Articles by: Christopher Adam

Viktor Orbán enjoys a pint of beer at the Kötcse picnic. Photo: Viktor Orbán's Facebook page.

Border fence and anti-migrant rhetoric central to Orbán’s 2018 campaign

At a weekend picnic of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party and its propagandists within the media world and educational sector, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned: the most important question in the April 2018 national elections is whether the country will be able to defend its border fence against some 60 million migrants that he anticipates will leave Africa and try to […]

by · September 4, 2017 · Politics
Károly Makk

Remembering Károly Makk — Hungary loses a prominent film director

Károly Makk was a Hungarian film director and screenwriter of international stature, comparable to Miklós Jancsó or Péter Bacsó, who brought postwar Hungarian cinema to European and western audiences. Károly Makk died at age 92, on August 30th, 2017. At the time of his death, he served as the president of the Széchenyi Academy of Literature and the Arts. Born […]

by · August 30, 2017 · Culture
Gajus Scheltema. Photo: MTI.

Did the Dutch ambassador go too far in his criticism of the Orbán regime?

Outgoing Dutch ambassador Gajus Scheltema’s suggestion that the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán creates enemies along the same lines as Islamic terrorists sparked a political firestorm in Hungary. Mr. Scheltema said, as part of a response to journalists from the 168 Óra weekly on the risk of terrorist attacks, particularly after Barcelona: “A car attack can occur anywhere in […]

by · August 29, 2017 · Politics
Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán

University of Debrecen bestows highest honour on Vladimir Putin

The University of Debrecen in eastern Hungary announced that it is awarding Russian President Vladimir Putin with the distinction of Civis Honoris Causa. Only two other people have been awarded the honour before Mr. Putin, namely György Habsburg, the former president of the Hungarian Red Cross and the son of Austria-Hungary’s last crown prince, Otto von Habsburg, and Rudolf Schuster, […]

by · August 27, 2017 · East
Due to the acute labour shortage, the Budapest Transportation Company has had to post ads on all of its buses, informing passengers all of the benefits they can count  on and a net starting salary of 200,000 forints if they decide to become a bus driver.

Wages increase by 14% in Hungary, with inflation at only 2.3%

Hungarians are seeing a major increase in their wages, with the average gross monthly salary now standing at 297,000 forints, or US$1,154. This represents a 14.4% increase compared to 2016 figures released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH). Inflation in Hungary is at just 2.3%. The bulk of the increase is connected to the 15% to 25% rise in the […]

by · August 22, 2017 · Politics
Zsolt Semjén. Photo: 444.hu

Dog whistle racism from Hungary’s deputy prime minister

Zsolt Semjén, Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP), was asked to comment on an idea that only those who pay taxes should be permitted to vote in elections. The hypothetical scenario was recently raised by Publicus, a major national polling firm, when respondents in a representative poll were asked about whether only those […]

by · August 21, 2017 · Politics
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
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