MSZP and the Hungarian bid to host the Olympics in 2024

A new poll was published today, this time by the Nézőpont Intézet. It reaffirmed an earlier poll showing that Fidesz’s popularity is on the rise again, most likely due to the government’s misleading propaganda about the asylum seekers. The parties of the democratic opposition haven’t gained any new followers. The only surprise in the poll was that among potential voters MSZP and DK are neck to neck.

Of course, Nézőpont is not known for its political neutrality and therefore its results are suspect, but this time I wouldn’t be at … Read the rest

The Orbán government in action: graft and fraud

I didn’t think that I would have to return to the topic of the tobacco monopoly and concessions after writing at  least three articles on the subject in 2012 and 2013. The allocation of tobacco shop concessions became such a scandal that I hoped that the Orbán government would leave the tobacco business alone for a while. Obviously, I was wrong. In December, a new bill was submitted to parliament that was designed to eliminate tobacco wholesalers and replace them with one “retail supplier.” The original draft bill provided for … Read the rest

RTL Klub’s Híradó: The most popular evening news in Hungary

The Mérték Media Monitor, an institute founded by a group of young sociologists, together with Medián, a well-known polling company, has twice assessed the Hungarian public’s sources for political news. In both 2012 and this year the poll showed that the overwhelming majority (71% in 2015) of Hungarians learn about political events from the two commercial stations, RTL Klub and TV2. The internet followed with about 35%, radio with 21%, and only 5% from the print editions of dailies and weeklies.

The 71% would be an impressive figure if it … Read the rest

Unprepared Hungarian government facing a refugee crisis

Yes, there is a refugee crisis in Hungary. No question about it. Thousands cross the Serbian-Hungarian border every day and the Hungarian government is totally unprepared. The number of refugees/migrants has grown, especially in the last few days, ever since the news arrived south of the border that the Hungarian government is planning to erect a 13-foot-high fence along the Serbian-Hungarian border. According to rumor, the Macedonian authorities are in fact facilitating the departure of the refugees still in their country to make sure that they reach the Schengen border … Read the rest

Orbán’s Hungary under attack by its enemies, and they are many

While Viktor Orbán is battling the European Union and defending the country against the invading conquerors from Africa and the Middle East, the rest of the gang is not idle either.

János Lázár and enemies all around

Once upon a time, naturally before Viktor Orbán began work on the “renewal” of Hungary, there was a cabinet post to oversee the Hungarian intelligence network. Usually, the occupant of that post was a minister without portfolio. Now, however, like so many other matters, it is supervised by János Lázár, the all-powerful minister … Read the rest

Viktor Orbán’s redefinition of the refugee crisis

Two days ago the Hungarian ministry of foreign affairs and trade posted a statement on its website that emphasized that “political refugees have always been accepted by Hungary.” Péter Szijjártó continued: “It is incumbent on Hungary to be generous because of its history and experience…. When war was still ravaging the Western Balkans, Hungary received the refugees arriving from there, who ran from the region to save their own and their families’ lives from the war, without any major international assistance.” This statement presaged the prime minister’s redefinition of who … Read the rest

The “well-oiled business machinery” of Viktor Orbán’s son-in-law

At the end of May I posted an article about Viktor Orbán’s son-in-law selling his stake in Elios Innovatív Zrt., the leading installer of LED-technology street lighting. István Tiborcz, the husband of the Orbán’s eldest child Ráhel, became spectacularly successful after his future father-in-law was elected prime minister of Hungary. Perhaps too successful. In the last few years 33 municipalities received generous EU subsidies to switch to LED technology. Seventy-one percent of these jobs were won by Tiborcz’s firm. It was inevitable that sooner or later the media would discover … Read the rest