About

Hungarian Spectrum features daily analyses of news from Hungary—political, economic, and cultural. Its editor and primary pundit is Eva S. Balogh, who formerly taught East European history at Yale University. Guest contributors include Kim Lane Scheppele, professor of sociology and international affairs at Princeton University; Charles Gati, senior research professor of European and Eurasian studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Randolph L. Braham, distinguished professor emeritus of political science and director of the Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; and Janos Kornai, professor of economics emeritus at Harvard University and Corvinus University of Budapest.

The site, which is archived at the Library of Congress, is recognized by diplomats, journalists, scholars, and representatives of non-governmental organizations as a source of thoughtful analysis and high-level discussion of contemporary Hungarian affairs.

147 comments

  1. This is just to express my profound admiration for Professor Balogh’s remarkably well-informed coverage, temperate but firm, of ongoing Hungarian developments from the standpoint of a professional historian: The benign and rational portion of the Hungarian populace (which, I am sure, despite the cacophony of xenophobic loathing, scape-goating and irredentist hubris currently prevailing in that sad little land, still exists) is greatly in Professor Balogh’s debt for her clear-headed and fair-minded surveillance. Her relentlessly exposing to the outside world the current Hungarian government’s unprincipled opportunism cannot but help hasten that nation’s return to sense and decency.

    View Comment
  2. I very much appreciated Stevan Harnad’s comments. Just yesterday I got a private letter from a Ph.D. candidate who found the blog helpful. After reading such comments I feel that writing this blog is after all not in vain. Thank you.

    View Comment
  3. Hi,

    I am writing from the Press Gazette, a journalism magazine in the UK, we are hoping to do a piece on press freedom in Hungary for our edition next week and I would love to be able to get Professor Balogh’s opinion on the matter, it would be great if she could get in touch with me at James.Michael.Read@gmail.com or let me know how I can contact her?

    Regards,
    James Read

    View Comment
  4. Paul Lendvai :
    Dear Eva,
    may I draw your attention to my new book: Hungary between Democracy and Authoritarianism (Columbia University Press) – London edition at Hurst Publishing. A review would be welcome. PLease contact me also personally: Europ.Rundschau@aon.at

    London Calling!

    Paul!

    Am just reading yr “One Day That Shook the Communist World” – so interesting!

    Maybe Eva could review that too?

    Regards

    Charlie

    View Comment
  5. Dear Eva!
    I highly respect all your efforts. Your daily blog and the Charta are both very important to our Country! After I subscribed, a few days ago, you always make my day! Thank you! K.Z.

    View Comment
  6. Louis Kovach :

    A “Well balanced” mutual admiration society….This blog, the Nepszava in Hungary, the Amerikai (Magyar) Mepszava and the Galamus…is there anything to the left of these?

    Considering that there is no real left in Hungary your claim is highly misleading. There is a truly leftist (communist) party, the Hungarian Workers Party. They received about 2% of the votes. None of these publications have anything to do with the Workers Party. These newspapers, blogs are moderate left of center publications that also welcome moderate conservative views. The kinds Magyar Nemzet refuses to publish.

    View Comment
  7. This blog provides incredible coverage and analysis of the Orban government. Others whom I have recommended the site to say the same.

    I would be interested in reading something about the democratic, non-Socialist opposition (such as it is). Who are they, where did they come from, and (since they are such a small minority) what political tactics are they using/recommending? (I realize that Lehet Más a Politika is the only opposition party in Parliament that is democratic and non-Socialist, so we’d also have to include political forces outside Parliament.)

    But I’m also curious which major figures of the democratic opposition of 1990-2010 – politicians like Fodor, Demszky and so on – have remained in politics (or at least in public life), and what they say today. How do they account for the utter implosion of SzDSz and its democratic, Western-oriented political line? What can democratic-minded Hungarians do to regain some sort of political influence?

    View Comment
  8. Louis Kovach :

    A “Well balanced” mutual admiration society….This blog, the Nepszava in Hungary, the Amerikai (Magyar) Mepszava and the Galamus…is there anything to the left of these?

    And one more things. The people who are involved in the publications you mention are the representatives of the conscience of the nation who risk their livelihood in defense of Hungarian democracy.

    View Comment
  9. Louis Kovach :
    A “Well balanced” mutual admiration society….This blog, the Nepszava in Hungary, the Amerikai (Magyar) Mepszava and the Galamus…is there anything to the left of these?

    Kovach, It is easy to publish things that support an anti-government in power. It is very easy to praise an authoritarian ruler. THe hard part is to go against injustice. It just happens that you are not a liberal, and from your post it is also clear that you are not fan of democracy that is the foundation of any western democracy, so it is clear that you find all and everyone who fights for the basic values objectionable. In your posts you defended neo-nazi efforts and nazi writers, you questioned basic democratic processes. Your opposing opinion to any publication should serve as an endorsement to said media.

    View Comment
  10. Chris S. :

    I would be interested in reading something about the democratic, non-Socialist opposition (such as it is). Who are they, where did they come from, and (since they are such a small minority) what political tactics are they using/recommending? (I realize that Lehet Más a Politika is the only opposition party in Parliament that is democratic and non-Socialist, so we’d also have to include political forces outside Parliament.)

    But I’m also curious which major figures of the democratic opposition of 1990-2010 – politicians like Fodor, Demszky and so on – have remained in politics (or at least in public life), and what they say today. How do they account for the utter implosion of SzDSz and its democratic, Western-oriented political line? What can democratic-minded Hungarians do to regain some sort of political influence?

    That’s a great idea. I will definitely devote a post to the subject especially since Gábor Fodor and Gábor Kuncze lately made some noises indicating return to politics.

    Thank you for the compliment.

    View Comment
  11. Dr. Balogh: “And one more things. The people who are involved in the publications you mention are the representatives of the conscience of the nation who risk their livelihood in defense of Hungarian democracy.”

    Yes, like Bartus who could not see an intelligent face during his visit to Hungary. Good example of the “conscience of the nation”!

    View Comment
  12. Louis, would you mind explaining me what the “left” is? Because you seem to use it like a swearword. What is it? Critics of the FIDESZ government are en bloc left? And while you are at it also explain me please what’s wrong with “left”?

    View Comment
  13. Eva, apologies for jumping in on this thread. There are some stories doing the rounds where people are shouting “three cheers for Hungary kicking out Monsanto!” (e.g. here.)

    My first reaction has been alarm that people so vociferously opposed to a company have failed to look past that to the politics behind it. But I’m not sure where this Monsanto policy comes from – is it something new as the government has started combining right wing and Hungary-only policies, or is it something more established that can’t be pinned on Fidesz or any other party?

    Another link…

    My initial response was: ” ‘Good for hungary’ over Monsanto? Trans: “good for the BNP/EDL for smashing up Tesco! Well done those blackshirts!”

    I fear I may have over-reacted! But the blindness on some left / localism types in the UK to the political reality there worries me. I wonder if you have any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    dan

    View Comment
  14. Louis Kovach: To the left of this? How could anything be more extreme than a blog which praises communist criminals such as Kadar, Gurcsany and other animals? Have you people lost your brains? Wake up for God’s sake! You are supporting mass murderers here!

    View Comment
  15. Dear Eva Balogh

    I am looking for an old article of yours. It should have been on the Hungarian Spectrum, but it somehow disappeared from there. The link was http://esbalogh.typepad.com/hungarianspectrum/2008/09/extreme-right-new-right-radical-right-in-hungary.html

    Could you be so kind as to mail it to me at the address shafirmchl@yahoo.com or michael.shafir@ubbcluj.ro.

    Professor Michael Shafir, Emeritus
    Doctoral School for International Relations and Security Studies
    Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

    View Comment
  16. I am very impressed with this blog and grateful for the efforts of its’ creator. There is so little information and news relating to Hungary in English. I find much of the news about my family’s ancestral homeland depressing these days but I find myself turning to this site regularly and learning a great deal. I have to add that it is a little sad that there seems to be no source of English news coming from serious Hungarian sources or news organizations. It might benefit Hungary to do a better job of relating to the rest of the world if there were. In any case thanks!

    View Comment
  17. CarlosD :

    I have to add that it is a little sad that there seems to be no source of English news coming from serious Hungarian sources or news organizations. It might benefit Hungary to do a better job of relating to the rest of the world if there were. In any case thanks!

    Let me suggest a few sites to you. If you scroll down practically to the end of the homepage of Hungarian Spectrum you will find links to English-language publications dealing with Hungary.

    For financial and economic news I suggest Portfolio and for politics in general Hungary Around the Clock and Politics.hu

    View Comment
  18. Eva S. Balogh :

    Louis Kovach :
    A “Well balanced” mutual admiration society….This blog, the Nepszava in Hungary, the Amerikai (Magyar) Mepszava and the Galamus…is there anything to the left of these?

    And one more things. The people who are involved in the publications you mention are the representatives of the conscience of the nation who risk their livelihood in defense of Hungarian democracy.

    Professor, surely you can’t be serious. The very fact that these newspapers exist and keep spouting bile at the government (without deterring themselves with facts) is proof of the unfounded nature of claims that press freedom is in danger. No, it is not. They are not the conscience, they are the leftist press, just as other papers are the right-wing press. But the most dangerous kind are the journalists and commentaters who claim independence while being seriously indoctrinated. As someone with your personal and professional background, I would think you would reach deeper in research than Népszava, which is incredibly low standard.

    View Comment
  19. Eva S. Balogh :
    I managed to find out what I did wrong.

    For a minute I was hoping this was your answer to me.
    Too bad you are not joking. I bet you are even convinced you are helping the poor Hungarians. Take a look at how ideas & methods employed by the Hungarian government are being adopted at the EU level in fighting the crisis that’s been caused by uncotrolled financial institutions and an absolute fatih in market self-regulation. And waht you are calling ‘Matolcsy’s poison’ is imposed upon Hungary by the EU and the IMF demands, by the way…

    View Comment
  20. Oh yes, all politicians and economic policy makers are imitating György Matolcsy. Wake up and because otherwise the awakening will be a rude one when your favorite regime collapses because of its wrong economic policies and undemocratic governance.

    View Comment
  21. Great blog. This short video (100 sec) should entertain many readers here: a hilarious subtitled HirTV interview with Orbán about resemblance to Obama. See youtu.be/vEGP1jKhvzc

    View Comment
  22. Dear Eva, I realised just how much I value your blog when it suddenly disappeared this last week! Welcome back, and it’s good to know you survived the storm unscathed. I haven’t commented here before, but I am British and have been living in Hungary for 30 years now – so 7 years under communism. Your insights are invaluable – long may you have the energy to keep going with your blog!

    View Comment
  23. Dear MM, How awfully nice. Believe me, I’m happy to be back too. I missed the blog, I missed the news from Hungary and from the whole world, and I missed the commenters whom by now I consider friends.

    As for news in Hungary, the only good thing is that most likely not much has happened during the long weekend, although I received a short note a few minutes ago from a journalist friend in Hungary who wrote: “awful things are happening here concerning the election laws.” What a cheerful welcome!

    View Comment
  24. As a long-term resident (inmate?) of this crazy country, what is most welcome is the immense background knowledge with which you elucidate the country’s present woes. I stumbled across your blog by chance but it has made a huge difference to understanding (or attempting to) the developments here. Being able to read the local press in Hungarian is of little help considering its immense bias.

    View Comment
  25. Ms. Balogh blog is one the most important source of information on the situation in Hungary. She posts well written and balanced reports on the events of everyday Hungarian politics. I recommend this blog to all of my English speaking friends if and when they would like to educate themselves on situation in my native country.

    View Comment
  26. London Calling!

    F. Lonky

    “…….Take a look at how ideas & methods employed by the Hungarian government are being adopted at the EU level in fighting the crisis that’s been caused by uncotrolled financial institutions and an absolute fatih in market self-regulation. And waht you are calling ‘Matolcsy’s poison’ is imposed upon Hungary by the EU and the IMF demands, by the way…”</i?

    You must be joking! You are seriously deluded – Are you on the same planet as me?

    Are you on drugs even?

    Total bullshit of course – not worthy of dignifying it with a response – so I won't!

    Just can't believe it though! Matolcsy's fairytales as an ideology!

    Goodness! No hope for Hungary with people like this.

    I'm incredulous!

    Don't insult us English through implication either – the sheer temerity.

    Regards

    Charlie

    View Comment
  27. Allan Siegel (@dunablue) :

    Dear Ms. Balogh,
    Your writing and analysis is exceptional and I am happy to see that it is getting the wider coverage it deserves. I look forward to your regular and highly informative reports.
    kind regards
    as,

    Dear Allan, thank you for the compliments. Those who comment on Spectrum greatly contribute to the quality of the blog. I’m very lucky in this respect.

    View Comment
  28. Eva,

    Just wanted to give you a heads up about something I find disturbing going on in the education system here. From what I’ve been told, the education minister has declared that no foreign languages may be taught in grades 1 through 4. It’s been banned. While that may not sound like much, those are the best years for children to start learning a foreign language. One of the appealing features of the private kindergarten my girlfriend runs is that it’s a bilingual Hungarian/English school. She half joking thinks this is a long-term strategy to prevent Hungarians from leaving the country by making it harder for them to learn foreign languages.

    As an American living here, it’s hard for me to get my head around the fact that a single person can cause something like this to take effect. No legislation, no conferences, no public input, no voting. As you may know, starting this month, the public schools have become nationalized, and all control is now in the hands of the national government. Until now, it was administered at the local level.

    No word yet on any pushback to this plan. Not sure when this will actually take effect. But my girlfriend is quite upset about it, and is talking with colleagues and others about what, if anything, can be done.

    View Comment
  29. Hi Eva,

    I just wanted to mention that a plan is being circulated for people in Hungary (and hopefully, Europe) to turn off their lights between 7:45 pm and 8 pm on the evening of January 27th (Holocaust Remembrance Day), in solidarity with the Italian parliamentarians who will be turning off the lights at the Colosseum in protest against the neo-fascist party Jobbik.

    View Comment
  30. Dear Éva,

    Allow me to draw your kind attention to what is quite unusual in Hungary today. The Ars Humanica Hungarica Circle established in 2010 by scientists, clergymen, artists and the supporters of art founded in 2011 the Hungarian Civil Legion of Honour. Its first donation was in 2012 for two worthiests: dr. József Szarvas, a medical doctor, who carried out a traheoctomy on a motorcyclist on the roadside in 2009, and Emil Pásztor, professor of linguistics (posthume), who presented the idea of establishing the Museum of Hungarian Language in 1994, but did not live along its completion in 2008.
    The second donation ceremony wiil take place on the 10th of February this year at 11 am. at the Óbudai Társaskör (1036 Budapest, Kiskorona u. 7), where two candiates will have the medal: Sándor Fehér, violinist (posthume), who lost his life while saving children on the wrecked Costa Concordia ship last January, and the RE.F.U.G.I.U.S. Association of Burgenland (Austria) who undertook the sorrowful task (instead of us, Hungarians) to build and inaugurate a nice memorial for those 200 jewish Hungarian labour-camp inmates, who were massacred by the hosts of ball of countess Margaret Batthyány and the village dwellers during the night of 24 March, 1945 in Rechnitz (Rohonc) and were berried on a place unknown even today.
    Please, read our home page: http://www.arshumanica.org.
    Please give me your email addres and I will send you our invitation.
    Email: vinarius@t-online.hu

    Thanks and regards: Csaba Kuthi
    Ars Humanica Hungarica Circle

    View Comment
  31. Dear Mrs. Balogh,

    I read your political and history comments with much appreciation and find them very interesting, as a different point of view, especially those concerning the Hungarian-Romanian relations. I would like to congratulate you (and most of your readers too!) for the just and equidistant position on sensible matters and for proving that moderation exists amongst Hungarians in a larger extent that some would think.

    Unfortunately, so many Romanians are strongly and honestly convinced that all the Hungarians, from Transylvania, Hungary or elsewhere, hate Romania. And with the developments of last week some feel that things are on an ascending spiral, only going from bad to worse.

    Your blog proves that you don’t necessary have to love a country, in order to be able not the hate it. In this moment, I would be good if Romanians and Hungarians in Transylvania or Szekelys could at least tolerate or ignore each other (now maybe I’m generalizing too).
    There are so many on both sides who only see in black and white, and so much disinformation!

    Paul,
    Romania

    View Comment
  32. Eva, I have a very interesting story for you that may be worth writing a blogpost about. I can’t say more here.. i can’t find your email address, but you may write to me at ‘ varese at gmail dot com ‘ . Thanks!

    View Comment
  33. Shame on you, Communist. Viktor Orbán and Zsolt Bayer are the pride for our brothers – the normal and honest Hungarians. Here in Bulgaria the Rothschild’s Communists left Stalins bolsheviks to wipe out almoust all Bulgarians. Shame on you, international Communist and servent of the Rothschild’s red Nazis.

    View Comment
  34. Hello, Ms. Balogh. First of all, thank you for your wonderful blog. I find it an informative and entertaining collection on the always interesting Hungarians.

    As you have written a great deal on the state of the Hungarian judiciary, and even some on the trial of Miklós Hagyó and the other 14 defendants, I would like to point out that the European Court of Human Rights will announce their verdict tomorrow (Tuesday, April 23, 2013) as to whether Hagyó’s basic rights were violated throughout his time in pretrial detention. I have written about this here:

    http://thehagyocase.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/european-court-of-human-rights-ready-to-announce-verdict-about-the-hagyo-case/

    Also relevant, is the closed-door hearing of Tünde Handó in the Constitutional Court, which will also occur tomorrow. Presumably, Handó will have to explain why she approved the transfer of the BKV trial from the Budapest court system to that in Kecskemét.

    Thank you for your time and attention.

    The Hagyó Case

    View Comment
  35. Tisztelt Eva!

    Ez nem kommentár, hanem mondani akarom milyen jo ez a blog. Minden nap olvasom.

    Holland tortenesz vagyok, a hetvenes es a nyolcvanos evekben tanultam Magyarorszagon.

    A holland szocdem partnak irok Magyarorszagrol.

    Most az a helyzet, hogy holnap Ottawaba megyek, A ferjem mar ott van, egy konferencia miatt. Nem tudom hol lakik, de ha Ottawaban lakik, lenne lehetoseg talalkozni?

    Tisztelettel es udvozlettel,

    Antje Koelewijn,
    00.31.6.11273354

    View Comment
  36. Dear Professor Balogh,

    You may be interested to know that Australia today granted Raoul Wallenberg honorary citizenship, the first time this honour has been bestowed on anyone. The connection is that a number of Holocaust survivors rescued by him came to Australia and a few are still living. Wallenberg never visited Australia. I would add a link to media reports but I’m not very adept that way. I’m sure you can find them easily enough on the net.

    Regards,

    Andrew Endrey

    View Comment
  37. Dear Professor Balogh:

    I’d like to offer this as a suggestion topic for a day’s editorial and consequent comment debate in the Hungarian Spectrum.

    About Orbán’s psychological make-up:
    Each time I read anything about Orbán I come away with the impression he is wanting to ‘tickle’ or rather, worse: shock and irritate any and everyone like a naughty schoolboy needing and wanting to be at the center of attention…

    And, it seems to me he is upping the ante as he goes along. Nothing is shocking enough for him.

    I’d rather not imagine the future consequences when this schoolboy / now having full military powers at his disposal, goes out of control.

    And thank you for your dedicated work ! –
    I too left Hungary at a young age in 1956 – and later worked at international organizations (UNHCR, WHO, GATT (WTO) and others)

    View Comment
  38. Dear Prof. Balogh,
    Thank you a LOT for all your hard work of following, analysing, and disseminating info on what is going on in Hungary! Also, thanks for being impartial in posting, it is a rare occurance nowadays, since ALL issues became political. I am a non-native Hungarian resident interested in the affairs of the country where my child grows and where my taxes go, and your analysis provides the hope for a better future – for all residents of Hungary today. As long as we call things what they are, there is a chance to be heard!

    Szeretném, ha a legjobban ezt a blogot!
    Marianna B.

    View Comment
  39. There will be a demonstration on Sunday at 2 PM organized by teacher and civil organizations against Fidesz’s education policies. THey meet at the Pest side of the Chain Bridge.
    Excellent!

    View Comment
  40. Kedves Hölgyem, talán Asszonyom!
    Kár, nagy kár, hogy a liberális baloldal nem képes elviselni, hogy lehet másként is látni a dolgokat, mint ahogy ők látják. Ilyen Magyarország esete is.
    Végre van az országnak egy olyan kormánya, akiknek van egy célja, van egy iránya. És ha talán a racionalitás marad az emberek motiválója jövő tavasszal, akkor marad is ez a kormány. És az jó lesz!
    Sajnálatos, hogy az ön elemzései jobbára bal-liberális elfogultságban születtek.
    Tisztelettel: MK

    View Comment
  41. Mate K. :
    Kedves Hölgyem, talán Asszonyom!
    Kár, nagy kár, hogy a liberális baloldal nem képes elviselni, hogy lehet másként is látni a dolgokat, mint ahogy ők látják. Ilyen Magyarország esete is.
    Végre van az országnak egy olyan kormánya, akiknek van egy célja, van egy iránya. És ha talán a racionalitás marad az emberek motiválója jövő tavasszal, akkor marad is ez a kormány. És az jó lesz!
    Sajnálatos, hogy az ön elemzései jobbára bal-liberális elfogultságban születtek.
    Tisztelettel: MK

    Kedves Mate!
    Kar, nagy kar hogy a jobboldal nem kepes meglatni, hogy a konzewrvativ politiak nem egyenlo a demokraitkus alapok eltorlesevel. A konzervativ politka szinten nem egyenlo az uram-batyam elosztassal sem, semmint a szegenyek kifosztasaval. Sjanalatos az is, hogy csak mint On, a jobboldal nem kepes elviselni azt, hogy van ellenvelemeny, es azt mont a haza megtamadasanak tartja. Talan, csak talan meg vannak olyan magyarok akik a konzervativ politikat ertik, gyakoroljak, es nem egy jobboldali, eltorzitott, valamifele kommunista korcsot probalnak ratukmalni masokra.
    Tisztettel: BE

    ps.: THis is an English language blog. You do not have to belong to the liberal left to recognize that.

    View Comment
  42. Deak Ferenc :

    Eva, are you aware of the apparent forcible closing by Hungarian police of a hotel where an Uyghur conference was being held, and the closure of the World Federation of Hungarians HQ near Astoria?

    http://www.hungarianambiance.com/2013/05/scandal-european-vice-president-of.html

    The original Youtube video of this no longer seems to be available, but there is a copy at the base of the Hungarian Ambiance post.

    No, I was not aware of it. I never heard of the Uyghur Conference in Budapest.

    View Comment
  43. Let me help out this guy until he learns a foreign language so you can see what are we up against. Left, liberal = evil. Simple, isn’t it?

    “Dear Miss, maybe Ma’am!
    It is such a pity the liberal left cannot accept that things can be seen differently from their point of view. This is the case in Hungary.
    Finally the country has a government, that has purpose, a direction. And if the the people will be motivated by rational thinking next spring [next election] then this government will stay. And that will be good!
    Unfortunately your analyses are mostly have a left-liberal bias.
    Sincerely: MK”

    View Comment
  44. Mate K: “És ha talán a racionalitás marad”

    Mutt, self-confident sounds different to me. I even get optimistic when despite this “purpose, direction, government”, people will only PERHAPS contemplate casting their vote for them. Ts ts ts.

    View Comment
  45. Hello Dr Balogh,
    Are you aware that parliamentarians from the 47-nation Council of Europe – an older and wider group of nations than the European Union and often described as “Europe’s human rights watchdog” – are to debate whether or not to subject Hungary to official “monitoring” of its democratic standards during their plenary session at the end of June? (ie. after Venice Commission latest opinion and European Parliament debate):

    http://www.assembly.coe.int/ASP/NewsManager/EMB_NewsManagerView.asp?ID=8675

    Only ten of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states are subject to this procedure – which involves regular visits and reports, and periodic debates on progress. Most are from Eastern Europe, and none from the EU. The Assembly has never before opened a full monitoring procedure against an EU member state.

    The Assembly’s Monitoring Committee has already (narrowly) expressed itself in favour of monitoring, and has produced a comprehensive report on how far Hungary meets the Council of Europe’s democratic standards, citing deep concerns at “the erosion of democratic checks and balances” as a result of the new constitutional framework in the country. Here is the full report:

    http://www.assembly.coe.int/Communication/amondoc08_2013.pdf

    A separate body of the Assembly, the Bureau, has expressed itself AGAINST monitoring – the Assembly is in effect split. The report will now be debated (probably on Tuesday 25th June) by parliamentarians drawn from all 47 national parliaments and the plenary Assembly will make a final decision in favour or against.

    The debate and vote will be webcast live on the website of the Assembly.

    Hope that’s useful!

    Regards,
    Angus Macdonald
    (PACE press officer)

    View Comment
    1. Dear Mr. MacDonald,

      Thank you very much for the information. It is nice getting direct input from the right source. I checked my older posts and found that I had written about the Council of Europe twice. Once on January 25, 2011 (http://hungarianspectrum.org/2012/06/12/the-council-of-europe-and-hungary/) and again on June 12, 2012 (http://hungarianspectrum.org/2011/01/26/council-of-europe-debate-on-the-functioning-of-democracy-in-hungary/comment-page-1/). I do hope that I managed to get to be accurate in my description of the organization.

      I was especially happy to receive your description of the present status of the Hungarian case before the Council of Europe. I assume that the latest report of the Venice Commission will have some bearing on the final decision.

      I’m so glad that you are aware of the existence of Hungarian Spectrum and thank you for taking the time to write,

      With best wishes,

      Eva S. Balogh

      View Comment
  46. Dear Dr Balogh,
    Many thanks for the swift reply – and, indeed, for your earlier detailed and accurate posts on the Council of Europe! I should correct one small point in my earlier post: the debate in the European Parliament is scheduled for July, and therefore in fact comes AFTER the Council of Europe debate. Let us see what happens in both debates…
    Best regards,
    Angus Macdonald

    View Comment
  47. This blog is according to the ideas of a party called SZDSZ, that had less than 1% support and fall out of the parlament due to incompetence and mega-corruption. Citing Balint Magyar, a former member, in 2013 is a serious sign of ideological blindness.

    Maybe, entertaining for some left-wing foreigner who does not know what is going on, but for the rest of us this is just sectarian nonsense.

    View Comment
  48. London Calling!

    Steven Slav

    Johnny Foreigner here – Jobbik is it?

    This foreigner – and many others on here – know more than most indigenes about what is really going on in Hungary. And many of us visit often.

    Unlike you – we know what a free press is, and what a real democracy looks like.

    And no, not left-wing.

    I suggest you get out more – and stop attending those Magyar Gárda rallies.

    Regards

    Charlie

    View Comment
  49. I live in Hungary, “Stephen Slav”, I doubt you do. I guess it’s matter of perspective in regards to “what’s going on”. But hey why don’t you tell us what’s really going on in Hungary “according to Slav”?

    View Comment
  50. Pingback: Carolina Panthers
  51. Steven Slav: And you basing your comment on what facts exactly? I have a large family and lots of friends in Hungary, and I am Hungarian myself. Eva paints a very clear picture of what is happening in my beloved country. In fact you should applaud her that she tries to bring factual reporting on Hungarian issues versus the corrupted reporting of many government controlled media. Keep reading Steven with an open mind, and check the facts on both sides. You will be surprised.

    View Comment
  52. Dear Mrs. Éva S. Balogh, subject: motor fuel marking with isotope

    in such a way I would like to draw your attention to the attached web pages resp. newspaper articles.
    There is about a law proposal promoted first by Antal Rogán than by Sándor Pintér regarding motor fuel marking by a colour-process or with isotope(!) in Hungary.
    My comment on this subject is as follows:
    First – if this frightening version of the attached story is really true – I simply cannot believe that a government of a member state in the European Union is allowed to take such unjustifiable, silly measures which are in addition really hazardous.
    On the other hand I don’t want to buy flubbed and maybe unhealthy and polluting motor fuel in my privately owned car paid by myself from my taxed income.
    Finally there are a lot of people have to stay at home (in Hungary), forced to make their way in life harder hoping for normal circumstances.

    Best regards
    „Joe Average” from Hungary

    http://hvg.hu/velemeny.nyuzsog/20130704_Atomhajtassal_Simicska_Lajosert#rss
    http://www.nol.hu/gazdasag/a_valasztasok_utanra_csuszik_uzemanyagjeloles
    http://www.hirkereso.hu/search?q=izot%F3p&timelimit=168&archivum=-1

    View Comment
  53. Bár csupán névrokonok vagyunk, sajnálom hogy csak most találtam erre az oldalra. Gondolatébresztő írások ezek, őszintén gratulálok hozzá. Kár, hogy magyar nyelven nem találni hasonló kvalitást.

    View Comment
  54. May I inform the readers of this informative blogsite of a new book Peter Krasztev and I have co-edited. There will be an English edition later this year (or early next year), under the title THE HUNGARIAN PATIENT, to be published by the CEU Press (I am not a Hungarian speaker).
    Here is the link: http://napvilagkiado.eu/webaruhaz/shop.product_details/2-elkeszueletben/flypage.tpl/845-tarka-ellenallas/ Eva, I return to the States next week, and would be happy to send you a complimentary copy, if you would kindly provide me a mailing address by email to vantil39@gmail.com. Best regards, Jon

    View Comment
  55. Dear Dr. Balogh,

    I would greatly appreciate emailing you. Would it be possible to have your email address please? I have a question (which is quite important to me) which I would love to ask you so as to receive your well thought through advice and opinion. :)

    I completely understand if not!

    Many thanks,

    Krisztina

    View Comment
  56. Ms. Balogh,
    Thank you so much for much a wonderful website.I’m an american and I married my husband , Gyula , just 6 months ago. I am still trying to figure him out ! :) Hungarians are very very different from Americans ! I stumbled across your website looking for clues about Hungarian male mentality, and found such a load of information n culture, politics and history . Thank you ! Patricia Lynn Pap~

    View Comment
  57. Dear Patricia, There are many readers of Hungarian Spectrum who are married to Hungarians although it seems to me that it is normally the wife who is Hungarian and not the husband.

    I’m glad that you find the blog useful. If I were you I would also read the comments because among the commenters there are many foreigners who live in Hungary and thus they have a special perspective on Hungarian mentality. But, of course, one shouldn’t generalize. On the other hand, from yesterday’s post it is clear that even liberal Hungarians entertain a more traditional view of family despite the fact that reality doesn’t reflect their ideals. There are far too many single mothers, a great number of divorces, and most of the families cannot really live on one salary. But facing reality was never a strong point of Hungarian culture. I’m glad that you are here.

    View Comment
  58. Dear Mrs Balogh, I have noticed that it is de rigueur for Fidesz-types (particularly young, thrusting professionals) to wear a neatly cropped moustache and beard “ring” arrangement around the mouth. That is, the moustache and beard are joined at either side. I was wondering if you know where this is from. Is it something that is mandated from above? Does it symbolise something?

    View Comment
  59. Dear Mrs Balogh,
    I am writing in the behalf of New Eastern Europe, a magazine on Central and Eastern European Affairs. We are about of publishing an article on our online student column on the issue of Roma in Ózd and the case of public fountains. I am writing to ask you if we can use the picture and the video that you published on your post (http://hungarianspectrum.org/2013/08/07/water-and-politics-the-case-of-the-roma-in-ozd/). If not, cold you please help me in finding any picture related to the topic?
    I thank you in advance for reading this request,
    Best Regards,

    Giacomo Manca

    View Comment
  60. gabriella kadar :

    Eva, what do you think about this: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/11/report-slams-domestic-abuse-hungary-2013116935944883.html

    I have been planning to write about the topic for some time because I read so much about domestic violence for some time because recently I see far too many news items about domestic violence. And, of course, there is the blind komondor story. And now the Human Rights Watch’s report.

    View Comment
  61. I just found your Blog and find it extremely interesting…if not very encouraging! I was particularly interested in an entry from 30 May about Cecile Tormay. As it happens, my mother’s maiden name is Tormay (she is in fact Cecil’s niece.) Fortunately, anti-semitism is not a genetically-determined trait. Being Hungarian, I of course try to find a connection. One direct one…we should have overlapped at Yale where I was a graduate student in economics from 1967 to 1971. (But I don’t recall ever meeting you, maybe because I lived off in Branford and didn’t socialize much.) Balogh is a rather more common Hungarian name than Koromzay, but are you by any chance related to the Hungarian economist Tamas Balogh (eventually Lord Balogh) who, together with Niki Kaldor and Peter Bauer constituted the curious triumvirate of hungarian jewish economists who became British lords.? (Although Peter Bauer, whom my mother dated in her youth was way over on the other side of the political spectrum from the other two.)

    I hope we can keep in touch, if you are interested I live in rural France after a long period as Director for Country studies at the OECD where I was actively involved in working with the hungarian authorities to organize the transition from communism to a market economy..

    Val Koromzay

    View Comment
  62. WOw, reading of it and experiencing some Hungarian-Slovak animosity recently–I found this blog very interesting.My last name was americanized at Ellis ISland so I have no real data as to what it was originally. I suspect hajosz and their is a street in Budapest with a very similarly spelled name. Nowadays my grandparents home towns are now in Poland. The immigration papers however say at the time their country was Prussia, even though my grandparents claim Slovak heritage.

    View Comment
  63. Hi, Mark. The locality where your grandparents came from is a bit mysterious. The name, I suspect, is Hungarian “hajós” which means “boatman.” Of course, both in Hungary and in Slovakia there are many people with Hungarian family name who consider themselves Slovaks. And vica versa. Now, if you grandparents ended up in the Austrian part of Poland it is possible that the spelling of their name was changed to Hajosz. Sz in Polish is pronounced as sh, It is possible that they moved to that part of Poland that was acquired by Prussia in the late 18th century. Interesting story.

    I suggest that you take a look at a historical atlas to get a good sense of what partitioned Poland looked like.

    View Comment
  64. Eva S. Balogh :

    Hi, Mark. The locality where your grandparents came from is a bit mysterious. The name, I suspect, is Hungarian “hajós” which means “boatman.” Of course, both in Hungary and in Slovakia there are many people with Hungarian family names who consider themselves Slovaks. And vica versa, of course. Now, if your grandparents ended up in the Austrian part of Poland it is possible that the spelling of their name was changed to Hajosz. Sz in Polish is pronounced as sh, just as s in Hungarian is pronounced as sh. How they got to that part of Poland that was acquired by Prussia in the late eighteenth century, of course, I have no idea. It would take a little genealogical research..

    I suggest that you take a look at a historical atlas to get a good sense of what partitioned Poland looked like.

    View Comment
  65. THank you so much for your quick and informative response. I hope I didnt mislead you but both my hrandparents emigrated to the USA prior to WWl. I will look up the dates later. I will also review the immigration papers etc and get back to you. The Americanized version of our last name is “Hajost” and thats what was supposedly given to my grandfather at Ellis Island or at least thats the family legend as I remember it. WE receive an extreme amount of questions regarding our last name, such as “what is that” and “were are you from” Thanks again.Hi, Mark. The locality where your grandparents came from is a bit mysterious. The name, I suspect, is Hungarian “hajós” which means “boatman.” Of course, both in Hungary and in Slovakia there are many people with Hungarian family names who consider themselves Slovaks. And vica versa, of course. Now, if your grandparents ended up in the Austrian part of Poland it is possible that the spelling of their name was changed to Hajosz. Sz in Polish is pronounced as sh, just as s in Hungarian is pronounced as sh. How they got to that part of Poland that was acquired by Prussia in the late eighteenth century, of course, I have no idea. It would take a little genealogical research..
    I suggest that you take a look at a historical atlas to get a good sense of what partitioned Poland looked like.

    Eva S. Balogh :
    Hi, Mark. The locality where your grandparents came from is a bit mysterious. The name, I suspect, is Hungarian “hajós” which means “boatman.” Of course, both in Hungary and in Slovakia there are many people with Hungarian family name who consider themselves Slovaks. And vica versa. Now, if you grandparents ended up in the Austrian part of Poland it is possible that the spelling of their name was changed to Hajosz. Sz in Polish is pronounced as sh, It is possible that they moved to that part of Poland that was acquired by Prussia in the late 18th century. Interesting story.
    I suggest that you take a look at a historical atlas to get a good sense of what partitioned Poland looked like.

    View Comment
  66. Greetings. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks and enjoy learning about Hungarian politics (I was 9 when we came to the US in 1956). I am writing about this question: I have a cousin who I’m “friends” with on Facebook. He frequently re-posts articles from a publication titled “Flag Magazin.” Can you tell me and your readers about it? Is it affiliated with Jobbik? Looks like it might be… Today my cousin posted this article:
    http://www.flagmagazin.hu/politika/nicsak_ki_beszel
    My Hungarian is too weak to be able to understand it, unfortunately, but, as a child of Holocaust survivors, the accompanying photos make me think I should be worried about the content. Can you help me understand what the article said? A short synopsis would help a great deal.

    Thanks you.

    Andrew Szasz

    View Comment
  67. Andrew Szasz :
    My Hungarian is too weak to be able to understand it, unfortunately, but, as a child of Holocaust survivors, the accompanying photos make me think I should be worried about the content. Can you help me understand what the article said? A short synopsis would help a great deal.
    Thanks you.
    Andrew Szasz

    Andrew,

    I looked and I don’t understand a word from the articles … I don’t think it is worth the attention. After a wasted ten minutes I’m still not sure what am I reading.

    View Comment
  68. Dear Eva Balogh,
    Thank you for your blog, as an expat in Hungary I find it really useful and informative. I am writing to suggest a post. As a non-religious person, I have previously not nominated a church as a beneficiary under Hungary’s 1% income tax law. However, if the following article is accurate, it looks like my 1% is (in effect) going to be allocated by default in future, according to the preferences mostly of religious people who select their own churches:

    http://www.politics.hu/20131217/lawmakers-modify-rules-on-church-donations/

    I’d rather my 1% goes to a progressive, liberal church that does a lot of social good, rather than to conservative and fundamentalist churches that others might choose. I’d imagine lots of your other readers feel the same. However, information about Hungarian churches is difficult to find in English, leaving me at a loss to select the best beneficiary for next year from the list of recognized churches. Could you write a post on this? PS Feel free to email me at the address I’m giving!

    View Comment
  69. I’am half hungarian/and lived down south enough to gain the charelston S.C. ACSENT
    is it safe to move to budapest as an american and how much $ forint or dollars would I need to live safe and comfortable

    View Comment
  70. Hi There
    Really like your blog. I have a question – I will be going to Budapest on an Erasmus exchange for a few months. I notice that there is a National holiday on the 15th of March which is a Saturday. Does that mean that either the Friday or the Monday is a bank/school holiday or is it just the Saturday that is a day off. Thanks for your help.

    Pascal.

    View Comment
  71. Dear Mrs Balogh,
    Why is your old Typepad site esbalogh.typepad.com in Hebrew? I looked up your website the other day and found that your old URL is still there.

    Regards,
    Dave

    View Comment
  72. Dave Weston :

    Dear Mrs Balogh,
    Why is your old Typepad site esbalogh.typepad.com in Hebrew? I looked up your website the other day and found that your old URL is still there.

    Regards,
    Dave

    If you open the site and translate the page into English it becomes clear that it is not my site. Someone is taking advantage of my name. I will report it.

    View Comment
  73. Dear Mrs Balogh, could you get in touch with me via Email? Let me thank you for the extreme valuable perspective you give Hungary. A lot of questions and uncertainties remain due to a lack of know-how of the hungarian language. Thanks, Marc

    View Comment
  74. Hi Eva,

    For your information: the Holocaust Memorial Center has now posted their professional opinion regarding the deportations in 1941 (because of the discussion around ‘Veritas’ and its chief) and the German ‘occupation’ of Hungary (the monument on Szabadsag ter). Available on the website hkde.hu.

    Regards,

    RM

    View Comment
  75. Hello; I am Robert and I live in Ottawa Canada. I was researching family history and came up with information that my late uncle, who had died in Jachymov in 1947, had been approached by a New York Times writer; Emile Havas. Apparently Havas offered my uncle a deal to give information about the mines and be allowed to immigrate to the US. That didn’t happen and my uncle died(?). Now I read about a Havas and an Albert Wass…………is this Havas the same as the Havas meeting my uncle ?

    View Comment
  76. Robert :

    Hello; I am Robert and I live in Ottawa Canada. I was researching family history and came up with information that my late uncle, who had died in Jachymov in 1947, had been approached by a New York Times writer; Emile Havas. Apparently Havas offered my uncle a deal to give information about the mines and be allowed to immigrate to the US. That didn’t happen and my uncle died(?). Now I read about a Havas and an Albert Wass…………is this Havas the same as the Havas meeting my uncle ?

    Yes, I assume so.

    View Comment
  77. Dear Mrs Balogh, I have recently found our blog and have enjoyed what I read so far. I have traveled to Budapest five times since 2010 and have recently found out I have Hungarian heritage. I appreciate you are taking the time to write about your views. As I learn more about the history, people and now trying the language I am more interested than ever. I look forward to many more posts. Todd

    View Comment
  78. Dear Dr. Balogh,

    I am a long-time reader of your blog — an excellent source of information I turn to every day. I am writing you because a documentary photographer would like to send you some photos of the Holocaust memorial site before and after the Hungarian election. Could you contact me by email about where she could send them?

    With many thanks,

    View Comment
  79. I like you Professor and says a lot coming from me because the Professor(s) I have come across in the past do not produce the “fruit of their labor” like you do. Keep up your original work and do not change a thing!

    View Comment
  80. The new movie, Walking with the enemy”, is a curious and troubling film you might comment on. That it was seemingly filmed in Romania is interesting; and the almost total absence of a Jewish texture of the Jews in the film – the father was a rabbi, but the son did not wear a yahmulka at home, in the countryside; no mention or even a visual of the Dohanyi synagogue in Budapest…. But more, it appears to be channeling the cleansing of Horthy which is currently on display. The Reviews are obvious and trite; little awareness is evident of “what” was actually being presented in terms of Hungary, or Jewish identity and history during the Churban.

    View Comment
  81. Dear Eva, would you care to share with me your private email address for occasional exchange of views on issues of common interest by responding directly to my yahoo address below (i.e., not, repeat not, via this blog)? Thanks much.

    View Comment
  82. Dear Eva,

    Do you have any idea if Attila Cernok has been translated into other languages. One book appeared in Finnish, just recently as “Katkennut Silta” (Broken bridge). I assume that it is “A komáromi pontonhíd” or? My Finnish is not that great though so I’d rather read it in say English.

    View Comment
  83. Dear Mrs Balogh,
    Thank you for your former post on Imre Roboz as he was one of my grand mother’s uncle : It was a great surprise knowing more about his life thanks to you !

    View Comment
  84. Hi,

    I just want to thank you for your wonderful blog. I have been reading your blog for more than couple of months and now I have learned a lot. It’s a tough job to keep a blog going and I truly appreciate it. I really like to submit my post on your blog (as guest post) with my website link. Please let me know your interest in accepting guest posts for free of cost and I’m ready to discuss my contents with you, I promise you with quality and 100% plagiarism free content.
    I am looking forward to get your reply.

    Thank You,
    Kevin P Stone

    View Comment
  85. hello..everyone..Please advise me with my problem…My Hungarian boyfriend wants to live with him in Hungary with my kids..I do not know how to start..I want to work there but am still looking for an employer..I once visited him in Nyireghaza and stay in Budapest for 3 weeks..I really love him..am from the Philippines working at the Department of Health as a Midwife..
    Hope to hear a good advises from all of you.

    Thanks and God Bless

    Julie G.

    View Comment
  86. Hello Eva, Have you read anything recently about the Hungarian Goverment making it easier for Americans to obtain citizenship? I inquired if I was eligible through Jus sanguinis or through the simplified process. I was informed that I would be eligible via Jus sanguinis as long as I could show my bloodline to my granfather and did not have to show when he left Hungary. Also, they will accept all documents to be submitted in English without official Hungarian translations. Thank you for your time. Todd

    View Comment
  87. Hello Mrs Balogh,
    First, I’d like to thank you for this blog, since it gives us the opportunity to have broader info about Hungarian politics, economy and society. I’ve learnt a lot from this wonderful blog.
    I have a question for you, and your help about it means a lot to me.
    Currently, I’m a graduate student in İstanbul in subject of International Political Economy. The subject topic of my thesis is ‘The Political Economy of Conservatism: Comparision of Turkey, Hungary and Poland’, I’d appreciate if you could suggest some reliable sources (I could especially use some sources which have a historical perspective) about the economic policies in Hungary (preferably about agricultural policies and informal sector, but other topics are surely welcomed :)).
    You can also reach me via e-mail,
    Thanks from now on.

    View Comment
  88. Dear Éva S. Balogh
    Your website and Richard Field’s Budapest Beacon are the two indispensible English-language online sources of political news in Hungary. They may not be strictly impartial but wayward governments get the watchdogs they deserve. It is fortunate that we have them.
    Regards
    Christopher Maddock

    View Comment
  89. Is there anyone connecting to this blog that knows any information about the “false father law” concerning birth records/certificates in Hungary? Apparently there are three circumstances where it is allowed to put an imaginary name for paternity? Are the clerks leniant on this? Also researching information on domestic abuse and violence against women in Hungary if you have any insights as to why someone might not want to be listed as father or why a mother would fear listing a partner as father? Is it required to list a father on a Hungarian birth registration?
    Thank you, Geralyn

    View Comment
  90. My name is Hyunju Lee and I am a writer at a radio station in Busan, South Korea, 90.5 BeFM (Busan English FM / http://www.befm.or.kr).
    BEFM is the one and only English radio broadcasting station in Busan and we cater to English speaking foreign listeners and Koreans.
    I am requesting an interview to speak to you about Hungary protest.

    We hope to connect with you and conduct the interview on November 20th 08:15 am in Korea time.
    We would like to interview with you via phone. It will be air live. It will take 12~15 min.
    We would like to invite you for a radio interview for the program ‘Morning wave in Busan’,
    which is the anchor morning radio show that covers current issues, news, and information.

    We would like you to comment about Hungary protest.
    We will provide you the questions to the interview by email in advance.
    We look forward to hearing from you soon. Our listeners in Busan would love to hear about your project.
    I look forward to your prompt reply.

    Warm regards.
    Hyunju Lee
    Writer of ‘Morning Wave in Busan’

    View Comment
  91. I recall your writing that Orban tends to double down (not your words) when he has a set back. It’s like ” you score a goal, and I’ll score two”. Perhaps this is what the Sunday Blue laws are about. I have a feeling that Viktor’s megalomania will be the end of him politically.

    View Comment
  92. Pingback: URL
  93. dear mrs Eva Balogh,

    Did you write ever about the musea-park-plan in Budapest, the Liget project?
    I read that mr Wim Pijbes ( director Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) is in the commission for the architectselections. We want to tell him to quit with this and give him some more facts about this project and the political context.
    http://www.dezeen.com/2014/12/22/sou-fujimoto-house-of-hungarian-music-budapest-museum-park , is what I found.
    If possible can you give me more details?

    Thank you,
    Marien Meijering, architect

    View Comment
  94. Dear Eva Balogh,

    I would like to comment on your articles in which you reference Albert Wass, my father. Being one of five sons of, and having been raised by, Albert Wass, I find it extremely painful to read all the negative articles, which you, and others, have written about a person you know nothing about; but from only the negative propaganda and false accusations you have read. We certainly were not raised in the manner in which you describe our father. You need to get your facts straight, and I would be willing to help you in this matter. For one; he did teach at a high school military school for one year, but tought for several years at the University of Florida. And he was not a member of the Arrowcross. He definitely was not a fascist, or anti-Semite, nor ever preached to us, or gave us the impression of having ever been so. He was a loving, gentle, and caring person, and devoutly religious person, boy scout leader, and civic leader, which everyone that knew him, loved, and had the deepest respect for. I agree, that for some reason, the far right wing groups have embraced our father as their hero, for which we have no control, nor embrace. We, the five son’s of Albert Wass, hope that some day people will discover the truth about our father. that he gets rehabilitated and exonerated of the war crime charges, and that all these negative articles finally come to an end.

    View Comment
  95. Hi,

    I follow politics in Hungary. I do not read, write or speak Hungarian so I must use English language sources. I follow 9 online newspapers and blogs (including your) daily. (Sometimes I am baffled by what is considered news, but that’s another issue.)

    Yours is the only site that refers to a deal being struck between the Hungarian government and RTL Klub. I find a free “press” critical to democracy and therefor the RTL Klub issue to me is an extremely important. Could you post a link that explains the status of the negotiations and if they have been completed the terms of the agreement..

    Thanks

    View Comment
  96. @Article 7. The terms of the agreement are not public yet. We have only RTL Club’s confirmation that an agreement was reached. It has been also reported by the media that RTL Klub did not agree to any change in their reporting practices.

    View Comment
  97. Just to say thank you for your coverage of the Merkel visit to Hungary.

    It is very good to be able to read, in English, an insightful angle on the events there.

    And the comments about how Orbán continues to be belligerrent about how he runs the country, even with visiting dignitaries such as Merkel, are very disturbing, but might be understood in light of his personal family background, which I wonder if you are aware of?

    His father, so I understand, was a signed up hard-core member of the Communist party, and beat Orbán as a child. Viktor’s siblings were named Viktoria, and Győző (meaning “Champion”) – so we have Viktor, Viktoria, and Champion, which tells us something about the confrontational and brutish mentality of the household from which our Viktor sprang.

    Bito László, an eminent Hungarian writer, and world renowned physiologist, has surmised that Orbán’s power struggle and endless need for a fight at any cost, regardless of the ruination of Hungary, stems from a desperate desire to please his father. Basically, he wants to be loved by everyone, so surrounds himself only with psychophantic lackies, and goes berserk under criticism, which he takes very personally.

    I think this psychological take on what makes Viktor tick is accurate and important to bear in mind, but it is a sad reflection on Hungarians who support him and his bad behaviour, and are unable to distinguish between a credible statesman, and a damaged, self-serving desperado with his bandits.

    View Comment
  98. Hello Eva, great blog! I am new to Hungarian politics but getting increasingly interested in it in the framework of my PhD. I am indeed a PhD student at the London School of Economics and for my research I am looking for the maiden speech (i.e. the investiture speech Prime Ministers do when they are appointed to govern a country, and given a confidence vote) of Gordon Bajnai I suppose delivered on 14/4/2009. Could you help me to find it? In English or Hungarian, both are fine. Thank you very much in advance for your help!

    View Comment
  99. Thank you very much for thus blog, these informations & insights and your commitment!

    As a regular reader, I was glad to see that one can support this project by donations small and big – which I just did.

    I would like to take this as a chance to make a suggestion: It would be great if you could enlarge this blog regarding its base: Why not include writers from Hungary in order to provide more exchange and perspectives? Students, young journalists etc. would do :-)

    View Comment
  100. I am extremely grateful for the generous contributions received already and I will certainly try to expand our horizons by inviting guest writers. We did have a few before, like Prof. János Kornai’s important essay just the other day, Prof. Kim Scheppele’s many legal treatises, or Prof. Charles Gati’s studies. Yes, we could do more. Thank you for the suggestion.

    View Comment
  101. Dear Éva néni,

    My name is Zalan and I’m writing to you, to say thank you. Thank you for helping me out- back in ’96. I have tried sending letters -numerous times- to your old address in the Pierrefonds Roxboro area….
    Please disregard this if you are not the same Eva Puskas-Balogh that lived there…..and had your friend/boss the chiropractor Gaylard (sp?)…and the white car you had with the gun shot “wound” on the front windshield (I think you said the Indians did it up north)…. And the poor black dog that got his head stuck between steps on the staircase, who later we had to take to the vet and put to sleep…the many little birds in your house along with the rabbit and a duck…. Thank you for letting me stay in your basement room and for giving me work.

    Please contact me, I’m in California. Ocsteamer@gmail.com

    View Comment

Leave a Reply