Recently in the spotlight

Page 3 of Lokál's January 30th, 2018 print edition.

An inside look at the Fidesz propaganda machine

This morning, a friend from Budapest sent me a digital copy of a print newspaper entitled Lokál, distributed free of charge at metro stations, train stations, public places in Hungary and also delivered to private homes. Lokál was established in 2015 by Árpád Habony, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s strategic adviser, and the print daily has a national circulation of 1.16 million […]

by · January 30, 2018 · Politics
Gergely Gulyás. Photo: MTI.

Fidesz to boycott Hungarian parliament’s special debate on immigration

As our readers will know, the government of Viktor Orbán quietly accepted the European Union’s migrant quota and provided refugee status to 1,294 people in 2017, despite all the apoplectic rhetoric and anti-migrant national consultations to the contrary. Jobbik, the Hungarian Socialist Party and the Politics Can Be Different party united to collect the requisite number of signatures within opposition […]

by · January 29, 2018 · Politics
Ferenc Gyurcsány focuses election campaign on populist themes

Ferenc Gyurcsány focuses election campaign on populist themes

Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition party is contesting national elections on 8th April with a handful of populist themes that will likely mobilize his base and perhaps attract some traditional opposition voters disillusioned with the socialists. Based on a speech he gave on Saturday at a Budapest hotel, and on the narrative of his campaign to date, three […]

by · January 27, 2018 · Politics
Hungary’s NY Consul Kumin fear mongering – “Terror returned to New York”

Hungary’s NY Consul Kumin fear mongering – “Terror returned to New York”

On December 31 on the Budapest ATV channel Ferenc Kumin, Hungary’s Consul General in New York did not mince words. He warned fellow Hungarians that they should think twice before traveling to the US, especially to New York City. They might consider staying home in safe Hungary where there are no migrants. “Terror returned to New York” – he thundered. […]

by · January 26, 2018 · Politics
Grzegorz Ekiert

Is authoritarian Hungary on the road to dictatorship?

According to Grzegorz Ekiert, the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Government at Harvard University, Hungary is not a democracy any more; yet he wouldn’t call it a dictatorship either. He says that it is best described as an authoritarian state…possibly on the road to dictatorship. On January 18 Prof. Ekiert gave a standing-room-only lecture entitled, Communism to Authoritarianism via Democracy: […]

by · January 24, 2018 · Politics
Zsuzsanna and Steven Anderson

Pastor Steven Anderson — A vitriolic American Baptist and his Hungarian connection

Pastor Steven Anderson of Arizona’s Faithful Word Baptist Church often claims to have a monopoly on “true,” undiluted “Bible-believing” Christianity. In his mind, Christ’s message is not of redemption and forgiveness, but of visceral rage and damnation for a wide range of people on his hate list. Mr. Anderson has declared that homosexuals are better dead than alive and has […]

by · January 23, 2018 · Focus
January 22 – National Day of Hungarian Culture

January 22 – National Day of Hungarian Culture

On 22 January 1823 the great poet Ferenc Kölcsey completed the text of the Hungarian National Anthem. Since 1989 this date is celebrated as the National Day of Hungarian Culture and the history of the National Anthem is an example of the country’s diversity. The official music for the anthem was composed by Ferenc Erkel as part of a competition […]

by · January 23, 2018 · Culture
Migrants in Budapest. MTI / Szilárd Koszticsák

Hungary’s liberal, inclusive and multicultural refugee strategy

The Orbán government does not appear keen on publicizing what it has done over the years to accept and integrate migrants and refugees, nor has Fidesz shared with the public its strategy, developed in 2013 and submitted to the European Union, that aimed to make Hungarians more tolerant of diversity. According to the government’s Migration Strategy completed in October 2013, […]

by · January 22, 2018 · Politics
David Cornstein

White House leak? According to the Orbán government David Cornstein is the new US Ambassador

There was no announcement in Washington DC, nothing from the White House nor from the State Department; no news of an ambassadorial appointment. Yet, Budapest based pro-government Hungarian daily Magyar Idők has announced that President Donald Trump will send businessman David Cornstein to Budapest as the next US Ambassador. According to the paper they received this information from well-connected Hungarian […]

by · January 20, 2018 · Politics
Public bus transfer from Budapest's city centre to Ferihegy Airport.

Hungary’s mafia economy and Budapest Airport transportation

I just returned from an enjoyable visit to my birth country. Winter travel has its challenges and living in California made me forget Hungary’s often freezing winter weather. I was also annoyed with Budapest airport transportation, specifically the lack of comfortable and reasonably priced transportation between Budapest Airport and downtown. The airport recently reported that passenger numbers exceeded 12 million […]

by · January 18, 2018 · Focus