Politics

1992: Bobby Fischer vs. Boris Spassky Belgrade.

Mr. Orbán’s Bobby Fischer madness

In 1992 chess genius Bobby Fischer was warned against playing a $5-million match in Yugoslavia. The United States had prohibited all commercial dealings in the war-torn country, the tournament was illegal, and Mr. Fischer was cited for participating in the chess match with Boris Spassky. The erratic Mr. Fischer, 49 years old at the time, was known for bizarre behavior. He […]

by · November 19, 2014 · Politics
Day of Outrage. Photo: Balázs Mohai/MTI

Palpable anger on the streets of Budapest

Some 10,000 people took to the streets of Budapest on Monday evening (and up to 5,000 protested in a handful of other Hungarian and European cities) in what was dubbed a “Day of Public Outrage” against the taxes, systemic corruption and anti-western foreign policy of the Orbán government. The demonstrators called for nothing short of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s resignation. What was […]

by · November 18, 2014 · Politics
Éva Balogh and Kim Lane Scheppele

Two interviews on Hungary worth watching: Éva Balogh and Kim Lane Scheppele

Most of HFP’s readers will be quite familiar with Éva Balogh’s Hungarian Spectrum, an excellent blog with daily updates, providing in-depth exploration and informed opinion of political, social and cultural issues in Hungary. Professor Balogh, who is also a founder of the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter, very rarely misses writing her daily post (pretty much only when her electricity goes […]

by · November 15, 2014 · Politics
Dávid Janiczak celebrates victory with his supporters. Photo: MTI.

The Wizard of Ózd: Jobbik wins two-thirds in working class town

On Sunday night, something of a political earthquake shook rural Hungary. After Fidesz contested the very tight results of the mayoral election in the working class town of Ózd (population: 36,000), a new vote was held this past weekend. Fidesz pumped all of its energies into winning back this town from the 27 year old Dávid Janiczak, who was Jobbik’s candidate. On the surface, Mr. […]

by · November 10, 2014 · Politics
Four men sit round the tax man and blow smoke in his face / C. Wellcome. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

A tale of two countries’ corrupt prime ministers

Just for once, let’s state the obvious: It is very likely that the prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, not only knew everything about the US corruption charges — knew who were the accused, knew what they were accused of, knew what they actually did, and knew the evidence the US had against them, but, by far the most important […]

by · November 7, 2014 · Politics
The serf's duties. Feudal England, circa 1310.

Education reform: A plan to keep the population vulnerable and poor

With all the chatter and protest around the Internet tax (the implementation of which has been merely postponed until 2015), little attention has been given to the Orbán government’s rather insidious plans to “reform” the country’s education system. Fortunately, Népszabadság – the country’s most widely-read daily newspaper of record – published an analysis of what is likely in store for Hungary’s […]

by · November 2, 2014 · Politics
Orange Fog / Credit: jarr1520 (Flickr)

Gellért Rajcsányi: My three excruciating questions about Fidesz

1.  How did Fidesz, the party which stood up against the ‘yes-man’ parties that roamed the corridors of power, the same parties that were essentially Mamelukes, and which shook their fists at the West, winking instead at the East, parties that played to the choirs of Kádár’s people, that rejected the civic ethos, that understood ever less of the modern […]

by · October 30, 2014 · Politics
An entire computer goes flying through the window at Fidesz party headquarters. Photo: Tamás Botos.

Attack on Fidesz headquarters: Is the use of force acceptable in protest?

On Sunday night, over 10,000 Hungarians from many walks of political life protested in Budapest, ostensibly against a new circa $0.75CDN/GB Internet tax, but on a more latent level also against the growing diplomatic row between the oligarchic Orbán government and Washington. At one point in this protest, a group of demonstrators attacked Fidesz party headquarters, located just across from […]

by · October 27, 2014 · Politics
András B. Göllner

András Göllner to speak in Montreal about Hungary’s anti-democratic revolution

Concordia’s Journalists for Human rights group will be hosting their first speaker series of the year on Thursday, Oct. 23 by Concordia Political Science Professor Emeritus András B. Göllner. Entitled “Rules for Civil Rights Activism”, the talk will look at what it takes to be a human rights activist and the dangers of the role by drawing largely from Göllner’s […]

by · October 22, 2014 · Politics
AFP file photo. US President Barack Obama (R) greets Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orb·n at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, during the NATO 2012 Summit May 20, 2012 . AFP PHOTO Jim WATSON.

Zsolt Németh had warned Orbán that trouble was brewing with the US

Zsolt Németh, the chair of the Hungarian Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, first realized the real extent of troubles surrounding Hungary’s relationship with the United States when he presented at a conference in Washington D.C. earlier this fall. Mr. Németh spoke fairly candidly with the right-wing Válasz.hu website on Tuesday (the online presence of the Heti Válasz weekly, which was founded under […]

by · October 21, 2014 · Politics