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The dangers (and politics) of Hungarian drinking water

The dangers (and politics) of Hungarian drinking water

After the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released information concerning the questionable quality of Hungarian drinking water, the Orbán government did what they do best: they denied the problem and started a propaganda campaign to discredit the CDC. (Read here.) The CDC recommendation is clear. In a health advisory for travelers to Hungary they do not recommend […]

by · August 9, 2017 · Politics
Prof. Christopher Ball (left) with ex-Ambassador György Szapáry.

Christopher Ball says that Orbán’s attack on CEU is anti-American

Professor Christopher Ball teaches at the Business School of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. In 2013 he was handpicked by then Hungarian Ambassador György Szapáry, an Orbán confidant, to serve as Honorary Consul. Professor Ball, Director of the Central European Institute and István Széchenyi Chair in International Economics, lived in Hungary for a couple of years but does not speak […]

by · August 3, 2017 · Politics
European Banking Authority offices in London.

Hungary not interested in attracting EU institutions from London after Brexit

European Union institutions currently based in London, but scheduled to relocate following the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, are coveted prizes for member states. EU members see these as an important source of new jobs, investment in the local economy and international stature. Hungary, however, is bucking the trend and is uninterested in attracting any EU institution from London […]

by · August 1, 2017 · Politics
Gábor Boczkó blames poor performance on “migrants” and “colored people.”

Hungarian fencing team blames poor performance on “migrants” and “colored people” in Germany

Gábor Boczkó, the leader of the Hungarian Fencing Association and also an Olympic silver medalist, recently told viewers on Hungarian TV M1 that the “security situation” was despicable in Leipzig, Germany, where the his team participated in the World Fencing Championship. (Read in Hungarian here.) According to Boczkó, it was hard to focus to the competition because there were disturbances […]

by · July 31, 2017 · Politics
Mission San Juan Capistrano in California.

San Juan Capistrano – A California town’s Hungarian connection

Most Californians do not know that the picturesque city of San Juan Capistrano, south of Los Angeles close to the Pacific Coast, has an intriguing Hungarian connection. The town is a popular tourist destination with palm trees, lots of sunshine and gorgeous architecture. If you visit Budapest, and walk around in the Castle district you’ll bump into a small square, […]

by · July 28, 2017 · Culture
The logos of Hungarian opposition parties.

Hungary’s left-centre opposition is in shambles 9 months before elections

Some of the smaller “new left”-style parties are planning a joint, mass protest for August 20th, Hungary’s national holiday, in support of investigative journalists who will become official targets of the Orbán government’s vitriol in the coming months. The small Együtt party is spearheading the demonstration along Budapest’s Szabad Sajtó (Free Press) boulevard, with support from Zugló Mayor Gergely Karácsony […]

by · July 27, 2017 · Politics
George Soros

George Soros elected Honorary Fellow of the British Academy

On Friday, July 21 the British Academy announced sixty six of the “world’s leading minds” as new Fellows of the Academy. George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management; Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations is a new Honorary Fellow. The announcement noted that Fellows of the British Academy represent the very best of humanities and they contribute to research of social […]

by · July 25, 2017 · Culture
US Swim Team

US Swim team in Budapest gets taste of Hungary’s way of doing business

I visit Budapest every year and enjoy my stay there although the Hungarian way of doing business bothers me.   Here’s a story about the US Swim Team that illustrates how business is done in Budapest. (Read details here in Hungarian.) Small corruption was always part of life in Hungary.   In the old days when I bought produce at the market, I knew when […]

by · July 23, 2017 · Culture
The view from the Great Mosque -- also called the Carol I mosque -- of Constanța and the Black Sea. Photo: Christopher Adam.

The Black Sea and beyond: Religious diversity in Constanța

Sometimes in Canada we have a tendency to see ourselves as exceptional when it comes to our model of multiculturalism and diversity. Yet societies throughout the world have found ways to handle diversity for centuries. In late June, I spent a week travelling along the Black Sea Coast, visiting Romania and Bulgaria. I was fortunate to have a private guide […]

by · July 21, 2017 · East
Zsolt Császy. Photo: Eszter Garai-Édler.

The anatomy of a show trial – Zsolt Császy’s imprisonment (Part 2)

One of the hallmarks of the Orbán regime is the systemic and blatant nature of corruption involving key Fidesz political leaders, their oligarchs and the party’s media empire. In this context, one can only imagine how frustrating and infuriating it must be for someone like Zsolt Császy, the victim of a show trial, to have to serve a prison sentence […]

by · July 20, 2017 · Focus