Recently in the spotlight

The Debrecen refugee camp. Photo: Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI.

Hungary set to turn away refugees and close main refugee camp

Szabolcs Takács, the deputy Minister of State for European Affairs, who some of our readers will recall from last fall–when a few of us asked him questions during his talk at Ottawa’s Carleton University–gave an interview to Italy’s La Stampa paper, entitled: “Enough of the immigrants! Hungary will lead the front against EU quotas.” Mr. Takács underlined that Hungary plans to […]

by · May 18, 2015 · Politics
A wooden Orthodox church and historic villas in Szovátafürdő/Băile Sovata. Photo: Christopher Adam.

Szováta: a tiny Hungarian resort town nestled in the heart of Transylvania (Photo Report)

I had the chance to visit Szováta, a primarily Hungarian-speaking resort town located in Romania’s Transylvania region, which is an admittedly off-the-beaten track destination for nearly any tourist who isn’t either ethnic Hungarian or Romanian. Most famous for the thermal salt water Bear Lake, or Lacul Ursu/Medve tó, and for its cliffs made of solid salt, the area around the […]

by · May 17, 2015 · Culture
A mouse on Barbara Bernát's Hungarian national 10 euro note.

Majority of Czechs still oppose the euro and fewer Hungarians support common currency

While the adoption of the euro is off the table in Hungary until at least 2020,  Czech popular opinion remains torn on the issue, with a clear majority still opposing the replacement of the koruna with the common currency, according to a study published this week. CVVM, a scholarly pollster in Prague, found that 69% of Czechs oppose introducing the euro […]

by · May 17, 2015 · East
Mr. Baumeister (left) receives his accreditation from Jobbik Party Chairman Mr. Vona.

Jobbik names organizer for New York City

Hungary’s neo-Nazi party, Jobbik, has recently launched a campaign in North America. They are recruiting willing and able organizers to spread the far-right ideology in the United States. Gábor Vona, Chairman of the extremist party, has officially installed Mr. László Baumeister (also known Laszlo Wilhelm Baumeiszter) as Jobbik’s party organizer in New York. Mr. Baumeister is 54 years old and […]

by · May 15, 2015 · Diaspora
Vilmos Hanti

Vilmos Hanti: Dormant fascism sprouts in weak democracies

Vilmos Hanti is a prominent Hungarian antifascist activist and the 2005 recipient of the cross of the Republic of Hungary’s Order of Merit. Mr. Hanti is the president of the International Federation of Resistance Fighters and he submitted the text of his speech given in Moscow on May 7th, 2015, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary commemorations of the […]

by · May 14, 2015 · Focus
Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi.

Ambassador Szemerkényi responds to HFP: It is legally “unacceptable” to refuse meeting with Jobbik delegation

György Lázár of the Hungarian Free Press published an article about the unprecedented visit of a Jobbik delegation at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC where Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi received and briefed them. They also visited the Hungarian Consulate in New York, where they met Hungarian Consul General Mr. Ferenc Kumin. We asked for feedback from the US State Department, US […]

by · May 13, 2015 · Politics
Ms. Szemerkényi with her family and President Obama in the Oval Office.

Ambassador Szemerkényi embraces neo-Nazi Jobbik delegation in Washington

Ms. Réka Szemerkényi has been recently accredited as Hungary’s Ambassador to Washington. After she presented her credentials to President Obama at the White House she promised to open a new chapter in US-Hungarian relations. She did. Never before had a Hungarian Ambassador to the US embraced  neo-Nazis. Ms. Szemerkényi is the first Hungarian diplomat in history to welcome the neo-Fascist […]

by · May 12, 2015 · Politics
Viktor Orbán tells members and supporters of the pro-regime Friends of Hungary Foundation that dictatorial countries are more successful than democratic ones, and that the Foundation's members should continue sharing the Hungarian government's message with the world. Photo: Kormány.hu

Viktor Orbán tells Friends of Hungary that dictatorial countries are more successful than democratic ones

Friends of Hungary, the organization that claims to be non-partisan, has been given its marching orders by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The authoritarian Hungarian leader’s speech on Saturday, at a conference organized by the Friends of Hungary Foundation, was at least as inflammatory as that which he gave last summer in Transylvania on the value of illiberalism, and which made […]

by · May 11, 2015 · Politics
Austrian Airlines flight at the Vienna International Airport.

Canadian authorities ban Hungarian Roma researcher from boarding flight to Toronto

Hungary’s HVG magazine broke a truly disturbing story of racial profiling at the Vienna airport, on the part of both Austrian Airlines and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). A Hungarian Roma academic, who is referred to simply as Éva in the piece, travelled to Vienna, in order to fly to Toronto on a research trip. Éva is preparing a study on […]

by · May 11, 2015 · Diaspora
Alfahír's reporter, Adrian Magvasi, interviews Mr. Kisberk. Photo: Alfahír.

Hungary’s Jobbik builds far-right media empire

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán isn’t the only one trying to build a new media empire, after his public conflict with long-time friend, media magnate and oligarch Lajos Simicska. Jobbik leader Gábor Vona, who is a more astute politician than just about anyone else in the Hungarian opposition, is building a media empire of his own. And this media empire is […]

by · May 10, 2015 · Focus