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Three years ago, with your financial help, Hungarian Spectrum got a home of its own, with amenities that I think have worked quite well for our community. It is now time to renew the services necessary to keep us alive and well. In fact, we seem to have thrived to such an extent that our fees have nearly doubled this time around. If you find this forum to be of value, I would greatly appreciate your generosity once again.

I have placed a PayPal button in the upper right-hand column … Read the rest

Wholesale harassment of foreign journalists in Viktor Orbán’s Hungary

Although the transcript of Orbán’s speech about his government’s accomplishments in the last eight years, which he delivered this afternoon, is already available on the prime minister’s website, I will either postpone or perhaps even skip an analysis of it. Instead, today I will cover the muzzling of foreign correspondents who are posted in Budapest.

The phenomenon is not entirely new, but until recently only the government-sponsored media took it upon itself to attack journalists by name, some of whom were actually Hungarian nationals writing for foreign publications. Soon enough, … Read the rest

Ahead of the election: LMP and DK are off and running

In case you missed it, today is the official beginning of the election campaign, and two opposition parties, LMP and DK, gathered their troops to energize them. The keynote speaker for LMP was the party’s candidate for the premiership, Bernadett Szél. At the gathering of DK politicians, activists, and party loyalists the chief attraction was Ferenc Gyurcsány.

After reading the available summaries of Szél’s speech and listening to the live performance of the chairman of DK, I came to the conclusion that the two events bore little resemblance to one … Read the rest

The Tiborcz scandal is not “a mosquito bite”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and members of the Fidesz parliamentary caucus launched what promised to be a glorious path to victory. Everything was prepared. After propaganda campaigns against George Soros and the migrants in the last two years, Fidesz was in the midst of a new assault on those NGOs that receive financial assistance from abroad, claiming that they pose a national security risk through their active promotion of immigration. Fidesz’s election law, which favors Orbán’s party, coupled with limits imposed on the opposition parties’ ability to wage an effective … Read the rest

Could János Lázár be the sacrificial lamb of the Elios affair?

The other day, while discussing Péter Juhász’s indiscretions, I noted that a politician must choose his words carefully and be mindful of what information he shares with the public. Overly talkative politicians are normally found in MSZP, where party discipline is lax and individual party leaders often espouse views that contradict official policy. Such speaking out of turn is practically unknown in Fidesz with its stringent party discipline. Spokesmen for the party get their orders, and they faithfully repeat whatever the current slogan is that comes from the propaganda and … Read the rest

The spies who were not; cheap gas that is not; negotiations that will not be

Today seems to be one of those days when it is hard to cover only one event because there are so many items of interest. Let’s start with the most bizarre: the story of an alleged Hungarian espionage ring working on behalf of the United States.

The “Empire” and its leaders

I dealt with the case in March 2016 when the story broke. One of the charges against the alleged leaders of a spy ring called “Birodalom” (Empire) was that they passed documents concerning Hungary’s defense plans to a NATO … Read the rest

The sorry state of the Hungarian opposition

In the last three days the government propaganda machine has been busy churning out gory stories about the domestic affairs of Péter Juhász, chairman of Együtt. In a way, these latest accusations against Juhász should not have been unexpected. He is a controversial man whose life has been under scrutiny for a long time. Since he was at one point a vocal proponent of legalizing marijuana, he was accused of being a regular drug user. There have also been questions about his finances. His political enemies, who are numerous, found … Read the rest