Tag: hungary

Stop the Presses

The latest attacks on journalists and news organizations by corrupt populists are contributing to a global rollback of fundamental rights.

Imagine that Donald Trump wins the presidency. Then, as he has done throughout his career, he goes after his enemies. He purges the Republican Party of everyone who refused to support him. He initiates criminal proceedings against Hillary Clinton.

And he shuts down The New York Times and The Washington Post.

It sounds like an unlikely scenario. Even if he does somehow manage to pull his campaign out of hospice to win in November, Trump wouldn’t be able to just close the leading newspapers in the United States, however much he might despise the liberal media.

The crushing of independent press in Hungary

October 8, 2016 will go down in Hungarian history as the day when the ideals of the 1956 revolution (when Népszabadság was established) were finally betrayed by Hungary’s autocratic government.

Imagine a situation where you woke up in the UK and discovered that the Guardian newspaper had overnight shut down all operations, that its paper version was never to be published again and that its decade old internet archive was unavailable to the public.

For all those citizens who rely on high quality investigative journalism, and the institutions that represent it, this would be an unimaginable situation, and it is very likely that the UK government of the day would have to step in in support of the venerable paper, even if its demise were the result of a problem of liquidity or dwindling circulation.

The creeping cull of cultural diversity in Orbán’s Hungary

As Viktor Orbán’s Hungary faces its 2 October referendum on European migrant quotas, diverse opinion is being silenced through partisan cultural funding.

The English-speaking press has paid relatively little attention to the changing cultural and artistic landscape under Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán. Yet its potential repercussions are profound for both the European public and those who might like to follow in the footsteps of Péter Esterházy, the world famous Hungarian author and vocal critic of Orbán who died in July.

NATO’s Expiration Date

Problems with Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Donald Trump could tear the rickety alliance apart at the seams.

If the number of eager applicants on a waiting list determines the strength of a club, then the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is in fine fettle.

At its most recent gathering in July, NATO welcomed its 29th member — Montenegro — which means that the alliance now outnumbers the European Union. Nearby Macedonia has been waiting for 17 years to be let in the door only to have Greece block entrance every time because of a longstanding dispute over Macedonia’s name. Bosnia also wants in but must first overcome its internal divisions. Georgia’s membership, too, has been on hold, for fear of inciting Russia’s wrath, though that hasn’t prevented the country from hosting U.S.-NATO military exercises.