Politics

Viktor Orbán. Source: Koszticsák Szilárd / MTI

Viktor Orbán celebrates five years in power with message of “peace”

On Friday, a tight group of prominent Fidesz personalities, government advisers, intellectuals and policymakers met in an even tighter courtyard in Budapest to hear Prim Minister Viktor Orbán give a speech that represented a 180 degrees rhetorical turn from his last “State of the Nation” speech in February. He spoke of the dawn of an era of apolitical prosperity: the […]

by · May 29, 2015 · Politics
Magyar Nemzet. Photo: Hír24.

Right-wing Hungarian newspaper’s readership falls dramatically

The Magyar Nemzet daily newspaper was long the jewel in the crown of the pro-Orbán media empire, but ever since the paper’s owner, Lajos Simicska, found himself in a singularly nasty and foulmouthed dispute with the prime minister (who was his college roommate decades ago and long-time friend), government officials and ministers have been boycotting the media magnate, and there […]

by · May 28, 2015 · Politics
Máté Kocsics, Fidesz's communications director and Mayor of Budapest's 8th District launches a lawsuit against a liberal politician who claimed that he's gay.

Fidesz Mayor Máté Kocsis proves he’s not gay through homophobia

In a postmodern world, people have the right to choose and construct their own public identity, be it religious, cultural, ethnic, national or sexual, and society has an obligation to respect this choice. Liberal and openly gay politician Klára Ungár’s decision to “out” two very prominent Fidesz leaders as being gay, following comments by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that bordered […]

by · May 23, 2015 · Politics
László Trócsányi, Hungary's openly racist Minister of Justice.

Hungarian justice minister says no to immigrants, because Gypsies already pose huge burden

If any further convincing is needed, in order to show that Fidesz has morphed into Jobbik, then the words of Hungary’s Minister of Justice, shared by Inforádió Friday morning, should suffice. László Trócsányi started off by attacking the European Union’s system of quotas when it comes to accepting and assigning refugee claimants among the member states. He then added that […]

by · May 22, 2015 · Politics
Mr. Torgyán (left) chatting  with a much younger Mr. Orbán (right), about 15 years ago.

Hungary’s deluded, xenophobic prime minister has become the new József Torgyán

I was a teenager living in Budapest, when József Torgyán, the colourful chair of the right-wing populist Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKGP), bumbled his way through Hungarian party politics for over a decade, following the transition to democracy. He was, essentially, a self-important fuddy-duddy: the awkward uncle that both amuses, but at times causes embarrassment for the family.  Under Socialist Prime […]

by · May 20, 2015 · Politics
The Debrecen refugee camp. Photo: Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI.

Hungary set to turn away refugees and close main refugee camp

Szabolcs Takács, the deputy Minister of State for European Affairs, who some of our readers will recall from last fall–when a few of us asked him questions during his talk at Ottawa’s Carleton University–gave an interview to Italy’s La Stampa paper, entitled: “Enough of the immigrants! Hungary will lead the front against EU quotas.” Mr. Takács underlined that Hungary plans to […]

by · May 18, 2015 · Politics
Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi.

Ambassador Szemerkényi responds to HFP: It is legally “unacceptable” to refuse meeting with Jobbik delegation

György Lázár of the Hungarian Free Press published an article about the unprecedented visit of a Jobbik delegation at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC where Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi received and briefed them. They also visited the Hungarian Consulate in New York, where they met Hungarian Consul General Mr. Ferenc Kumin. We asked for feedback from the US State Department, US […]

by · May 13, 2015 · Politics
Ms. Szemerkényi with her family and President Obama in the Oval Office.

Ambassador Szemerkényi embraces neo-Nazi Jobbik delegation in Washington

Ms. Réka Szemerkényi has been recently accredited as Hungary’s Ambassador to Washington. After she presented her credentials to President Obama at the White House she promised to open a new chapter in US-Hungarian relations. She did. Never before had a Hungarian Ambassador to the US embraced  neo-Nazis. Ms. Szemerkényi is the first Hungarian diplomat in history to welcome the neo-Fascist […]

by · May 12, 2015 · Politics
Viktor Orbán tells members and supporters of the pro-regime Friends of Hungary Foundation that dictatorial countries are more successful than democratic ones, and that the Foundation's members should continue sharing the Hungarian government's message with the world. Photo: Kormány.hu

Viktor Orbán tells Friends of Hungary that dictatorial countries are more successful than democratic ones

Friends of Hungary, the organization that claims to be non-partisan, has been given its marching orders by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The authoritarian Hungarian leader’s speech on Saturday, at a conference organized by the Friends of Hungary Foundation, was at least as inflammatory as that which he gave last summer in Transylvania on the value of illiberalism, and which made […]

by · May 11, 2015 · Politics
The Veritas Institute organizes a conference on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of parliamentary democracy in Hungary and the change in regime...without inviting key, liberal and left-wing participants in this history. Photo: Viktor Orbán's Facebook page.

Celebrating 25 years of Hungary’s parliament without the opposition

I am still sometimes surprised by the true extent of the Orbán government’s small-mindedness, its pettiness and the remarkably arrogant, self-serving use of public funds. It has been 25 years since the formation of Hungary’s first democratically elected parliament in May 1990. The government-funded Veritas Research Institute, led by historian Sándor Szakály–who callously called the deportation of Jews during the […]

by · May 6, 2015 · Politics