New MSZP leadership: New strategy and tactics?

While the whole world, including readers of Hungarian Spectrum, are preoccupied with the most unfortunate decision of a slight majority of the citizens of the United Kingdom, an important domestic event has taken place that may change the political landscape in Hungary. Today MSZP delegates from all over the country gathered in Budapest to elect a new leadership. The stakes are high: will the new officers be able, together with other democratic forces, to build a political force capable of successfully competing with the flourishing and self-confident Fidesz under the … Read the rest

Viktor Orbán’s interpretation of the Brexit referendum

In the wake of the stunning Brexit referendum outcome, pro-government papers wisely waited for word from the boss before they dared express any opinion on the subject. They didn’t have to wait long. At 8:00 a.m. Viktor Orbán began his regular fortnightly Friday morning interview on the state radio station.

The first topic was of course the British referendum, something the Hungarian prime minister was not at all eager to talk about. The little he said had more to do with his own referendum, to be held sometime in the … Read the rest

A monster was created: Hungarian student unions

It is hard to describe my state of mind when I read about student unions as they exist in Hungary. My feelings are a mixture of outrage, disgust, and contempt. Contempt for university administrators who not only tolerate but are cowed by these so-called student leaders who, in some cases, are common criminals. Outrage that none of the governments between 1990 and 2016 was willing and able to do anything to put an end to student unions in their present form. I understand that any attempt to disband these student … Read the rest

Ferenc Gyurcsány: “Disintegration or something else?”

As always, Hungarian Spectrum welcomes democratic voices from and about Hungary. Today Ferenc Gyurcsány, prime minister of Hungary between 2004 and 2009, offers his solutions to the ills of western democracies. Mr. Gyurcsány is currently the chairman of Demokratikus Koalíció, which he established in 2011.

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Something has gone wrong. Quietly, but ever more noticeably, more and more people in more and more places are in revolt. In the American presidential primaries the anti-establishment Trump and Sanders have attracted millions of voters. The British are holding a referendum … Read the rest

The ethos of Hungarian football

The current Hungarian political landscape is a wasteland. Almost nothing is happening. Half of the government seems to be in France, and the rest of the country talks of nothing else but the Hungarian national team’s surprisingly good showing at the European Championship. Since 1972 no Hungarian national team had been good enough to even participate in these games, so the national delirium is understandable. Today I’m going to look into some possible explanations for the sorry state of the sport in Hungary in the last thirty years or so.… Read the rest

Hungarian politicians support their friends abroad

It seems that members of the Hungarian government don’t have enough to do at home. They feel compelled to get involved in controversies outside of the country. Today I’ll look at two such controversies, one involving a Spanish archbishop, the other the all-important British referendum on EU membership.

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the archbishop of Valencia, is not exactly a household name, but in Catholic circles he is well known as an arch-conservative who is described by Spain’s leading newspaper, El Pais, asa guardian of orthodoxy with an … Read the rest

Conspiracy theories in Hungary

Five years ago Political Capital, a Hungarian think tank, published a survey on Hungarian attitude toward conspiracy theories. The result of that study showed that it was mostly Jobbik voters who had a strong predilection for believing in theories suggesting that secret forces are responsible for the state of our world. Publicus Intézet recently conducted a similar survey, which found that the “disease,” most likely due to Viktor Orbán’s consistent, relentless propaganda, has since spread to include a large minority of Fidesz voters as well. Although in Publicus Intézet’s … Read the rest