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What about our dreams?

May 20th, 2011

Hungary finished 22nd in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest and the first comments blamed the deceiving result on the country’s poor international image.

János Sebők, a veteran expert on pop music who now regularly comments on public affairs in the liberal weekly HVG believes the Hungarian song, entitled „What about my dreams” in English, would have deserved more votes from the European TV viewers, and suspects that its poor ranking was due, among other things to „the decline of Hungary’s international prestige since the régime change 21 years ago”.

„Hungary has been fencing too much lately with the European Union…. Perhaps it would be time to revise our attitudes, for we are not the ones who distribute the big punches, on the contrary, most of the time we are the ones that receive them”.

Gábor Borókai, Editor in chief of Heti Válasz devotes his weekly column to the issue, describing himself as „thoroughly surprised to see that even serious journalists have been inclined to ascribe the outcome of the vote to Hungary’s bad general performance and poor international image”.

He also believes that something is wrong with Hungary’s image abroad: during the past ten years (most of it under socialist-liberal governments) “we have lost the advantage we used to enjoy in the period of the régime change”. But he considers it absurd to blame the result on the present right-wing government’s allegedly politically incorrect policies. For the winner, Azerbaijan, is by no means famous for its government’s political correctness.  Nor are the leaders of other countries whose songs rank among the first ten, including Berlusconi’s Italy, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova. And how to explain the case of those ranking behind Hungary: Spain, Switzerland, Holland and Norway?

Those who “see (Prime Minister) Viktor Orbán and Hungary’s problems in general,” in singer Kati Wolf’s performance of ‘What about my dreams’, “would be well advised to consult their physician: and I do not mean their optician.”