2014. november 4., kedd

An average Tuesday in the European Union

...or, more precisely, in one country belonging to the EU, one which claims to be in its geographical center; Hungary. 

Let's see two key news pieces of the day:

- In Miskolc, one of the largest city of Hungary, a public worker has been fired. He's been fired despite positive former comments on his work because he ran as an opposition candidate in the recent municipality elections. He's then taped a discussion with his own boss (a senior official within the municipality), who confirmed it happened because he ran against fidesz, the governing party. 

(Bit of background: fidesz introduced the special status of public worker as a substitute for long-term unemployment benefits. In this program, hundreds of thousands of typically lowly skilled long-term unemployed people perform simple physical tasks like moving the grass in their municipalities. The trick is that the privilege to do such work for about 100 EUR a month is not a right to all long-term unemployed; municipalities can decide whom to take and whom to leave without any kind of state support. This selection right is said to be abused in a number of ways including using these people as propagandists for the governing party, fidesz. For instance there's plenty anecdotal evidence they are forced to participate in grand pro-government demonstrations called 'peace marches'.) 

Now it would be foolish to assume that there will be any disciplinary action against the boss who fired the guy, or that the public worker would get his job back. Last time a tape became known where a fidesz representative spoke about granting profitable concessions to political friends, the police started an investigation into who had done the 'illegal' taping, and the prosecutor's office confirmed the tape contained nothing that would necessitate it to take action against the fidesz representative.

- A letter became known in the press, written by the ministry of agriculture. It is apparently addressed to everyone in Hungary possessing a fishing or hunting permit (administered by the ministry). And it urges the  holders of such permits to provide in-kind catering services to the participants of to-be-announced Peace Marches, with concrete dates, places and timings. The writer, a department head within the ministry confirmed to a news site he does not see any problem with his letter. 
BTW the organizer of these Peace Marches (see above) is a supposed NGO, which is so non-governmental that its leader is employed by the government and actually in charge of distributing state funding among NGOs. No joke.    

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