Articles by: Christopher Adam

A scene from the 2006 German film The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen).

Hungary’s Orbán government invests in spying technology for use abroad

Since November 2010, Hungary’s Orbán government has spent over 571,000 euros to purchase highly sophisticated spying technology from an Italian firm called the Hacking Team, and the software is used to bug cell phones and hack into private computers, according to a report published by the liberal 444.hu news site.  The data on the Hacking Team’s servers was stolen by a group of hackers this […]

by · July 9, 2015 · Focus
Árpád W. Tóta

Árpád W. Tóta and the crisis in Greece: Let the Greeks drown!

In almost any country, except Hungary, publicist Árpád W. Tóta would likely be considered an ultraconservative for his rigid economic views. In Hungary, he’s a prominent opinion-maker of the left-centre opposition establishment. He sometimes reminds me of an enthusiastic member of an Ayn Rand college fan club, comprised of anxious freshmen who haven’t seen much of the world, beyond their suburban […]

by · July 6, 2015 · East
Balpárt activists György Várnai and Ádám Galba-Deák show a sign of solidarity, along with a Greek tourist who happen to be visiting Hungary, in front of Greece's embassy in Budapest. Photo: Balpárt.

Young Hungarian left-wingers express solidarity with Syriza

There seems to be somewhat of a generational divide on the Hungarian left, when it comes to austerity and the debt crisis in Greece. While the mainstream left-centre opposition parties have remained largely mum about the increasingly dramatic stand-off between the Troika and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza government in Athens, and while some older, “big guns” of prior Hungarian […]

by · July 4, 2015 · East
Language of the forest / Nicholas Roerich (1922).

Hungarian isn’t an ethnicity, it’s a language

I’ve been away on a peaceful, though undeniably soggy trip to rain- and windswept Vermont this week, hence the dearth of articles in HFP over the past few days. In the meantime, my other publication – the Hungarian language Kanadai Magyar Hírlap – rolled on quite happily even in my absence, and I wanted to share an essay written by prominent […]

by · July 3, 2015 · Diaspora
While Greece's bank are ordered to shut down for a full week, pensioners storm shuttered bank branches throughout the country, leading to scenes of chaos. Photo: Giannis Papanikos/AP

Hungary’s right-wing daily: Bankrupt Greece may run into Putin’s embrace

Hungary’s Magyar Nemzet daily newspaper believes that as Greece shut downs its banking system, introduces financial controls and teeters on the knife edge of default, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras may very definitively turn to Russian President Vladimir Putin for assistance. “Compared to this, Viktor Orbán’s flirtation with Russia will have been nothing at all,” adds Magyar Nemzet, in a clear […]

by · June 29, 2015 · East
From Balpárt's Facebook page.

Hungarian radical left supports Greece’s Tsipras government

As Greece teeters on the brink of both default and a disorderly exit from the euro zone, the only political party in Hungary that has lent its support behind the anti-austerity government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is the Balpárt (Left Party). The Balpárt translated Mr. Tsipras’s televised speech into Hungarian, in which he called a snap referendum for […]

by · June 28, 2015 · East
Authorities and private security firms enforcing eviction notices are an everyday occurence in Hungary. Photo: Balrad.

Poverty in Hungary skyrockets – Government to stop publishing statistics

The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) released data showing that over 35% of Hungary’s population lives below the poverty line. In the same breath, the KSH indicated that it would stop publishing statistics on poverty levels, because this term is too elusive. In fact, KSH now claims that when it published statistics on the poverty line, it would have been more […]

by · June 25, 2015 · Politics
These Afghan refugees hide in the forests of Vojvodia, Serbia, awaiting the safest moment to cross into Hungary. Photo: Sima Diab/The Guardian.

Hungarian police to patrol border between Serbia and Macedonia

Hungary is sending 20 police officers and will install thermal imaging cameras to help monitor Serbia’s southern borders, in an attempt to stop a growing number of refugees from making their way into the European Union through Macedonia and Serbia. This move follows heightened tension between Budapest and Belgrade, after the Orbán government’s unilateral decision to erect a four metre-high […]

by · June 22, 2015 · East
György Aczél

How an iconic Hungarian communist “found” his Jewish identity in Israel…

In many contemporary Hungarian cultural circles, a chill runs through the air whenever the name György Aczél is mentioned. Mr. Aczél was Hungary’s minister of culture and the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party’s (MSZMP) powerful culture “tsar” when it came to the arts and to the limited freedom of expression that characterized Goulash Communism, starting in the sixties. Hungary’s most prominent […]

by · June 20, 2015 · Focus
ELTE

Budapest university considers mandatory anti-racism course

Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Hungary’s largest institution of higher education, is prepared to introduce a course on anti-racism, and is also considering whether to make this mandatory for all students enrolled in the Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies. Péter György, the institute’s director, said that the course would include Holocaust studies and that while faculty planned to […]

by · June 19, 2015 · Culture