Recently in the spotlight

Gergely Karácsony, as the joint MSZP-Párbeszéd candidate for prime minister. Photo: MTI.

The state of the Hungarian opposition ahead of the April elections

On Monday we learned that Gábor Fodor’s Hungarian Liberal Party will support the Hungarian Socialist Party and Párbeszéd in elections to be held 8 April 2018. While it is highly unlikely that the tiny Liberal Party’s logo would appear on the ballot alongside those of MSZP and Párbeszéd (doing so would require the joint list to pass a 15% threshold […]

by · January 15, 2018 · Politics
Romania’s prime minister threatens Transylvanian Hungarian politicians with hanging

Romania’s prime minister threatens Transylvanian Hungarian politicians with hanging

The Szekler flag (Székely zászló) has become a fairly prevalent symbol in areas of Tranylvania with Hungarian-speaking majorities, particularly in the counties of Hargita, Kovászna and Maros. But Romania’s central government has long held that this flag, seen as a symbol of Hungarian separatism, must not be flown on buildings that house public institutions or local government offices, thus including […]

by · January 11, 2018 · East
László Domokos, former Fidesz politician, currently president of ÁSZ.

The Hungarian State Audit Office’s assault on democracy

Perhaps nothing sums up the state of the rule of law in Hungary better than the Hungarian State Audit Office’s (ÁSZ) selective enforcement of regulation aimed at penalizing opposition parties (and likely driving one of them into bankruptcy), whilst dismissing the same rules when it comes to the ruling Fidesz party. The head of the State Audit Office is none […]

by · January 9, 2018 · Politics
Gergely Karácsony in the Spinóza theatre. Photo: MTI.

Gergely Karácsony — Without an absolute majority, the Orbán regime will collapse immediately

Gergely Karácsony, the Hungarian Socialist Party’s candidate for prime minister answered questions at Budapest’s venerable Spinóza Ház, a generally liberal-minded club, theatre and coffee house which has welcomed politicians from across the spectrum to sit down with journalist Katalin Rangos. Mr. Karácsony answered questions on a broad range of topics ahead of the April 2018 national elections, but none elicited […]

by · January 8, 2018 · Politics
The projection shows Fidesz winning all but one of Hungary's single constituency ridings.

Fidesz registering voters abroad by the tens of thousands ahead of April elections

In recent months, the number of Fidesz voters registering from abroad (primarily from neighbouring countries) has increased markedly, thanks to an active voter mobilization campaign funded by the Hungarian state, but done on behalf of the ruling party. (One small example of this is Hungary’s ambassador to Canada, Bálint Ódor and his recent interview in Montreal’s Magyar Krónika.) Another example […]

by · January 5, 2018 · Politics
Hungarian march in the party district with a banner that reads: "Enough. Silence." Photo: Népszava.

A referendum will decide the fate of Budapest’s party district

Inner city Budapest, specifically the area that during World War II served as the Budapest ghetto for as many as 70,000 Hungarian Jews, is today party central for scores of British men on stag weekends and other western European millennials who take discount flights to the Hungarian capital, in search of a cheap getaway. The area attracts some 150,000 to […]

by · January 2, 2018 · Culture
The last print edition of La Presse.

Goodbye, La Presse — Thoughts on print journalism as a Montreal print publication disappears

Hungarians are more accustomed to the disappearance of major print publications than Canadians, particularly after the ruling party’s shuttering by proxy of the nation’s largest circulation daily, Népszabadság. Canadians have also been more avid readers of news in print than Hungarians, where even the nation’s largest national daily, the conservative Magyar Nemzet, has less than 22,000 subscribers and readers of the […]

by · December 30, 2017 · Focus
A peaceful Christmas

A peaceful Christmas

Hungarians often wish each other a peaceful Christmas (“békés Karácsonyt”) and in a country with a tragic history that is still within living memory, this is an apt greeting. This is especially true if we recognize that there can only be true peace where there is justice or, more precisely, in societies that strive to be just towards those who […]

by · December 25, 2017 · Culture
One of many fast food restaurants run by immigrants in Budapest.

Arabs, Afghans, Blacks and others in Hungary

While the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of Hungary strongly oppose the European Union to settle thousands of migrants from the third world, quite a few Arab, Afghan and Black African people live continually or settled permanently in Hungary. How do they feel like in our country, how do they see us, and what they think about the migration crisis? […]

by · December 24, 2017 · Focus
Mandoki (left) promoting Hungarian wine with Ms. Helga Gál, Wine Ambassador and Consul general Ferenc Kumin in New York.

Leslie Mandoki – Orbán’s friend and lobbyist at the Beacon Theatre in New York

Many of you may not have heard of the ManDoki Soulmates, a “concept group” led by 64-year-old Leslie Mandoki. Recently Mandoki announced the group’s ‘Wings of Freedom’ post-GRAMMY concert on January 29, 2018 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, saying “ManDoki Soulmates embody the creative spirit of the 1970’s, when artists were striving not only for individual virtuosity […]

by · December 18, 2017 · Culture