Recently in the spotlight

The new warm, friendly face of Jobbik? There are more and more photos of Gábor Vona that portray him as a warm, modern, average guy, including this one, which appears on his public Facebook profile.

Jobbik’s Gábor Vona made to look prime ministerial in Magyar Nemzet interview

The Magyar Nemzet daily, owned by Fidesz-oligarch Lajos Simicska, who had a very public falling out with his long-time friend and former roommate Viktor Orbán, published a lengthy interview with Gábor Vona, leader of the far-right Jobbik party this weekend. It’s most certainly a long-shot to think of Mr. Vona as a prime minister-in-waiting, but it has also now become […]

by · March 29, 2015 · Focus
TEK has effectively been spying on President János Áder.

The Hungarian president no longer trusts Orbán’s secret service

The Orbán regime’s infamous Counter Terrorism Centre (Terrorelhárítási Központ, TEK) has reportedly fallen out of favour with President János Áder. The president, who is a Fidesz politician previously charged with developing the country’s new, controversial electoral system, recently decided to engage the Operational Police (Készenléti Rendőrség) for his personal security needs, even though this is a role that would normally […]

by · March 28, 2015 · Politics
Mr. Orbán drives away... Photo: Facebook.

Calls for Orbán’s resignation: In Quaestor scandal, all roads lead to Fidesz

The usually splintered Hungarian left-centre opposition is now rallying around the possibility of holding a vote of non-confidence in parliament, after it surfaced that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán ordered government ministries and departments to withdraw funds from the recently collapsed Quaestor brokerage firm, days before it went bankrupt. Mr. Orbán claimed that it was after the Buda Cash scandal that he […]

by · March 27, 2015 · Politics
Viktor Orbán in Sopron, on March 25th, 2015. Photo: Facebook.

Hungary’s Orbán set to launch new media empire

This week’s issue of Heti Válasz, a right-wing print publication that is apparently going to be spared the purge that is currently unfolding in the world of pro-Fidesz newspapers, television stations and news sites, confirmed that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is looking to build a broad alternative media base to that currently offered by mogul and Fidesz oligarch Lajos Simicska, […]

by · March 26, 2015 · Politics
German Chancellor Merkel shares a light moment with Klaus Iohannis (left) President of Romania and Jean-Claude Juncker (middle) President of the European Commission

Romania’s new president ignores Orbán’s nationalist rhetoric

Recently, I had a chance to chat with Johannes Bloos the Deputy Consul General of the German Consulate in San Francisco, California. Mr. Bloos is a Saxon; his parents were part of this German speaking community in Brasov, Romania, before they immigrated to Germany. We talked about another Romanian-Saxon, Romania’s new president – Mr. Klaus Iohannis. His recent election was […]

by · March 23, 2015 · East
Federal Chancellor of Austria Werner Faymann (far left), Prime Minister  Bohuslav Sobotka of the Czech Republik, and Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico in Slavkov on 29 January 2015.

A new regional alliance – without Hungary

The 25-year-old Visegrad Group, also called the Visegrad Four, is supposed to be an alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland andSlovakia – for the purposes of furthering European integration and advancing political, military, and economic cooperation. As it turns out the Visegrad Four is dead.  In the last couple of months it has become clear that the Visegrad Four members fundamentally disagree on how to approach […]

by · March 19, 2015 · Politics
Map of Székely lands

Comparison of Romania to Islamic State at Budapest demo ruffles feathers in Bucharest

A Budapest demonstration in support of autonomy for Romania’s Hungarian-majority Székelyföld (Szeklerland) counties of Kovászna, Hargita and parts of Maros county has caused a political storm, when organizers called Romania “the Islamic State of Europe.” Bogdan Aurescu, Romania’s foreign affairs ministere, telephone his Hungarian counterpart, Péter Szijjártó, to officially protest the accusation made by Árpád György Mózes, the president of […]

by · March 14, 2015 · Diaspora
Tamás Wetzel is in Canada this week to shore up support for Fidesz withing the Hungarian community.

Deputy state secretary arrives in Canada to buy Hungarian votes for Fidesz

For the past years, Canada has been the target of an unusually high volume of senior level Fidesz political visitations, all travelling on taxpayers’ money, to work over the pro-Fidesz Hungarian diaspora. (The Hungarian governmental visits to Canada outnumber the number of such visits by Canadian governmental officials to Hungary, on a scale of roughly 100 to 1.) Virtually every […]

by · March 11, 2015 · Diaspora
Jewish Community Roundtable. Photo:

Hungary’s Jewish leaders fail to show common front when faced with Fidesz

Hungary’s main Jewish community weekly magazine, Szombat, published a scathing critique of the country’s Jewish community leaders who, the publication charges, seem to be more interested in demonstrating their loyalty to the Orbán government and in being subservient, than in coordinating their message with each other and showing any signs of community solidarity before heading into meetings with the regime. […]

by · March 8, 2015 · Antisemitism
Mr. Dániel Bodnár of TEV –  didn’t notice criticism of the Orbán Government even though he was present.

Hungary rewrites Samantha Power anti-Semitism speech

Hungarian newsmakers didn’t like UN Ambassador Samantha Power’s criticism of the Hungarian Government’s attempt to rewrite World War II history – so they rewrote her speech. Why not? Hungarian news sources often ignore important stories, but in this case they went one step further; they turned the table and rewrote it. They added lines she never said, a rant about […]

by · March 7, 2015 · Antisemitism