Monthly Archives: March 2011

Szálasi memorial and the need for a Hungarian Ku Klux Klan

Lately one can read a lot of “interesting” news items. Who would have thought twenty years ago that Hungarian youngsters in a provincial town in Tolna county are planning a “Szálasi concert”? I wrote so many times about Ferenc Szálasi that I don’t think I have to dwell on him here. He became the leader of the Hungarian Nazis who called themselves Hungarists; the Germans, even if reluctantly, decided to use him in the last few months of the war. He was executed in 1946 for war crimes.

A Szálasi … Read the rest

Hungary and the Euro-Plus Pact

This is not the first time that one hears from "reliable sources" that János Martonyi is leaving his post sometime after the end of Hungary's rotating presidency of the Europen Union. I personally heard from a private source that Martonyi was furious about the handling of the media law, that it was the straw that broke the camel's back. At the same time in good diplomatic fashion he defended the law in public.

In the last couple of weeks it has become evident that Viktor Orbán and his foreign minister … Read the rest

“National consultation” in Miskolc

Actually we would call these events “town meetings.” Usually a politician organizes a “lakossági fórum” which only the party faithful attend. Gergely Gulyás, one of the framers of the new constitution, began a series of town meetings, which he calls “national consultations.” Naturally, it doesn’t matter what you call these gatherings. Only those who are fundamentally in agreement with the party involved will show up.

This is what happened in Miskolc on Saturday evening when about 20-25 mostly elderly men gathered to “discuss” the important points of the new constitution. … Read the rest

Fidesz and Orbán found wanting

Viktor Orbán's political strategy in the last eight or nine years was based on two premises: everything the government in power did was wrong, life in general was terrible, people were getting poorer while the socialist politicians were corrupt and stole the country blind. But, just wait, when we come–the message went–everything but absolutely everything will be not just better but simply perfect. Practically overnight there will be law and order, unemployment will be eliminated, new jobs will be created, everybody's pay check will be a great deal bigger, the … Read the rest

The far right is very active and the government is silent

On March 3 I wrote about a self-appointed neo-Nazi militia that appeared in Gyöngyöspata, a village of 2,800 in the county of Heves. On that day, I certainly didn't think that the so-called "civilian guardists" would be spending three weeks in the village frightening the local Roma to death. After all, Viktor Orbán promised before he was elected that he will take care of these extremist groups. A couple of slaps on the face and they will go home, not be seen again.

The original Hungarian Guard, Jobbik's paramilitary organization, was … Read the rest

Viktor Orbán is not a favorite of the West

When on March 19 world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss the details of the Libyan project, the Associated Press introduced the topic with the headline: "Orban is missing, the rotating president, embarrassing." A month before, on February 17, the world found out that the 2011 summit on the Eastern Partnership that was considered an important event of Hungary's rotating presidency of the European Union had been postponed. Allegedly because of the crowded schedule of international meetings of world leaders.The summit will be held in Warsaw during the rotating Read the rest

One doesn’t say “no” to the Hungarian government

Or if he does, he will pay dearly for it. We know that philosophers are an endangered species in Hungary, but now we can add to the growing list of "enemies of the government" linguists and geographers as well. But let me start at the beginning.

A few weeks ago we learned that Ferihegy Airport will most likely be renamed. Two Fidesz politicians, János Fónagy and Pál Völner, came up with the brilliant idea of naming the airport after Franz Liszt (or Ferenc Liszt as he is known in Hungary). … Read the rest