Recently in the spotlight

István Kamarás on the left.

Referendum proposed on autonomous Roma province in Hungary

In 2011, István Kamarás–formerly employed by the Christian Democratic People’s Party’s (KDNP) Barankovics Foundation–claimed refugee status in Canada, noting that he no longer wanted to “lend his name to the government’s actions that oppress Gypsies.” He added that he is “forced to emigrate from the country” and is “forced to accept in his heart the centuries-long hopelessness of the Gypsy […]

by · September 28, 2017 · Politics
Frank Koszorus Jr’s letter to the editor: Koszorús action prevented Lászlo Baky from deporting the Jews of Budapest

Frank Koszorus Jr’s letter to the editor: Koszorús action prevented Lászlo Baky from deporting the Jews of Budapest

Sir Karl Raimund Popper’s astute observation that “[t]rue ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it” is especially relevant to how some belittle or deny Col. Ferenc Koszorus’ action that prevented the more than 250,000 Jews living in Budapest from being sent to the German death camps in July 1944. Ignoring the historical record (e.g., […]

by · September 27, 2017 · Focus
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Photo: MTI.

Orbán is praising and condemning Vietnam’s Communists – at the same time

Viktor Orbán is in Communist Vietnam on an official visit. He warmly greeted the country’s leaders and laid a wreath at the Hanoi War Memorial commemorating the Communist victory over the Americans and their South-Vietnamese allies. Orbán met with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and signed “a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the two ruling parties and expressed […]

by · September 27, 2017 · East
László Juszt

Russia Today and Hungary

The story of how Moscow attempted to expand the Russia Today state television network to Hungary, by setting up a Hungarian-language affiliate, is both strange and murky. What we know is that Moscow was interested in establishing a state propaganda media arm in Hungary and the strongest and perhaps first high profile supporter of this initiative was István Lovas, a […]

by · September 26, 2017 · East
Oláh accepting the Nobel Prize.

George Oláh (1927-2017)

A Catholic memorial service for George Oláh, Nobel Prize Winning Hungarian-American chemist was held on September 19 at the Fiumei Road Cemetery. His final wish was to bring his ashes to Budapest and the eulogy was given by Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary. I had been in contact with Oláh for a decade or so. To my surprise on […]

by · September 25, 2017 · Diaspora
Erzsébet Schmuck

Hungary has lowest proportion of women in parliament in all of Europe

Only 10% of Members of Parliament in Hungary are women, according to figures comparing 193 countries compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and updated last month. Hungary is ranked at number 159 and is essentially tied with countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Myanmar and Botswana. All of Hungary’s neighbours in Europe have a significantly higher proportion of female parliamentarians than Hungary. […]

by · September 24, 2017 · Politics
The new Jobbik billboard features Jobbik leader Gábor Vona in the middle, Viktor Orbán to the left and corruption-plagued Fidesz politician Antal Rogán to the right. The billboard reads: With you, we will remove them from power -- Jobbik: on the side of the people."

Jobbik creatively circumvents Fidesz restrictions on political billboards

Hungary’s ruling regime, which passed a probably unconstitutional law restricting Jobbik and all other parties from buying advertisements on billboards at discounted prices, begins the weekend with a rude awakening. If the opposition party is no longer allowed to purchase advertising space at below market rates, why not just buy the physical billboard altogether, through an advantageous financing agreement with […]

by · September 23, 2017 · Politics
All  voters, including undecideds.

Forty percent of Hungarians believe Fidesz could lose elections in 2018

Forty percent of Hungarians believe that there is a realistic chance at booting the ruling Fidesz party from power in the spring 2018 elections, while 37% believe that there is no chance of this whatsoever–this, according to a new poll released by Závecz Research. The poll also found that 43% of respondents would prefer a new government next year, while […]

by · September 22, 2017 · Politics
Prime Minister Orbán with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Hungary and Russia cooperate with Iran on nuclear projects

Just five months ago Iran and Hungary signed an agreement to expand nuclear cooperation between the two countries. The deal was inked by Ali Akbar Salehi, the chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and Zsolt Semjén, the Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister. Mr. Semjén, a former Catholic theologian, was very excited about the nuclear deal with the Islamic state […]

by · September 21, 2017 · East
Ms. Grässle (right) smiles as she rides Mr. Orbán's vintage train.

EU financial inspectors find everything in order with train in Orbán’s village

Despite three days of government-propagated hysteria and accusations surrounding the visit of nine inspectors from the European Parliament to examine how EU funds have been spent in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán can rest easy. The inspectors confirmed that from the perspective of how EU funds were spent on a vintage train, a project that has been the target of […]

by · September 20, 2017 · Politics