July-August 2011


Sziget Festival 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 this summer:


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):


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): http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/07/18/general-eu-hungary-war-crimes-trial_8570788.html

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/world/europe/19hungary.html

CNN: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-18/world/hungary.nazi.trial_1_sandor-kepiro-nazi-war-nazi-hunter-efraim-zuroff?_s=PM:WORLD

Washington Post (AP story of acquittal): http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/apnewsbreak-defense-appeals-acquittal-in-hungary-war-crimes-trial/2011/07/20/gIQApZvXPI_story.html

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:


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