Tuesday, September 19, 2006

When You Lie in Hungary...

Hungarian Leader Refuses to Resign After Riots

Filed at 6:10 a.m. ET

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) -- Police retook the headquarters of Hungarian state television Tuesday after violent clashes with protesters demanding the prime minister resign for lying about the economy.

About 150 people were hurt in overnight riots that Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany called ''the longest and darkest night'' for the country since the end of communism in 1989.


The protests were triggered by a recording that surfaced Sunday. In it, the Socialist prime minister admitted lying ''morning, evening and night'' about the economy to win April elections.

Gyurcsany, who has not denied making the statements, refused to resign and called an emergency session of the National Security Cabinet.


In the recording leaked Sunday to local media, Gyurcsany could be heard admitting that his government coalition, the first in post-communist Hungary to win re-election, had lied about the economy -- keeping it afloat through ''hundreds of tricks'' and thanks to ''divine providence.''

Gyurcsany's comments -- made in May to the Socialists' group of parliamentary deputies -- were full of crude remarks.

''We screwed up. Not a little, a lot,'' Gyurcsany was heard saying. ''No European country has done something as boneheaded as we have.''

''I almost died when for a year and a half we had to pretend we were governing. Instead, we lied morning, evening and night,'' he told his fellow Socialists.

President Laszlo Solyom asked Gyurcsany to publicly recognize his error, saying the news of Gyurcsany's remarks had thrown the country into a ''moral crisis.'' He also chastised the prime minister for ''knowingly'' jeopardizing people's faith in democracy.

Gyurcsany defended himself by saying that was he trying to convince his party about the urgent and inevitable need for comprehensive reforms and to change the political culture.

In trying to quell the riots, Prime Minister Gyurscany said that ''The street is not a solution, but instead causes conflict and crisis. Our job is to resolve the conflict and prevent a crisis.'' So, here's a guy that screwed up the economy of Hungary (whether he did it or not is not the point, it's his watch), and then lied about the health of the economy in order to win reelection, and then when the lies are totally exposed, and the country goes out of its mind, he says the streets are not the answer. That may be right, but doesn't he understand how angry constant lies can make a country's citizens? I think he does now.

Amazing what lies leaders will tell just to keep their jobs, and how far they will go to cover up those lies. Does it even matter anymore about governing properly? Gyurscany tried to cover his ass by saying that he lied in order to "convince his party about the urgent and inevitable need for comprehensive reforms and to change the political culture."

Uh... yeah. Sure, whatever. Tell that to someone in your country who would actually believe you. Because even if it's true, it's too little too late. Afterall, I don't think very many people in Hungary would believe you anyway.

Update: By way of the BBC, The Vigil has the complete text of Gyurscany's lies... er... speech to his government's insiders.

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