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
A Statement from Scarlett Johansson

A Statement from Scarlett Johansson

On September 24 the Hungarian Free Press reported that Hungary’s government-controlled press widely distributed photos of Budapest Mayor István Tarlós with American filmstar Scarlett Johansson. From the misleading caption Hungarian readers might have concluded that the popular filmstar endorsed Tarlós. (Read the article here.) Now Johansson issued a statement–and it’s particularly relevant as Hungarians across the country vote in local […]

by · October 13, 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
Eight U.S. Senators are concerned by pro-Putin Hungary

Eight U.S. Senators are concerned by pro-Putin Hungary

Eight U.S. senators, all democrats, have sent a letter to US Ambassador David Cornstein, calling on him to uphold American democratic values and security interests when dealing with the autocratic regime of Viktor Orbán. Among the prominent signatories is Bernie Sanders, currently running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. We are sharing this strongly worded letter dated 24 September […]

by · September 27, 2019 · Politics
Scarlett Johansson and right-wing Budapest mayor István Tarlós

Scarlett Johansson is shamelessly exploited by right-wing Budapest mayor, István Tarlós

Scarlett Johansson is a 34 year old popular American filmstar, one of the highest paid in the business and now she is part of the Budapest municipal election campaign. She is shooting a film in Hungary and a clever political operative asked her to meet with right-wing Mayor István Tarlós. Why not? 71-year-old Tarlós is a staunch ally of authoritarian […]

by · September 24, 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
Budapest Mayor István Tarlós (left) and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán share a light moment.

Budapest Mayor István Tarlós shamed America with the removal of Roosevelt’s name

In 2011 the Budapest City Council led by Mayor István Tarlós renamed one of the most beautiful squares in Budapest. After 64 years Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s name was stripped from the oblong square in front of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. This decision was a slap in the face of the United States, Hungarian Americans were offended and the Roosevelt […]

by · September 16, 2019 · Politics
Congressman Andy Harris is giving his speech at the 3rd Budapest Demographic Summit on September 5, 2019.

Rep. Andy Harris takes discreet trip to Budapest to attend far-right Demographic Summit

On September 5 as Hurricane Dorian was approaching the US East Coast, Congressman Harris’s office sent out a message: “Update on the planned flood insurance workshop scheduled in Crisfield this evening: due to pending weather, the event is postponed to a later date. My office will gladly provide updates on rescheduling when they become available.” Since Congressman Harris represents Maryland’s […]

by · September 11, 2019 · Politics
Family photo - Lord Ashcroft (left), Mr. Harper, Mr. Orbán, Ms. Novák and Mr. Rogán.

Orbán’s new pals – Stephen Harper, Lord Ashcroft and Robert Lantos

The International Democrat Union (IDU) is an alliance of right wing political parties, headquartered in Munich, Germany and currently chaired by Stephen Harper, the former Prime Minister of Canada. Mr. Harper and his friend, Hungarian-born Canadian film producer, Robert Lantos travelled to Hungary to spend the August 20th National Holiday with far-right authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Lord Ashcroft, conservative […]

by · August 29, 2019 · Politics
Paul Anka (left), Ambassador Cornstein and Prime Minister Orbán enjoying the show.

Bizarre US Embassy Independence Day extravaganza with 800 guests in Budapest

Every year on July 4 the US Embassy in Budapest has a garden party with a couple of dozen invited Hungarian guests to celebrate Independence Day. This has become a decade-long tradition. It seems that Ambassador Cornstein likes to give big parties, I mean giant parties. On July 9 he invited 800 guests (yes, eight hundred) to a sit down […]

by · August 10, 2019 · Politics