Politics

Illustration: Echo24.cz

Illiberal Orbán portrayed as Central Europe’s paprika dictator

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s infamous (and illiberal) Tusnádfürdő speech has taken on a life of its own in the foreign press. The Czech Republic’s Ech024.cz news site published this caricature of Mr. Orbán, as Central Europe’s new “paprika” dictator: The illustration warns of Central Europe’s dangerous transformation and of Mr. Orbán’s dreams of resurrecting Greater Hungary, at the expense of neighbouring […]

by · August 11, 2014 · Politics
Evictions in Miskolc. Photo: miskolc.hu

Miskolc removes Roma population

Miskolc, a traditionally industrial and working-class city of 163,000 residents situated in northeastern Hungary, is evicting much of its Roma population. The official explanation refers to a petition apparently signed by some 35,000 residents, in support of razing one of the city’s rundown and largely Roma-populated neighbourhoods, which will become the site of a new stadium. Those who pay close attention […]

by · August 6, 2014 · Politics
The Budapest Roma Holocaust monument.

Opposition calls for Balog’s resignation over revisionist Holocaust comment

Hungarian human resources minister Zoltán Balog’s comments that Roma were not deported from Hungary during the Holocaust and that Roma intellectuals need to be careful not to focus as much on the experience of the Holocaust as the Jews did, for fear that the sense of “victimhood” lead to schizophrenia, has resulted in calls for the minister’s resignation. Ágnes Kunhalmi, […]

by · August 5, 2014 · Politics
Zoltán Balog. Photo: fidesz.hu

Zoltán Balog denies aspects of Roma Holocaust and says “victimhood” leads to schizophrenia

One day after the commemoration of the Roma Holocaust (also known as Porajmos) Hungarian Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog denied that Hungarian Roma were deported from Hungary and went on to warn the community that they must be careful not to  focus as much on these Holocaust experiences as the country’s Jewish population has focused on the Shoah, for fear that […]

by · August 4, 2014 · Politics
Public broadcaster M1 is known for its blatantly one-sided, pro-government reporting.

Far-right government consultant defends Tusnádfürdő speech on public TV

Hungary’s M1, the main public television channel, interviewed economist and Orbán government consultant Csaba Lentner, airing his views on why journalists in the West reacted so critically and fiercely to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s infamous ‘illiberal’ speech in Tusnádfürdő, Romania, last weekend. What the state broadcaster (which is hardly known for its fair and balanced reporting, even though they are […]

by · August 3, 2014 · Politics
Viktor Orbán. Photo: Facebook.

Orbán adopts Putinism: The West finally wakes up

Never in over four years of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s  rise to power with a supermajority have major western journals and commentators sounded the alarm bells quite so loud. In just the last 24 hours, two major outlets have written about the demise of parliamentary democracy in Hungary, in a manner that has never before been seen, not even when […]

by · August 1, 2014 · Politics
Miklós Szeszták

Civil servants axed at Hungarian Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Development

After terminating or “re-assigning” some 200 career diplomats, who were  not perceived as staunchly loyal to the Orbán government, Fidesz has axed 190 civil servants at Hungary’s Ministry of National Development (NFM). In June alone, NFM “lost” 179 employees. An additional 14 mid-career civil servants were removed in July. Despite the fact that after winning the April 6th elections and […]

by · July 31, 2014 · Politics
Gellért Rajcsányi, a blogger with the pro-Fidesz Mandiner site.

Eastward gaze: Pro-Fidesz Mandiner blog notes that Tusnádfürdő offers nothing new

The pro-government (although essentially neoconservative and occasionally libertarian) Mandiner blog published an opinion piece, noting that Viktor Orbán’s infamous statements in Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tușnad represent nothing new in how the prime minister views East vs. West, certainly nothing novel in his nationalist and irredentist rhetoric or in his serial vilification of liberals, leftists and the “1968 generation.”  I should note that […]

by · July 30, 2014 · Politics
Zoltán Lovas

Electoral boycott? Prominent Hungarian journalist sees Tusnádfürdő speech as watershed

Zoltán Lovas, a prominent Hungarian journalist and activist whose name is certainly not unfamiliar to those who have followed the on-going Freedom Square protests, published a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon, in which he called for a boycott of the municipal elections scheduled for October 12th, 2014. Mr. Lovas believes that since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s infamous speech in Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tușnad, […]

by · July 29, 2014 · Politics
Miklós Gáspár Tamás

Gáspár Miklós Tamás on Orbán’s brave new illiberal world

Gáspár Miklós Tamás, a prominent Hungarian political philosopher summarized on ATV’s Straight Talk (Egyenes Beszéd) program what key ideas form the pillars of the new regime that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced in his speech at Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tușnad, Romania, when Mr. Orbán spoke with great enthusiasm about the final demise of liberal democracy in Hungary. The government seeks to build […]

by · July 29, 2014 · Politics