Monthly Archives: December 2011

It will be a happy new year

My optimism is legendary, and when I read this afternoon that Viktor Orbán and his friends are building a barricade around the parliament building I felt certain that Viktor Orbán will not be the prime minister of Hungary for long.

Sometimes they destroy barricades, sometimes they build them. Now they are in the building phase. Because they are afraid. Afraid even of those peaceful demonstrators who have been out on the streets with growing frequency.

But barricades don’t help if the trust of the population and the world has been … Read the rest

The approaching crisis: Viktor Orbán on a collision course

Below you will find a facsimile of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s letter to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. I might add that the letter, along with all the others he received, didn’t make the slightest impression on him. This morning in an interview on Magyar Rádió he emphasized that no one can tell legislators elected by the Hungarian people what kinds of laws to enact. Once the laws are passed, the European Commission may object to some of the laws’ provisions. In such cases the Hungarian government will … Read the rest

Neither the markets nor western politicians like Viktor Orbán’s Hungary

Ever since the Hungarian government was forced on November 17 to turn to the IMF for a “safety net,” as Viktor Orbán prefers to call a desperately needed loan, we hear nothing else but that Hungary actually doesn’t need cash because the country is able to finance itself from the market.

More and more analysts in Budapest and elsewhere have the distinct feeling that IMF-EU negotiations might be postponed indefinitely. If the politicians in Brussels come to the conclusion that one cannot deal with Viktor Orbán, they can simply refuse … Read the rest

Increasing pressure on the Hungarian government

This morning I was still planning to write about how the state-controlled Hungarian television presents news. Or rather, how the evening news on MTV doesn’t give credible information about the events of the day. I will return to the topic soon because during the holidays I had more time than usual to watch Hungarian television. Unfortunately, I came to the conclusion that most Hungarians, even those who watch MTV’s news or listen to MR’s news programs, are badly underinformed. Or, one can even say, misinformed. On the other hand, some … Read the rest

Success on top of success: How György Matolcsy sees the situation in Hungary

I will not be at all original today. I was so intrigued by a compilation of announcements by the National Economic Ministry (Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium) from January to December that I thought I would share the list. I really want to be the bearer of good news.big grin

The cartoon below illustrates how at least some Hungarians feel about the government’s communication.

First you have to exercise self-criticism (see 2/4 entry)

They have definite ideas about Viktor Orbán’s truthfulness as well. One ought to read these success stories in that light.

January Read the rest

The Ministry of National Development and the building of a “national bourgeoisie”

As we know, the Orbán government doesn’t hide its intention to assist the development of a very rich Hungarian upper crust. Although Viktor Orbán prefers to talk about a “national middle class,” Orbán’s middle class is not exactly the kind of middle class we normally envisage. We are talking here about the super rich. Orbán and Fidesz are using the whole state apparatus to enrich those few very rich men who in turn are beholden to the party and the government and who therefore are supposed to fill the coffers … Read the rest

To celebrate the Christmas Tree Revolution in Hungary

I want to thank all of you who have faithfully followed this blog over the years. I’m especially grateful to those who take an active part in making Hungarian Spectrum a highly regarded English-language blog on Hungary.

Yesterday’s events have already been nicknamed the Hungarian “Christmas Tree Revolution.” Hence the card below.

A Happy Holiday Season for All