Articles by: Hungarian Free Press

Reuters / B. Szabó

Hungarian democracy in a nutshell — The Jewish contribution to the European integration project

I am speaking about democracy in a nutshell today, because pretty well that’s all is left of Hungarian democracy by today. In fact, it is even quite loose in that nutshell, after having shrunk so small. On December 31 2013, in the late night hours, as the country was well on its way to get drunk and celebrate the new year, […]

by · August 3, 2014 · Focus
Public broadcaster M1 is known for its blatantly one-sided, pro-government reporting.

Far-right government consultant defends Tusnádfürdő speech on public TV

Hungary’s M1, the main public television channel, interviewed economist and Orbán government consultant Csaba Lentner, airing his views on why journalists in the West reacted so critically and fiercely to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s infamous ‘illiberal’ speech in Tusnádfürdő, Romania, last weekend. What the state broadcaster (which is hardly known for its fair and balanced reporting, even though they are […]

by · August 3, 2014 · Politics
Orlai Produció's adaption of Amadeus. Photo: Bea Gergely.

Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus opens in Budapest – An HFP photo report

Bea Gergely, a Budapest-based freelance photo reporter, attended Orlai Produkció’s adaptation of Amadeus, a play by British playwright and screenwriter Sir Peter Sheffer. The play offers the audience a fictionalized version of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life. The narrative is told from the perspective of fellow composer Antonio Salieri who — as a devout Catholic and as someone who is highly envious […]

by · August 2, 2014 · Culture
Viktor Orbán. Photo: Facebook.

Orbán adopts Putinism: The West finally wakes up

Never in over four years of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s  rise to power with a supermajority have major western journals and commentators sounded the alarm bells quite so loud. In just the last 24 hours, two major outlets have written about the demise of parliamentary democracy in Hungary, in a manner that has never before been seen, not even when […]

by · August 1, 2014 · Politics
Aida at the Margaret Island Open Air Theatre: Pre-opening night photos by Bea Gergely.

The Hungarian State Opera’s production of Aida: An exclusive behind-the-scenes look

Freelance photographer Bea Gergely had the chance to peak behind the scenes, as the Hungarian State Opera prepares for a production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida at the Budapest Summer Festival. The opera will be hosted at the Margaret Island Open Air Theatre (Margitszigeti Szabadtéri Színház). Ms. Gergely shared her exclusive photos with the Hungarian Free Press, giving opera aficionados an insider’s glimpse […]

by · August 1, 2014 · Culture
Miklós Szeszták

Civil servants axed at Hungarian Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Development

After terminating or “re-assigning” some 200 career diplomats, who were  not perceived as staunchly loyal to the Orbán government, Fidesz has axed 190 civil servants at Hungary’s Ministry of National Development (NFM). In June alone, NFM “lost” 179 employees. An additional 14 mid-career civil servants were removed in July. Despite the fact that after winning the April 6th elections and […]

by · July 31, 2014 · Politics
Zoltán Lovas

Electoral boycott? Prominent Hungarian journalist sees Tusnádfürdő speech as watershed

Zoltán Lovas, a prominent Hungarian journalist and activist whose name is certainly not unfamiliar to those who have followed the on-going Freedom Square protests, published a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon, in which he called for a boycott of the municipal elections scheduled for October 12th, 2014. Mr. Lovas believes that since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s infamous speech in Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tușnad, […]

by · July 29, 2014 · Politics
Miklós Gáspár Tamás

Gáspár Miklós Tamás on Orbán’s brave new illiberal world

Gáspár Miklós Tamás, a prominent Hungarian political philosopher summarized on ATV’s Straight Talk (Egyenes Beszéd) program what key ideas form the pillars of the new regime that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced in his speech at Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tușnad, Romania, when Mr. Orbán spoke with great enthusiasm about the final demise of liberal democracy in Hungary. The government seeks to build […]

by · July 29, 2014 · Politics
Viktor Orbán in Tusnádfürdő, Romania.

Orbán envisions authoritarian state and unchecked powers

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor is seeking to build a political system that would ensure that he has unchecked powers, according to László Majtényi, the country’s former ombudsman and privacy commissioner. Mr. Majtényi noted that Mr. Orbán’s speach in Tusnádfürdő (Băile Tușnad), Romania, made it official that Hungary’s authoritarian prime minister no longer sees the regime change of 1989/90 and the […]

by · July 28, 2014 · Politics
Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvár (Photo: Christopher Adam)

Cluj mayor appeals court ruling on bilingual signs

Emil Boc, mayor of Cluj-Napoca, has appealed a ruling by a county court that would pave the way for bilingual, Romanian-Hungarian, street signs. The court’s ruling would make it possible to include Kolozsvár, the Hungarian version of Cluj, on signs, even though the city’s Hungarian population no longer exceeds the 20% threshold normally required to implement bilingual signage in Romania’s municipalities. […]

by · July 28, 2014 · Diaspora