Articles by: Christopher Adam

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, in Kazan, Tatarstan. Photo: Hungary's MFA.

Hungary’s foreign minister gets gushing reception in Tatarstan

The fact that Hungary’s pro-Moscow foreign policy has managed to alienate key partners like the United States, Germany and regional allies within the Visegrád Group isn’t much of a success story for Budapest. But at least Hungary’s 36 year old Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, got an admittedly warm reception in Tatarstan this week, where he inaugurated the Hungarian […]

by · April 11, 2015 · East
Musai/Muszáj demonstration in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, calling for greater trilingualism. Balloons represent the  colours of the Hungarian and Romanian flags. Photo: Tamás Bethlendi.

Multicultural Romania: Young Hungarians use creative protests to call for trilingual Cluj-Napoca

A group of local Hungarians and liberally-minded Romanian allies in the Transylvanian town of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) are attracting some international attention, thanks to their flash mobs and a creative use of social media that call for the municipality to replace unilingual Romanian road signs with trilingual ones, featuring Romanian, Hungarian and German. The group calls itself Musai-Muszáj (the Romanian/Hungarian word […]

by · April 10, 2015 · Diaspora
Proportion of students in Hungarian public schools, by county, who are of Roma origin. Source: MNO's map, based on data obtained from HVG.

Hungary’s demographic revolution? Roma youth comprise a third of all students in eastern Hungarian counties

Attila Z. Papp, a researcher affiliated with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Minority Studies Institute, presented research findings on significant demographic changes in Hungary that made headlines in the Hungarian media. The conservative Heti Válasz weekly magazine wrote about a “demographic revolution” and how there are now 298 schools in Hungary where Roma students form the majority of the pupil […]

by · April 9, 2015 · Focus
A rendering of the UK flag, referring to the rapidly growing number of Hungarians living in Britain. Hungarians now number over 300,000 in the British capital and are increasingly forming organized diaspora community associations, often through Facebook. Photo: Londoni Magyarok Közösség Facebook group.

Hungarian emigration almost doubles, as youth leave Hungary in droves

The number of Hungarians deciding to emigrate increased by 46% in 2014, compared to numbers compiled for the previous year by Hungary’s Central Statistical Office (KSH). A total of 31,500 Hungarians left Hungary for a minimum of one year, to find work elsewhere. The KSH notes that the ‘real’ number of emigrants is likely higher than this, as statisticians can […]

by · April 8, 2015 · Diaspora
Alternative Holocaust memorial in Freedom Square. Photo: Christopher Adam.

Remembering the dead in Hungary: An example of civic engagement

It’s impossible to detach public history and collective memory from contemporary politics. How a society portrays the past is determined by current realities, contemporary values or interests, as well as the dominant, “preferred” narratives of history. But the government and public institutions don’t have a monopoly over the past ; where civic engagement is strong, grassroots organizations and local activists […]

by · April 6, 2015 · Focus
László Lengyel. Photo: MTI / László Beliczay

Interfering in personal lives of Hungarians will lead to Orbán’s demise

Political scientist László Lengyel gave an excellent interview this weekend to Hungary’s left-centre Népszava daily. The chat, with Népszava’s Tamás Bihari, began with a comparison to Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book and to the king of the jungle, Shere Khan. Mr. Lengyel had previously referred to Viktor Orbán as a tiger, and as the merciless king of the jungle. “Between 2010 […]

by · April 4, 2015 · Politics
An example of a defaced Holocaust monument in Hungary, with graffiti from 2013. Photo: atv.hu

Half of Budapest residents are anti-Semites? The dramatic spread of Hungarian antisemitism

Medián, one of Hungary’s top polling firms, published the results of a comprehensive and startling study into the scope and nature of antisemitism in Hungary. The poll shows a significant rise in antisemitism, with the number of Hungarians who are seen as “rejecting” Jews on a purely “emotional” level increasing from 9% in 2003 to 23% in 2014. It should […]

by · April 1, 2015 · Antisemitism
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó (left) with Chilean counterpart Heraldo Muñoz (right). Photo: Francisco Leon Puga.

Hungarian Foreign Affairs is serious about its southern “strategy”

I put the word “strategy” in quotation marks for a reason. When Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, gathered together his increasingly rag-tag group of lackeys and personal football friends-turned-ambassadors and diplomats earlier this month to announce, alongside Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the ministry’s decision to replace its policy of “opening to the east” with a new “opening to […]

by · March 30, 2015 · Focus
The new warm, friendly face of Jobbik? There are more and more photos of Gábor Vona that portray him as a warm, modern, average guy, including this one, which appears on his public Facebook profile.

Jobbik’s Gábor Vona made to look prime ministerial in Magyar Nemzet interview

The Magyar Nemzet daily, owned by Fidesz-oligarch Lajos Simicska, who had a very public falling out with his long-time friend and former roommate Viktor Orbán, published a lengthy interview with Gábor Vona, leader of the far-right Jobbik party this weekend. It’s most certainly a long-shot to think of Mr. Vona as a prime minister-in-waiting, but it has also now become […]

by · March 29, 2015 · Focus
TEK has effectively been spying on President János Áder.

The Hungarian president no longer trusts Orbán’s secret service

The Orbán regime’s infamous Counter Terrorism Centre (Terrorelhárítási Központ, TEK) has reportedly fallen out of favour with President János Áder. The president, who is a Fidesz politician previously charged with developing the country’s new, controversial electoral system, recently decided to engage the Operational Police (Készenléti Rendőrség) for his personal security needs, even though this is a role that would normally […]

by · March 28, 2015 · Politics