Politics

Gábor Vona (right) appearing with journalist Antónia Mészáros on ATV.

Gábor Vona’s interview on ATV: I am willing to apologize for Jobbik’s unacceptable statements

For years, as a matter of principle, Hungary’s left-leaning ATV news network didn’t allow the far-right Jobbik’s politicians into its studios. All of that changed just over a year ago and now party chairman Gábor Vona and other prominent Jobbik politicians are regular guests. Fortunately, most of ATV’s hosts are skilled, shrewd journalists and they are able to scratch below Jobbik’s new, “improved” and […]

by · May 4, 2015 · Politics
Alexei Galitsky of Night Volwes is greeted by Vladimir Szemidetko First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Budapest.

Hungary welcomes pro-Kremlin Night Wolves motorcyclists

Members of the Night Wolves, a Russian biker club decided to travel to Berlin to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of fascism. Their journey started in Moscow on April 25; they were heading west to the Polish border. The Polish Foreign Ministry has banned the biker gang linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin from entering the country. Polish […]

by · May 1, 2015 · Politics
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Miskolc earlier this month. Photo: Facebook.

Hungary’s prime minister shamelessly calls for death penalty

Ever since the governing Fidesz party’s defeat in the Tapolca by-election to the far-right, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been shamelessly scrambling to appease and win back the support of those who voted for Jobbik. A few days ago, I wrote about the Orbán’s government overtly xenophobic “national consultation,” where a series of loaded questions suggest that immigration and terrorism […]

by · April 29, 2015 · Politics
Hungarian immigrants in Québec in the 1920s, before heading west, to the prairies. Source: Department of the Interior photographic records / Collections Canada.

Demonizing immigrants — Here’s why Hungary’s Fidesz is no less dangerous than Jobbik

There is a very common misconception in the West that Fidesz is somehow the lesser of two evils when it comes to the Hungarian right and the rising fortunes of the far-right Jobbik. Nothing could be further from the truth. For Fidesz, the only thing that counts is political expediency. To some extent, being effective politically, and thus being ideologically […]

by · April 25, 2015 · Politics
Illustration: Jon Herr.

Fidesz and the language of love and unity

How can one use the language of “love,” “cooperation” and “unity” to bring masses of people into a frenzy and to make them obedient? András Göllner, the founder of the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter, explores this question in an essay published in HFP’s sister paper, the Kanadai Magyar Hírlap (KMH). For those HFP readers who are proficient in Hungarian, we strongly […]

by · April 24, 2015 · Politics
Gellért Rajcsányi, assistant editor at Mandiner.hu. Photo source: National Audio-Visual Archive / Nemzeti Audiovizuális Archívum.

Gellért Rajcsányi: Hungary’s Fidesz has lost its buoyancy — Can it ever recover?

Based on the results of the recent Tapolca by-election (although no longer concentrating directly on this vote), one can argue that this is yet another sign that Fidesz has lost its political buoyancy. And it’s possible that the party, in this current form and in this construction, won’t ever be able to get it back. If it searches for different avenues, […]

by · April 21, 2015 · Politics
Hungarian soldiers undergo training. Photo: honvedelem.hu / Sándor Galambos.

Hungary sends troops to fight ISIS

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) joined Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz and the Christian Democratic Peoples’ Party (KDNP) in voting to send 150 soldiers into Iraq, in order to bolster the American-led campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). While Fidesz, KDNP and DK supported the mission, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) green party, the […]

by · April 14, 2015 · Politics
Lajos Rig scoops up critical Tapolca riding for the far-right Jobbik party. Photo: Lajos Rig's Facebook page.

Far-right Jobbik set to win key Hungarian by-election

Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party put aside its usual antisemitic and anti-Roma rhetoric, campaigning instead on an anti-corruption platform. This strategy paid off, with the party’s candidate appearing to win in a critical by-election held in western Hungary’s Tapolca riding, long dominated by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party. With 98% of the votes counted (approximately 500 votes cast at embassies […]

by · April 12, 2015 · Politics
László Lengyel. Photo: MTI / László Beliczay

Interfering in personal lives of Hungarians will lead to Orbán’s demise

Political scientist László Lengyel gave an excellent interview this weekend to Hungary’s left-centre Népszava daily. The chat, with Népszava’s Tamás Bihari, began with a comparison to Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book and to the king of the jungle, Shere Khan. Mr. Lengyel had previously referred to Viktor Orbán as a tiger, and as the merciless king of the jungle. “Between 2010 […]

by · April 4, 2015 · Politics
Mr. Balázs Fürjes (right) Hungarian Government Commissioner, Eugene F. Megyesy, Jr., Hungarian-American lawyer and advisor of Mr. Orbán, Ambassador Szapáry and Senator Menendez (left wearing striped tie) at the Rubik’s exhibition.

Senator Menendez – corruption charges and Hungarian friends

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges. A 61-year-old Democrat, Mr. Menendez was charged with eight counts of bribery, conspiracy, fraud, and making false statements on government documents. He is the first senator to face federal bribery charges since another New Jersey Democrat, Harrison Williams was indicted in 1980, almost a quarter century ago. Menendez has […]

by · April 3, 2015 · Politics