Recently in the spotlight

Gábor Vágó. Photo: Nyugat.hu

Hungarian anti-corruption referendum stalls thanks to a mysterious lawyer

A proposed referendum aimed at making it easier to prosecute politicians guilty of corruption managed to pass the muster of Hungary’s National Election Commission, even though the group’s Fidesz delegate fiercely opposed the anti-corruption initiative. Yet just when it seemed that Hungarian voters would have a chance to vote on the proposal to increase the time limit to prosecute corrupt […]

by · August 19, 2017 · Politics
The future of the Hungarian Free Press

The future of the Hungarian Free Press

In the age of the Internet, we have become accustomed to free and plentiful access to news, analysis and information. Some sites have gone the route of online content available only to paying subscribers. I think of Élet és Irodalom in Hungary or the New York Times in the U.S. But at the end of the day, there is an […]

by · August 18, 2017 · Diaspora
Abádszalók clothespin monument.

Hungary’s clothespin statue at Abádszalók

This is admittedly a lighter story, fitting perhaps for an August weekend. Hungarians celebrate St. Stephen’s Day on Sunday, and the founding of the first Hungarian state. Many Hungarians have turned this into a long weekend and are relaxing on the shores of Lake Balaton. Here’s a story that binds two countries and two communities–literally. And it all focuses on […]

by · August 18, 2017 · Culture
Gábor Vona. Photo: Alfahír.

Jobbik leader calls on government to apologize to Roma community

Gábor Vona, leader of Hungary’s Jobbik party, is calling on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government to issue a formal apology to the Roma minority. He accuses the ruling Fidesz party of deliberately eliminating any possibility for upward social mobility within the country’s largest minority group. Speaking in the town of Eger, a few days after he confirmed in a television […]

by · August 17, 2017 · Politics
Viktor Orbán (left) with Robert Fico (right). Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák / MTI

Viktor Orbán loses an important ally in Europe

Robert Fico, Slovakia’s prime minister and a left-leaning politician not immune to populism, nationalism and euroscepticism, has distanced himself from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s hard-line anti-EU and anti-western rhetoric. Most crucially: Mr. Fico confirmed that for him, cooperation and a close alliance with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Germany and President Emmanuel Macron’s France is more important than cooperation among the […]

by · August 16, 2017 · East
Szilárd Németh

Charlottesville — A Hungarian government politician blames the liberals

Szilárd Németh, a prominent parliamentarian affiliated with Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, knows who is to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia during a rally by neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan. In keeping with the politics of the Hungarian regime, Mr. Németh points the finger at “liberal fascists,” who bear full responsibility for the fatal events in […]

by · August 15, 2017 · Politics
J. D. Gordon is one of the critical "players" in the Manafort investigation

J.D. Gordon, Paul Behrends, Hungary and the Russian connection

There is a suspicion that the Orbán government played a role in building a “bridge” between Russian President Putin and President elect Trump. At this point, we don’t know whether this “bridge building” effort is significant enough to register on the radar screen of the ongoing US Congressional and Senate investigations in Washington DC. According to the European Council on […]

by · August 12, 2017 · Politics
The dangers (and politics) of Hungarian drinking water

The dangers (and politics) of Hungarian drinking water

After the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released information concerning the questionable quality of Hungarian drinking water, the Orbán government did what they do best: they denied the problem and started a propaganda campaign to discredit the CDC. (Read here.) The CDC recommendation is clear. In a health advisory for travelers to Hungary they do not recommend […]

by · August 9, 2017 · Politics
Prof. Christopher Ball (left) with ex-Ambassador György Szapáry.

Christopher Ball says that Orbán’s attack on CEU is anti-American

Professor Christopher Ball teaches at the Business School of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. In 2013 he was handpicked by then Hungarian Ambassador György Szapáry, an Orbán confidant, to serve as Honorary Consul. Professor Ball, Director of the Central European Institute and István Széchenyi Chair in International Economics, lived in Hungary for a couple of years but does not speak […]

by · August 3, 2017 · Politics
European Banking Authority offices in London.

Hungary not interested in attracting EU institutions from London after Brexit

European Union institutions currently based in London, but scheduled to relocate following the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, are coveted prizes for member states. EU members see these as an important source of new jobs, investment in the local economy and international stature. Hungary, however, is bucking the trend and is uninterested in attracting any EU institution from London […]

by · August 1, 2017 · Politics