Hungary in the News – Most Recent

The most up-to-date links to English language news on Hungary are posted on the blog’s Facebook page.

I stopped listing Hungary-related English articles here, as we have come a long way from the situation in which this list was started – back in the times when Hungary featured so rarely in the news that international reports on the country were collectable (this has become a considerable task since then). Anyone interested in getting news – or a “Contrarian Hungarian selection” of news on Hungary, to be more precise – you can use the link on the left to “Like” the blog on Facebook.

Canadian Parliamentary Hearing: Hungarian thugs who intimidate Roma – Can they be stopped?

Freedom House 2012 Annual Report Downgrades Freedom of Press in Hungary:

Hungarian Parliament Confirms New President:,,15922277,00.html

The Guardian: Beware PR Men Bearing Dictators’ Gifts

Hungarian home births champion to move from house arrest to jail

IMF: Hungary hold your horses!

EU gives green light to Hungary aid talks

Handcuffs and leashes await asylum seekers in Hungary

Hungarian Leader Says Pipeline Project Is in Trouble

NY Times: In Hungary, The Usual Scapegoats

New film tells about the Roma or ‘gypsies’ Canada wants to keep out

Kim Lane Scheppele: The New Hungarian Secret Police

Ipsos polls shows Fidesz, Socialists losing support among committed voters

Nieman Reports: Tamás Bodoky on investigative reporting in Hungary

Hungary PM proposes close ally as new president

Human Rights Watch: Hungary, Revoke Law Criminalizing Homelessness

(After PM’s Remarks,) Hungary assets hit by aid deal fears:

ECB Has Serious Concern About Hungary Central-Bank Independence:

Nature Magazine: Honest Work

Meet Europe’s New Fascists, Hungary’s Far-Right Jobbik Party:

Hungary: Revoke Denial of Pride March Route

EU Says Assessment of Hungary’s Replies May Take Up to 7 Weeks

Abby Innes on Hungary: Viktor Orbán goes for broke (1)

Prime Minister Orban and Hungary’s dejected class of 2012

An interview with Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary

WNYC News – Homelessness Becomes A Crime In Hungary

Police refuse to grant permission for this year’s Budapest Pride march

IMF: Still No Plans For Official Loan Negotiations With Hungary

Chicago Tribune: Another Reason for IOC to Boot Pal Schmitt,0,5011178.column

Hungary Sued for Political Interference in Radio Frequency Bids

Budapest airport: an object lesson

The Economist: Schmitt quits

Why you should care about Hungary’s rabid right

Budapest meets Commission deadlines

The Guardian: The Hungary question could strengthen the EU

The Schmitt Affair, day-by-day

April 2: Schmitt Resigns

Hungarian president quits after plagiarism row

April 1: Rector Resigns

Rector quits in Hungary plagiarism scandal

March 31: Protesters Call on Schmitt to Resign

Plagiarism pressure mounts on Hungarian president

March 30: Schmitt refuses to quit:

Hungary’s president says he won’t resign over plagiarism scandal, will write new thesis

The Economist: A man of honour, greatly impugned

Will the IOC boot an academic cheat?

March 29: Decision of the University Senate

University revokes Hungarian president’s doctorate after probe finds he copied parts of thesis

Scandal-hit Hungarian president mulls resignation: media   

March 28: Pressure to Quit

AP: Hungary president pressured to quit over plagiarism row,0,7111296.story

March 27: Expert panel’s findings are released

The Economist: He copied, but he’s not a plagiarist:

Orban’s patriotism seen by some as last refuge of a scoundrel:

The Frightening Politics Of Hungary’s House Of Terror:

SEEMO – Press freedom 2012 – Hungary Media Laws Remain Cause for Concern, Say Media Experts:

George Szirtes: Some thoughts on Hungary:

Refugee claims from Hungary soar, UN reports:–refugee-claims-from-hungary-soar-un-reports

Orban Punished by Investors as Hungary Balks at IMF Talks:

Hungarian Dr. Agnes Gereb to go to jail for helping with home births–hungarian-dr-agnes-gereb-to-go-to-jail-for-helping-with-home-births

The Latest Target In Viktor Orbán’s “Clean Up” Of Hungary? Religion:

The New Republic: Hungary’s Prime Minister Bites The Hand That Feeds Him

Bloomberg: Hungarian Market Collapses After Forex Loans Debacle: Mortgages

The Eonomist: Salami Tactics

Wall Street Journal Europe editorial: The Descent of Hungary

Anti-Defamation League poll: 63% of Hungarians harbor anti-semitic sentiments

Hungary Takes More Steps to Tackle Communist Heritage

Washington Post editorial: Clinton: Tired of the Hungarian Rhapsodies?

Venice Commission’s assessment of Hungarian fundamental laws:

The Guardian: Meet Tünde Handó

AP Interview: Part of Hungary’s new church law problematic, Council of Europe chief says

NYT: Hungary Is Pressed to Change Its Laws Further

EUROPE ONLINE – Hungarian judicial reforms slammed by top human rights watchdog

Right to fair trial at risk in Hungary, study finds – Financial Times


Foreign Policy: The Pit Bull Prime Minister

War of words rages between Orbán and Barroso

Why Hungary Matters – Paul Krugman’s NYT blog:

March 15 – Hungary’s national holiday:

– panoramic picture of the anti-government demonstration organized by One Million for the Freedom of Press

– press reports on the demonstrations:

– report from the anti-government demo:

– photo report:

Reuters’ report on the business gains made by the government’s supporters in Hungary:

Writing on Paul Krugman’s blog, Kim Lane Scheppele assesses what Hungarian media freedoms amount to under the Orbán government:

BBC: Court boosts for independent radio

Art Review: Hungary’s Heroes, Artists Enlisted to Push Orban Policy: Review

March 13: EU finance ministers vote to suspend Hungary’s cohesion funds




SPIEGEL ONLINE: Fair Trial At Risk: Report Slams Hungary’s New Constitution,1518,820901,00.html

Kim Lane Scheppele explains why the judiciary is no longer independent in Hungary on Paul Krugman’s NYT blog:

March 10: Big Hungary rally calls for government ouster

Advocates join Hungarian midwife Agnes Gereb’s fight for home births

Why Hungary’s Youth Are Angry; and Drifting to the Far Right,8599,2108389,00.html

Transparency International: Hungarian state ‘captured’ by private interest groups

NYT: E.U. Gives Hungary a Month to Adopt Its Democratic Norms

March 7: Hungary fails to convince EU; no date for aid

Hungary: Commission continues accelerated infringement procedure

Hungary’s IMF/EU deal: fading away?

Anonymous geek-topia: Hackers change Hungarian constitution

Neelie Kroes’ letter on Hungary, in response to Fidesz MEP Szájer’s accusations that her criticism of Hungary is an interference with Hungarian sovereignty:

NYT: Hungarian Students Decry State Sponsorship Cuts

Hungarian Jewish writer, 80, seeks asylum in Canada

More churches approved, even more rejected

WSJ: All Hands on Hungary. The EU takes its deficit limits very seriously—for some countries.

The grasping hands: József Angyán, Hungary’s junior minister for agriculture resigns.

Hungary’s Parliament expands list of recognized churches, but rejects many applicants:

Canada considers visas for Hungary due to influx of Romani immigrants:

Palmer-Haraszti-Gati opinion piece in the Washington Post: “There are serious reasons for bringing back RFE’s Hungarian broadcasts”

Video of Kim Lane Scheppele’s lecture “Unconstitutional Constitution”, delivered on January 31, 2012 at Budapest’s Central European University about the legality of the newly-enacted Hungarian constitution.

Febr. 22: European Commission recommends suspension of Hungary’s cohesion funds

BBB: EU to punish Hungary over debts

NYT: E.U. Threatens to Suspend Subsidies to Hungary

Financial Times: Hungary hits at Brussels funds threat

Irish Times: Hungary feels wrath of Rehn as new economic order takes hold

Brussels Swats Its Buda-‘Pest’

Hungary gov’t queries legality of EU fund freeze’t-queries-legality-of-eu-fund-freeze/

EU readies economic sanctions against Hungary

EP vs. Fidesz-Hungary: Not Lost in Translation (Summary of EP discussions of Bayer’s show on Echo TV)

Hungary responds to EU infringement procedure

Government Lets Movement Celebrate Hungary Revolution Anniversary

Hungary Sees Political Witch Hunt In European Parliament Resolution

Hungarian film shines light on Roma persecution

EU action over Hungary’s constitution – The Irish Times – Fri, Feb 17, 2012:

European Parliament resolution: Hungary should respect the EU’s basic values, say MEPs’s-basic-values-say-MEPs

UN experts speak out against Hungarian law criminalizing homelessness

“The bullies of Budapest” – more on the Geréb case; The Economist

The Strasbourger – Hungarian Journalist Loses It:

Febr. 13: Hungarian Parliament is back in session.Financial Times blog: “Hungary: crunch time with the EU/IMF”

The Guardian: Imre Kertész’s Hungary: a country on the wrong side of history (excerpts of the interview with Le Monde):

Adam Fisher’s open letter on racism in Hungary, addressed to members of the European Peoples Party in the European Parliament:

The Irish Independent: Karen Coleman: Sinister path Hungary is taking should worry us all

Febr. 10: Hungarian home birth advocate Ágnes Geréb is sentenced to two years in jail and banned from her profession for ten years:

Hunger March wins PR battle

Hungary Will Extend Foreign-Currency Loan Plan, Index Reports:

Febr. 9: The European Parliament holds a hearing on the situation on civil rights and media freedoms in Hungary:

The BBC’s summary and  full recording of the hearing:

“EU Commissioner Kroes criticizes Hungarian laws as affecting democracy, media independence” – AP

Open dispute between deputy prime minister Navracsics and Neelie Kroes during the hearing:

EU Commissioner Kroes’ prepared remarks:

Details of the mandates the European Union requires of the Hungarian government:

Hungary’s churches in no-man’s land – The Financial Times

Febr. 7: Orbán’s “state of the country” speech:

Hungary PM Sees Tough Future Ahead, Blames Heritage

New York Times: Leader of Hungary Defends New Constitution

Presseurop: Orbán makes an exhibition of himself – 

What’s Wrong with Hungary? – by Francis Fukuyama:

The Guardian: The readers’ editor on… a story of prejudice that hit a raw nerve in Hungary

Febr. 4: Pictures taken in the area impacted by the red sludge catastrophe. Officially the cleanup of the area is complete, but against the winter background, the red dust being blown around is alarming (pictures):

Radical party spokesman says Jews ‘colonizing’ Hungary – The Jerusalem Post:

Young, Wired and Angry: A Revised Portrait of Hungary’s Right-Wing Extremists – SPIEGEL ONLINE,1518,813243,00.html

Democracy in Hungary Takes a Right Turn – Saim Saeed for the World Policy Institute:

Death of I. Csurka, Febr. 4:

New York Times obituary –



George Szirtes:

Febr. 3: Hungary airline Malev stops operating, flights grounded

Hungary’s new constitution sparks controversy – Global Journalist Radio’s full episode on media freedoms and political changes in Hungary with Origo’s editor Attila Mong and Radio Free Europe’s Prague correspondent Charles Recknagel:

Open letter on freedom to Hungary’s Viktor Orbán:

Febr. 3: Two very different stories about Roma life in Hungary: one told after a visit to the countryside, the other from the office of a Hungarian state secretary:

SEEMO Says State Has Appropriated Hungary’s Media Landscape:

The Washington Post: Extremists in Hungary try to disrupt protest against rightist theater director

Hungary’s Orban seeks to wipe out communist past: 

Orban Nationalism May Isolate Hungary in EU, Schwarzenberg Says:

For Hungarian Borrowers, A Mortgage Nightmare : NPR Segment

UK, Hungarian think tanks release survey of Jobbik Facebook fans:

The Washington Post: Hungary grows weary of European Union

France24: Life after the red sludge flood (video)

Hungarian municipalities law is also in violation of EU treaties?

Global Voices – Hungary: “We Voted For Orbán, Not For Goldman Sachs”

Eastern Approaches: Hungary Backs Down

The Guardian: Poor, abused and second-class: the Roma living in fear in Hungarian village

Telegraph: Hungary president accused of plagiarising doctoral thesis

Euronews: Hungary, a country divided (video)

Open, liberal theatre under fire in Hungary:

Summaries of Osteuropa‘s Hungary issue:

Times Higher Education – Unwelcome 1980s revival threatens Hungary’s academy:

The Washington Post: Head of EU advisory group slams concentration of media power in Hungary

EU ministers open way for freezing EU funds for Hungary:

‘EU not stupid’: Hungary PM told

Le Monde: Vienna-Budapest: A Journey into the Past 

Spiegel: Interview With Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister: ‘Hungary Should Have Voting Rights Withdrawn’:,1518,810743,00.html

The Irish Times: The Theatrical Bloc (in Eastern Europe):

Orbán and the EU – Financial Times Editorial

NPR’s Weekend Edition on Klubrádió:

Hungary’s  Lurch Backward: The New York Times

Hungary Misunderstood: Kim Lane Scheppele on Paul Krugman’s blog:

Hungary: now the right marches but what of the right to march

Jan. 21, 2012: Over 100,000 rally in Hungary to back government in EU row

The Daily Hungarian: Orban faces more heat

EU adds justice system reform to precondition for Hungary bailout

Hungarian civic group to appeal to European court as gov’t reserves most protest locations:

Brussels poised to step up action on Hungary:

Writer György Konrád’s essay on Hungary in the New York Times:

Jan 18, 2012: Viktor Orbán in European Parliament:,1518,810062,00.html


In Hungary, Fears Government ‘Limiting Democracy’ – NPR Morning Edition:

Budapest Winter – Foreign Policy:

Viktor Orbán has crushed Hungary’s 1989 dream – Yudit Kiss in The Guardian

In Hungary, Civil Society Steps in as Opposition:

European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee debates Hungary’s controversial laws:

Jan. 17, 2012: European Commission Starts Infringement Proceedings Against Hungary:

EU Sanctions Threat Fuels Hungary’s Far Right: Voice of America–137450768.html

Hungary’s New Constitution Threatens the Global Financial System:

Human rights court inundated with Hungary complaints:

Hungary, Once a Star, Loses Its Shine – New York Times:

Brussels to rap Hungary over central bank:

Dubbed Viktator, soccer-mad Hungary PM fights on:

Jan. 14: Three Far-Right Groups Hold Protests in Hungary:

“If (European Commission President Jose Manuel) Barroso sets foot in here we will chase him out with a whip”:‘foreign-involvement’-in-country’s-affairs/

Hungary’s Hard-Won Democracy Under Threat?

IMF chief tells Hungary no loan talks yet:

Somewhere In Europe: Kim Lane Scheppele on Paul Krugman’s blog:

European Union Gives Hungary an Ultimatum – New York Times

Jan. 12: Supporter Urges Prayer for Hungary’s Controversial Leader:’s-controversial-leader/

Hungary president accused of plagiarizing thesis:

Jan. 11, 2012 documents released by the European Commission about the excessive debt procedure against Hungary:

EU Steps Up Pressure on Hungary as Cabinet Seeks Aid Talks – Businessweek:

Danish MPs warn of Hungary ‘core value crisis’:

Hungary turns away from democracy – The Christian Science Monitor

Soundtrack of Hungary’s Protest Movement | PRI’s The World:

Occupy Budapest: Protests challenge power grab by the “Viktator” in Hungary:

Washington Post Editorial: Hungary’s rush toward autocracy

Hungary’s Collision Course With the EU by George Kopits

Global Voices – Hungary: “Hey Europe, Sorry About My Prime Minister”

The Guardian: Hungary ‘ready to negotiate on everything’, says foreign minister

U.S. Ambassador To Hungary Interview:

NewropMag’s special edition on Hungary:,english/

BBC’s overview of the last decade of Hungarian politics:

Presseurop: Orbán is the product of a fraught history

The Guardian: Hungary’s hard-pressed workforce struggles with unaffordable mortgages

Polish magazine Kultura Liberalna’s special edition on Hungary:

The Independent: Curtain comes down on liberal Hungary

On Dec. 12, European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding sent a letter to the Hungarian government demanding explanation of any guarantees of the independence of the judiciary upon the restructuring of the Hungarian judiciary. The Hungarian government complied with the Commissioner’s deadline and responded to the letter on Dec. 16. However, with the leadership of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Hungarian NGOs got together to answer the Commissioner’s questions on the basis of their own understanding of these reforms:

Presseurop: Orbán and our values

Hungary govt fails to address US concerns, ambassador says

The Independent: Hungary retreats from democracy

The Guardian: Hungary’s ‘Viktator’ faces tide of protest at home and abroad

Who Can Save the Left in Hungary? Two new, very different partieshope to rebuild a badly damaged opposition:

Jan. 6: Orban fails to address Hungary risks /Reuters/

Jan. 6: Fitch Joins Others in Cutting Hungary Debt to Junk Status /NYT/

Time Magazine: Why Hungary’s New Constitution Could Be Bad for Europe,8599,2103775,00.html#ixzz1jh5bBG8Q

The Economist: Hungary’s government – The long march of Fidesz

“With new constitution Hungary would not have been admitted to EU” – Helsingin Sanomat:

Statement by Human Rights Watch:

New Study: “Hungarian Media Laws in Europe: An Assessment of the Consistency of Hungary’s Media Laws with European Practices and Norms”

Blog post by Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda and Vice-President of the European Commission on “Defending media pluralism in Hungary”: 

Jan. 5: Markets Punish Hungary for Power Grab on Central Bank:

Portfolio: Hungary kicking and screaming to cut deal with IMF: cut_deal_with_imf_analysts.23572.html

The Financial Times: “A Hungarian coup worthy of Putin”

The Economist: Europe could do more to stop Hungary’s erosion of democratic norms”

Le Monde: Hungary is Our Business Too (English translation):

The Guardian: “This Hungarian hangover could cost the EU more credibility than a failed euro”

Jan. 4. 2012: The Hungarian forint hits a record low. The Telegraphs’s reporting:

The Economist on the Jan. 2 protest – and mention of The Contrarian Hungarian blog: 

Kim Lane Scheppele: The Unconstitutional Constitution

Jan. 2. Opposition demonstration against Hungary’s new constitution:


New York Times:

Washington Post:



“New Year’s letter” on Hungary, prepared by famous Hungarian dissidents of the 1980s:

Kim Lane Scheppele’s brilliantly put “doubts” about Hungary’s constitution:

Should Brussels resist Hungary’s ‘Putinization’? Or do EU member states have a ‘democratic over-ride’?‘putinization’-or-do-eu-member-states-have-‘democ 

The Financial Times: “In other words – and not for the first time on this blog – Hungary is shooting itself in the economic foot; with a sub-machine gun.” 

Dec. 30, 2011: Defiant Hungary adopts controversial laws 

Spiegel Online: Revanchism in Budapest – Hungary’s Right-Wing War on Culture,1518,803865,00.html 

The Economist: Hungary’s supine MPs – The Fidesz flock 

US, EU Express Concern About Hungary’s ‘Crackdown’ on Democracy – Voice of America:

Hungary’s answer to unemployment: Manual labour – BBC, Dec. 27, 2011

Hunger strikes against government interference with state media:

(interview with Balázs Nagy-Navarro in Dissent Magazine):

Guardian editorial, Dec. 25, 2011 – “Hungary: Playing Chicken”

Opposition Members of Parliament Protest Non-Stop Lawmaking, End to Democracy, Are Dragged Away by Police – NYT/Reuters:

Budapest and Brussels on a collision course?

PDF of Hillary Clinton’s Dec. 23 letter to Viktor Orban:

Washington Post editorial, Dec. 22, 2011 – “Autocracy Returns to Central Europe”:

New York Times: “Democracy here is dying not with a single giant blow but with many small cuts, critics say, through the legal processes of Parliament that add up to a slow-motion coup. And in its drift toward authoritarian government, aided by popular disaffection with political gridlock and a public focused mainly on economic hardship, Hungary stands as a potentially troubling bellwether…”

Dec. 21 – Standard and Poor’s Downgrades Hungarian bonds:

‘Democratic Deficiencies’ Abound in Hungary:,1518,805112,00.html

Klubrádió, Hungary’s community radio and central media outlet for the opposition is silenced:

Hungarian court rules parts of media law unconstitutional:,,15613786,00.html

On “Hungary’s Constitutional Revolution”: Two Articles by Kim Lane Scheppele written for Paul Krugman’s blog:

Why are Hungarian Roma seeking asylum in Canada? – in Embassy, Canada’s Foreign Policy Newspaper:

The Guardian’s reporting on anti-government protests:

European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless letter on Hungarian policies:

Preliminary IMF Talks with Hungary Break Down:

Airbrushing in the Hungarian State Television:

Hungary Elects New Top Judges, Ousting Supreme Court Chief:

Dozens of small churches in Hungary fear loss of status due to new politicized law on religion:

Charles Gati’s Op-Ed in the New York Times “Hungary’s Backward Slide”:

Paul Krugman’s New York Times Column “Depression and Democracy”:

Democracy in Hungary: Ring the Alarm:

Hungarian Public Works Plan Terrorising Roma:’terrorising’_Roma_NGO

US Ambassador Concerned about Hungarian Democracy:

Hungary’s Far Right Enjoys Surge in Support as Crisis Bites/Deutsche Welle:,,15583593,00.html

Hungary on the International Radicalism Index: 63% of Hungarians view the “Roma inclination to commit crime” as genetically pre-determined:

Where is György? – The Economist’s Eastern Approaches Blog Tries Its Hand at Writing Satire:

Law Against Homelessness Goes Into Effect on Dec. 1:

BBB: Hungary Outlaws Homelessness in Move Condemned by Charities

Extensive reporting on Hungary’s anti-homeless policies:

What is Wrong with the Hungarian Economy:

After Moody’s Downgrade, Hungarian Government Furious:

Hungarians Face Evictions before Dec. 1. Moratorium:

Hungarian Constitution to Hold Socialist Party Responsible for Communist Regime:

Hungary Requests Financial Assistance from the IMF:

Extensive summary from Bloomberg’s London bureau:

Since the topic was well-reported, I will not list every single English language source. If you are interested in the immediate reactions, I link to these from my 11/18/2011 post:

Criminalization of Homelessness:

See links embedded in

Excellent Piece on The Mandatory Public Work Project at Gyöngyöspata (scroll down to fourth section, “Labour Camps and hate crimes against Roma citizens of Hungary”):

New Theater Affair:

for overview, see,,15484656,00.html

exhaustive listing of English-language articles:

the text of the proposal can be read here:

In Hungary, A Worrisome Trend Toward Repression – The Montreal Gazette:

Mass Demonstration by One Million for the Freedom of the Press in Hungary:

Hungary’s Viktor Orban has no appetite for democracy – The Washington Post:

Hungary’s new path is the hidden danger to Europe – The Financial Times:

A Little Moscow Trial in Budapest – Liberation

International Coverage of D-Day:

AP story by Pablo Gorondi:

“Hungary’s Government: Not Paid in Full”:

The Economist is not worried about the repayment of forex mortgages or about the economy only, but also about the opportunities left open for Jobbik:

New York Times Article on the Forex Loan Repayment Program:

“The Hungarian government, elected in 2010, has done a lot of things that upset others in Europe. It passed a media law that seemed aimed at silencing critics. It walked away from an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, choosing to seek fiscal stimulus rather than reduce deficits, as the previous government had promised to do after it was bailed out in 2008. The prime minister, Viktor Orban, blamed the central bank for the country’s fiscal problems and cut the salary of its governor, Mr. Simor, by 75 percent.

Now it has gone after the banks.”

Hungary’s Government Is Cementing Its Power:

From the Wall Street Journal’s blog on Eastern Europe:

Fines Issued to MAL, Owner of Red Sludge Reservoir:

Austria Irked by Hungary’s Plan to Fix Exchange Rate of Foreign Currency Loans:

Washington Post: 

San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg:

“In Hungary, the Jobless Go to Labor Camp”:

Bloomberg Businessweek on Hungary’s Public Work Project:

A very comprehensive piece (and link to my post in the comments – thanks!):

The Economist on the Eastern-European members of the EU:

“Hungary could be the most vulnerable, thanks to a combination of indebtedness and political unpredictability”:

Sziget Report:

Kevin E. G. Perry of The Quietus sets out to the Sziget festival in search of “Neo-Nazi goons,” finds himself making the flight in the company of Prodigy and has an overall good time in Budapest – the ubiquity of male domestic fowl notwithstanding:

Article in Der Spiegel – Comprehensive summary of the many things that went wrong in Hungary just this summer:,1518,780794,00.html

The Economist Gets on Viktor Orbán’s Case (08/13/2011):

… countries needing investment and favours from their richer counterparts should polish their images and avoid rows. So it may seem odd that so many politicians in ex-communist Europe, with wobbly economies and security, often do the opposite. A prime example is Hungary…

But the article argues that the focus on Orbán is somewhat selective. Orbán joins what the international affairs weekly calls “the awkward squad”: the company of Putin, Lukashenko, Klaus and the Kaczynski brothers.

“The awkward squad tends to despise conventional diplomacy and public relations, and is therefore bad at them,” concludes The Economist, but it does so with a concilatory tone: “although some easterners may be irritating, noisy and unfashionable, in modern Europe they are indispensable.”

The Financial Times, August 5,2011:

The Financial Times denounces announcements by the Orbán government that it intends to bring Socialist PMs of the last year to trial over the national dept:

Homegrown Hungarian neo-nazis making an international name for themselves –

a.k.a. BNP’s Christ Hurst at the Magyar Sziget:

GERMAN-language articles/condemnation of the Orbán government’s idea of retroactive lawsuits against previous prime ministers:

WEEK OF AUGUST 1: A commentary on in die Tageszeitung works out the theme of paranoid loathing in conjunction with Mr. Orbán’s plans to bring his predecessors to justice over their handling of the national debt, spurred mostly by Ulrike Lunacek’s statements.  The Süddeutsche Zeitung describes in exhaustive detail what it calls a “Triumph of Brutalpopulism.” The Austrian Der Standard ‘s lede states that Mr. Orbán’s value system takes him outside of the European Union. The latter two articles quote Mr. Orbán’s own speech a few weeks ago in which he referred to the European Union as Hungary’s kényszerlakhely (a forced abode, or a place where one dwells only out of necessity). The Austrian Independent also quotes Elmar Brok that he expects the Hungarian government to recognize that such trials would have no legal merit. In Germany, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes in its commentary that “[describing] the policies of the former governments as ‘political crimes’ … reveals a way of thinking that only the very charitable can reconcile with democracy.” Gerlot Erler of SPD joins the choir and calls on the EU to stop its “shameful” silence.

Orbán Government Wants to Hold Trials for Previous Prime Ministers (English-language article about reactions to this from Austria and Germany):’dictatorship’_Hungary’s_lawsuit_bid

Dajcstomi Gone Global:

Eastern Approaches, the The Economist’s blog on all things Eastern European throws itself into the media frenzy set off by Tamás Deutsch’s vulgar Twitter feed:

The News from Hungary Could Not Be Any Brighter! On How to Shop Till You Drop in 36 Hours in Hungary:

“Like much of post-Communist EuropeBudapest has replaced the image of the impoverished East with symbols of international luxury…”

The BBC prefers the “ruin-pubs” of Budapest:

On the War Crimes Trial against Sandor Kepiro and the Rise of the Far Right:

Forbes (in depth):

New York Times:


Washington Post (AP story of acquittal):

International Criticism of Hungarian Government (July 2011):

Hungarian Constitution Needs More Explicit Fundamental Rights Protections – Resolution of the European Parliament calling on the European Council to conduct a review of the new Hungarian constitution and to examine whether it is consistent with EU treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights:

Hungarian Government’s “Show Trials” against Its Political Opposition (July 2011) – with concise summary on the erosion of democratic institution over the last year:

English-Language Reporting on Far-Right Paramilitaries Keeping Roma Population of Hungarian Village under Siege (March-June 2011):

New Hungarian Constitution:

Hungarian Parliament Approves New Constitution – The New York Times, 04/19/2011

Hungary Passes New Constitution Amid Concerns – The Wall Street Journal, 04/18/2011  with list of the most controversial items

Venice Commission Vexed By Hungary’s New Constitution – The Wall Street Journal, 06/21/2011          

‘Hungary is a Disgrace for Europe’ – Der Spiegel, 04/19/2011,1518,757971,00.html

Media Law (Jan. 2011):

Hungarian Media Laws Embarrass European Allies

Hungary begins first EU presidency with warnings over press freedom

Concerns about the Hungarian EU Presidency (Jan. 2011):

Critics Fear Democracy is Eroding in Hungary

Hungary’s democratic ‘dictator in the making’ takes centre stage in Europe

Anti-Semitism in Hungary, Far Right, Hungarian Guard:

“Budapest Experiences a New Wave of Hatred,” by Erich Follath of the Spiegel:,1518,722880,00.html

Hungarian Culture in the News:

This is just random – e.g. a lengthier piece for which “the Hungarian suicide song,” and Hungary’s suicide problem, turns out to be integral:“the-suicide-paradox”.html

The New York Times’s Coverage:

General background, headlines and multimedia from years of reporting on Hungary in the New York Times [note: unless you’re a subscriber, you are limited to viewing ten article on the website during a given month]

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