British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, speaks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a meeting on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. European Union leaders are reconvening in Brussels for the final day of their year-end summit with a wide-ranging agenda including how to build greater economic unity among their 28 countries and stepping up the fight against terrorism. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool)

David Cameron vs. Viktor Orbán

David Cameron is a true democrat and a wise politician. He believes in liberal democracy and free market economy, and refuses an ever more integrated European Union. Mr. Cameron looks for allies on these grounds. And his greatest challenge is that most of his anti-EU allies are xenophobes and extreme populists. Will statesman Cameron be ready to tame or handle […]

by · January 7, 2016 · Politics
István Garancsi (right) with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at a Videoton soccer competition in Székesfehérvár.

A new year, a new example of systemic corruption in Hungary?

One of the defining features of Hungary’s Orbán regime is the systemic and wanton corruption. The new year brings yet another example of what appears to be brazen turpitude when it comes to how state funds are used on a massive scale to reward those close and loyal to the ruling Fidesz party. István Garancsi, a close friend of Prime […]

by · January 4, 2016 · Politics
Katinka Kosszú at her press conference.

Katinka Hosszú is shocked, PM Orbán wants her to be his regime’s poster girl

World champion and world record holder Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszú has called a press conference to criticize Hungary’s swimming Federation for failing to provide resources to its swimmers. When she asked for better conditions from Hungarian swim officials they told her that she could have them on the condition that she lends “her image and brand to the organizational committee […]

by · December 31, 2015 · Politics
Omar Adam Sayfo

Omar Adam Sayfo on Islam and religious persecution

Omar Adam Sayfo is the foreign affairs editor columnist* at Hungary’s pro-Fidesz regime Demokrata weekly news magazine. He is of part-Syrian origins and is a graduate student at Utrecht University, with his research focusing on socio-political developments in the Arab world. The Demokrata, where Mr. Sayfo works, is among the worst of the worst, when it comes to the Fidesz far-right. The […]

by · December 29, 2015 · Politics
György Matolcsy. Photo: AFP.

Hungary’s Fidesz: Corruption on a grand scale

When I read about Canada’s corruption scandals of the day — such as Senator Mike Duffy’s trial, where the disgraced politician is accused of claiming just under $100,000 in bogus expenses — I can’t help but think how incredibly petty all of this is, in comparison to the systemic and absolutely brazen corruption surrounding Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party. Today’s news […]

by · December 22, 2015 · Politics
Andrew Friedman and Consul General in Los Angeles László Kálmán with the menorah at the Hungarian Chrismukkah celebration.

Chrismukkah – the latest weapon of Hungarian diplomacy

Chrismukkah (in Hungarian Hanukarácsony) is the merging of two holidays – Christmas and Hanukkah. It was popularized by the TV drama The O.C. where the main character Seth Cohen created an imaginary holiday in an interfaith household with a Jewish father and Protestant mother. The television series was created by producer wunderkind Josh Schwartz and aired on cable TV from […]

by · December 21, 2015 · Politics
The screen capture of the print version of my piece in Wednesday's Népszava.

Hungary’s responsibility – An open letter to Deputy State Secretary Csaba Latorcai

This morning, Népszava–one of Hungary’s daily newspapers–published an op-ed from me, which effectively serves as an open letter addressed to Csaba Latorcai. A couple of weeks ago, here in Ottawa, I met with Hungary’s Deputy State Secretary for Priority Social Affairs, whose works in the Prime Minister’s Office focuses on the Jewish minority, as well as other religious/cultural communities. Deputy […]

by · December 16, 2015 · Politics
Hungarian Consul General in Chicago, Mr. Ferenc Szebényi speaks at the 55th Hungarian Congress in Cleveland.

It’s time to stop the Hungarian diplomatic doubletalk

For the first time a Hungarian diplomat, László Kálmán, Hungarian Consul General in Los Angeles, paid respect at the Pearl Harbor Memorial that is built over the sunken wreckage of the USS Arizona. This is a welcome gesture. The dramatic attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, resulted in the US entry into World War II and changed […]

by · December 15, 2015 · Politics
Viktor Orbán on December 13th, 2015. Photo: MTI.

Left-centre daily reports that claims of an Orbán assassination plot were credible

According to Hungary’s largest circulation political daily, Népszabadság, claims surrounding a possible far-right assassination attempt against Prime Minister Viktor Orbán were credible, despite widespread incredulity in much of the media, when news of the so-called Hungarian National Army (Magyar Nemzeti Hadsereg) and its plot were leaked. Népszabadság refers to police and Interior Ministry sources, who told the opposition daily that the […]

by · December 14, 2015 · Politics
Igor Crnadak (left) with Péter Szijjártó (right).

Hungary and Bosnia: Budapest pushes for Bosnian admission to EU and NATO

One of the tensions in the European Union is between those who seek an ever deeper, more integrated union of member states, and those who prefer a larger, continually expanding EU, but one where fewer areas of national sovereignty are pooled. The two tracks need not be inherently at odds with each, but it is difficult to imagine a deeply […]

by · December 7, 2015 · Politics