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Hungary in the News, week of 07/12/18

2018.12.07. 15:48

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

This week,

  • The Hungarian news that dominated the international press most this week was definitely the ousting of CEU. The Guardian and the Washington Post quoted CEU's rector Michael Ignatieff announcing "It is a dark day for freedom in Hungary", and in their continued coverage Washington Post described US foreign policy's failure to save the university. According to their article, US ambassador Cornstein tried to negotiate with the Prime Minister face-to-face, the PM's answer was only a long list of Soros's comments against him. Forbes examined the reasons behind Orbán's war on George Soros, while the New Yorker gave a broader historical perspective on the topic as they reminisced about the days CEU was just founded and were faced with similar bureaucratic strifes. 
  • The editorial board of the New York Times published an opinion on the giant media conglomerate of Viktor Orbán that we also reported on earlier. The US newspaper calls attention to the conglomerate's resemblance to the Communist propaganda machine and emphasizes how the media outlets concerned were dependent on government advertisements. Bloomberg also describes how Orbán put himself at the forefront of  the world's illiberal regimes by having his oligarchs donate all their media interests to the giant organization, and calls attention to the fact that Poland also called for their media's "re-Polonization", claiming "foreign ownership isn't healthy." Sounds awfully familiar.
  • Financial Times introduced Hungary's recent legislation criminalising the homeless, or as the law puts it, "habitual residence in a public space" through the example of a homeless man from Budapest. 
  • Politico wrote about Hungary and Poland stopping a joint statement of EU employment and social affairs ministers. The two countries opposed the inclusion of LGBTIQ in the proposed conclusion supposed to promote gender equity, causing a backlash from other European countries.