- Stay updated on the latest news from Hungary by signing up for the free InsightHungary newsletter:
Viktor Orban names his opponents during Fidesz meeting
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gave a speech at the meeting of the Fidesz-KDNP in Balatonfüred where he listed his opponents, pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet writes.
Orbán named "pro-war" international interest groups: US President Joe Biden and the US administration, and Brussels bureaucrats as his opponents. He also mentioned Jewish billionaire and philanthropist George Soros and the Hungarian left led by former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. Orban stated that years ago Soros wrote: "that the Central European countries should be used as a proxy for a war against Russia because Central Europeans are more tolerant of the human sacrifice that war entails than the West”.
Hungary's nationalist Prime Minister recently gave an interview to Weltwoche where he referred to the possibility of Russia losing the war as a bad scenario. "Russia is a nuclear power. This would be a geopolitical shock, a potentially devastating earthquake on a global scale, far worse than the collapse of Yugoslavia."Orban recalled what Putin told him in Moscow two weeks before the war started:
"Putin's problem is the US missile bases already established in Romania and Poland, and the possible expansion of NATO in Ukraine and Georgia to station weapons there. Moreover, the Americans have canceled important disarmament treaties. This is why Putin could no longer sleep well at night," Orbán told Weltwoche.
Priest's victim faces charges amid fight for justice - molestation cases in the Hungarian Catholic Church
Attila Pető was the first victim in Hungary to fight in public for the Catholic Church to face up to its mistakes. He was molested by a young priest, Father Balázs, more than 20 years ago, but in the end, no serious compensation or apology was made, moreover, he was charged with harassment. 444.hu detailed the grim events in an English long read recently.
As a teenager, Pető told about what happened to him to the person who later became the auxiliary bishop of Budapest. There were no records taken, no official investigation opened, the priest denied the allegations, and his immediate superior – as it later turned out – covered up for him. The victim visited two leaders of the Esztergom Archdiocese, László Süllei, who was in charge of the case, and the late Auxiliary Bishop György Snell several times, to ask for information about his case. As an adult, Pető told his story on Hungary's most popular morning show and published an op-ed on the matter.
Following Pető's tell-all, the auxiliary bishop filed a harassment complaint against him. Süllei also filed a complaint for violation of religious freedom and harassment. In his second police statement, he says, among other things, that Pető “spreads defamatory claims about him”, “harasses the Church, wants to disrupt liturgies, is blackmailing us”, “keeps me in emotional blackmail with messages he sends to my phone number”.
The prosecution brought charges against Attila and in 2020, the Pest Central District Court – without a trial – passed the following sentence: the accused is placed on probation for 1 year and 3 months for 2 counts of harassment.
In January 2023 Pető was found guilty of harassment in the second instance. After the trial, he said that he did not expect an apology for the childhood abuse from Cardinal Péter Erdő - Süllei's boss -, the Catholic Church, or anyone else. He wanted information so that something would finally be done about his case so that something like this would never happen to anyone else ever again.
Pro-government think tank calls Supreme Court judges "gender activists"
A think tank linked to the Orban government Center for Fundamental Rights called Hungary's Supreme Court (Kúria) judges 'gender activists' in a Facebook post. The think tank that also hosted CPAC last year wrote that "gender ideology is incompatible with Hungary's Constitution. This is especially true for the issue of the gender reassignment of children, and therefore the suppression of judicial activism in this area should not be a matter of deliberation for constitutional judges.
The Kúria issued a statement saying "The Kúria is concerned that [...] public attacks on its judges have become regular occurrences. Any criticism of the personal character of judges which questions the legitimacy, independence, or impartiality of their appointment is unacceptable. [...] It is unacceptable because it violates the constitutional functioning of Hungary". They added that the Kúria rejects any such statements, whether they come from abroad or from Hungary, from public figures, NGOs, individuals, from within the judiciary, or even from court leaders.
Hungarian parliament passes law scrapping mandatory chamber membership for doctors
The Hungarian Parliament passed a law scrapping doctors of their MOK (Hungarian Medical Chamber) membership on Tuesday. The bill, which was submitted on Monday, is aimed to abolish mandatory chamber membership for doctors. The Interior Ministry would break weeks of protests by doctors with the move.
"We are witnessing an unprecedented case, the government has launched a very harsh attack on the Hungarian Medical Chamber (MOK) based on lies," said Gyula Kincses, the president of the organization, after the Ministry of Interior announced on Monday morning that the MOK's powers would be restored following the doctors' protest.
Tamás Svéd, secretary of the MOK, spoke of a 'show procedure' reminiscent of the 1950s, "the script of which was probably written last Friday", and by Tuesday the verdict will be delivered, against which there will be no defense.