Recently in the spotlight

Budapest at a standstill, thousands march against Erdogan, Orbán, Putin

Budapest at a standstill, thousands march against Erdogan, Orbán, Putin

The waitress in our favorite restaurant was livid. “I had to take a cab to get to work today because public transportation was shut down” – she complained. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was visiting Budapest on November 7 with massive closures throughout the city all day. Budapest came to a standstill. Thousands marched against the Turkish President’s visit, many […]

by · November 7, 2019 · Politics
Gergely Karácsony, Mayor-elect of Budapest.

Hungary’s democratic opposition scores major election victory

After nine years in the wilderness, Hungary’s opposition parties scored major electoral victories across the country and especially in Budapest in local elections, where a centre-left alliance of parties won the mayoral race, achieved a solid majority on the municipal council and won back nine districts from Fidesz. Moreover, support for Fidesz in the traditionally conservative and affluent Buda districts […]

by · October 14, 2019 · Politics
A Statement from Scarlett Johansson

A Statement from Scarlett Johansson

On September 24 the Hungarian Free Press reported that Hungary’s government-controlled press widely distributed photos of Budapest Mayor István Tarlós with American filmstar Scarlett Johansson. From the misleading caption Hungarian readers might have concluded that the popular filmstar endorsed Tarlós. (Read the article here.) Now Johansson issued a statement–and it’s particularly relevant as Hungarians across the country vote in local […]

by · October 13, 2019 · Politics
Kurt Volker frequently attended Hungarian events in the US, here with Eva Voisin, Honorary Consul in San Francisco (left) and Max Teleki of the Hungarian American American Coalition (right)

Kurt Volker’s McCain Institute received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Orbán Government

As the Hungarian Free Press reported earlier Ambassador Kurt Volker, US State Department’s special envoy to Ukraine, abruptly resigned after the release of the declassified version of the whistleblower complaint. It is suspected that Volker worked with Rudy Giuliani and met with Ukrainian leaders to help “navigate” Trump’s demands for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. As it turns out, his boss, […]

by · October 8, 2019 · Diaspora
Kurt Volker in Budapest in 2019. Source: Válasz Online.

Kurt Volker’s departure a blow to Hungarian autocracy

Hungary’s party state has lost a key American ally and an enthusiastic promoter of Hungarian autocracy with the departure of Kurt Volker, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to Ukraine. Mr. Volker is at the centre of the current impeachment turmoil in Washington DC, after telephone call transcripts released by the White House suggest that the American president attempted to pressure […]

by · September 28, 2019 · Politics
Eight U.S. Senators are concerned by pro-Putin Hungary

Eight U.S. Senators are concerned by pro-Putin Hungary

Eight U.S. senators, all democrats, have sent a letter to US Ambassador David Cornstein, calling on him to uphold American democratic values and security interests when dealing with the autocratic regime of Viktor Orbán. Among the prominent signatories is Bernie Sanders, currently running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. We are sharing this strongly worded letter dated 24 September […]

by · September 27, 2019 · Politics
Scarlett Johansson and right-wing Budapest mayor István Tarlós

Scarlett Johansson is shamelessly exploited by right-wing Budapest mayor, István Tarlós

Scarlett Johansson is a 34 year old popular American filmstar, one of the highest paid in the business and now she is part of the Budapest municipal election campaign. She is shooting a film in Hungary and a clever political operative asked her to meet with right-wing Mayor István Tarlós. Why not? 71-year-old Tarlós is a staunch ally of authoritarian […]

by · September 24, 2019 · Politics
Justin Trudeau appearing in brownface in a 2001 Yearbook.

Some thoughts on Justin Trudeau’s brownface controversy and saying sorry

By Hungary’s exceedingly low standards when it comes to accountability and political civility, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be commended for what did seem like a heartfelt and unequivocal apology for having appeared in brownface in 2001, when he was a teacher at Westpoint Point Grey Academy in Vancouver. It is nearly inconceivable to imagine that a politician in […]

by · September 19, 2019 · Politics
Budapest Mayor István Tarlós (left) and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán share a light moment.

Budapest Mayor István Tarlós shamed America with the removal of Roosevelt’s name

In 2011 the Budapest City Council led by Mayor István Tarlós renamed one of the most beautiful squares in Budapest. After 64 years Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s name was stripped from the oblong square in front of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. This decision was a slap in the face of the United States, Hungarian Americans were offended and the Roosevelt […]

by · September 16, 2019 · Politics
András Göllner with László Rajk. Photo: C. Adam.

Rest in Peace, László Rajk Jr. (1949-2019)

Hungarian democratic activist, architect and designer László Rajk Jr. died on September 11, 2019 at 71 years of age. Mr. Rajk, whose father served as Interior Minister until 1949 when he was sentenced to death in a Stalinist show trial, was one of the key figures of opposition to communist rule in Hungary during the 1980’s. In the early eighties, […]

by · September 13, 2019 · Focus