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2013 January
Moving right in Hungary
When Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited Brussels, he had to deal with European criticism of his economic policies, but the EU keeps quiet about the country's lurch to the right.
Hungary ready to go it alone as IMF refuses credit line
Hungary is preparing to go it alone by borrowing on global financial markets after the IMF turned down its bid for a flexible loan deal, the country's prime minister said. "Hungary asked for a flexible credit line and finally the International Monetary Fund said 'no'," Viktor Orban said, adding that his country would borrow on international markets in the coming weeks.
Hungary Preparing Further Utility Tariff Cuts
Hungary's Development Ministry is preparing further utility tariff cuts that would reduce water, sewage, communal waste collection, and chimney inspection fees, a government official told state news agency MTI.
Roma men win case against Hungary over remedial school
Two ethnic Roma (Gypsy) men have won a discrimination case against Hungary at the European Court of Human Rights over their education at a remedial school. Education in a school for the mentally disabled meant the pair were isolated from mainstream society - a bar to their integration, the judges found. The Strasbourg court said their schooling amounted to discrimination.
IMF Urges Hungary to Change Economic Policy
The International Monetary Fund urged Hungary on Monday to shift its economic policy, warning the government's frequent and unpredictable tax policy changes had undermined efforts cut the deficit and attain growth. "A new policy course is needed to deliver the required medium-term fiscal adjustment in a sustainable way to support growth and confidence...," the IMF said in a statement following a review mission in Budapest.
Hungarian Prime Minister condemns anti-Semitism on remembrance day
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose government has in the past come under fire for failing to outspokenly voice support for minorities, condemned anti-Semitism. "The government protects every citizen and condemns every form of anti-Semitism," he said on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Hungary Plans Synagogue
The Jewish community of Budapest has announced plans to build a new synagogue for the first time in 80 years. Construction is expected to end before November 2014.
Hungarian Retail Sales Drop
Hungarian retail sales fell the most since 2010 in November of last year amid the country’s second recession in four year. Retail sales dropped 4.1 percent from November 2011, the biggest plunge since June 2010, after a 3.7 percent decrease in October, the Budapest-based statistics office said.
Daimler Starts Production of CLA Compact Model in Hungary
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban inaugurated the production of German car maker Daimler AG's first four-door CLA compact coupe model in Hungary, driving it for the cameras Friday with Daimler’s Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche in the passenger seat. “When the Mercedes plant was opened here less than 10 months ago, we said that when the first CLA rolls off the assembly line, not paprika but this new-category compact car will be Hungary’s ‘coolest’ export product,” Mr. Zetsche said.
Renewal of Hungarian economy "success story", says Orban
EU challenges Hungarian tax on phone calls, text messages
The European Commission on Thursday launched a formal challenge to a Hungarian tax on phone calls and text messages, saying it breached European Union law.
Turn off the light
Rome dimming Colosseum lights to protest Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party
The lights of the ancient Colosseum in Rome will be dimmed to protest anti-Semitic and racist acts and statements by Hungary’s ultranationalist Jobbik party. The initiative, sponsored by Rome’s city government and the Rome Jewish community, will take place Jan. 27 on International Holocaust Memorial Day. It will be one of scores of events across Italy marking the day.
Hungary students emerge victorious from dispute over tuition fees
HOOK, the national student organization, won many aspects of the dispute, when Minister Zoltan Balog agreed to offer government scholarships to all faculties including law schools and schools of economics, where initial government plans would have had all attendees pay tuition fees.
Hungarian doctors continue to accept bribes despite official ban
The habit of patients slipping an envelope containing a banknote to doctors and nurses, despite official campaigns to curb it, is still in rude health, a study says. A fifth of patients pay their GPs a tip, spending on average 16,900 forints a year, while half of visitors to hospitals slip an envelope to the surgeon and spend 37,300.
Not to
No Phony Refugees Allowed: Canadian Billboard In Hungary
New billboards in Hungary tell residents not to bother coming to Canada to file an unfounded refugee claim because the rules have changed and they’ll quickly be deported. Roma refugee claims had made Hungary the largest, single-source of refugee claimants in Canada. Canadian government to persecuted Roma people in Hungary: 'Stay home'
Mixed feeling
Hungary govt party ahead despite widespread pessimism
Three quarters of Hungarians believe their country is on the wrong track, an opinion poll said, highlighting widespread pessimism about how the government is coping with the debt pile and shrinking economy.
Hungary seeks offshore disclosure deal with Switzerland by 2015
The government is stepping up efforts to recover unpaid tax on offshore accounts, Janos Lazar, the head of the prime minister’s office, said. Lazar told a press briefing that a working group being set up to negotiate with Swiss authorities and later perhaps with Liechtenstein and Cyprus, aims at reining in an estimated 2 trillion forints tucked away in offshore accounts over the years.
242 Billion USD Have Been Transferred From Hungary To Offshore Tax Havens
Government Spokesperson András Giró-Szász said on public television that an estimated total of HUF 1,000 billion (EUR 3.4 billion) may be in Swiss offshore accounts, and some HUF 275-320 billion may have been transferred from Hungary in a single year. In addition, Hungary is on the global list of 20 countries, compiled by The Observer, in which capital flight is highest. According to their data, a total of USD 242 billion left the country between 1970 and 2010, twice the Hungarian national debt.
Orbán pledges Hungary will see upswing in 2013
In 2013 Hungary will begin to rise; this year “is about harvesting, not sowing” said Prime Minister Viktor Orban on public Kossuth radio. Most of the the major changes needed for the country’s survival and competitiveness are already passed by parliament, he said.
Does not need
IMF negotiator says Hungary will pursue loan agreement, but does not need it
The Hungarian government invariably intends to secure a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund but does not need money from the organization, Minister Mihaly Varga, Hungary’s chief IMF negotiator, said.
Hungary Economy Minister Favors Renationalizing Monopolies
"Nobody would lose if the state re-gained the domestic monopolies, whose privatization was a mistaken step. The buyers have recovered [their investment] many times, and would pre-empt any future losses. It would be beneficial to everyone if the cost level of energy to telephone [services] were competitive," Matolcsy said in his regular book review he writes.
Fight for or Against the Homless
Fidesz party used its overwhelming parliamentary majority to make the punitive regulations first i including fines of up to $650 for repeat offenders and the threat of up to 60 days in jail. The issue of the fines re-emerged in November when the constitutional court struck down the punishments, saying homelessness was a social issue that should not be handled as a criminal matter. The Hungarian government argues that it is simply acting out of concern for the dozens of homeless people who freeze to death every year, implying that fines are meant to push the displaced to seek refuge in warm shelters.
Hungary still “free,” but trails neighbors in civil liberties, Freedom House says
US-based independent watchdog organisation Freedom House put Hungary in the “free” category in 2012, in its annual report on global freedom, released on Wednesday. In the political rights category Hungary was given the best grade on a scale of 1-7, while the country has retained its grade of 2 for civil freedom rights. In FH’s grading system, countries in the 1 to 2.5 range are considered “free”.
Escaped capital
Hungary to Ask Switzerland for Data on Hungarian Assets
Hungary will ask Switzerland for data on Hungarian assets in the Alpine country with a view to imposing a penal 35% tax on such assets as it battles against tax evasion, the Prime Minister's chief of staff said. "About 1 trillion forint, or around 3 billion-3.5 billion euros, is in question, that's a huge amount," Janos Lazar said.
Hungarian Olympic Medalist to Get Fair-Play Award
Hungarian gold-medal winning swimmer Daniel Gyurta gave a replica of his trophy to the family of his rival Alexander Dale Oen, who died shortly before last year’s Olympic Games. Mr. Gyurta will be getting a fair-play award for his gesture.
Snow Creates Temporary Chaos In Hungary
Western Hungary was hit with 15-30cm of snow on Sunday and early Monday, while Budapest was blanketed in 6-10cm. Budapest was practically one big traffic jam Monday morning, as buses, trains, cars, trucks and trams got stuck in the snow. Mayor István Tarlós declared that public transport be free of charge from 8.45 a.m. to midnight.
Hungary Blames Roubini for Forint Plunge to 7-Month Low
Hungary’s Economy Ministry blamed Nouriel Roubini for the forint’s weakening to a seven-month low against the euro, saying Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy’s comments on the currency didn’t cause the depreciation. The ministry cited a recommendation last week by Roubini, co-founder of Roubini Global Economics LLC, to sell the forint in the absence of an International Monetary Fund backstop.
Hungary Spooks Markets with Comment Favoring Weaker Forint
Hungary surprised markets this week with comments seeming to favor a weaker currency. The comments sent the forint tumbling. The currency weakened at “a panicky speed,” a trader said, about 3% by Friday afternoon from Thursday morning, nearing the psychological level of 300 forints to the euro.
Protest call
Hungary students to call mass protests amid pending educational reforms
Hungarian students have threatened to stage mass protests unless the government meets their demands of higher education reforms. The government has until February 11 to settle a month-long standoff or student networks will launch protests across the country, Richard Barabas of the HH (Student’s Network) organization said.
FIFA punishes Hungary over Israel match
World soccer's governing body describes anti-Semitic behavior of fans in August friendly in Budapest as 'abhorrent,' orders team to play next home World Cup qualifier behind closed doors. FIFA Sanctions against Bulgaria, Hungary Set Precedent
Not hatred
Hungarian prosecutors reject anti-Semitic complaint
Hungarian prosecutors have rejected a complaint from a Jewish congregation against a lawmaker who said Jews could represent a national security risk. The Central Investigative Chief Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday that Gyongyosi’s remarks could not be classified as inciting to hatred.
Hungarian publications in prestigious international journals
A number of studies have been published by Hungarian researchers in highly respected international journals in 2012. The authors reporting on their notable scientific results included physicists, research doctors, biologists, pharmaceutical researchers, geologists and palaeontologists among others.
Anti-Roma article by Hungarian politician sparks outrage
A founding member of Hungary’s governing Fidesz party has been sharply criticized for writing a newspaper column that contained offensive remarks about the nation’s Roma minority. Writing about a New Year’s Eve bar fight in which several people were seriously injured and some of the attackers were reportedly Roma, the journalist Zsolt Bayer said “a significant part of the Roma are unfit for coexistence. They are not fit to live among people. These Roma are animals and they behave like animals.”
The Frightening Hungarian Crackdown
In November, 2012, the Nobel prize-winning novelist Imre Kertész announced his retirement. Since his working life has been devoted to this act of imagination, his decision to house his archive not in his native Hungary but, rather, in Germany appears to be a profound gesture of reconciliation. Far from being an unforced reconciliation with his former persecutors, Kertész’s decision to give his archive to Germany should appear as an urgent warning sign.
Hungary names park after Hitler ally
RESIDENTS of a small Hungarian town failed to stop a park from taking on the name of the country's Nazi-allied wartime leader, after too few voters turned out for a referendum. The park in Gyomro, on the outskirts of Budapest, was named after Miklos Horthy last year following a motion by the far-right nationalist Jobbik party, the third-largest in parliamen.
Hungary opposition radio in new legal victory
Hungary’s only nationwide opposition radio station Klubradio has won a fresh legal victory obliging the media authority to give it a new frequency, the broadcaster’s director said. The court thereby rejected an appeal by the powerful media council, a body created in 2010 which Klubradio’s supporters say is being misused by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban to silence dissent.
Hungarian top court shoots down voter registration
Hungarian voters need not register before casting their ballots, according to the country's Constitutional Court. The government had approved a new voting system in November, but the court found it unconstitutional. This ruling applies only to domestic voters, however, and the court added that voter registration for Hungarians living overseas was justified. Analysis of the Hungarian Constitutional Court’s ruling
Hungarian official unemployment edges up to 10.6%
Hungary's average unemployment rate between September and November rose to 10.6 percent from 10.5 percent in August-October, but was unchanged year-on-year, official data showed. Hungary's jobless rate was therefore slightly lower than the October average of 10.7 percent for the 27-nation European Union, as given by the Eurostat data agency.
Culture, censorship, and the Hungarian National Theater
Every time foreign critics claim that the Hungarian media is not entirely free government officials are outraged and immediately ask them to point to just one occasion when censorship was used to prevent the free expression of opinion. Well, from here on the supporters of the Orbán regime can no longer boast about their “tolerance” toward contrary opinions.
Look around
Travel to Hungary - Panoramic Photography
See what it really looks like! Explore Hungary right now in 360 degrees. Choose from lots of Panoramas of famous and secret places.
EU Sees 31% Near Poverty In Hungary
Almost one third of Hungarians, 31%, are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, above the EU average of 24%, according to a survey by Eurostat. The figure was highest in Bulgaria at 47%, followed by 40% in Latvia and Romania, 33% in Lithuania and 31% in Hungary and Greece.
Nearly 100 political parties currently operating in Hungary
Nearly one hundred political parties exist in Hungary, with about 50 dissolved since the last elections in 2010 and twenty new ones created, the Chief Prosecutor told MTI last week.
Hungary PMI Shows Contraction in December in Sign of Recession
Hungary’s purchasing managers’ index declined in December, in the latest signal that the economy probably failed to emerge from its recession last year. Hungary is battling its second recession in four years as government policies damage investor confidence and trade and banking links with the slumping euro area drag down growth. The economy shrank for a third consecutive quarter in the July- September period.
Opposition says Hungary needs new constitution
Hungary needs a new constitution because the present basic law lacks public support, Hungarian Socialist Party MP Gergely Barandy quoted the standpoint of opposition organizations on Wednesday. Barandy said this at a news conference after opposition organizations held the first round of talks on cooperation. The organizations summed up their viewpoints for the new constitution in a document. It says the constitution should guarantee social, economic and legal security, dismantle all unjustified barriers to exercising the right to vote, establish a more proportionate, free and fair electoral system, create a democratic system of media supervision, rename Hungary as the Republic of Hungary.
Hungary plans to increase Holocaust survivors' pensions
Hungary reportedly intends to raise pensions to Holocaust survivors by 50 percent in 2013, in the lead-up to the 70th anniversary of the extermination of the country’s Jews. The increase in pensions will affect about 8,000 Holocaust survivors, who can expect to see more money as early as Jan. 1, according to the news site Hungary Around the Clock. Another 50 percent increase above the payments distributed in 2012 is planned for Jan. 1, 2014.
Personality and Handwriting - Graphology
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