Hands of a guy on laptop keyboard

When do negotiations start?

Published on 07 July 2012
Updated on 05 April 2024

The political spectrum in Hungary has been providing lots of food for thought and discussion in recent weeks.Topics like Internet governance,  media censorship, anti-Semitism and europhobia are being tossed around in daily conversation. There’s never a dull moment.

As the majority of these conversations take place in Hungarian, I, like many other expats, are totally dependent on English-language media or translated texts. It is hard work keeping abreast of what’s going one and there is always the question of just how much has been lost or added in translation.

Just yesterday, I came across a blog by Eva Balogh in the Hungarian Spectrum in which she questions just this. The announcement made yesterday by the Hungarian government stated:

Hungary’s financial negotiations with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund will begin on July 17 in Budapest.

On futher investigation, it appears that

Olivier Bailly, spokesman for the European Commission, announced only that a joint IMF-EU delegation will arrive on that date, not to begin negotiations but to prepare the ground for possible forthcoming negotiations.

Not quite the same thing at all. Is it any wonder that I’m confused and find it difficult to know which text to trust? I can hear my mother’s voice in the background reminding me that newpaper will take any print.

When questioned, the Hungarian minister in charge of the negotiations, Mihály Varga,claimed that

negotiations begin when we start talking to each other.

I wonder.

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2 replies
  1. Mary
    Mary says:

    What interests me, Suresh, is
    What interests me, Suresh, is that both parties seem to have very different ideas about when these negotiations begin – with the EC being all for an official start to the process and Hungary using a much broader brush to paint its picture. Agree with you that ***at a meaningful, decision making level*** is key.

  2. Suresh Ramasubramanian
    Suresh Ramasubramanian says:

    This is pure wordplay.
    This is pure wordplay. Practically, such negotations begin when they start talking to each other ***at a meaningful, decision making level*** – that is, ministerial, or senior bureaucrat level.


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