Focus

An estimated 100,000, mostly young Hungarian protest in Kossuth Square, spilling over into Alkotmány utca. Photo: Index.

Some 100,000 Hungarians demand new, fair elections in Budapest protest

An estimated 100,000 Hungarians–mostly young adults–filled Kossuth Square and spilled over into Alkotmány utca on Saturday to issue two overarching demands. First, they are demanding new elections–based on a fully free and fair electoral system. Second, they scolded the opposition for their inability to field a single candidate against Fidesz in every electoral district and demanded full cooperation against the […]

by · April 14, 2018 · Focus
Viktor Orbán’s victory in Hungary brings important lessons to us here at home

Viktor Orbán’s victory in Hungary brings important lessons to us here at home

In 2015, I penned an editorial in The New York Times warning against the growing influence in Europe of Hungary’s right wing prime minister, Viktor Orbán. Last Sunday Orbán was re-elected for a third consecutive term. His hold on power is more entrenched than ever, and his xenophobic, nationalist platform continues to spread beyond Hungarian borders. As U.S. Ambassador to […]

by · April 14, 2018 · Focus
The Greek village of Beloiannisz, in Hungary's Fejér county. The community was established in 1950 by Greek communists and was named after the late Greek communist resistance fighter Nikos Beloyannis.

A letter on Muslims and a short history of Hungary as a land of immigrants

Dear Doris, I am glad you make clear your own and János’ position concerning migrants, and the very fact that you are not willing to compromise: “Ok, Sandor. But there is one issue on which Janos very firmly support’s Orbán’s view and policies: mass migration. A quote from Janos, “‘It is crazy to welcome people, especially masses of people, into […]

by · April 12, 2018 · Focus
Viktor Orbán on election night.

András Göllner: Europe crosses the Rubicon in Hungary

Introduction When Julius Caesar and his troops crossed a shallow little stream, called the Rubicon, on January 10, 49 BC, they set the course of European history for centuries to come. The Rubicon was the official boundary between Italy and the province of Cisalpine Gaul. According to Italian law at the time, anyone who entered Italy at the head of […]

by · April 10, 2018 · Focus
Love those whom society disdains — An Easter message

Love those whom society disdains — An Easter message

Joe Gunn is the Executive Director of a Christian faith-based public policy organization in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, called Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ). His group’s advocacy work in democratic reform, anti-poverty initiatives, refugee rights and ecological justice are initiatives valued by HFP, as well as by many civil society organizations in Hungary–though admittedly, in the Hungarian context the faith-based […]

by · March 31, 2018 · Focus
János Kádár hunting with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in the seventies. Photo: MTI.

In praise of János Kádár

Zsolt Semjén, Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister, was present at an exhibit abbreviated as Fehova (Fegyver-Horgász-Vadász, or in English Weapon-Fisher-Hunter), which celebrates Hungary’s hunting traditions and is attracting an estimated 60,000 visitors. Mr. Semjén is himself an avid hunter and this past week voiced his opposition to a European Union initiative aimed at restricting the possession of firearms for the purposes […]

by · February 17, 2018 · Focus
Luggage poaching at Budapest Airport

Luggage poaching at Budapest Airport

I had hoped that I wouldn’t need to write any more stories about the Budapest Airport but the latest news from Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport are disturbing. After arriving to the Budapest Airport a couple of years ago, I noticed a large muscled man grabbing our suitcases from the carousel. He packed them onto a cart and was quickly […]

by · February 6, 2018 · Focus
Zsuzsanna and Steven Anderson

Pastor Steven Anderson — A vitriolic American Baptist and his Hungarian connection

Pastor Steven Anderson of Arizona’s Faithful Word Baptist Church often claims to have a monopoly on “true,” undiluted “Bible-believing” Christianity. In his mind, Christ’s message is not of redemption and forgiveness, but of visceral rage and damnation for a wide range of people on his hate list. Mr. Anderson has declared that homosexuals are better dead than alive and has […]

by · January 23, 2018 · Focus
Public bus transfer from Budapest's city centre to Ferihegy Airport.

Hungary’s mafia economy and Budapest Airport transportation

I just returned from an enjoyable visit to my birth country. Winter travel has its challenges and living in California made me forget Hungary’s often freezing winter weather. I was also annoyed with Budapest airport transportation, specifically the lack of comfortable and reasonably priced transportation between Budapest Airport and downtown. The airport recently reported that passenger numbers exceeded 12 million […]

by · January 18, 2018 · Focus
The last print edition of La Presse.

Goodbye, La Presse — Thoughts on print journalism as a Montreal print publication disappears

Hungarians are more accustomed to the disappearance of major print publications than Canadians, particularly after the ruling party’s shuttering by proxy of the nation’s largest circulation daily, Népszabadság. Canadians have also been more avid readers of news in print than Hungarians, where even the nation’s largest national daily, the conservative Magyar Nemzet, has less than 22,000 subscribers and readers of the […]

by · December 30, 2017 · Focus