The following article by Balázs Horváth on May 17, 2018 in Hungary Today has been reprinted here in full. For access to the original article please click here.
Dear reader! Have you heard of the Heroes’ Square in China? No? How about Vũng Tàu in Vietnam – famous for its American naval base – in the hidden corner of which lies the Buddhist stupa of Sándor Kőrösi Csoma? Haven’t heard of this either? And what about the Hungarian orphanage in Cambodia, whose buildings are crumbling but which is still in operation to this day? Well, if your answer is “no” again, come with me through these next few paragraphs to learn more about my 60-day journey travelling from Moscow to Bangkok by land, discovering and exploring Hungarian buildings, sculptures and people in Asia.
The following article on May 5 in Philly Voice has been reprinted here in full. For access to the original article please click here.
American Airlines launched nonstop flights from Philadelphia International Airport to Budapest and Prague for the summer months on Friday.
This will free up more than 2,800 seats every week between the two cities.
Flights to Prague leave at 6:30 p.m. and arrive in Václav Havel Airport at 9:05 a.m. the next day. Flights to Budapest depart Philadelphia at 6:25 p.m. and arrive in Ferenc Liszt International Airport at 9:25 a.m. the next day. Prices are what you might expect for a ticket to Eastern Europe during that time of year.
Time to start trolling for tickets, everyone.
“The launch of a new service from Prague is a testament to the American’s ongoing commitment to international growth and strengthening our presence in Europe,” Jim Butler, the airline’s senior vice president for international and cargo, said in a press release.
The nonstop flight plans were first announced in August 2017, but the service became available yesterday with an unveiling at the American Airlines Budapest departing gate.
Mayor Jim Kenney, along with representatives from Hungary and the Czech Republic, were present.
The flights will run until October. Here’s where you can check for nonstop ticket prices and dates.
The following op-ed in the Washington Post on April 23, 2018 has been reprinted here in full. For access to the original article please click here.
The April 12 Wonkblog post “Democracy is dying in Hungary. The rest of the world should worry.” concluded with the odd remark that it’s “funny how putting your country first usually means putting your democracy last.” Consider this:
Voter turnout in Hungary’s April 8 elections reached 70.2 percent, the highest it’s been since 2002 and more than eight points higher than it was in 2014. Voter participation in the U.S. 2016 presidential election was only 55.7 percent, and it was even lower in 2012. Democracy is alive and well in Hungary.
Unemployment today is at 3.8 percent, down from its 2009 level of 11.9 percent. Growth in gross domestic product reached 4.4 percent in 2017, compared with minus 7.9 percent in 2009. Real wages have grown by 44 percent since 2014, and we introduced the lowest corporate tax in the European Union at 9 percent, which has stimulated investment. Voters like those things.
The post said Hungary’s ruling party “was just able to capture the two-thirds supermajority it needed to rule unimpeded with only 48 percent of the vote.” But Tony Blair and Britain’s Labour Party won the 1997 elections with 43 percent of the popular vote but took 64 percent of the seats in Parliament. Former U.S. president Barack Obama was elected in 2008 with 53 percent of the vote, but he won 67 percent of the electoral college. That’s the way it works in majoritarian electoral systems.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán won again by a landslide precisely because the voters want their government to put the country first.
Zoltán Kovács, Washington
The writer is the Hungarian government spokesperson.