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Hajrá Magyarok!

Posted by Helen Tuesday, December 18, 2007 ,

Sorry, couldn’t resist that one, even though this is not a posting about football. For those misguided readers of this blog who made ironic comments on the forum some time ago about my alleged ignorance about matters footballic, allow me to point out that the title is the Hungarian shout that urges the team forward. The Italian equivalent is Forza Italia! The English one is something along the lines of Ingeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerlaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand.

Enough of that frivolity. Let us turn to other, equally frivolous matters – the Constitutional Reform Lisbon Treaty. It seems that Hungary, which no longer manages to put up a good football team, at any rate manages to be the first country to ratify the treaty.

How they did it with such speed is a little hard to work out – must have been debating round the clock. Either that or the whole thing was passed on the nod, it being nearly Christmas and the complaints will start later when the people will realize what the parliamentarians nodded through “on their behalf”.

This wonderful piece of news was reported on EUObserver and EUbusiness. The latter explains what happened:

There were three separate votes on the treaty, including an amendment to the Hungarian constitution, all of which overwhelmingly carried the two-thirds majority needed for ratification.
A slightly muddled way of putting it but we get the gist of it. Yes, the treaty went through on the nod and the Hungarian people are unlikely even to know what was decided.

EUObserver points out that
In taking the ratification step so quickly, Budapest has stolen the crown from Poland and France, both of whom had indicated they were aiming to be the first. French president Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country rejected the original EU constitution in 2005, had suggested that France should be among the first to prove that the country is back on track in Europe.
All this competitiveness – don’t they know that it is bad for children? Apparently, President Sarkozy has come up with an interesting excuse for not putting the slightly longer treaty to the French people. No, it is not because they might come up with the wrong answer.
Mr Sarkozy has sidestepped the awkward question of why French voters will not be having a second say on the treaty by suggesting that if France had a referendum then the British government would be forced to follow suit, resulting in a probable rejection of the document.
Not us, guv, it’s them.

The Hungarian News Service (MTI) writes about Commissar-in-Chief Barroso congratulating the Hungarian parliament at overfulfilling the plan. Some Hungarians with long memories might feel a little uneasy but most, I imagine, will shrug the whole story away.