Monthly Archives: December 2007

New Year, new politics in Hungary?

I very much doubt it. By year’s end Ferenc Gyurcsány’s position had become stronger within his own party and perhaps even in the country as a whole. Viktor Orbán, who after the 2006 elections looked finished, rose out of the ashes. He is very good at reinventing himself. After a setback he is deeply depressed for a year or so but then recovers and with new energy attacks his opponents whom he actually considers his and the country’s enemies. Right now according to all polls the Fidesz is doing very … Read the rest

Ambulance service in Hungary

Thank God, I have never seen an ambulance from the inside. It is rather rare that one hears the siren of an ambulance in our neighborhood: the little town I live in has a population of 4,500. The area of the town is large but the houses are far from each other because the town is located in a watershed area: lots of forests, brooks, lakes, rivers, and few people. When a couple of years ago an ambulance came to our road we all knew that there had to be … Read the rest

A factcheck.org is needed in Hungary

What a fantastic idea it would be. I really should try to convince someone in Hungary to start a web site that would monitor all the misstatements and distortions, if not outright lies, of Hungarian politicians and the media. While the American factcheck.org occasionally can’t find anything to complain about for a whole week, I’ll bet the calendar of a factcheck.hu would have several entries a day. The closest thing to factcheck in Budapest is a retired gentleman who over the years has written thousands of letters to the editor … Read the rest

Hungarian holidays and their extensions

Sitting in the United States and keeping tab on Hungarian affairs is an interesting undertaking when holiday follows holiday. On Sundays and on holidays there is practically no news in Hungary. Life stops. While here The New York Times appears every day, the big Hungarian dailies have no Sunday editions at all, and they don’t appear on holidays either. And if only these holidays were one-day affairs. But no, they usually last two days: two days at Christmas time, two days at Easter, two days at Pentecost. Admittedly there are … Read the rest

President Sólyom and the Hungarian health care reform

Surprise, surprise!  Sólyom didn’t sign into law the proposed health care bill. Not that for a moment I thought he would just sigh and sign, but I was afraid that he would send the bill to the Constitutional Court for review. Because it seems to me that if President (formerly Chief Justice) Sólyom sends something over to the Constitutional Court, especially if he points out to the honorable members what he sees as problematic, you can bet your bottom dollar that the honorable members will wholeheartedly agree with the former … Read the rest

Season’s Greetings

Parliament is closed, Gyurcsány is most likely off with his family to rest a bit, President Sólyom has the next few days to ponder what to do with the health care bill, and I am taking a break too. For months now I have been diligently following Hungarian political events and I must say that I’m happy that the year’s end is close. It was a very difficult year for Hungary, although not as dire as the opposition attempts to portray it. Inflation was higher than anticipated and real wages … Read the rest

Molotov cocktails and a beating in Hungary

Who would have thought that Molotov cocktails would once again be used in Hungary? The last time I saw them was in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, but then it was understandable. The youngsters on the streets had no firearms that would be effective against tanks–hence Molotov cocktails. But in a peaceful country in 2007? Alas, yes.

There have been three incidents involving Molotov cocktails in less three months. The first took place in Adony (Fejér County) where somebody surely didn’t like the socialist parliamentary member, László Ecsődi. Two Molotov … Read the rest