Lately it is not only economists who are sending messages to the Hungarian government; even St. Stephen got into the act with Tibor Navracsics as his medium.
What message did Hungary’s first king send this time? He warned Viktor Orbán that Hungary had better not to look around for friends in the East. No good will come of it. His interpreter, Tibor Navracsics, deputy prime minister, delivered the saintly king’s message in Veszpém which in early Hungarian history was the city of the queen. According to Navracsics, Saint Stephen’s greatness … Read the rest
Until now relatively few critical words could be heard from economists who are considered to be closer to Fidesz than to the socialists or liberals. László Csaba, who used to be a harsh critic of MSZP-SZDSZ governments' economic policy, was the first to raise his voice. It was in February that in an interview with Heti Válasz he had a few choice words to say about the lack of a coherent economic policy. What the Hungarian government does is a series of improvisations and ad hoc decisions, he claimed. He … Read the rest
The leadership of Civic Control–One Million for Democratic Society is widening the group's political activities. On March 15 the group staged the largest street demonstration against the Fidesz government. At that point they demonstrated against the new media law and for freedom of the press. Today they feel that they have to fight for democracy itself.
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As the memories of the 1989 regime change are fading fast, and while the ruling coalition treats that era as if it was an embarrassing stain on a family’s clean sheet … Read the rest
Klára Sándor, a former SZDSZ member of parliament and a linguist by profession, has been writing a series of articles on language. She was most likely inspired by Pál Schmitt's efforts at becoming the guardian of Hungarian. Her latest article was on bilingualism, which she defines with reference to someone who lives in a different linguistic environment from his original language. The professional definition of bilingualism thus differs from our everyday notion of it. According to Sándor, a person in a bilingual environment doesn't even have to know his/her … Read the rest
For those readers who are not familiar with how the attempts to establish a "republic" in Hungary are numbered, the period after the regime change in 1989 is called the Third Republic. The first republic was the short-lived democratic revolution of Mihály Károlyi in 1918 and the second, the years between 1946 and 1949 that ended with the communist takeover.
Zoltán Ripp wrote about a fourth republic that will follow the demise of the Orbán regime and will be "a modernized and expanded form of the 1989 democratic transformation." A few … Read the rest
In the last month or so several thought provoking articles appeared in Hungary, not about the analysis of the present political situation but about "life after Viktor Orbán." Some people would say that the appearance of such articles is premature. After all, Fidesz still has a sizeable following and unless the apathetic one-third of the population wakes up before 2014 another Fidesz victory is a very real possibility.
However, I would argue that it is not too early to think in terms of a Hungary after the "counterrevolution." A bit … Read the rest
The first time I set eyes on László Kövér and heard him speak I called him a "dúvad," a Hungarian word with a dual meaning. It can mean "beast of prey," but in ordinary speech people use it to describe a brutish fellow. A person who is somewhat animal-like, uncouth, hard to handle, unpleasant, aggressive and surly.There was a Hungarian film made in 1961 that was entitled "Dúvad" and it was translated into English as "The Brute." So, you get the picture. Just to show you what I mean, here is … Read the rest