Politics

"If you come to Hungary, you have to respect our culture!" Photo: 444.hu

Hungarians deface government’s openly racist billboards

It’s reassuring to see that there are some residents in Budapest who will take a bucket of paint and a brush to erase the words on the Orbán government’s virulently racist and populist new billboards, which tell immigrants (in Hungarian), and in no uncertain words, that they are not welcome. Two such billboards went up yesterday in Budapest’s 13th District, […]

by · June 6, 2015 · Politics
The forint is here to stay...

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
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
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
Máté Kocsics, Fidesz's communications director and Mayor of Budapest's 8th District launches a lawsuit against a liberal politician who claimed that he's gay.

Fidesz Mayor Máté Kocsis proves he’s not gay through homophobia

In a postmodern world, people have the right to choose and construct their own public identity, be it religious, cultural, ethnic, national or sexual, and society has an obligation to respect this choice. Liberal and openly gay politician Klára Ungár’s decision to “out” two very prominent Fidesz leaders as being gay, following comments by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that bordered […]

by · May 23, 2015 · Politics
László Trócsányi, Hungary's openly racist Minister of Justice.

Hungarian justice minister says no to immigrants, because Gypsies already pose huge burden

If any further convincing is needed, in order to show that Fidesz has morphed into Jobbik, then the words of Hungary’s Minister of Justice, shared by Inforádió Friday morning, should suffice. László Trócsányi started off by attacking the European Union’s system of quotas when it comes to accepting and assigning refugee claimants among the member states. He then added that […]

by · May 22, 2015 · Politics
Mr. Torgyán (left) chatting  with a much younger Mr. Orbán (right), about 15 years ago.

Hungary’s deluded, xenophobic prime minister has become the new József Torgyán

I was a teenager living in Budapest, when József Torgyán, the colourful chair of the right-wing populist Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKGP), bumbled his way through Hungarian party politics for over a decade, following the transition to democracy. He was, essentially, a self-important fuddy-duddy: the awkward uncle that both amuses, but at times causes embarrassment for the family.  Under Socialist Prime […]

by · May 20, 2015 · Politics
The Debrecen refugee camp. Photo: Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI.

Hungary set to turn away refugees and close main refugee camp

Szabolcs Takács, the deputy Minister of State for European Affairs, who some of our readers will recall from last fall–when a few of us asked him questions during his talk at Ottawa’s Carleton University–gave an interview to Italy’s La Stampa paper, entitled: “Enough of the immigrants! Hungary will lead the front against EU quotas.” Mr. Takács underlined that Hungary plans to […]

by · May 18, 2015 · Politics
Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi.

Ambassador Szemerkényi responds to HFP: It is legally “unacceptable” to refuse meeting with Jobbik delegation

György Lázár of the Hungarian Free Press published an article about the unprecedented visit of a Jobbik delegation at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC where Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi received and briefed them. They also visited the Hungarian Consulate in New York, where they met Hungarian Consul General Mr. Ferenc Kumin. We asked for feedback from the US State Department, US […]

by · May 13, 2015 · Politics