This is how the mafia works. It moves into a neighbourhood, bullies and beats up some people in the community to send a message. Disposes of the weak competitors quickly, or folds them into the organisation, if they can be trusted. The stronger forces may require a war between families.
The mob deals the drugs, runs the guns, and steals at will…making a cut on all the illegal action running through the neighbourhood.
On the flip side, the mafia provides protection to local business from the very criminal forces they are directing and making a profit from. All for a fee.
When it comes to legitimate business transactions within the community, the companies controlled by the mafia are always contracted to provide construction, supplies, and be distributors of goods to the end consumer. This ensures the mob always holds valuable assets and pressure points in the supply chain.
When I hear this coming out of the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Budapest…
The United States is willing to help Hungary and other European countries build energy infrastructure to reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas.
I am reminded of a Sopranos episode, Goodfellas, or one of the classic Godfather movies.
“Relying on Russian sources threatens energy independence,”André Goodfriend has told Nepszava newspaper in an interview published on Saturday. “We are ready to help the country build real energy independence.”
Europe has a mafia problem.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has drawn criticism from Western governments for trying to secure supplies of energy and trade for Hungary by doing deals with Moscow. Critics say he should not be cosying up to Russia when it has sent troops into Ukraine.
On Friday, Orban accused the European Union of sabotaging the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline project, which was scrapped this week in a setback to his strategy of closer ties with the Kremlin.
Hungary backed South Stream because it wanted a source of gas that did not go through Ukraine, a route vulnerable to disruption.
“With its eastern opening, Hungary clearly pursues an energy policy independent of the European Union,” Goodfriend said. “The fact that they planned to build a second pipeline from Russia and they want to increase nuclear energy production, that is what threatens Hungary’s energy independence.”
Orban signed a 10 billion euro ($12.3 billion) construction-and-financing deal with Russian president Vladimir Putin this year to double the capacity of the country’s Paks nuclear power plant with two new reactors.
Goodfriend said the United States had spoken to Hungary and other countries about the infrastructure needed – including liquefied natural gas terminals and interconnectors to national pipeline networks – to get multiple sources of oil and gas.
“Currently the pipeline goes one way (from Russia to Europe) which leaves both Europe and Hungary extremely exposed,” he said. “If that changes, energy can arrive from the Middle East, even the United States.”
Mobsters are naturally upset when they see businesses in their neighbourhood doing deals with people not “in the family.” Goodfella, Mr. Goodfriend’s hamster logic that goes like this…
“The fact that they [Hungary] planned to build a second pipeline from Russia and they want to increase nuclear energy production, that is what threatens Hungary’s energy independence.”
To break it down…Hungary’s energy independence is threatened by wanting a reliable, direct route from supplier to buyer (no middle men), and by securing additional energy sources (nuclear energy) that would fall under Hungary’s full control.
That is how the mafia works. It’s not about Hungary’s energy independence, it’s about Hungary’s energy dependence…dependence on US companies, US suppliers, and US construction.
Once options have been removed, an ‘offer you can’t refuse’ is made and eventually accepted.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.