Recently in the spotlight

The Érpatak model. Photo: Film promotional poster / BIDF

An example of ghettoization in the heart of Europe

On Saturday, I watched the screening of the film The Érpatak Model at the Uránia movie theatre, in Budapest. Until now I assumed that Viktor Orbán’s rotten regime can’t come up with anything new for me. Was I ever wrong! The film depicts how in a community of 1,800 residents, a mayor–who appears to be visibly mentally ill–has essentially become the […]

by · September 28, 2015 · Politics
Géza Szőcs

Géza Szőcs – promoter of anti-Semitic writers at the Göteborg Book Fair

Géza Szőcs, a Romanian-born poet, is one of the foremost promoters of Hungary’s anti-Semitic writers from the Transylvania region (today part of Romania). He was invited to the Göteborg Book Fair. According to the official program, Mr. Szőcs is scheduled to appear on Saturday, September 26th, in the afternoon, with Ms. Katalin Mezey as moderator. We protest the invitation of […]

by · September 26, 2015 · Antisemitism
A refugee at the Röszke border crossing. Photo: Balázs Mohai / MTI.

András Göllner responds to Ambassador Ódor and George Jonas in the National Post

András Göllner published a piece on Hungary’s slow slide into despotism in the National Post, which elicited a response from Hungarian Ambassador Bálint Ódor. Mr. Ódor’s response then led to an op-ed from columnist George Jonas, who agreed with the ambassador and wrote fearfully of the dangers of Europe turning into “Eurabia.” Professor Göllner offered the following response to Mr. […]

by · September 25, 2015 · Politics
Viktor Orbán chats with  the Christian Social Union leadership of Bavaria. CSU politicians have been supportive of Mr. Orbán's tough stance on refugees and critical of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Viktor Orbán's Facebook page.

Viktor Orbán, the triumphant?

“Not a single refugee will step foot in here. This I can guarantee,” said Robert Kaliňák, Slovakia’s interior minister, on his way home from the EU summit called to deal with the most significant refugee crisis since World War II. Prime Minister Robert Fico’s populist left-wing government is obtaining technology from an American company called Hesco Bastion, which will allow it […]

by · September 24, 2015 · Politics
From page A9 of the National Post (September 23, 2015.)

Responses to Ambassador Ódor’s defence of the Orbán government in the National Post

Canada’s National Post daily newspaper published an op-ed entitled “A Word in Hungary’s Defence,” by Ambassador Bálint Ódor. The Orbán government’s representative in Canada was responding to an earlier piece in the National Post by Professor András Göllner, which highlighted the xenophobia that is a driving force behind the policies of the current regime in Budapest, especially as they relate […]

by · September 23, 2015 · Politics
Faymann, Fico and Sobotka are happier without Orbán.

The end of the Visegrad 4 Group – Orbán is alone

A couple of weeks ago in Prague, the prime ministers of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic declared that they would oppose the European Commission’s plan to redistribute 120,000 refugees across the European Union. They resolutely rejected the proposed quota system. The Czech Republic hosted the meeting as current president of the Visegrad 4 Group (V4). Polish Prime Minister […]

by · September 23, 2015 · Politics
University of California at Berkeley The Campanile (University Bell Tower) overlooking San Francisco Bay.

Long running Hungarian program at UC Berkeley on the brink of discontinuation

According to US Census figures about 1.5 million US citizens have Hungarian ancestry and only 10% of them, only about 150 thousand people, are familiar with the Hungarian language. Most speak “kitchen Hungarian” and have problems with reading and writing. Of course, writing a grammatically correct letter or essay in Hungarian is a challenge; few non-native speaker can master the […]

by · September 20, 2015 · Diaspora
Tensions flare on September 19th, 2015, in the village of Beremend, on Hungary's border with Croatia, as over 5,000 refugees enter Hungary through its southern neighbour in the last 48 hours. On Friday, Hungarian authorities disarmed Croatian authorities and confiscated a train filled with refugees, with the Orbán government claiming that Croatia has violated Hungary's borders. Photo: Balázs Mohai/MTI.

Response to Ambassador Bálint Ódor: Hungary’s government displays callousness

Hungary’s ambassador to Canada, Bálint Ódor, used an article in the Montreal Gazette to try to rally Hungarian Canadians to defend the actions of his government in Budapest. There is no doubt that the unprecedented number of Syrian refugees transiting through Hungary was a serious strain for Hungarian authorities and especially for the charities and activists in Budapest who struggled […]

by · September 19, 2015 · Politics
Knitting a brighter future for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Photo: UK Department for International Development.

It isn’t nice of Canada not to take them in…

My mother called. She calls every morning to tell me that she is still alive. I am grateful for those morning calls. She is ninety and still curious. This morning she called and asked me about what is happening in Hungary. You see, she was born in Hungary; she had her youth stolen in Hungary when she was shipped to […]

by · September 17, 2015 · Diaspora
Refugees throw rocks, water bottles at Hungarian police, who respond with tear gas at the Röszke/Horgos border crossing. Photo: Tamás Sóki.

Hungary refugee crisis descends into violence, chaos

Violence broke out at the Röszke/Horgos border crossing between Hungary and Serbia today, after several hundred refugees attempted to break through the gate and border fence erected by Hungarian authorities. Hungary’s police force responded with tear gas and water cannons, injuring dozens of refugees who were treated by Serbian paramedics arriving to the border. Hungarian media reported that two children […]

by · September 16, 2015 · Politics