The fact that Viktor Orbán promised a referendum on the settlement of Fudan University caused a great shock among the experts. The Prime Minister is well aware that the government’s preparations for the Chinese institution, which will cost 500 billion, have not stopped. International lawyer Tamás Lattmann told the local editorial office that the Prime Minister had promised a referendum on the matter in vain if a referendum on the obligations arising from the international treaty could not be called.
There seems to be complete chaos in the case of Fudan University, on the one hand the government has set a date for the opening of the campus as early as 2024, and on the other hand Orban even wants a referendum next year to establish a Chinese university. While the plans are already being made. Do you understand what the government wants?
“Not only do I not understand, but I don’t think the prime minister yet.” They talk back and forth, the chaos is complete for now. Orbán says something else, Gergely Gulyás says something else, while in the parliament all kinds of regulators are adopted in a textbook, which are rapidly shaping the outlines of the Chinese university.
And next year’s referendum will, in principle, be about whether we need a Chinese university for 500 billion forints.
Of course, the chaos is complete, don’t be surprised if no one knows what Orbán wants!
Well, as early as 2018, almost under the guise of night, the Hungarian parliament passed a law on Fudan University, almost secretly, entrusting the government with the settlement of the Chinese university. Isn’t that clear speech?
Undoubtedly, a parliamentary decision has been taken on this, which is not always adhered to. I would like to remind you that Viktor Orbán went to Putin in Moscow in 2014, then came home with the plans of Paks 2 under his arm, so the head of government decided to expand the nuclear power plant to his own beard without parliamentary authorization.
Do you think that the exceptional persuasiveness of President Putin has persuaded Orban to expand the nuclear power plant?
We will never know that again, in any case, at least a parliamentary mandate has been born to establish Fudan University. This is perfectly normal, but the beauty flaw in the matter is that the country had no idea about the decision, but I suspect even the MPs didn’t really know anything.
So, in principle, it has been known for three years now that the government wants a Chinese university for HUF 500 billion – that is the budget of the entire Hungarian higher education, and it has given the blessing of the legislation to this?
Of course, the parliamentary decision was not so detailed, only the framework of the trial was set by the legislator. On the other hand, if someone is watching the Fidesz-dominated parliament as a conclusion, they know that the restrictions set by the parliament are not taken seriously by the government.
Is it saying that the government does not even take its own parliamentary majority, the Fidesz faction, seriously?
Orbán decides on an ad-hoc basis, even with his own parliamentary majority, so he can safely ignore the rights of the Fidesz faction.
Can you give an example?
Of course. It should be noted that the Prime Minister has a statutory duty to report on the meetings of the European Council, the main decision-making body of the Union, in the Hungarian Parliament. However, Orbán regularly fails to do so, to my knowledge it has never happened. Thus, the Hungarian representatives, not even the Fidesz compatriots, have no idea what kind of debates the union’s main decision-making body is conducting. You can only find out about the decision from the newspapers.
Doesn’t that bother them?
I have no idea, but László Kövér may be disturbed, because after Viktor Orbán violated the law applicable to him countless times, the Speaker of the House made a proposal to change the law. In other words, Orbán no longer violates the law by not reporting on the decisions of the council.
So, if Orbán doesn’t follow the law, would they rather change the law? Yes, that’s basically what happened. But now Viktor Orbán also says that a referendum is needed on Fudan, and Minister Palkovics is in a hurry to create a legal situation from which the investment can no longer be stopped. Now who’s the boss? I do not know of a point from which the construction of the Chinese university can no longer be stopped; ultimately, a building that has already been completed may even be given other functions. During the Fidesz government, we also learned that they are able to change the law on the fly or even retroactively. It is possible, of course, that Minister Palkovich is urging the adoption of an international convention that excludes the possibility of a referendum. And then it could be a mess that we want a referendum, but unfortunately it can’t. Even without a law degree, it is not known that a referendum on an international convention cannot be held. So Orbán promised a referendum that holding it was actually illegal. So the prime minister is just fooling people with the referendum? The law states that a referendum cannot be held on obligations arising from international treaties However, if the government has already agreed to settle Fudan University, what does the prime minister want a referendum on? The conclusion of an international treaty also requires the approval of the National Assembly. It is, of course, known that the international treaty is being prepared by the government, which is usually nodded by parliament. Or did he nod to him in advance, even if not all Fidesz MPs remember him? A detailed treaty is also needed, and if it is approved by parliament, there will indeed be a ban on a referendum. In the current situation, we may not be able to say this yet. Much also depends on the question posed by the initiator of the referendum. According to the news, Gergely Karácsony wants to initiate a national referendum. We will see whether the question he raises is accepted, handed over to the National Electoral Commission and, in case of dispute, to the Mansion. There is also bitter experience in this matter. I would like to point out that the referendum issue I initiated in 2015, which initiated the accession to the European Union Prosecutor’s Office, was rejected, but a quota referendum based on a similar logic, which supported the government’s political intentions, was accepted. That is, the word of the government, the word of the people. But do you think that Hungarian voters will vote to spend the same amount, that is, 500 billion, on a Chinese university as they spend on all Hungarians? This is already a matter of political communication, it cannot be ruled out that the government is trying to convince voters of the benefits of the Chinese university. Do you think it can succeed despite expensive Chinese credit, the emergence of Chinese workers, and political danger? I do not know. I don’t feel like it’s a real problem to want to train Chinese spies with us, but all the other suggestions are realistic. Do you also feel the supervision of the Chinese Communist Party is dangerous? Look, it doesn’t divide, it doesn’t multiply. In China, everything is controlled by the Communist Party, which, of course, absolutely does not suit my personal taste. I must add, however, that if Fudan University were actually dominated by Chinese communist ideology, and this would possibly pose a threat to the Budapest campus as well, the international perception of the institution would not be as favorable as it is today. Provided the government has the courage to hold a possible referendum, they did not dare to call a referendum on the holding of the Olympics. Of course, the whole affair may be blurred, just as we have not heard of the also unpopular Belgrade high-speed railway or the Paks investment lately. I think they want to postpone these decisions after the parliamentary elections. If Fidesz wins, will the investments start? Presumably, if they win, they will say that the election was a referendum! Regardless of the fact that I think it refers to very bad taste if a government that puts itself on the political right, the Chinese Communist Party, installs an institution in Hungary. Therefore, obviously Viktor Orbán will have to take responsibility.
Source: Népszava by nepszava.hu.
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