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Hungarian PM to attend One Belt, One Road forum in Beijing
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is expected to be the sole EU leader attending China's Belt and Road Forum in Beijing this month, a notable departure from the 2019 event when other EU leaders participated, Politico reports. However, this time, Orbán is not expected to be content, as Chinese funding for the Budapest-Belgrade railway has significantly stalled due to challenges in meeting EU standards.
Orbán, known for his close ties with Beijing and Moscow while criticizing the EU, faces this setback amid tensions with the EU over rule-of-law issues. Despite Chinese assurances that the railway project will continue, there is growing discontent in Budapest over China's position. Orbán is also set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during the event.
Hungary mandated to provide compensation to Pakistani asylum seekers brutally assaulted by police
As per a statement from the Hungarian Helsinki Committee on Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights has mandated compensation from the Hungarian state to a Pakistani asylum seeker who suffered an assault by Hungarian police at the country's border fence in 2016. Khurram Shahzad, then 30 years old, and others were forcibly returned to Serbia by Hungarian police on August 12, 2016, enduring repeated beatings. Several forms of evidence, including a self-recorded police video, a post-assault photo of Shahzad, a medical report from a Serbian hospital, and Shahzad's recall of a policeman's identification number, supported the account.
The Hungarian investigating prosecutor's office closed the case despite this evidence, a move deemed unlawful by the Strasbourg court. The court emphasized that failure to investigate potential torture cases and find the culprits violates human rights, according to a 2003 judgment.
In 2011, the court affirmed the state's responsibility to refute abuse claims if a person is unharmed upon custody but sustains injuries upon release. The recent ruling by the Strasbourg Court found Hungary lacking in conducting an effective inquiry into Shahzad's assault and providing a satisfactory explanation for his injuries, confirming that he was abused by Hungarian police officers.
Szjjarto blames Brussels for the introduction of temporary Slovak border control
Hungary's Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó attributed the surge in migratory pressure in Central Europe to Brussels, asserting that the continuous promotion of mandatory resettlement quotas acts as a pull factor for illegal immigration and aids human traffickers.
Szijjártó's remarks came in response to Slovakia's decision to implement temporary border controls along its border with Hungary. He emphasized that such policies encourage migration and bolster the operations of human traffickers. Slovakia has initiated a 10-day temporary border control measure due to an influx of illegal migrants crossing into the country from Hungary, a situation that may lead to an extension of the controls beyond the initial period.
Even Fidesz voters believe Lőrinc Mészáros could be proxies for Orbán
According to a survey of opinion polling company Medián on the perception of corruption conducted by Medián, startling revelations have emerged about public sentiment towards the Orbán government. The study, conducted in September, exposed that even within the governing parties, a substantial 20% of voters believe financial abuse is a significant aspect of the current government. Moreover, a mere 37% of Fidesz voters reject the notion that favored entrepreneurs of the government, such as Lőrinc Mészáros and István Garancsi, might be acting as mere puppets for Viktor Orbán.
This survey, based on a sample of 1,000 voters, underscored that corruption is now seen as the fourth most pressing concern among Hungarian voters, trailing closely behind poverty and inflation. Surprisingly, the healthcare system took the top spot in terms of concerns. Strikingly, a resounding two-thirds of Hungarian voters believe that corruption and financial misconduct define the Orbán government.
Over half of the 1,000 respondents have pinpointed specific names while discussing corruption in Hungary. Lőrinc Mészáros was mentioned by 58% of respondents, Viktor Orbán and his family by 40% (23% singled out the Prime Minister), and István Tiborcz by 18% as individuals believed to have amassed their wealth through dubious means.
Interestingly, Medián also probed whether voters entertain the notion that certain highly successful entrepreneurs like Lőrinc Mészáros or István Garancsi could be proxies for Viktor Orbán. Alarmingly, a mere 15% of the total sample were convinced this possibility could be discounted, a sentiment shared by only 37% of Fidesz voters.