Focus

Éva Voisin

The Orbán government denies Hungary’s WWII collaboration with the Nazis

On October 28 six diplomats based in San Francisco gathered at Congregation Emanu-El to discuss the growing anti-Semitism in Europe. “The New Anti-Semitism in Europe” panel attracted close to 200 people at the synagogue, a surprisingly high number, considering that Game 6 of the World Series was playing on a television in a nearby room. European and especially Hungarian anti-Semitism […]

by · January 7, 2015 · Focus
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
Milán Rózsa (1988-2014)

A right-wing blogger’s reflections on gay rights activist Milán Rózsa

An entire world separated the two of us. We didn’t agree on pretty much anything. We came from different places and we were each headed in a different direction. Still, I am terribly sorry that he’s gone, and at such a young age. Our paths crossed only once. In March, he came up to me after a debate among bloggers, […]

by · November 9, 2014 · Focus
Milán Rózsa (1988-2014)

The death of Milán Rózsa, Hungary’s Harvey Milk

Milán Rózsa was born just a year before the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1988. He had no personal experience fighting for rights and freedoms, something that an earlier generation of young Hungarians had engaged in, during the last years of the Kádár regime. Yet over the past four years, Mr. Rózsa became one of the most prominent and […]

by · November 8, 2014 · Focus
Home Alone / Sandeep Khedkar.

Ákos Gergely Balogh: Alone against the world

The central crisis management of the ‘central power field’ has taken on a rather unique turn. The politicians and their key backers are also displaying mighty strange signs of what they are able to actually process of the world. What we get includes: slow, cautious backing out, the labeling of the American chargé d’affaires as a fifth-rate CIA agent and […]

by · October 30, 2014 · Focus
Prime Minister Orbán at crossroads. Photo: MTI

Does Hungary’s Orbán pose a national security risk to western democracies?

Professor Charles Gati, in an interview published in Saturday’s Népszava newspaper, observed that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán faces the toughest decision of his political career as he must weigh Hungary’s future place in the transatlantic community, and whether Hungary is, indeed, on the verge of either exiting or being tossed out of the EU, as László Kövér suggested.  “The historical […]

by · October 25, 2014 · Focus
Canadian civil rights group urges Prime Minister Harper to take a tough stand on Hungary’s anti-democratic government

Canadian civil rights group urges Prime Minister Harper to take a tough stand on Hungary’s anti-democratic government

Montreal: October 23, 2014: The Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter, which is a non-partisan civil-rights group registered in Montreal, addressed a detailed memorandum today to the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr. Stephen Harper and to Canadian Foreign Minister, Mr.John Baird, about the flagrant rule of law violations committed by the Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán. The memorandum comes on the eve of […]

by · October 23, 2014 · Focus
MKB Bank

Banking in the dark: MKB Bank comes under supervision of Prime Minister’s Office

János Lázár, the minister in charge of Viktor Orbán’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), can count yet another feather in his cap. MKB Bank, previously owned by Germany’s BayernLB (the Bavarian State Bank), was recently nationalized. While the nationalization wasn’t a surprise, most of the press raised its collective eyebrow when at 6:30PM on Thursday, they read in the freshly published […]

by · October 17, 2014 · Focus
Tokaji Aszu

Letter to the Editor: Tokaj wines are unique and incomparable

Sir: With reference to your article published in the Hungarian Free Press with the title “A Question of Authenticity: Hungary’s Tokaj Wines,” let us inform you about the following: – Vinum Tokaj Canada Inc. has never purchased, distributed or sold any of the wines produced by the state-owned Tokaj Kereskedőház Zrt. – the wineries and wines that we represent and […]

by · October 16, 2014 · Focus