Articles by: Christopher Adam

Photo: Balázs Nagy

The “crucifixion” of Viktor Orbán

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán knows that his government is in trouble. There is open in-fighting between Fidesz and the Christian Democrats (KDNP) over prospective changes to the church laws, which Mr. Orbán’s party initiated without first consulting with KDNP (or any of the churches, for that matter). And then, the forced Sunday closures of stores, the scrapped Internet tax,  heavy-handed drug testing laws proposed […]

by · December 10, 2014 · Politics
Hungarian euro pipe dream. These are proposals for Hungarian euro coins by Kámen Anev graphic artist. They were created shortly after Hungary joined the EU in 2004 and were first published in the Magyar Hírlap.

Hungarian government says ‘no’ to euro

On paper, Hungary is obliged to eventually replace the forint with the euro. But somewhat like Sweden, which is obligated to do the same on paper, the Hungarian national currency is likely to stay around for some time to come, as the Orbán government has no plans to move towards the euro at any point in the near future. With […]

by · December 2, 2014 · Politics
Photo: Roveliu Buga/AP

Moldova chooses Europe over Moscow in tight parliamentary election

By a razor thin margin, voters in Moldova have chosen to give centrist pro-European parties a majority in the country’s parliament, according to results released by the country’s Electoral Commission. Although the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) came out on top, winning 26 seats in the 101-member legislature, their preferred partner, the Party of Communists of […]

by · December 1, 2014 · East
Remarkable drone footage of a Chernobyl ghost town in Danny Cooke’s film

Remarkable drone footage of a Chernobyl ghost town in Danny Cooke’s film

Pripyat, once a model working class city built for the employees of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, is now the world’s largest ghost town. Crumbling socialist era apartment blocks tower over what remains of a city founded in 1970 and evacuated on April 26th, 1986. The city was once home to 49,000 residents, it boasted  over 13,000 apartment units, 25 shops, […]

by · November 28, 2014 · East
Mr. Orbán in Nádudvar, on November 26th, 2014. Photo: Facebook

Fidesz support crumbling ahead of key by-election

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has good reason to feel uneasy. On Sunday, the party lost a by-election in a left-leaning Budapest suburb by a 20 point margin (the governing party had at least expected a close race with the opposition Socialists) and then early this week two prominent Fidesz supporters announced that they may contest — as independent candidates — […]

by · November 26, 2014 · Politics
Day of Outrage. Photo: Balázs Mohai/MTI

Palpable anger on the streets of Budapest

Some 10,000 people took to the streets of Budapest on Monday evening (and up to 5,000 protested in a handful of other Hungarian and European cities) in what was dubbed a “Day of Public Outrage” against the taxes, systemic corruption and anti-western foreign policy of the Orbán government. The demonstrators called for nothing short of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s resignation. What was […]

by · November 18, 2014 · Politics
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