Monthly Archives: July 2012

Gábor Vona’s letter to Congressman Joseph Crowley

Gábor Vona, Vará

You may recall that back in June I published a facsimile of a letter sent by fifty U.S. congressmen to Viktor Orbán expressing their concern over the growing antisemitism in Hungary. In addition, the letter called attention to the treatment of  homosexuals, specifically mentioning the employment of Róbert Alföldi, director of the Hungarian National Theater. The letter also called attention to the discrimination against  the Roma population. The man who initiated sending this letter was Joseph Crowley, a Democrat from the State of New York.

The letter Read the rest

Voter registration in Hungary

Viktor Orbán and his closest friends and political allies must be genuinely afraid that after four years, even with a new electoral law that clearly favors their party, Fidesz might lose the next election. If, however, the government makes prospective voters jump through a pre-election hoop, victory is more likely.

The idea of pre-registration already came up during the debates on the new electoral law in 2011. You may recall that it was János Áder, at the time EU parliamentary member, who was entrusted with the task of writing the … Read the rest

Viktor Orbán at Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tuşnad

If it’s July it must be a new outrageous speech by Viktor Orbán at Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tuşnad.

It all started in 1990 when Fidesz organized a gathering of young Hungarians from Hungary and Transylvania for a week of lectures and fun. It was a small affair in those days; perhaps 40-50 people showed up at the first meeting, dubbed Bálványosfürdői Szabadegyetem és Diáktábor (Free University and Student Camp at Bálványosfürdő/Băile Bálványos). The event consisted of almost a week of camping. In those days the young Orbán himself stayed for … Read the rest

Paul Lendvai: Hungary Between Democracy and Authoritarianism:   A book review

Paul Lendvai has achieved quite a feat with his Hungary Between Democracy and Authoritarianism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012).  Lendvai, a well kn0wn journalist who was born in Hungary but has been living in Austria since 1957, is in a way part of the story he is writing about. Due to his stature outside and inside of Hungary he had the good fortune to have personal encounters with all the public figures mentioned in this book.

Hungary Between Democracy and Authoritarianism is more than a history of the last … Read the rest

Hungarian business leader criticizes Viktor Orbán’s economic policy

Hungarian opposition newspapers have an annoying habit. If someone just once says something critical of Viktor Orbán or the policies of the current government, the liberal newspapermen practically elevate him to sainthood. All his past sins are forgotten. This is what is happening now with Sándor Demján, the managing director of VOSZ (Vállalkozók és Munkáltatók Országos Szövetsége = National Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers).

Demján is apparently the richest man in Hungary. He is a real estate developer and his company, Tri-Gránit Fejlesztési Zrt., builds shopping centers throughout the region, … Read the rest

Statement by the IMF Mission to Hungary

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission visited Budapest during July 17-25 to start discussions on an IMF/EU-supported program following a request by the Hungarian authorities. The IMF mission worked in close cooperation with a mission from the European Commission and observers from the European Central Bank. At the conclusion of the visit, Thanos Arvanitis, IMF mission chief for Hungary, issued the following statement:

“The Hungarian economy continues to face a series of interconnected challenges related to high public and external indebtedness, strained bank balance sheets, weak confidence, and elevated … Read the rest

The future of LMP: An interview with Benedek Jávor

Today a fairly lengthy interview with Benedek Jávor, the leader of LMP’s parliamentary caucus, appeared in Népszabadság. LMP (Lehet Más a Politika = Politics can be different) has the smallest parliamentary delegation with fifteen members; it has 3.9% share of the seats.

LMP, despite its name, is just another political party that plays strategic and tactical games like any other. Even its beginnings were somewhat marred by talks that without secret Fidesz help LMP wouldn’t have been able to collect enough endorsements to participate in the elections in Budapest. … Read the rest