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English Page
2013 May
Power base
Outside Hungary's borders, a growing power base for PM Orban
A Hungarian government programme to grant ethnic Hungarians abroad the right to vote has handed Prime Minister Viktor Orban an advantage that could, in a close election, keep him in power.
New name
Hungarian Jews protest naming Budapest street after anti-Semite
Amid a string of anti-Semitic incidents in Hungary, the umbrella organization of Hungarian Jews protested the naming of a Budapest street after an anti-Semitic author. “The Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary is shocked to learn of the renaming of a street in the Second District after Cecile Tormay,” read a statement.
Hungary hosts dance parties to boost birth rate
With the population of Hungary in steady decline, as well as the number of marriages, the government has turned to funding dance parties to try and get singles together. Last weekend the government held dance parties across the country, and according to Soltesz, about 5,000 young Hungarians took part. The program, called "Are you free for a dance?" was so successful the government is planning another round of parties in the fall.
Off from the list
Victory for Orban as Hungary exits EU's budget sin bin
The European Commission proposed on Wednesday to take Hungary off its list of budget sinners and the government claimed victory for Prime Minister Viktor Orban after years of clashes with Brussels.
Hungary destroys more than 1,200 acres of GMO corn by fire
Hungary announced on Wednesday that more than 500 hectares (1,200+ acres) of genetically modified (GMO) corn had been destroyed in the fields by lighting the crops on fire. In a fantastically aggressive approach of eradicating the banned crop from their environment, Lajos Bognar, who is the country's Minister of Rural Development, issued the news about the torching.
Pálinka: The Hungarian Spirit
It is a traditional Hungarian spirit that you will most probably pop into while staying in Hungary. It is served as a shot, gently burning your throat on its way down. It’s made of fruits, not grains as many other spirits, so it’s fruity, tasty, natural and definitely worth trying! It has many flavors and types, so everyone can chose the most suitable! The alcohol content can be between 37.5% and 86% ABV.
Újfehértói Fürtös
A Hungarian Cherry Tree's Long Trek To Michigan
Michigan State University and scientific institutes in Hungary jointly released the Balaton variety in 1998. Many Michigan cherry farmers are growing it, and in summer, you can find Balaton cherries at farmers markets across Michigan. Trees are available for sale from half a dozen commercial nurseries.
The ballpoint pen
The Biro brothers fled Nazi persecution in Hungary and landed in Argentina in 1940, to begin manufacturing their miraculous pen capable of writing a line 2km long.
Dream happen
Local push to keep immigrant tech talent in the U.S.
Hungarian-born software engineer Peter Lada moved to Queens with plans for an internet startup geared towards restaurant owners. Lada was able to make his dream happen here because he has a green card through marriage — but said he’s seen many fellow immigrant techies leave the U.S. due to visa woes or long waits to become a legal resident.
Big brother
Hungary Widens Secret Surveillance on Top Officials
Hungary’s parliament moved to increase surveillance of high-level public officials, sparking comments that its reach into the people’s private lives would now be “total.”
The truth
Hungarian lawmaker doubts Auschwitz museum’s historicity
A lawmaker for the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party in Hungary said the Auschwitz death camp museum “may not reflect real facts.” Tamas Gaudi-Nagy made the statement Thursday during a discussion in parliament on a proposal to facilitate visits by teenagers and young adults to the former Nazi camp in Poland.
Distorted and biased
Hungary ruling party slams 'biased' Amnesty report
Hungary's governing party slammed Thursday a new report by rights group Amnesty International that sharply criticised recent legislation and the treatment of minorities, calling it "distorted and biased".
Will Hungary become a country of migrants?
According to data by Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union, around 230,000 Hungarian citizens were officially registered to be living in other European countries, 2.5 times more than in 2001. Hungary Losing Its Best and Brightest
A way to be rich
Introducing Hungary's Richest Man: Mr. Sándor Demján
The billionaire was born in a small Romanian town and was raised between very difficult circumstances. He lost his father during World War II, and lived in an orphanage for a long time, where he was working as a water bearer. One of the richest businessmen in Hungary Mr. Sándor Demján celebrated his 70th birthday.
Turning around
Hungary Looks To The East
Hungarian businessmen sense they are being discriminated against in the West because they are Eastern European, so they feel more comfortable seeking out business opportunities in the East.
Looking glass
Hungarian Transparency Under Threat
Last week Hungarian President János Áder sent back a controversial draft law to Parliament. The amendment to the Freedom of Information law would have restricted access to public information. If passed, it would be much harder for Hungarians to understand government actions and hold public officials to account. The amendment was introduced by MPs of ruling political party Fidesz and pushed through the parliament in less than 48 hours. It will now undergo further consideration in the Parliament.
Selfish gen
Hungary Destroys All Monsanto GMO Corn Fields
Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned.
Player Barred Over Being 'Covered Head to Toe in Nazi Tattoos'
A Hungarian martial arts fighter was banned from participating in a tournament in Prague, after coming under fire for being “covered from head to toe in Nazi tattoos.” Heroes Gate since released a statement claiming that the fighter was no longer active in neo-Nazi activities and that the tattoos were the result of a troubled youth.
Take steps
Rights group urges EU to sanction Hungary
A leading rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling on the European Union to take steps toward suspending Hungary's voting rights following much-criticized changes to its Constitution.
No artillery
Merkel says Hungary must be guided to “right path” within EU
Every effort should be made to guide Hungary towards the right path, but expelling the country from the EU should not be an option, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor said in Berlin. Merkel said “there is no need to send the artillery right in”.
No German Tanks Please, Hungarian Premier Says
“Germany [at one instance] sent its cavalry to Hungary in the form of tanks. Please don’t send them again. That wasn’t a good idea then. It didn’t work out,” Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a radio interview.
Non-performing loans jump to record high at Hungarian banks
The quality of the retail portfolio of banks in Hungary has deteriorated at an increased pace in the first quarter of 2013, the latest figures of the central bank (NBH) show. The ratio of non-performing loans went up to 18% from 15% a year earlier and including slightly overdue loans as well nearly one third of the loans show repayment difficulties.
European fascism: A movement grows in Hungary
AS THE clouds over the European economy get headlines on business pages, the social unease spreading through the continent provides more troubling news. In France, Switzerland, and Austria, right-wing parties known for racist and nationalist platforms have gained ground. Germany’s neo-Nazis are seeing a renaissance as well. In Greece, a soccer player was banned for a Nazi salute. But nowhere in Europe has a nascent fascist movement made greater inroads than in Hungary.
Hungary: Rule of Law Under Threat
The systemic changes to Hungary's legal framework introduced by the government since 2010 weaken legal checks on its authority, interfere with media freedom, and undermine human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The continuing failure of the Hungarian government to comply with recommendations by European institutions should result in concrete European Union (EU) action, including steps towards suspension of Hungary's voting rights, Human Rights Watch said.
Hungarian ex-president who resigned in plagiarism hopes to continue work in Olympics
Former Hungarian President Pal Schmitt hopes to continue working in the Olympic movement despite a plagiarism scandal. Schmitt resigned as Hungarian president last year after a university panel found that most of his doctoral thesis about the modern Olympics had been copied from other authors.
Hungary’s economy posted quarterly growth
Hungary’s economy posted quarterly growth in the first three months of the year for the first time since 2011, supporting Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s quest to avoid European Union funding cuts.
Hungarian Inflation Rate Plunging
Consumer prices rose 1.7 percent from a year earlier in April, the slowest since June 1974, after a 2.2 percent increase the previous month, the statistics office in Budapest said. Inflation is slowing after a government-mandated 10 percent cut in household energy prices this year and as the recession and subdued demand limit price increases.
Hungary's Christians Fight Radical Right
With anti-Semitism on the rise, Christian churches are working with the Jewish community to counter the provocations against Jews and the Roma minority that have won Jobbik support among voters fed up with the country's economic crisis.
No confidence
Head of Hungarian Jewish Community Ousted
The head of Hungary's top organization representing Jewish communities resigned on Sunday after losing a vote of confidence.
Hungary court gives three-year jail term for anti-Semitic abuse
A Budapest court has handed down prison sentences of two and three years to three men who verbally abused visitors to the World Jewish Congress (WJC) held last weekend in the city.
Hungary’s Forint Resurgent In Carry-Hunting Season
The Hungarian forint was until recently the currency everyone loved to hate as investors took fright at new management at the country’s central bank. But now it’s in turnaround mode.
Acces information
Hungarian NGOs attack curbs on Freedom of Information
Hungarian non-governmental organisations have warned that changes to limit the scope of the country’s Freedom Of Information Act could increase corruption. According to the NGOs, the amendment introduces major limits on citizens’ right to access public information by allowing two public bodies – the State Audit Office and Government Control Office – to deny FoI requests if they require large amounts of data.
Why does Hungary still nurture the ancient prejudice of anti-Semitism?
Yet while Jobbik’s success has outstripped that of other far-Right parties in Europe, it is unusual today in targeting Jews, rather than Muslims, as bogeymen.
Jobbik accuses World Jewish Congress of “gross interference” in Hungarian affairs
Party spokesman Adam Mirkoczki on Tuesday accused the World Jewish Congress of making “provocative demands in order to dominate Hungary’s home affairs” and charged Prime Minister Viktor Orban with currying favour with Jewish groups. World Jewish Congress Urges Crackdown On Far Right Hungarian Jobbik Party
Net migration from Hungary to Germany up 50% in 2012
Nearly 54,000 Hungarian citizens relocated to German in 2012, almost 13,000 more than the year before, Germany's statistics bureau reported. The net migration of Hungarians to Germany was over 26,000 last year, or approximately 0.25% of Hungary's total population.
German warning to Hungary over rise of anti-Semitism
Hungary must guard itself against the rise of anti-Semitism and heed European Union warnings that the country risks drifting away from democratic principles, Germany's foreign minister has warned.
Not enough
Hungary’s prime minister vows ‘zero tolerance’ for anti-Semitism
Hungary’s prime minister told an international assembly of Jews on Sunday that his government has declared “zero tolerance” on anti-Semitism, but his speech failed to impress those gathered who said he has failed to confront the country’s largest far-right party. Jewish Summit Urges Orban Action on Hungary Anti-Semitism
Court Allows Hungarian Anti-Semitic Protest During Jewish Summit
A Hungarian court overturned a police ban on a planned anti-Semitic protest Saturday to coincide with a meeting of the World Jewish Congress in Budapest. The court ruled that police failed to ban the protest within a 48-hour limit and also failed to provide evidence for why it wants to stop the protest, according to the ruling posted on the Metropolitan Court's website. Hungary hosts Jewish Congress
Orbán slams “unfair” Europe, says EU actions based on revenge over Hungary
Attacks against Hungary and the allowances granted to other countries but refused to Hungary show that Europe is unfair, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio.
"Partly free"
Hungarian media retains “partly free” rank in new Freedom House survey
Freedom House said the media in Hungary is still only “partly free” in its 2012 global media freedom report. In the fresh report, FH ranked Hungary 74th on its global list of 197 countries, with a press freedom score of 36 on a scale of 100.
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