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Orbán: Hungary will not adopt the euro for many decades to come

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has declared that his government will no longer entertain the idea of replacing the forint with the euro in 2020, as was previously suggested, and instead expects Hungary’s national currency to remain “stable and strong for the next several decades.” Mr. Orbán made these comments in an interview with the pro-government daily Napi Gazdaság, which is […]

by · June 3, 2015 · Politics
Gábor Vona at a kindergarten in the town of Ózd. This is just one o more than a  dozen photos that Mr. Vona posted to Facebook of him playing, talking, eating and telling stories to small children.

Hungary’s Jobbik leader spends a day in kindergarten, exploiting children

When Gábor Vona, leader of the far-right Jobbik party, visited a kindergarten in the Jobbik-controlled town of Ózd, and posted over a dozen photos on Facebook of him mingling, smiling and playing with young children, he was accused by the opposition of “political pedophilia.” According to Mr. Vona’s explanation, he had asked the school’s principal, whether he could spend the […]

by · June 3, 2015 · Politics
Ibi Gábori at the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC) conference, held at the University of Ottawa on June 1st, 2015. Photo: Christopher Adam

The testimony of a Hungarian Canadian Auschwitz survivor (video)

Ibi Gábori is an 87 year old Hungarian Canadian survivor of Auschwitz, who shared her experiences of the Holocaust at the 2015 conference of the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC), held at the University of Ottawa from May 30th to June 1st, 2015. Ms. Gábori’s talk formed part of a special panel on the Holocaust. She spoke about growing […]

by · June 2, 2015 · Antisemitism
The drawings depicting a proposed mega mosque and Islamic Centre in Budapest.

Will Budapest get its first “mega” mosque?

For the past several weeks, the story of a somewhat mysterious video produced by a Turkish foundation called Türkiye Diyanet surfaced on and off in the Hungarian press, suggesting that there were plans to erect a mega mosque, with four minarets, a restaurant and a hotel in the Kőbánya suburb of Budapest. Based on the released drawings and the video, the […]

by · May 30, 2015 · Culture
Viktor Orbán. Source: Koszticsák Szilárd / MTI

Viktor Orbán celebrates five years in power with message of “peace”

On Friday, a tight group of prominent Fidesz personalities, government advisers, intellectuals and policymakers met in an even tighter courtyard in Budapest to hear Prim Minister Viktor Orbán give a speech that represented a 180 degrees rhetorical turn from his last “State of the Nation” speech in February. He spoke of the dawn of an era of apolitical prosperity: the […]

by · May 29, 2015 · Politics
Detail from "Creating a New Family" (2002). Acrylic on canvas, (42 inches x 54 inches).

Recommended programs in Ottawa: Hungarian Studies conference, Truth and Reconciliation exhibit

The two programs that we’re recommending to our readers this weekend (for those within relatively easy reach of the Canadian capital) are quite different, but they are both relevant in different ways to those interested in Hungary and Hungarian society. First off, the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC) is holding its annual conference as part of the Congress of the […]

by · May 28, 2015 · Culture
Magyar Nemzet. Photo: Hír24.

Right-wing Hungarian newspaper’s readership falls dramatically

The Magyar Nemzet daily newspaper was long the jewel in the crown of the pro-Orbán media empire, but ever since the paper’s owner, Lajos Simicska, found himself in a singularly nasty and foulmouthed dispute with the prime minister (who was his college roommate decades ago and long-time friend), government officials and ministers have been boycotting the media magnate, and there […]

by · May 28, 2015 · Politics
The PPKE campus in the town of Piliscsaba, located 25 km north of Budapest.

Hungarian Catholic university requires all students to study Holocaust

Hungary’s Pázmány Péter Catholic University (PPKE) has become the first institution of higher education in Europe to make Holocaust courses a graduation requirement in all programs offered by the school. This means that PPKE undergraduates are now all required to take two courses, regardless of discipline, namely: an introduction to the Roman Catholic faith and a Holocaust history survey course. […]

by · May 27, 2015 · Antisemitism
László Nemes accepts his award at the Cannes film festival.

Fidesz intellectuals believe Son of Saul proves there is no antisemitism in Hungary

On a popular television news talk show called Civil Kaszinó, which airs on the right-wing HírTV network, pro-government intellectuals managed to come up with a remarkably passive aggressive response to something that should have been positive news for all Hungarians: namely, that László Nemes’ film Son of Saul (Saul fia) won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival. The 38 […]

by · May 26, 2015 · Antisemitism
Poster advertising RCA Victor radios in 1937. John Vassos papers, 1920-[198-], Archives of American Art.

András Göllner: RCA Viktor–His Master’s Voice in Canada (Overture)

We go abroad to wonder – at the towering beauty of the mountains, at the crashing power of the waves on the high seas, at the winding flow of a majestic river, at the vastness of the oceans, at the miracle of the stars above: but we often walk past ourselves, without wondering The Confessions of Saint Augustine Introduction How […]

by · May 25, 2015 · Focus