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Hungary in the News, Week of 16/11/18

2018.11.16. 15:50
In this series published every Friday, Index in English will present you with a selection of the week's most relevant articles concerning Hungary from the world's leading news sites.

This week,

  • Many different international media outlets ran detailed pieces about the former Prime Minister of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, who is currently seeking asylum in Hungary after sentenced to jail for a corruption case concerning an armoured Mercedes.
  • Reuters reports on U.N. human rights experts calling off their Hungarian trip after they were refused entry into the country's transit zones where asylum-seekers are detained (except for Nikola Gruevski of course) along the barbed wire fence of the Hungarian-Serbian border. One U.N. experts said the unimpeded access to all places of deprivation of liberty would be vital to the protection of human rights.
  • In their article titled "Finally, a refugee who is welcome in Hungary", Swiss newspaper Neue Züricher Zeitung also reports on the ex-Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski seeking asylum in Hungary. Calling Viktor Orbán and Gruevski “brothers in spirit”, the author criticizes how the latter managed to apply for asylum lacking the necessary documents, while less influential or rich refugees are having a much harder time. Hungary interprets its migration policies quite flexibly from time to time, the article finds, “as long as the money's right”.
  • In CNN's opinion piece Barack Obama's former ethics advisor Norman Eisen and Jeffrey Gedmin, the former CEO of Radio Free Europe urge the US government to take a stand against the Hungarian government as they are tearing down liberal democracy. As they write:

We also urge Congress to stop the fawning public appearances with Orban, exert oversight in holding hearings, passing resolutions and appropriating increased assistance to independent civil society and media in Hungary.

We do not propose any of this lightly. Hungary is a NATO ally. We believe, however, that the software of the alliance is as important as the hardware, and that if NATO is to sustain itself, it must remain a club of not only shared interests, but also of common democratic values.

  • Handelsblatt, a German economy-centric paper, analyzes the dispute between the Hungarian Government and the EU. They see Viktor Orbán hoping for support from Poland, Slovakia or the Czech Republic. The piece also acknowledges economic growth in Hungary, attracting German companies like BMW – but only because they hope to pay lower wages? Governmental speaker Zoltan Kovacs doesn’t think so: “The companies come here because of the political stability. They can rely on the promises we make.”

Special thanks to Markus Meyer-Gehlen for his help with the sources in German.