Canada’s La Presse publishes feature on “Hungarian regime” and war against civil society

Canada’s largest French-language newspaper, La Presse, published a feature piece entitled “Michael Ignatieff engaged in a battle against the Hungarian regime” (Michael Ignatieff engagé dans un combat contre le Régime hongrois) and interviewed Professor András Göllner, a Hungarian Free Press contributor, as part of its story on proposed legislation aimed at shuttering Budapest’s Central European University (CEU).

Professor Göllner told La Presse: “This is a war declared against all organizations that are critical of the Orbán regime,” adding that these groups are simply “scrutinizing the activities of those in power, just like any similar organization in Canada would.” Professor Göllner, who is affiliated with Concordia University and founded the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter (CHDC) in 2011, told La Presse that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has had international NGOs and the CEU in his sights for quite a while, but more recently he has felt empowered by the election of Donald Trump.

For András Göllner, there is no doubt that Donald Trump supports the Hungarian leader in this matter. “There is a collusion between Trump and Orbán,” he accuses–writes Agnès Gruda of La Presse.

La Presse added that U.S. Senator Ben Cardin has spoken out against Mr. Orbán’s legislative attack on CEU. (Sen. Cardin has also spoken out before on authoritarianism in Hungary.) The French Canadian paper also highlights that the U.S. Embassy in Budapest and the State Department have all expressed concern. The publication notes that the Orbán regime is “consumed by its appetite for power to the point of wanting to stifle all free institutions.”

Here at HFP, we have been somewhat uncertain whether it is appropriate, or perhaps too shrill, to refer to the Orbán government as a regime. Increasingly, we see mainstream papers in North America opting to refer to what Mr. Orbán has built in Hungary as a regime bent on stifling all serious expressions of dissent and independent thought.

La Presse


  1. Let me assure HFP that it has adopted the term REGIME quite appropriately and not before damn time.
    For all in the know the danger was quite clear after the Fid reaction to the election defeat in 2006. The steep downward trend after 2010 was classical and unequivocal, from there on more and more boxes in the definition of a fascist regime had been ticked.

  2. Did anyone ever investigate the standard of teaching at this university. May be the diploma is not worth the paper it is printed on. Hungary has laws that require a certain standard of teaching. If it is not met, it should be closed. All those foreign students should just go home and cause noise pollution in their home countries. It is amazing how naive some of today’s young people are. Think how hard your parents worked for the money so that you could study, or how you are wasting taxpayers money.
    The parents of these protesters should enroll them in schools that provide some benefit in the future.

  3. This university did not even make it in the top 500 universities. Wake up people and stop wasting your time and money. Instead of creating noise pollution may be you could do something useful like charity work.

  4. It’s time for the EPP to FINALLY throw out the Fidesz bums! Enough is enough, already. How much more will these cowardly European People’s Party hypocrites tolerate?

    Only 500 people have signed the petition to the EPP–we need at least 1,000. Please sign:

  5. Daria G
    You don’t know what are u talking about, do u?Alternatively, your speculations are just malicious implications, held as the most “sophisticated” form of slander by the orban’s agit-prop dept.
    So which one: ignoramus or Fidesznik?

  6. Daria G
    You could have Googled this yourself if you weren’t a troll.

    “According to the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings, released Feb. 26, CEU’s programs in politics and international studies, as well as philosophy, scored among the best in the world again in 2014. CEU is the only university in Hungary with programs among the top 100 in the 2014 subject rankings.”

    Facts say it is not because of educational quality. This leaves political considerations.

  7. All formal, and internationally recognized ratings of Universities in the Humanities and the Social Sciences lists the CEU higher, than any other university in Hungary. The ratings are not based on ideological parameters, but on the quality of scholarship and research of the teaching staff. The Hungarian Government’s desire to shut down the CEU is not based on the University’s academic “failures” but on a dislike of the liberal Jew, who founded this center of excellence. This is why Orbán keeps referring to the CEU as Soros University. It’s the old reflex that created the “numerus clausus” in 1920, the reflex that penalized the Jews when they excelled, that drives this hatred today.

    If CEU were to be founded by Cardinal Mindszenty, who also escaped from Hungary to America, HIS Central European University would be flooded with public funds – though it would no doubt be as poorly rated as all other publicly funded Universities in Hungary.

Leave a Reply to András B. Göllner Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *