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The new European Commission.

Navracsics EU appointment is a slap in the face for Orbán regime

Tibor Navracsics received the lowest ranking position in Jean-Claude Juncker’s new European Commission, having been appointed commissioner for education, culture, youth and citizenship. Mr. Navracsics has served as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s foreign affairs minister, but it is widely believed that this position will now be passed on to Péter Szijjártó, one of Fidesz’s most vocal supporters of the new […]

by · September 10, 2014 · Politics
Demonstration on Monday evening, in front of Ökotárs' offices. Nearly 1,000 supporters of the NGO came out in solidarity following the raids. Photo: vs.hu.

Regime officials, supporters coordinate messaging on troubling police raids

There seems to be broad agreement among supporters and officials of the Orbán regime on how to communicate Monday’s politically-motivated police raids against a handful of NGOs, including Ökotárs. These non-profits are perceived to have a liberal or left-leaning bias and are thus targets of Hungary’s right-wing authoritarian government . On Monday evening, Gergely Huth, the assistant publisher of the pro-Fidesz Pesti Srácok blog, […]

by · September 9, 2014 · Politics
HCLU's logo.

Europe cannot remain silent after police raids against NGOs, says Civil Liberties Union

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) condemned Monday’s police raids against Hungarian NGOs as politically motivated actions that elevate the illiberal Orban government’s attack against civil society to a new, unprecedented level. On September 8, 2014, dozens of police officers from the National Bureau of Investigation (NNI) raided the offices of Ökotárs and Demnet, two NGOs responsible for the distribution of Norwegian NGO […]

by · September 8, 2014 · Politics
Protest poster

Orbán regime launches all-out attack against NGOs linked to Norwegian Fund

A dozen police officers were sent out to search the offices of Budapest’s Ökotárs Alapítvány Monday morning and then at noon, investigators arrived at the offices of another NGO called the Foundation for the Development of Democratic Rights. The police arrived unannounced to both locations and prohibited employees to make any phone calls using office telephones, as they ransacked both headquarters. […]

by · September 8, 2014 · Politics
Operetta - a parody of operettas in Budapest's Nemzeti Színház.

Exploring Deception – Witold Gombrowicz’s Operetta in Budapest (Photos)

Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz’s piece Operetta is all about deception in the world of theatre. It’s a sharp, witty and sexually-charged play, which ultimately parodies the world of operettas. The play was first performed in 1969 in Italy, shortly after Mr. Gombrowicz’s death. In 1966, Mr. Gombrowicz had the following to say about the world of the performing arts: “Theater […]

by · September 6, 2014 · Culture
Illustration: artinschool.wordpress.com

Living by the Book: The world today, as seen by Hungarian textbook writers

To understand the reasons behind the anti-American, trite clichés found in our nation’s textbooks (specifically, compulsory 7th grade Hungarian literature) one must first understand the education reforms of the past few years. In 2012, Viktor Orbán said that he considers the nearly complete restructuring of the Hungarian education system one of his greatest accomplishments. In the same interview, he stated […]

by · September 5, 2014 · Focus
Pro-Russian rebels in Donbass. Photo: Andrew Butko.

Ukraine needs Western military intervention

Ukraine has been invaded by Russia. Ukraine is being dismembered. What is happening is not an intervention or an incursion. The Kremlin’s black deeds are not a “stealth war,” nor is this any kind of Cold War. It’s bloodthirsty hot. Ukraine’s Crimea has been under Russian military occupation since March. Heavy weapons fired from inside the Russian Federation are killing […]

by · September 4, 2014 · East
Red Baron. / P. Klein

Gábor Halmai: Illiberal Democracy and Beyond in Hungary

Gábor Halmai teaches law at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and also serves as the director of the Hungarian Human Rights Information and Documentation Centre. Professor Halmai is currently based in Washington, D.C., where he is a fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy. * In his speech, delivered before an ethnic Hungarian audience at the 25th Bálványos Free Summer […]

by · September 3, 2014 · Focus
Chancellor Minister Mr. János Lázár (left) inaugurated the statue of fascist WWII criminal Albert Wass in Hódmezővásárhely.

Hungary’s Jews shouldn’t trust Orbán

The Hungarian Government is reaching out to the county’s Jewish community. Mr. János Lázár, Chancellor Minister and a trusted confidant of Prime Minister Orbán, recently wrote a letter to the Alliance of Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) in an attempt to restore cooperation on the government’s Holocaust Memorial Year, a series of events planned to mark the 70th anniversary of Jewish deportations. […]

by · September 1, 2014 · Antisemitism
Solidarity with Ukraine protest in Budapest on August 30th, 2014. Photo: Együtt-PM

Pro-Moscow government silent while Hungarian opposition organizes Ukraine solidarity protest

While the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ parliamentary secretary, Péter Szijjártó, tries to discourage any further European Union sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the Együtt-PM liberal-green opposition party took to the streets of Budapest, in order to protest the second Russian invasion of Ukraine this year. Demonstrators marched to Russia’s embassy in the Hungarian capital and the protest included key […]

by · August 30, 2014 · East