Articles by: Christopher Adam

Transgender rights demonstration in Budapest. Photo: Gábor Bankó.

As COVID-19 ravages Europe, Hungary’s government focuses on stripping trans people of rights

As of Thursday, there were 585 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Hungary and 21 deaths, so the Orbán government is preparing to have parliament pass legislation attacking the recognition of transgender people and their rights. Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, the leader of the Christian Democratic People’s Party, a phantom party which survives at the pleasure of Prime […]

by · April 2, 2020 · Politics
The Hungarian parliament on 30 March 2020.

Viktor Orbán uses coronavirus pandemic to complete his dictatorship

The party state’s two-thirds majority in parliament meant that with 138 voting for and just 53 against, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has secured the right to rule by decree for an unlimited period of time, and to unilaterally suspend existing laws, ostensibly in an effort to better address the COVID-19 pandemic in Hungary. On Monday, the number of Hungarians confirmed […]

by · March 30, 2020 · Politics
Gergely Gulyás , Minister of the Prime Minister's Office, declares a state of emergency.

Hungary declares state of emergency over coronavirus — Tourism may decline by 60 percent

There are currently 12 cases of coronavirus in Hungary. As a containment measure, the Hungarian government has cancelled all public commemorative events planned for March 15th, a national holiday marking the 1848 Revolution and War of Independence. Additionally, on Wednesday, the Orbán government declared a state of emergency — an unprecedented move since Hungary’s transition to democracy in 1989/90. The […]

by · March 11, 2020 · Focus
Most - Híd campaigning in early 2020.

Slovakia’s election sees rise of anti-corruption party and demise of ethnic Hungarian parties

Slovakia held parliamentary elections on Saturday, February 29th and the vote was significant for two reasons. First, it brought the victory of the curiously named “Ordinary People” party (OĽaNO), which swept to power on a populist anti-corruption platform, garnering 25% of the vote. Second, for Hungarians, the election was an unhappy turning point, in that no Hungarian party passed the […]

by · March 2, 2020 · East
Cleveland's Balaton Restaurant with the author in the mirror... (Photo: C. Adam)

Balaton — Definitely not a cookie-cutter restaurant in Cleveland

A Menorah stood on the ornate hutch, alongside Kalocsai embroideries, Hungarian country style jugs called Miska kancsó, hurricane lamps and a framed photograph of Balaton Restaurant’s late founder, Terezia Nevery — quite an eclectic mix, but a welcome change from the dime-a-dozen family restaurant chains around my hotel on the periphery of Cleveland. I spent an extended weekend on the […]

by · February 28, 2020 · Diaspora
Andrássy Boulevard in Budapest, at Christmas.

Christmas reflections

“If everyone were holy and handsome, with ‘alter Christus’ shining in neon lighting from them, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. If Mary had appeared in Bethlehem clothed, as St. John says, with the sun, a crown of twelve stars on her head, and the moon under her feet, then people would have fought to make room […]

by · December 24, 2019 · Culture
Left: Ms. Novák. Right: Ms. Rácz.

Hungary — Where a 22 year old Fidesz operative is appointed Deputy Minister of State

In most countries, it would be difficult to imagine a 22 year old who has yet to complete a university education and having no relevant professional experience being appointed Deputy Minister of State. Hungary, it would appear, is the land of such possibilities, provided one is a demonstrably faithful to Fidesz, the ruling party. This week, we learned that Katalin […]

by · December 4, 2019 · Politics
Gergely Karácsony, Mayor-elect of Budapest.

Hungary’s democratic opposition scores major election victory

After nine years in the wilderness, Hungary’s opposition parties scored major electoral victories across the country and especially in Budapest in local elections, where a centre-left alliance of parties won the mayoral race, achieved a solid majority on the municipal council and won back nine districts from Fidesz. Moreover, support for Fidesz in the traditionally conservative and affluent Buda districts […]

by · October 14, 2019 · Politics
Kurt Volker in Budapest in 2019. Source: Válasz Online.

Kurt Volker’s departure a blow to Hungarian autocracy

Hungary’s party state has lost a key American ally and an enthusiastic promoter of Hungarian autocracy with the departure of Kurt Volker, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to Ukraine. Mr. Volker is at the centre of the current impeachment turmoil in Washington DC, after telephone call transcripts released by the White House suggest that the American president attempted to pressure […]

by · September 28, 2019 · Politics
Justin Trudeau appearing in brownface in a 2001 Yearbook.

Some thoughts on Justin Trudeau’s brownface controversy and saying sorry

By Hungary’s exceedingly low standards when it comes to accountability and political civility, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be commended for what did seem like a heartfelt and unequivocal apology for having appeared in brownface in 2001, when he was a teacher at Westpoint Point Grey Academy in Vancouver. It is nearly inconceivable to imagine that a politician in […]

by · September 19, 2019 · Politics