Recently in the spotlight

Béla Lipták (Memory Project)

Trianon and anti-western rhetoric in Orbán’s Hungary — A Response to Béla Lipták

I am compelled to reflect on a letter written by Béla Lipták and published in The New York Times. In response to an NYT article entitled “Hungary’s Autocracy Beneath a Patina of Democracy,” Mr. Lipták argued that Hungary’s slide towards authoritarianism and the embrace of anti-western rhetoric is caused by, and is indeed justifiable due to, a deep-rooted anger and a sense […]

by · January 7, 2019 · Focus
Orbán dismantles independent Hungarian court system – American Bar Association is concerned

Orbán dismantles independent Hungarian court system – American Bar Association is concerned

Authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is working hard (and efficiently) to dismantle independent democratic institutions in Hungary. Now he tightened his grip on the court system by creating a parallel judicial structure under his trusted justice minister. The new system will be in place within a year and Mr. Orbán will have full control of hiring and promoting its judges. […]

by · January 4, 2019 · Politics
Photo: György Lázár

Imre Nagy statue removed predawn from Budapest square

Imre Nagy is a hero of Hungary, prime minister twice, his second term during the tragic and failed revolution of 1956. Nagy was captured and tried by the Communists and executed in 1958. He was buried in an unmarked grave. Nagy’s name could not to be mentioned during the Kádár regime. At his reburial in 1989 a crowd of 200,000 […]

by · December 28, 2018 · Politics
Fr. Mihály Kardos. Photo: hvg.hu

A Hungarian Catholic priest who lives with the homeless

Father Mihály Kardos has spent the last four years of his life in a medical facility for the homeless in Szeged run by the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta. With both of Fr. Kardos’ legs amputated, the elderly priest needs assisted living and care. Four years ago, he was given the option of living in a much […]

by · December 26, 2018 · Culture
Christmas reflections

Christmas reflections

For the past several months, despite continuing to edit this journal, I try to keep to the principle of moderation when it comes to Hungarian politics and political news emanating from Budapest. I do that by actively tuning out for at least part of each weekend. For one, I am reading many more books than before (primarily literary fiction) and […]

by · December 23, 2018 · Culture
Opposition MPs on the floor in the headquarters of Hungarian State Television.

State television continues to ban all opposition MPs — Hungary moves towards national strike

Thirteen opposition Members of the Hungarian Parliament spent all night camping out at the headquarters of Hungary’s public broadcasting authority, with the taxpayer-funded television steadfast in its refusal to afford anyone except Fidesz-KDNP politicians air time.  MP László Varjú ended up in hospital early this morning and his body is full of bruises from a physical altercation with security personnel […]

by · December 17, 2018 · Politics
Massive demonstration in front of Hungary's public broadcaster--today nothing more than the taxpayer-funded propaganda organ of Fidesz.

Chaos erupts at Hungarian state media headquarters as demonstrators demand air time

Thousands of enraged demonstrators, during the fourth night of angry protests over the past week, marched to the headquarters of Hungarian state television in Óbuda, in the hope that the taxpayer-funded Fidesz propaganda machine that pretends to be a public broadcaster would allow for the demands of the opposition to be read on air. Riot police outside the building tried […]

by · December 16, 2018 · Politics
Photo: 444.hu

Angry demonstrations against Orbán regime continue for third night

The new overtime law, roundly condemned by every opposition party, has brought disparate and often feuding factions of parliament together, alongside unaligned students, youth and others in the capital. Friday marked the third straight night of palpably angry and often aggressive demonstrations–the protest began early in the evening, in Kossuth Square, with the participation of every opposition party. But as […]

by · December 14, 2018 · Politics
Budapest police use tear gas against protesters in front of Parliament. Photo: December 12, 2018 / Index)

Budapest gripped by second night of furious anti-Orbán protests

There is a clear difference between the protests from both Wednesday night and those presently underway in the Hungarian capital this evening compared to previous demonstrations over the past eight years. On the surface, the current demonstrations of around three thousand protesters are about the Orbán regime’s oppressive new labour laws, reportedly adopted due to pressure on the Orbán government […]

by · December 13, 2018 · Politics
Mr. Bayer’s swearing-in ceremony photo as published by the Vitézi Rend.

Members of the Vitézi Rend should not be allowed to enter the United States

Foreign individuals who are affiliated with various organizations can be prevented from entering the US. The FAM 302.7 directive from the US State Department lists groups considered to be “criminal organizations” as defined by the international Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Several Hungarian organizations are on the list, although most do not exist anymore. These are WWII organizations, like the Arrow […]

by · December 10, 2018 · Politics