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Ferenc Gyurcsány speaking at a party congress on 2 September 2006
|Date||May 26, 2006|
The Őszöd speech (Hungarian: őszödi beszéd) was a speech Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány delivered to the Hungarian Socialist Party's 2006 party congress in Balatonőszöd. Though the May congress was confidential, Gyurcsány's address was leaked and broadcast by Magyar Rádió on Sunday, September 17, 2006, igniting a nationwide political crisis.
Liberally using vulgar language, Gyurcsány admitted that the Socialist Party (MSzP) had misled the electorate and that its coalition government had enacted no significant measures over its tenure. The mass protests the speech's release precipitated are considered a major turning point in Hungary's post-communist political history. MSzP's inability to contain the speech's political fallout led to the popular collapse of MSzP and, more broadly considered, of the Hungarian political left, paving the way for Fidesz's supermajority victory in the 2010 Hungarian parliamentary elections.
English translation of the controversial parts of the speech
Ferenc Gyurcsány's speech given in Balatonőszöd during May 2006 starts with an approximately one-hour-long overview of the first proposed steps of the new social-liberal government. English translation of the controversial (second) part of the speech:
|“||There is not much choice. There is not, because we have fucked it up. Not a little but a lot. No European country has done something as boneheaded as we have. It can be explained. We have obviously lied throughout the past one and a half-two years. It was perfectly clear that what we were saying was not true. We are beyond the country's possibilities to such an extent that we could not conceive earlier that a joint government of the Hungarian Socialist Party and the liberals would ever do. And in the meantime, by the way, we did not do anything for four years. Nothing. You cannot mention any significant government measures that we can be proud of, apart from the fact that in the end we managed to get governance out of the shit. Nothing. If we have to give an account to the country of what we have done in four years, what are we going to say? Naturally, it [i.e. the government's work] is not constructed nicely, calmly or scrupulously. No. No. It is being prepared at a mad break-neck speed because we could not do it for a while in case it came to light, and now we have to do it so damned desperately that we are almost at the breaking point. And then we slowly end up falling over. Because we cannot do better in keeping up the pace. This is the situation. And in the meantime, we still have to come to an agreement with the Free Democrats because ministerial problems are still *cut* you know that. *cut*
Hungary is heading to a breakdown. There's no way out." or it can be just a neutral statement, saying "We went through all the analyses on the situation of Hungary. We have all the results written down."]. So premising that what we do is far from being perfect, I cannot tell you a 'B' version. *cut*
Guys. We are not perfect. Not at all. We will not be either. I cannot say to you that everything will be fine. I can tell you, what I have been saying in the past one year. What can be carried out decently, what comes out from our talent, because we do not play special games, because we do not spend our energy on bullshitting with each other, because none has private interests, which otherwise would not stand publicity among us, because I am not willing to arrange something with you [the composition of this sentence is also incomplete in Hungarian].
Personally, I have been able to go through the past one and a half years because one thing has given me the ambition and fuelled me: to give back its faith to the left, that it can do it and it can win. That the left does not have to lower its head in this fucking country [The English word 'fucking' is not appropriate here; however, the literal translation of 'kurva' cannot be put in the context. The word 'kurva' means 'whore' or 'bitch', also used as a vulgar prefix in cursing.]. That it does not have to shit its pants from Viktor Orbán [chairman of opposition Alliance of Young Democrats - Hungarian Civic Alliance, (Fiatal Demokraták Szövetsége - Magyar Polgári Szövetség, abbreviation Fidesz - MPSZ)] or the right, and it should now learn to measure itself not against them, but against the world. This gave me the faith why it is worth doing this. It was a great thing. I loved it. It was the best part of my life. Now it [i.e. the faith] comes from the fact that I make history. Not for the history books, I do not give a shit about them. I do not at all care whether we or I personally will be in them. I do not at all care. Will we do something big? Are we going to say: goddammit, some people have come who dared to do it and did not fart around with how they would deal with the travel expenses, fuck it. Some came who did not fart around whether they would have a place in the county government, because they understood that this fucking [prefix 'kurva' used again] country is about something else. They can understand that the reason it is worth being a politician here at the beginning of the 21st Century is to create a different world. Only for this. Livelihood can be found in many other ways.
I know that this is easy for me to say [viz. Ferenc Gyurcsány was then among the richest 100 of Hungary]. I know. Do not keep smacking this into my face all the time. But this is the only reason it is worth doing it. I almost perished because I had to pretend for one and a half years that we were governing. Instead, we lied in the morning, at noon and at night. I do not want to carry on with this. Either we do it and you have a person for it, or someone else will do it. I will never give a single interview at the end of which we part with each other in argument. Never. I will never hurt the Hungarian left. Never. But it is only worth doing it to touch the big issues. For explaining it and then sitting on long committee meetings and then holding a new work committee, and then finding it out, that never on a single law we can make an agreement, because only those compromises are being resulted again, that is [singular used in Hungarian as well] basically the compromise of idleness, to preserve what was there before. Because everything else trespasses upon somebody's interest. You need another madam for that. This won't change my adoration, not at all. I won't stand up every day. Gyula Horn [former socialist prime minister of Hungary, 1994–1998] had this kind of minister too, who wanted to resign all the time. I had this kind of prime minister predecessor, who was saying all the time, that he, that I am not that kind of guy. While there is force in it and we keep moving forward, until that point I stay, and then once I shall sneak away in deep silence. It's not worth doing it for anything else. Everybody should decide to oneself, whether one's doing it for 400-500 thousand Forints [~2000-2500 USD, the average monthly salary of a parliamentary representative in Hungary], which is fucking [prefix 'kurva' used again] important, especially if one does not have any profession other than this, I know. Whether one will be able to move beyond the events of the last 15 years and make new *cut*..ses, or one thinks, that this will be such four years [i.e. such a governmental period] again, that yeah goddammit, we have survived the former one so far, we will get over this one as well. We had enough prime ministers, oh, we will get over this guy as well. We use to stay anyway. Maybe. And I also tell you that this is a legitimate argument, and it doesn't even hurt my feelings, not at all, not at all. There are not one but several people in this fraction who are eligible to be a prime minister. I tell you all, to take a deep breath, drink a fucking [prefix 'kurva' used again] huge amount of wine, sleep on it for a couple of nights, and make up your minds. If everyone can say only what has always been said in the past years, and does not get to say 'well, damn it, maybe I have to say something else than I used to say for five years because we could not, apparently, come to an agreement with each other'. Because if all the one hundred and ninety [i.e. socialist representatives in the Hungarian Parliament] keeps saying the same sentences one has been saying in the past years, then similarly, nothing is going to happen, because we similarly won't be able to come to an agreement. Fuck it, although I don't agree, I let it go. They do it for the first time. Other times, *cut* let it go, to let them do it. It is not a reform to wait for others to change. It is not a reform, by the way, that we stand out and keep telling the people the mantra. The reform is, that we are willing to reassess everything we have thought and done before in many aspects. Compared to this, the matter of the first months, the matter of the adjustment is just a simple constraint, I must admit that to you. You are wrong at the point, if you think that you have a choice. You don't. Neither do I. Today, at best, the choice is whether we try to influence what is happening, or it will damn fall on us. Our solution is not perfect, you are right in that, surely not, but we don't know a better way. Such that we can make an agreement on with the majority of the professional sector, that we can make the markets accept, that we can make the coalition partner accept.
I think, that it can be done. I think, there will be conflicts guys, yes, there will be. There will be protests, there will be. It is allowed to protest in front of the Parliament... Sooner-or-later they will get bored of it and go home. It can only, it can only be carried out, if in the substance, in the substance you believe and in the substance there is an agreement.
My personal story is to let us change this fucking [prefix 'kurva' used again] country, because who else is going to do it? Is it going to be Viktor Orbán [chairman of opposition] with his team? Or option 'C': nothing is going to happen. It is feasible to flounder further for a while. It is obvious, that the matter of the healthcare system is complicated. But whoever of us goes into a healthcare institution, knows, that it is built on a set of lies. It is obvious, that it's extremely hard to touch anything in the educational system. But yes, we see, that it does not distribute knowledge equally. Somebody among you said, that after all it is - maybe it was Gergő Arató [representative of the socialist party] - that after all it is the greatest injustice, you know, that the Hungarian educational system on the one hand amplifies social differences between us, it does not attenuate them, and it also segregates as well. This is the really huge problem, this is the big concern! And the big concern is, that we offer the free-of-charge public education to those, you know, those coming from the best families. According to this it is not the scandal, that it has to be paid in 3 percent installments. If there is a scandal in the society, then it is that the top ten thousand reproduce themselves using public money. And we do not dare to say this out, and we shit ourselves to say, that for that matter one should pay the 7 percent. Do not indulge ourselves here. This is the real scandal. The real scandal is, that on who Laci [unknown representative from the socialist party with first name 'László'] is talking about, his gipsy men, they get tenth the quality of the healthcare service I get. And since my mother, my mother's name is known in Pápa [Ferenc Gyurcsány's hometown] and they call her Katus [pet name for 'Katalin'], she also gets better one, fuck me [the original expression used here could be literally translated as 'fucking life', even if the word 'kurva' is used again as a prefix of 'life' instead of 'fucking']! She did not know, what had happened. 'Has the healthcare system improved, my son?' I reply: 'Bullshit, mom! The truth is that they recognize your name.' This is scandalous. Compared to this, in a social sense the admission for medical attention [i.e. 300Ft (~1.5 USD) per each visits in a doctor's office as a starting rate] is nothing. It is not a scandal, it is unpleasant politically, and to pay it. Because politically it can have heavy consequences. But frankly, this consequence only corresponds to us, if we are idiots. Its social consequence, that corresponds to everybody. We do not dare to touch a bunch of evident social lies, because we are afraid of the political consequences affecting us.
Last summer, guys! One year after, we won. What if we didn't lose our popularity because we are fucking each other but because we deal with great social matters? And it doesn't matter if we temporary lose the support, our support of the public. After all we will regain it. Because they will understand it. And one can go to the countryside calmly, by knowing that we did it, goddammit. Doesn't it become better for everyone? They are right. But for him, and him, and her, and there were dormitories built in this maggoty country once again. This is what politics is about. It is not about who is going to become a regional mayor, how many deputies one will have. It is also important, I know, I'm not naive. But it is not in the most important one hundred problems of the country. And we are the ones to decide which one to take care of, we. And I think the country deserves it, and we deserve it too to do such things.
So what I can say to you is to stop, is to do it. You have a lot of truth in warnings, in the fear for us, in matters on details. I can only say, that I will play no games, neither this way, nor that way. We are doing our job. Until it is possible to go the pace, we go the pace. If it is not possible to go, and you explain it, that 'Yes, BUT...' For that I think you don't need me. You need someone else for that. And I will write fucking good books about the modern Hungarian left [viz. Ferenc Gyurcsány already wrote a book on this subject in 2005, entitled 'In Transit' (Útközben)].
What? Do I need to say anything else, Ildikó [Ildikó Lendvai, floor leader of the Hungarian Socialist Party]?
(May 26, 2006. Balatonőszöd)
Excerpts from the speech with their translations
Not only the content but also the profanity of the speech has been heavily criticized. In response to the criticism concerning the profanity, Ferenc Gyurcsány stated that "these words were the words of objurgation, passion and love". ("Ezek a korholás, a szenvedély és a szeretet szavai voltak").
While giving the speech, he has used - among others - the Hungarian word szar (i.e., shit) or its related terms (szarból, beszarni, etc.) eight times and the word kurva (i.e., bitch, whorish, fucking) seven times. The following table presents some of the profane remarks - of which not everything has been translated by the foreign (i.e., non-Hungarian) press in general - with their corresponding translations.
|in English||in Hungarian|
|"My personal story is: we must change this fucking country; otherwise who else will?"||"Az a személyes sztorim, hogy változtassuk meg ezt a kurva országot; mert ki fogja megváltoztatni?"|
|"Go to hell with that. Let's move on." Note that the original Hungarian phrase is much stronger language than this and corresponds roughly in meaning to "to the cunt".||"Húzzatok már a picsába ezzel. Gyerünk előre."|
|"There aren't many choices. That is because we have fucked it up. Not just a bit, but much."||"Nincsen sok választás. Azért nincsen, mert elkúrtuk. Nem kicsit; nagyon."|
|"That it [i.e., the Left] doesn't have to hang its head in this fucking country. That we shouldn't shit ourselves in fear of Viktor Orbán and the Right, and learn finally to compare itself [i.e., the Left] not to them but to the world."||"Hogy nem kell lehajtani a fejét [t.i., a baloldalnak] ebben a kurva országban. Hogy nem kell beszarni Orbán Viktortól, meg a jobboldaltól és tanulja most már meg magát [t.i., a baloldalnak] nem ő hozzájuk mérni, hanem a világhoz."|
|"Will we say, that fu ... goddamn it all, a few people came along who dared to do it and didn't fart around with how the hell will we get our travel costs refunded; fuck it! A few people came along and didn't fart around whether they will be in the local governments or not, but they understood that this fucking country is about something else."||"Azt mondjuk-e, hogy: a kur.. a rohadt életbe, jöttek páran, akik meg merték tenni és nem szarakodtak azon, hogy hogy a francban lesz majd az útiköltség elszámolásunk; bassza meg! Jöttek páran, akik nem szarakodtak azon, hogy a megyei önkormányzatban lesz-e majd helyük, vagy nem, hanem megértették, hogy másról szól ez a kurva ország."|
|"And of course we can think for a very long time and conduct a whole fucking load of analysis about how certain social groups will end up; this is what I can say to you."||"És persze még gondolkodhatunk nagyon sokáig, meg kibaszott sok elemzést el lehet végezni, hogy melyik társadalmi csoportot hogy fogja végezni; azt tudom nektek mondani."|
|"And I will write fucking good books about the modern Hungarian left."||"És írok majd kibaszott jó könyveket a modern magyar baloldalról."|
|"... that I make history. Not for the history textbooks; I don't give a shit about that."||"... hogy történelmet csinálok. Nem a történelemkönyveknek; arra szarok."|
|"You cannot name any significant government measures that we can be proud of except pulling our administration out of the shit at the end. Nothing!"||"Nem tudtok mondani olyan jelentős kormányzati intézkedést, amire büszkék lehetünk, azon túl, hogy a szarból visszahoztuk a kormányzást a végére. Semmit!"|
|"Has the healthcare system improved, my son? I reply: a load of bullshit, mom! They just recognise your name."||"Megjavult az egészségügyi rendszer, fiam? Mondom: egy lószart, mama! Csak felismerik a nevedet."|
|"What if we didn't lose our popularity because we are fucking with each other but because we dealt with great social issues? And it doesn't matter if we temporarily lose the support of the public; after all we will regain it."||"Mi lenne, hogy ha nem az egymás közötti faszkodás miatt veszítenénk el a népszerűségünket, hanem mert csinálunk nagy társadalmi ügyeket, és nem probléma, hogy elveszítjük akkor egy időre a támogatásunkat; aztán majd visszaszerezzük."|
As a reaction to the speech Viktor Orbán, chairman of Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union, has called Ferenc Gyurcsány "a compulsive liar" ("beteges hazudozó") whom his party considers as "a person who is a part of history and the past" ("a történelemhez és a múlthoz tartozó személy"). In addition to the excerpts above, the following table contains excerpts from the speech for which Ferenc Gyurcsány has received heavy criticism.
|in English||in Hungarian|
|"Divine providence, the abundance of cash in the world economy, and hundreds of tricks, which you obviously don't need to know about, helped us survive this situation."||"Az isteni gondviselés, a világgazdaság pénzbősége, meg trükkök százai, amiről nyilvánvalóan nektek nem kell tudni, segítette, hogy ezt túléljük."|
|"It is allowed to protest in front of the Parliament. Sooner-or-later they will get bored of it and go home."||"Lehet tüntetni a Parlament előtt. Előbb-utóbb megunják, hazamennek."|
|"If there is a scandal in the society, then it's the fact that the upper ten thousand reproduce themselves using public money."||"Ha van társadalmi botrány, akkor az, hogy a felső tízezer termeli magát újra közpénzen."|
|"And we should try to take these issues forward, to maintain the cooperation and bona fide between us, to assure the support of the coalition partner [i.e., SZDSZ], to prepare the managers and leading publicists of the most influential newspapers about what they can count on. To involve them in this process."||"És egyszerre kell megpróbálni előre vinni ezeket az ügyeket, fenntartani közöttünk az együttműködést, a jóhiszeműséget, biztosítani a koalíciós partner [t.i., SZDSZ] támogatását, fölkészíteni a legbefolyásosabb lapok vezetőit, és vezető publicistáit, hogy mire számíthatnak. Bevonni őket ebbe a folyamatba."|
|"No European country has done something as boneheaded as we have. Obviously, we lied throughout the last year-and-a-half, two years."||"Európában ilyen böszmeséget még ország nem csinált, mint amit mi csináltunk. Nyilvánvalóan végighazudtuk az utolsó másfél, két évet."|
|"And meanwhile, by the way, we've done nothing for four years. Nothing."||"És közben egyébként nem csináltunk semmit négy évig. Semmit"|
|"I almost perished because I had to pretend for 18 months that we were governing. Instead, we lied morning, night and evening."||"Majdnem beledöglöttem, hogy másfél évig úgy kellett tenni, mintha kormányoztunk volna. Ehelyett hazudtunk reggel, éjjel meg este."|
|"There are several matters, where I have no clue what the sixth step is; I don't even know the third. I know the first two."||"Hogy egy sor ügyben fogalmam sincsen, hogy melyik a, nem a hatodik lépés; még a harmadikat sem tudom. Tudom az első kettőt."|
- "Timeline of events on the web page of the Hungarian Radio". radio.hu. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07.(in Hungarian)
- "Index - Belföld - A Fidesz nem áll többé szóba Gyurcsánnyal". Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- A teljes balatonőszödi szöveg (The whole text from the Balatonőszöd speech. In Hungarian): http://nol.hu/cikk/417593/
- The speech in mp3 format: http://dl.index.hu/dl/sziget/fleto/oszod5.mp3
- The speech on the blog of Ferenc Gyurcsány (Hungarian) - http://kapcsolat.hu/blog/jojjon_az_eredeti_szoveg...
- Ferenc Gyurcsány: "These words were the words of objurgation, passion and love". ("Ezek a korholás, a szenvedély és a szeretet szavai voltak", Hungarian) - http://www.icenter.hu/cgi-bin/automatic/bianko.pl?szo=4800&cikk=0609285045007
- Viktor Orbán: "This person [i.e. Ferenc Gyurcsány] is a sick liar." ("Ez egy beteges hazudozó.", Hungarian) - http://www.mno.hu/index.mno?cikk=375107&rvt=2
- Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union considers Ferenc Gyurcsány as "a person who is a part of history and the past". ("a történelemhez és a múlthoz tartozó személy", Hungarian) - http://index.hu/politika/belfold/ov0821/
- English translation by BBC - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5359546.stm
- English report as seen on BBC - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kh5TsREt4A