Articles by: Christopher Adam

The Debrecen refugee camp. Photo: Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI.

Hungary set to turn away refugees and close main refugee camp

Szabolcs Takács, the deputy Minister of State for European Affairs, who some of our readers will recall from last fall–when a few of us asked him questions during his talk at Ottawa’s Carleton University–gave an interview to Italy’s La Stampa paper, entitled: “Enough of the immigrants! Hungary will lead the front against EU quotas.” Mr. Takács underlined that Hungary plans to […]

by · May 18, 2015 · Politics
A wooden Orthodox church and historic villas in Szovátafürdő/Băile Sovata. Photo: Christopher Adam.

Szováta: a tiny Hungarian resort town nestled in the heart of Transylvania (Photo Report)

I had the chance to visit Szováta, a primarily Hungarian-speaking resort town located in Romania’s Transylvania region, which is an admittedly off-the-beaten track destination for nearly any tourist who isn’t either ethnic Hungarian or Romanian. Most famous for the thermal salt water Bear Lake, or Lacul Ursu/Medve tó, and for its cliffs made of solid salt, the area around the […]

by · May 17, 2015 · Culture
A mouse on Barbara Bernát's Hungarian national 10 euro note.

Majority of Czechs still oppose the euro and fewer Hungarians support common currency

While the adoption of the euro is off the table in Hungary until at least 2020,  Czech popular opinion remains torn on the issue, with a clear majority still opposing the replacement of the koruna with the common currency, according to a study published this week. CVVM, a scholarly pollster in Prague, found that 69% of Czechs oppose introducing the euro […]

by · May 17, 2015 · East
Viktor Orbán tells members and supporters of the pro-regime Friends of Hungary Foundation that dictatorial countries are more successful than democratic ones, and that the Foundation's members should continue sharing the Hungarian government's message with the world. Photo: Kormány.hu

Viktor Orbán tells Friends of Hungary that dictatorial countries are more successful than democratic ones

Friends of Hungary, the organization that claims to be non-partisan, has been given its marching orders by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The authoritarian Hungarian leader’s speech on Saturday, at a conference organized by the Friends of Hungary Foundation, was at least as inflammatory as that which he gave last summer in Transylvania on the value of illiberalism, and which made […]

by · May 11, 2015 · Politics
Austrian Airlines flight at the Vienna International Airport.

Canadian authorities ban Hungarian Roma researcher from boarding flight to Toronto

Hungary’s HVG magazine broke a truly disturbing story of racial profiling at the Vienna airport, on the part of both Austrian Airlines and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). A Hungarian Roma academic, who is referred to simply as Éva in the piece, travelled to Vienna, in order to fly to Toronto on a research trip. Éva is preparing a study on […]

by · May 11, 2015 · Diaspora
Alfahír's reporter, Adrian Magvasi, interviews Mr. Kisberk. Photo: Alfahír.

Hungary’s Jobbik builds far-right media empire

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán isn’t the only one trying to build a new media empire, after his public conflict with long-time friend, media magnate and oligarch Lajos Simicska. Jobbik leader Gábor Vona, who is a more astute politician than just about anyone else in the Hungarian opposition, is building a media empire of his own. And this media empire is […]

by · May 10, 2015 · Focus
Design for the Tribute to Liberty's Victims of Communism monument, next to the Supreme Court of Canada. Source: Scan of the Tribute to Liberty brochure.

Victims of Communism: Canadian capital prepares for innovative monument

On Friday, the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter’s representatives met with Ludwik Klimkowski, the chair of the Tribute to Liberty group, at Ottawa’s Rideau Club, to discuss a monument planned for the heart of the Canadian capital. The memorial will commemorate the victims of communist dictatorships. Tribute to Liberty estimates that approximately 8 million Canadians have been impacted by dictatorial communist […]

by · May 9, 2015 · Diaspora
Mayor Máté Kocsis tours the House of Fates museum.

Budapest politicians tour new Holocaust museum, described as “shocking”

Historian Mária Schmidt introduced the mayor of Budapest’s 8th District and local city councillors to the almost completed new Holocaust museum, called the “House of Fates–European Education Centre” (in Hungarian: Sorsok Háza: Európai Oktatási Központ). The interpretive centre, housed in an abandoned train station and created with 6.6 billion forints ($25 million) in state support, relies heavily on personal stories […]

by · May 7, 2015 · Antisemitism
The Veritas Institute organizes a conference on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of parliamentary democracy in Hungary and the change in regime...without inviting key, liberal and left-wing participants in this history. Photo: Viktor Orbán's Facebook page.

Celebrating 25 years of Hungary’s parliament without the opposition

I am still sometimes surprised by the true extent of the Orbán government’s small-mindedness, its pettiness and the remarkably arrogant, self-serving use of public funds. It has been 25 years since the formation of Hungary’s first democratically elected parliament in May 1990. The government-funded Veritas Research Institute, led by historian Sándor Szakály–who callously called the deportation of Jews during the […]

by · May 6, 2015 · Politics
Gábor Vona (right) appearing with journalist Antónia Mészáros on ATV.

Gábor Vona’s interview on ATV: I am willing to apologize for Jobbik’s unacceptable statements

For years, as a matter of principle, Hungary’s left-leaning ATV news network didn’t allow the far-right Jobbik’s politicians into its studios. All of that changed just over a year ago and now party chairman Gábor Vona and other prominent Jobbik politicians are regular guests. Fortunately, most of ATV’s hosts are skilled, shrewd journalists and they are able to scratch below Jobbik’s new, “improved” and […]

by · May 4, 2015 · Politics