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Horthy (left) Hitler (right) were close allies

Orbán’s explicit praise of Horthy is a denial of Hungary’s fascist past

In a bizarre speech Hungary’s right-wing authoritarian strongman, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, recently called Miklós Horthy an “exceptional statesman.” Admiral Horthy, also an authoritarian (although some called him a dictator) led his country as Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary following the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. He turned pro-Mussolini and pro-Hitler in the 1930s and […]

by · July 6, 2017 · Antisemitism
Kriszta Székely

Pride and fury: Do Hungarian opposition parties care about LGBTQ rights?

This past weekend marked the opening of Budapest’s annual Pride celebrations. Kriszta Székely, the 34 year old director of the Katona József Theatre, opened this year’s Pride with an impassioned and at times angry speech, in which she took to task not only the Orbán government, but the opposition too. Both the Népszava daily and the Magyar Narancs magazine published […]

by · July 4, 2017 · Politics
Hungary's newest propaganda posters.

How I became an agent of George Soros at Budapest Airport

My flight had just landed at Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport on Saturday morning. I was arriving back in Budapest from the coastal town of Burgas (Bulgaria), after spending five insightful days exploring both the Romanian and Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, and beyond. After my Wizz Air flight landed, I made my way over to passport control at Terminal 2B. […]

by · July 2, 2017 · Politics
Water at Ferihegy for Euro

Budapest annoyances – tourists beware

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Budapest. The city was sizzling hot, but the view of the river was gorgeous as always. Ferihegy airport is busy, the new building is already overcrowded and the season has just started. Taxi Our Frankfurt flight leaves early and we have to be at Ferihegy well before 5:00AM. How […]

by · July 2, 2017 · Culture
The refurbished metro car at the Pöttyös utca station on the M3 line. Photo: Máté Kemény.

Budapest’s metro disaster: Russian metro cars and the saga of the M3 line

Budapest is in the midst of sweltering summer weather and during my stay in the Hungarian capital over the past ten days, I have experienced first-hand tram and metro cars that have interior temperatures topping 35 degrees Celsius. (The M2 and M4 metro lines are air conditioned and the 4-6 tram line is hit or miss, so if you are […]

by · June 24, 2017 · Focus
Photo credit: Viktor Orbán / Facebook

Backsliding: Loss of freedom and populist authoritarianism in post-communist Hungary — The landscape in 2017

Summary Despite being a member of both NATO and the EU, Hungary today is no longer a free society or a functioning parliamentary democracy. The entire system of checks and balances has been demolished. The few democratic institutions that survive have been reduced to empty shells and do not sustain the rule of law. The country’s economic, political and cultural […]

by · June 23, 2017 · Focus
Imre Molnár of Cintányéros. Photo: C. Adam

Cintányéros — A Canadian Hungarian’s wine tavern in Budapest’s 8th District

Here’s the story behind one of the most endearing wine taverns in Budapest. Imre Balázs Molnár is a Hungarian Canadian, born in Montreal, lived in the same Laval suburb that I grew up in, and ended up in Ottawa much like me. As it happens, he was born at Montreal’s St. Mary’s Hospital, and probably around the same year as […]

by · June 20, 2017 · Culture
Dr. András Göllner in Toronto (May 2017)

Portrait of an abusive relationship — Orbán government indicted for its rule of law violations

Background Each year, Canada’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences – comprising a wide range of academic associations in the humanities and the social sciences – gathers in a different Canadian city, to discuss developments in their areas of expertise. Organizers accept papers from specialists within their academic association to present research under the aegis of the Congress. This […]

by · June 14, 2017 · Focus
Gergely Gulyás. Photo: hirado.hu

Fidesz vice president concerned that ruling party is unappealing to Hungarian youth

Gergely Gulyás, vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, expressed concern that the party which once limited its membership to people under the age of 35 has now lost Hungary’s youth vote. “Success is most certainly rather attractive to young people, but let me exercise self-criticism: even if Fidesz is successful, today it is not appealing enough to young people,” […]

by · June 10, 2017 · Politics
János Lázár speaking during a Trianon commemoration. Photo: MTI.

Romania sees Hungarian minister’s call for Trianon apology as a provocation

A spokesperson for Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed “disappointment” over remarks that a high ranking Hungarian government minister made about the 1920 Treaty of Trianon and demands for an apology to Hungary. János Lázár, in a speech on the anniversary of a treaty which saw historic Hungary lose three fourths of its territory and two thirds of its […]

by · June 9, 2017 · East