Recently in the spotlight

András Göllner speaking to HuffPost over Skype. Photo: Video capture from HuffPost.

András Göllner in Huffington Post: EU must take decisive action against Orbán government

András Göllner, Founder and International Spokesperson of the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter and Professor Emeritus at Concordia University, gave a live interview to Huffington Post, over Skype, from his home in Montreal. Professor Göllner spoke to the growing popular unrest in Hungary and the destruction of the rule of law since 2010. “Hungary has taken a wrong turn. It has […]

by · November 24, 2014 · Politics
The Wandering Muse / Tamás Wormser

Hungarian-Canadian filmmaker explores what it means to be Jewish

Tamás Wormser, a Montreal-based filmmaker of Hungarian origin, was featured in the Montreal Gazette today, in a piece written by columnist Bill Brownstein. Mr. Wormser, well-known for his “road doc” style documentaries, is having his film, The Wandering Muse, featured this Sunday at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal). The fifty year old director, who moved to […]

by · November 21, 2014 · Culture
1992: Bobby Fischer vs. Boris Spassky Belgrade.

Mr. Orbán’s Bobby Fischer madness

In 1992 chess genius Bobby Fischer was warned against playing a $5-million match in Yugoslavia. The United States had prohibited all commercial dealings in the war-torn country, the tournament was illegal, and Mr. Fischer was cited for participating in the chess match with Boris Spassky. The erratic Mr. Fischer, 49 years old at the time, was known for bizarre behavior. He […]

by · November 19, 2014 · Politics
Day of Outrage. Photo: Balázs Mohai/MTI

Palpable anger on the streets of Budapest

Some 10,000 people took to the streets of Budapest on Monday evening (and up to 5,000 protested in a handful of other Hungarian and European cities) in what was dubbed a “Day of Public Outrage” against the taxes, systemic corruption and anti-western foreign policy of the Orbán government. The demonstrators called for nothing short of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s resignation. What was […]

by · November 18, 2014 · Politics
Klaus Johannis. Photo: Facebook.

Romania’s German turn: President-elect Johannis sends a message to Hungary’s Orbán

Romania’s President-elect, Klaus Johannis, might want to send a thank you card to the 3 million Romanian citizens living and working abroad. And also to Transylvania’s Hungarian population. Without them, Prime Minister Victor Ponta would have been able to change political chairs and become the country’s new left-leaning president, replacing Traian Băsescu, who was completing his second and final term […]

by · November 17, 2014 · East
Fighting in the town of Lysychansk.

Russia, Ukraine and mortar fire: The war in East Ukraine

Open hostilities between the Ukrainian central government and the breakaway eastern province resumed in last week, with the heaviest shelling offensive since the crisis began earlier this year. Russia’s role in this conflict continues to exacerbate the ongoing struggle by providing financing and supplies to the pro-Russian separatist groups based in the Donetsk region. The Ukrainian central government continues its […]

by · November 17, 2014 · East
Samantha Power

A warning about Hungary’s institutionalized anti-Semitism

Samantha Power is one of President Barack Obama’s closest confidants and currently U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Ms. Power, who is 44 years old, was formerly Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, and also a noted writer, she won the Pulitzer […]

by · November 15, 2014 · Antisemitism
Éva Balogh and Kim Lane Scheppele

Two interviews on Hungary worth watching: Éva Balogh and Kim Lane Scheppele

Most of HFP’s readers will be quite familiar with Éva Balogh’s Hungarian Spectrum, an excellent blog with daily updates, providing in-depth exploration and informed opinion of political, social and cultural issues in Hungary. Professor Balogh, who is also a founder of the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter, very rarely misses writing her daily post (pretty much only when her electricity goes […]

by · November 15, 2014 · Politics
Levente Magyar waves embassy papers on Thursday. Photo: MTI.

Hungarian foreign policy confusion

There seems to be a distinct sense of confusion in Hungary’s foreign policy, a lack of direction and haphazard action, instead of a clear, coordinated strategy, and one which takes into consideration changing geopolitical realities and interests. On Thursday, the country’s largest daily paper of record – Népszabadság – observed that things may still get much worse in terms of […]

by · November 13, 2014 · Focus
Workfare in Hungary. Photo: MTI.

Hungary’s “workfare” program and the disregard for social justice

The New York Times published a piece on Hungary’s public works (közmunka) programs, noting that this “work-for-welfare” initiative is gaining a real foothold in Hungary. The article by Rick Lymam takes the reader to the northeastern town of Halmaj (population: 1,800) and notes that prior to the introduction of the Orbán government’s compulsory communal works program, unemployment in the village stood at […]

by · November 11, 2014 · Focus