444 ran some selected quotes from a blog that Fidesz’s nominee for head of state, Katalin Novák (pictured), reportedly wrote in 2010. According to these writings, we can get an idea of how the Fidesz politician lived with her family in Germany at the time as a well-to-do mother of three children, and how she viewed conditions in Hungary then.
In one post, Novák wrote:
Generally-speaking, life in Germany really is easier … I am grateful to fate that I was not forced to have to leave my country, that we do not live on the ridiculous income that a hospital nurse or educator makes.
The post was from 2010, so it is admittedly not in reference to the current situation, but the salaries of nurses and teachers are still not much better. For example, a Hungarian public school teacher does not even make the country’s average monthly salary of 440,000 Ft. (US $1,381) until they turn 61.
Katalin Novák also discussed the situation of kindergarten teachers in Hungary and Germany in another 2010 post, writing:
Attitudes, but also respect, material, and moral recognition may be the cause of differences in the behavior of kindergarten teachers [compared to Hungary]. I have never entered the room without seeing the kindergarten teacher playing, drawing, playing music, or talking to the kids, and I haven’t seen them smoking cigarettes or drinking coffee, or lounging in front of a desk with a bored, tired, broken face.
Katalin Novák was a full-time mother during her life in Germany, while her husband, István Veres, worked at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The future President of Hungary also wrote about her living conditions at that time:
In Germany, we lived on the edge of a forest, in an amazing environment. I had nothing else to do but manage the three children, raise them, play with them for hours, have a picnic in the huge garden in the afternoon, then take them down to boxing lessons. In the evening we went to the sauna, swam for a bit or lit the fireplace, and enjoyed the fantastic scenery. We had two cars, István drove a convertible and left it wide open wherever he went. The food in the village shop was impressive, with even fresh seafood available on Thursdays. In the morning I ran amongst the deer, and we were only surrounded by people living in similarly well-off circumstances.
Hungary’s future Minister for Family Affairs also talked about how much easier it was to save money in Germany compared to Hungary:
Even with such a high standard of living, we were able to save as much money as would be possible after years and years of hard work back home. Whoever visited us was mostly baffled as to how we could even think of leaving it behind.
At the end of December, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that Fidesz was nominating Katalin Novák, Minister of Family Affairs at the time, as the successor to President János Áder. Since the ruling party has a two-thirds majority in Parliament, it is virtually assured that she will become Hungary’s next head of state.
444 has more details from Novák’s blog on motherhood, which aren’t available elsewhere as she has deleted her original posts.