two thirds of the vote. At the time, Hungary was on the verge of financial collapse, not unlike Greece. But the government took a different approach to the problem than the Greeks, i.e. not by taking on debt but relying on its own capabilities. And so a bank tax was introduced. International corporations were also slapped with a levy. This helped the repayment of the debt obligations to the IMF and the European Bank. The idea was to avoid burdening taxpayers with these debts and instead let those who had exploited the situation and pocketed the profit do the heavy lifting. The approach was labeled an unorthodox method for solving the problem and we were once again slammed with accusations that it would lead to the financial ruin of Hungary. Today, the results of these steps are plain to see - the debt is steadily shrinking, the gross domestic product is growing and people in Hungary are living better and better.
- Is there a connection between the imposition of this model and the proposed changes in the judiciary back then, and if yes, what is it?
- Democracy is meant to separate the judiciary from the executive and legislative powers, so that those who have in fact robbed the state can bear the consequences of their wrongdoing. That is why a restructuring of the judiciary had to take place, and some of the proposed changes included the dismissal of judges and prosecutors over 65, because they had been appointed to these positions by the previous system. However, Brussels did not allow that to happen, аnd as a consequence, those who robbed the state through offshore accounts and other means cannot be sanctioned legally today.
- Did the prosecutor’s office get the independence that had been proposed back then?
- Overall, the prosecutor’s office is an independent unit, but some of these old elements can still be found there. And since the prosecutor’s office is the body that orders, leads, and allows all sorts of police investigations, even today we find it hard to hold certain people liable for their actions. A whole new generation needs to come in, so that the prosecutor’s office is thoroughly cleansed, and we start serving justice instead of some misinterpreted law.
- There has been in recent years an attempt at acquiring control over the Bulgarian judiciary funded and supported by Soros. What is the reason for this obsession with the judiciary, and why is it important for Soros to subject it to his interests?
- In the years prior to 2010, and even today, we still happen to have cases with certain dependences - both economic and political. A good case in point is the fourth line of the Budapest metropolitan. Social and liberal organisations supported by Soros, as well as certain members of the Budapest city council affiliated with Soros, and even people involved with the previous government that was also close to Soros, embezzled HUF 165bn (more than €500m) from the investment in the enlargement of the metropolitan. That is why a change in government and exerting the utmost possible control through these NGOs is paramount to him, because in that way he would avoid punishment for his actions. And also that would allow him to legalise his economic interests in Hungary.
- Keeping in mind everything we have been discussing, what is the connection between Soros and the refugees’ wave? In recent months on several occasions representatives of the government and the ruling party Fidesz, including PM Viktor Orban himself, have personally accused Soros of deliberately provoking the migrant crisis.
- To a man like Soros, who only thinks about money, it is paramount that cheap labour arrive in Europe. In this way, he could cut down on production costs and increase the profits of his companies and his banks, for that matter. Also, as a militant of systems functioning as federations (like the one in the US), it is in his interest to impose the same model in Europe and to place the governance in the hands of purposefully appointed people. However, for his plan to succeed, he has to destabilise the national states that declare they have no need of illegal immigrants. I stress on the word “illegal”, because I make distinctions between refugees, illegally residing migrants, and terrorists. These are different categories. Soros has an interest in provoking social conflicts in order to achieve centralisation. It is easier to fish in troubled waters. In other words, it is easier to fish in troubled countries. Soros ought not to tell Hungary or other countries that they need to accept illegal immigrants. The shortage of labour has to be tackled by the countries themselves, and not by forceful means from the outside. Another important perspective is that the disintegration of Christian culture is also in Soros’ interest, because Christian culture could potentially rise against his ambitions. Overall, I would like to say that what national governments promise people is freedom, whereas Soros promises them abuse of freedom - “do what you want as long as you leave me do whatever I want”. That is why we always have to be on the alert when the issue is reforms proposed by Soros, because these reforms serve his endeavour for globalisation, for taking advantage of the country in question, and for putting an end to real freedom. Let me give you one example. What did he do in his own country? How much money was poured into Clinton’s foundation in an attempt to influence the presidential elections in the US? Soros is definitely doing politics and he is getting richer at the expense of the politicians who seek out his help and support.