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2013 March
Congressman Defends Hungary On Anti-Semitism Charge
A new project by the Hungarian government to burnish its image in Washington appears to be paying off, as the head of a new organization created as a non-profit to advance Hungary's interests in the U.S. won a statement from a New Jersey Republican congressman defending Hungary from charges of anti-Semitism.
Hungarian Government Has Found Solution To Prohibiting Use Of Totalitarian Symbols
The Government will amend the Penal Code in order to prohibit the sporting of totalitarian symbols also beyond 1 May. A person who wears or displays totalitarian symbols in a way that is capable of upsetting public rest and order will be punishable in the future. The Hungarian approach to the issue of the use of totalitarian symbols also clashed with the international practice, which the European Court of Human Rights found objectionable.
Hungarian capital is named holiday location which sees spending money go furthest
When it comes to value for money, a city break in Hungarian capital Budapest is a far better choice than a visit to New York, Rome or Stockholm.
Hungary for more!
Budapest has its own distinctive character. It  is a combination of slow old world charm and the hectic modern lifestyle. The picturesque country of Hungary has a rich history and its art and culture is worth experiencing.
Hungary-Romania World Cup qualifier ends in tie
The match was played behind closed doors in an empty stadium Friday because penalised Hungary for racist slurs chanted by fans during a Hungary-Israel game last year.
By force
Hungary to 'force through' power price cut
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban says his government will continue to cut household electricity bills "by force" if necessary despite protests by energy providers, in his latest broadside against foreign firms.
For children
Cartoon on German TV station criticizing Budapest policies angers Hungarian government
A minute-long message on a German television station aimed at children has drawn the ire of the Hungarian government for criticism of recent changes made to the Hungarian constitution and allegations that the government only wants good press about itself.
Snow and Politics in Hungary
The freak storm that buried Central and Eastern Europe in deep snow last week also postponed a reckoning of pro- and anti-government protestors in Budapest, Hungary. Since taking office in 2010, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has stoked the flames of nationalism, rewritten the country's constitution and worried Hungary's neighbors. Brent Ranalli explains what's at stake.
S&P revises Hungary credit outlook to 'negative'
Standard and Poor's revised Hungary's debt rating outlook to negative from stable on Thursday, citing institutional changes which some EU politicians and the United States called anti-democratic.
Give up
Hungarian journalist returns prize after outcry
Hungarian TV presenter, Ferenc Szaniszlo, has given back a prestigious journalism prize awarded by the government. The award was strongly criticised because of past remarks by Mr Szaniszlo that were seen as anti-Semitic and disparaging of Roma.
Cyprus bailout may be “taxing” for Hungarian offshorers
Many Hungarians keep deposits in banks in Nicosia because of the low taxes in effect. Hungarian central bank figures show that Hungarians’ direct capital investment in Cyprus totalled 280 billion forints at (EUR 920m) the end of 2011.
Minister Asked Journalist to Return State Award
Hungary's Minister of Human Resources has asked a journalist to return a state award he received Friday after Israel and the United States complained about disparaging remarks he had made earlier about Gypsies and Jews.
Hungary’s Governing Party Gains in Poll
Hungary’s governing Fidesz party profited most from a rise in Hungarians who said they were willing to vote in general elections when questioned in a poll earlier this month, pollster Ipsos said.
Hungary civil groups rally against 'Viktator' president
Around 4,000 Hungarians rallied in Budapest Sunday against Prime Minister Viktor Orban, branding their leader a dictator after his right-wing government passed a highly controversial change to the constitution.
Hungarian government awards for journalism to notorious anti-Semite
Hungary’s right-wing government faced fierce criticism today for awarding its top state journalism prize to a television presenter notorious for spreading Jewish conspiracy theories and describing the country’s Roma minority as “human monkeys”. Israeli ambassador asks to withdraw award
Sociologist Andras Kovacs honored by Hungary
Jewish sociologist Andras Kovacs was awarded one of Hungary’s highest honors for his decades-long research on post-war Jewish identity, anti-Semitism, minority rights and social history.
Eating In The Embassy: Getting Hungry For Hungarian Food
It wouldn't be spring in D.C., without the annual global culinary showdown: The Embassy Chef Challenge. The 2013 challenge took place Thursday night, and the winning chef was crowned by the 2012 champion, Chef Viktor Merényi, from the Embassy of Hungary.
Spring snowstorm
Hungary uses tanks to reach snowbound motorists
Tanks have been deployed to reach snowbound motorists in Hungary as cold weather causes transport chaos across eastern Europe. T-72 battle tanks trundled along icy roads, while thousands of people waited in cars on the M1 motorway from Budapest to Vienna. Many had been stuck on the road more than 10 hours. Rescue thousands of people from snow trap
Could Hungary Be Thrown Out of the EU?
The European Union is concerned Hungary may be flouting EU rules on human rights, after its parliament voted this week to amend its constitution to allow legislation to bypass approval from the constitutional court. Hungary had defied calls from the European Commission to delay the vote. UN human rights office voices concern over changes to Hungarian constitution
National day
Romania's ethnic Hungarians march to demand more autonomy
Tens of thousands of ethnic Hungarians rallied in central Romania on Friday to mark Hungary's national day, demanding greater autonomy and displaying their community's flag which sparked a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.
Hungary celebrates its National Day
Manila, Philippines – We congratulate the people and government of Hungary led by Their Excellencies, President Janos Ader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen, and its Consulate in the Philippines, headed by Consul Alfonso S. Yuchengco III, on the occasion of its National Day. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!
Hungarian premier Orban rejects constitutional criticism
Prime Minister Viktor Orban responded to a reporter's question in Brussels on Thursday by denying that the constitutional amendments were anti-democratic or contrary to EU regulations. "Who is able to present even one single point of evidence, facts, may I say, which could be the basis for any argument that what we are doing is against democracy?" the conservative politician said. "Without facts there is no sense of any general political discussion," he added.
Hungarian amendment to be signed by president
Stating he has no other legal options, Hungary's president will sign into law a constitutional amendment which critics say supports the government's efforts to weaken the democratic system of checks and balances. Speaking on state television Wednesday night, President Janos Ader said signing the bill into law was his "only constitutional choice."
Forint falls to a nine-month low against the Euro
The Hungarian Forint has declined for a fourth day in a row and weakened to its lowest level in nine months against the Euro after the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban revealed plans to convert company’s foreign-currency loans and called for lower interest rates.
Orbán aims to decrease foreign ownership of Hungarian banks to at least 50%
Speaking at the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Orban said the large part of Hungarian banks in foreign hands was “not healthy”. The government plans to allow small and medium-sized enterprises to convert their forex loans into forint loans, Orban told the forum, adding that he had asked Economy Minister Mihaly Varga to draft an “attractive” conversion programme. Bank mulls flight from Hungarian "nightmare"
Which one
As Hungary's electoral campaigns kick into gear, public apathy abounds
Hungary's right-wing ruling party Fidesz and its Hungarian Socialist opposition are already trading barbs ahead of 2014 elections. But Hungarians are increasingly unimpressed by both.
Hungarian Inflation Was Slowest Since June 2006 on Energy Costs
Hungarian consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in almost seven years in February as the government cut household energy costs, making room for the central bank’s new management to lower interest rates further. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government cut the costs of natural gas, electricity and heating by 10 percent in January.
Hungarian PM pushes for state bank, rebuffs foreign critics
Hungary's go-it-alone prime minister said on Tuesday there were too many foreign-owned lenders in the country and promised to free companies from billions in euro and Swiss-franc loans.
Hungary's homeless may soon have a new label: criminal
Already struggling through the harsh Hungarian winter and high unemployment, Hungary's homeless population may soon face a whole new challenge to life on the street: being branded criminals.
EU sweats over how to bring Hungary into line
Hungary's decision to change its constitution and limit the power of its top court is a forthright challenge to the European Union, and the uncomfortable truth in Brussels is that little can be done to rein Budapest in quickly.
Hungary votes yes over change to constitution despite human rights concerns
The amendment effectively annuls all decisions made by Hungary’s Constitutional Court prior to January 2012, and will bring in measures such as a narrow definition of marriage as a heterosexual union, a ban on sleeping on the streets, and a ban on political campaign adverts on private media.
MEPs call on EU to intervene in Hungarian constitutional changes

Members of the European Parliament have reacted angrily to new constitutional changes in Hungary, which they claim undermine fundamental rights in Europe.
Hungary Tests the E.U.'s Norms
For Hungary, still seeking national accord on what constitutes democracy, and for Europe, still uncertain how to treat governments deemed to have strayed from European Union norms, Monday produced a symbolic moment in the annals of protecting civil rights.
Human rights
Anger over beatings of Hungarian Serbs
Some 50 supporters of Fidelitas, the youth arm of ruling party Fidesz, demonstrated outside the Budapest office of international human rights organisation Amnesty International on Wednesday to protest over what they described as ethnic-based attacks on the Hungarian minority in Serbia.
Hungary’s Plan to Change Constitution Draws Protest
A small group of protesters entered the yard of governing party Fidesz headquarters here on Thursday to demonstrate against the party’s plans to amend the country’s constitution for the fourth time since it was enacted last year.
Protest 2: Thousands protest proposed constitutional changes in Hungary
Respect of the law
Proposed Amendments to the Hungarian Constitution
The United States shares the concerns expressed by the Council of Europe about proposed amendments to the Hungarian constitution. The United States urges the Government of Hungary and the Parliament to ensure that the process of considering amendments to the constitution demonstrates respect for the rule of law and judicial review, openness to the views of other stakeholders across Hungarian society, and continuing receptiveness to the expertise of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission. U.S. joins EU in warning of Hungary over rights
Joy and gloom
The government entrenches its power, to the European Union’s dismay
GYORGY MATOLCSY’S first day at work as governor of Hungary’s central bank, on March 4th, caused joy for government loyalists and gloom for foreign investors and the European Union. He is one of “Orban’s most loyal soldiers” who has “completely destroyed the government’s fiscal-policy credibility,” says Mujtaba Rahman of Eurasia, a think-tank.
320,000 New Hungarian Citizens
The government has granted Hungarian citizenship to over 320,000 residents of other countries under its simplified nationalisation procedures in the past two years, according an official summary. By far the largest number of applications, 125,000, came from Romania. Another 39,000 applications were submitted in Serbia, 8,000 in Ukraine, 1,300 in the US, and over 800 in each of Canada and Israel.
Hungary’s Viktor Oban advises neighbours on Brussels
HUNGARY’S prime minister has said the EU’s former communist countries must make their own way “without looking to the EU” and not listen to “bureaucrats in Brussels”, in a speech indicative of a growing divide between many old and new EU members.
American Jews Meet With Hungary Leaders Amid Rising Anti-Semitism Tide
An American Jewish organizational leader met with Hungarian political leaders to express concern about growing anti-Semitism in the country.
Rights Group Urges Hungary to Delay Amendments
Europe's main human rights watchdog is asking Hungary to postpone the approval of a series of constitutional amendments so legal experts can review the changes. Council of Europe President Thorbjorn Jagland said Wednesday that the amendments set to be voted on next week by Hungarian lawmakers may be incompatible with European legal principles.
Orbán rules out Hungary joining Eurozone before 2020
Hungary will not join the euro zone before 2020, as it is not clear from the current situation in Europe whether it would be more advantageous to opt in or out, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.
How does it sound
Legal definition of “Hungarian music” relaxed after musicians protest
After prominent Hungarian composers and musicians protested against the definition laid down in the media law as to what makes a piece of music Hungarian, eg, its lyrics should be in the mother tongue, lawmakers endorsed an amendment proposal to the media law to recognise all songs written by Hungarian artists as Hungarian regardless of the language used.
Retail sales plunge
A dash of cold water - a 4.1 per cent plunge in seasonally-adjusted retail sales in January, bigger even than the 3.7 per cent forecast. That’s nine months in a row of decline and a stark reminder of the dire state of the economy, as it struggles with stagnation, heavy foreign currency denominated debt and investor concerns.
Hungary Jews Set Up Watchdog To Track Anti-Semitism
The new Budapest-based, non-governmental entity was recently registered in Hungary as Action and Protection Foundation. Once fully operational, the foundation will require a budget of several hundred thousand dollars to carry out its plans of holding a national survey of the general population’s attitudes toward Jews and set up a hotline for complaints of anti-Semitism.
Revenues for health
Hungary Tries a Dash of Taxes to Promote Healthier Eating Habits
No country is trying harder than Hungary embrace taxes as a way to promote healthier diets. In the past 18 months, imposed taxes on salt, sugar and the ingredients in energy drinks, hoping both to raise revenues and force those who are eating unhealthy foods to pay a little more toward the country’s underfinanced health system.
Hungarian Prime Minister Cements Control Over Central Bank
Gyorgy Matolcsy, who has spearheaded Hungary’s unorthodox financial policies as economics minister, will become the country’s next central bank chief, in a move by Prime Minister Viktor Orban that analysts warned could open the bank to political influence.
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