Bencsik: Fidesz members discuss Orbán's ouster

MPs of the ruling Fidesz party are planning a political coup to overthrow Hungary’s Prime Minister, András Bencsik, the editor-in-chief of Hungarian weekly Demokrata, said on his Facebook page yesterday.

President returns unprofitable supermarkets amendment to lawmakers

Hungarian President János Áder declined to sign an amendment that would essentially keep major supermarket chains that are unprofitable for two years in a row staying in business, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today. The president reportedly said the legislation as written goes against EU regulations and returned it to legislators.

Gov’t exempts Főgáz acquisition from GVH scrunity

The Hungarian government declared its acquisition of 49.8% of the shares of Budapest gas distributor Főgáz via state-owned Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) from state-owned Hungarian Electricity Work's (MVM) as being “strategically important for the national economy”, so the sale is exempt from review by the Competition Office (GVH).

Report: Fidesz MP fined for voting against party

MP János Bencsik of the Hungarian governing Fidesz party was fined HUF 300,000 for being the single MP in Fidesz voting against bills and abstaining from bills created and proposed by Fidesz, Hungarian online daily vs.hu reported.

Lázár ready to ditch Russia, use 'war logic'

Cabinet chief János Lázár said the €10 bln credit from Russia for new reactors at Paks does not “tie Hungary’s hands to Russia” and it would be possible to “step back” from the deal, the weekly Figyelő reported today. Regarding the Ukraine crisis, Lázár reportedly said that it may force Hungary to use "crisis governance" and "war logic" to protect ethnic Hungarians.

MSZP gathers support for road toll parliament session

The Hungarian Socialist party (MSZP) collected the required number of signatures for an extraordinary parliamentary session initiated by the party on the planned changes in the road toll system, the party's parliamentary group told Hungarian news agency MTI late yesterday.

Thousands join another anti-government march

Thousands of anti-government protesters, many carrying EU flags, marched from József Nádor tér to the Parliament building yesterday evening. They listened to speeches along the route and chanted anti-government slogans in a mostly peaceful demonstration that ended with scattered skirmishes between demonstrators and police.

Lawyer: Drug test proposal not constitutional

The government plan to conduct mandatory drug tests of politicians and journalists would violate some sections of the Hungarian Constitution, according to a lawyer who was asked to analyze the recently proposed legislation, which received key support from the prime minister.

13,000 sign on for demonstration today

As of this evening, 12,000 people had signed on to a Facebook page to indicate that they plan to join a general antigovernment demonstration that starts at 6 p.m. tomorrow at József Nádor tér. 

Government to discuss road toll changes on Wednesday

The Hungarian government is scheduled to discuss the planned changes to the road toll system on Wednesday, government spokesperson Éva Kurucz announced today, adding that county stickers for roadways have been a topic for years and impact studies on the issue would be made available soon.

MP sounds alarm as Paks progresses

From the latest print edition of the BBJ: As the government signs agreements with its Russian partners on new nuclear reactors, the co-president of Hungary’s Green Party questions the wisdom of the €10 billion plan.

Union protests delay traffic into Budapest

"Single-lane" demonstrations by labor unions caused considerable slowing of traffic on highways entering Budapest this morning. Altogether 13 unions have joined today’s protest against government measures that they say are unfavorable to workers. The protest was organized by LIGA union association leader István Gaskó.

Report: Merkel has serious agenda for meeting with Orbán in February

Angela Merkel’s meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán scheduled for February 2 will be more than a protocol visit, according to vs.hu, which acquired the agenda. The German Chancellor’s five-hour long visit to Budapest will include a face-to-face meeting with Orbán followed by a press conference.

PM: 'There’s democracy in Hungary – period'

‘‘Hungarians welcomed illiberal democracy; the fact that in English it means something else is not my problem,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was quoted as saying today in a wide-ranging interview with the Bloomberg news service. “In the Hungarian context, the word liberal has become negative. Liberal democracy has no or very little support in Hungary.”

Videoton sees 17% revenue rise

Hungarian-owned electronics manufacturers Videoton Holding is expecting to see consolidated revenue of HUF 134 bln this year, up by 17% from last year, chairman-CEO Gábor Szeles said late yesterday.

Orbán vows to strengthen economic sovereignty

“Hungary's political sovereignty needs to be protected and its economic sovereignty further expanded in a geopolitically sensitive situation in Europe where the economy is stagnating”, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said late yesterday.

More unions join Monday's single-lane protest

Another seven unions have joined the Monday protest against government measures unfavorable for labourers, LIGA union association leader István Gaskó said yesterday, raising the number of protesting unions to 13.

Vida looks to U.S. to lift Goodfriend's immunity

Customs Authority (NAV) chief Ildikó Vida, and her lawyer have asked the Chief Prosecutor's Office and the Budapest Municipal Court to request that U.S. authorities lift the diplomatic immunity  André Goodfriend, chargé d'affaires at the United States embassy in Budapest, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

EC approves first Hungarian operative program

The European Commission approved the first Hungarian operative program on Thursday regarding the support of people in poverty. 

PM: Toll system changes to benefit Hungarians

“Hungarian citizens will benefit from the planned changes in the road toll system and the introduction of optional e-stickers for individual counties”, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said today.

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Torture, Justice and the American Way

Torture, Justice and the American Way

by Joseph Marguiles

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