Monthly Archives: June 2009

A return to Kiskunlacháza–An extreme right locality in Hungary

A couple of days ago I briefly mentioned that after a seven-month manhunt the police found the murderer of a fourteen-year-old girl in Kiskunlacháza, a small town south of Budapest. And I'm not using the word "murderer" instead of the customary "alleged murderer" unadvisedly. József P. not only confessed but the police found the missing belongings of the murdered girl in his house: an ID, her cell phone, a necklace, and a purse. All hidden, of all places, inside a vacuum cleaner. And yes, the DNA sample found in the semen matched. … Read the rest

Hungary and the East German “tourists”

Originally I was planning to write about the seven-month search for the murderer of a fourteen-year-old girl in Kiskunlacháza where the mayor of the town was sure that the murderer had to be a Gypsy. I wrote about the case on November 29, 2008, "A new murder and a new anti-Gypsy demonstration." A couple of days ago the real murderer was apprehended and he confessed. He is not a Gypsy but a red-haired young man who lived about 200 meters from the scene of the crime. But perhaps more about this at some … Read the rest

Hungary and the Iron Curtain

Today is a great day in Budapest because it is the twentieth anniversary of the official fall of the iron curtain between Hungary and Austria. On June 27 Gyula Horn, then foreign minister of Hungary, and Alois Mock, his Austrian counterpart, together used wire cutters to open up the barbed wire fence on the border between the two countries.Horn This was an official ceremony and it was more symbolic than real. By 1989 the fence built by the Hungarians during the cold war was not much more than a nuisance. By that … Read the rest

Strange turns of justice in Hungary

It was on September 12, 2008, that I first wrote about the Hungarian scandal later nicknamed Polypgate. In the subsequent few weeks I had to return to the topic several times because it was a story that didn't want to die. It looked for a while as if Fidesz was in serious political trouble. To make a long story short, on September 10, 2008, the Hungarian National Security Office raided a company called UD Zrt, a close corporation with the standard "everything under the sun" business mandate, including and obviously its primary focus, computer security. As … Read the rest

Left-liberal media in Hungary

Instead of continuing with a brief history of the Hungarian right-wing "media empire" I will move quickly to the left because Mária Vásárhelyi, a sociologist who is a media expert, wrote a critical article entitled "Balliberális médiaharakiri" (Left-liberal media harakiri) in the June 19 issue of Élet és irodalom. And because Vásárhelyi knows much more about this subject than I do, I decided to turn to her analysis of the current situation, which she considers disastrous.

Vásárhelyi begins her article with a series of questions, among them "Can anyone take a party seriously in … Read the rest

Political opinion in Hungary–Medián and Tárki

Two respectable opinion polls came out today with slightly different results but confirming one critical fact–that people who voted for Jobbik in the EU parliamentary elections came largely from the Fidesz camp. Medián specifically asked Jobbik voters about their political preferences in 2006. It turned out that only 14% of them had voted for MSZP. The rest either came from the right or were new voters. Tárki indirectly supports this result. Among those who said they would definitely go to the polls only 58% said that they would vote for Fidesz this Sunday while in … Read the rest

The Hungarian right-wing media: Magyar Nemzet, Inforádió, and Hír TV

Magyar Nemzet is considered to be the mouthpiece of Fidesz, at least by centrists and people left of center. If something appears in Magyar Nemzet, even if on the op/ed page, they are certain that it reflects official Fidesz policy. Just to give a recent example. A few days ago an op ed piece argued that the election of András Baka was not in the interest of Fidesz because, after all, the party can do "better than that" next year. From this one sentence people speculated that, just as they presumably had done the … Read the rest