Articles by: Christopher Adam

Klaus Johannis. Photo: Facebook.

Romania’s German turn: President-elect Johannis sends a message to Hungary’s Orbán

Romania’s President-elect, Klaus Johannis, might want to send a thank you card to the 3 million Romanian citizens living and working abroad. And also to Transylvania’s Hungarian population. Without them, Prime Minister Victor Ponta would have been able to change political chairs and become the country’s new left-leaning president, replacing Traian Băsescu, who was completing his second and final term […]

by · November 17, 2014 · East
Levente Magyar waves embassy papers on Thursday. Photo: MTI.

Hungarian foreign policy confusion

There seems to be a distinct sense of confusion in Hungary’s foreign policy, a lack of direction and haphazard action, instead of a clear, coordinated strategy, and one which takes into consideration changing geopolitical realities and interests. On Thursday, the country’s largest daily paper of record – Népszabadság – observed that things may still get much worse in terms of […]

by · November 13, 2014 · Focus
Workfare in Hungary. Photo: MTI.

Hungary’s “workfare” program and the disregard for social justice

The New York Times published a piece on Hungary’s public works (közmunka) programs, noting that this “work-for-welfare” initiative is gaining a real foothold in Hungary. The article by Rick Lymam takes the reader to the northeastern town of Halmaj (population: 1,800) and notes that prior to the introduction of the Orbán government’s compulsory communal works program, unemployment in the village stood at […]

by · November 11, 2014 · Focus
Dávid Janiczak celebrates victory with his supporters. Photo: MTI.

The Wizard of Ózd: Jobbik wins two-thirds in working class town

On Sunday night, something of a political earthquake shook rural Hungary. After Fidesz contested the very tight results of the mayoral election in the working class town of Ózd (population: 36,000), a new vote was held this past weekend. Fidesz pumped all of its energies into winning back this town from the 27 year old Dávid Janiczak, who was Jobbik’s candidate. On the surface, Mr. […]

by · November 10, 2014 · Politics
Milán Rózsa (1988-2014)

The death of Milán Rózsa, Hungary’s Harvey Milk

Milán Rózsa was born just a year before the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1988. He had no personal experience fighting for rights and freedoms, something that an earlier generation of young Hungarians had engaged in, during the last years of the Kádár regime. Yet over the past four years, Mr. Rózsa became one of the most prominent and […]

by · November 8, 2014 · Focus
Blue represents counties that supporter Mr. Johannis, while those in red voted for Mr. Ponta. The two Hungarian-majority counties of Székelyföld, or Szeklerland, voted for Mr. Kelemen, of RMDSZ. Illustration produced by Transindex.ro and based on 98% of the votes.

Romanian presidential election: Transylvanian German to take on Ponta in second round

The main Hungarian candidate in the first round of voting in Romania’s presidential election – Hunor Kelemen of the centrist Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) – received only 3.50% of the vote on Sunday, but came out on top in the country’s two Hungarian majority counties, namely: Hargita (Harghita) and Kovászna (Covasna). The right-wing Transylvanian Hungarian People’s Party […]

by · November 4, 2014 · East
The serf's duties. Feudal England, circa 1310.

Education reform: A plan to keep the population vulnerable and poor

With all the chatter and protest around the Internet tax (the implementation of which has been merely postponed until 2015), little attention has been given to the Orbán government’s rather insidious plans to “reform” the country’s education system. Fortunately, Népszabadság – the country’s most widely-read daily newspaper of record – published an analysis of what is likely in store for Hungary’s […]

by · November 2, 2014 · Politics
An entire computer goes flying through the window at Fidesz party headquarters. Photo: Tamás Botos.

Attack on Fidesz headquarters: Is the use of force acceptable in protest?

On Sunday night, over 10,000 Hungarians from many walks of political life protested in Budapest, ostensibly against a new circa $0.75CDN/GB Internet tax, but on a more latent level also against the growing diplomatic row between the oligarchic Orbán government and Washington. At one point in this protest, a group of demonstrators attacked Fidesz party headquarters, located just across from […]

by · October 27, 2014 · Politics
Prime Minister Orbán at crossroads. Photo: MTI

Does Hungary’s Orbán pose a national security risk to western democracies?

Professor Charles Gati, in an interview published in Saturday’s Népszava newspaper, observed that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán faces the toughest decision of his political career as he must weigh Hungary’s future place in the transatlantic community, and whether Hungary is, indeed, on the verge of either exiting or being tossed out of the EU, as László Kövér suggested.  “The historical […]

by · October 25, 2014 · Focus
AFP file photo. US President Barack Obama (R) greets Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orb·n at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, during the NATO 2012 Summit May 20, 2012 . AFP PHOTO Jim WATSON.

Zsolt Németh had warned Orbán that trouble was brewing with the US

Zsolt Németh, the chair of the Hungarian Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, first realized the real extent of troubles surrounding Hungary’s relationship with the United States when he presented at a conference in Washington D.C. earlier this fall. Mr. Németh spoke fairly candidly with the right-wing Válasz.hu website on Tuesday (the online presence of the Heti Válasz weekly, which was founded under […]

by · October 21, 2014 · Politics