Students at Jobbik's Attila Király Akadémia. Photo: HFP's screen capture from the Academy's recruitment video.

Jobbik academy raises new generation of extremist leaders

The occasional peak into Jobbik’s King Attila Academy (Attila Király Akadémia) may cause the uninitiated to chuckle or raise an eyebrow at some of their bizarre, esoteric and decidedly cult-like practices. But the Jobbik academy, which serves as a training and indoctrination program for young Hungarian men who wish to find employment in the party, or in towns where the […]

by · March 1, 2015 · Focus
Founders of Hungary's Balpárt.

The radicalization of the Hungarian left

The Hungarian left is showing signs of breaking up into two quite distinct camps: on the one hand, we have two mainstream, establishment parties: namely, the Hungarian Socialist Party, which over the past 25 years has tried to be all things to all people, as well as former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition, which is a bizarre, hybrid concoction […]

by · February 1, 2015 · Focus
Angela Merkel with Viktor . AFP/Odd Andersen.

Sándor Kerekes to Angela Merkel: Stop Mr. Orbán by suspending EU transfers to Hungary!

Dear Chancellor Merkel: I am impelled to write to you on the occasion of your impending visit to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary in February. I have no doubt that your able staff is more than adequately preparing your visit; however, I wish to add to that a point of view representing the Hungarian perspective. Surely, you are aware […]

by · February 1, 2015 · Focus
DEKA's Sunday meeting in Budapest, with founders Zsuzsa Ferge and Rev. Gábor Iványi (Photo: Facebook)

Tea time in Budapest: Hungarian opposition sits down for more day dreaming

While the radical left-wing Syriza was in the process of winning one seat shy of a majority in Greece’s national elections on Sunday, and as another fledgling, anti-establishment leftist party in Spain, called Podemos, is planning to do the same later this year, elderly conservative, liberal and a sprinkling of centre-left intellectuals sat down in Budapest for an academic and […]

by · January 26, 2015 · 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