Politics

Viktor Szigetvári. Photo: civilhetes.net

Viktor Szigetvári: European People’s Party tolerance of Orbán is shameful

On Sunday, I exchanged a couple of emails with Viktor Szigetvári, chairman of Hungary’s centre-left opposition Együtt party. (Együtt means ‘Together’ in Hungarian and the party was previously associated with Gordon Bajnai, Hungary’s former prime minister.) I was pleased to see his activists engaged in civil disobedience, by defacing dozens of the xenophobic government billboards that now dot the landscape […]

by · June 8, 2015 · Politics
In this racist government billboard, the regime tells immigrants that if they come to Hungary, they  have to respect Hungarian laws.

Activists arrested–Orbán’s police guard racist billboards using surveillance

Six opposition activists who defaced the Orbán government’s rabidly xenophobic billboards were arrested at dawn, two of whom were kept at the Zugló police station for several hours. The three men and three women are all in their twenties and thirties. According to the activists who have since been released, police officers are being used to keep the growing number […]

by · June 7, 2015 · Politics
"If you come to Hungary, you have to respect our culture!" Photo: 444.hu

Hungarians deface government’s openly racist billboards

It’s reassuring to see that there are some residents in Budapest who will take a bucket of paint and a brush to erase the words on the Orbán government’s virulently racist and populist new billboards, which tell immigrants (in Hungarian), and in no uncertain words, that they are not welcome. Two such billboards went up yesterday in Budapest’s 13th District, […]

by · June 6, 2015 · Politics
The forint is here to stay...

Orbán: Hungary will not adopt the euro for many decades to come

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has declared that his government will no longer entertain the idea of replacing the forint with the euro in 2020, as was previously suggested, and instead expects Hungary’s national currency to remain “stable and strong for the next several decades.” Mr. Orbán made these comments in an interview with the pro-government daily Napi Gazdaság, which is […]

by · June 3, 2015 · Politics
Gábor Vona at a kindergarten in the town of Ózd. This is just one o more than a  dozen photos that Mr. Vona posted to Facebook of him playing, talking, eating and telling stories to small children.

Hungary’s Jobbik leader spends a day in kindergarten, exploiting children

When Gábor Vona, leader of the far-right Jobbik party, visited a kindergarten in the Jobbik-controlled town of Ózd, and posted over a dozen photos on Facebook of him mingling, smiling and playing with young children, he was accused by the opposition of “political pedophilia.” According to Mr. Vona’s explanation, he had asked the school’s principal, whether he could spend the […]

by · June 3, 2015 · 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