2016.10.08.   Hajba Máté

2015.07.21.   Hajba Máté
Hungary has been a maverick country in recent years. The state’s government has been fighting the EU on several fronts, such as regulations, the new constitution of Hungary and its amendments. Recently, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated that we should consider opening up the debate on reinstating the death penalty. Currently, Hungary is also on a witch-hunt against immigrants. All in all, it isn’t going so well…

A threat is looming over Europe. At first glance the menace is two headed, internal and external but at closer inspection it is clear, there is one man behind both: Russia’s power hungry strongman, Vladimir Putin. With the ongoing war in Ukraine and the rise of the European far right which is sympathetic to the cause of Putin, the pro-liberty NGOs must act. Never before in the past decade has the need been so great for the civic movements to unite and respond to the threat from the East. To answer this need Free Market Foundation has organized an international conference in Budapest on June 22, titled “Europe vs Russia”. The event was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and 4liberty.eu partners such as Republikon Institute and FOR.

2015.06.22.   Hajba Máté
Hungary is currently in a unique position within the European Union. The country is carefully balancing between the EU and Russia, relying on the former for financial support, yet looking for the friendship of the latter. As Russia substantially defines energy policy in the region, it is an important aspect of the decision making process. Whereas in many of the post-Eastern Bloc countries some sort of impersonal distancing from the previous overlord may be observed, in Hungary not only has the government declared the so-called “Eastern Opening” of its foreign policy, but also followed that declaration in the wake of the previous regime’s briefly discontinued anti-capitalistic measures. Thus when researching the Hungarian energy reform, three main factors must be taken into account: the general anti-capitalistic sentiment among people; the government’s regulatory and restrictive measures (in many cases regardless of the public attitude) and Hungary’s relations with Russia and the EU.

2015.05.15.   Hajba Máté
Politics is shifting in Hungary. The ruling party, Fidesz, which is bent on creating an illiberal state, is rapidly losing both power and popularity. Another group is waiting for Fidesz to weaken and to feed from its once almighty body. This group is the infamous party Jobbik, with a terrifying neo-Nazi past and an even more terrifying vision for the future.

2015.04.07.   Hajba Máté
Should the West intervene in the Middle East against the Islamic State (IS)? Should we send troops, provide assistance or money, or should we isolate ourselves and let the people and nations of the region sort it out on their own? And what exactly is the liberal standpoint? To this latter question the answer is simple: There is no liberal standpoint. We are diverse in our opinions, there are justifiable liberal arguments for, as well as against a military intervention in the Middle East. The following article – which perhaps, not unlike this paragraph, raises more questions than answers – is simply my personal view on the issue.

2015.03.17.   Hajba Máté
The 15th of March is a time of national celebration and pride in Hungary. In 1848 on this day, the Hungarian people rose up against Habsburg overlords and started a revolution to fight for liberties. This year, the country was divided between two main celebrations – at one location the governing party Fidesz assembled people to listen to the speech of the Prime Minister, while people discontented with the current state of affairs reclaimed the true spirit of the day and demonstrated against the Hungarian system somewhere else. The latter was honoured with the presence of Zoltán Kész, who recently shattered the supermajority of Fidesz in a by-election.

2015.02.24.   Hajba Máté
Zoltán Kész, President of the Free Market Foundation and Civic Platform, and 4liberty.eu network member, won by a great margin the by-election held in the West-Hungarian town of Veszprém on 22 February, 2015. The election was necessary as Tibor Navracsics, the MP elected in this region, became the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

2015.02.11.   Hajba Máté
Hungary has been headed down a path toward a Vladimir Putin–style authoritarian state for the past few years, ever since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took power in 2010. Driven by a supermajority of the governing party, Fidesz, Hungary’s government has settled into a status quo bolstered by self-serving propaganda and corruption of the rule of law. A series of scandals has opened the eyes of many previously uninterested citizens, though, allowing an opposition movement to take root. Hungarians have not given up on regaining their freedoms.

2014.12.23.   Hajba Máté
Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, has clearly laid out the path for his country: by following Putin’s footsteps he wants to establish an illiberal democracy at the same time breaking away from the values of Europe. His supermajority in the parliament enabled him to do just that in a blink of an eye. But there is still hope. There is a chink in the armour of the authoritarian system and there is a pro-liberty candidate to use this opportunity.

2014.11.22.   Hajba Máté
Hungary is on the razor’s edge. On one side, there is Europe, on the other, Russia. Hungary is on the razor’s edge hacking itself in twain. This summer the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán made it clear: he is commandeering the country toward Russia and he is going to implement an illiberal democracy modelled on the system of Putin. A couple of weeks ago people got fed up with standing on the sharp, painful edge of the razor, and did not wish to have the sword of an illiberal democracy dangling above their heads by a thread of corruption. They chose the West.

2014.11.18.   Hajba Máté
Once again Russia is posing a threat to the western world. Putin’s aggressive foreign policy antagonized Russia for both the United States of America and the European Union. The high hopes after the fall of the Soviet Union are shattered, the democratic changes stopped and reversed ,and Russia is extending its influence towards the west. Georgia and Ukraine suffered the military actions of the bigger eastern neighbors, while the EU is beginning to experience Russia’s clandestine foreign policy.

2014.11.14.   Hajba Máté
In late October, tens of thousands of Hungarians took to the streets of Budapest to protest Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s latest plan to tax the internet, sending a clear message of disapproval to the divisive leader with chants of “Dictator!” The Central European country had already endured a number of expansive policies under the current regime, but when the scandal-ridden government proposed to tax the internet, many could not take it any longer. Although the tax has hence been temporarily cancelled, the protests will doubtlessly continue. Hungarians are finally waking up to the frightening reality that Orbán wants to tear his country out from the heart of Europe and toss it over to Putin.

2014.10.14.   Hajba Máté
Hungary, which has been the black sheep of the European Union turns even blacker. With a new scandal involving extensive corruption the country is alienating the countries of the West and as much as Prime Minister Orbán wants to follow Putin’s footsteps, the question is whether there would be any country left which would take Hungary seriously?

2014.10.09.   Hajba Máté
About 30 people gathered in Budapest, Hungary, on October 4 for a clandestine meeting. It had to be held in secret because the government had banned the gathering and even tried to block international speakers from entering the country. The people assembled anyway after being led to an undisclosed location.

2014.09.10.   Hajba Máté
The strength of civil movements shows how healthy a society is. NGOs matter for the state, because they can shape public opinion and provide valuable research to politicians. When civil movements are being attacked it is a clear sign that something is direly wrong. It means that the government wants to strengthen its power even despite of how the people feel. Russia is a typical example of this and now, so is Hungary.

2014.09.10.   Hajba Máté
Although Europe has a long history of reactionary regimes, rarely is a party explicit about their goals of seizing absolute government power. This is bizarrely not the case in Hungary. Instead of disguising his intentions with euphemisms and indirect statements to assuage voters’ fears, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has literally announced his intentions to end liberal democracy in Hungary.

2014.08.08.   Hajba Máté
Liberty is a precious thing. Unfortunately it cannot be taken for granted all the time. It must be advocated, promoted and taught to keep it alive. There are different interpretations as to what liberty means and how best to realize it. Some say personal and economic freedom is paramount, some say individuals must take responsibility for themselves, while some think that free human interaction brings about liberty. The language of this interaction is English. Learning English will make people freer. It will expand their world and will open up countless new ideas. Learning English through liberty therefore is a very efficient way of getting to be free.

The declaration that liberal democracy is over in Hungary is no exaggeration. Prime Minister Viktor Orban said so. He should know, having delivered two huge blows to democracy recently. By Zoltán Kész and Máté Hajba

2014.07.01.   Polgári Platform
Kész Zoltán, a Polgári Platform elnöke a Veszprém TV-ben beszél a "Szurkoljunk a rasszizmus ellen" kampányról

2014.05.28.   Hajba Máté
While the world was watching Ukraine, last month saw some equally fearful results in Hungary’s national elections. Not only did the nationalist ruling party Fidesz secure their second consecutive term, the reactionary party Jobbik scored the second most seats in the general assembly, foreshadowing dark days ahead for the Eastern European country.

A minap megtartott “Antikapitalizmus, Európa-ellenesség és szélsőségek” c. konferencián mutatták be “A magyarországi szélsőjobboldal kapitalizmushoz való viszonya” c. tanulmányt, amelyet a Szabad Piac Alapítvány megbízásából a Political Capital készített. Miközben ugyanis – joggal – arról vitázunk, miért veszélyes, hogy a magyar szélsőjobb vezető pártja meglepően szoros viszonyt ápol Moszkvával, és az európai színtéren is az orosz érdekek mellett lobbizik, kevesebb figyelmet kelt, hogy a párt alapvetően kérdőjelezi meg a piacgazdaság normáit is. Az alábbiakban e tanulmányból közlünk részleteket.

2014.04.21.   Polgári Platform

2014.04.16.   Hajba Máté
The reelection of Hungary’s governing party, Fidesz, is bad news for investors and liberals alike since Fidesz did its best to nationalize assets and strengthen government power. The bad news was compounded by the third-place finish of the country’s ultranationalist party, Jobbik, which gained a significant number of seats in the election.

2014.04.14.   Hajba Máté
In a landslide election, Hungary’s governing party secured their power for a second term last Sunday. Sunday’s vote reaffirmed Hungarians’ trust in Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, delivering him an electoral mandate to continue his controversial policies. Over his first term, Orbán introduced one of Europe’s biggest tax on banks and the financial sector as well as exercised government control over the media that is unprecedented in the post-Soviet era. Indeed, Orbán’s power is now so immense, he can virtually do whatever he wants, and what he seems to want is more power.

2014.02.25.   Seres László
A tananyag és a tanárok uniformizálása természetesen csak a közbülső lépcső a gyerekek új fajának laboratóriumi előállításához.

2014.01.30.   Kész Zoltán
In my last article a couple of months ago, I expressed my strong feelings against honoring a former anti-Semitic governor with a statue in one of the main squares of Budapest. However, that statue seems to be part of an ongoing process, as the same square is going to receive another monument commemorating the beginning of the German occupation, which started on March 19, 1944.

2013.12.22.   Hajba Máté

2013.12.09.   Kész Zoltán
On November 3rd, much to the shock of many Hungarians, the far-right Jobbik party unveiled a statue of Miklos Horthy, the Hungarian Governor who ruled after the first World War and allied Hungary with Nazi Germany during the second World War. Despite the efforts of numerous individuals who have fought tirelessly to stamp out radicalism and racism, evil is still out there.

2013.11.11.   Hajba Máté
Hungary's easing of immigration processes would reduce the time refugees have to stay in prison-like camps.

2013.10.23.   Hajba Máté

2013.03.04.   Kész Zoltán
Parliamentary elections in a country barely more populous than metropolitan New York City rarely generate too much international attention. Nevertheless, Hungary received a fair bit of unwanted fame in 2010 when the newcomer far-right Jobbik party rose to an unprecedented 16.6%, gaining 45 out of 386 seats. At first glance, the result, disappointing as it seems, would pretty much fit into the post-crisis European pattern that shows a dynamic rise of extremist forces. But the Jobbik people are not your typical EU skeptic radicals.